JonP01

Passengers lying about weight

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I've been a bit obsessed with weight lately when I was reading up in relation to a recent (and very enjoyable) trip I took with REX airlines in a SAAB 340B. The airline (fantastic pilots and flight attendants btw) were very proud of their bespoke "flight bag" which amongst other things claims a fuel saving due to reduced weight. But the sort of weight saving we are talking about here wouldn't even register on the fuel gauge of my tiny Kia Picanto car, let alone a 12 tonne aircraft with 2,400 kw of turboprop power. Yes, I know planes and cars do not translate for very obvious reasons and that aircraft have great sensitivity where a car does not, but still - it amazes me as a non-pilot how critical weight really is (though in turn it makes me understand why accurate calculation is mandatory).

But I chanced on a Youtube video today (an old one) where a GA aircraft barely got off the runway. It's performance was so compromised (high density altitude, short runway, obstructions, etc) that the stall horn was just beeping continually after rotation. Way beyond my comfort zone. But alot of the comments shocked me as pilots were weighing in (sorry about the pun) about passengers lying about their weight and thus compromising performance.

These comments really surprised me because I then do some archive browsing here at Avsim and pilots here are appear to be very thorough aand precise about weights - to the point where they have properly weighed everything - including small dogs!

So my question is: why would people be getting into any GA light aircraft without being properly weighed first? If even a battery has to be taken into account, why would you chance it with a human that might say they weigh 77 kg when they actually weigh 85 kg, for example? OK, if you are just carrying one or maybe even two passengers in a more powerful variant, you are probably safe if it is a short flight from a long runway close to sea level. But as a non-pilot and thus a layman, to me it just seems almost negligent to simply rely on a guesstimate (or a passenger "say so") as to what they actually weigh. I'd be putting them on scales myself regardless. Which is why maybe I misunderstood those comments. Perhaps they are really saying "well the passenger lied about their weight till I weighed them!!".

So is there a specific / mandatory procedure for light GA flying in this regard?

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20 minutes ago, JonP01 said:

So is there a specific / mandatory procedure for light GA flying in this regard?

Hi...

No specific mandatory weighing procedure - however - the PIC (Pilot in Command) is ultimately responsible for the safe operation of the aircraft - so it’s up to him/her to insure the weight and balance is correct for the flight... I used to ride light twins for a commute to work - always watched the pilots do the weight and balance paperwork prior to flight (pre iPad days) - they took us at our word for weight...

Regards,

Scott

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I have no problem getting weighed if the safety of the aircraft (and passengers) is at risk. We are all in the same boat (so to speak).

 

There was, unfortunately, a fatal accident due to overweight issues. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Midwest_Flight_5481

 

Edited by Jude Bradley

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I think overweight passengers are an issue and you cannot rely upon everyone being honest about their weight.  Weighing before boarding is not a bad idea, but people will object, I guarantee.

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It's simple, just prior to take off, as part of your pre-taxi check, you walk to the back of the aeroplane and shout 'oi! fatty!' Whoever turns around was almost certainly lying about their weight and needs to be either thrown off, or placed slightly in front of the centre of lift position.

Edited by Chock
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31 minutes ago, Jude Bradley said:

I have no problem getting weighed if the safety of the aircraft (and passengers) is at risk. We are all in the same boat (so to speak).

 

There was, unfortunately, a fatal accident due to overweight issues. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Midwest_Flight_5481

 

In all honesty, this wasn't a weight issue.  I know they say it was 580# overweight, but that is not near enough to bring down a 1900.  The culprit was AFT CG and a incorrectly rigged elevator.  

The 1900C I flew for 4500 hrs had an STC that increased it's gross weight to 17,600# which is 500 more than the 1900D which is right where they think this aicraft was.  On top of that we had crew that had an incorrectly loaded aircraft.  They we're offscale AFT CG by an obscene amount. They are lucky to be alive.  The amount they had in the last two sections of the aircraft was 1/2 the total cargo load of the aircraft which was probably 2x the amount Flt 5481.  So in totality it was the improper rigging that killed these people.  The other factors are just contributing, but I'd they had full use of their flight controls the aircraft would have kept flying.  That is my opinion, however backed with years of flying the same Type aircraft.

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Samoa Airlines charges passengers by weight, and yes they put you and your luggage on a scale and you pay for the total weight for you and your luggage, the lighter the weight the less you pay. I actually think this is a very fair policy and every airline should consider it, but the PC Brigade wouldn't allow it. 

Weight has a direct impact on fuel consumption so yes I think this would make a very good policy

 

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11 minutes ago, Matthew Kane said:

Samoa Airlines charges passengers by weight, and yes they put you and your luggage on a scale and you pay for the total weight for you and your luggage, the lighter the weight the less you pay. I actually think this is a very fair policy and every airline should consider it, but the PC Brigade wouldn't allow it. 

 On a recent flight I had a very large gentleman sat next to me who couldn't fit in his seat and basically spilled over into my seat. It was a very unpleasant flight for me and the guy should have paid for two seats. To top it all off, he was getting angry and aggressive with the flight attendants because he couldn't fit in the seat. The airline will charge customers who go over 1kg on their hand-baggage, but completely ignore someone who may weigh 20-30kg more than the average passenger.

Awkward situation, especially in this day and age.

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, tonywob said:

 On a recent flight I had a very large gentleman sat next to me who couldn't fit in his seat and basically spilled over into my seat. It was a very unpleasant flight for me and the guy should have paid for two seats. To top it all off, he was getting angry and aggressive with the flight attendants because he couldn't fit in the seat. The airline will charge customers who go over 1kg on their hand-baggage, but completely ignore someone who may weigh 20-30kg more than the average passenger.

Awkward situation, especially in this day and age.

 

 

 

Hi Folks,

LOL - I feel for you and I'd be aggravated too - life in a cattle car...

How things have changed in economy class:

852xQDM.png

 

Regards,
Scott

Edited by scottb613

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Most of the time it would not go beyond a glance at the passenger for me to decide if they where within limits. I only ever took passengers in a 2 seat glider but max weigh and C of G mattered. Being 220lbs myself I declined to take anyone who was "large".

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20 hours ago, Chock said:

It's simple, just prior to take off, as part of your pre-taxi check, you walk to the back of the aeroplane and shout 'oi! fatty!' Whoever turns around was almost certainly lying about their weight and needs to be either thrown off, or placed slightly in front of the centre of lift position.

ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!

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21 hours ago, stans said:

I think overweight passengers are an issue and you cannot rely upon everyone being honest about their weight.  Weighing before boarding is not a bad idea, but people will object, I guarantee.

Some airlines get around the issue by clearly specifying the seat widths. And if you cannot fit within that width, you either buy two tickets or you don't travel. I believe some use the diplomatic phrase "passengers of size". Actually the SAAB 340B I travelled in last month had heaps of seat width. The seats are wider than in many turbofan aircraft partly due to the 2 + 1 arrangement. I had heaps of room to spare on the trip - even my "Daniel Ricciardo hips" didn't even get close to the sides of the seats - very comfy!

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So I guess we could make the boarding gate smaller, anyone who can't get through the gate may need to fly as cargo.

 

Wow these people are smartly dressed for travelling, not a grumpy face to be seen all relaxed and well catered, not so much these days both in travel wear and demeanour, and look at the space you could tie 2 cats together tail to tail and still have room to swing.
Soon we'll all be stacked in the cargo hold or cabin space converted to cargo, after a thorough probing, ID scan and knockout injection.

I'll bet they didn't need to check in 3hrs before boarding or risk being bumped for over booked flight.

1 hour ago, scottb613 said:

How things have changed in economy class:

852xQDM.png

 

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21 hours ago, Chock said:

It's simple, just prior to take off, as part of your pre-taxi check, you walk to the back of the aeroplane and shout 'oi! fatty!' Whoever turns around was almost certainly lying about their weight and needs to be either thrown off, or placed slightly in front of the centre of lift position.

How about they do what I see the airlines do here in Australia for carry on baggage? You stick the carry on baggage in a steel barred "template" (like a goal cell but the top is open). If it fits you are good to go. If it doesn't then you have to check it in. So same with people - we just crane them up and try to stuff them into a human cage "template". If you have to really squash them down like a wine cork t(or they won't squash in at all) hen they pay for two seats. I think this would be a great way to do it since if nothing else, it makes for great entertainment as you wait for that delayed-yet-again flight:)

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4 minutes ago, Jethro said:

Soon we'll all be stacked in the cargo hold or cabin space converted to cargo, after a thorough probing, ID scan and knockout injection.

Not forgetting the explosive residue test (and yes, I had one of those last month). 

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Would the explosive residue test cover the argument had with the cab driver over the fare to the airport still lingering in you mind as you check-in, or the exorbitant long term parking charges or the burrito had for lunch. These can leave a lingering explosive effect! In some instances a burrito lunch can be as dangerous in confined spaces. There might not even be a detectable residue. Ha Ha Ha :biggrin:

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19 minutes ago, JonP01 said:

How about they do what I see the airlines do here in Australia for carry on baggage? You stick the carry on baggage in a steel barred "template" (like a goal cell but the top is open)

They do that here in Europe as well, but they don't always check.

I was amazed in Australia when flying with TigerAir that they walk around with a portable weighing machine and weighed everyone's hand luggage. Nobody is getting away with it there 🙂

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1 minute ago, tonywob said:

They do that here in Europe as well, but they don't always check.

I was amazed in Australia when flying with TigerAir that they walk around with a portable weighing machine and weighed everyone's hand luggage. Nobody is getting away with it there 🙂

Funny thing is my backpack was within the required carry-on dimensions and it subsequently easily passed the "cage" check. But I had to really force it into the overhead compartment in that SAAB. I mean really squash it in with considerable force. Next time I am going to take my other small overnight bag (which is like a miniature version of those tennis raquet bags) as I will probably be travelling on these SAABs relatively frequently in the future.

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17 minutes ago, Jethro said:

Would the explosive residue test cover the argument had with the cab driver over the fare to the airport still lingering in you mind as you check-in, or the exorbitant long term parking charges or the burrito had for lunch.

More likely the exorbitant $20 train fare from my local railway station to Sydney airport "Domestic" station and the hour delay on the flight.

btw, so far as car parking at YSSY is concerned, some people take it very seriously indeed:

 

 

 

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On 11/6/2018 at 8:40 AM, tonywob said:

o top it all off, he was getting angry and aggressive with the flight attendants because he couldn't fit in the seat.

It sounds like a scene from Monty Python 😀  

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On 11/5/2018 at 7:00 AM, JonP01 said:

I've been a bit obsessed with weight lately when I was reading up in relation to a recent (and very enjoyable) trip I took with REX airlines in a SAAB 340B. The airline (fantastic pilots and flight attendants btw) were very proud of their bespoke "flight bag" which amongst other things claims a fuel saving due to reduced weight. But the sort of weight saving we are talking about here wouldn't even register on the fuel gauge of my tiny Kia Picanto car, let alone a 12 tonne aircraft with 2,400 kw of turboprop power. Yes, I know planes and cars do not translate for very obvious reasons and that aircraft have great sensitivity where a car does not, but still - it amazes me as a non-pilot how critical weight really is (though in turn it makes me understand why accurate calculation is mandatory).

But I chanced on a Youtube video today (an old one) where a GA aircraft barely got off the runway. It's performance was so compromised (high density altitude, short runway, obstructions, etc) that the stall horn was just beeping continually after rotation. Way beyond my comfort zone. But alot of the comments shocked me as pilots were weighing in (sorry about the pun) about passengers lying about their weight and thus compromising performance.

These comments really surprised me because I then do some archive browsing here at Avsim and pilots here are appear to be very thorough aand precise about weights - to the point where they have properly weighed everything - including small dogs!

So my question is: why would people be getting into any GA light aircraft without being properly weighed first? If even a battery has to be taken into account, why would you chance it with a human that might say they weigh 77 kg when they actually weigh 85 kg, for example? OK, if you are just carrying one or maybe even two passengers in a more powerful variant, you are probably safe if it is a short flight from a long runway close to sea level. But as a non-pilot and thus a layman, to me it just seems almost negligent to simply rely on a guesstimate (or a passenger "say so") as to what they actually weigh. I'd be putting them on scales myself regardless. Which is why maybe I misunderstood those comments. Perhaps they are really saying "well the passenger lied about their weight till I weighed them!!".

So is there a specific / mandatory procedure for light GA flying in this regard?

Worse than passengers lying about weight I found was when I was shopping for potential light sport aircraft--sellers lying about gross weight of their aircraft, refusing to show their airworthiness certificate or not having one period, expecting the buyer to obtain one.   They would complain of a buyer asking for one as being a "tire kicker".  Bad enough used care salesmen use this term, but when an aircraft seller uses this term, it makes them a potential killer, just trying to sell their problem to an unsuspecting buyer assuming their low hours makes them an unsafe pilot. 

I never lied about my weight but would hear "oh, you could not possibly weigh that much".  Sometimes I flew aircraft that had an understated gross weight, before I lost 40 pounds they could climb like a rocket but sadly they were registered using the European microlight limit of 450KG even though the kit plane maker certified them for a higher weight in the US. 

Other microlights were simply underpowered and thus climbed anemically.  The Light Sport Allegro 2000, even with a 80 hp Rotax (my trainer had a 100HP Rotax) could climb like a rocket, it was a certified LSA, one of the first, but had weak landing gear and my trainer suffered landing gear failure after it was sold. 

This was later corrected on newer models.  I also flew an Ercoupe which had an anemic climb rate and high sink rate, even with lighter fabric wings.  There is even a 1320# STC, that gives it a higher legal gross, since it can still climbwith 420 pounds of pilot aboard and full fuel and cruise near 100 mph.  Anyway, so there you have it.  If you fly light GA aircraft or plan on being a skydiver, do not lie about your weight.  And if you are a seller, if you lie about your aircraft's gross, you are a would be murderer.

John

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