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FAA/EASA Reference Material

CONTENT
FAA Advisory Circular 120-27E

PAGE
1-71

FAR 25.23: Load distribution limits

72

FAR 25.25: Weight limits

72

FAR 25.27: Center of gravity limits

73

FAR 25.29: Empty weight and corresponding center of gravity

73

FAR 25.31: Removable ballast

73

FAR 25.471: General

74

FAR 25.1519: Weight, center of gravity, and weight distribution

74

FAR 25.1583: Operating limitations


FAR 121.693: Load manifest

75-76
77

--------------------------------------------EASA CS 25.23: Load distribution limits

78

EASA CS 25.25: Weight limits

79

EASA CS 25.27: Centre of gravity limits

79

EASA CS 25.29: Empty weight and corresponding centre of gravity

79

EASA CS 25.31: Removable ballast

79

EASA CS 25.471: General

80

EASA CS 25.1519: Weight, centre of gravity and weight distribution

81-82

EASA CS 25.1583: Operating Limitations

83

EU-OPS 1 SUBPART J: Mass and Balance

84-92

AC 120-27E
DATE: 6/10/05

ADVISORY CIRCULAR

AIRCRAFT WEIGHT
AND BALANCE CONTROL

Flight Standards Service


Washington, D.C.

Initiated By: AFS-200/AFS-300

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Subject: AIRCRAFT WEIGHT AND


BALANCE CONTROL

Date: 6/10/05
Initiated By:
AFS-200/AFS-300

AC No: 120-27E
Change:

1. What is the purpose of this advisory circular (AC)?


a. This AC provides operators with guidance on how to develop and receive approval for a
weight and balance control program for aircraft operated under Title 14 of the Code of Federal
Regulations (14 CFR) part 91, subpart K of part 91, and parts 121, 125, and 135.
b. This AC presents recommendations for an acceptable means, but not the only means, to
develop and receive approval for a weight and balance control program, and includes guidance
for using average and estimated weights in accordance with part 121, section 121.153(b) and
other applicable parts of subpart K of part 91 and parts 121, 125, and 135.
NOTE: Per part 125, section 125.91(b), no person may operate an airplane in a
part 125 operation unless the current empty weight and center of gravity (CG)
are calculated from the values established by an actual weighing of the airplane
within the preceding 36 calendar-months.
c. If an operator adopts the suggestions contained in this AC, the operator must ensure that,
when appropriate, it replaces discretionary language such as should and may with mandatory
language in relevant manuals, operations specifications (OpSpecs), or management
specifications (MSpecs).
2. How is this AC organized?
This AC has three main chapters and six appendixes. Chapter 1 addresses aircraft weighing and
loading schedules. Chapter 2 describes different methods to determine the weight of passengers
and bags. Chapter 3 addresses the Federal Aviation Administrations (FAA) role in developing
and approving an operators weight and balance control program. Finally, Appendixes 1 through
6 contain technical information such as definitions, sources of data used in the AC, a sample
loading envelope, an additional curtailment for passenger weight variation, suggestions to
improve accuracy, and a checklist for operators.

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3. What documents does this AC cancel?


This AC cancels AC 120-27D, Aircraft Weight and Balance Control, dated August 11, 2004.
4. What should an operator consider while reading this AC?
a. Accurately calculating an aircrafts weight and CG before flight is essential to comply
with the certification limits established for the aircraft. These limits include both weight and CG
limits. By complying with these limits and operating under the procedures established by the
manufacturer, an operator is able to meet the weight and balance requirements specified in the
aircraft flight manual (AFM). Typically, an operator calculates takeoff weight by adding the
operational empty weight (OEW) of the aircraft, the weight of the passenger, cargo payload, and
the weight of fuel. The objective is to calculate the takeoff weight and CG of an aircraft as
accurately as possible.
b. When using average weights for passengers and bags, the operator must be vigilant to
ensure that the weight and balance control program reflects the reality of aircraft loading. The
FAA will periodically review the guidance in this AC and update this AC if average weights of
the traveling public should change or if regulatory requirements for carry-on bags or personal
items should change. Ultimately, the operator is responsible for determining if the procedures
described in this AC are appropriate for use in its type of operation.
5. Who should use this AC?
a. This document provides guidance to both passenger and cargo operators that are either
required to have an approved weight and balance control program under parts 121 and 125, or
choose to use actual or average aircraft, passenger, or baggage weights when operating under
part 91, subpart K of part 91, or part 135. The guidance in this AC is useful for anyone involved
in developing or implementing a weight and balance control program.
b. As shown in Table 1, the FAA has divided aircraft into three categories for this AC to
provide guidance appropriate to the size of the aircraft.
TABLE 1. AIRCRAFT CABIN SIZE
For this AC, an aircraft originally type-certificated with
71 or more passenger seats
30 to 70 passenger seats
5 to 29 passenger seats

Is considered
A large-cabin aircraft.
A medium-cabin aircraft.
A small-cabin aircraft.

NOTE: Aircraft with fewer than five passenger seats must use actual passenger
and baggage weights.
6. Who can use standard average or segmented weights?
a. Standard Average Weights. Use of standard average weights is limited to operators of
multiengine turbine-powered aircraft originally type-certificated for five or more passenger seats

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AC 120-27E

who hold a letter of authorization (LOA), OpSpecs, or MSpecs, as applicable, and were
certificated under 14 CFR part 25, 29, or part 23 commuter category or the operator and
manufacturer is able to prove that the aircraft can meet the performance requirements prescribed
by part 23 commuter category aircraft. Single-engine and multiengine turbine Emergency
Medical Service Helicopter (EMS/H) operators may use standard average weights for EMS
operations, provided they have received an LOA.
b. Segmented Weights. Segmented weights are provided for, but not limited to those
aircraft that are multiengine turbine-powered aircraft originally type-certificated for five or more
passenger seats and that do not meet the performance requirements of part 23 commuter category
aircraft or part 29. Segmented passenger weights are listed in Chapter 2, Table 2-5.
c. The FAAs recommendations and advice on the safe use of standard average weights and
segmented weights are contained in this document. In the FAAs view, it would be unsafe for an
aircraft operator to use standard average weights or segmented weights in any of the following
aircraft:
(1) All single-engine piston-powered aircraft.
(2) All multiengine piston-powered aircraft.
(3) All turbine-powered single-engine aircraft.
NOTE: All multiengine turbine-powered aircraft certificated under part 23,
except for commuter category aircraft, may only use an actual weight or
segmented weight program. Operators that elect to use a segmented weight
program must meet the requirements in paragraph 6b and curtail the CG
envelope as specified in Appendix 3, 4, and 5. Commuter category aircraft
may use standard average weights and should refer to paragraph 200f for
further guidance.
7. When will the FAA revise the standard average weights in this AC?
The FAA will periodically review the standard average passenger weights listed in this AC, after
the release of a new National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). (For
information on NHANES, see Appendix 2.) If the FAA finds that the data from NHANES
indicates a weight change of more than 2 percent, the FAA will revise this AC to update the
standard average weights.

/s/ John M. Allen for


James J. Ballough
Director, Flight Standards Service

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[THIS PAGE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK]

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AC 120-27E
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Paragraph

Page

CHAPTER 1. AIRCRAFT WEIGHTS AND LOADING SCHEDULES................................1


Section 1. Establishing Aircraft Weight .................................................................................... 1
100. How does an operator establish the initial weight of an aircraft?..................................1
101. How does an operator document changes to an aircrafts weight and balance?............1
Table 1-1. Incremental Weight Changes that Should be Recorded in a Weight
and Balance Change Record .................................................................................1
102. How does the operator maintain the OEW? ...................................................................1
103. How often are aircraft weighed?.....................................................................................2
Table 1-2. Number of Aircraft to Weigh in a Fleet ......................................................3
104. What procedures should be used to weigh aircraft? .......................................................3
Section 2. Aircraft Loading Schedules ...................................................................................... 5
105. What is a loading schedule?...........................................................................................5
106. How should an operator determine the weight of each fluid used aboard
the aircraft? ....................................................................................................................5
Section 3. Constructing a Loading Envelope............................................................................. 7
107. What should an operator consider when constructing a loading envelope? ..................7
108. What information from the aircraft manufacturer should an operator use?...................7
109. What should the operator consider when curtailing the manufacturers loading
envelope? .......................................................................................................................7
110. What are some examples of common curtailments to the manufacturers loading
envelope? .......................................................................................................................8
Section 4. Onboard Weight and Balance Systems................................................................... 11
111. How does an onboard weight and balance system compare to a conventional
weight buildup method?...............................................................................................11
112. What measures should an operator take to obtain operational approval for an
onboard weight and balance system?...........................................................................11
113. What operational considerations should an operator take into account when
using an onboard weight and balance system? ............................................................12
114. May an operator use the information in this AC to develop a backup system?...........13
CHAPTER 2. METHODS TO DETERMINE THE WEIGHT OF PASSENGERS
AND BAGS ...................................................................................................................................15
Section 1. Choosing the Appropriate Method ......................................................................... 15
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200. What should an operator consider when choosing the appropriate method?...............15
Section 2. Standard Average Weights ..................................................................................... 17
201. What standard average passenger weights should an operator use with an
approved carry-on bag program? .................................................................................17
Table 2-1. Standard Average Passenger Weights .......................................................17
202. What standard average weights should an operator use for carry-on bags and
personal items?.............................................................................................................18
203. What standard average weights should an operator use for checked bags? ................18
204. What standard average weight should an operator of large cabin aircraft use
for bags checked plane-side? .......................................................................................19
205. What standard average weights should an operator of small and medium cabin
aircraft use, if it has a no-carry-on bag program? ....................................................19
Table 2-2. Average Passenger Weights for Operators with a No-Carry-On Bag
Program...............................................................................................................20
206. What are the standard average weights for crewmembers?.........................................20
Table 2-3. Standard Crewmember Weights................................................................21
207. What weights may be used for company materials, freight, and mail? .......................21
208. What are the standard average weights for special passenger groups that
do not fit an operators standard average weight profile?............................................21
Section 3. Average Weights Based on Survey Results............................................................ 23
209. What should an operator consider when designing a survey? .....................................23
210. What sample sizes should an operator use?.................................................................23
Table 2-4. Minimum Sample Sizes.............................................................................23
211. When conducting a survey, can an operator collect a smaller sample size than
that published in Table 2-4?.........................................................................................24
212. What sampling method should an operator use? .........................................................24
213. What should an operator consider when developing a survey plan and
submitting it to the FAA? ............................................................................................25
214. What general survey procedures should an operator use? ...........................................25
215. What information might an operator gain from conducting a count survey? ..............26
216. When should an operator conduct another survey to revalidate the data from
an earlier survey? .........................................................................................................27
Section 4. Segmented Passenger Weights ............................................................................... 28
217. What should an operator consider when using segmented weights?...........................28
Table 2-5. Segmented Weights for Adult Passengers (in Pounds; Summer) .............28

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AC 120-27E

218. How are loading envelope curtailment and bag weight affected by an operators
use of segmented weights?...........................................................................................28
219. What might be an example be of an operator using the segmented weights in
Table 2-5? ....................................................................................................................29
Section 5. Actual Weight Programs......................................................................................... 30
220. If the operator decides to use an actual weight program, how might it determine
the actual weight of passengers?..................................................................................30
221. If the operator decides to use an actual weight program, how should it determine
the actual weights of personal items and bags? ...........................................................30
222. What approach should an operator use to record actual weights? ...............................30
CHAPTER 3. OPERATOR REPORTING SYSTEMS AND FAA OVERSIGHT ..............31
Section 1. Pilot and Agent Reporting Systems ........................................................................ 31
300. What are the pilots and operators responsibilities in reporting aircraft loading
and manifest preparation discrepancies? .....................................................................31
Section 2. FAA Oversight........................................................................................................ 32
301. Which FAA inspectors are responsible for overseeing an operators weight
and balance program? ..................................................................................................32
302. Which portions of OpSpecs or MSpecs are relevant to an operators weight and
balance program? .........................................................................................................32
APPENDIX 1. DEFINITIONS (4 pages) ....................................................................................1
APPENDIX 2. SOURCE OF STANDARD AVERAGE WEIGHTS (1 page).........................1
1. Standard average passenger weights..................................................................................1
2. Standard average bag weights............................................................................................1
Table 2-1. Bag Survey Results......................................................................................1
APPENDIX 3. SAMPLE OPERATIONAL LOADING ENVELOPE (11 pages) ..................1
1. Introduction........................................................................................................................1
2. Assumptions for this example............................................................................................1
Figure 3-1. Sample Aircraft Interior Seating Diagram .................................................1
3. Curtailments for passenger seating variation.....................................................................2
Table 3-1. Calculation of Zone 1 Centroid ...................................................................2
Table 3-2. Calculation of Zone 2 Centroid ...................................................................2
Table 3-3. Calculation of Zone 3 Centroid ...................................................................2
Table 3-4. Moments Resulting from the Zone Centroid Assumption for Zone 1.........3

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Table 3-5. Moments Resulting from the Window-Aisle-Remaining


Assumption for Zone 1 .........................................................................................3
Table 3-6. Comparison of Moments for Zone 1 ...........................................................3
Figure 3-2. Sample Passenger Seating Moment (Zone 1) ............................................4
Table 3-7. Moments Resulting from the Zone Centroid Assumption for Zone 2.........4
Table 3-8. Moments Resulting from the Window-Aisle-Remaining
Assumption for Zone 2 .........................................................................................5
Table 3-9. Comparison of Moments for Zone 2 ...........................................................5
Figure 3-3. Sample Passenger Seating Moment (Zone 2) ............................................6
Table 3-10. Moments Resulting from the Zone Centroid Assumption for Zone 3.......6
Table 3-11. Moments Resulting from the Window-Aisle-Remaining
Assumption for Zone 3 .........................................................................................7
Table 3-12. Comparison of Moments for Zone 3 .........................................................7
Figure 3-4. Sample Passenger Seating Moment (Zone 3) ............................................8
4. Other curtailments to the manufacturers loading envelope. .............................................9
5. Operational loading envelope diagrams.............................................................................9
Figure 3-5. Operational Loading Envelope with a Curtailment for Variations
in Passenger Seating ...........................................................................................10
Figure 3-6. Operational Loading Envelope Using Actual Seating Location
of Passengers.......................................................................................................11
APPENDIX 4. ADDITIONAL CURTAILMENT TO CG ENVELOPES FOR
PASSENGER WEIGHT VARIATIONS IN SMALL CABIN AIRCRAFT (4 pages) ............1
Table 4-1. Row Factor ..................................................................................................1
Table 4-2. Sample Curtailment Due to Variations in Passenger Weight and
Male/Female Ratio Using Window-Aisle Method ...............................................2
Table 4-3. Sample Curtailment Due to Variations in Passenger Weight and
Male/Female Ratio Using Row Count Method ....................................................4
APPENDIX 5. OPTIONS TO IMPROVE ACCURACY (4 pages)...........................................1
Figure 5-1. Sample Aircraft Interior Seating Diagram .................................................2
APPENDIX 6. WEIGHT AND BALANCE CHECKLIST (1 page) ........................................1

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AC 120-27E
CHAPTER 1. AIRCRAFT WEIGHTS AND LOADING SCHEDULES
Section 1. Establishing Aircraft Weight

100. How does an operator establish the initial weight of an aircraft?


Prior to being placed into service, each aircraft should be weighed and the empty weight and CG
location established. New aircraft are normally weighed at the factory and are eligible to be
placed into operation without reweighing if the weight and balance records were adjusted for
alterations and modifications to the aircraft unless some other modification to the aircraft
warrants that the aircraft be weighed (e.g., paragraph 103c). Aircraft transferred from one
operator that has an approved weight and balance program, to another operator with an approved
program, does not need to be weighed prior to use by the receiving operator unless more than
36 calendar-months have elapsed since last individual or fleet weighing, or unless some other
modification to the aircraft warrants that the aircraft be weighed (e.g., paragraph 103c). Aircraft
transferred, purchased, or leased from an operator without an approved weight and balance
program, and that have been unmodified or only minimally modified, can be placed into service
without being reweighed if the last weighing was accomplished by an acceptable method (for
example, manufacturers instructions or AC 43.13-1, Acceptable Methods, Techniques, and
PracticesAircraft Inspection and Repair, current edition) within the last 12 calendar-months
and a weight and balance change record was maintained by the operator. See paragraph 103c for
a discussion of when it may be potentially unsafe to fail to reweigh an aircraft after it has been
modified.
101. How does an operator document changes to an aircrafts weight and balance?
The weight and balance system should include methods, such as a log, ledger, or other equivalent
electronic means, by which the operator will maintain a complete, current, and continuous record
of the weight and CG of each aircraft. Alterations and changes affecting either the weight and/or
balance of the aircraft should be recorded in this log. Changes in the amount of weight or in the
location of weight in or on the aircraft should be recorded whenever the weight change is at or
exceeds the weights listed in Table 1-1.
TABLE 1-1. INCREMENTAL WEIGHT CHANGES THAT SHOULD BE RECORDED
IN A WEIGHT AND BALANCE CHANGE RECORD
In the weight change record of
a
Large-cabin aircraft
Medium-cabin aircraft
Small-cabin aircraft

An operator should record any weight changes


of
+/- 10 lb or greater.
+/- 5 lb or greater.
+/- 1 lb or greater.

102. How does the operator maintain the OEW?


The loading schedule may utilize the individual weight of the aircraft in computing operational
weight and balance, or the operator may choose to establish fleet empty weights for a fleet or
group of aircraft.
Par 100

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a. Reestablishment of OEW. The OEW and CG position of each aircraft should be


reestablished at the reweighing periods discussed in paragraph 103. In addition, it should be
reestablished through calculation whenever the cumulative change to the weight and balance log
is more than plus or minus one-half of 1 percent (0.5 percent) of the maximum landing weight,
or whenever the cumulative change in the CG position exceeds one-half of 1 percent
(0.5 percent) of the mean aerodynamic chord (MAC). In the case of helicopters and airplanes
that do not have a MAC-based CG envelope (e.g., canard equipped airplane), whenever the
cumulative change in the CG position exceeds one-half of 1 percent (0.5 percent) of the total CG
range, the weight and balance should be reestablished.
NOTE: When reestablishing the aircraft OEW between reweighing periods, the
weight changes may be computed provided the weight and CG location of the
modifications are known; otherwise the aircraft must be reweighed.
b. Fleet Operating Empty Weights (FOEW). An operator may choose to use one weight
for a fleet or group of aircraft if the weight and CG of each aircraft is within the limits stated
above for establishment of OEW. When the cumulative changes to an aircraft weight and
balance log exceed the weight or CG limits for the established fleet weight, the empty weight for
that aircraft should be reestablished. This may be done by moving the aircraft to another group,
or reestablishing new FOEWs.
103. How often are aircraft weighed?
a. Individual Aircraft Weighing Program. Aircraft are normally weighed at intervals of
36 calendar-months. An operator may, however, extend this weighing period for a particular
model aircraft when pertinent records of actual routine weighing during the preceding period of
operation show that weight and balance records accurately reflect aircraft weights and CG
positions are within the cumulative limits specified for establishment of OEW (see
paragraph 102). Under an individual aircraft weighing program, an increase should not be
granted which would permit any aircraft to exceed 48 calendar-months since the last weighing,
including when an aircraft is transferred from one operator to another. In the case of helicopters,
increases should not exceed a time that is equivalent to the aircraft overhaul period.
NOTE: Per section 125.91(b), no person may operate an airplane in a part 125
operation, unless the current empty weight and CG are calculated from the
values established by an actual weighing of the airplane within the preceding
36 calendar-months.
b. Fleet Weighing. An operator may choose to weigh only a portion of the fleet every
36 months and apply the weight and moment change determined by these sample weighings to
the remainder of the fleet. For each aircraft weighed, the new aircraft empty weight (and
moment) is determined by the weighing and entered in the aircraft weight log. The difference
between this new aircraft weight (and moment) and the previous aircraft weight (and moment)
shown in the log is the unaccounted weight (and moment) change. The average of the
unaccounted weight and moment changes for the aircraft weighed as part of this fleet weighing

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AC 120-27E

is then entered as an adjustment to the aircraft weight logs for each of the aircraft in the fleet that
were not weighed.
(1) A fleet is composed of a number of aircraft of the same model. (For example,
B747-200s in a passenger configuration and B747-200 freighters should be considered different
fleets. Likewise, B757-200s and B757-300s should be considered different fleets.) The primary
purpose of defining a fleet is to determine how many aircraft should be weighed in each
weighing cycle. A fleet may be further divided into groups to establish FOEWs.
TABLE 1-2. NUMBER OF AIRCRAFT TO WEIGH IN A FLEET
For fleets of
1 to 3 aircraft
4 to 9 aircraft
More than 9 aircraft

An operator must weigh (at minimum)


All aircraft.
3 aircraft, plus at least 50 percent of the number of aircraft greater than 3.
6 aircraft, plus at least 10 percent of the number of aircraft greater than 9.

(2) In choosing the aircraft to be weighed, the aircraft in the fleet having the most hours
flown since last weighing should be selected.
(3) An operator should establish a time limit such that all aircraft in a fleet are eventually
weighed. Based on the length of time that a fleet of aircraft typically remains in service with an
operator, the time limit should not exceed 18 years (six 3-year weighing cycles). It is not
intended that an operator be required to weigh any remaining aircraft in the event that business
conditions result in retirement of a fleet before all aircraft have been weighed.
c. Weighing AircraftModifications. For most aircraft modifications, computing the
weight and balance changes is practical. For some modifications, such as interior
reconfigurations, the large number of parts removed, replaced, and installed may make an
accurate determination of the weight and balance change by computation impractical.
1. In those instances when the accuracy of the calculation is questionable, the weight
and moment change estimate should be verified by reweighing the aircraft. The operator should
weigh two or more aircraft to confirm the computed weight change estimate. The operator may
choose to weigh the aircraft before and after the modification, or just after the modification. If
the weighings are inconsistent with the computed weight change estimate, then additional
aircraft should be weighed as prescribed in Table 1-2, based on the size of the fleet.
2. The operator may choose not to calculate the weight change but to reestablish the
aircraft weight and balance by reweighing the aircraft prior to subsequent revenue operation. An
operator using an individual aircraft weighing program would weigh each aircraft modified, and
an operator using a fleet weighing program would weigh the number of aircraft as prescribed in
Table 1-2, based on the size of the fleet.
104. What procedures should be used to weigh aircraft?
a. An operator should take precautions to ensure that it weighs an aircraft as accurately as
possible. These precautions include checking to ensure that all required items are aboard the
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aircraft and the quantity of all fluids aboard the aircraft is considered. An operator should weigh
the aircraft in still air.
b. An operator should establish and follow instructions for weighing the aircraft that are
consistent with the recommendations of the aircraft manufacturer and scale manufacturer. The
operator should ensure that all scales are certified and calibrated by the manufacturer or a
certified laboratory, such as a civil department of weights and measures, or the operator may
calibrate the scale under an approved calibration program. The operator should also ensure that
the scale is calibrated within the manufacturers recommended time period, or time periods, as
specified in the operators approved calibration program.
NOTE: If manufacturers data is not available, the operator is responsible for
developing appropriate weighing instructions for its particular aircraft.

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AC 120-27E
Section 2. Aircraft Loading Schedules

105. What is a loading schedule?


a. The loading schedule is used to document compliance with the certificated weight and
balance limitations contained in the manufacturers AFM and weight and balance manual.
b. The loading schedule is developed by the operator based on its specific loading
calculation procedures and provides the operational limits for use with the operators weight and
balance program approved under this AC. These approved operational limits are typically more
restrictive but may not exceed the manufacturers certificated limits. This is because the loading
schedule is generally designed to check only specific conditions (e.g., takeoff and zero fuel)
known prior to takeoff, and must account for variations in weight and balance in flight. It must
also account for factors selected to be excluded, for ease of use, from the calculation process.
Loading the aircraft so that the calculated weight and balance is within the approved limits will
maintain the actual weight and balance within the certificated limits throughout the flight.
c. Development of a loading schedule represents a trade-off between ease of use and loading
flexibility. A schedule can provide more loading flexibility by requiring more detailed inputs, or
it can be made easier to use by further limiting the operational limits to account for the
uncertainty caused by the less detailed inputs.
d. Several types of loading schedules are commonlyused, including computer programs as
well as paper schedules, which can be either graphical, such as an alignment (chase around
chart) system, slide rule, or numerical, such as an adjusted weight or index system.
e. It is often more convenient to compute the balance effects of combined loads and to
display the results by using balance units or index units. This is done by adding the
respective moments (weight times arm) of each item. Graphing the moments results in a fan
grid where lines of constant balance arms (BA) or percent MAC are closer together at lower
weights and further apart at higher weights. Direct graphical or numerical addition of the
balance effects are possible using these moment values.
f. To make the magnitude of the numbers more manageable, moments can be converted to
an index unit. For example:

index unit =

weight (BA datum )


+K
M

NOTE: Where datum is the reference BA that will plot as a vertical line on
the fan grid, M and K are constants that are selected by the operator. M is
used to scale the index values, and K is used to set the index value of the
reference BA.
106. How should an operator determine the weight of each fluid used aboard the aircraft?
An operator should use one of the following:
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a. The actual weight of each fluid,


b. A standard volume conversion for each fluid, or
c. A volume conversion that includes a correction factor for temperature.

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AC 120-27E
Section 3. Constructing a Loading Envelope

107. What should an operator consider when constructing a loading envelope?


Each operator complying with this AC must construct a loading envelope applicable to each
aircraft being operated. The envelope will include all relevant weight and balance limitations. It
will be used to ensure that the aircraft is always operated within appropriate weight and balance
limitations, and will include provisions to account for the loading of passengers, fuel, and cargo;
the in-flight movement of passengers, aircraft components, and other loaded items; and the usage
or transfer of fuel and other consumables. The operator must be able to demonstrate that the
aircraft is being operated within its certificated weight and balance limitations using reasonable
assumptions that are clearly stated.
108. What information from the aircraft manufacturer should an operator use?
The construction of the loading envelope will begin with the weight and balance limitations
provided by the aircraft manufacturer in the weight and balance manual, type certificate data
sheet, or similar approved document. These limitations will include, at minimum, the following
items, as applicable:
a. Maximum zero-fuel weight.
b. Maximum takeoff weight.
c. Maximum taxi weight.
d. Takeoff and landing CG limitations.
e. In-flight CG limitations.
f. Maximum floor loadingsincluding both running and per square foot limitations.
g. Maximum compartment weights.
h. Fuselage shear limitations.
i. Any other limitations provided by the manufacturer.
109. What should the operator consider when curtailing the manufacturers loading
envelope?
a. The operator should curtail the manufacturers loading limitations to account for loading
variations and in-flight movement that are encountered in normal operations. For example, if
passengers are expected to move about the cabin in flight, the operator must curtail the
manufacturers CG envelope by an amount necessary to ensure that movement of passengers
does not take the aircraft outside its certified envelope. If the aircraft is loaded within the new,
curtailed envelope, it will always be operated within the manufacturers envelope, even though
some of the loading parameters, such as passenger seating location, are not precisely known.

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b. In some cases an aircraft may have more than one loading envelope for preflight planning
and loading. Each envelope must have the appropriate curtailments applied for those variables
that are expected to be relevant for that envelope. For example, an aircraft might have separate
takeoff, in-flight, and landing envelopes. Passengers are expected to remain seated in the cabin
during take-off or landing. Therefore, the takeoff and landing envelope does not need to be
curtailed for passenger movement.
c. Upon determination of the curtailed version of each envelope, the most restrictive points
(for each condition the operators program will check) generated by an overlay of the
envelopes will form the aircraft operational envelopes. These envelopes must be observed. By
restricting operation to these operational envelopes, compliance with the manufacturers
certified envelope will be ensured in all phases of flight, based upon the assumptions within the
curtailment process. Optionally, an operator may choose to not combine the envelopes but
observe each envelope independently. However, due to calculation complexity, this is typically
only possible through automation of the weight and balance calculation.
110. What are some examples of common curtailments to the manufacturers loading
envelope?
The following subparagraphs provide examples of common loading curtailments. Appendix 3
also provides an example of how these curtailments are calculated. Operators using an approved
weight and balance control program must include curtailments appropriate to the operations
being conducted. Each of the items mentioned below is a single curtailment factor. The total
curtailment of the manufacturers envelope is computed by combining the curtailments resulting
from each of these factors.
a. Passengers. The operator must account for the seating of passengers in the cabin. The
loading envelope does not need to be curtailed if the actual seating location of each passenger is
known. If assigned seating is used to determine passenger location, the operator must implement
procedures to ensure that the assignment of passenger seating is incorporated into the loading
procedure. It is recommended that the operator take into account the possibility that some
passengers may not sit in their assigned seats.
(1) If the actual seating location of each passenger is not known, the operator may assume
that all passengers are seated uniformly throughout the cabin or a specified subsection of the
cabin. If this assumption is made, the operator must curtail the loading envelope to account for
the fact that the passenger loading may not be uniform. The curtailment may make reasonable
assumptions about the manner in which people distribute themselves throughout the cabin. For
example, the operator may assume that window seats are occupied first, followed by aisle seats,
followed by the remaining seats (window-aisle-remaining seating). Both forward and rear
loading conditions should be considered. That is, the passengers may fill up the window, aisle,
and remaining seats from the front of the aircraft to the back, or the back to the front.
(2) If necessary, the operator may divide the passenger cabin into subsections or zones
and manage the loading of each zone individually. It can be assumed that passengers will be
sitting uniformly throughout each zone, as long as the curtailments described in the previous
paragraph are put in place.

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AC 120-27E

(3) All such assumptions should be adequately documented.


b. Fuel. The operators curtailed loading envelope must account for the effects of fuel. The
following are examples of several types of fuel-related curtailments:
(1) Fuel density. A certain fuel density may be assumed and a curtailment included to
account for the possibility of different fuel density values. Fuel density curtailments only pertain
to differences in fuel moment caused by varying fuel volumes, not to differences in total fuel
weight. The fuel gauges in most transport category aircraft measure weight, not volume.
Therefore, the indicated weight of the fuel load can be assumed to be accurate.
(2) Fuel movement. The movement or transfer of fuel in flight.
(3) Fuel usage in flight. The burning of fuel may cause the CG of the fuel load to
change. The effect of fuel burning down to the required reserve fuel or to an acceptable fuel
amount established by the operator should be accounted for. A curtailment may be included to
ensure that this change does not cause the CG of the aircraft to move outside of the acceptable
envelope.
c. Fluids. The operators curtailed CG envelope must account for the effects of galley and
lavatory fluids. These factors include such things as:
(1) Use of potable water in flight.
(2) Movement of water or lavatory fluids.
d. In-Flight Movement of Passenger and Crew. The operational envelope must account
for the in-flight movement of passengers, crew, and equipment. This may be done by including a
curtailment equal to the moment change caused by the motion being considered. It may be
assumed that all passengers, crew, and equipment are secured when the aircraft is in the takeoff
or landing configuration. Standard operational procedures may be taken into account. Examples
of items that can move during flight are:
(1) Flight deck crewmembers moving to the lavatory. Flight deck crewmembers may
move to the most forward lavatory in accordance with the security procedures prescribed for
crews leaving the cockpit. An offsetting credit may be taken if another crewmember moves to
the flight deck during such lavatory trip.
(2) Flight attendants moving throughout the cabin. Operators should take their
standard operating procedures into account. If procedures do not dictate otherwise, it should be
assumed that the flight attendants can travel anywhere within the compartment to which they are
assigned.
(3) Service carts moving throughout the cabin. Operators should take their standard
operating procedures into account. If procedures do not dictate otherwise, it should be assumed
that the service carts can travel anywhere within the compartment to which they are assigned. If
multiple carts are in a given compartment, and no restrictions are placed on their movement, then
the maximum number of carts, moving the maximum distance, must be considered. The weight
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of the number of flight attendants assigned to each cart must also be considered. The assumed
weight of each cart may be the maximum anticipated cart-load or the maximum design load, as
appropriate to the operators procedures.
(4) Passengers moving throughout the cabin. Allowances should be made for the
possibility that passengers may move about the cabin in flight. The most common would be
movement to the lavatory, described below. If a lounge or other passenger gathering area is
provided, the operator should assume that passengers move there from the centroid of the
passenger cabin(s). The maximum capacity of the lounge should be taken into account.
(5) Passengers moving to the lavatory. Operators should account for the CG change
caused by passengers moving to the lavatory. Operators should develop reasonable scenarios for
the movement of passengers in their cabins and consider the CG shifts that can be expected to
occur. Generally, it may be assumed that passengers move to the lavatories closest to their seats.
In aircraft with a single lavatory, movement from the most adverse seat must be taken into
account. Assumptions may be made which reflect operator lavatory and seating policies. For
example, it may be assumed that coach passengers may only use the lavatories in the coach
cabin, if that is the operators normal policy.
e. Movement of Flaps and Landing Gear. If the manufacturer has not already done so, the
operator must account for the movement of landing gear, flaps, wing leading edge devices, or
any other moveable components of the aircraft. Devices deployed only while in contact with the
ground, such as ground spoilers or thrust reversers, may be excluded from such curtailments.
f. Baggage and Freight. It can be assumed that baggage and freight may be loaded at the
centroid of each baggage compartment. Operators do not need to include a curtailment if
procedures are used which ensure that the cargo is loaded uniformly and physically restrained
(secured) to prevent the contents from becoming a hazard by shifting between zones or
compartments.

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AC 120-27E
Section 4. Onboard Weight and Balance Systems

111. How does an onboard weight and balance system compare to a conventional weight
buildup method?
a. An operator may use an onboard weight and balance system to measure an aircrafts
weight and balance as a primary means to dispatch an aircraft, provided the FAA has certified
the system, and approved the system for use in an operators weight and balance control
program. This section discusses the differences an operator should consider when using an
onboard weight and balance system compared to a conventional weight buildup method. This
section addresses only the operational considerations related to the use of an FAA-authorized
onboard weight and balance system.
b. Like operators using a conventional weight buildup method to calculate weight and
balance, an operator using an onboard weight and balance system as a primary weight and
balance control system should curtail the manufacturers loading envelope to ensure the aircraft
does not exceed the manufacturers certificated weight and CG limits. However, an operator
using an onboard weight and balance system would not need to curtail the loading envelope for
assumptions about passenger and bag weight or distribution.
c. Because an onboard weight and balance system measures the actual weight and CG
location of an aircraft, an operator may not need to include certain curtailments to the loading
envelope to account for variables such as passenger seating variation or variation in passenger
weight. However, an operator should curtail the loading envelope for any system tolerances that
may result in CG errors. Using an onboard weight and balance system does not relieve an
operator from the requirement to complete and maintain a load manifest.
112. What measures should an operator take to obtain operational approval for an
onboard weight and balance system?
a. System Calibration. An operator should develop procedures to calibrate its onboard
weight and balance system equipment periodically in accordance with the manufacturers
instructions. An operator may calibrate its system with operational items or fuel aboard the
aircraft to test the system at a representative operational weight. However, an operator may not
use an onboard weight and balance system in place of procedures described in Section 1 of this
chapter for weighing the aircraft to establish OEW or CG location.
b. Demonstration of System Accuracy. As part of the approval process, an operator
should demonstrate that the onboard weight and balance system maintains its certificated
accuracy. An operator should only have to conduct this demonstration once for each type
aircraft with a similarly installed onboard weight and balance system. For the demonstration, the
operator should use the accuracy demonstration test provided in the maintenance manual portion
of the Supplemental Type Certificate or type certificate of the onboard weight and balance
system.

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113. What operational considerations should an operator take into account when using an
onboard weight and balance system?
a. Certification Limits. An operator using an onboard weight and balance system as its
primary means of calculating weight and balance should have procedures in place to ensure that
the system is operated within the limits established during the systems certification process.
b. Environmental Considerations. An operator using an onboard weight and balance
system should ensure that it uses the system within the environmental limits established by the
manufacturer. Environmental conditions that may affect the performance of an onboard weight
and balance system include temperature, barometric pressure, wind, ramp slope, rain, snow, ice,
frost, dew, deicing fluid, etc.
c. Aircraft Considerations. An operator using an onboard weight and balance system
should ensure the weight and CG measured by the system are not affected by the aircraft
configuration, such as the movement of flaps, stabilizers, doors, stairways or jetways, or any
connections to ground service equipment. Other factors that an operator should consider include
engine thrust, oleo strut extension, and aircraft taxi movement.
d. Takeoff Trim Settings. If the aircraft manufacturer provides trim settings for takeoff
based on the aircrafts CG location, an operator using an onboard weight and balance system
should ensure that the onboard weight and balance system provides flight crewmembers with
adequate information to determine the appropriate trim setting.
e. Operational Envelope. The operational envelope for onboard weight and balance
systems should be developed using the same procedures described in other parts of this AC, with
the exception that the operational envelope does not need to be curtailed for passenger random
seating and passenger weight variance. Also note that the fuel load is subtracted from the
measured takeoff weight to determine the zero fuel weight and CG, instead of being added to the
zero fuel weight as part of the load buildup. In addition, an operator should curtail the CG
envelope for any system CG tolerance.
f. Complying with Compartment or Unit Load Device (ULD) Load Limits. When using
an onboard weight and balance system, an operator should develop in its weight and balance
control program a method to ensure that it does not exceed the floor, linear or running loading
limits specified for a compartment or ULD. If an operator develops appropriate procedures, an
operator may request approval to exclude bag counts from its load manifest. The following are
two examples of acceptable means to demonstrate compliance with compartment load limits.
(1) An operator may assign a standard average weight to bags. Based on that standard
average weight, the operator may place a placard in each compartment stating the maximum
number of bags permitted. An operator may also create a table that lists the total weight
associated with a given number of bags to ensure the operator does not exceed the load limit of a
compartment or ULD.
(2) By conducting sample loadings, an operator may demonstrate that the average density
of the bags it places in a compartment or ULD would not allow it to exceed the compartment or
ULD load limits inadvertently.
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AC 120-27E

114. May an operator use the information in this AC to develop a backup system?
An operator using an onboard weight and balance system as its primary means of measuring
weight and balance may use the guidance in this AC to develop a backup system based on a
conventional weight buildup provided that the backup system has been approved by the
certificate-holding district office/Flight Standards District Office. Should the primary onboard
weight and balance system become inoperative, the operator must have provisions for deferring
the inoperative equipment until repairs can be made or the system must be repaired prior to
further flight. The FAA may grant the operator relief for an onboard weight and balance system
through the operators minimum equipment list (MEL). Such MEL relief will be established
through a global change policy letter issued by AFS-200 upon certification of an onboard weight
and balance system. An operator using an onboard weight and balance system may not use the
backup system unless:
a. The onboard system is inoperative;
b. The onboard system has been deferred in accordance with the aircraft MEL; and
c. The operator has been approved to use average weights/conventional weight buildup.

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AC 120-27E
CHAPTER 2. METHODS TO DETERMINE THE WEIGHT OF
PASSENGERS AND BAGS
Section 1. Choosing the Appropriate Method

200. What should an operator consider when choosing the appropriate method?
a. For many years, operators of transport category aircraft have used average weights for
passengers and bags to calculate an aircrafts weight and balance, in accordance with standards
and recommended practices. This method eliminates many potential sources of error associated
with accounting for a large number of relatively light weights. However, differences between
the actual weight of passengers and bags and the average weight of passengers and bags can
occur when using average weights.
b. Statistical probability dictates that the smaller the sample size (i.e., cabin size), the more
the average of the sample will deviate from the average of the larger universe. Because of this,
the use of standard average passenger weights in weight and balance programs for small and
medium cabin aircraft should be examined in greater detail.
c. The next four sections describe four methods available to operators to determine
passenger and bag weight. They are standard average weights in Section 2; average weights
based on survey results in Section 3; segmented weights in Section 4; and actual weights in
Section 5. An operator should review the following discussion and consult Table 2-1 to
determine which method or methods are appropriate to its type of operation.
d. Large Cabin Aircraft. Operators of large cabin aircraft may use the standard average
weights for passengers and bags. If an operator determines that the standard average weights are
not representative of its operation for some route or regions, it is encouraged to conduct a survey
as detailed in Section 3 of this chapter, to establish more appropriate average weights for its
operation. Operators should have procedures for identifying situations that would require the use
of nonstandard or actual weights.
e. Medium Cabin Aircraft. Medium cabin aircraft should be evaluated to determine if the
aircraft should be treated more like large or small cabin aircraft. For the FAA to recommend that
medium cabin aircraft be treated as a large cabin aircraft, the aircraft must meet either (1) both
loadability criteria, or (2) the loading schedule criteria. If the aircraft does not meet either of
these criteria, then the FAA does not recommend that the operator be allowed to use large cabin
aircraft measures. Instead, the aircraft should be subject to the small cabin aircraft methods
outlined in paragraph 200f.
(1) Loadability criteria.

Par 200

The CG of the OEW is within the manufacturers loading envelope

The CG of the zero fuel weight is within the manufacturers loading envelope
when loaded with a full load of passengers and all cargo compartments are filled
with a density of 10 pounds per cubic foot

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(2) Loading schedule criteria.

The operator must use a loading schedule based upon zones

The aircraft cabin may have no more than four rows of seats per zone with not
less than four zones

f. Small Cabin Aircraft. Operators of small cabin aircraft may request approval to use any
one of the following methods when calculating the aircraft weight and balance.
(1) The operator may use actual passenger and bag weights, or
(2) The operator may use segmented passenger weights (see Section 4) and bag weights
prescribed for large cabin aircraft, or
(3) The operator may use the standard average passenger and bag weights prescribed for
large cabin aircraft or average weights based on an FAA-accepted survey if
(a) The aircraft was certificated under part 23 commuter category, part 25, or part 29
(or is able to prove the aircraft has equivalent part 23 commuter category or part 29 performance
data), and
(b) The operator applies the additional curtailments as prescribed in Appendix 4.

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AC 120-27E
Section 2. Standard Average Weights

201. What standard average passenger weights should an operator use with an approved
carry-on bag program?
a. The standard average passenger weights provided in Table 2-1 were established based on
data from U.S. Government health agency surveys. For more background information on the
source of these weights, refer to Appendix 2.
b. The standard average passenger weights in Table 2-1 include 5 pounds for summer
clothing, 10 pounds for winter clothing, and a 16-pound allowance for personal items and
carry-on bags. Where no gender is given, the standard average passenger weights are based on
the assumption that 50 percent of passengers are male and 50 percent of passengers are female.
TABLE 2-1. STANDARD AVERAGE PASSENGER WEIGHTS
Standard Average Passenger Weight
Summer Weights
Average adult passenger weight
Average adult male passenger weight
Average adult female passenger weight
Child weight (2 years to less than 13 years of age)
Winter Weights
Average adult passenger weight
Average adult male passenger weight
Average adult female passenger weight
Child weight (2 years to less than 13 years of age)

Weight Per Passenger


190 lb
200 lb
179 lb
82 lb
195 lb
205 lb
184 lb
87 lb

c. An operator may use summer weights from May 1 to October 31 and winter weights from
November 1 to April 30. However, these dates may not be appropriate for all routes or
operators. For routes with no seasonal variation, an operator may use the average weights
appropriate to the climate. Use of year-round average weights for operators with seasonal
variation should avoid using an average weight that falls between the summer and winter average
weights. Operators with seasonal variation that elect to use a year-round average weight should
use the winter average weight. Use of seasonal dates, other than those listed above, will be
entered as nonstandard text and approved through the operators OpSpec, MSpec, or LOA, as
applicable.
d. The standard average weights listed in Table 2-1 are based on the assumption that the
operator has a carry-on bag program. Operators using a no-carry-on bag program should refer to
paragraph 205 of this section.
NOTE: The weight of children under the age of 2 has been factored into the
standard average and segmented adult passenger weights.

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202. What standard average weights should an operator use for carry-on bags and
personal items?
a. An operator using standard average passenger weights should include the weight of
carry-on bags and personal items in the passengers weight. The standard average passenger
weights in Table 2-1 include a 16-pound allowance for personal items and carry-on bags, based
on the assumption that
(1) One-third of passengers carry one personal item and one carry-on bag.
(2) One-third of passengers carry one personal item or carry-on bag.
(3) One-third of passengers carry neither a personal item nor a carry-on bag.
(4) The average weight allowance of a personal item or a carry-on bag is 16 pounds.
b. If an operator believes the 16-pound allowance for personal items and carry-on bags is not
appropriate for its operations or receives notification from the FAA that the assumptions
provided in paragraph 202a are inconsistent with the operators approved program, the operator
should conduct a survey to determine what percentage of passengers carry personal items or
carry-on bags aboard the aircraft. An example of how to adjust the personal item and carry-on
bag allowance, based on the results of a survey, is in Section 3. An operator should not use an
allowance of less than 16 pounds for personal items and carry-on bags unless the operator
conducts a survey or unless the operator has a no-carry-on bag program.
NOTE: Operators using an approved carry-on baggage program should refer to
AC 121-29, Carry-On Baggage, current edition, for information regarding
carry-on baggage.
203. What standard average weights should an operator use for checked bags?
An operator that chooses to use standard average weights for checked bags should use a standard
average weight of at least 30 pounds. An operator that requests approval to use a standard
average weight of less than 30 pounds for checked bags should have current, valid survey data to
support a lesser weight. An operator also may conduct a study to establish different standard
average bag weights for portions of its operation to account for regional, seasonal, demographic,
aircraft, or route variation. For example, an operator could establish different standard average
bag weights for domestic and international routes.
a. Heavy Bags. Heavy bags are considered any bag that weighs more than 50 pounds
but less than 100 pounds. An operator should account for a heavy bag by using one of the
following weights:
(1) A standard average weight of 60 pounds,
(2) An average weight based on the results of a survey of heavy bags, or
(3) The actual weight of the heavy bag.

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AC 120-27E

NOTE: An operator that uses double-counting to treat a heavy bag as if it


were two checked bags for weight purposes should ensure the load manifest
represents the actual number of bags for counting purposes. An operator
should have a system in place to ensure that heavy bags are identified,
although operators may not be required to weigh heavy bags on a scale.
b. Non-luggage Bags. A non-luggage bag is any bag that does not meet the normal criteria
for luggage. Examples include golf bags, fishing equipment packages, wheelchairs and strollers
in their shipping configuration, windsurfing kits, boxed bicycles, etc. For non-luggage bags,
operators may use any appropriate combination of actual weights, average weights based on
survey results, or standard average bag weights. Operators that wish to establish an average
weight for a particular type of non-luggage bag, such as a golf bag, must conduct a survey in
accordance with the procedures established in Section 3 of this chapter. Operators also should
establish a method to calculate the effect on CG of a large non-luggage bag, such as a surfboard,
that may occupy more than one compartment on the aircraft.
c. Plane-Side Loaded and Checked Bags. Part 91, subpart K of part 91, and part 135 ondemand operations using standard average bag weights should consider all bags not stored in the
cabin as checked bags. However, operators may develop procedures for identifying bags that
would typically be considered carry-on and/or plane-side loaded baggage and incorporate such
average weights into their approved carry-on and weight and balance control program. If such
procedures are developed, the operator may use the standard average weights specified for carryon, plane-side loaded, and checked baggage. Operators conducting flights under parts 91 and 135
in which all passenger bags are typically loaded plane-side or all bags are carried into the cabin
for further storage, should develop guidelines to inform pilots when it is appropriate to use the
heavier standard average checked bag weights, heavy bag weights, or actual weights. In no case
should an operator only use plane-side loaded standard average weights for all baggage loaded
plane-side.
204. What standard average weight should an operator of large cabin aircraft use for bags
checked plane-side?
Operators with a carry-on bag program that use standard average weights should account for the
weight of each carry-on bag checked plane-side as 30 pounds. An operator may request approval
to use a weight other than 30 pounds if the operator has current, valid survey data to support a
different average weight for plane-side loaded bags.
205. What standard average weights should an operator of small and medium cabin
aircraft use, if it has a no-carry-on bag program?
NOTE: A no-carry-on bag program is limited to small and medium cabin
aircraft (including medium cabin aircraft treated as a large cabin aircraft).
Associated with this program are certain standard average weight credits and
reductions. Nothing in this AC prevents an operator of large cabin aircraft from
having a no-carry-on bag policy; however, the acceptable standard bag
weights for such checked baggage for large cabin aircraft are outlined in
paragraphs 203 and 204 above. Furthermore, the passenger weight credit

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associated with a no-carry-on-bag program is limited to the small and medium


cabin aircraft.
a. An operator with a no-carry-on bag program may allow passengers to carry only personal
items aboard the aircraft. Because these passengers do not have carry-on bags, an operator may
use standard average passenger weights that are 6 pounds lighter than those for an operator with
an approved carry-on bag program. See Table 2-2.
TABLE 2-2. AVERAGE PASSENGER WEIGHTS FOR OPERATORS WITH A
NO-CARRY-ON BAG PROGRAM
Average Passenger Weight
Summer Weights
Average passenger weight
Average male passenger weight
Average female passenger weight
Child weight (2 years to less than 13 years of age)

Weight Per Passenger

Winter Weights
Average passenger weight
Average male passenger weight
Average female passenger weight
Child weight (2 years to less than 13 years of age)

184 lb
194 lb
173 lb
76 lb
189 lb
199 lb
178 lb
81 lb

b. An operator that has a no-carry-on bag program may account for a plane-side loaded bag
as 20 pounds. To receive authorization to use 20 pounds as the average weight for a plane-side
loaded bag, an operator should demonstrate that sufficient controls exist to ensure that
passengers do not bring carry-on bags aboard the aircraft. An operator also should demonstrate
that sufficient controls exist to ensure the personal items brought aboard the aircraft can fit
completely under a passenger seat or in an approved stowage compartment.
c. If an operator discovers that a plane-side loaded bag should have been treated as a
checked bag, the operator should account for that bag at the standard average weight of
30 pounds for a checked bag.
NOTE: Part 91, subpart K of part 91, and on-demand operations using standard
average bag weights should consider all bags not stored in the cabin as checked
bags (reference paragraph 203) unless the operator develops procedures for
identifying bags that would typically be considered carry-on/plane-side loaded
and/or traditional checked baggage.
206. What are the standard average weights for crewmembers?
a. An operator may choose to use the standard crewmember weights shown in Table 2-3 or
conduct a survey to establish average crewmember weights appropriate for its operation.

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AC 120-27E
TABLE 2-3. STANDARD CREWMEMBER WEIGHTS
Crewmember
Flight crewmember
Flight attendant
Male flight attendant
Female flight attendant
Crewmember roller bag
Pilot flight bag
Flight attendant kit

Average
Weight
190 lb
170 lb
180 lb
160 lb
30 lb
20 lb
10 lb

Average Weight
with Bags
240 lb
210 lb
220 lb
200 lb
NA
NA
NA

b. The flight crewmember weights provided in Table 2-3 were derived from weights listed
on all first- and second-class medical certificates. The flight crewmember weight with bags
assumes that each flight crewmember has one crewmember roller bag and one pilot flight bag.
c. The flight attendant weights provided in Table 2-3 were derived from the NHANES data.
(For additional information on NHANES, see Appendix 2.) The flight attendant weights with
bags assume that each flight attendant has one crewmember roller bag and one flight attendant
kit.
d. An operator may include the weight of crewmembers in an aircrafts OEW or add the
weight to the load manifest prepared for each flight.
207. What weights may be used for company materials, freight, and mail?
a. Company Materials and Freight. An operator should use actual weights for company
materials, aircraft parts, and freight carried aboard an aircraft.
b. Mail. An operator should use the weights provided with manifested mail shipments to
account for the weight of the mail. If an operator has to separate a shipment of mail, the operator
may make actual estimates about the weight of the individual pieces, provided the sum of the
estimated weights is equal to the actual manifested weight of the entire shipment.
208. What are the standard average weights for special passenger groups that do not fit an
operators standard average weight profile?
a. Actual passenger weights should be used for nonstandard weight groups (sports teams,
etc.) unless average weights have been established for such groups by conducting a survey in
accordance with the procedures established in Section 3 of this chapter. When such groups form
only a part of the total passenger load, actual weights, or established average weights for the
nonstandard group, may be used for such exception groups and average weights used for the
balance of the passenger load. In such instances, a notation should be made in the load manifest
indicating the number of persons in the special group and identifying the group; e.g., football
squad, etc.
b. Roster weights may be used for determining the actual passenger weight.

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c. A standard allowance of 16 pounds per person may be used to account for carry-on and
personal items as provided in the operators approved carry-on bag program.
d. If the carry-on bags are representative of the operators profile but do not meet the
number of bags authorized per person, the operator may count bags and use a 16-pound per bag
allocation.
e. Actual weights must be used in cases where the carry-on bags are not representative of the
operators profile.
f. Groups that are predominantly male or female should use the standard average weights for
males or females provided in Table 2-1.
g. For military groups, the Department of Defense (DOD) requires actual passenger and
cargo weights be used in computing the aircraft weight and balance for all DOD charter
missions. This requirement is specified in DOD Commercial Air Carrier Quality and Safety
requirements (reference Title 32 of the Code of Federal Regulations part 861,
section 861.4(e)(3)(ix), current edition). FAA-approved air carrier weight and balance control
programs may be used to account for carry-on/personal items for mixed loads of military and
their dependents (such as channel missions). For combat-equipped troop charters, the Air
Mobility Command (AMC) will provide guidance to account for the additional weight. If
aircraft operators perceive that the weights provided are understated, they should seek
confirmation of the actual weights and should make reasonable upward estimations and
adjustments to those passenger and/or bag weights.

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AC 120-27E
Section 3. Average Weights Based on Survey Results

209. What should an operator consider when designing a survey?


a. This section provides operators with an acceptable survey method to use in determining
average weights for a weight and balance control program. This section also describes how an
operator can conduct a survey to count personal items and carry-on bags to determine an
appropriate allowance for those items to include in passenger weight. In addition, an operator
may use the methods described in this section to conduct a survey to determine the percentage of
male and female passengers, to calculate an average passenger weight.
b. Surveys conducted correctly allow an operator to draw reliable inferences about large
populations based on relatively small sample sizes. In designing a survey, an operator should
consider
(1) The sample size required to achieve the desired reliability,
(2) The sample selection process, and
(3) The type of survey (average weights or a count of items).
210. What sample sizes should an operator use?
Several factors must be considered when determining an adequate sample size. The more varied
the population, the larger the sample size required to obtain a reliable estimate. Paragraph 211
provides a formula to derive the absolute minimum sample size to achieve a 95-percent
confidence level. Table 2-4 has been provided for those operators that wish to use calculations
other than those listed in paragraph 211. Table 2-4 provides the operator with an acceptable
number of samples that may be collected to obtain a 95-percent confidence level and lists the
tolerable error associated with each category.
TABLE 2-4. MINIMUM SAMPLE SIZES
Survey Subject
Adult (standard adult/male/female)
Child
Checked bags
Heavy bag
Plane-side loaded bags
Personal items and carry-on bags
Personal items only (for operators with a
no carry-on bag program)

Par 209

Minimum
Sample Size
2,700
2,700
1,400
1,400
1,400
1,400
1,400

Tolerable
Error
1%
2%
2%
2%
2%
2%
2%

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211. When conducting a survey, can an operator collect a smaller sample size than that
published in Table 2-4?
If the operator has chosen to use a sample size that is smaller than that provided in Table 2-4, the
operator should collect a sufficient number of samples to satisfy the following formulas:
n

(x j x )2
s=

j =1

n 1

Where :
s is the standard deviation
n is the number of points surveyed
xj

is the individual survey weights

x is the sample average

e=

1.96 * s * 100
_

n*x
Where :
e is the tolerable error percentage

212. What sampling method should an operator use?


a. An operator conducting a survey must employ random sampling techniques. Random
sampling means that every member of a group has an equal chance of being selected for
inclusion in the sample. If an operator conducts a survey that does not employ random sampling,
the characteristics of the selected sample may not be indicative of the larger group as a whole.
Because of this, any conclusions drawn from such a survey may not be valid.
b. The following are two examples of random sampling methods that an operator may find
appropriate for the type of survey conducted. An operator may also consult a basic textbook on
statistics to determine if another random sampling method is more appropriate.
(1) Simple random selection. An operator should assign a sequential number to each
item in a group (such as passengers waiting on a line or bag claim tickets). Then the operator
randomly selects numbers and includes the item corresponding with the number in the sample.
The operator repeats this process until it has obtained the minimum sample size.
(2) Systematic random selection. An operator should randomly select an item in
sequence to begin the process of obtaining samples. The operator should then use a
predetermined, systematic process to select the remaining samples following the first sample. For

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example, an operator selects the third person in line to participate in the survey. The operator
then selects every fifth person after that to participate in the survey. The operator continues
selecting items to include in the sample until it has obtained the minimum sample size.
c. Regardless of the sampling method used, an operator has the option of surveying each
passenger and bag aboard the aircraft and should always give a passenger the right to decline to
participate in any passenger or bag weight survey. If a passenger declines to participate, the
operator should select the next passenger based on the operators random selection method rather
than select the next passenger in a line. If a passenger declines to participate, an operator should
not attempt to estimate data for inclusion in the survey.
213. What should an operator consider when developing a survey plan and submitting it to
the FAA?
a. Developing a Survey Plan. Before conducting a survey, an operator should develop a
survey plan. The plan should describe the dates, times, and locations the survey will take place.
In developing a survey plan, the operator should consider its type of operation, hours of
operation, markets served, and frequency of flights on particular routes. An operator should
avoid conducting surveys on holidays unless it has a valid reason to request the particular date.
b. Submitting the Survey Plan to the FAA. It is recommended that an operator submit its
survey plan to the FAA at least 2 weeks before the survey is expected to begin. Before the
survey begins, the operators principal inspectors (PI) will review the plan and work with the
operator to develop a mutually acceptable plan. During the survey, the PI will oversee the
survey process to validate the execution of the survey plan. After the survey is complete, the PI
will review the survey results and issue the appropriate OpSpecs or MSpecs. Once a survey
begins, the operator should continue the survey until complete, even if the initial survey data
indicates that the average weights are lighter or heavier than expected.
214. What general survey procedures should an operator use?
a. Survey Locations. An operator should accomplish a survey at one or more airports that
represent at least 15 percent of an operators daily departures. To provide connecting passengers
with an equal chance of being selected in the survey, an operator should conduct its survey
within the secure area of the airport. An operator should select locations to conduct its survey
that would provide a sample that is random and representative of its operations. For example, an
operator should not conduct a survey at a gate used by shuttle operations unless the operator is
conducting a survey specific to that route or the operator only conducts shuttle operations.
b. Weighing Passengers. An operator that chooses to weigh passengers as part of a survey
should take care to protect the privacy of passengers. The scale readout should remain hidden
from public view. An operator should ensure that any passenger weight data collected remains
confidential.
c. Weighing Bags. When weighing bags on a particular flight, an operator should take care
to ensure that it is properly accounting for all items taken aboard the aircraft.

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d. Rounding Sample Results. If the operator uses rounding in the weight and balance
calculations, it is recommended that the operator round passenger weights to the nearest pound
and bag weights to the nearest half-pound. An operator should ensure that rounding is done
consistently in all calculations.
NOTE: If an operator elects to use average child weights, they should be used
on a flight-by-flight basis and not factored into the average passenger weight
(whether using standard average or segmented weights).
e. Surveys for Particular Routes. An operator may conduct a survey for a particular route
if the operator believes that the average weights on that route may differ from those in the rest of
its operations. To establish a standard average passenger weight along the route, an operator
may survey passengers at only one location. However, an operator should conduct surveys of
personal items and bags at the departure and arrival locations, unless the operator can verify
there is no significant difference in the weight and number of bags in either direction along the
route.
215. What information might an operator gain from conducting a count survey?
a. An operator may conduct a survey to count certain items without determining the weight
of those items. For example, an operator may determine that the standard average weights for
male and female passengers are appropriate for its operations, but on some routes the passengers
are predominantly male or female. In this case, an operator may conduct a survey to determine
the percentage of male and female passengers. The operator could use the results of the survey
to justify a weight other than the standard weights, which assume a 50-percent male and
50-percent female mix of passengers. Similarly, an operator may conduct a survey to determine
the number of personal items and carry-on bags passengers carry aboard aircraft to determine if
the allowance of 16 pounds per passenger is appropriate to its operations.
b. For example, an operator conducts a survey on a particular route (or multiple routes if
amending the program average weight) to count the percentage of passengers carrying personal
items and carry-on bags. The operator finds that
(1) Fifty percent of passengers carry one carry-on bag and one personal item.
(2) Thirty percent of passengers carry one carry-on bag or one personal item.
(3) Twenty percent of passengers carry neither a carry-on bag nor a personal item.
(4) The survey results show that the average passenger carries approximately 21 pounds
of personal items and carry-on bags rather than the standard allowance of 16 pounds. In such a
case, it would be irresponsible for the operator to fail to increase the standard average weights
for that route(s) by 5 pounds per passenger.
NOTE: The calculation below determines the appropriate allowance for
personal items and carry-on bags.

[0.50 (16 pounds + 16 pounds)] + [0.30 (16 pounds)] + [0.20 (0 pounds)] = 20.8 pounds
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216. When should an operator conduct another survey to revalidate the data from an
earlier survey?

In order to use survey-derived average weights, an operator must revalidate such survey data
every 36 calendar-months or revert to the standard average weights, provided the new survey
average weight results are within 2 percent of the standard average weights listed in this AC.

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Section 4. Segmented Passenger Weights

217. What should an operator consider when using segmented weights?


a. The concept of segmented weights involves adding a portion of the standard deviation to
an average weight to increase the confidence that the actual weight will not exceed the average
weight. Like the standard average weights in Section 2, the segmented weights in Table 2-5
were derived from average weights and standard deviations found based on NHANES data,
assuming a 95-percent confidence interval and 1-percent tolerable error.
TABLE 2-5. SEGMENTED WEIGHTS FOR ADULT PASSENGERS
(IN POUNDS; SUMMER)
Maximum
Certificated
Passenger
Seating
Capacity
1 to 4
5
6 to 8
9 to 11
12 to 16
17 to 25
26 to 30
31 to 53
54 to 70 +

Ratio of Male to Female Passengers


0/100 10/90 20/80 30/70 40/60 50/50 60/40 70/30 80/20 90/10
Use actual weights, or asked (volunteered) weights plus 10 lb
231
233
235
237
239
241
243
245
247
249
219
221
223
225
227
229
231
233
235
237
209
211
213
215
217
219
221
223
225
227
203
205
207
209
211
213
215
217
219
221
198
200
202
204
206
208
210
212
214
216
194
196
198
200
202
204
206
208
210
212
191
193
195
197
199
201
203
205
207
209
188
190
192
194
196
198
200
202
204
206

100/0
251
239
229
223
218
214
211
208

b. An operator may make the following adjustments to the table above:


(1) An operator may subtract 6 pounds from the passenger weight outlined above if it has
a no-carry-on bag program or does not allow any carry-on baggage into the cabin of the aircraft.
(2) An operator should add 5 pounds to the weights above during the winter season.
c. An operator may interpolate between columns on the chart if the operators assumed ratio
of male passengers to female passengers does not exactly match the values given.
d. To account for a childs weight, for children ages 2 years to less than 13 years of age, the
standard average child weight located in Table 2-1 may be used. Weights of children under the
age of 2 have been factored into the segmented adult passenger weight.
218. How are loading envelope curtailment and bag weight affected by an operators use of
segmented weights?
a. Loading Envelope Curtailment. An operator using segmented passenger weights may
use the standard average passenger weights when curtailing its operational loading envelope
using the methods described in Appendixes 3 and 4.

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b. Bag Weights. An operator using segmented weights may use actual weights for bags or
the standard average bag weights provided in Section 2. An operator using segmented passenger
weights may not use survey-derived average bag weights.
219. What might be an example be of an operator using the segmented weights in
Table 2-5?

An operator of a 30 passenger-seat aircraft conducts a survey to count the percentage of male and
female passengers on its flights and determines that 50 percent of the passengers are male and
50 percent are female. If the operator has an approved carry-on bag program, the operator
should use 204 pounds in the summer and 209 pounds in the winter. If the operator has a nocarry-on bag program, the operator should use 198 pounds in the summer and 203 pounds in the
winter and account for all plane-side loaded bags as 20 pounds each.

Par 218

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Section 5. Actual Weight Programs

220. If the operator decides to use an actual weight program, how might it determine the
actual weight of passengers?

An operator may determine the actual weight of passengers by


a. Weighing each passenger on a scale before boarding the aircraft (types of weight scales
and scale tolerances will be defined in the operators approved weight and balance control
program); or
b. Asking each passenger his or her weight. An operator should add to this asked
(volunteered) weight at least 10 pounds to account for clothing. An operator may increase this
allowance for clothing on certain routes or during certain seasons, if appropriate.
NOTE: If an operator believes that the weight volunteered by a passenger is
understated, the operator should make a reasonable estimate of the passengers
actual weight and add 10 pounds.
221. If the operator decides to use an actual weight program, how should it determine the
actual weights of personal items and bags?

To determine the actual weight of a personal item, carry-on bag, checked bag, plane-side loaded
bag, or a heavy bag, an operator should weigh the item on a scale.
222. What approach should an operator use to record actual weights?

An operator using actual weights should record all weights used in the load buildup.

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AC 120-27E

CHAPTER 3. OPERATOR REPORTING SYSTEMS AND FAA OVERSIGHT


Section 1. Pilot and Agent Reporting Systems
300. What are the pilots and operators responsibilities in reporting aircraft loading and
manifest preparation discrepancies?

Each operator should develop a reporting system and encourage employees to report any
discrepancies in aircraft loading or manifest preparation. These discrepancies may include errors
in documentation or calculation, or issues with aircraft performance and handling qualities that
indicate the aircraft weight or balance is not accurate. Operators should attempt to determine the
cause of each discrepancy and take appropriate corrective action. This would include a load
audit on affected flights or conducting a passenger or bag weight survey in accordance with this
AC if trends indicate it is warranted.

Par 300

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Section 2. FAA Oversight

301. Which FAA inspectors are responsible for overseeing an operators weight and
balance program?

The FAA has divided the responsibility of overseeing an operators weight and balance control
program between the operators principal operations inspector (POI) and principal maintenance
inspector (PMI). An operator that wishes to change aspects of its weight and balance control
program, including average weights, should submit all applicable supporting data to the POI and
PMI, as applicable, for approval. If the FAA approves the changes, the FAA will issue revised
OpSpecs, MSpecs, or LOA, as appropriate.
302. Which portions of OpSpecs or MSpecs are relevant to an operators weight and
balance program?
a. This AC details methods to develop a weight and balance control program with greater
accuracy and increased flexibility. By changing its OpSpecs or MSpecs, an operator may alter
the weights used in its weight and balance control program to include appropriate combinations
of standard average weights, average weights based on survey results, or actual weights.
b. Parts A and E of OpSpecs or MSpecs authorize an operators weight and balance control
program. These parts will address
(1) Average passenger and bag weights;
(2) Situations when the use of average weights is inappropriate;
(3) The treatment of charter flights or special groups, if applicable;
(4) The type of loading schedule and instructions for its use;
(5) Aircraft weighing schedules; and
(6) Other procedures that the operator may require to assure control of weight and
balance.
c. OpSpec or MSpec paragraph E096, Weight and Balance Control Procedures, is issued to
an operator with an approved aircraft weight program. The FAA issues this paragraph after
reviewing and approving the operators aircraft weight and balance control procedures in their
entirety.
d. OpSpec or MSpec paragraph A011, Approved Carry-on Baggage Program, is issued to an
operator with an approved carry-on bag program. This paragraph provides details about the
operators approved carry-on bag program and states whether the operator has a carry-on bag
program or a no-carry-on bag program. The FAA will issue this paragraph after reviewing the
operators carry-on baggage program in its entirety.

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e. If an operator chooses to use standard average weights as outlined in this AC, the FAA
will document that decision by issuing one or more of the following OpSpecs or MSpecs
paragraphs. If an operator proposes to use different average weights (weights other than the
standard average or segmented weights) and the FAA concurs with the statistically valid data
provided by the operator to support such average weight differences, then those differences will
be documented in the following OpSpecs or MSpecs. Although these paragraphs authorize an
operator to use average and/or segmented weights, an operator may use actual weights at any
time once issued these paragraphs.
(1) Paragraph A097Small Cabin Aircraft Passenger and Baggage Weight Program.
(2) Paragraph A098Medium Cabin Aircraft Passenger and Baggage Weight Program.
(3) Paragraph A099Large Cabin Aircraft Passenger and Baggage Weight Program.
NOTE: If an operator does not provide the FAA with adequate information
to justify the issuance of one of the above paragraphs that documents the use
of standard average, survey-derived average, and/or segmented weights, the
FAA may issue paragraph A096, Actual Passenger and Baggage Weight
Program for All Aircraft, requiring the operator to use actual passenger and
bag weights. Any operators using only an actual weight program must be
issued paragraphs A096 and E096.
f. If an operator chooses to develop a weight and balance control program using only actual
weights for all the aircraft it operates, the FAA may issue OpSpec/MSpec paragraph A096. The
FAA will not issue paragraphs A097, A098, or A099 to operators with a weight and balance
control program that uses only actual weights. The FAA will only issue paragraphs A096, A097,
A098, and/or A099 after reviewing the operators actual or average weight program.
g. An operator that receives approval to use survey-derived (nonstandard) average weights
should document and make available, upon request, the data and methodology used to derive
those weights. An operators documentation should be sufficiently comprehensive to allow the
FAA to reproduce the same results during an audit. An operator should retain this
documentation for as long as the operator uses the survey-derived average weights in its weight
and balance control program.
h. If an operator chooses to conduct a survey, the operator will use the results of the survey
to establish a revised average weight and must curtail the loading envelope as necessary.
However, if the survey results indicate the average weights are within 2 percent of the standard
average weights outlined in this AC, the operator may elect to adopt the standard average
weights only after submitting the survey results to the FAA and receiving approval through its
OpSpecs, MSpecs, or LOA.
i. For operators using an onboard weight and balance system to determine the weight and
balance of the aircraft, the FAA will issue OpSpecs or MSpecs paragraph A096.
Paragraph A096 documents the use of actual weights and the use of its onboard weight and
balance system. For an operator that chooses to use standard average weights as a backup

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system, the FAA will issue paragraphs A097, A098, or A099, as appropriate. By authorizing the
use of average weights, the operator may elect to use actual weights derived from its onboard
weight and balance system, and may use average weights as an alternative should the system be
inoperative.
j. For operators of all-cargo aircraft, the FAA will issue OpSpecs paragraph A096.
Paragraph A096 documents the use of actual weights, with the exception of flightcrew,
supernumeraries, and their bag weights. These weights may be accounted for using the standard
average weights described in Chapter 2, Table 2-3.

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AC 120-27E
Appendix 1
APPENDIX 1. DEFINITIONS

1. Basic empty weight. The aircraft empty weight, adjusted for variations in standard items.
2. Cargo. As used in this advisory circular (AC), cargo refers to everything carried in the cargo
compartments of the aircraft. This includes bags, mail, freight, express, and company material.
It also includes live animals, dangerous goods, and hazardous materials as subcategories of the
above.
3. Carry-on bag. A bag that the operator allows the passenger to carry onboard. It should be of
a size and shape that will allow it to be stowed under the passenger seat or in a storage
compartment. The operator establishes the exact dimensional limits based on the particular
aircraft stowage limits.
4. Certificated weight and CG limits. Weight and center of gravity (CG) limits are established
at the time of aircraft certification. They are specified in the applicable aircraft flight manual
(AFM).
5. Checked bags. Checked bags are those bags placed in the cargo compartment of the aircraft.
This includes bags that are too large to be placed in the cabin of the aircraft or those bags that are
required to be carried in the cargo compartment by regulation, security program, or company
policy. For bags checked plane-side, see the definition for plane-side loaded bags.
6. Curtailment. Creating an operational loading envelope that is more restrictive than the
manufacturers CG envelope, to assure the aircraft will be operated within limits during all
phases of flight. Curtailment typically accounts for, but is not limited to, in-flight movement,
gear and flap movement, cargo variation, fuel density, fuel burn-off, and seating variation.
7. Fleet operational empty weight (FOEW). Average operational empty weight (OEW) used
for a fleet or group of aircraft of the same model and configuration.
8. Freight. Cargo carried for hire in the cargo compartment that is not mail or passenger bags.
9. Heavy bags. Heavy bags are considered any bag that weighs more than 50 pounds but less
than 100 pounds. Bags that are 100 pounds or more are considered freight.
10. Large cabin aircraft. Aircraft originally type-certificated with a maximum seating capacity
of 71 or more passenger seats.
11. Loading envelope. Weight and CG envelope used in a loading schedule. Loading the
aircraft within the loading envelope will maintain the aircraft weight and CG within the
manufacturers type-certificated limits throughout the flight.
12. Loading schedule. Method for calculating and documenting aircraft weight and balance
prior to taxiing, to ensure the aircraft will remain within all required weight and balance
limitations throughout the flight.

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AC 120-27E
Appendix 1

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13. Maximum landing weight. The maximum weight at which the aircraft may normally be
landed.
14. Maximum takeoff weight. The maximum allowable aircraft weight at the start of the
takeoff run.
15. Maximum taxi weight. The maximum allowable aircraft weight for taxiing.
16. Maximum zero-fuel weight. The maximum permissible weight of an aircraft with no
disposable fuel and oil.
17. Mean Aerodynamic Chord (MAC). The MAC is established by the manufacturer, which
defines its leading edge and its trailing edge in terms of distance (usually inches) from the datum.
The CG location and various limits are then expressed in percentages of the chord. The location
and dimensions of the MAC can be found in the aircraft specifications, the type certificate data
sheet, the AFM, or the aircraft weight and balance manual.
18. Medium cabin aircraft. Aircraft originally type-certificated with a maximum seating
capacity between 70 and 30 passenger seats, inclusive.
19. Moment. The moment is the product of a weight multiplied by its arm. The moment of an
item about the datum is obtained by multiplying the weight of the item by its horizontal distance
from the datum.
20. Onboard weight and balance system. A system that weighs an aircraft and payload, then
computes the CG using equipment onboard the aircraft.
21. Operational empty weight (OEW). Basic empty weight or fleet empty weight plus
operational items.
22. Operational items. Personnel, equipment, and supplies necessary for a particular operation
but not included in basic empty weight. These items may vary for a particular aircraft and may
include, but are not limited to, the following:
a. Crewmembers, supernumeraries, and bags;
b. Manuals and navigation equipment;
c. Passenger service equipment, including pillows, blankets, and magazines;
d. Removable service equipment for cabin, galley, and bar;
e. Food and beverage, including liquor;
f. Usable fluids, other than those in useful load;
g. Required emergency equipment for all flights;
h. Life rafts, life vests, and emergency transmitters;
i. Aircraft unit load devices;

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Appendix 1

j. Potable water;
k. Drainable unusable fuel;
l. Spare parts normally carried aboard and not accounted for as cargo; and
m. All other equipment considered standard by the operator.
23. Passenger assist/comfort animals and devices. These include, but are not limited to,
canes, crutches, walkers, wheelchairs, medically-required animal comfort companions, or
animals required to assist the vision impaired.
24. Passenger weight. Passenger weight is the actual weight or the approved average weight of
the passenger.
a. An adult is defined as an individual 13 years or older.
b. A child is defined as an individual aged 2 to less than 13 years of age.
c. Infants are children who have not yet reached their second birthday and are considered
part of the adult standard average and segmented passenger weight.
25. Personal item. Items the operator may allow a passenger to carry aboard, in addition to a
carry-on bag. Typically, an operator may allow one personal item such as a purse, briefcase,
computer and case, camera and case, diaper bag, or an item of similar size. Other items, such as
coats, umbrellas, reading material, food for immediate consumption, infant restraining device,
and passenger assist/comfort animals and devices, are allowed to be carried on the aircraft and
are not counted against the personal item allowance.
26. Plane-side loaded bag. Any bag or item that is placed at the door or steps of an aircraft
and subsequently placed in the aircraft cargo compartment or cargo bin.
27. Reference Balance Arm (BA). The horizontal distance from the reference datum to the CG
of an item.
28. Segmented weights. Passenger weights derived by adding a portion of the standard
deviation to an average weight to increase the confidence that the actual weight will not exceed
the average weight.
29. Small cabin aircraft. Aircraft originally type certificated with a maximum seating capacity
between 5 and 29 passenger seats, inclusive.
30. Standard deviation. One of several indexes of variability that statisticians use to
characterize the dispersion among the measures in a given population.
31. Standard items. Equipment and fluids not considered an integral part of a particular
aircraft and not a variation for the same type of aircraft. These items may include, but are not
limited to, the following:

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Appendix 1

6/10/05

a. Unusable fuel and other unusable fluids;


b. Engine oil;
c. Toilet fluid and chemical;
d. Fire extinguishers, pyrotechnics, and emergency oxygen equipment;
e. Structure in galley, buffet, and bar; and
f. Supplementary electronic equipment.
32. Useful Load. Difference between takeoff weight and OEW. It includes payload, usable fuel,
and other usable fluids not included as operational items.

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AC 120-27E
Appendix 2
APPENDIX 2. SOURCE OF STANDARD AVERAGE WEIGHTS

1. Standard Average Passenger Weights.


a. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) examined data from several large-scale,
national health studies conducted by U.S. Government health agencies. The FAA found that the
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), conducted by the Centers for
Disease Control (CDC), provided the most comprehensive and appropriate data. The data in
NHANES cover a broad spectrum of the general population, are based on a large sample size,
and are not restricted geographically to a particular area.
b. The CDC collects NHANES data annually by conducting an actual scale weighing of
approximately 9,000 subjects in a clinical setting. The standard deviation of the sample was
47 pounds. The CDC last published results from NHANES in 2000. Additional information on
NHANES and the data points used to derive average weights in this advisory circular are at:
(1) General information.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhanes.htm
(2) Analytic and reporting guidelines.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhanes/nhanes3/nh3gui.pdf
(3) Data files for 19992000 survey.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/about/major/nhanes/NHANES99_00.htm
c. The FAA used the most recent NHANES data set available from surveys conducted in
1999 and 2000 to calculate the standard average passenger weights used in this advisory circular
(AC). From this data set, the FAA separated out a separate data set of individuals who had not
yet reached their 13th birthday to determine average child weight. From the remaining adult data
set, the FAA removed all weight data that indicated the subject was clothed during the weighing
and removed all data points more than two standard deviations from the mean. The FAA then
calculated the average weights for males and females in the remaining data set.
2. Standard Average Bag Weights.

To determine standard average weights for different types of bags, the FAA closely examined
previous surveys conducted by operators, including several surveys conducted in response to
FAA Notice 8400.40, Weight and Balance Control Programs for 10 to 19 Seat Airplanes
Operated Under 14 CFR 121. The results of those surveys are summarized in Table 2-1.
TABLE 2-1. BAG SURVEY RESULTS
Item Surveyed
Personal items and
carry-on bags
Checked bags
Heavy bags

Average Weight
15.1 lb

Standard Deviation
8.2 lb

28.9 lb
58.7 lb

10.8 lb
7.2 lb

Page 1 (and 2)

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Appendix 3
APPENDIX 3. SAMPLE OPERATIONAL LOADING ENVELOPE

1. Introduction.

The following is an example of how to develop an operational loading envelope. For this
example, a hypothetical 19-seat commuter category aircraft is used. Although this example uses
inches to measure fuselage station, an operator may choose to use an index system for
convenience.
2. Assumptions for This Example.
a. Passenger weight. Because the aircraft is certificated under the commuter category of
Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 23 and because it is originally typecertificated for 5 or more passenger seats, it would be appropriate to use the average weights
listed in Chapter 2, Section 2. For this example, it is assumed that the operator has a no-carry-on
baggage program. Therefore, the operator should use a standard average passenger weight of
189 pounds in winter and 184 pounds in summer. For this example, a standard average
passenger weight of 189 pounds is used. The operator also assumes that passengers are
distributed throughout the cabin in accordance with the window-aisle-remaining method. Note
that because this aircraft has only two window seats per row, the operator may reasonably
assume that passengers begin seating themselves in the front of the cabin and select the most
forward seat available.
b. Bag weights. For this example, the operator assumes that a checked bag weighs
30 pounds and a plane-side loaded bag weighs 20 pounds.
c. Interior seating. For this example, consider a commuter category 19-seat aircraft with
the interior seating diagram shown in Figure 3-1. For this example, the fusleage station (F.S.) of
each seat row is the seated passenger centroid. (For other diagrams this may not be true.)

(Diagram courtesy of Raytheon Aircraft Company)

FIGURE 3-1. SAMPLE AIRCRAFT INTERIOR SEATING DIAGRAM

Page 1

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AC 120-27E
Appendix 3

6/10/05

3. Curtailments for Passenger Seating Variation.


a. Establishing zones. The operator elects to separate the passenger cabin into three zones.
Zone 1 will contain rows 1 to 3, zone 2 will contain rows 4 to 6, and zone 3 will contain rows 7
to 9.
b. Determining the centroid of each zone. When using cabin zones, an operator assumes
that all passengers are sitting at the centroid of their zone. To find the centroid of each zone
(1) Multiply the number of seats in each row of the zone by the location of the row,
(2) Add each number calculated in step 1, and
(3) Divide the number in step 2 by the total number of seats in the zone.
NOTE: For this sample aircraft, see Tables 3-1 through 3-3 below.
TABLE 3-1. CALCULATION OF ZONE 1 CENTROID
Row No.
No. of Seats
1
2
2
2
3
2
TOTAL
6
1,368 in / 6 seats = 228 in

Row Location
198 in
228 in
258 in
NA

No. of Seats Row Location


396 in
456 in
516 in
1,368 in

TABLE 3-2. CALCULATION OF ZONE 2 CENTROID


Row No.
No. of Seats
4
2
5
2
6
2
TOTAL
6
1,908 in / 6 seats = 318 in

Row Location
289 in
318 in
347 in
NA

No. of Seats Row Location


578 in
636 in
694 in
1,908 in

TABLE 3-3. CALCULATION OF ZONE 3 CENTROID


Row No.
No. of Seats
7
2
8
2
9
3
TOTAL
7
2,876 in / 7 seats = 411 in

Row Location
377 in
407 in
436 in
NA

No. of Seats Row Location


754 in
814 in
1,308 in
2,876 in

c. Comparing loading assumptions. To determine the appropriate amount of curtailment,


the operator should compare aircraft loading based on the window-aisle-remaining assumption

Page 2

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6/10/05

AC 120-27E
Appendix 3

with aircraft loaded based on the assumption that passengers are sitting at the centroid of their
respective zones. An operator may determine the appropriate curtailment by comparing the
moments resulting from these assumptions and identifying the loading scenarios that result in the
most forward or aft center of gravity (CG) location. See Tables 3-4 through 3-12 below.
(1) Curtailment calculation for zone 1.
TABLE 3-4. MOMENTS RESULTING FROM THE ZONE CENTROID ASSUMPTION
FOR ZONE 1
Passenger
No.
1
2
3
4
5
6

Assumed
Weight
189 lb
189 lb
189 lb
189 lb
189 lb
189 lb

Assumed
Arm
228 in
228 in
228 in
228 in
228 in
228 in

Moment
43,092 in-lb
43,092 in-lb
43,092 in-lb
43,092 in-lb
43,092 in-lb
43,092 in-lb

Cumulative Moment
43,092 in-lb
86,184 in-lb
129,276 in-lb
172,368 in-lb
215,460 in-lb
258,552 in-lb

TABLE 3-5. MOMENTS RESULTING FROM THE WINDOW-AISLE-REMAINING


ASSUMPTION FOR ZONE 1
Passenger
No.
1
2
3
4
5
6

Assumed
Row
1
1
2
2
3
3

Weight
189 lb
189 lb
189 lb
189 lb
189 lb
189 lb

Arm
198 in
198 in
228 in
228 in
258 in
258 in

Moment
37,422 in-lb
37,422 in-lb
43,092 in-lb
43,092 in-lb
48,762 in-lb
48,762 in-lb

Cumulative
Moment
37,422 in-lb
74,844 in-lb
117,936 in-lb
161,028 in-lb
209,790 in-lb
258,552 in-lb

TABLE 3-6. COMPARISON OF MOMENTS FOR ZONE 1

Passenger
No.
1
2
3
4
5
6

Cumulative
Moment from the
Zone Centroid
Assumption
43,092 in-lb
86,184 in-lb
129,276 in-lb
172,368 in-lb
215,460 in-lb
258,552 in-lb

Cumulative Moment
from the
Window-Aisle-Remaining
Assumption
37,422 in-lb
74,844 in-lb
117,936 in-lb
161,028 in-lb
209,790 in-lb
258,552 in-lb

Difference
-5,670 in-lb
-11,340 in-lb
-11,340 in-lb
-11,340 in-lb
-5,670 in-lb
0 in-lb

Page 3

Page 53

AC 120-27E
Appendix 3

6/10/05

Sample Development of Passenger Seating Curtailment


Cabin Zone 1
1400

1200

Passenger Weight - pounds

1000

800

600
Possible Seating Moment Variation within Passenger Cabin Zone
400
Aft Seating Moment
Forward Seating Moment

200

0
275

280

285

290

295

300

Fuselage Station (Inches Aft of Datum)

FIGURE 3-2. SAMPLE PASSENGER SEATING MOMENT (ZONE 1)


(2) Curtailment calculation for zone 2.
TABLE 3-7. MOMENTS RESULTING FROM THE ZONE CENTROID ASSUMPTION
FOR ZONE 2
Passenger
No.
7
8
9
10
11
12

Page 4

Assumed
Weight
189 lb
189 lb
189 lb
189 lb
189 lb
189 lb

Assumed
Arm
318 in
318 in
318 in
318 in
318 in
318 in

Moment
60,102 in-lb
60,102 in-lb
60,102 in-lb
60,102 in-lb
60,102 in-lb
60,102 in-lb

Cumulative Moment
60,102 in-lb
120,204 in-lb
180,306 in-lb
240,408 in-lb
300,510 in-lb
360,612 in-lb

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6/10/05

AC 120-27E
Appendix 3

TABLE 3-8. MOMENTS RESULTING FROM THE WINDOW-AISLE-REMAINING


ASSUMPTION FOR ZONE 2
Passenger
No.
7
8
9
10
11
12

Assumed
Row
4
4
5
5
6
6

Weight
189 lb
189 lb
189 lb
189 lb
189 lb
189 lb

Arm
289 in
289 in
318 in
318 in
347 in
347 in

Moment
54,621 in-lb
54,621 in-lb
60,102 in-lb
60,102 in-lb
65,583 in-lb
65,583 in-lb

Cumulative
Moment
54,621 in-lb
109,242 in-lb
169,344 in-lb
229,446 in-lb
295,029 in-lb
360,612 in-lb

TABLE 3-9. COMPARISON OF MOMENTS FOR ZONE 2

Passenger
No.
7
8
9
10
11
12

Cumulative
Moment from the
Zone Centroid
Assumption
60,102 in-lb
120,204 in-lb
180,306 in-lb
240,408 in-lb
300,510 in-lb
360,612 in-lb

Cumulative Moment
from the
Window-Aisle-Remaining
Assumption
54,621 in-lb
109,242 in-lb
169,344 in-lb
229,446 in-lb
295,029 in-lb
360,612 in-lb

Difference
-5,481 in-lb
-10,962 in-lb
-10,962 in-lb
-10,962 in-lb
-5,481 in-lb
0 in-lb

Page 5

Page 55

AC 120-27E
Appendix 3

6/10/05

Sample Development of Passenger Seating Curtailment


Cabin Zone 2
1400

1200

Passenger Weight - pounds

1000

800

600

Possible Seating Moment Variation within Passenger Cabin Zone

400
Forward Seating Moment

Aft Seating Moment

200

0
275

280

285

290

295

300

Fuselage Station (Inches Aft of Datum)

FIGURE 3-3. SAMPLE PASSENGER SEATING MOMENT (ZONE 2)


(3) Curtailment calculation for zone 3.
TABLE 3-10. MOMENTS RESULTING FROM THE ZONE CENTROID ASSUMPTION
FOR ZONE 3
Passenger
No.
13
14
15
16
17
18
19

Page 6

Assumed
Weight
189 lb
189 lb
189 lb
189 lb
189 lb
189 lb
189 lb

Assumed
Arm
411 in
411 in
411 in
411 in
411 in
411 in
411 in

Moment
77,679 in-lb
77,679 in-lb
77,679 in-lb
77,679 in-lb
77,679 in-lb
77,679 in-lb
77,679 in-lb

Cumulative
Moment
77,679 in-lb
155,358 in-lb
233,037 in-lb
310,716 in-lb
388,395 in-lb
466,074 in-lb
543,753 in-lb

Page 56

6/10/05

AC 120-27E
Appendix 3

TABLE 3-11. MOMENTS RESULTING FROM THE WINDOW-AISLE-REMAINING


ASSUMPTION FOR ZONE 3
Passenger
No.
13
14
15
16
17
18
19

Assumed
Row
7
7
8
8
9
9
9

Weight
189 lb
189 lb
189 lb
189 lb
189 lb
189 lb
189 lb

Arm
377 in
377 in
407 in
407 in
436 in
436 in
436 in

Moment
71,253 in-lb
71,253 in-lb
76,923 in-lb
76,923 in-lb
82,404 in-lb
82,404 in-lb
82,404 in-lb

Cumulative
Moment
71,253 in-lb
142,506 in-lb
219,429 in-lb
296,352 in-lb
378,756 in-lb
461,160 in-lb
543,564 in-lb

TABLE 3-12. COMPARISON OF MOMENTS FOR ZONE 3

Passenger
No.
13
14
15
16
17
18
19

Cumulative
Moment from the
Zone Centroid
Assumption
77,679 in-lb
155,358 in-lb
233,037 in-lb
310,716 in-lb
388,395 in-lb
466,074 in-lb
543,753 in-lb

Cumulative Moment
from the
Window-Aisle-Remaining
Assumption
71,253 in-lb
142,506 in-lb
219,429 in-lb
296,352 in-lb
378,756 in-lb
461,160 in-lb
543,564 in-lb

Difference
-6,426 in-lb
-12,852 in-lb
-13,608 in-lb
-14,364 in-lb
-9,639 in-lb
-4,914 in-lb
-189 in-lb

Page 7

Page 57

AC 120-27E
Appendix 3

6/10/05

Sample Development of Passenger Seating Curtailment


Cabin Zone 3
1600

1400

Passenger Weight - pounds

1200

1000

800
Possible Seating Moment Variation within Passenger Cabin Zone

600

Forward Seating Moment

400

Aft Seating Moment

200

0
275

280

285

290

295

300

Fuselage Station (Inches Aft of Datum)

FIGURE 3-4. SAMPLE PASSENGER SEATING MOMENT (ZONE 3)


(4) Determining the most adverse loading. It is important that an operator examine the
above results (from Tables 3-4 through 3-12) for each zone and determine which loading
scenario results in the greatest difference in moments. For zones 1 and 2, having two, three, or
four passengers in the zone results in the largest difference between the moments. For zone 3,
having four passengers in the zone results in the largest difference. In this case, the operator
should curtail the manufacturers loading envelope forward and aft by the sum of these moments,
36,666 inch-pounds, to account for the potential variation in passenger seating. In this example,
the 36,666 inch-pounds is the sum of 11,340 from Table 3-6; 10,962 from Table 3-9; and 14,364
from Table 3-12.
(5) Using actual seating location. Alternatively, an operator may reasonably avoid the
above curtailment calculations by determining the actual seating location of each passenger in
the cabin. By eliminating potential variation in passenger seating, an operator would not need to
make assumptions about passenger seating and would not need to curtail the loading envelope
accordingly. An operator choosing to use actual seating location should have procedures in
place to ensure that passengers sit in their assigned location.

Page 8

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6/10/05

AC 120-27E
Appendix 3

4. Other Curtailments to the Manufacturers Loading Envelope.


a. Variation in passenger weight. Because the operator in this example elects to use
standard average weights on a small-cabin aircraft, an additional curtailment for potential
variation in passenger weight is required. The operator should curtail the manufacturers loading
envelope as described in Appendix 4.
b. Variation in fuel density. Because the loading of fuel does not significantly change the
CG of the aircraft, the operator would not need to provide a curtailment for variation in fuel
density.
c. Fuel movement in flight. For this sample aircraft, the manufacturer has considered the
movement of fuel in flight. Therefore, the operator does not need to include additional
curtailments in the operational loading envelope.
d. Fluids. The sample aircraft does not have a lavatory or catering.
e. Bags and freight. The sample aircraft has an aft bag compartment split into two sections.
If the operator has procedures in place to restrict the movement of bags between the two
sections, no additional curtailment to the envelope is required.
f. In-flight movement of passengers and crewmembers. Because there are no flight
attendants and the aircraft is not equipped with a lavatory, it is reasonable to assume that
passengers or crewmembers will not move about the cabin in flight.
g. Movement of flaps and landing gear. The manufacturer of the sample aircraft has
considered the movement of flaps and landing gear in the development of its loading envelope.
The operator does not need to include any additional curtailments in its operational loading
envelope for the movement of those items.
h. Fuel consumption. The fuel vector for the sample aircraft provides a small aft movement
that requires a -8,900 inch-pounds curtailment to the aft zero fuel weight limits to ensure the
aircraft does not exceed the aft limit as fuel is burned. This equates to a -0.8 inch curtailment at
an estimated operational empty weight of 11,000 pounds with a linear transition to a -0.6 inch
curtailment at maximum zero fuel weight (MZFW) of 16,155 pounds. In this example, the
8,900 inch-pounds is the fuel burn deviation that would bring the aircraft outside the aft CG limit
during the course of flight.
5. Operational Loading Envelope Diagrams.
a. Figure 3-5 below shows the operators curtailments to the manufacturers loading
envelope, based on the assumptions made about variations in passenger seating and weight, as
well as fuel consumption.

Page 9

Page 59

AC 120-27E
Appendix 3

6/10/05

18,000

Max Ramp Weight


Curtailment for
Variations to
Passenger Seating

17,000
Max Landing Weight

16,000

Weight (LBS)

Curtailment for
Variations to
Passenger Weight

Max Zero Fuel Weight

15,000
14,000

Curtailment for
Fuel Burn Off

13,000
12,000
11,000
10,000
9,000
272

276

280

284

288

292

296

300

304

Fuselage Station (Inches Aft of Datum)

FIGURE 3-5. OPERATIONAL LOADING ENVELOPE WITH A CURTAILMENT FOR


VARIATIONS IN PASSENGER SEATING
b. To expand the operational loading envelope, an operator could choose to use the actual
seating location of passengers in the cabin and reduce the curtailment for variations in passenger
seating. Figure 3-6 below shows the expansion of the operational loading envelope.

Page 10

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6/10/05

AC 120-27E
Appendix 3

18,000

Max Ramp Weight

17,000
Max Landing Weight

16,000

Weight (LBS)

Curtailment for
Variations to
Passenger Weight

Max Zero Fuel Weight

15,000
14,000

Curtailment for
Fuel Burn Off

13,000
12,000
11,000
10,000
9,000
272

276

280

284

288

292

296

300

304

Fuselage Station (Inches Aft of Datum)

FIGURE 3-6. OPERATIONAL LOADING ENVELOPE USING ACTUAL SEATING


LOCATION OF PASSENGERS

Page 11 (and 12)

Page 61

Page 62

6/10/05

DRAFT

AC 120-27E
Appendix 4

APPENDIX 4. ADDITIONAL CURTAILMENT TO CG ENVELOPES FOR


PASSENGER WEIGHT VARIATIONS IN SMALL CABIN AIRCRAFT
a. The use of average weights for small cabin aircraft requires consideration of an additional
curtailment to the center of gravity (CG) envelope for passenger weight variations and
male/female passenger ratio. This curtailment is in addition to the standard curtailments
discussed in Chapter 1 with examples in Appendix 3.
(1) Passenger weight variation is determined by multiplying the standard deviation (from
the source of the average passenger weight used) by the row factor from Table 4-1. The
following table is a statistical measure that ensures a 95-percent confidence level of passenger
weight variation, using the window-aisle-remaining seating method.
TABLE 4-1. ROW FACTOR
No. of Rows

2-abreast

3-abreast

4-abreast

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18

2.96
2.41
2.15
2.00
1.89
1.81
1.75
1.70
1.66
1.63
1.60
1.57
1.55
1.53
1.49
1.48
1.46

2.73
2.31
2.09
1.95
1.86
1.79
1.73
1.68
1.65
1.59
1.57
1.54
1.52
1.51
1.49
1.48
1.46

2.63
2.26
2.06
1.93
1.84
1.77
1.69
1.65
1.62
1.59
1.57
1.54
1.52
1.51
1.49
1.48
1.46

(2) Protect against the possibility of an all-male flight by subtracting the difference
between the male and average passenger weight.
(3) The sum of these two provides an additional weight to be used for CG curtailment,
similar to the way in which passenger seating variation is calculated.
b. Calculation of the curtailment passenger weight variation is decided by multiplying the
standard deviation by the correction factor and adding the difference between the average allmale and average passenger weight. For example, assuming a 47-pound standard deviation, the
difference between the average all-male and average passenger weight is 10 pounds (from
19992000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data), and a sample
aircraft with 9 rows in a 2-abreast configuration. The additional weight to be curtailed is
determined as:

Page 1

Page 63

AC 120-27E
Appendix 4

6/10/05
Weight for Additional Curtailment = (47 1.70) + (10) = 90 lb

c. For the example, the additional curtailment should be accomplished by assuming


passenger loading at 90 pounds using the program method for passenger seating variation (e.g.,
window-aisle-remaining). Using the window-aisle-remaining method, the additional curtailment
in the example is determined to be 59,031 inch-pounds forward and aft. Table 4-2 displays the
calculations used in this example.
TABLE 4-2. SAMPLE CURTAILMENT DUE TO VARIATIONS IN PASSENGER
WEIGHT AND MALE/FEMALE RATIO USING WINDOW-AISLE METHOD
Passenger Weight: 90

Row

1
1
2
2
3
3
4
4
5
5
6
6
7
7
8
8
9
9
9

Seat
Centroid

Seat
Moment

198.0
198.0
228.0
228.0
258.0
258.0
289.0
289.0
318.0
318.0
347.0
347.0
377.0
377.0
407.0
407.0
436.0
436.0
436.0

17,820
17,820
20,520
20,520
23,220
23,220
26,010
26,010
28,620
28,620
31,230
31,230
33,930
33,930
36,630
36,630
39,240
39,240
39,240

Forward Seating
Total
Total
Weight
Moment

90
180
270
360
450
540
630
720
810
900
990
1,080
1,170
1,260
1,350
1,440
1,530
1,620
1,710

17,820
35,640
56,160
76,680
99,900
123,120
149,130
175,140
203,760
232,380
263,610
294,840
328,770
362,700
399,330
435,960
475,200
514,440
553,680

Coach Class (Y) Cabin Centroid: 323.8

Moment
Deviation

Row

-11,321
-22,642
-31,263
-39,884
-45,805
-51,726
-54,857
-57,988
-58,509
-59,031
-56,942
-54,853
-50,064
-45,275
-37,786
-30,297
-20,198
-10,099
0

9
9
9
8
8
7
7
6
6
5
5
4
4
3
3
2
2
1
1

Seat
Centroid

Seat
Moment

436.0
436.0
436.0
407.0
407.0
377.0
377.0
347.0
347.0
318.0
318.0
289.0
289.0
258.0
258.0
228.0
228.0
198.0
198.0

39,240
39,240
39,240
36,630
36,630
33,930
33,930
31,230
31,230
28,620
28,620
26,010
26,010
23,220
23,220
20,520
20,520
17,820
17,820

Aft Seating
Total
Total
Moment
Weight
Moment Deviation

90
180
270
360
450
540
630
720
810
900
990
1,080
1,170
1,260
1,350
1,440
1,530
1,620
1,710

39,240
78,480
117,720
154,350
190,980
224,910
258,840
290,070
321,300
349,920
378,540
404,550
430,560
453,780
477,000
497,520
518,040
535,860
553,680

10,099
20,198
30,297
37,786
45,275
50,064
54,853
56,942
59,031
58,509
57,988
54,857
51,726
45,805
39,884
31,263
22,642
11,321
0

NOTE: The following definitions describe the parameters used in the


samples in Tables 4-2 and 4-3:

Page 2

Seat Centroid: Location of passenger weight at seat


Seat Moment: Additional passenger weight seat centroid
Total Weight: Sum of additional passenger weights (running total)
Total Moment: Sum of additional passenger moments
Moment Deviation: Difference between total moment and moment generated by
assuming additional passenger weight is located at the cabin centroid (323.8 in)

Page 64

6/10/05

AC 120-27E
Appendix 4

d. If the operator chooses to use the passenger cabin zone concept (as described in
Appendix 3) and apply this concept to account for variation in passenger weight, then the row
factor in Table 4-1 corresponding to the number of rows in each zone should be used.
(1) Considering three cabin zones with each zone containing three rows in a 2-abreast
configuration, the required row factor (see Table 4-1) is 2.41. The row factor is multiplied by the
standard deviation and the difference between average all-male and average passenger weights is
added to provide the additional weight consideration. In our example, the standard deviation is
calculated from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data as
47 pounds, and the difference between average all-male and average passenger weights is
10 pounds. The resulting additional weight for curtailment is 47 2.41 + 10 = 123 pounds. This
additional weight is applied per the window-aisle-remaining concept for each cabin zone
independently and the results are summed to determine the amount of curtailment. In this case,
the curtailment is found to be 23,791 inch-pounds forward and aft.
(2) If an operator chooses to use row count, the operator must use the row factor for two
rows. In this example the required row factor is 2.96 (see Table 4-1). The row factor is multiplied
by the standard deviation and the difference between average all-male and average passenger
weight is added to provide the additional weight consideration. In our example, the standard
deviation is calculated from the NHANES data as 47 pounds, and the difference between average
all-male and average passenger weights is 10 pounds. The resulting additional weight for
curtailment is 47 2.96 + 10 = 149 pounds. This additional weight is applied as if a two-row
passenger zone concept is used for passenger seating. The resulting curtailment is determined to
be 17,880 inch-pounds forward and aft (see Table 4-3).

Page 3

Page 65

AC 120-27E
Appendix 4

6/10/05

TABLE 4-3. SAMPLE CURTAILMENT DUE TO VARIATIONS IN PASSENGER


WEIGHT AND MALE/FEMALE RATIO USING ROW COUNT METHOD

Passenger Weight: 149

Row
1
1
2
2
3
3
4
4
5
5
6
6
7
7
8
8
9
9
9

Seat
Centroid
198.0
198.0
228.0
228.0
258.0
258.0
289.0
289.0
318.0
318.0
347.0
347.0
377.0
377.0
407.0
407.0
436.0
436.0
436.0

Seat
Moment
29,502
29,502
33,972
33,972
38,442
38,442
43,061
43,061
47,382
47,382
51,703
51,703
56,173
56,173
60,643
60,643
64,964
64,964
64,964

Forward Seating
Total
Moment
Total
Weight
Moment Deviation Row
149
29,502
-2,235
9
298
59,004
-4,470
9
447
92,976
-2,235
9
596
126,948
0
8
149
38,442
-2,310
8
298
76,884
-4,619
7
447
119,945
-2,310
7
596
163,006
0
6
149
47,382
-2,161
6
298
94,764
-4,321
5
447
146,467
-2,161
5
4
596
198,170
0
4
149
56,173
-2,235
298
112,346
-4,470
3
447
172,989
-2,235
3
596
233,632
0
2
149
64,964
0
2
298
129,928
0
1
447
194,892
0
1

Sum of Minimum
Moment Deviations
Sumof minimum Moment Deviations

Page 4

Coach Class (Y) Cabin Centroid (Rows 1-2): 213.0


Coach Class (Y) Cabin Centroid (Rows 3-4): 273.5
Coach Class (Y) Cabin Centroid (Rows 5-6): 332.5
Coach Class (Y) Cabin Centroid (Rows 7-8): 392.0
Coach Class (Y) Cabin Centroid (Row 9): 436.0

-17,880
-17,880

Seat
Centroid
436.0
436.0
436.0
407.0
407.0
377.0
377.0
347.0
347.0
318.0
318.0
289.0
289.0
258.0
258.0
228.0
228.0
198.0
198.0

Seat
Moment
64,964
64,964
64,964
60,643
60,643
56,173
56,173
51,703
51,703
47,382
47,382
43,061
43,061
38,442
38,442
33,972
33,972
29,502
29,502

Aft Seating
Total
Weight
149
298
447
149
298
447
596
149
298
447
596
149
298
447
596
149
298
447
596

Total Moment
Moment Deviation
64,964
0
129,928
0
194,892
0
60,643
2,235
121,286
4,470
177,459
2,235
233,632
0
51,703
2,161
103,406
4,321
150,788
2,161
198,170
0
43,061
2,310
86,122
4,619
124,564
2,310
163,006
0
33,972
2,235
67,944
4,470
97,446
2,235
126,948
0

Sum of Maximum
Moment Deviations
Sumof maximum Moment Deviations

17,880
17,880

Page 66

6/10/05

AC 120-27E
Appendix 5
APPENDIX 5. OPTIONS TO IMPROVE ACCURACY

A number of options are available that enable operators to deviate from standard assumed
weights and may also provide relief from constraints required when assumed averages are used.
These options include:
1. Surveys. Surveys may be accomplished for passenger weights (to include carry-on bags),
checked baggage weights, male/female ratios, and fuel densities. These surveys may be
conducted for entire operator route systems, or by specific market or region. Surveys practices
and data reduction must conform to the requirements defined in this advisory circular (AC). Use
of surveys may allow an operator to use passenger and baggage weights less than the standard
specified in this AC. Also, a survey may find that the assumed male/female ratio is incorrect and
appropriate adjustments must be made. For example, lets assume the following results from an
approved passenger and baggage survey.

Male passenger weight (M) = 183.3 pounds


Female passenger weight (F) = 135.8 pounds
Difference between male and average passenger weights = 24.0 pounds
Standard deviation of total sample (Sigma) = 47.6 pounds
Male/female ratio (Pax Ratio) = 50.6 percent
Checked baggage weight = 29.2 pounds
Baggage checked plane-side = 21.3 pounds
Carry-on and personal items weight (CO Wt) = 10.4 pounds
Carry-on and personal items per passenger ratio (CO Ratio) = 0.82 pounds
Survey conducted in summer months
The resulting assumed passenger weight for loading is expressed as:
Passenger Weight = (M Pax Ratio) + (F (1 - Pax Ratio)) + (CO Wt CO Ratio)
And is determined as:
Summer Passenger Weight = (183.3 0.506) + (135.8 (1 - 0.506)) + (10.4 0.82) =
169 lb
Winter Passenger Weight = 169 + 5 = 174 lb
Survey results would also be used to determine the additional curtailment for variations to
passenger weight. Assuming a 19-seat aircraft in 2-abreast configuration in our example, the
additional weight to be curtailed would be:
Additional Weight for Curtailment = (47 1.70) + 24 = 104 lb
Also in our example, the assumed checked baggage weight is 30 pounds. Plane-side loaded bags
would be assumed to weigh 20 pounds. (These weights are the standard average weights
provided for a no-carry-on baggage program as described in Chapter 2, Section 2).
2. Actual Weights. It is permissible to use actual weights in lieu of standard average,
segmented, or survey-derived average weights (if applicable). Parameters that may use actual
weights include passenger weights, checked baggage weights, carry-on bag weights, crew
weights, and fuel density/weight.

Page 1

Page 67

AC 120-27E
Appendix 5

6/10/05

3. Passenger Cabin Zones and Row Count. Passenger cabins may be split up into zones
provided an acceptable procedure for determination of passenger seating is included (e.g., use of
seat assignments or the crew counts each seated passengers by zone). If zones are used, it may
be reasonable for the operator to reduce the center of gravity (CG) passenger seating curtailment
by accommodating variations within each individual zone separately and totaling the results.
Passenger row count allows the operator to reduce the seating variation by accounting for the
row in which the passenger is actually seated.

An example of use of passenger zones follows.


Assume an aircraft interior as displayed in Figure 5-1.

(Diagram courtesy of Raytheon Aircraft Company)

FIGURE 5-1. SAMPLE AIRCRAFT INTERIOR SEATING DIAGRAM

Assume that for weight and balance purposes, it is desirable to break up the cabin into passenger
zones. Appendix 3 provides a sample calculation of curtailing for passenger seating variations
using a hypothetical commuter category 19-seat aircraft with 3 passenger zones. A more accurate
weight and balance calculation requiring less curtailment may be provided by increasing the
number of passenger zones. For example, an increase to 5 passenger zones would result in the
following:
The passenger zones will be determined as zone 1 (rows 12), zone 2 (rows 34), zone 3
(rows 56), zone 4 (rows 78), and zone 5 (row 9). Use of the window-aisle-remaining method
will be used in each zone to provide a total curtailment to the CG envelope. (For this sample
aircraft, window-aisle-remaining method simply becomes forward and aft end loading). For each
zone, a zone centroid must be calculated by counting the total number of seats and averaging
their location.
Zone 1 centroid = (2 x 198.0 + 2 x 228.0) / (2 + 2) = 213.0 in
Zone 2 centroid = (2 x 258.0 + 2 x 289.0) / (2 + 2) = 273.5 in
Zone 3 centroid = (2 x 318.0 + 2 x 347.0) / (2 + 2) = 332.5 in
Zone 4 centroid = (2 x 347.0 + 2 x 377.0) / (2 + 2) = 392.0 in
Zone 5 centroid = (3 x 436.0) / (3) = 436.0 in
Page 2

Page 68

6/10/05

AC 120-27E
Appendix 5

Assuming the standard winter passenger weight of 189 pounds (as determined in Appendix 3) is
used in the curtailment, the calculation of the total moment is required for comparison to the
zone moment, assuming each passenger is seated at the centroid of each passenger zone. The
total moment is found by summing the individual moments calculated at each occupied seat in
the window-aisle-remaining progression.
Forward Curtailment Calculations Zone 1
Pax
1
2
3
4

Row Arm
1
198.0
1
198.0
2
228.0
2
228.0

Total Moment
37,422
74,844
117,936
161,028

Zone Centroid
213.0
213.0
213.0
213.0

Zone Moment
40,257
80,514
120,771
161,028

Delta Moment
-2,835
-5,670
-2,835
0

Zone Moment
51,692
103,383
155,075
206,766

Delta Moment
-2,930
-5,859
-2,930
0

Zone Moment
62,843
125,685
188,528
251,370

Delta Moment
-2,741
-5,481
-2,741
0

Zone Moment
74,088
148,176
222,264
296,352

Delta Moment
-2,835
-5,670
-2,835
0

Zone Moment
82,404
164,808
247,212

Delta Moment
0
0
0

Forward Curtailment CalculationsZone 2


Pax
1
2
3
4

Row Arm
Total Moment
3
258.0
48,762
3
258.0
97,524
4
289.0
152,145
4
289.0
206,766

Zone Centroid
273.5
273.5
273.5
273.5

Forward Curtailment CalculationsZone 3


Pax
1
2
3
4

Row
5
5
6
6

Arm
318.0
318.0
347.0
347.0

Total Moment
60,102
120,204
185,787
251,370

Zone Centroid
332.5
332.5
332.5
332.5

Forward Curtailment CalculationsZone 4


Pax
1
2
3
4

Row
7
7
8
8

Arm
377.0
377.0
407.0
407.0

Total Moment
71,253
142,506
219,429
296,352

Zone Centroid
392.0
392.0
392.0
392.0

Forward Curtailment CalculationsZone 5


Pax
1
2
3

Row
9
9
9

Arm
436.0
436.0
436.0

Total Moment
82,404
164,808
247,212

Zone Centroid
436.0
436.0
436.0

The curtailment for passenger seating variation is determined by adding the largest delta
moments from each of the passenger zones. In our example, the curtailment to the forward CG
limit for passenger seating variation is -22,680 inch-pounds (-5,670 + -5,859 + -5,481 + -5,670
+ 0). Similarly, the curtailment to the aft limit of the CG envelope using the window-aisleremaining method loading from the most aft seat row moving forward (in each zone) would
result in an adjustment of +22,680 inch-pounds. These curtailments compare favorably to the
curtailments of + 36,666 inch-pounds determined in the sample provided for three passenger
zones in Appendix 3.

Page 3

Page 69

AC 120-27E
Appendix 5

6/10/05

4. Actual Male/Female Counts. Loading systems may use separate male and female assumed
passenger weights for each operation. If the operators weight and balance program is approved
for use of male/female weights, then the operator must count the number of male passengers and
female passengers separately. The male and female weights used may be from the development
of standard passenger weight or they may be determined through an operator-developed survey.
Use of male/female weights may be for entire operations or for a particular route and/or region of
flying.

An example of how male/female ratios can be applied to weight and balance systems follows.
Assuming the operator is using the survey results as described in subparagraph (1) above, the
assumed male and female passenger weights, including average carry-on baggage, are computed
as:
Male passenger weight (summer) = 183.3 + 10.4 0.82 = 192 lb
Male passenger weight (winter) = 192 + 5 = 197 lb
Female passenger weight (summer) = 135.8 + 10.4 0.82 = 144 lb
Female passenger weight (winter) = 144 + 5 = 149 lb
The weight and balance manifest would provide for identification of male/female identification
and the passenger weights would be summed accordingly. For instance, 7 male and 11 female
passengers would result in a total passenger weight of (7 192) + (11 144) = 2,928 pounds.
5. Adolescent (Child) Weights. In most circumstances, an operator may consider any
passenger who is less than 13 years of age and is occupying a seat to weigh less than an adult
passenger. The standard average adolescent child weights can be found in Table 2-1 of
Chapter 2.
6. Standard Weights with Approved No-carry-on Baggage Program.

Summer Passenger Weight = 184 lb


Winter Passenger Weight = 189 lb
Checked Baggage Weight = 30 lb each
Baggage Checked Plane-side = 20 lb each
Inclusion in the no-carry-on baggage program does not preclude use of actual or surveyed
weights for passengers, carry-on/personal items, checked baggage, or baggage checked
plane-side.
7. Automation. Automation may also be used to provide a more accurate weight and balance
program. Examples of automation include use of seat assignments for the determination of
passenger moment and historical seating to determine passenger moment.

Page 4

Page 70

6/10/05

AC 120-27E
Appendix 6
APPENDIX 6. WEIGHT AND BALANCE CHECKLIST

What operators should use this AC? Refer to paragraph 5 on page ii.
Does the operator use individual aircraft Operating Empty Weights (OEW) or Fleet OEWs? Refer to
paragraph 102.
Does the operator have an individual aircraft weighing program or a fleet weighing program? Refer to
paragraph 103.
Each operator must construct a loading envelope with curtailments. Refer to Chapter 1, Sections 2 and 3.
What is the aircraft cabin size? Refer to paragraph 5b and Table 1 on page ii.
a.

If the aircraft is a large cabin aircraft, then refer to paragraph 200d:


Large Cabin Aircraft
1. For standard average weights, refer to Chapter 2, Section 2.
2. For survey-derived average weights, refer to Chapter 2, Section 3.
3. For actual weight programs refer to Chapter 2, Section 5.
4. For segmented weights refer to Chapter 2, Section 4.

b. If the aircraft is a medium cabin aircraft, then refer to paragraph 200e:


Medium Cabin Aircraft Treated as Large
1. See Large Cabin Aircraft items 14 above, and
2. If operator has a no-carry-on bag program, refer to paragraph 205.
Medium Cabin Aircraft Treated as Small
1. See Small Cabin Aircraft items 12 below.
c.

If the aircraft is a small cabin aircraft, then refer to paragraph 200f:


Small Cabin Aircraft
1. If the aircraft meets the performance criteria stated in paragraph 200f(3)(a),
a. Refer to Chapter 2, Section 2 for standard average weights and Appendix 4 for additional
CG envelope curtailment, or
b. Refer to Chapter 2, Section 3 for survey-derived average weights and Appendix 4 for
additional CG envelope curtailment.
c. If operator has a no-carry-on bag program, refer to paragraph 205.

2.

If the aircraft does not meet the performance criteria stated in paragraph 200f(3)(a), or the
operator elects to use actual or segmented weights, then:
a. For actual weight programs refer to Chapter 2, Section 5.
b. For segmented weights refer to Chapter 2, Section 4.
c. If operator is using segmented weights and has a no-carry-on bag program refer to
paragraph 205.

Page 1 (and 2)

Page 71

THIS DATA CURRENT AS OF THE FEDERAL REGISTER DATED FEBRUARY 10, 2003
-----------------------------

25.23 Load distribution limits


(a) Ranges of weights and centers of gravity within which the airplane may
be safely operated must be established. If a weight and center of gravity
combination is allowable only within certain load distribution limits (such
as spanwise) that could be inadvertently exceeded, these limits and the
corresponding weight and center of gravity combinations must be
established.
(b) The load distribution limits may not exceed -(1) The selected limits;
(2) The limits at which the structure is proven; or
(3) The limits at which compliance with each applicable flight requirement
of this subpart is shown.

25.25 Weight limits


(a) Maximum weights. Maximum weights corresponding to the airplane
operating conditions (such as ramp, ground or water taxi, takeoff, en
route, and landing), environmental conditions (such as altitude and
temperature), and loading conditions (such as zero fuel weight, center of
gravity position and weight distribution) must be established so that they
are not more than -(1) The highest weight selected by the applicant for the particular
conditions; or
(2) The highest weight at which compliance with each applicable structural
loading and flight requirement is shown, except that for airplanes equipped
with standby power rocket engines the maximum weight must not be more than
the highest weight established in accordance with appendix E of this part;
or
(3) The highest weight at which compliance is shown with the certification
requirements of Part 36 of this chapter.
(b) Minimum weight. The minimum weight (the lowest weight at which
compliance with each applicable requirement of this part is shown) must be
established so that it is not less than -(1) The lowest weight selected by the applicant;
(2) The design minimum weight (the lowest weight at which compliance with
each structural loading condition of this part is shown); or
(3) The lowest weight at which compliance with each applicable flight
requirement is shown.
[Doc. No. 5066, 29 FR 18291, Dec. 24, 1964, as amended by Amdt. 25-23, 35
FR 5671, Apr. 8, 1970; Amdt. 25-63, 53 FR 16365, May 6, 1988]

Page 72

THIS DATA CURRENT AS OF THE FEDERAL REGISTER DATED FEBRUARY 10, 2003
-----------------------------

25.27 Center of gravity limits


The extreme forward and the extreme aft center of gravity limitations must
be established for each practicably separable operating condition. No such
limit may lie beyond -(a) The extremes selected by the applicant;
(b) The extremes within which the structure is proven; or
(c) The extremes within which compliance with each applicable flight
requirement is shown.

25.29 Empty weight and corresponding center of gravity


(a) The empty weight and corresponding center of gravity must be determined
by weighing the airplane with -(1) Fixed ballast;
(2) Unusable fuel determined under 25.959; and
(3) Full operating fluids, including -(i) Oil;
(ii) Hydraulic fluid; and
(iii) Other fluids required for normal operation of airplane systems,
except potable water, lavatory precharge water, and fluids intended for
injection in the engine.
(b) The condition of the airplane at the time of determining empty weight
must be one that is well defined and can be easily repeated.
[Doc. No. 5066, 29 FR 18291, Dec. 24, 1964, as amended by Amdt. 25-42, 43
FR 2320, Jan. 16, 1978; Amdt. 25-72, 55 FR 29774, July 20, 1990]

25.31 Removable ballast


Removable ballast may be used on showing compliance with the flight
requirements of this subpart.

Page 73

THIS DATA CURRENT AS OF THE FEDERAL REGISTER DATED FEBRUARY 10, 2003
-----------------------------

25.471 General
(a) Loads and equilibrium. For limit ground loads -(1) Limit ground loads obtained under this subpart are considered to be
external forces applied to the airplane structure; and
(2) In each specified ground load condition, the external loads must be
placed in equilibrium with the linear and angular inertia loads in a
rational or conservative manner.
(b) Critical centers of gravity. The critical centers of gravity within the
range for which certification is requested must be selected so that the
maximum design loads are obtained in each landing gear element. Fore and
aft, vertical, and lateral airplane centers of gravity must be considered.
Lateral displacements of the c.g. from the airplane centerline which would
result in main gear loads not greater than 103 percent of the critical
design load for symmetrical loading conditions may be selected without
considering the effects of these lateral c.g. displacements on the loading
of the main gear elements, or on the airplane structure provided -(1) The lateral displacement of the c.g. results from random passenger or
cargo disposition within the fuselage or from random unsymmetrical fuel
loading or fuel usage; and
(2) Appropriate loading instructions for random disposable loads are
included under the provisions of 25.1583(c)(1) to ensure that the lateral
displacement of the center of gravity is maintained within these limits.
(c) Landing gear dimension data. Figure 1 of appendix A contains the basic
landing gear dimension data.
[Amdt. 25-23, 35 FR 5673, Apr. 8, 1970]

25.1519 Weight, center of gravity, and weight distribution


The airplane weight, center of gravity, and weight distribution limitations
determined under 25.23 through 25.27 must be established as operating
limitations.

Page 74

THIS DATA CURRENT AS OF THE FEDERAL REGISTER DATED FEBRUARY 10, 2003
-----------------------------

25.1583 Operating limitations


(a) Airspeed limitations. The following airspeed limitations and any other
airspeed limitations necessary for safe operation must be furnished:
(1) The maximum operating limit speed VMO/MMO and a statement that this
speed limit may not be deliberately exceeded in any regime of flight
(climb, cruise, or descent) unless a higher speed is authorized for flight
test or pilot training.
(2) If an airspeed limitation is based upon compressibility effects, a
statement to this effect and information as to any symptoms, the probable
behavior of the airplane, and the recommended recovery procedures.
(3) The maneuvering speed VA and a statement that full application of
rudder and aileron controls, as well as maneuvers that involve angles of
attack near the stall, should be confined to speeds below this value.
(4) The flap extended speed VFE and the pertinent flap positions and engine
powers.
(5) The landing gear operating speed or speeds, and a statement explaining
the speeds as defined in 25.1515(a).
(6) The landing gear extended speed VLE, if greater than VLO, and a
statement that this is the maximum speed at which the airplane can be
safely flown with the landing gear extended.
(b) Powerplant limitations. The following information must be furnished:
(1) Limitations required by 25.1521 and 25.1522.
(2) Explanation of the limitations, when appropriate.
(3) Information necessary for marking the instruments required by 25.1549
through 25.1553.
(c) Weight and loading distribution. The weight and center of gravity
limitations established under 25.1519 must be furnished in the Airplane
Flight Manual. All of the following information, including the weight
distribution limitations established under 25.1519, must be presented
either in the Airplane Flight Manual or in a separate weight and balance
control and loading document that is incorporated by reference in the
Airplane Flight Manual:
(1) The condition of the airplane and the items included in the empty
weight as defined in accordance with 25.29.
(2) Loading instructions necessary to ensure loading of the airplane within
the weight and center of gravity limits, and to maintain the loading within
these limits in flight.
(3) If certification for more than one center of gravity range is
requested, the appropriate limitations, with regard to weight and loading
procedures, for each separate center of gravity range.

Page 75

THIS DATA CURRENT AS OF THE FEDERAL REGISTER DATED FEBRUARY 10, 2003
-----------------------------

25.1583 Operating limitations (continued)


(d) Flight crew. The number and functions of the minimum flight crew
determined under 25.1523 must be furnished.
(e) Kinds of operation. The kinds of operation approved under 25.1525 must
be furnished.
(f) Ambient air temperatures and operating altitudes. The extremes of the
ambient air temperatures and operating altitudes established under 25.1527
must be furnished.
(g) [Reserved]
(h) Additional operating limitations. The operating limitations established
under 25.1533 must be furnished.
(i) Maneuvering flight load factors. The positive maneuvering limit load
factors for which the structure is proven, described in terms of
accelerations, must be furnished.
[Doc. No. 5066, 29 FR 1891, Dec. 24, 1964, as amended by Amdt. 25-38, 41 FR
55468, Dec, 20, 1976; Amdt. 25-42, 43 FR 2323, Jan. 16, 1978; Amdt. 25-46,
43 FR 50598, Oct. 30, 1978; Amdt. 25-72, 55 FR 29787, July 20, 1990; Amdt.
25-105, 66 FR 34024, June 26, 2001]

Page 76

FAR Part 121 Sec. 121.693 effective as of 02/26/1996Federal Aviation Regulation


Sec. 121.693
Part 121 OPERATING REQUIREMENTS: DOMESTIC, FLAG, AND SUPPLEMENTAL
OPERATIONS
Subpart V--Records and Reports

Sec. 121.693
Load manifest: All certificate holders.
The load manifest must contain the following information concerning the loading
of the airplane at takeoff time:
(a) The weight of the aircraft, fuel and oil, cargo and baggage, passengers and
crewmembers.
(b) The maximum allowable weight for that flight that must not exceed the least
of the following weights:
(1) Maximum allowable takeoff weight for the runway intended to be used
(including corrections for altitude and gradient, and wind and temperature
conditions existing at the takeoff time).
(2) Maximum takeoff weight considering anticipated fuel and oil consumption that
allows compliance with applicable en route performance limitations.
(3) Maximum takeoff weight considering anticipated fuel and oil consumption that
allows compliance with the maximum authorized design landing weight limitations
on arrival at the destination airport.
(4) Maximum takeoff weight considering anticipated fuel and oil consumption that
allows compliance with landing distance limitations on arrival at the
destination and alternate airports.
(c) The total weight computed under approved procedures.
(d) Evidence that the aircraft is loaded according to an approved schedule that
insures that the center of gravity is within approved limits.
(e) Names of passengers, unless such information is maintained by other means by
the certificate holder.

Page 77

Annex to ED Decision 2007/020/R

CS-25 BOOK 1
SUBPART B FLIGHT

GENERAL
CS 25.20

maintained within acceptable tolerances of the


critical values during flight testing.

Scope

(a) The requirements of this Subpart B apply to


aeroplanes powered with turbine engines
(1)

Without contingency thrust ratings,

and
(2) For which it is assumed that thrust is
not increased following engine failure during
take-off except as specified in sub-paragraph (c).
(b) In the absence of an appropriate
investigation of operational implications these
requirements do not necessarily cover
(1)

Automatic landings.

(2) Approaches and landings


decision heights of less than 60 m (200 ft).
(3)
surfaces.

(e) If compliance with the flight characteristics


requirements is dependent upon a stability
augmentation system or upon any other automatic or
power-operated system, compliance must be shown
with CS 25.671 and 25.672.
(f) In meeting the requirements of CS
25.105(d), 25.125, 25.233 and 25.237, the wind
velocity must be measured at a height of 10 metres
above the surface, or corrected for the difference
between the height at which the wind velocity is
measured and the 10-metre height.
(g) The requirements of this subpart associated
with icing conditions apply only if the applicant is
seeking certification for flight in icing conditions.

with

(1) Each requirement of this subpart,


except CS 25.121(a), 25.123(c), 25.143(b)(1) and
(b)(2), 25.149, 25.201(c)(2), 25.207(c) and (d),
and 25.251(b) through (e), must be met in icing
conditions. Compliance must be shown using the
ice accretions defined in Appendix C, assuming
normal operation of the aeroplane and its ice
protection system in accordance with the
operating limitations and operating procedures
established by the applicant and provided in the
Aeroplane Flight Manual.

Operations on unprepared runway

(c) If the aeroplane is equipped with an engine


control system that automatically resets the power or
thrust on the operating engine(s) when any engine
fails during take-off, additional requirements
pertaining to aeroplane performance and limitations
and the functioning and reliability of the system,
contained in Appendix I, must be complied with.
CS 25.21

Proof of compliance

(a) Each requirement of this Subpart must be


met at each appropriate combination of weight and
centre of gravity within the range of loading
conditions for which certification is requested. This
must be shown
(1) By tests upon an aeroplane of the type
for which certification is requested, or by
calculations based on, and equal in accuracy to,
the results of testing; and
(2) By systematic investigation of each
probable combination of weight and centre of
gravity, if compliance cannot be reasonably
inferred from combinations investigated.
(b)

(2) No changes in the load distribution


limits of CS 25.23, the weight limits of CS 25.25
(except
where
limited
by
performance
requirements of this subpart), and the centre of
gravity limits of CS 25.27, from those for nonicing conditions, are allowed for flight in icing
conditions or with ice accretion.

Reserved

(c) The controllability, stability, trim, and


stalling characteristics of the aeroplane must be
shown for each altitude up to the maximum expected
in operation.

[Amdt. No.:25/3]
CS 25.23

Load distribution limits

(a) Ranges of weights and centres of gravity


within which the aeroplane may be safely operated
must be established. If a weight and centre of gravity
combination is allowable only within certain load
distribution limits (such as spanwise) that could be
inadvertently exceeded, these limits and the
corresponding weight and centre of gravity
combinations must be established.
(b)

The load distribution limits may not exceed

(1)

The selected limits;

(2) The limits at which the structure is


proven; or

(d) Parameters critical for the test being


conducted, such as weight, loading (centre of gravity
and inertia), airspeed, power, and wind, must be

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(3) The limits at which compliance with


each applicable flight requirement of this Subpart
is shown.
CS 25.25

Weight Limits

CS 25.29

(a) The empty weight and corresponding centre


of gravity must be determined by weighing the
aeroplane with
(1)

(a) Maximum weights.


Maximum weights
corresponding to the aeroplane operating conditions
(such as ramp, ground taxi, take-off, en-route and
landing) environmental conditions (such as altitude
and temperature), and loading conditions (such as
zero fuel weight, centre of gravity position and
weight distribution) must be established so that they
are not more than

(3)

(1) The lowest weight selected by the


applicant;
(2) The design minimum weight (the
lowest weight at which compliance with each
structural loading condition of this CS25 is
shown); or
(3) The lowest weight at
compliance
with
each
applicable
requirement is shown.
CS 25.27

The extreme forward and the extreme aft centre of


gravity limitations must be established for each
practicably separable operating condition. No such
limit may lie beyond
(a)

The extremes selected by the applicant;

(b) The extremes within which the structure is


proven; or

(i)

Oil;

(ii)

Hydraulic fluid; and


normal
except
water,
in the

(b) The condition of the aeroplane at the time of


determining empty weight must be one that is well
defined and can be easily repeated.
CS 25.31

Removable ballast

Removable ballast may be used in showing


compliance with the flight requirements of this
Subpart.
CS 25.33

Propeller speed and pitch


limits

(a) The propeller speed and pitch must be


limited to values that will ensure
(1) Safe operation under normal operating
conditions; and

which
flight

Centre of gravity limits

Full operating fluids, including

(iii) Other fluids required for


operation of aeroplane systems,
potable water, lavatory pre-charge
and fluids intended for injection
engine.

(2) The highest weight at which


compliance with each applicable structural
loading and flight requirement is shown.

(b) Minimum weight. The minimum weight (the


lowest weight at which compliance with each
applicable requirement of this CS25 is shown) must
be established so that it is not less than

Fixed ballast;

(2) Unusable fuel determined under CS


25.959; and

(1) The highest weight selected by the


applicant for the particular conditions; or

(3) The highest weight at which


compliance is shown with the noise certification
requirements .

Empty weight and corresponding centre of gravity

(2) Compliance with the performance


requirements in CS 25.101 to 25.125.
(b) There must be a propeller speed limiting
means at the governor. It must limit the maximum
possible governed engine speed to a value not
exceeding the maximum allowable rpm.
(c) The means used to limit the low pitch
position of the propeller blades must be set so that
the engine does not exceed 103% of the maximum
allowable engine rpm or 99% of an approved
maximum overspeed, whichever is greater, with

(c) The extremes within which compliance with


each applicable flight requirement is shown.

(1) The propeller blades at the low pitch


limit and governor inoperative;
(2) The aeroplane stationary under
standard atmospheric conditions with no wind;
and

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maximum weight for landing conditions at a


reduced descent velocity).

GROUND LOADS

CS 25.471

General

(a) Loads and equilibrium.


loads

For limit ground

(1) Limit ground loads obtained under


this Subpart are considered to be external forces
applied to the aeroplane structure; and
(2) In each specified ground load
condition, the external loads must be placed in
equilibrium with the linear and angular inertia
loads in a rational or conservative manner.
(b) Critical centres of gravity. The critical
centres of gravity within the range for which
certification is requested must be selected so that the
maximum design loads are obtained in each landing
gear element. Fore and aft, vertical, and lateral
aeroplane centres of gravity must be considered.
Lateral displacements of the centre of gravity from
the aeroplane centreline which would result in main
gear loads not greater than 103% of the critical
design load for symmetrical loading conditions may
be selected without considering the effects of these
lateral centre of gravity displacements on the loading
of the main gear elements, or on the aeroplane
structure provided
(1) The lateral displacement of the centre
of gravity results from random passenger or cargo
disposition within the fuselage or from random
unsymmetrical fuel loading or fuel usage; and
(2) Appropriate loading instructions for
random disposable loads are included under the
provisions of CS 25.1583 (c) (1) to ensure that
the lateral displacement of the centre of gravity is
maintained within these limits.
(c) Landing gear dimension data. Figure 1 of
Appendix A contains the basic landing gear
dimension data.
CS 25.473

(4) The prescribed descent velocities may


be modified if it is shown that the aeroplane has
design features that make it impossible to develop
these velocities.

Landing load conditions


and assumptions

(b) Aeroplane lift, not exceeding aeroplane


weight, may be assumed, unless the presence of
systems or procedures significantly affects the lift.
(c) The method of analysis of aeroplane and
landing gear loads must take into account at least the
following elements:
Landing gear dynamic characteristics.

(2)

Spin-up and spring back.

(3)

Rigid body response.

(4) Structural dynamic response of the


airframe, if significant.
(d) The landing gear dynamic characteristics
must be validated by tests as defined in CS
25.723(a).
(e) The coefficient of friction between the tyres
and the ground may be established by considering the
effects of skidding velocity and tyre pressure.
However, this coefficient of friction need not be
more than 08.
CS 25.477

Landing gear arrangement

CS 25.479 to 25.485 apply to aeroplanes with


conventional arrangements of main and nose gears,
or main and tail gears, when normal operating
techniques are used.
CS 25.479

Level landing conditions

(a) In the level attitude, the aeroplane is


assumed to contact the ground at forward velocity
components, ranging from VL1 to 125 VL2 parallel to
the ground under the conditions prescribed in CS
25.473 with:
(1) VL1
equal to VS0(TAS) at the
appropriate landing weight and in standard sealevel conditions; and

(a) For the landing conditions specified in


CS 25.479 to 25.485, the aeroplane is assumed to
contact the ground:

(2) VL2, equal to VS0(TAS) at the


appropriate landing weight and altitudes in a
hot day temperature of 22.8C (41F) above
standard.

(1) In the attitudes defined in CS 25.479


and CS 25.481.
(2) With a limit descent velocity of 305
m/sec (10 fps) at the design landing weight (the
maximum weight for landing conditions at
maximum descent velocity); and
(3) With a limit descent velocity of 183
m/sec (6 fps) at the design take-off weight (the

(1)

(3) The effects of increased contact speed


must be investigated if approval of downwind
landings exceeding 19 km/h (10 knots) is requested.
(b) For the level landing attitude for aeroplanes
with tail wheels, the conditions specified in this

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CS25 BOOK 1
SUBPART G OPERATING LIMITATIONS AND INFORMATION

CS 25.1501

General
(See AMC 25.1501)

25.345, for the corresponding wing-flap positions


and engine powers.

(a) Each operating limitation specified in CS


25.1503 to 25.1533 and other limitations and
information necessary for safe operation must be
established.

CS 25.1513

The minimum control speed VMC determined under


CS 25.149 must be established as an operating
limitation.

(b) The operating limitations and other


information necessary for safe operation must be
made available to the crew members as prescribed
in CS 25.1541 to 25.1587.

CS 25.1515

OPERATING LIMITATIONS
Airspeed
general

limitations:

(b) The established landing gear extended


speed VLE may not exceed the speed at which it is
safe to fly with the landing gear secured in the fully
extended position, and that determined under CS
25.729.

When airspeed limitations are a function of weight,


weight distribution, altitude, or Mach number,
limitations corresponding to each critical
combination of these factors must be established.

CS 25.1516
CS 25.1505

Maximum operating limit


speed

CS 25.1517

Rough air speed, VRA

(a) A rough air speed VRA for use as the


recommended turbulence penetration air speed, and
a rough air Mach number MRA, for use as the
recommended turbulence penetration Mach number,
must be established to ensure that likely speed
variation during rough air encounters will not cause
the overspeed warning to operate too frequently.
(b) At altitudes where VMO is not limited by
Mach number, in the absence of a rational
investigation substantiating the use of other values,
VRA must be less than VMO - 35 KTAS.
(c) At altitudes where VMO is limited by Mach
number, MRA may be chosen to provide an optimum
margin between low and high speed buffet
boundaries.

Manoeuvring speed

The manoeuvring speed must be established so that


it does not exceed the design manoeuvring speed
VA determined under CS 25.335 (c).
CS 25.1511

Other speed limitations

Any other limitation associated with speed must be


established.

The maximum operating limit speed (VMO/MMO,


airspeed or Mach number, whichever is critical at a
particular altitude) is a speed that may not be
deliberately exceeded in any regime of flight
(climb, cruise, or descent), unless a higher speed is
authorised for flight test or pilot training
operations. VMO/MMO must be established so that it
is not greater than the design cruising speed VC and
so that it is sufficiently below VD/MD or VDF/MDF,
to make it highly improbable that the latter speeds
will be inadvertently exceeded in operations. The
speed margin between VMO/MMO and VD/MD or
VDF/MDF may not be less than that determined under
CS 25.335(b) or found necessary during the flight
tests conducted under CS 25.253.
CS 25.1507

Landing gear speeds

(a) The established landing gear operating


speed or speeds, VLO, may not exceed the speed at
which it is safe both to extend and to retract the
landing gear, as determined under CS 25.729 or by
the flight characteristics. If the extension speed is
not the same as the retraction speed, the two speeds
must be designated as VLO(EXT) and VLO(RET),
respectively.

(c) Supplementary information must be made


available to the operator of each aeroplane as
prescribed in CS 25.1591.

CS 25.1503

Minimum control speed

[Amdt. No.:25/1]

Flap extended speed

CS 25.1519

The established flap extended speed VFE must be


established so that it does not exceed the design
flap speed VF chosen under CS 25.335 (e) and

Weight, centre of gravity


and weight distribution

The aeroplane weight, centre of gravity, and weight


distribution limitations determined under CS 25.23

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to CS 25.27 must be established as operating


limitations. (See AMC 25.1519.)
CS 25.1521

The criteria used in making the determinations


required by this paragraph are set forth in Appendix
D.

Powerplant limitations
(See AMC 25.1521)

CS 25.1525

(a) General.
The powerplant limitations
prescribed in this paragraph must be established so
that they do not exceed the corresponding limits for
which the engines or propellers are type certificated
and do not exceed the values on which compliance
with any other requirement of this Code is based.
(b)

The kinds of operation to which the aeroplane is


limited are established by the category in which it is
eligible for certification and by the installed
equipment.
CS 25.1527

Reserved.

(c) Turbine engine installations. Operating


limitations relating to the following must be
established for turbine engine installations:

CS 25.1529

(i)
Maximum continuous power
or thrust (relating to augmented or
unaugmented operation as applicable).

CS 25.1531

Fuel designation or specification.

CS 25.1533

(2) The maximum landing weights must


be established as the weights at which
compliance is shown with the applicable
provisions of this CS25 (including the landing
and approach climb provisions of CS 25.119 and
25.121 (d) for altitudes and ambient
temperatures).

The minimum flight crew must be established (see


AMC 25.1523) so that it is sufficient for safe
operation, considering
individual

operating

(1) The maximum take-off weights must


be established as the weights at which
compliance is shown with the applicable
provisions of this CS25 (including the take-off
climb provisions of CS 25.121 (a) to (c), for
altitudes and ambient temperatures).

Minimum flight crew

on

Additional
limitations

(a) Additional operating limitations must be


established as follows:

(d) Ambient temperature.


An ambient
temperature limitation (including limitations for
winterisation installations, if applicable) must be
established as the maximum ambient atmospheric
temperature established in accordance with CS
25.1043(b).

workload

Manoeuvring flight load


factors

Load factor limitations, not exceeding the positive


limit load factors determined from the manoeuvring
diagram in CS 25.333 (b), must be established.

(3) Any other parameter for which a


limitation has been established as part of the
engine type certificate except that a limitation
need not be established for a parameter that
cannot be exceeded during normal operation due
to the design of the installation or to another
established limitation.

(a) The
members;

Instructions
for
Continued Airworthiness

Instructions for Continued Airworthiness in


accordance with Appendix H must be prepared .

(ii) Take-off power or thrust


(relating to augmented or unaugmented
operation as applicable).

CS 25.1523

Ambient air temperature


and operating altitude

The extremes of the ambient air temperature and


operating altitude for which operation is allowed, as
limited by flight, structural, powerplant, functional,
or equipment characteristics, must be established.

(1) Horsepower, torque or thrust, rpm,


gas temperature, and time for

(2)

Kinds of operation

crew

(b) The accessibility and ease of operation of


necessary controls by the appropriate crew member;
and

(3) The minimum take-off distances


must be established as the distances at which
compliance is shown with the applicable
provisions of this CS25 (including the
provisions of CS 25.109 and 25.113, for weights,
altitudes, temperatures, wind components,
runway surface conditions (dry and wet) and

(c) The kind of operation authorised under CS


25.1525.

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(2) Other information that is necessary


for safe operation because of design, operating,
or handling characteristics.

(1)

(2) Explanation of the limitations, when


appropriate.

(3) Any limitation, procedure, or other


information established as a condition of
compliance with the applicable noise standards.

(3) Information necessary for marking


the instruments required by CS 25.1549 to
25.1553.

(b) Approved information. Each part of the


manual listed in CS 25.1583 to 25.1587 that is
appropriate to the aeroplane, must be furnished,
verified, and approved, and must be segregated,
identified, and clearly distinguished from each
unapproved part of that manual.
(c)

(c) Weight and loading distribution. The


weight and centre of gravity limitations established
under CS 25.1519 must be furnished in the
aeroplane Flight Manual. All of the following
information, including the weight distribution
limitations established under CS 25.1519, must be
presented either in the aeroplane Flight Manual or
in a separate weight and balance control and
loading document that is incorporated by reference
in the aeroplane Flight Manual;

Reserved.

(d) Each aeroplane Flight Manual must


include a table of contents if the complexity of the
manual indicates a need for it.
CS 25.1583

(1) The condition of the aeroplane and


the items included in the empty weight as
defined in accordance with CS 25.29.

Operating limitations

(a) Airspeed limitations.


The following
airspeed limitations and any other airspeed
limitations necessary for safe operation must be
furnished.

(2) Loading instructions necessary to


ensure loading of the aeroplane within the
weight and centre of gravity limits, and to
maintain the loading within these limits in flight.

(1) The maximum operating limit speed


VMO/MMO and a statement that this speed limit
may not be deliberately exceeded in any regime
of flight (climb, cruise, or descent) unless a
higher speed is authorised for flight test or pilot
training.

(3) If certification for more than one


centre of gravity range is requested, the
appropriate limitations, with regard to weight
and loading procedures, for each separate centre
of gravity range.
(d) Flight crew. The number and functions of
the minimum flight crew determined under CS
25.1523 must be furnished.

(2) If an airspeed limitation is based


upon compressibility effects, a statement to this
effect and information as to any symptoms, the
probable behaviour of the aeroplane, and the
recommended recovery procedures.

(e) Kinds of operation.


The kinds of
operation approved under CS 25.1525 must be
furnished.

(3) The manoeuvring speed VA and a


statement that full application of rudder and
aileron controls, as well as manoeuvres that
involve angles of attack near the stall, should be
confined to speeds below this value.

(f) Ambient air temperatures and operating


altitudes.
The extremes of the ambient air
temperatures and operating altitudes established
under CS 25.1527 must be furnished.

(4) The flap extended speeds VFE and


the pertinent wing-flap positions and engine
powers.

(g)

Reserved.

(h) Additional operating limitations.


The
operating limitations established under CS 25.1533
must be furnished.

(5) The landing gear operating speed or


speeds, and a statement explaining the speeds as
defined in CS 25.1515 (a).

(i)
Manoeuvring flight load factors. The
positive manoeuvring limit load factors for which
the structure is proven, described in terms of
accelerations, must be furnished.

(6) The landing gear extended speed


VLE, if greater than VLO, and a statement that this
is the maximum speed at which the aeroplane
can be safely flown with the landing gear
extended.
(b) Powerplant limitations.
information must be furnished:

Limitations required by CS 25.1521.

(j)

reserved

(k) A limitation on the maximum depth of


runway contaminants for take-off operation must be
furnished. (See AMC 25.1583 (k).)

The following

[Amdt No.:25/1]
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SUBPART J
MASS AND BALANCE
OPS 1.605
General
(See Appendix 1 to OPS 1.605)
(a) An operator shall ensure that during any phase of operation, the loading,
mass and centre of gravity of the aeroplane complies with the limitations
specified in the approved aeroplane flight manual, or the operations manual if
more restrictive.
(b) An operator must establish the mass and the centre of gravity of any
aeroplane by actual weighing prior to initial entry into service and thereafter
at intervals of four years if individual aeroplane masses are used and nine
years if fleet masses are used. The accumulated effects of modifications and
repairs on the mass and balance must be accounted for and properly documented. Furthermore, aeroplanes must be reweighed if the effect of modifications on the mass and balance is not accurately known.
(c) An operator must determine the mass of all operating items and crew
members included in the aeroplane dry operating mass by weighing or by
using standard masses. The influence of their position on the aeroplane centre
of gravity must be determined.
(d) An operator must establish the mass of the traffic load, including any ballast,
by actual weighing or determine the mass of the traffic load in accordance
with standard passenger and baggage masses as specified in OPS 1.620.
(e) An operator must determine the mass of the fuel load by using the actual
density or, if not known, the density calculated in accordance with a method
specified in the operations manual.
OPS 1.607
Terminology
(a) Dry operating mass. The total mass of the aeroplane ready for a specific type
of operation excluding all usable fuel and traffic load. This mass includes
items such as:
(1) crew and crew baggage;
(2) catering and removable passenger service equipment; and
(3) potable water and lavatory chemicals.
(b) Maximum zero fuel mass. The maximum permissible mass of an aeroplane
with no usable fuel. The mass of the fuel contained in particular tanks must
be included in the zero fuel mass when it is explicitly mentioned in the
aeroplane flight manual limitations.
(c) Maximum structural landing mass. The maximum permissible total aeroplane
mass upon landing under normal circumstances.
(d) Maximum structural take-off mass. The maximum permissible total aeroplane
mass at the start of the take-off run.
(e) Passenger classification.
(1) Adults, male and female, are defined as persons of an age of 12 years
and above.
(2) Children are defined as persons who are of an age of two years and
above but who are less than 12 years of age.
(3) Infants are defined as persons who are less than two years of age.
(f) Traffic load. The total mass of passengers, baggage and cargo, including any
non-revenue load.
OPS 1.610
Loading, mass and balance
An operator shall specify, in the operations manual, the principles and methods
involved in the loading and in the mass and balance system that meet the
requirements of OPS 1.605. This system must cover all types of intended
operations.

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OPS 1.615
Mass values for crew
(a) An operator shall use the following mass values to determine the dry
operating mass:
(1) actual masses including any crew baggage; or
(2) standard masses, including hand baggage, of 85 kg for flight crew
members and 75 kg for cabin crew members; or
(3) other standard masses acceptable to the Authority.
(b) An operator must correct the dry operating mass to account for any additional baggage. The position of this additional baggage must be accounted
for when establishing the centre of gravity of the aeroplane.
OPS 1.620
Mass values for passengers and baggage
(a) An operator shall compute the mass of passengers and checked baggage using
either the actual weighed mass of each person and the actual weighed mass of
baggage or the standard mass values specified in Tables 1 to 3 except where
the number of passenger seats available is less than 10. In such cases
passenger mass may be established by use of a verbal statement by, or on
behalf of, each passenger and adding to it a predetermined constant to account
for hand baggage and clothing. (The procedure specifying when to select
actual or standard masses and the procedure to be followed when using
verbal statements must be included in the operations manual).
(b) If determining the actual mass by weighing, an operator must ensure that
passengers' personal belongings and hand baggage are included. Such
weighing must be conducted immediately prior to boarding and at an
adjacent location.
(c) If determining the mass of passengers using standard mass values, the standard
mass values in Tables 1 and 2 below must be used. The standard masses include
hand baggage and the mass of any infant below two years of age carried by an
adult on one passenger seat. Infants occupying separate passenger seats must be
considered as children for the purpose of this subparagraph.
(d) Mass values for passengers 20 seats or more
(1) Where the total number of passenger seats available on an aeroplane is
20 or more, the standard masses of male and female in Table 1 are
applicable. As an alternative, in cases where the total number of
passenger seats available is 30 or more, the All adult mass values in
Table 1 are applicable.
(2) For the purpose of Table 1, holiday charter means a charter flight solely
intended as an element of a holiday travel package. The holiday charter
mass values apply provided that not more than 5 % of passenger seats
installed in the aeroplane are used for the non-revenue carriage of certain
categories of passengers.
Table 1
20 and more
Passenger seats:
Male

Female

30 and more
All adult

All flights except holiday


charters

88 kg

70 kg

84 kg

Holiday charters

83 kg

69 kg

76 kg

Children

35 kg

35 kg

35 kg

(e) Mass values for passengers 19 seats or less.


(1) Where the total number of passenger seats available on an aeroplane is
19 or less, the standard masses in Table 2 are applicable.
(2) On flights where no hand baggage is carried in the cabin or where hand
baggage is accounted for separately, 6 kg may be deducted from the above
male and female masses. Articles such as an overcoat, an umbrella, a small
handbag or purse, reading material or a small camera are not considered as
hand baggage for the purpose of this subparagraph.

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M5
Table 2
1 5

Passenger seats

6 9

10 19

Male

104 kg

96 kg

92 kg

Female

86 kg

78 kg

74 kg

Children

35 kg

35 kg

35 kg

(f) Mass values for baggage


(1) Where the total number of passenger seats available on the aeroplane is 20 or
more the standard mass values given in Table 3 are applicable for each piece
of checked baggage. For aeroplanes with 19 passenger seats or less, the actual
mass of checked baggage, determined by weighing, must be used.
(2) For the purpose of Table 3:
(i) domestic flight means a flight with origin and destination within the
borders of one State;
(ii) flights within the European region means flights, other than
domestic flights, whose origin and destination are within the area
specified in Appendix 1 to OPS 1.620 (f); and
(iii) intercontinental flight, other than flights within the European region,
means a flight with origin and destination in different continents.
Table 3
20 or more seats
Type of flight

Baggage standard mass

Domestic

11 kg

Within the European region

13 kg

Intercontinental

15 kg

All other

13 kg

(g) If an operator wishes to use standard mass values other than those contained
in Tables 1 to 3, he must advise the Authority of his reasons and gain its
approval in advance. He must also submit for approval a detailed weighing
survey plan and apply the statistical analysis method given in Appendix 1 to
OPS 1.620(g). After verification and approval by the Authority of the results
of the weighing survey, the revised standard mass values are only applicable
to that operator. The revised standard mass values can only be used in
circumstances consistent with those under which the survey was
conducted. Where revised standard masses exceed those in Tables 1 to 3,
then such higher values must be used.
(h) On any flight identified as carrying a significant number of passengers whose
masses, including hand baggage, are expected to exceed the standard
passenger mass, an operator must determine the actual mass of such
passengers by weighing or by adding an adequate mass increment.
(i) If standard mass values for checked baggage are used and a significant
number of passengers check in baggage that is expected to exceed the
standard baggage mass, an operator must determine the actual mass of
such baggage by weighing or by adding an adequate mass increment.
(j) An operator shall ensure that a commander is advised when a non-standard
method has been used for determining the mass of the load and that this
method is stated in the mass and balance documentation.
OPS 1.625
Mass and balance documentation
(See Appendix 1 to OPS 1.625)
(a) An operator shall establish mass and balance documentation prior to each
flight specifying the load and its distribution. The mass and balance documentation must enable the commander to determine that the load and its
distribution is such that the mass and balance limits of the aeroplane are
not exceeded. The person preparing the mass and balance documentation
must be named on the document. The person supervising the loading of

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M5
the aeroplane must confirm by signature that the load and its distribution are
in accordance with the mass and balance documentation. This document
must be acceptable to the commander, his/her acceptance being indicated
by countersignature or equivalent. (See also OPS 1.1055(a)(12)).
(b) An operator must specify procedures for last-minute changes to the load.
(c) Subject to the approval of the Authority, an operator may use an alternative
to the procedures required by paragraphs (a) and (b).
Appendix 1 to OPS 1.605
Mass and balance general
(See OPS 1.605)
(a) Determination of the dry operating mass of an aeroplane
(1) Weighing of an aeroplane
(i) New aeroplanes are normally weighed at the factory and are eligible to
be placed into operation without reweighing if the mass and balance
records have been adjusted for alterations or modifications to the
aeroplane. Aeroplanes transferred from one operator with an approved
mass control programme to another operator with an approved
programme need not be weighed prior to use by the receiving operator
unless more than four years have elapsed since the last weighing.
(ii) The individual mass and centre of gravity (CG) position of each
aeroplane shall be re-established periodically. The maximum
interval between two weighings must be defined by the operator
and must meet the requirements of OPS 1.605(b). In addition, the
mass and the CG of each aeroplane shall be re-established either by:
(A) weighing; or
(B) calculation, if the operator is able to provide the necessary justification to prove the validity of the method of calculation chosen,
whenever the cumulative changes to the dry operating mass exceed
0,5 % of the maximum landing mass or the cumulative change in
CG position exceeds 0,5 % of the mean aerodynamic chord.
(2) Fleet mass and CG position
(i) For a fleet or group of aeroplanes of the same model and configuration,
an average dry operating mass and CG position may be used as the
fleet mass and CG position, provided that the dry operating masses and
CG positions of the individual aeroplanes meet the tolerances specified
in subparagraph (ii) below. Furthermore, the criteria specified in
subparagraphs (iii), (iv) and (a)(3) below are applicable.
(ii) Tolerances
(A) If the dry operating mass of any aeroplane weighed, or the
calculated dry operating mass of any aeroplane of a fleet,
varies by more than 0,5 % of the maximum structural
landing mass from the established dry operating fleet mass or
the CG position varies by more than 0,5 % of the mean aerodynamic chord from the fleet CG, that aeroplane shall be
omitted from that fleet. Separate fleets may be established,
each with differing fleet mean masses.
(B) In cases where the aeroplane mass is within the dry operating
fleet mass tolerance but its CG position falls outsides the
permitted fleet tolerance, the aeroplane may still be operated
under the applicable dry operating fleet mass but with an individual CG position.
(C) If an individual aeroplane has, when compared with other aeroplanes of the fleet, a physical, accurately accountable difference
(e.g. galley or seat configuration), that causes exceedance of the
fleet tolerances, this aeroplane may be maintained in the fleet
provided that appropriate corrections are applied to the mass
and/or CG position for that aeroplane.
(D) Aeroplanes for which no mean aerodynamic chord has been
published must be operated with their individual mass and
CG position values or must be subjected to a special study
and approval.

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(iii) Use of fleet values
(A) After the weighing of an aeroplane, or if any change occurs in
the aeroplane equipment or configuration, the operator must
verify that this aeroplane falls within the tolerances specified
in subparagraph (2)(ii).
(B) Aeroplanes which have not been weighed since the last fleet
mass evaluation can still be kept in a fleet operated with fleet
values, provided that the individual values are revised by
computation and stay within the tolerances defined in subparagraph (2)(ii). If these individual values no longer fall within
the permitted tolerances, the operator must either determine new
fleet values fulfilling the conditions of subparagraphs (2)(i) and
(2)(ii), or operate the aeroplanes not falling within the limits
with their individual values.
(C) To add an aeroplane to a fleet operated with fleet values, the
operator must verify by weighing or computation that its actual
values fall within the tolerances specified in subparagraph (2)(ii).
(iv) To comply with subparagraph (2)(i), the fleet values must be
updated at least at the end of each fleet mass evaluation.
(3) Number of aeroplanes to be weighed to obtain fleet values
(i) If n is the number of aeroplanes in the fleet using fleet values, the
operator must at least weigh, in the period between two fleet mass
evaluations, a certain number of aeroplanes defined in the table:
Number of aeroplanes in the fleet

Minimum number of weighings

2 or 3

4 to 9

(n + 3)/2

10 or more

(n + 51)/10

(ii) In choosing the aeroplanes to be weighed, aeroplanes in the fleet


which have not been weighed for the longest time should be
selected.
(iii) The interval between two fleet mass evaluations must not exceed 48
months.
(4) Weighing procedure
(i) The weighing must be accomplished either by the manufacturer or
by an approved maintenance organisation.
(ii) Normal precautions must be taken consistent with good practices
such as:
(A) checking for completeness of the aeroplane and equipment;
(B) determining that fluids are properly accounted for;
(C) ensuring that the aeroplane is clean; and
(D) ensuring that weighing is accomplished in an enclosed building.
(iii) Any equipment used for weighing must be properly calibrated,
zeroed, and used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
Each scale must be calibrated either by the manufacturer, by a civil
department of weights and measures or by an appropriately
authorised organisation within two years or within a time period
defined by the manufacturer of the weighing equipment,
whichever is less. The equipment must enable the mass of the
aeroplane to be established accurately.
(b) Special standard masses for the traffic load. In addition to standard masses
for passengers and checked baggage, an operator can submit for approval to
the Authority standard masses for other load items.
(c) Aeroplane loading
(1) An operator must ensure that the loading of its aeroplanes is performed
under the supervision of qualified personnel.

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(2) An operator must ensure that the loading of the freight is consistent with
the data used for the calculation of the aeroplane mass and balance.
(3) An operator must comply with additional structural limits such as the floor
strength limitations, the maximum load per running metre, the maximum
mass per cargo compartment, and/or the maximum seating limits.
(d) Centre of gravity limits
(1) Operational CG envelope. Unless seat allocation is applied and the
effects of the number of passengers per seat row, of cargo in individual
cargo compartments and of fuel in individual tanks is accounted for
accurately in the balance calculation, operational margins must be
applied to the certificated centre of gravity envelope. In determining
the CG margins, possible deviations from the assumed load distribution
must be considered. If free seating is applied, the operator must introduce
procedures to ensure corrective action by flight or cabin crew if extreme
longitudinal seat selection occurs. The CG margins and associated operational procedures, including assumptions with regard to passenger
seating, must be acceptable to the Authority.
(2) In-flight centre of gravity. Further to subparagraph (d)(1), the operator
must show that the procedures fully account for the extreme variation in
CG travel during flight caused by passenger/crew movement and fuel
consumption/transfer.
Appendix 1 to OPS 1.620(f)
Definition of the area for flights within the European region
For the purposes of OPS 1.620(f), flights within the European region, other than
domestic flights, are flights conducted within the area bounded by rhumb lines
between the following points:
N7200

E04500

N4000

E04500

N3500

E03700

N3000

E03700

N3000

W00600

N2700

W00900

N2700

W03000

N6700

W03000

N7200

W01000

N7200

E04500

as depicted in Figure 1 below:


Figure 1
European region

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Appendix 1 to OPS 1.620(g)
Procedure for establishing revised standard mass values for passengers and
baggage
(a) Passengers
(1) Weight sampling method. The average mass of passengers and their hand
baggage must be determined by weighing, taking random samples. The
selection of random samples must by nature and extent be representative
of the passenger volume, considering the type of operation, the frequency
of flights on various routes, in/outbound flights, applicable season and
seat capacity of the aeroplane.
(2) Sample size. The survey plan must cover the weighing of at least the
greatest of:
(i) a number of passengers calculated from a pilot sample, using normal
statistical procedures and based on a relative confidence range
(accuracy) of 1 % for all adult and 2 % for separate male and
female average masses; and
(ii) for aeroplanes:
(A) with a passenger seating capacity of 40 or more, a total of 2 000
passengers; or
(B) with a passenger seating capacity of less than 40, a total number
of 50 x (the passenger seating capacity).
(3) Passenger masses. Passenger masses must include the mass of the
passengers' belongings which are carried when entering the aeroplane.
When taking random samples of passenger masses, infants shall be
weighted together with the accompanying adult. (See also OPS 1620
(c), (d) and (e).
(4) Weighing location. The location for the weighing of passengers shall be
selected as close as possible to the aeroplane, at a point where a change
in the passenger mass by disposing of or by acquiring more personal
belongings is unlikely to occur before the passengers board the
aeroplane.
(5) Weighing machine. The weighing machine to be used for passenger
weighing shall have a capacity of at least 150 kg. The mass shall be
displayed at minimum graduations of 500 g. The weighing machine must
be accurate to within 0,5 % or 200 g whichever is the greater.
(6) Recording of mass values. For each flight included in the survey the
mass of the passengers, the corresponding passenger category (i.e. male/
female/children) and the flight number must be recorded.
(b) Checked baggage. The statistical procedure for determining revised standard
baggage mass values based on average baggage masses of the minimum
required sample size is basically the same as for passengers and as
specified in subparagraph (a)(1). For baggage, the relative confidence
range (accuracy) amounts to 1 %. A minimum of 2 000 pieces of checked
baggage must be weighed.
(c) Determination of revised standard mass values for passengers and checked
baggage
(1) To ensure that, in preference to the use of actual masses determined by
weighing, the use of revised standard mass values for passengers and
checked baggage does not adversely affect operational safety, a statistical
analysis must be carried out. Such an analysis will generate average mass
values for passengers and baggage as well as other data.
(2) On aeroplanes with 20 or more passenger seats, these averages apply as
revised standard male and female mass values.
(3) On smaller aeroplanes, the following increments must be added to the
average passenger mass to obtain the revised standard mass values:
Number of passenger seats

Required mass increment

1 5 incl.

16 kg

6 9 incl.

8 kg

10 19 incl.

4 kg

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Alternatively, all adult revised standard (average) mass values may be
applied on aeroplanes with 30 or more passenger seats. Revised standard
(average) checked baggage mass values are applicable to aeroplanes with
20 or more passenger seats.
(4) Operators have the option to submit a detailed survey plan to the
Authority for approval and subsequently a deviation from the revised
standard mass value provided this deviating value is determined by use
of the procedure explained in this Appendix. Such deviations must be
reviewed at intervals not exceeding five years.
(5) All adult revised standard mass values must be based on a male/female
ratio of 80/20 in respect of all flights except holiday charters which are
50/50. If an operator wishes to obtain approval for use of a different ratio
on specific routes or flights then data must be submitted to the Authority
showing that the alternative male/female ratio is conservative and covers
at least 84 % of the actual male/female ratios on a sample of at least 100
representative flights.
(6) The average mass values found are rounded to the nearest whole number
in kg. Checked baggage mass values are rounded to the nearest 0,5 kg
figure, as appropriate.
Appendix 1 to OPS 1.625
Mass and balance documentation
(a) Mass and balance documentation
(1) Contents
(i) The mass and balance documentation must contain the following
information:
(A) the aeroplane registration and type;
(B) the flight identification number and date;
(C) the identity of the commander;
(D) the identity of the person who prepared the document;
(E) the dry operating mass and the corresponding CG of the
aeroplane;
(F) the mass of the fuel at take-off and the mass of trip fuel;
(G) the mass of consumables other than fuel;
(H) the components of the load including passengers, baggage,
freight and ballast;
(I) the take-off mass, landing mass and zero fuel mass;
(J) the load distribution;
(K) the applicable aeroplane CG positions; and
(L) the limiting mass and CG values.
(ii) Subject to the approval of the Authority, an operator may omit some
of this data from the mass and balance documentation.
(2) Last-minute change. If any last-minute change occurs after the
completion of the mass and balance documentation, this must be
brought to the attention of the commander and the last-minute change
must be entered on the mass and balance documentation. The maximum
allowed change in the number of passengers or hold load acceptable as a
last-minute change must be specified in the operations manual. If this
number is exceeded, new mass and balance documentation must be
prepared.
(b) Computerised systems. Where mass and balance documentation is generated
by a computerised mass and balance system, the operator must verify the
integrity of the output data. He must establish a system to check that
amendments of his input data are incorporated properly in the system and
that the system is operating correctly on a continuous basis by verifying the
output data at intervals not exceeding six months.

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(c) Onboard mass and balance systems. An operator must obtain the approval of
the Authority if he wishes to use an onboard mass and balance computer
system as a primary source for despatch.
(d) Datalink. When mass and balance documentation is sent to aeroplanes via
datalink, a copy of the final mass and balance documentation as accepted by
the commander must be available on the ground.

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