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Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge
Weight and Balance
Determining Loaded Weight and CG

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Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge



Table of Contents

Chapter 1, Introduction To Flying
Chapter 2, Aircraft Structure
Chapter 3, Principles of Flight
Chapter 4, Aerodynamics of Flight
Chapter 5, Flight Controls
Chapter 6, Aircraft Systems
Chapter 7, Flight Instruments
Chapter 8, Flight Manuals and Other Documents
Chapter 9, Weight and Balance
Chapter 10, Aircraft Performance
Chapter 11, Weather Theory
Chapter 12, Aviation Weather Services
Chapter 13, Airport Operation
Chapter 14, Airspace
Chapter 15, Navigation
Chapter 16, Aeromedical Factors
Chapter 17, Aeronautical Decision Making




A simpler solution may be obtained by using a computer
or calculator and a proportional formula. This can be done
because the CG will shift a distance that is proportional to
the distance the weight is shifted.

Weight Addition or Removal
In many instances, the weight and balance of the aircraft will
be changed by the addition or removal of weight. When this
happens, a new CG must be calculated and checked against
the limitations to see if the location is acceptable. This type
of weight and balance problem is commonly encountered
when the aircraft burns fuel in flight, thereby reducing the
weight located at the fuel tanks. Most small aircraft are
designed with the fuel tanks positioned close to the CG;
therefore, the consumption of fuel does not affect the CG to
any great extent.

The addition or removal of cargo presents a CG change
problem that must be calculated before flight The problem
may always be solved by calculations involving total
moments. A typical problem may involve the calculation
of a new CG for an aircraft which, when loaded and ready
for flight, receives some additional cargo or passengers just
before departure time.

In the previous examples, the CG is either added or
subtracted from the old CG. Deciding which to accomplish is
best handled by mentally calculating which way the CG will
shift for the particular weight change. If the CG is shifting
aft, the CG is added to the old CG; if the CG is shifting
forward, the CG is subtracted from the old CG.

Chapter Summary
Operating an aircraft within the weight and balance limits
is critical to flight safety. Pilots must ensure that the CG is
and remains within approved limits for all phases of a flight
Additional information on weight, balance, CG, and aircraft
stability can be found in FAA-H-8083-1, Aircraft Weight
and Balance Handbook. Those pilots flying helicopters or
gyroplanes should consult the Rotorcraft Flying Handbook,
FAA-H-8083-21, for specific information relating to aircraft