Menu Sign In Contact FAQ
Banner
Welcome to our forums

Empirical calculation of Mass & Balance (G-BAKH crash)

‘Greedy’ pilot ‘overloaded his plane with birdwatchers to make £1,000 profit’ on flight to Scottish island of Bara which ended in crash when they ‘fell out of the sky’

‘He accepted that he had not weighed the passengers or asked them for their weights. But he worked on the principle that if they fitted through the door then they could fly with you.’ That is truly amazing, a revolutionary way to calculate Mass and Balance of an aircraft. People never stops to amaze me by their endless stupidity.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6674073/Greedy-pilot-overloaded-plane-29-stones-three-birdwatchers-make-1-000-profit.html

LPSR, Portugal

You could call this “a purely optical method for w&b determination”.

A google on the pilot’s surname is quite productive; he’s well known

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

In truth, how many people carry a scale where every pax steps on? Most people guestimate or ask, does anyone here measure?

I do when I know it’s critical…

Not being quite fluent with “stone” but 29 would be 180 kg or so? When the plane could take 55 Stone or 349 kg? Does that mean, he had a total load of 530 kg on that plane? That is not really just empirical, that is pure madness. Or try to fit a grand piano up a spiral staircase. i know there are people who insist it will fit…

LSZH, Switzerland

Mooney_Driver wrote:

In truth, how many people carry a scale where every pax steps on? Most people guestimate or ask, does anyone here measure?
I do when I know it’s critical…
Not being quite fluent with “stone” but 29 would be 180 kg or so? When the plane could take 55 Stone or 349 kg? Does that mean, he had a total load of 530 kg on that plane? That is not really just empirical, that is pure madness. Or try to fit a grand piano up a spiral staircase. i know there are people who insist it will fit…

I also do not, but as you say, when one is close to the up margin, additional care is required. I have travelled with 4 on my plane for the first time during last EuroGA tour to Elba and everybody and everything went to the scale.

Peter wrote:

You could call this “a purely optical method for w&b determination”.
A google on the pilot’s surname is quite productive; he’s well known

Definitely you can rename the post :-).

LPSR, Portugal

You can call me “stupid” but I don’t do a full W&B calculation every time I go fly in my PA28.

I know two in the front seats and full tanks is fine. Two in the front, one in the back, full tanks and no luggage is also fine. More than that and I’d do the W&B but very few times do I fly with 4 POB.

Turweston EGBT, Jerez LEJR, United Kingdom

It is a legal requirement now under SERA to have a M&B/Performance for all flights. Assume your loss adjuster will request a copy.

Enstone (EGTN), Oxford (EGTK)

I guess you can argue you’ve done it once and if all the conditions are the same you don’t need to redo it? Or in more “legal-proof” terms, you have already done it?

So for Flight A you did the M&B. For Flight B, same aircraft, same POB, same load, same fuel, same runway, same environmental conditions (temps, winds etc.). The M&B for Flight A is still valid in flight B. Hence your flight B has a M&B/performance study done.

Turweston EGBT, Jerez LEJR, United Kingdom

RobertL18C wrote:

It is a legal requirement now under SERA to have a M&B/Performance for all flights. Assume your loss adjuster will request a copy.

SERA has nothing to do with it, your duties as PIC is part of OPS, not of the Rules of the Air. If you’re flying under the scope of Part NCO, you’re just required to make sure, that mass & balance is within the limitations, specified in the POH (NCO.POL.100). Nowhere, Part NCO demands anything written for flight planning, m&b, fuel- or performance calculations. If you operate on an AOC, you need some documentation (look at Part ORO.GEN / Part ORO.AOC for details) but they can be held very simple.

mh
Inside the sky.
EDXE, EDXF, Germany

Alpha_Floor wrote:

You can call me “stupid” but I don’t do a full W&B calculation every time I go fly in my PA28.

I know two in the front seats and full tanks is fine. Two in the front, one in the back, full tanks and no luggage is also fine. More than that and I’d do the W&B but very few times do I fly with 4 POB.

Same reasoning on a PA28, on full vs tabs, tough I check sum not exceeding MTOW and apply common sense on weight distribution, but with 4POB on a PA28, it is much easier when the heavy guy is the left pilot
- we know the heavy guy need to sit in front
- we know the light guy need to sit close to the door
- we want two pilots close to the controls

ESSEX, United Kingdom

I do have an electronic load sheet with me at all times and fill it in, that is part of the flight documentation. Usually I print it out as well.

Clearly, if you are ramp checked after a flight and can’t show a loadsheet, you will have questions to answer. It does not necessarily mean you have not done it, but they will quiz you.

My point actually is, that while most of us do a WnB on their tablett which they can demonstrate or even print it, we do the same as the airlines do mostly, we use assumed or standard weights. I am painfully aware of my own weight so that at least is realistic. But my pax and their bags?

Several times in the Maldives e.t.c. where light planes up to Twin Otters are used, they ask you to step on the scale as well as weigh the baggage. That is what should happen. But does it? In theory, you’d have to have a scale in the plane which you can use if the weight is in doubt. But would you ask friends (particularly females) to step on a scale or even ask their weight? I note that I have most of the time guestimated their weight. Now as a former load controller I may have plenty experience for that and will probably rather err conservatively, but as this case shows, 4 adults can be anything from 200-500 kg! Not to speak of bags.

Filling in a load manifest or simple WnB calc mostly via an App is so easy today that there is really no excuse for not having one on board. But garbage in, garbage out.

LSZH, Switzerland
68 Posts
Sign in to add your message

Back to Top