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Posts: 87
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2001 2:48 am

Large A/C How Are Pax & Luggage Weights Figured?

Thu Aug 30, 2001 12:41 am

I am curious how weights are figured for weight & balance data on jets in the US with, say 100 or more seats. I realize each aircraft is different, but in general;

1) Do you assume the FAA "standard person" at 170 lbs. per pax?

2) Is all luggage weighed before it is loaded, or is there a generic figure assumed per bag?

I know F/A's often take a head count of pax in each compartment.

3) Are there estimates generated by dispatch based on the expected # of pax for a particular flight?

4) Is the head count used to fine tune the #'s prior to departure? (Actual # of pax on board might be different than expected).

I was wondering about how accurate the numbers need to be for determining things like takeoff trim settings, flap settings, V speeds, required runway, etc.  Confused

Sorry if this has been discussed before. I did a search on this forum, but didn't see this kind of discussion.
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Joined: Mon Sep 27, 1999 6:58 pm

RE: Large A/C How Are Pax & Luggage Weights Figured?

Thu Aug 30, 2001 8:04 am

Well,dunno the answers to all of your Q´s,but here goes(from top to bottom)

1)Standard weight per passenger is always used.(
2)No,the luggagae is not weighed,standard generic
weight´s used in almost all cases.

And yes, F/A´s do conduct a head count prior to gate
departure to match the number of passengers listed/reported by the check-in&gate crews.
The correct number of bags are reported to the ground crew and if there should be a mismatch,either in the cabin or "down below",a second count will take place.

Should there still be a mismatch,let´s say the number of bags loaded&reported does not add up to what the check-in crew has counted,each passenger will be reqested to pick out their bags from a line-up.
All this causes long delays..
The number of passengers&their bags checked in on the flight,vs.the number of passengers&luggage onboard must match prior to gate departure.

3)There´s a vauge estimate based on previous flights at the same time earlier(no.of pax,cargoloads etc.),more commonly today is that several flights end up overbooked....this normally sorts itself out by the number of "no-shows"(people with a confirmed trip,not showing up for departure),and by other means.
Dispatch offices often can tell how a specific flight looks like let´s say 24h in advance.

4)See answer under 2!

For safety reasons,these numbers have to match,it´ll take forever to board an aircraft if having to weigh each passenger and his/her luggage.So to make things a bit easier,standard weights are used,they can be specified either by the FAA(or equivalent)or as in most of the cases:Airline specified within the guidelines issued by the aircraft manufacturer.
When using standard weights the aircraft settings are based on them,actual fuel,flightplan,weather..etc.etc..
But always the aircraft´s not loaded over MTOW,instead there´s always a safety margin.

Topic Author
Posts: 87
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2001 2:48 am

RE: Large A/C How Are Pax & Luggage Weights Figured?

Fri Aug 31, 2001 4:04 am

Thanks Ratzz!  Big thumbs up

I guess there is enough safety margin to ensure the aircraft is not actually over MTOW if it's full of NFL linemen.  Smile
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RE: Large A/C How Are Pax & Luggage Weights Figured?

Fri Aug 31, 2001 4:18 pm

Just to add a little bit to that info.

When I was doing load planning for Reeve Aleutian about five years ago, we had the following standards. From memory.....

Summer Pax weight was 170 lbs
Winter Pax weight was figured at 175
Bags weighed 30lbs each...Unless
It was a military style duffel bag or large cooler in that case 60lbs.

The actualy weight of the mail and the freight were used for those totals.

The weights that are to be used will be in the airlines ops manual which is approved by the FAA or other governing body. Occasionally they are audited, that means that the bags are both computed for weight and really weighed.

We had to do that once when I was loading aircraft. To make it simply we did mostly topside loads that week. We loaded all the bags onto a weighed flat or igloo and then weighed the whole lot to get the total.

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