Move along please, too heavy at the back!

  Blackhat 23:19 23 Jun 2009

Passengers asked to move to balance a plane due to jammed hold door.
click here
I can appreciate the need for this on safety grounds but would you board a plane with a known fault? The pilot didn’t give much reassurance!

  Forum Editor 23:45 23 Jun 2009

I've lost count of the number of times I've moved seats in response to a similar request over the years. Hold doors occasionally jam, and when they do the captain is consulted. He or she makes a decision, and passenger safety is at the top of the list of factors to be taken into account. There was no danger to passengers on this flight, and as far as I can see the captain told them so. It was obviously not satisfactory as far as some people were concerned, so they left the flight - end of story.

I would far rather move to help balance an aircraft than sit there knowing that the plane was flying unbalanced. Aircraft are vehicles, and are subject to the laws of physics, just like anything else.

  Kevscar1 06:01 24 Jun 2009

So what would they have done if the plane had been fully booked and no one could have moved

  Noldi 06:12 24 Jun 2009

"So what would they have done if the plane had been fully booked and no one could have moved"

The Pilot would have to trim the Aircraft. Maybe it would have used a bit more fuel. It just means he would have used the flaps on the wings to keep the aircraft level, the same way he moves the nose around on take off or landing not a big deal it’s just easier to move a few people around if you have that possibility.


  laurie53 08:13 24 Jun 2009

I can once remember loading a (military) aeroplane with some heavy stuff, and rather than manoeuvre it very far forward (it was not rigged for passengers) we left them down the back.

The captain was`not amused as it staggered`into the air with the stick fully forward and the trim tabs hard against the stops.

We had to spend the trip (engineers sometimes flew with their aircrews in those days) all jammed together in the nose compartment.

  interzone55 15:24 24 Jun 2009

"So what would they have done if the plane had been fully booked and no one could have moved"

Two things here -
If it was fully loaded it may have been better balanced.

Or if necessary move the biffas around so they're not all on one side. It may have meant splitting up a hen party, but that would probably lead to a quieter flight...

  I am Spartacus 17:29 24 Jun 2009

My one experience of this is when the wheels wouldn't retract and volunteers were requested to take a later flight. Nobody volunteered and it must have just been coincidence that the 4 people who were bumped just happened to be the largest by a big margin;o)

  Forum Editor 18:07 24 Jun 2009

that look particularly spectacular from the air, and on quite a few occasions I've heard captains tell passengers quite tersely to get back into their seats when some landmark or other has appeared on one side of the aircraft. A sudden rush of people to one side of the cabin can have a definite effect on the trim of the aircraft.

In the smaller aircraft that take you from island to island in various destinations you will often see cabin crew distributing people evenly on both sides of the cabin prior to takeoff. I was once in a small plane flying between two islands in the Seychelles. There were about twenty of us passengers and the captain came back just before takeoff and personally sorted us into both sides of the cabin.

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