Weight and Balance (Scales)

Discussion in 'Maintenance Bay' started by Arpaul, Jun 17, 2018.

  1. Arpaul

    Arpaul Filing Flight Plan

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    I’m looking for the FAA requirements for calibrating scales used in weighing general aviation aircraft. I found a section in the Weight and Balance Handbook (chapter 3) that states the scales should be tested but, nothing definite.

    Does anyone know the regulation on this?

    I should of mentioned that the this question is related to General Aviation
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2018
  2. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    As long as they are calibrated to NIST standards or other widely accepted standards, you should be ok.
     
  3. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    They need to be calibrated by the state and federal department of weights and measures to be dead-on balls accurate.
     
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  4. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    There are no calibration requirements set by the FAA.
    the new scales are nothing but load cells that when connected to the control box are calibrated by zeroing the cells prior to loading.
    The FAA doesn't even specify what type of scale is to be used, So how can they set rules on calibration.
     
  5. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    for the FAA,, that is not true.
     
  6. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I say...I say...that was a joke, son.
     
  7. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    Sorry .... I missed the funny face?
     
  8. GeneC

    GeneC Filing Flight Plan

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    “Dead on balls accurate?”. “It’s and industry term.”
     
  9. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    @Arpaul , are you working at a Part 145 repair station, Part 135, or Part 121 airline?
     
  10. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Line Up and Wait

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    From AC120-27E, paragraph 104:

    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 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 manufacturer’s recommended time period, or time periods, as specified in the operator’s approved calibration program.

    NOTE: If manufacturer’s data is not available, the operator is responsible for developing appropriate weighing instructions for its particular aircraft.
     
  11. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    It's a line from My Cousin Vinny - or at least a paraphrase.
     
  12. JAWS

    JAWS Line Up and Wait

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    No specific reg, but AC43.13 has this:

    10-15. PROCEDURES. Accepted procedures
    when weighing an aircraft are: (...)

    (...) e. The scales should have a current calibration
    before weighing begins. Zero and use
    the scales in accordance with the scale manufacturer’s
    instructions. Platform scales and
    suitable support for the aircraft, if necessary,
    are usually placed under the wheels of a landplane,
    the keel of a seaplane float, or the skis
    of a skiplane. Other structural locations capable
    of supporting the aircraft, such as jack
    pads, may be used. Clearly indicate these
    points and the alternate equipment used in the
    weight and balance report.
     
  13. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    HOW MANY TIMES MUST WE STATE AN AC IS NOT A REGULATION?

    And even this AC doesn't give a method of insuring the scales are accurate.
     
  14. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    Do you believe that the FAA thinks that is a requirement?
     
  15. JAWS

    JAWS Line Up and Wait

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    A requirement for who?
     
  16. Arpaul

    Arpaul Filing Flight Plan

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    I'm in General aviation, small singles and twins
     
  17. Arpaul

    Arpaul Filing Flight Plan

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    JAWS, This is for a certified mechanic.
     
  18. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Line Up and Wait

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    I didn't suggest it was regulatory; advisory circulars are advisory by definition, but AC120-27E does provide guidance, and different manufacturers specify calibration procedures for their products.
     
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  19. timwinters

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  20. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    And it is good guidance, but weren't we looking for a regulation like was requested in post #1
     
  21. JAWS

    JAWS Line Up and Wait

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    Ranks up there with torque wrench calibration. Do you want to lessen liability and increase confidence or only do what is minimally required?
     
  22. JoesPiper

    JoesPiper Filing Flight Plan

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    All about liability. Actually, for a certificated aircraft the weight must be recorded by certified equipment acceptable to the administrator (FAA). If you use auto racing scales the recorded weights cannot be authorized ( unless somebody is really stupid) and if they are they would be illegal.
     
  23. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

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    So, if my bathroom scale from Walmart reads zero with nothing on it, then it is properly calibrated for weighing my aircraft?
     
  24. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    https://www.nist.gov/nist-policy-traceability
     
  25. Tom-D

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    Got a reference for that?
    The new scales are self calibrating. hook up all scales to the master box, set each to 0 then load the aircraft and read the numbers.
     
  26. JoesPiper

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    AC43.13 MAINTENANCE
     
  27. JoesPiper

    JoesPiper Filing Flight Plan

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    I think that's what these dumb dumbs are saying. In the old days before the regs got real serious, an A&E ( before A&P) could use balance scales and calibrate to say "its close enough" those days are over for quite some time.
     
  28. weirdjim

    weirdjim En-Route

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    CERTIFICATED, Gol darn it. What do we have to do?

    Jim
     
  29. JAWS

    JAWS Line Up and Wait

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    :confused:
     
  30. Bell206

    Bell206 Cleared for Takeoff

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    FAR 43.13(a):
    "He shall use the tools, equipment, and test apparatus necessary to assure completion of the work in accordance with accepted industry practices."

    The industry practice states the equipment will be calibrated. One industry practice is under SAE. YMMV, but I have an FAA letter in my name over a torque wrench issue. The example given to me was equipment used to perform the 43 Appdx E & F checks. No calibration requirement listed but the accepted standard/practice stated follow OEM recommendation which is 6 mos.
     
  31. JAWS

    JAWS Line Up and Wait

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    Please provide a reference to a system as you describe. The ones I use have a 24 month calibration done. 4 channel load cell top of jack style.
     
  32. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    I use under the wheel type you simply roll up on. they are the same type that the state troopers use to weigh trucks.
    Verify them against a known certified scale.
     
  33. JAWS

    JAWS Line Up and Wait

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    That is what I thought.