Ever fly with plane overloaded? Experiences?

Discussion in 'Lessons Learned' started by LongRoadBob, Apr 30, 2017.

  1. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies Super Moderator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I'm not doubting that you could do better with a scale, but it could be another tool in the tool box. You don't solely rely on fuel gauge do you? Dipping the tanks is MUCH more accurate, but we still have fuel gauges.
     
  2. labbadabba

    labbadabba Pattern Altitude

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    There's a pretty significant upgrade in terms of useful load in the P's with the AirPlanes STC. At least 100lbs. I don't think the O-360 is a 155lbs heavier than the O-320. Our P model has a 1,000+ lb useful
     
  3. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies Super Moderator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Taildraggers are weighed in level flight attitude. :dunno:
     
  4. gasfiltered

    gasfiltered Pre-takeoff checklist

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    And not just a little bit better. The uncertainty stack-up on trying to turn a Cessna into a scale is huge even with lab-grade gauges, perfectly installed.

    The big picture here is that there is no upside to spending hours of time on analysis and design of a complex, fragile, inaccurate, expensive system to get a milligram answer to a kilogram problem. A solution looking for a question.
    Engineering schools used to send students to the machine shop to try to build things, that perspective is important.
     
  5. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    So are trikes. Why do they do that? Can you spell W&B? Sure, I knew you could.
     
  6. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies Super Moderator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Isn't that exactly what I was explaining?

    The CG moves aft in a climb attitude, but you said that's not true because wheels.

    I think you misunderstood my first post. I wasn't saying overall weight of the aircraft increases because of its attitude, I was saying the weight on the main gear increases (and thus decreases on the nose gear) because of it's angle causing a difference of CG on the ground vs in the air.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2017
  7. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Paying to put something like this in both cost and weight on the aircraft, when all I have to do is watch what goes on board without it, and maybe weigh it with a $5 bathroom scale, is stupid. There, I said it.
     
  8. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies Super Moderator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I was just saying for @Tantalum that it COULD be done. Yeah cost would be high. Weight... would be less than a penny.
     
  9. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    By the time it made it through the STC or certification process, it would weigh 100 lbs, and cost $10,000.
     
  10. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Good question - And one that should probably be asked more. I'm reminded of Rick Durden's article "Buzz Jobs: A Frank Discussion" in which he states that the FAA's "just don't do it" stance hasn't worked at all to reduce the number of crashes due to pilots buzzing things, so he talks about what it's really like. It's refreshing to see that sort of discussion because unless people understand the "why", the "what" just ain't gonna happen.

    The other thing is, flying at gross vs. solo is different in a lot of the same way as flying over gross would be vs. flying at gross. However, we don't know how the aircraft will perform over gross because the charts stop at MGW.

    So... Why is MGW what it is? Depends on the airplane. For some it's a structural limitation, for others it's a required performance limitation (such as the example of limiting flap travel on a 172 to increase MGW). With a few exceptions, we don't really know what caused the gross weight to be set as it is.

    We do know that the limitations are such that the aircraft should be able to take 3.8 Gs at MGW without the important bits falling off. That's about it. We see things like the Alaska rules, the Cessna TCDSs, and even things like Max Conrad's legendary Casablanca-LA flight where he took off at nearly double the legal max gross weight of the Comanche 250 he was flying, and we think it must be OK. And, inevitably, we still end up with a fair number of crashes each year due to being too heavy for the conditions being flown in.

    First things first: Speed. Many of your V-speeds will be different, related by the equation Vactual = Vbook * sqrt(actual weight / max gross weight). This is just as true when you're flying under gross, so it's a handy thing to know! This equation should work pretty well for your stall speeds, approach speeds, and Vy. It'll work to some extent for Vx, though I would expect more variation there. It does NOT work for Vne - That does not go up with increasing weight. Want to nail that short field landing when you're light? Adjust your approach speed using this equation to keep from floating too far.

    Your acceleration will be lower because of the higher weight, yet you'll need to accelerate to a higher speed for takeoff. So, runway performance is a real killer if you're over gross. It's very important to remember, at any weight, that you'll reach 3/4 of your takeoff speed when you've used half the runway you're going to use. So, if you're on a 3000-foot runway and it takes you 1500 feet to get to 3/4 of your takeoff speed, your mains won't leave the ground pretty much until the pavement ends. Don't do that.

    Climb rate is a function of excess horsepower, that is, the horsepower that isn't required just to keep the plane flying at Vy. 1 hp is about 33,000 lb ft/min. If you figure out what your climb rate is at a given weight, you can figure out how many excess horsepower you have at that weight and subtract to figure out the non-excess hp. Now, if you subtract that from your available horsepower at a given density altitude and plug in your actual weight, you can figure out roughly - and I do mean roughly - what your climb rate might be. It's likely to be worse than what's calculated, because induced drag will mean that the non-excess horsepower will be higher so you'll have less excess horsepower available for climb.

    Excess horsepower can make up for a lot of other flying sins. Now, you're going to give it away? Don't do that.

    Now, fuel. Your climb rate is going to be reduced, so it's going to take you longer to climb, and you're going to burn a LOT more fuel getting to cruise altitude. I know the planes I fly that have fuel flow in them burn about twice the fuel during the takeoff roll as they do in cruise. Do you have the instrumentation to know how much fuel you burned? If not, plan on at least double the fuel burn from what the POH says for flying at MGW... And since you already likely loaded minimum fuel on board to get as close to MGW as you could, you probably don't have enough and you're going to run out. Don't do that.

    I think that most pilots are thinking about structural failure when they're thinking about flying over gross. I would bet that in reality, it's a couple orders of magnitude more likely that you'll kill yourself with a performance-related issue than a structural one if you fly over gross. Is 5 pounds going to kill you? Probably not. But where's the line, and will you be able to see it before you cross it?
     
  11. Tantalum

    Tantalum Cleared for Takeoff

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    Okay... so maybe I'm missing something here. There are load sensors available on the market, a Google search reveals them anywhere from a couple dollars up to the thousands, depending on the application. Heck, you can buy a bathroom scale at WalMart for $14

    This really doesn't seem that complicate to me. Put 3 load sensors, one by each tire assemble. These things are small, you could integrate them somewhere in by the axle etc. Sure, maybe not on a derelict 172, but if I were Cirrus, Mooney, or someone else this would be a theoretically simple thing to design in

    Now we know how much force the plane is putting on 3 known points - plot those known points and the forces on a plane and extrapolate CG from there using a small self contained unit, they even sell arduino kits for hobbyists to do this themselves.. for not a lot of money... the only wildcard would be the weight of tire itself, since that is from the sensor down, but that's fine, just add in the 50lbs or whatever it is and some upfront setup level

    I am sure certification would be a nightmare, but, the actual cost of the components and the complexity need not be that high. And its one of those things, where, if it fails or breaks the plane is still perfectly flyable, you just hand calculate it

    What am I missing? People build their own ADSB receivers using Raspberry Pis and airplanes have far more complicated pieces of hardware, most of which actually directly impact the safety and airworthiness of the plane
     
  12. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If you want CG then m2s is correct, attitude has to be included since the assumption of level is violated.
     
  13. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Nit picks:

    If you're at Vy, you're already climbing. That should read "... isn't required for level flight."

    About three people know how to build an ADSB receiver from scratch. Those people shared their code, and the thousands of others are just assembling the pieces someone else created. The original code base doesn't even technically require a RaspberryPi, that's just a cheap and easy to acquire option.

    How does the above apply? I think about maybe one in thirty people in this discussion have ever actually wired up a load sensor to anything and actually written the code to read the sensor, remove data noise (all analog sensors exhibit real world noise problems), and do the math in code to make anything even remotely like the end product being discussed.

    When I see a silly statement like "just load up a LAMP server and put up your own website!" as someone who's actually done that from scratch in my past (and I mean from source code in an embedded system, not binary packages on a desktop OS), I shake my head and know how many hours that takes to get it right, and what I get paid an hour...

    "Websites are easy!"

    .....

    "Load sensors hooked to embedded systems to measure, calculate total weight and balance, and display the information to the machine operator, are easy!"

    See the correlation?

    ALL the parts needed for this project are literally a mouse click away on Digikey. If someone here saying it's "easy" starts today, with two day shipping, they should be able to report back that they're installed and the whole thing is working by next Wednesday if they start on the code now. Because data sheets are never wrong, they don't even need the hardware to get the code done.

    Ground tests and all bugs should be worked out by next Friday, easy.

    To be fair, depending on where they need to install the sensors, they may need to own an experimental, or find a friendly exp owner. We'll give them one more day.

    Next Saturday. Project hardware and software complete.

    Or.......

    The idea isn't as "easy" as it appears to be.

    Or........

    The project isn't worth the time and money... to replace a $5 bathroom scale.

    LOL. I'm not going to be holding my breath on anyone here posting results of a prototype, let alone a finished product.

    I'm going with what's behind door number three. Sometimes tech doesn't buy you enough to make it worth making it.
     
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  14. Tantalum

    Tantalum Cleared for Takeoff

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    @denverpilot thanks and I get the correlation, I've built little tech gadgets in the past and I know it's not just the poof of a magic wand. I work in databases and even simple (to the layman) reporting requests are often very complicated to provide since it entails joining 25 different tables, etc. so I understand that part of it

    But innovation need not necessarily be stifled by the initial heft of a project, I'm sure it can be done, but maybe there isn't any real ROI in it at this point.. having said that, if I had an experimental this would be a fun thing to tinker around with (my idea of fun maybe being a little different than some others)
     
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  15. LongRoadBob

    LongRoadBob Line Up and Wait

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    Thanks very much for this detailed and in depth reply! You tie the different effects of it together nicely. I very much appreciate you taking the time to go so thoroughly into it!
     
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  16. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Bob, if you ever get the chance, come to Oshkosh and talk to Kent in person. He's an encyclopedia. And with appropriate libations, he'll go all night.

    Warning: He has a deep and loud voice that's hard to turn volume control down on, and the neighbors will NOT like you in the morning. Hahaha.
     
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  17. LongRoadBob

    LongRoadBob Line Up and Wait

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    Definitely would try if I get out there. My dad grew up in Fort Atkinson, I spent summers up just outside of Port Wing on Lake Superior, my mom had a place in Door county. We lived outside of Chicago but Wisconsin is definitely in my blood (grandpa lived in Superior).

    So it's not impossible, and would love to hear more!
     
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  18. N517G

    N517G Filing Flight Plan

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    Summer (density altitude) flight with my brother-in-law in a Cessna 150. Took a while to get it off the runway; not an obscene or dangerous amount, but enough for me to ask "How much did you say you weigh?! You sure that's accurate?!"
     
  19. Stewartb

    Stewartb En-Route

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    When I took my PPL checkride I used a rented 150hp C-150. My examiner did the oral and told me to do a W&B. A few minutes into it he told me he weighed 120#. I figure that was accurate for the top half of him but wasn't close to accurate. He looked at me and asked if I wanted to be a pilot today. I wrote down 120# and the W&B worked. Off we went. True story.
     
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  20. LongRoadBob

    LongRoadBob Line Up and Wait

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    I started out flying an Aquila A210, (some documentation points to it being an A200) two seater. My first instructor was a young thin guy. By my fourth flight I had to have new instructor (my first found his day job workload flying for company demanded too much time so he had to stop instructing) who wasn't heavy, but a little heavier. I always do W&B and if I recall we could only fill about 2/3 of th tanks and were on the edge getting better though as we burned fuel. We were Within limits, but on my first takeoff with him he said immediately (it was hot day) that he didn't like the way the plane was handling, and suggested very strongly that we were going to continue on after that with the Piper Warrior...

    I still couldn't evaluate the performance yet, but noticed it when we changed. Also the sight picture seemed easier for me. With the Aquila, when I thought I was on the centerline, at takeoff, we were not. The Piper for ome reason I can judge that, and the sight picture while flying a little better.
     
  21. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You can't fly level at Vy? :idea:
     
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  22. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Hehehe... touche'.
     
  23. DavidWhite

    DavidWhite Final Approach

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    Last I checked Vne is a limitation, gross weight is a limitation, but crosswind component is a recommendation.
     
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  24. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    A demonstration, not a recommendation. The demonstration is required by design standards but no recommendation or limit is required for us spam cans operating part 91.
     
  25. Dr. O

    Dr. O Pattern Altitude

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    Those who have schlepped cargo air-taxi runs might have, possibly, inadvertently, accidentally, operated teeny tiny bit over - maybe in a clapped out old Apache.
    Makes your rectal sphincter suck up some when the end of the runway is coming and it doesn't want to leave ground effect yet.
    Only one time it possibly got an infinitesimal amount beyond aft CG and required full forward yoke at full throttle to nurse it back around and the guy in charge of loading got a piece of the pilot's mind (took two of the ground crew to limit it to that)
     
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  26. DavidWhite

    DavidWhite Final Approach

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    We certainly don't have a crosswind limitation Pt135 (although it depends on the GOM of the operator)

    40+ across was pretty regular for every operator I've worked for in Alaska except for my current employer.
     
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  27. Tantalum

    Tantalum Cleared for Takeoff

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    What if you are overweight but are transporting birds? If you get all the birds to fly at the same time would that then bring you within limits? Assume you are not on a treadmill and the engine hasn't been doused with cold water, and this is not your first solo XC


    This thread reminded me of an old riddle about a truck full of pigeons being overweight for a bridge, so he bangs on the side of the truck to get the birds to fly and then crosses the bridge... does the bridge break?
     
  28. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I've heard that there are specified limits for the 121 world. Haven't heard much about the 135 world.

    I'd believe 40+ for the heavier singles. Not sure I'd try that in a 172. I would try it in the 'kota if the alternatives were poor.
     
  29. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    We have crosswind limitations for dry, wet, fair braking, poor braking action runways, etc. I'm surprised 135 doesn't have any limitations.
     
  30. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    Some 135 companies I have worked for in the past had limitations.

    Go or your fired. Bend the airplane and your fired. Better off trying and dying than not going at all.
     
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  31. DavidWhite

    DavidWhite Final Approach

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    Pt 135 you get just enough rope to hang yourself. Pt135 itself contains no limitations, but some companies have GOM specific limitations. Only one company I've worked for had limitations, I believe it was 40 knots of wind in any direction, which where we flew wasn't very much.

    Basically unless some idiot goes off a runway because of a crosswind at that company, they don't have limitations.
     
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  32. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    40 kts crosswind, true crosswind at 90° would be hard to say isn't a lot, regardless what you're flying.
    We had company imposed limits at my 135 gig, but there was only one set by AFM.
    We have gone through that before...
    At my 121 outfit the company sets limits, and there are also very limited limits set by Airbus.
     
  33. LongRoadBob

    LongRoadBob Line Up and Wait

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    I think maybe it does break. Are the birds exerting equivalent downward force flapping their wings (no wind in there to take advantage of) that would equal their weight (and then some since they are climbing)...

    Now if you trained them to get to the top of the cab and then glide while on the bridge?

    So...did I get it right or display my ignorance?
     
  34. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I can't figure out the riddle without more details.
    Were the pigeons using 30 or 40 degree flaps?
     
  35. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Cleared for Takeoff

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    However, one could interpolate between the gravitational force of the drag induced and the mean interocitor* arc component scale to offset the bidirectional angle of attack in regards to the orbital motion of the pigeon wing, but, some of the pigeons may have had smaller or larger wing sizes thus creating variation in wing loading which would cause extra oscillation overthrust** in the air movement about the wing ellipsis.

    Excepting, if the pigeons were dead. Then no. Banging didn't help.
    If there was no cage, they flew away, and hence he was left with probably about 3 lbs of pigeon crap in the bed of his truck and if his truck wasn't over the weight limit to begin with, he drove across the bridge and possibly washed it out later. Or waited for it to rain a lot.
    Was he in the truck to begin with?
    I don't know!!

    upload_2017-5-29_10-49-6.jpeg

    Sources:
    * Flyingron, (Yesterday at 2:37 AM). VA Governor Flys In Autonomous Aircraft Thread. Retrieved from Pilotsofamerica.com
    **Flyingron, (Yesterday at 2:37 AM). VA Governor Flys In Autonomous Aircraft Thread. Retrieved from Pilotsofamerica.com
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2017
  36. Tantalum

    Tantalum Cleared for Takeoff

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    Definitely a brain twister. I forget what the answer was, but I remember not agreeing with it!! lol

    I feel like the weight of the birds must be held up by something, presumably it is the lift from their wings which pushes down on the air which in turn pushes down on the truck. *Something* must hold them up. Maybe if they glide down, like LongRoadBob said, that could help, but even gliding they're not freefalling nor are they accelerating, just descending. Presumably the weight of the earth doesn't change when a triple 777 takes off, does it?

    So my mind tells me the bridge still breaks. But I have no idea really
     
  37. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Below are a couple sources for contemplation:

    #1 MythBusters Episode 77: Birds in a Truck
    Premier Date: April 18, 2007

    A truck carrying birds will be lighter if the birds fly around than if the birds sit/stand.
    busted

    Adam and Jamie constructed a large box and placed it on top of scale and then filled it with captured pigeons. Then, the MythBusters activated a special contraption that would force the pigeons to fly into the air, but they could not detect any discernible difference in the weight of the box. They then placed a model helicopter inside the box and had it hover above the ground, but this method also failed to produce any results. The MythBusters theorized that the air being displaced by the birds’ wings and the helicopter rotors was pressing down the box, which is why there was no change in the overall weight.

    #2
    It’s an urban myth that had US TV show Mythbusters weighing a truck full of pigeons on a scale and getting them to fly. Now it seems there’s some truth to the idea that a truck driver carrying a cargo of birds can lighten the load by making the birds fly.

    But the effect is very short-lived – and worse, immediately afterwards, the avian cargo might actually be up to twice as heavy as the combined weight of the birds.

    So says David Lentink, a mechanical engineer at Stanford University whose team has designed a system for measuring the aerodynamic forces generated by an untethered bird in flight.
     
  38. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    Would a plane filled with helium balloons be lighter than when the plane is empty..??:frown2::lol::lol:
     
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  39. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I'm not sure.. .but it would be more fun to fly around when you popped them all and then talked to ATC.

    However, this may cause them to issue a celebrity TFR for Alvin and the Chipmunks being in the area.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2017
  40. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Umm, that's obvious.

    Zeppelins would not work if helium gasbags didn't make them lighter.

    Quite different from the bird question.