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Weight Changes

in weight and balance

The operating weight of an aircraft can be changed by simply altering the fuel load. Gasoline has considerable weight—6 pounds per gallon. Thirty gallons of fuel may weigh more than one passenger. If a pilot lowers airplane weight by reducing fuel, the resulting decrease in the range of the airplane must be taken into consideration during flight planning. During flight, fuel burn is normally the only weight change that takes place. As fuel is used, an aircraft becomes lighter and performance is improved.

Changes of fixed equipment have a major effect upon the weight of an aircraft. The installation of extra radios or instruments, as well as repairs or modifications may also affect the weight of an aircraft.

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.



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