Final Report


On 27 September 2016, at about 0030 Eastern Standard Time, an Avions de Transport Regional ATR42-300 aircraft, registered VH-TOX, was being loaded at Sydney Airport, New South Wales, for a freight charter flight to Brisbane, Queensland.

The freight had arrived from a freight facility where it had been weighed and a load plan completed, with a total freight weight of 2,281 kg.

Prior to loading the freight, a representative from the aircraft operator was unsure of the accuracy of the provided weights and requested ground staff reweigh the freight using calibrated scales at the airport. The measured total weight was 3,215 kg, which was 934 kg more than stated on the load plan.

The flight crew, consisting of a captain and first officer, completed the trim sheet using the actual weights, and the aircraft was within its weight limitations and the allowable centre of gravity envelope. The aircraft operated to Brisbane without incident.

Accurate aircraft weight and balance information is vital for the safety of flight, particularly during take-off. Inaccurate weight of freight items can lead to incorrect flight management selections such as power and trim settings. Discrepancies in these can result in reduced take-off performance and incidents such as tail strikes and runway overruns.


Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 55

Read report