On 25 August 2014, a QantasLink Bombardier DHC-8 aircraft, registered VH-LQK was being prepared for a scheduled passenger flight to Blackall and then Longreach, from Brisbane Airport, Queensland. Ground handlers loaded bags into the aircraft in accordance with the load instruction report: 12 bags with destination Blackall and 47 bags for Longreach in hold 41; 20 bags for Longreach in hold 42; and nil bags or cargo in locker 11.

A ground handling agent transcribed the baggage information onto a call back card, but indicated there were 12 bags in hold 41 instead of 59 bags. The call back card was then provided to the flight crew, who entered the baggage information into the iPad loading application to complete the final load sheet. 

The aircraft arrived in Blackall at 0915 Eastern Standard Time. A ground handler at Blackall completed the offload reconciliation procedure and identified a discrepancy of 47 bags or 676 kg in hold 41. The aircraft remained within centre of gravity limits and no structural limits were exceeded.

Data input errors, such as the incorrect loading figures being used, occur for many different reasons. The consequences of these errors can include a range of aircraft handling and performance issues.

Accurate weight and balance information is essential for the safety of every flight. Following standard procedures and checklists minimise the potential for error.


Aviaiton Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 37