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TUI planes takes off 1200 kg overweight after software error

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TUI planes takes off 1200 kg overweight after software error

Old 14th Apr 2021, 07:09
  #41 (permalink)  
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"The bags get weighed, the carry on too here, why not weigh the pax? It does happen in some areas of aviation and never seen anyone object."

I suspect that most baggage scales aren't capable of registering a passenger's weight, so a big investment in additional infrastructure would be required. Then there would be the additional terminal capacity needed because passenger throughput would be slowed down.
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 08:31
  #42 (permalink)  
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In these days of on-line check in, etc, I think any move to get those travelling light, travelling frequently to the airport early to stand on scales at the gate would not be well received....and if you have to wait until you have weighed the last pax before "closing" the flight and being able to prepare a load sheet the consequences would be interesting.
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 20:05
  #43 (permalink)  
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Back in the day when I was a check in agent for NZNAC at WLG we used to have to weigh pax fairly frequently, usually on DC3 flights but sometimes on the nonstop WLG-DUD flight on a winter time V807 flight.

There was usually no kickback from the pax, but back then people were generally more intelligent than they are now
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 20:20
  #44 (permalink)  
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I started my aviation hobbyism as a spotter at Leeds/Bradford in the seventies. The present runway is, in the local vernacular "not o'wer long" but in those days it was only 5400 feet. Britannia used 737-204ADV kit off there as far afield as Palma and, for a while Tunisia. Not uncommon to see pax being weighed at check in, using the baggage scales, so as to establish if a 'splash and dash' at Luton might be needed.

Much further back, in the fifties, my parents were weighed at Lands End (St Just) before boarding a Rapide for the Scillies.
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Old 14th Apr 2021, 20:46
  #45 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by 20driver View Post
Given it seems to be pretty simple to cross check the actual weight from performance data when in cruise
How do you do this in a 737? The FMC displays the zfw which is pilot entered from the loadsheet + the fuel quantity to give gross weight. Possibly you could go backwards through a cruise fuel flow table. The interpolation would be ninja, but then 3+hrs in the cruise is a long time, maybe something to try if I get back flying.
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Old 15th Apr 2021, 02:21
  #46 (permalink)  
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Much like Uplinker I noticed discrepancies between the loadsheet and Green Dot and other characteristic speeds on the 320 family. I started to keep track and make a record. According to Airbus variability within systems and instrumentation etc can lead to minor discrepancies of up to 3 knots. 1 knot = 1 tonne. However, the discrepancy should obviously be either side of an average - sometimes higher speeds and sometimes lower. According to what I recorded we were almost invariably adding 1-3 knots on each approach to makes sure Vapp was five knots clear of VLS. Often adding five knots to achieve the same.

The only major problem was that we were consistently operating short sectors and fuel tanking as much as possible. Our OFP planned for us to land at MLW - 500kg. I reckoned in reality were landing over max landing weight by a few tonnes very regularly - ie several times a day. Not a problem on a day to day basis but a serious issue for the life cycles of the airframe.

I raised the issue with management and that's as far as it went.
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Old 15th Apr 2021, 05:05
  #47 (permalink)  
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Some aircraft do « weigh » themselves. Freighter 747´s being an example. There are of course tolérances, and in the event of a big enough discrepancy the load sheet is taken as Gospel. So far from infallible. Then again what system is. As to installing it on pax aircraft, well it would be back to risk, added benefit vs the cost of installation and regular calibration. So it ain’t going to fly.
I assume most manufacturer’s build sufficient padding in to flex/ derate calculations to cater for most shortfalls or cock ups.
The average adult (Caucasian) male, or female for that matter, hasn’t weighed in at the notional weights for some years.
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Old 15th Apr 2021, 15:35
  #48 (permalink)  
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BIG pax.

Many years ago I remember taking an A320 from NCL to LHR. During the take-off the aircraft felt 'sluggish', but on final approach to LHR it felt like it was wallowing all over the place.

During my usual 'good-byes' to the pax I noticed about 3 dozen of the biggest human beings I had ever seen close up. It turned out that we had the Newcastle Falcon rugby team onboard!

After re-checking the loadsheet, I saw that load control had used 'standard weights', but those guys were HUGE. I reckoned that we had been about 2500kgs heavier than the plan AND they were all sitting at the back of the aircraft. No wonder the aircraft was wallowing!!

I filed an ASR, and telephoned several departments and contacts, but I feel it just went into the 'too difficult' bin!!
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Old 15th Apr 2021, 15:36
  #49 (permalink)  
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The average weights are revised every few years - and they always go up at each revision.
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Old 16th Apr 2021, 00:10
  #50 (permalink)  
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These days, a Super Rugby forward pack of eight behemoths usually weighs in between 900 and 920 kg, one weighing less than 875 kg would be regarded as 'a bit light'. So that's around 110 kg each in their rugby shorts, jumpers and boots. Add a couple of kg for street clothes and 7 kg (hahahaha!) for their carry-on and they'll be 120kg each. Surprisingly enough, the backs aren't an awful lot lighter. In a travelling team group, the physio is probably the lightest by some margin. Sure makes your 'standard weights' look silly.
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Old 18th Apr 2021, 05:55
  #51 (permalink)  
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I would suggest neither.

The code worked as designed, users (customers) acted in line with the application demands.

It is a business process design error resulting in computer code that manifests that error into a real world problem.

Last edited by Icarus; 18th Apr 2021 at 05:58. Reason: updated quote link
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Old 18th Apr 2021, 06:05
  #52 (permalink)  
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But was a 9% error v payload and thats where the focus really needs to be.
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Old 18th Apr 2021, 06:10
  #53 (permalink)  
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Out of interest, can anyone confirm the standard passenger weights used by TUI? Clearly 35kg for children and 69kg for Females; but what are the Male and Infant standard weights in use by them?
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Old 18th Apr 2021, 09:37
  #54 (permalink)  
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The 35kg and 69 kg tie in with the EASA "Holiday Charter " figures quoted in the 2009 survey I linked to upthread (I've also C&P'd that link below).

If they are using still the numbers from that matrix then for it's 83kg for a "standard" male...but obviously that is subject to confirmation.

Looking at our local (Southern France, not far from the Med,) general population I can see how the numbers might still be credible for a charter from the airport to say the Balearics ...elsewhere.

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Old 19th Apr 2021, 01:29
  #55 (permalink)  
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Thanks Wiggy, I had managed to reverse engineer it based on zero for Infants.

Bag wt not as reported by AAIB (150 x 14.5 + 35 x 16) but matches final weight data in report.
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Old 19th Apr 2021, 23:44
  #56 (permalink)  
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I work in a big airline based at LHR. During the last year, we've flown many cargo-only flights on PAX A/C. In the last 3 months, I've had 3 occasions where the 'pantry code' on the loadsheet was set to freighter flight catering (~300kg), whereas the galleys were full-fit with catering carts for outstation use (~4600kg). We are not required, by formal company process, to check the galley loading on freighter flights, yet I do so, "to be sure". On each occasion, we were 4.3t heavier than on the loadsheet. On each occasion, a safety report was filed. How many times had incorrect pantry codes been used on flights, where the actual galley loading wasn't checked (and corrected)?

Sadly, the company reply to my 1st report was along the lines of "L/S error noted, however, be advised that the max weight difference before a new flightplan is required is 5t. Your weight difference was 4.3t, so a new flightplan wasn't needed". The reply to the 2nd report was "L/S error noted, however, in my opinion, this does not warrant a safety report, as the catering weights vary all the time". It really does beggar belief.
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Old 20th Apr 2021, 07:20
  #57 (permalink)  
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Back in my old Loadplanning days we were allowed a 5T variation before new loadsheet required on narrowbodies and 10T on widebodies.
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Old 20th Apr 2021, 08:09
  #58 (permalink)  

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Let's not confuse the need to print-out a new edition as opposed to obligations to correct known errors manually by LMC.

Either way, not relevant to the story, IMO. The core message says the Q&S supervisor refused to acknowledge the seriousness of using wrong numbers.

Horrible. If anything like that was confirmed at a non-EU operator the outcries to ban them from entering airpace would be very loud.
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Old 24th Apr 2021, 03:35
  #59 (permalink)  
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Old Grouch

Nitpicking I guess, but as these items were not being used for catering, they should not be a component of the pantry (code) anyway - they should be accounted for as (non-revenue) payload (company stores perhaps). Perhaps a clearer policy in that direction would prevent future occurrences?

Also, most of the topic here in general has focussed upon the weight issues, no one seems to be looking at the balance implications, why is that? There are two important factors in play here all the time, weight and where it is loaded.
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