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RJ Weight And Balance Question  
User currently offlineMcg From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 798 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 11 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 4925 times:

Came into gate B85 at DIA on a flight from MSO. There was an RJ at the next gate being prepared for departure. It looked all the bags had been loaded and to me it looked like the ramper was loading sand bags into the cargo hold. The bags were bright red in color and were about the size of a bag of lawn fertilizer. They really looked like sand bags to me.

As a passenger it sometimes seems to me that the RJ has interesting weight and balance challenges, but I really can't imagine an airline loading sand into a plane to keep the weight and balances within standard.

Could these bags have been sand bags? If not, deos anybody have any suggestion as to what they might have been?

Thanks

13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineMPDPilot From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 991 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (4 years 11 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 4915 times:

Having done a few W&B for the RJ. It is quite nose heavy and yes occasionally it will require some ballast in the cargo hold to being the CG within limits. Typically this is needed on shorter flights but I guess there are number of times when this might be required.


One mile of highway gets you one mile, one mile of runway gets you anywhere.
User currently offlineFlyDeltaJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1865 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (4 years 11 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 4901 times:
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I noticed this on the short flights with low baggage counts as well as a person riding in the jumpseat.


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User currently offlineMcg From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 798 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (4 years 11 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 4890 times:

Thanks, this would be consistent with the behavior I've observed of shifting passengers to the rear of less than full RJ's.

Thanks again for the info.


User currently offlineAlias1024 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2753 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (4 years 11 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 4827 times:



Quoting Mcg (Thread starter):
They really looked like sand bags to me.

That is because they were sand bags. Many airlines use sand bags as ballast for weight and balance purposes, including Skywest. Others use water filled containers. I've seen spare aircraft tires and bundles of inflight magazines used when enough ballast was not on hand.

The CRJ-200 was designed back when average passenger weights were lower. Now, the higher average weights mandated by the FAA lead to a nose heavy airplane.



It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6003 posts, RR: 14
Reply 5, posted (4 years 11 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 4824 times:



Quoting Mcg (Reply 3):
Thanks, this would be consistent with the behavior I've observed of shifting passengers to the rear of less than full RJ's.

Thanks again for the info.

It happens to mainline aircraft, too, albiet without sand bags (although I've seen some carriers use them.) By moving the bags to a further aft position, they can shift the moment of the aircraft towards the aft in order to minimize, and even nullify, the movement of passengers in the cabin.

The only downside about the sandbags, is that while they help to balance the aircraft, they are also counted as payload, which may bump a passenger.



Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlinePilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3150 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (4 years 11 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 4818 times:



Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 4):

That is because they were sand bags. Many airlines use sand bags as ballast for weight and balance purposes, including Skywest. Others use water filled containers. I've seen spare aircraft tires and bundles of inflight magazines used when enough ballast was not on hand.

The CRJ-200 was designed back when average passenger weights were lower. Now, the higher average weights mandated by the FAA lead to a nose heavy airplane.

Pax weights have little effect on the 145. It's always been nose heavy, especially without T/Rs. Likely has more to do with stretching a shorter design.



DMI
User currently offlineMPDPilot From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 991 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (4 years 11 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 4815 times:



Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 5):
The only downside about the sandbags, is that while they help to balance the aircraft, they are also counted as payload, which may bump a passenger.

That has to be pretty rare as most of the time the ballast is only needed when the plane is light meaning the extra weight wouldn't do much and there are plenty of seats. Then when the flight is full it is less likely to have this problem as the cargo hold will be pretty full already. Just the experience I had though so I guess it is possible.



One mile of highway gets you one mile, one mile of runway gets you anywhere.
User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6003 posts, RR: 14
Reply 8, posted (4 years 11 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 4814 times:



Quoting MPDPilot (Reply 7):
Just the experience I had though so I guess it is possible.

It's not very often that it happens. Usually, with a full load, you'll see sandbags when there's someone in the jumpseat.



Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlineJER757 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2006, 350 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (4 years 11 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 4777 times:



Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 6):
Pax weights have little effect on the 145. It's always been nose heavy, especially without T/Rs. Likely has more to do with stretching a shorter design.

I believe its to do with the wings being placed relatively far back along the fuselage?

Its been a while since I've done W&B for an RJ/146 but it always struck me as relatively easy to trim; nothing more than having to move a few pax on lighter loaded flights...



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User currently offlineMcg From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 798 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (4 years 11 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 4686 times:

Thanks again for everyone's info. FYI my reference to 'RJ' is really the Bombardier RJ-200, the fifty seater.

User currently offlineJoseKMLB From United States of America, joined May 2008, 493 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (4 years 11 months 4 days ago) and read 4557 times:

The past week or so most planes have been loading up sand bags for ATL since they seem to run out of sand bags had to put on like 1100lbs of sand for ATL on a RJ-200 last week. But you do seem to get alot of sands bags off the RJs.

User currently offlineSuper737 From UK - Northern Ireland, joined Feb 2008, 105 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (4 years 11 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 4416 times:

On embraer jets E135s and so forth, Fuel can be used as ballast. For example an extra 1500kgs on top of the uplift required for the flight can be added to help balance the ship.


If its not a super tractor its not a plane
User currently offlineFlyASAGuy2005 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 7004 posts, RR: 11
Reply 13, posted (4 years 10 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 4270 times:



Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 4):
I've seen spare aircraft tires and bundles of inflight magazines used when enough ballast was not on hand.

I've done that a few times as well. Usually during the evening flights when no one is around to find bags. Had to make a trip to Stores to get old magazines or get a tire from GSE.

Most I had one night was something like 600 LBS.



What gets measured gets done.
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