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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.


Brian Thibodeaux | B747-400/8 First Officer, C-130 Flight Engineer, ATP, CFI

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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

 


Matthew Kane

 

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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

 


Cheers Jethro  

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