I'm planning a passenger charter in the airplane with the irritating weight and balance. It can't be flown single pilot with full fuel, so when a charter involves something like flying to A to get people, dropping some off in B, picking more up in C, and taking them all back to A, you have to plan ahead carefully to make sure each leg will work for the number of people and the seats you have put in the plane.
Every fleet seems to have one of these: an airplane that is the same type as the others but through some quirk of history and equipment is way out of balance. I wonder if this continues to widebodies and there's some United captain today looking at his loadsheet and saying to his FO, "Great. We've got N124SA today." Does Air Canada have one B767 that dispatchers and loadmasters despise, and long to see get a shiny new paint job and be towed by the new girl on the ramp crew or left outside in a hurricane? (It's always the shiniest airplane in the fleet, or the one featured in advertising, which gets destroyed in a freak accident).
I work out the permutations and then that airplane is grounded for some mysterious engine problem unrelated to the weight and balance.
grounded for some mysterious engine problem
That's better than not noticing that the rear seat belts weren't re-anchored during the annual...
Ha ha ha! That passenger will tell that story the rest of his or her life.
Or noticing that the copilot seat belt receptacle (on a DA40 which has a car-like seat belt arrangement) was left under the copilot seat during the annual, as I and a friend of mine discovered when boarding the aircraft to return it to our home field.
I'd already been strapped in for a while and was going through the checklist when the friend started scratching his head "Umm, there seems to be something missing"..
Fortunately the plane was a four-seater, so (after a slight rearrangement of cargo) my friend hopped in the back and off we went.
It reminds me of the first time I took off in a Beech Baron at maximum (not over, I promise) weight. After flying it mostly with just two people and half fuel it was a bit of a shocker!
Thanks for the great stories!
Love the seatbelt stories. I have one rear seat position that has a shoulder belt but nowhere to attach the shoulder belt to the lap belt. A shoulder belt isn't required on the rear, but I keep asking for a new buckle, because more safety is more good.
As part of my interior preflight, or in leaving an airplane for the next crew, I neaten up seatbelts by fastening them around one front corner of the seat. I told copilots they were doing this this to make it look neat for boarding passengers, and to keep the seatbelts from being walked on, but now I will add that they are checking the function and proper attachment of the belts at the same time.
Better than discovering somebody forgot to reattach the seat to the aircraft floor.
This actually happen with a pair of F seats on a QANTAS 747. The Aircraft had just been through a C check done by a major US Airline.
An F passenger sat down, leaned back and over it went! Fortunately it was on the ground. It did however end the use of that particular airline for heavy maintenance (and the passenger received a full refund on the ticket).
All right, speaking of seat belts and Canadian charters, I feel compelled to share these south park clips:
"...because more safety is more good."
Sounds like AC/DC's Rock "N Roll Ain't Noise Pollution - "makes good good sense!"
Why don't they put shoulder harnesses in most back seats anyways? I got a ride in an old car the other day and it only had the old lap belt and it felt very weird not having the shoulder strap too.
lol yes... seat belt stories. I have one of my own here
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