Pilot's tip of the week

Takeoff Over Gross Weight

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Subscriber question:

"Is it ever OK to take off when the aircraft is over gross weight?" - anonymous

Bob:

“Absolutely not.

The manufacturer has established a maximum gross weight for that airplane. This weight constitutes a limitation which must not be exceeded. It was established during testing by the manufacturer.

takeoff_over_gross.pngA pilot who exceeds this takeoff weight has no knowledge or assurance that the flight characteristics of the airplane will be acceptable. Additionally, FAR 91.9 specifically prohibits a person from operating an aircraft without complying with the operating limitations specified.

Information regarding the weight and balance for a particular airplane is located in the POH (Pilot’s Operating Handbook). The POH must be onboard the airplane where it can be used as a reference before flight, and to determine whether the proposed loading of the airplane meets the limitations described in the weight and balance section of the POH .

In the case of light airplanes, it is sometimes necessary to operate with less than a full fuel load to meet the weight limitations specified for the airplane.”

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