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Commercial pilots and manual loadsheets

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Commercial pilots and manual loadsheets

Old 21st Jan 2008, 19:27
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
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Commercial pilots and manual loadsheets

Hello all,

I am curious about this: are commercial pilots required to be able to issue manual loadsheets for the types they are rated on, or is this optional? And if yes, are there any cases in which your airline could require you to do so - like an unplanned diversion where you have't got that option from ground handling, or a ground staff strike, etc...?

Stick-N-Rudder is offline  
Old 21st Jan 2008, 20:04
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Join Date: Apr 2000
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Yes they are.

I had to divert a few months ago after a blocked runway in Malaga.

Had to create a manual loadsheet for the new leg as dispatch had no way of creating a loadsheet for us.

Takes a while, but it's a legal requirement and we as crew are expected to be able to do it, like in all cases where the machine breaks down.
5150 is offline  
Old 21st Jan 2008, 21:57
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I did one today and thats normal for two airports on our route structure. Just depends on the groud handling set up that the company have at certain airports. Takes about 5 mins and no big deal but can be worthwhile crosschecking carefully!

We also often do manual loadsheets for late night empty positioning flights but they are really easy because its just DOI plus fuel.
Mungo Man is offline  
Old 21st Jan 2008, 22:34
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Per Ardua ad Astraeus
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It saves money and therefore some of the 'lesser' airlines do it a lot. It does put pressure on rapid turnrounds though and can be potentailly dangerous if departure is not put back to accomodate the extra work. Load sheets can, for the sake of a little expenditure, however, be made more user friendly.
BOAC is offline  
Old 21st Jan 2008, 23:39
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Nemo Me Impune Lacessit
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If you divert when flying a B747 freighter and have to do a manual load sheet you may need to review your flight time limitation!
parabellum is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2008, 07:57
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Have had to do a manual one recently, due to the ground- handling company delegating someone who was not experienced in 747 ops and started off with the wrong basic weight and index. Took about 15 mins to do and have checked by my co-pilot. The trim-sheet is more important, as the computerised flight plan (LIDO) should give you the opportunity to have a rough cross-check of ZFW, TOW and burn-off for LDW. However there is no rough guide to the trim, especially on a freighter with up to 115 tonnes of freight - that's where the head-loader earns his/her money!
skiesfull is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2008, 09:37
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Manual loadsheets? Yes did them for many years when with a well known charter airline! If you are doing them everyday they are a piece of cake, on the other hand if you are not used to doing them it's going to take a bit longer!
fireflybob is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2008, 11:38
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I work with computerized loadsheets mainly, but our company requires us to complete and keep on file a minimum of two manual loadsheets every month to maintain proficiency, so that we are authorized to do them if required. Does the same apply for pilots who don't do them on a regular basis but may be asked to? Do your airlines have regulations on this matter?

Stick-N-Rudder is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2008, 15:29
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We did our annual weight and balance refresher course recently. The opening task was to do a manual loadsheet.

After 2 to 3 minutes, all the FOs had put their pens down and were all smiling at each other looking on at the captains who were all scratching their heads, looking at what the guy next to them had done and saying "errr... ehm"

By the captains' performance at the annual refresher it was clear that all of them had "delegated" this duty throughout the year, so I'm guessing there is no legal requirement to be current.
Artie Fufkin is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2008, 18:41
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Certainly I have done many a manual loadsheet in my time and it was usually either necessary or that a computer-generated version was going to result in a very long delay.

I could usually put a manual loadsheet together in something less than 10 minutes. The easiest version that I ever got involved in was the Laker DC-10 loadsheet. We had a plastic whizwheel provided that did the job very quickly.

It was my experience that the modern button-pushing F/Os had no idea of where to start and might just as easily have been asked to prepare and interpret Gordon Brown's version of world economics as presented to the World Bank.

I suppose it depends on which organisation one works for but preparing a manual loadsheet is not exactly rocket science.
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Old 22nd Jan 2008, 22:06
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Had to do manual loadsheets quite often and in the end nearly every flight. Nowadays all loadsheets are done by the flightcrew but we do not have any provision to do a full manual loadsheets, we just do an abbreviated one using our EFB. Good thing about that is that the data from the loadsheet is transferred into the performance program and vice versa.

But i guess it is much easier to do load and trimsheets for a 737 than widebodies.

There was no formal requirement to do training loadsheets to keep current. We were once trained and then it was expected that we were able to do it. It is actually quite easy and can be done in 5 minutes or less if you do it often enough. And yes, even our captains could do it Although some cheated and used an excel spreadsheet on their PDAs.
Denti is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2008, 23:48
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..............As the co-pilot on my first airline job, I did the fuel plan sheet for approx 1 hour segments, followed by a seperate airways/ all waypoint portion - all from blank pro-formers. Then filled in multi-addressed official ATC plan forms at appropriate office - multiple copies each over carbon in places like India. Attended compulsory ATC briefings, which in Oz even included shipping movements and around a kg bundle of briefing sheets. Manual loadsheet in cockpit, but maybe Capt would do the trim using a flat circular cardboard "computor" with "windows" cut into it. I also did most of the accounts, since we only had two non-tech office staff. This was props, but it was the move onto longhaul turboprops ( Britannias ) and working forwards or backwards through those fold-out performance graphs that it all got a bit much, so in the two companies I worked for, the Captain mostly did the loadsheet, and the flat-table equiped Navigators, who always seemed to me better and quicker at sums than most of the pilots, did the performance on the long tricky sectors when they were most likely to be around. Having said that, a lot of pilots had nav licences as well, (as with BOAC and others during the 1950/1960's) and at one point we operated briefly with Americans who flew in all seats. One, I remember (Airlift) bid or was rostered as a Nav on the DC7c, F/O or Eng on DC8 or 707, and Capt. on 727.
......Back to the loadsheet thing and forward a few years to the 747-400. A score of backroom friends in load control start a loading plan 24 hours ahead of sked. Now we get a computor print out for signature shortly before push back; carefully select the right buttons, and a shortwhile later whilst taxiing out, the Acars will squirt out a printed update. Seemed to make life simple. However, after about five years of retirement in a different regime, I returned for a few months as an F/O on a 747 classic. Suddenly we're back to doing the load sheet and trim on your knee when the figures arrive not so long before pushback. I had to think about this, but the big difference is that now we have pocket calculators which weren't around before. It was pax, not main deck cargo, but it was back to rule of thumb initial load plan, plus scribbled cribs in the little black book plus basic weight/mass and index from the flight manual or tech log.........a bit rushed perhaps, but as far as I know, no incidents that I heard of.
Old 23rd Jan 2008, 07:22
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: platform9
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I remember back in the 80's I presented the loadsheet/trimchart to the cpt operating a 747F. Some of the replies were :
- what the hell is this ?
- just tell me where to sign
- I hope you know what you are doing.

As for the loadsheet of a 747F. It's not making up the loadsheet that is time-consuming. It's the completion of the loading instruction, where the planner needs to take into account all different restrictions such as outsized cgo, very heavy cargo, loading/offloading sequense, different contours, dangerous goods, balance (in case of high full-loads), .......
744rules is offline  
Old 14th Feb 2008, 20:45
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Many years ago when I did my course, just for experience, not for use in day to day ops, it was the loading instructions that caused much mirth.
I was struggling with the jargon of load descriptions.
My instructor asked how I was going to resolve amongst various categories, a live dog and also a shipment of fresh meat.
I responded, under much stress, with " put the dog up the front, the meat up the rear and that should get the tail down"
I had to live with that being repeated for many years.
beamender99 is offline  
Old 6th Nov 2019, 18:28
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: uk
Posts: 2
Does anyone have any worked loadsheets and trim/balance charts for 707ís and DC-8ís?

Iím building an archive for my company and am trying to get my hands on anything and everything.
nigelhillpaul is offline  

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