Operator helicopter loading practices
Date issue released
Safety Issue Description

Although the operator had calibrated scales available for use at two of their check-in locations, they were not routinely used to ascertain actual passenger and/or baggage weights. Instead, the operator's personnel relied on passengers’ volunteered weights (without an additional allowance) and only weighed passengers when the volunteered weights were perceived to be inaccurate.

Issue number
Issue Status
Closed – Adequately addressed
Transport Function
Aviation: Air transport
Issue Owner
Whitsunday Air Services
Mode of Transport
Issue Status Justification

The ATSB is satisfied that the safety action taken by the operator has reduced the risk of this safety issue.

Proactive action
Action number
Whitsunday Air Services
Action date
Action Status
Action description

In January 2019, the operator’s operations manual was updated and required that all items and passengers must be weighed by the company and that these weights will be used on the aircraft load sheet:

2B3.2 Load Control

CAR 235 CAO 20.16.1

The calculation of weights for all passengers and cargo carried in Company aircraft shall be in accordance with this Section. All weights shall be recorded before the aircraft is loaded.

NOTE: All items and passengers must be weighed by the Company and only those weights used on the load sheet.

2B3.3 Passenger Weight

Load calculations for all Company operated aircraft shall be made using actual weights for all passengers and baggage.

The operator advised in February 2021 that the reservation system used by the operator would automatically add an additional five per cent to the body weight provided by the passenger. Also, the operator advised that all passengers are now weighed prior to departure as per its operations manual.