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fanoftristars
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Airbus 320 Max Weight

Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:55 pm

I'm sitting at the gate at JFK on an Airbus 320. We're flight DL107 to SLC. We're over 45 min delayed now because our aircraft was loaded overweight (according to the captain). They're removing cargo now, but is it really not possible for the A320 to fly JFK-SLC with full passengers and cargo? I'm betting the 737-800 wouldn't have an issue with JFK runway lengths. Would this happen to the 738?
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Aesma
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RE: Airbus 320 Max Weight

Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:43 am

Well it could be overweight as in over the MZFW if someone thought the load factor would be low enough to allow heavy cargo or something.
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ZBBYLW
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RE: Airbus 320 Max Weight

Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:44 am

The A320 can actually take off from shorter runways than the 737-800 as far as I am aware. What could have happened is that they were tankering some fuel into SLC, plus a tad too much cargo and volia a bit over weight. On a full bus with lots of people and some cargo stranger things have happened. It could very well be the landing weight that is limiting as far as I know the runway in SLC sits a fair ways above SL. There is a lot about this flight that we don't know but rest assured that the A320 could do JFK to SLC with a full passenger load unless something was up.

As an example: with an MEL if they had one of the brakes deactivated the RTO performance could have an issue.
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PGNCS
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RE: Airbus 320 Max Weight

Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:04 am

Quoting fanoftristars (Thread starter):
They're removing cargo now, but is it really not possible for the A320 to fly JFK-SLC with full passengers and cargo? I'm betting the 737-800 wouldn't have an issue with JFK runway lengths. Would this happen to the 738?

MEL's and a variety of other things can grossly reduce the allowable takeoff weight; I have had excessive cargo put on every plane I have flown at some point, including the DC-9, MD-80, A-320, 737,757, and 767 (among others.) If a plane is planned with less than full passengers and load planners elect to put some heavy cargo on the aircraft, if the plane fills up in the last hour, or has more bags than expected show up it can require removing cargo, or bags, or fuel, or people. I have done all four under different circumstances. Without knowing the exact circumstances in much greater detail you can't form any valid conclusions about this case.
 
FI642
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RE: Airbus 320 Max Weight

Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:07 am

The root cause of this is Central Load Control. Each separate department adds their weight in. It isn't until right before departure that final weights are sent. Only then is it apparent there is a problem. Been there, done that!
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VC10DC10
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RE: Airbus 320 Max Weight

Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:21 pm

Quoting PGNCS (Reply 3):

MEL's and a variety of other things can grossly reduce the allowable takeoff weight; I have had excessive cargo put on every plane I have flown at some point, including the DC-9, MD-80, A-320, 737,757, and 767 (among others.) If a plane is planned with less than full passengers and load planners elect to put some heavy cargo on the aircraft, if the plane fills up in the last hour, or has more bags than expected show up it can require removing cargo, or bags, or fuel, or people. I have done all four under different circumstances. Without knowing the exact circumstances in much greater detail you can't form any valid conclusions about this case.

Good insights, thanks! I'm just spitballin' here, but could a drastic change in winds or routing also affect weights?
 
prebennorholm
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RE: Airbus 320 Max Weight

Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:44 am

Quoting fanoftristars (Thread starter):
I'm sitting at the gate at JFK on an Airbus 320. We're flight DL107 to SLC. We're over 45 min delayed now because our aircraft was loaded overweight (according to the captain). They're removing cargo now, but is it really not possible for the A320 to fly JFK-SLC with full passengers and cargo?

That's correct. Loaded to MZFW (full passengers and cargo) the fuel tanks can be filled only half roughly. No way can such an A320 make JFK - SLC.

Quoting fanoftristars (Thread starter):
I'm betting the 737-800 wouldn't have an issue with JFK runway lengths.

It's not a question about runway length. Both A320 and B738 can easily take off at MTOW at JFK with plenty of runway to spare.

Quoting fanoftristars (Thread starter):
Would this happen to the 738?

Yup, it's the same old story. Both planes can make roughly US transcon with full passenger load and no cargo. Load one tonne of cargo on top of that, then you load one tonne less fuel. At MZFW also the B738 maxes out on MTOW with roughly half full tanks and will no way make it anywhere near SLC.

You just experienced a slip in the basic DL load planning system. They will probably do better tomorrow.
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MON
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RE: Airbus 320 Max Weight

Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:46 am

Of the 320's I've flown the max weights in metric tonnes have been:
MTOW 77T
MLW 64.5T
MZFW 61T
 
RickNRoll
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RE: Airbus 320 Max Weight

Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:49 am

Quoting FI642 (Reply 4):
The root cause of this is Central Load Control. Each separate department adds their weight in. It isn't until right before departure that final weights are sent. Only then is it apparent there is a problem. Been there, done that!

Did some accountant think it would save money by not working all this out till the last minute?
 
art
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RE: Airbus 320 Max Weight

Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:05 am

Quoting ricknroll (Reply 8):
Quoting FI642 (Reply 4):
The root cause of this is Central Load Control. Each separate department adds their weight in. It isn't until right before departure that final weights are sent. Only then is it apparent there is a problem. Been there, done that!


Did some accountant think it would save money by not working all this out till the last minute?

Seems to invite problems that could be avoided. What's the reason for doing things the way they are done now if it occasionally leads to needing to unload?
 
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Francoflier
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RE: Airbus 320 Max Weight

Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:56 am

I assume they base their weights on load assumptions based on reservations. The freight department will want to put as much of their load in, but last minute pax, extra fuel (weather, tankering, aircraft switch...), or even a MEL item can change that. Add the tight scheduling of regional ops and you can end up with stuff on board whose room has been rented to someone else already...

Quoting fanoftristars (Thread starter):
I'm betting the 737-800 wouldn't have an issue with JFK runway lengths. Would this happen to the 738?

Are you looking for an explanation or ammunition?...
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longhauler
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RE: Airbus 320 Max Weight

Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:16 pm

My guess is that last minute passengers, or last minute cargo put the aircraft over MTOW, due to the fuel already loaded.

It's not that the aircraft can't do it, its more that when you get close to MTOW, these things need careful planning. This could happen to any aircraft type at any airport.

Weight and Balance is dynamic, and the load agent will work with the information he has and adjust it as factors change. If he detects a possible problem, he will advise the necessary departments. But ... sometimes things happen all at once ... the Captain will need 3000kgs more fuel, at the same time Cargo see open weight and adds 3000kgs of cargo, at the same time that Sales sees 30 open seats and fills them due to cancellations (3000kgs) ... everyone vying for the same open weight. And not all can be accommodated.

It doesn't happen open, but it does happen!
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