Flying Overweight

Discussion in 'Lessons Learned' started by Unregistered, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Hello, had a question/ concern. I took a couple flight lessons on a cessna 152, because it was a cheaper option, and was told after the second flight that I can no longer fly that plane because the airplane is overweight. I was told I need to fly on the Cessna 172 with them which is much more expensive. I no longer want to stay with that school because they have proved that they are not safe because they only did the W & B after two flights, on which we did maneuvers. Now I need to look for a new school, and spend money getting used to a new plane. I feel that the overweight flights were illegal and negligent, and wondering whether I should ask for money back. So far I only have around 5 hours logged.
     
  2. Mason

    Mason Pattern Altitude

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    Let it go, and move on.

    It is quite possible your flights were legal, if flown with reduced fuel. No way to know for sure at this point. But if you are a big guy and the instructor is as well, the 172 is a good idea.
     
  3. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Negative. We flew with full tanks, and according to the W & B that was done later after the flights by the instructor, it showed that we were overweight if we had more than 13 gallons.
     
  4. txflyer

    txflyer En-Route

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    Yeah, don't start any **** because instructor's are like a cult. They talk to each other and gossip like girls even between flight schools.

    It will follow you around.

    Suck it up and move on.
     
  5. Mason

    Mason Pattern Altitude

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    Well, shoot. That must be the very first time someone has flown a 152 overgross. It's unforgiveable, unsafe, illegal, and dangerous. Call the FAA, NTSB, County Sheriff, and Judge Judy.
     
  6. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    I realize I am sounding like I am ranting. Just wanted to get some opinions , as W & B is an important safety factor. Thank you
     
  7. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Yes, W&B is an important safety factor, and that the instructor departed with you and he knowingly overweight is not a good sign. If you all are so large that you can't take full fuel in a 152, a 172 will be considerably more comfortable, and a 182 even more so and give you better take off and climb performance. That said, the 152 with 13 gallons of fuel will get you through your lessons, even the long cross country if you pick up fuel at the stops.
     
  8. timwinters

    timwinters Ejection Handle Pulled PoA Supporter

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    Do you feel it'd be a fair trade for the flight school to give you the money in exchange for you giving them your logbook? Do you feel that there was no value in those five hours of flight just because you now believe that the plane was over gross?
     
  9. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Agreed.

    Exceeding limitations is something that happens every day, most often with no ill effect.

    Except when it's a link in an accident chain.

    My Sky Arrow has a high empty weight (about 860 lbs), and with the LSA 1,320 max I have to watch gross weight limitations pretty closely. I have a little "cheat sheet" that tells me how much fuel I can carry at different passenger weights (no baggage) and that flight school and/or instructor should have had something similar.

    Anyway, I would take the disregard of limitations seriously - it sets a bad precedent.

    Here's a link to my "cheat sheet":

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/576awt1atgn9q9c/SkyArrowloading.jpg

    I've already run the "balance" part, so even at high passenger weights and low fuel the CG is good to go.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
  10. Jhernandez04

    Jhernandez04 Line Up and Wait

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    I'd say you just logged yourself 5 very cheap hours in a 152 instead of 5 expensive hours in a 172.

    Lesson Learned, move on.
     
  11. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Not that unusual to exceed the manufactures recommended maximum weight in a 150. That's just the way it is.
     
  12. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Not arguing.

    Happens every day.

    But if and when an axle breaks or a gear collapses and the FAA shows up with their digital scales...

    "Wait! I read online that it was not unusual to operate a 150 overweight. That it was just the way it was."

    We'll see how well that works during the enforcement action!
     
  13. asgcpa

    asgcpa En-Route

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    Let it go and move on to another school.
     
  14. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Let it go,find another instructor and another school. Does the over gross have to do with your weight or the instructors or both?
     
  15. ChrisK

    ChrisK En-Route

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    I trained in a 152. I weigh about 190 and my instructor was about 240 or so. When flying with my instructor we always underfueled, but I'm pretty sure we were overweight on our dual cross country.

    The 172 is a lot more comfortable anyway =)
     
  16. Brad Z

    Brad Z Final Approach

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    Is it possible the instructor underestimated your weight? Expecting your money back because a previous flight was over gross is not reasonable. And yeah, it does sound like a rant.
     
  17. ChrisK

    ChrisK En-Route

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    Yeah. Don't expect money back for flights in your log book and instruction received. That's just bad form.
     
  18. tinerj

    tinerj Cleared for Takeoff

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    Several C-150s have been ferried to Europe from the US. The pilots install a special tank that puts the 150 at about 2000 pounds. They get a ferry permit and away they go.

    After all, in a 2 G turn (60 degrees), a C-150 at max gross weighs about 3200 pounds.
     
  19. Unregistered

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    It was a fair trade, I was just wondering if this is a common issue as I am new to this. Learned alot in those hours and dont want to cause issues, just posted to see how this is looked at by other, Thanks
     
  20. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The issue with max gross is not breaking an axle or ripping the wings off. You would have to be impossibly overweight for that, not the 100 lb over you're reporting. The big problem is getting off the ground, or out of ground effect. A potential problem is an excessively forward CG, making stalls and flaring difficult. While the limits are there for a reason, the worst you experienced was a slow climbout. Don't do this on a hot summer day.

    Believe me, sloppy student landings a A LOT harder on the gear than an extra 100 lb.

    I'd suggest a 172 as well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
  21. Unregistered

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    Lol, sorry for ranting, I guess its just a question of instructor integrity.
     
  22. Unregistered

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    I agree, was just wondering if something like this is common. Thanks
     
  23. ChrisK

    ChrisK En-Route

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    Now if the school provides an instructor who doesn't have a medical and provides instruction illegally, go get 'em :)
     
  24. Concorde

    Concorde Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If that is the only issue , don't say anything to them. Just move on, you never know what future will bring ,you may need them again someday.
    Good luck with your training .
     
  25. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I did not mean to imply that overweight would cause the axle to break or the gear to fail, though it certainly would not help the situation.

    Only that in any accident, the FAA would be sure to look at gross weight, and could lead to enforcement action regardless of whether it had anything to do with the accident or not.

    More to follow, re: a tragic personal anecdote where being over gross may have been a contributing factor.
     
  26. bullwinkle

    bullwinkle Pattern Altitude

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    Exceeding gross weight is like dating multiple women...not a problem until you get caught! :)

    I'm with Eddie on this. Lots of folks do it all the time either inadvertently or on purpose. But the consequences of it biting you are very high, either by enforcement action or a performance degradation leading to bad things happening. It's rarely ever really necessary, so just do your due diligence to avoid it.

    To the OP...this is a great learning opportunity...learn how to do the W&B calcs, and at your next school ask for the sheet for the airplane you will be flying, and do them yourself to verify you are good to go...it's great practice!
     
  27. ClimbnSink

    ClimbnSink Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Hope your plans are just being a hobby pilot. 'Integrity' is often a casualty at dreg pilot jobs. Now suck it up and go fly the C-172, or learn to be a fuel stickler. And no you didn't almost die, you were not wronged, and it is nothing worth thinking about any longer.
     
  28. JeffDG

    JeffDG Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Not to diminish the limitations on an airframe, but the "Balance" part of the W&B is the more critical limitation.
     
  29. Unregistered

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    All im trying to say is that it would be nice for them to tell the student that he wont be able to fly the plane, before the student spends money getting used to the plane.
     
  30. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yes, but it's not going to take you 5 extra hours to "get used to" a 172. It may have negative cost, as 172s move around quite a lot less in the wind, and climb to altitude and get to the practice area faster.

    I did that transition for the same reason, in about an hour, at about the same time.

    And your shins will thank you.

    You won't get anywhere with this argument. There WILL be unexpected setbacks, especially when you try to land unassisted. I hope you aren't expecting a 40 hour checkride. That's rare.

    172s aren't all that different. Even the sight picture is similar. The V-speeds are all 5 knots faster, but most students seem to be too fast anyway.

    Most 172s have flight adjustible rudder trim. That's real nice.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
  31. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Doesn't matter, seriously, planes are planes, might as well get used to flying rather than 'used to flying "a plane"' if you're going to be a renter pilot.
     
  32. ClimbnSink

    ClimbnSink Ejection Handle Pulled

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    It is a bonus. Learning different airplanes is a positive, and they aren't that different. Besides when you get your PP you can jump in the 150 when solo and save a few bucks puttering around. Suck it up buttercup, move on go forward and be happy.
     
  33. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest


    LOL , agreed about the dead end argument , didnt expect all this, was looking for a quick opinion. I guess I see how these forums operate. Thanks btw
     
  34. MachFly

    MachFly En-Route

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    This is an interesting thread. So all you guys that clearly have plenty of experience flying 152s overweight want to explain the OP by how much it's okay to be overweight and the expected change to performance numbers?

    I'm expecting in a few weeks there will be another thread on here made by the same guy saying that his 152 is in some bushes at the end of the runway and the FAA is saying something about him being 600lb overweight in his tiny 152.
     
  35. ClimbnSink

    ClimbnSink Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Then we will skewer them for being stupid. We can't lose.
     
  36. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    I'm with Mase. Find somewhere else to learn, and I see no particular grounds to demand your money back. If nothing else, at least you have five hours of training in your logbook, and you did pay fair value for them.

    BTW, if the W&B data show you were 60 lb or so over max gross weight, you are correct that these flights were illegal, and you don't want any further association with the folks who do that. No doubt some will say "it's only 60 lb," "odds are the plane is already that much heavier than the paperwork says," "there's lots of safety margin," etc. That's not how the pros do business, and it's the start of a slippery slope of regulatory misbehavior that has no end short of eventual disaster (legal or otherwise). Good for you for drawing the line as soon as you knew how to draw it, and refusing to step over it knowingly/willingly.

    And there's the further questions of what other rules they are willing to violate in the name of expediency...:eek:
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
  37. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    You don't have to be all that large to be over max gross in a 152 with full fuel. Typically, max total crew weight with full tanks in 152's isn't much over 400 lb. When I ran the aviation program at the university, we had a standing agreement with the flight training provider not to put more than 8 gallons each side in the 152's for normal refueling and top off only when they knew a solo was going up in that plane.
     
  38. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    How much is OK? Depends. 300 pounds under gross could be too much weight on the wrong runway and/or at too high a density altitude.

    Going over gross is not a good thing. It results in that much less margin for error. It's against the rules. I don't recommend it. But, it does happen. And the airplane doesn't automatically fall out of the sky as a result.
     
  39. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    I've never seen a "manufactures recommended maximum weight" for a Cessna 150, only a maximum gross weight limitation, exceeding which is a violation of 14 CFR 91.9(a) other than in accordance with a special flight permit or other waiver (neither of which would be applicable in the OP's case). The fact that "everybody does it" doesn't change either the safety or legal ramifications.
     
  40. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach

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    For >50% of the people ever trained in a C-150 or C-152, it is.