Artist01 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 50 posts, RR: 3 Posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 5621 times:
Heard on the radio that a Thomsonfly Captain on a London bound flight told the overweight passengers to move to the front of the aircraft because he wasn't happy with the handling of his plane.
What about the luggage/cargo etc.
How Strange!!! If you are told by the captain to move to the front, you don't ask no questions do you, as it is his plane at the end of the day.
Can anyone share this problem and any other pilots can give a better understanding of this situation.
Noelg From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 5525 times:
I don't have an issue with that at all - it's a very important safety aspect. The centre of gravity has to be within published limits, if you have loads of heavy people at the front it pushes the C of G forward which is very dangerous, and many crashes have been attributed to C of G problems. It also invalidates the insurance so if an accident did happen the airline would be in serious crap.
The luggage/cargo will have been loaded according to the manifest - don't forget this is all weighed and placed in the appropriate place prior to the flight.
Unfortunately this isn't possible with passengers, as A) how can you weigh each passenger on a 737 sized aircraft (although it is done on some smaller types), and B) the passengers have free seating on many LCCs nowadays, so will sit where they want rather than where is best for performance of the aircraft.
Now if you had baggage handlers weighing and loading passengers into the right place then there wouldn't be this problem
Gordonsmall From UK - Scotland, joined Jun 2001, 2101 posts, RR: 21
Reply 3, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 5505 times:
You'd be suprised how much difference half a dozen misplaced passengers can make to the CoG on even the biggest airliners.
There have been more than a few 'incidents' over the years where passengers have moved from their allocated seats before departure on a lightly loaded aircraft and it has caused some kind of drama on takeoff as the stabiliser trim setting used for takeoff is no longer enough/is too much to achieve a normal rotation using the standard rotation technique.
Statistically, people who have had the most birthdays tend to live the longest.
The fact that you ask this question makes me assume that the aircraft was still on the ground. If that is the case then there is indeed a possibility that various passengers had been asked to move to a different section of the cabin. This may have been as a result of some discrepency with the loading of the a/c which lead to an incorrect distribution of passenger and bag weights in specific sections of the aircraft cabin and hold. Simply, the passengers may have been asked to move to optimise the Centre of Gravity of that particular a/c on that particular flight.
This should have been arranged and managed by the load planning team prior to departure, but at the end of the day we're all human and mistakes can be made. To ask a number of passengers to move to a different section of the aircarft cabin is going to be logistically far easier to arrange than offloading/re-loading passenger bags from one hold to another.
Why it has been reported that he only asked "larger" folks to move is a little bizarre. Firstly, I can't see the Captain actrually doing so and therefore being perceived as being "weight-ist" and secondly, European carriers actually operate a "Notional" weight system whereby and individual male/female/child/infant passenger is assigned a standard weight. That weight may vary between carriers, but those numbers are non-negotiable. So whether it's a fat guy or a skinny guy it doesn't matter, he's still only going to weigh XXkgs.
If after all that, you're referring to "in flight", I'm sure one of my fellow Pilot A.netters could answer that more appropriately than I could. I'm honestly not sure about the specific effects of the disbribution of the loaded weight in flight.
Trespassers will be shot; survivors will be shot again!
Oly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6701 posts, RR: 11
Reply 5, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 5397 times:
My parents were on a BA JFK-MAN flight on a L1011 and the pilot got on the blower about too many people going to the back of the plane while in flight. On another flight I got into the cockpit and was talking to the crew. I got the impression that the L1011 trim position was quite sensitive with regard to cruise drag.
A340600 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2003, 4105 posts, RR: 51
Reply 6, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 5343 times:
It is normally done whilst the plane is still on the ground. Once when I was at Gatwick an AA777 held for ages before entering the runway and I turned on my scanner to hear they were moving some pax around due to weight issues.
Despite the name I am a Boeing man through and through!
SkyexRamper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 5241 times:
All flight crews do this for one simple reason...its matters alot! You have to remember that each passenger is normally counted as 180-190lbs during summer months and 200lbs during winter. So passengers that exceed those weights by more than a little can throw off the true data that the airplane will fly by.
Jean Leloup From Canada, joined Apr 2001, 2116 posts, RR: 19
Reply 8, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 5202 times:
The first time I saw this was when I myself got moved from the very front row to the back row on a recent flight. However, this was on a West Coast Air Twin Otter floatplane. I guess the balance is more fragile on a little tyke of a plane like that. I don't think I was asked to move because I'm overweight, although I am. I think it's just that I was in the front, which makes my move to the back more physically effective than if I were in the middle. I think.
SunriseValley From Canada, joined Jul 2004, 4951 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 4972 times:
I was on an AC -300ER out of CDG about a year ago and a number of passengers were asked to move and told that they could move back to their assigned seats
after takeoff. I don't remember in which direction they were asked to move.
JAM747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 550 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 4843 times:
As some others already mentioned , this request to move passengers could be an important move for safety reasons. I fly light electric model planes and learn't how a very small imbalance of weight can affect how they handle. If a little extra tape or repair material is used to fix the nose , wing or tail it could adversely affect how it handles due to weight imbalance and may even cause it to crash. Therefore in real life a few hundred pounds of imbalance could affect plane in a similar manner . Yes I know that there is a huge difference between a model plane and a real plane but the laws of physics that make them fly is the same.
Crosswind From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 2598 posts, RR: 58
Reply 12, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 4808 times:
Yet more media crap that has been blown out of proportion!
As I understand it from the BBC report, due to a check-in error in Tenerife there were too many people seated at the rear of the aircraft and due to a low passenger load on the flight, the aircraft was out of trim.
8 volunteers from rows 30-42 were asked to move forward in a PA announcement due to a "weight problem" One of the overweight people claimed that the crew had actually asked 8 fat people to move forward and the crew were "looking at them" when the PA was made - even though they were not even seated in the affected rows.
Basically a case of some very paranoid passengers. Wouldn't be surprised if these "humiliated passengers" possibly believed that they might get a free flight or holiday by way of an apology if they drum up some negative publicity for the company.
Since aircraft weight and balance is done on standard male/female/child passenger weights there would be no way overweight people would be singled out to be moved in an out-of-trim situation as there would be no way to account for this on the trim sheet unless you actually weigh all passengers onboard.
You can't use standard weights for 200 passengers and actual weights for 8 passengers "because they're fat" On an aircraft of the 737/757/767 size operated by Thomsonfly the effect of 8 overweight people on the centre of gravity is negligible, hence the reason standard passenger weights are used.
BAViscount From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 2338 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 4723 times:
This is something I've always wondered, but have never known the answer to - maybe someone here can help me. Do today's aircraft have sensors that warn flight crews of weight imbalance problems while still on the ground? Does something pop up on a screen in the cockpit that warns that a certain part of the aircraft is carrying too much weight and that human cargo need to be moved around?
This may be a stupid question, but not one I personally know the answer to!
Ladies & gentlemen this is Captain Tobias Wilcock welcoming you aboard Coconut Airways flight 372 to Bridgetown Barb
Halophila From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 646 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 4492 times:
I'm 6' 2", 220 lbs (100 kg). On two separate flights on ERJ-135s, the captain has asked for volunteers to move to the rear of the plane to adjust the balance. Also happened on a fully-loaded Shorts 360, and a Raytheon 1900D (twice). It's nothing unusual, and I'm usually the first one the F/A comes to ask when nobody else volunteers (why I'm not sure - happened on first couple of flights where the captain had asked). Didn't bother me at all. So now I just volunteer if asked!
474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 17, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 4448 times:
Quoting Oly720man (Reply 5): I got the impression that the L1011 trim position was quite sensitive with regard to cruise drag.
The L-1011 has a flying stabilizer, the entire unit is used for pitch control as will as for trim. Unlike other airliners that trim the stabilizers and have separate elevators for pitch control. Pitch trim is not a problem.
RachelBDL From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 72 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 4322 times:
Part of my job is figuring the weight and balance before departure. Only on one occasion have I had to ask pax to reseat themselves due to trim issues. Usually it would happen with a few factors sternly in place: few passengers, few bags, lots of fuel, lots of airmail/freight. If you have a cargo load that cannot be split front/back but plenty of weight available to carry it, you have to balance it out with where the passengers are seated.
RSW Sergio E From United States of America, joined May 2002, 18 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 2902 times:
I was on an A A flight from MIA to JAX, an ATR72 and the captain asked those sitting in the front of the plane to please move to the back to balance it out. Some of the people up front would not move, so we sat there until they finally moved.
I guess sometimes people don't realize that they are asked to do things for their own safety. And yet these are the same people that as soon as something happens to them for not doing as they are told, start pointing the finger and yelling at those that warned them to start out with.
BDKLEZ From Ireland, joined Jun 2005, 1735 posts, RR: 10
Reply 21, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 2721 times:
Quoting BAViscount (Reply 13): This may be a stupid question, but not one I personally know the answer to!
It's not a stupid question at all. The aircraft has it's CofG at, let's say, position X, and when all of the calculations are made as to the actual weight of loaded passengers and bags/cargo, these loads are distributed in such a manner so that position X stays within a designated "envelope" dependant upon how the load is actually distributed on the aircraft, both in the passenger cabin and in the holds below.
As position X will differ on each aircraft type and will not necessarily be at what from a visual point of view would be the "centre" of the aircraft, an equal distribution of passengers and bags may not solve the problem.
These weight and balance or trim calculations can either be done by computer or manually, but all those qualified to perform such calculations are required to be fully conversant with manual procedures in the event of system/computer failure.
The result of these calculations will provide a MAC Take-off trim figure. This figure indicates to the Captain how much rudder control will need to be applied in order that the aircraft can successfully take-off without running off the end of the runway and conversely so that it can successfully take-off after it's take-off and at the same time avoiding a tail-scrape.
I hope this has shed a little light on the subject for those of you who asked and I hope we can all now see that the actual distribution of an aircraft's load can dictate whether the thing gets off the ground or not, or even leave the stand.
It's a responsible job and those assigned with that responsibility are required to sign documents confirming the calcualtions and that the aircaft has been loaded as per all current regulations and legislature.
In the event of an aircraft accident, these documents along with the passenger manifest will be the first, which will be required to be provided to the investiagting authorities. There's no room for error or sloppiness and peoples lives could literally be in your hands. I used to do it years ago, and I loved it.
Trespassers will be shot; survivors will be shot again!