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Weight and Balance

Weight & Balance Calculations

Next to a good preflight plan and current weather report is a thorough Weight & Balance calculation. This is a matter of serious concern to all pilots as well as many other people involved in the flight.

The pilot has to personally assume the responsibility (and is required by law) because he has control over both the loading and fuel management, the two variable factors which can change both total W/B and the center of gravity.

This information is available to the pilot in the form of aircraft records, operating handbooks and placards in baggage compartments and or fuel caps. The owner of the aircraft has the responsibility to make sure that up to date information is available to the pilot.

The Weight & Balance form we present below can be used for this purpose. It is very important to realize that any aircraft (yes, experimental and ultralight aircraft too) which are out of balance or overweight are dangerous to fly. Not to mention deadly. So please be very, very serious about this.

Aircraft W/B form

This is the one we like to use. It is useful for two and four seat light aircraft. Be careful if weight is in kg and arm is in mm instead of lbs and inches.

Weight and Balance
ItemWeight (lbs)Arm (inch)Moment (lb-in)
Basic Empty Weight
Pilot and Copilot
Second row passengers
Forward Baggage Area
Aft Baggage Area
Weight (lbs)Arm (inch)Moment (lb-in)
Zero Fuel Weight
On board Fuel ___ Gallons
Fuel Start, Taxi and Runup--
Take-off Weight and Moment
C of G position
Weight (lbs)Arm (inch)Moment (lb-in)
Fuel burn ___ Gallons--
Landing Weight

To download a PDF version click here.


Operating above the maximum weight limitation compromises the structural integrity of the airplane and adversely affects performance and safety of the flight.

Finally: remember to always properly secure any cargo just in case unexpected turbulence is more than comfortable for you or the passengers.

Written by EAI.

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