Pilot and student pilot community. Share your pilot lessons or aviation stories.



Effects of Weight

in weight and balance

Any item aboard the aircraft that increases the total weight is undesirable for performance. Manufacturers attempt to make an aircraft as light as possible without sacrificing strength or safety.


The pilot should always be aware of the consequences of overloading. An overloaded aircraft may not be able to leave the ground, or if it does become airborne, it may exhibit unexpected and unusually poor flight characteristics. If not properly loaded, the initial indication of poor performance usually takes place during takeoff.

Excessive weight reduces the flight performance in almost every respect. For example, the most important performance deficiencies of an overloaded aircraft are:

  • Higher takeoff speed
  • Longer takeoff run
  • Reduced rate and angle of climb
  • Lower maximum altitude
  • Shorter range
  • Reduced cruising speed
  • Reduced maneuverability
  • Higher stalling speed
  • Higher approach and landing speed
  • Longer landing roll
  • Excessive weight on the nose wheel or tail wheel

The pilot must be knowledgeable about the effect of weight on the performance of the particular aircraft being flown. Preflight planning should include a check of performance charts to determine if the aircraft’s weight may contribute to hazardous flight operations. Excessive weight in itself reduces the safety margins available to the pilot, and becomes even more hazardous when other performance-reducing factors are combined with excess weight. The pilot must also consider the consequences of an overweight aircraft if an emergency condition arises. If an engine fails on takeoff or airframe ice forms at low altitude, it is usually too late to reduce an aircraft’s weight to keep it in the air.

41K-VXcrOjL._SX381_BO1,204,203,200_Learn more about Aircraft Weight and Balance with the FAA Aircraft Weight and Balance Handbook. Weight and balance is one of the most important factors affecting safety of flight. An overweight aircraft, or one whose center of gravity is outside the allowable limits, is inefficient and dangerous to fly.

 

 

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: