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Commercial Airplane Operators
Commercial Airplane Op  

1. Is the Cargo carrying capacity (Load, Weight) fixed or standard in all Commercial Airplane Carriers ?. Is this done for Security measure for not exceeding the total weight, load of the airplane i.e passengers, cargo, fuels, airplane etc ?  

2. Is there a certain Total Load or Weight of the Airplane which cannot be exceeded ?. Is this identified by Electronic Instruments panel, Alarms etc indicating the Total Weight, Load of the Airplane to the pilot before flight takes off ?.

3. In case if the Total Load or Weight of a Airplane is exceeded
and still the Pilot tries a take off, can it lead to plane crash ?

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

ANSWER: 1. Every airplane, whether commercial or general aviation, has a Maximum Gross Weight.  The load capacity will vary depending on the equipment installed in the airplane.  Any time equipment is removed or installed, the aircraft logbook must show the revised empty weight of the airplane.  Typically, airplanes of the same make and model will have slightly different Useful Loads (carrying capacity) because of differing equipment.  Even a new paint job changes the weight by a measurable amount.
2. The manufacturer specifies the Maximum Gross Weight, which cannot be exceeded for safety and airworthiness reasons.  Commercial aircraft typically have a maximum takeoff weight and a different maximum landing weight.  I am not an airline pilot and can't state for certain what is in a commercial cockpit, but I'm not aware of any instrumentation to indicate the weight of the airplane; it is the pilot's responsibility to monitor the weight for compliance with weight and balance requirements.
3. Yes, absolutely. You should never attempt to take off with excessive weight.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


Thank you.

Can this be considered as a part of Airplane Load / Stress Testing methods ?.

Can we derive some mathematical formula or equation to calculate / compute the Total Weight of the Machine (Airplane) before takeoff ?

Parameters : temperature, maximum power of the engines etc

1 Ton = 1000 kg

Example :

1. Aircraft Weight : x kg - Construction (Manufacturing)
2. Fuels Weight : y kg - Construction (Manufacturing)
3. Passengers Weight : z kg - Load - Includes Crew Cabin - Pilot, CoPilot, Captain etc - Load
4. Cargo Weight : - n kg - Load
5. Miscellaneous Weight - Furniture - Seats, Tables, Utensils - Dishes,Glasses etc) - m kg - Load

Total Weight of the Aircraft W in Tons = x + y + z + n + m.

Should we add safety factor value to this total weight ?

Do you feel electronic instrument panels calculating and showing the Total
Weight (Load) of the aircraft can be useful for Pilot before he takes a take off ?. Alarms will buzz to the Cabin Crew if Overload occurs within the aircraft before the Take Off.

Among different accidents, which are the most likely to occur because of Aircraft Overweight ?

1. During Takeoff.
2. During Landing.
3. During Aircraft flight (i.e. After Plane Takeoff and Before landing).

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

Your formula is correct, basically you begin with the empty weight and then add the weight of the fuel and everything else on board the airplane.  The aircraft is designed to be airworthy at its maximum gross weight, but I would never discourage any pilot from factoring in an extra safety factor.  The electronic instrument you suggest would be helpful, but I'm not sure it would be practical - the airplane would have to be parked on a scale to produce an accurate reading of total weight.  Regarding the last part of your question, I don't have the statistics handy, but I would certainly suppose that takeoff would be the most likely problem area of flight with an overloaded airplane - with too much weight, it may be unable to gain sufficient altitude to clear the obstacles at the end of the runway.


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Jeff Davis


I can answer questions about general aviation, learning to fly, how to get started, and how to buy an airplane. Area of specialty is aerobatic flying. I do not have any expertise in flight training opportunities for students outside the USA, and I am not qualified to offer advice on becoming an airline pilot.


I am no longer active in aerobatic flying, but was formerly a professional airshow performer and aerobatic flight instructor, with extensive experience in Decathlon and Pitts aircraft and light experience in other types. I also competed in IAC sanctioned competition through the Advanced level.

No longer active, past member of Experimental Aircraft Association, International Aerobatic Club, International Council of Air Shows, and Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

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Commercial and instrument rated, certificated flight instructor since 1986

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