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Load +weight Error At Egss Today

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Load +weight Error At Egss Today

Old 4th May 2007, 16:46
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Load +weight Error At Egss Today

Evidently an Air Mediterranee A321 with 220 pax + full baggage,going to Lourdes so doubtless lots of wheelchairs,was misloaded by Servisair today.
All the heavy stuff front hold and little in the rear.Fortuneatly this was picked
up by the crew,but resulted in a 1hr + delay whilst the hold was restacked.
Various excuses from all at Servisair,but mainly blaming centralised load
sheet preparation at Manchester.
Is this a common error ,? and how dangerous is it ?
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Old 4th May 2007, 18:58
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Is it common for servisair STN to make loading and loadsheet errors?

YES It is very common.

(Manchester central load control is on the list of people they blame)

Servisair at STN tops the list of those they DON'T blame!!

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Old 4th May 2007, 22:10
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Whilst there will be a standardised loading for every a/c type, flight deck often issue their own specific loading instructions. It wouldn't be the first time a skipper has ordered a particular loading plan that was completely wrong, yet in trim.

I remember an Islandsflug B737-400 captain issuing a completely incorrect loading instruction because he didn't know how his holds were numbered. Result - a 1200kg misload favouring the forward hold over the rear, and only noticed by the handlers in the next destination. The airline tried to blame the handlers for that too.

It's all well and good blaming the Circus, but do you know for sure it was their fault? Us pilots may believe we are infallible, but we are a very long way from it.
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Old 4th May 2007, 22:33
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Interesting, at EGNX today GB airways (A320 - full) was loaded as the load plan requested, ALL the bags in rear hold. The loaders questioned this several times before they started loading with the dispatcher, Captain and GB all said yes that's fine. A/c pushed back, waited for 5 mins on taxiway then taxied ever so slowly back onto stand. Reloaded with 20 bags in front. Pushed back again, taxied to hold at end of runway, then sat there for over half an hour. Eventually took off 40 mins after being pushed for the second time.

GB handeled by Servisair at EGNX.
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Old 4th May 2007, 22:53
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I posted about this recently in SLF ( Everyone needs a laff- try this) about a Flybe BEA 146 so nose heavy 20 SLF had to walk to the rear of the aircraft before they could unfasten the tow tug.

Funny really but makes you think.
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Old 4th May 2007, 23:37
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I had assumed this was obvious but it must be asked in light of this situation.

Who (job title) comes up with the initial load plan?

I assume the crew scan this vis a vis their t/o config settings etc.
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Old 5th May 2007, 06:27
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For what reason would a skipper ask for the loading of the aircraft to be changed, doesn't the computer loadsheet system allocate the load safely, unless of course it's a manual loadsheet, but then the handling agent would distribute the load
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Old 5th May 2007, 09:08
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C of g as far aft as practical is the desired loading pattern (for fuel economy), and if 'nothing is said' one would expect a 2/3 - 1/3 baggage distribution to be the 'norm' (if there is one) to achieve a more aft cg. This assumes, of course, correct pax seating in the cabin. In my experience it is unusual for an agent in doubt NOT to ask how to load. How Ryanair cope with their 'free-seating' I do not know, but I guess for them to be less than full is unusual.

Mis-loading is not uncommon. I ?maybe? recall an ?Airbus? of ?Air2000? tipping onto its tail somewhere in Greece a while back. No time to 'search'.
Problems can occur if bags are already loaded (with a rearwards bias) and then a/c is boarded (badly) by agent via the rear doors and rear pax sit down first.
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Old 5th May 2007, 10:28
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I am aware that on occassion there will be a Captain on fleet who has their own pet theories about how best to distribute the bags, and this causes confusion for the GHA as they often do not know who the Captain will be when they load plan a flight. They produce a load plan as per the airlines SOP and then the 'one off' Captain countermands this at the aircraft side.

The way we solved the problem? Have a word with the fleet Captain and ask him to have a word in the ear of the rogue Captain.

Re this latest incident, it should be easy to know whether Stansted or Manchester were wrong. If the original LIRF issued by MAN showed the bulk of the bags loaded in the fwd hold then they are at fault. If the LIRF showed the bulk of the bags loaded in the rear but the loaders ignored it and loaded them in the front then STN are at fault.

Did the crew ask for the re-load because it was out of trim, or was it in trim and safe to fly but the crew preferred it loaded differently?
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Old 5th May 2007, 10:54
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.... reminds me of when being slf in a hs 748 of former vayodoot airlines India) many years ago. shortly prior to t/o all luggage was removed from forward luggage compartment to rear. was a funny sight to see passengers handing suitcases and backpacks over their heads from one seat to the next ....
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Old 5th May 2007, 11:22
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A CL44 was being loaded in DXB years ago with gold bars; the loaders, one by one, carried 1 bar each (about 10Kgs, I think) up the forward stair and walked down the fuselage to the rear, where the bars were being distributed on the floor moving forwards, placed the bar and exited down the rear stair to get another bar.

The loading plan was that by the time the last bar was in place, the load would be evenly distributed along the whole cabin, each side of the CoG. The one-way system would be time-and-effort-efficient. We forgot to think about the interim stages of this otherwise excellent plan.

You're there already.......at the moment when the load aft of the CoG reached a critical point, a loader started walking aftwards from the front with his bar and, as he passed the CoG the nose, ever so gently, rose off the ground. The loader, now going downhill, increased speed.......so did the vertical speed of the nose.......

All the bars loaded by then, several tonnes and not yet fastened down, slid with increasing velocity to the back.

And someone had forgotten to attach the strut.
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Old 5th May 2007, 11:32
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We were operating around Africa, the Middle East and SE Asia in Classic B747 with AAI for some years doing manual load sheets at each and every departure.
The crew always specified the %age of load for the front and rear holds.

That's what was considered quite normal for most of my time there, I wouldn't have trusted it any other way, and still wouldn't !!

We never had any loading incidents, just a couple of times the rotate was a little 'different', but that's the case anywhere !!

Just a wee bit of trimming while accelerating thru V2 !!

Cheers FD
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Old 5th May 2007, 12:30
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The flight crew won't see the loadplan prior to loading, only the final distribution, which allows them to check it against the loading indicated on the loadsheet.

Aircraft will be planned in accordance (or at least should be) with the company ground handling manual, which will specify a preferred standard loading for every a/c type operated. However, this does get varied from time to time at crew request.


As regards Ryanair, standard baggage loading on the 800s is everything in the rear, up to something like 130 pieces of baggage (been a while so I can't remember the exact number) and the remainder in the forward hold.

As far as pax seating, depending on numbers, the first 6 rows and last 6 rows of seats will be unavailable for seating, to allow the aircraft to remain in trim with very light loads. Above a certain threashold, all seats will be available.

They also have the most ridiculously easy loadsheets to complete that I have ever seen in my life.
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Old 5th May 2007, 12:37
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MC - thanks for the 'insight' - looks very sensible to me. 130 is about the max I've ever got into 3/4.
They also have the most ridiculously easy loadsheets to complete that I have ever seen in my life
- aah! ....if only......................
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Old 5th May 2007, 12:55
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According to Murphy's law things can partly be very strange.

Had it at WAW 3 years ago that we were checked in for WAW-DUS with boarding passes for an AB 738 but arriving at the a/c found out that it was a F100. Just as the turmoil in the cabin had settled down and everybody found a free seat (about 75 pax only), the Cpt came from his cockpit and informed us that also the loading had been done in 738 style - all luggage in the rear hold.

So 75 pax had to squeeze in the front rows, leaving as many aft seats as possible free...

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Old 5th May 2007, 13:24
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Just a few thoughts on this:

1/ Due to the nature of its operation (pilgrimage charters to Lourdes, VIP/corporate charters), Air Mediterranee is an infrequent visitor to airports in the UK. That might explain some of the confusion in STN (if not in MAN)

2/ In that case, the safe thing to do for the dispatcher is to review/confirm the loading instruction with the flight crew

3/ There might be some issues in case of split loading (e.g. some airlines want destination baggage in one hold, transfer baggage in another; if much less [or more] of one category turns up than expected, the loading instruction [sometimes prepared hours before] might end up wrong)

4/ Long, thin aircraft are more loading- and trim-sensitive; e.g. A321 vs A319, B738/739 vs 733, etc.

Never been a big fan of centralised load control; loading issues are more easily (and quickly) dealt with at the gate or on station than by someone in an office 300 miles away (or more) - provided of course the local dispatcher is properly qualified and conversant with loading and M&B issues.

Regarding Ryanair, standard loading on 738s is first 160 bags in H2, then load H1, then rear holds (H3, H4). With FR charging for hold luggage, H1 is rarely loaded let alone full. PAX-wise, the Cabin Crew will indeed automatically block a number of rows depending on PAX figures. Since PAX board Ryanair flights using both front & rear steps, they usually spread out quite evenly in the cabin while choosing their seats.
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Old 5th May 2007, 14:32
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Maude Charlee

Just a quick correction on the Ryanair loading policy that you mentioned. I've just left EGSS after working as a dispatcher on Ryanair aircraft for 4yrs. The loading rule on the -800's is as follows:

If the A/C has a load of 160 Bags or less then they all go into Hold 2 in the front of the A/C.
190 Bags or less, then 160 go in Hold 2 as mentioned and 30, or remainder go into Hold 1, in the nose.
Ryanair wants a max of 190 bags in the front of its -800's, anything over 190 is loaded as above but with the remainder in the rear holds 3 & 4 (Hold 4 rarely used)

This sounds simple enough but obviously depending on the size of the bags it may not be possible to load exactly to the regulations. For example in the winter when the SZG, BGY, TMP flights etc are full of ski's, then either with a total baggage load of 190 or less you still have to use the rear holds are the ski's are too big to cram into the front with the normal luggage. The loadsheets are all manual and as a dispatcher you can play around with the loading as long as the aircraft still trims out.

I've dispatched for Easyjet as well and they are the opposite to Ryanair. All their bags go into the rear holds and anything left over has to go in the front! When FR had the Buzz -300 the load was split 50/50 and this was the same on the BAE 146 as well.

Hope thats clear enough.


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Old 5th May 2007, 17:01
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Well, no wonder the agents are confused! We have 2 apparent Ryanair 'experts' loading bags at opposite ends, so what hope for the GHA?
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Old 5th May 2007, 17:10
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That said you would think in these days of technology we would have a system fitted on the a/c which displays (accurately) the actual weight (sorry mass!) and C.G. position.

When I flew the B707-336 freighter in the 1970s we had a system called STAN (cannot remember exactly what the acronym stood for - maybe Sum Total And....) which we used as a gross error check on the loadsheet. I seem to recall it was quite good when it worked. Surely by now the boffins could come up with a system to suit our times!
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Old 6th May 2007, 07:39
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The critical thing is that the Load Plan and the Loadsheet agree, and are cross-checked by the Despatcher (or "turnround co-ordinator"), the load plan having been signed off by the loaders, before the aircraft is allowed to go anywhere.

Whilst the Centralised Load Control hub may of course be at fault in cases, the technology is such that it is not generally possible to produce a loadsheet which differs from the loading instructions, or a loadsheet which is illegal (out of trim / overweight).

Therefore in most cases of loading errors, it is down to communication or human error.......
a) version 1 of a Loading Instructions being used when there has been cause to re-issue a version 2.
b) Loaders getting their holds mixed up....."all in the back" becomes "all in the front" for no apparent reason (yes, I have seen that happen!)

In many cases, interaction from the crew trying to impose a "standard loading" can be dangerous as it presents the ground staff with a conflict. However, it is not uncommon for this to happen......particularly from flight deck of charter carriers who tend to have a simpler loading pattern, and are also (at many stations) closer to the load control area in that they have to do manual loadsheets. This tends to be less true of most scheduled carriers where the loading pattern tends to be more varied (2 class cabin, freight carriage, etc.), and the crews are used to leaving this activity to the groundstaff, plus there is generally no 'standard' anyway.

If the computer and all paperwork is based on a particular load distribution and a Captain asks for something different, then straight away there is the potential for a trim (and legal) discrepancy. The computer system and data would have been approved by the airline's weight and balance department (as per the IATA AHM560 process) and therefore the critical thing is ensuring all the cross-checks on the ground are in place such that the aircraft is loaded as per the sheet of paper the Despatcher delivers to the pointy-end!!

In trim.
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