We are so used to loading everything up into the SUV and driving off without a thought that it can surprise us that we can’t do the same thing in an airplane, but it’s true- airplanes are weight restricted and those restrictions are ignored at your great peril.

And it’s not just the total weight- it’s also how that weight is distributed throughout the airplane, the limits for the center of gravity, or CG. As the Pilot in Command, it is your respp0nsibility to make sure that those weight restrictions are met prior to take-off. It’s easy to forget, when you fly the same airplane every day with the same load- you, your instructor, and your normal fuel load, but it is still imperative to do those calculations every time, because when it comes time to carry the family and luggage, not being comfortable with making those calculations can pose a real danger to you and yours.

Here at CHS Flight School, you will find all the information you need on our web page. If you go to the airplane rentals page, you will find two tabs for each airplane. “Plane Specs” will show you the maximum weight for that particular airplane while the “Weight/Balance” tab will give you the empty weight and moment for the plane, as well as the arms for each station. If you check the photos, you will find the loading graph for the plane.

We will soon have Pilot Aid forms which will include a space for your weight and balance calculations, and they will be mandatory for every flight. Once you have become proficient, it will take a very short time to do one and that’s exactly where we want you- building the habit and developing a high comfort level with this very important task.