Center of Gravity

What you need to know

So let’s talk about aircraft Weight And Balance. What in the hell is that you might ask?

An aircraft's ability to fly efficiently depends in part on its total allowable takeoff and landing weights and its proper balance. Therefore, accuracy in passenger count is essential to the weight and balance system.

In general, The Pilot-in-Command (PIC) aka the Captain is responsible for ensuring that the weight and balance of the aircraft are computed correctly to preclude exceeding any prescribed weight and balance limitations. The Pilot must ensure the aircraft is loaded and serviced properly according to the computed weight and balance load plan.

As part of REQUIRED procedures, the Flight Attendant must ensure compliance with the requirement for proper passenger distribution.

Meaning: If the captain tells me as the FA that he needs some passengers from the front of the cabin to sit in the back of the bus or vice versa, then I will announce in the cabin for volunteers for some passengers to sit in the back of the aircraft in the last few rows. Occasionally, it could be the opposite where we have an excessive amount of bags in the back cargo bin (*a flight before may have canceled the night before and the airline needs to bring excess bags to that destination. So we might ask passengers from the back to come and sit in the front of the cabin. Rare, but it happens.)

Weight and Balance, Source: Wikipedia
"When the weight of the aircraft is at or below the allowable limit(s) for its configuration (parked, ground movement, take-off, landing, etc.) and its center of gravity is within the allowable range, and both will remain so for the duration of the flight, the aircraft is said to be within weight and balance. Different maximum weights may be defined for different situations; for example, large aircraft may have maximum landing weights that are lower than maximum take-off weights (because some weight is expected to be lost as fuel is burned during the flight). The center of gravity may change over the duration of the flight as the aircraft's weight changes due to fuel burn or by passengers moving forward or aft in the cabin."

I’ve had flights in the past with passengers that were resistant and I did not get any volunteers. That’s when we have to get a little nasty with you. That’s when we need to let you know who’s in charge. That’s when we had to remind you that when you purchase your ticket and check in for the flight you agreed to follow the rules of the cabin crew, the FAA which provides the FARS(Federal aviation regulations), and any other rules and policies set forth by the airline. Did you realize that? Let me repeat, when you buy your ticket and sign your receipt you are agreeing to follow the airline's rules in addition to the FAA regulations.  Let me remind you that flying is a privilege, it is not a right. 

After the flight attendant has asked more than once for volunteers to sit in a different zone in the aircraft (which more than likely will be the back), then he/she may have to go talk to the captain and let them know that no one wants to move. Then what happens next, well the captain is going to get on the PA(public address system)and explain some things to you in a little bit more detail about aviation in technical talk letting you know that the reason we need you to move is for safety and safety is our number one priority when  flying at this airline. The Pilot in Command is letting you know of his/her authority and if that authority is not respected then we’re gonna have some people removed from the flight.  Flight will NOT leave the gate until the weight & balance issues are solved PERIOD.  Wether it be passengers moving from the front zone to the back zone or we add weight pads/bags to the cargo.

SAFETY! SAFETY! SAFETY is ALWAYS FIRST! Those passengers who refuse to move will be considered disruptive/not following CREW instructions.  

In conclusion, my fellow passengers even though I am a flight crew member I am your advocate. Do yourself a favor, if you wanna get that flight out on time so you can make your connecting flight or just get your final destination in a timely matter then just comply and get up and move to the back (or front). It would help everyone out, and you’ll have a safe flight and we can get you to where you need to go quickly, ON TIME and safely.  

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