|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||airport : lax.airport|
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||B737-800|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 121|
|Flight Phase||cruise : level|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
pilot : multi engine
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 150|
flight time total : 11030
flight time type : 210
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : first officer|
|Anomaly||non adherence : far|
non adherence : company policies
non adherence : published procedure
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
other other : 3
|Resolutory Action||none taken : anomaly accepted|
none taken : detected after the fact
Flight Crew Human Performance
Cabin Crew Human Performance
While in cruise flight; we received a telex from load control asking for number of passenger enplaned. Odd; but we complied. Difficult to get exact count from flight attendants (we got 3 different counts) but agreed that the number appeared to be more than our paperwork showed. On the ground via phone; I was informed that we had 4 passenger and 370 pounds of cargo more than our paperwork showed; and we had taxied at what we showed to be maximum ramp weight of 174.7K pounds. We taxied and held until takeoff weight was 174.2K pounds. This was obviously a miscom between ground operations personnel and my crew. As the final load form was delivered to the airplane we were asked about standbys and our preliminary numbers showed us 200 pounds under gross takeoff weight. I was only aware of 1 jumpseater but thought that since he had checked in 40 mins before push and given a seat that his weight was included in the final numbers. Additionally; a few mins later; station personnel entered the cockpit and stated that they had a center of gravity issue with 376 pounds of the cargo and 'could we take it.' I verified with my first officer that the center of gravity was not an issue and I told them to load it. According to the load control manager after the fact; somehow lax operations loaded 4 additional people (over what our final load form said) and it turned out that it was not a center of gravity issue at all; but that the cargo was additional to our numbers. This was a huge misunderstanding as it caused us to be approximately 1000 pounds overweight at takeoff. The breakdown in communication was caused by several issues: 1) as the captain; there is no way of knowing how many standbys operations has; and this number was never relayed to us. We had assumed and were never corrected that the final load form contained an accurate passenger count. 2) perhaps having station personnel who may not be properly trained in weight and balance issues make decisions that result in statements such as 'we have a center of gravity issue with 376 pounds of cargo;' is hugely misguided. Clearly this should have been stated to the crew members that this cargo was in fact; additional. The final load form should then have been modified so that we had an accurate; written representation of what was aboard the aircraft. 3) since the loading of the aircraft truly takes place out of the hands of the flight crew members; the computation of weight and balance should be left out of our hands as well. It is simply one more area for input or loop error. With 3 different areas of the company (and probably more if I consider the baggage personnel as well); there is too much opportunity for this type of miscom.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: A B737 CREW DEPARTED LAX ABOVE MAX GROSS WT DUE TO ERRORS IN LOAD PLANNING AND CALCULATION.
Narrative: WHILE IN CRUISE FLT; WE RECEIVED A TELEX FROM LOAD CTL ASKING FOR NUMBER OF PAX ENPLANED. ODD; BUT WE COMPLIED. DIFFICULT TO GET EXACT COUNT FROM FLT ATTENDANTS (WE GOT 3 DIFFERENT COUNTS) BUT AGREED THAT THE NUMBER APPEARED TO BE MORE THAN OUR PAPERWORK SHOWED. ON THE GND VIA PHONE; I WAS INFORMED THAT WE HAD 4 PAX AND 370 LBS OF CARGO MORE THAN OUR PAPERWORK SHOWED; AND WE HAD TAXIED AT WHAT WE SHOWED TO BE MAX RAMP WT OF 174.7K LBS. WE TAXIED AND HELD UNTIL TKOF WT WAS 174.2K LBS. THIS WAS OBVIOUSLY A MISCOM BTWN GND OPS PERSONNEL AND MY CREW. AS THE FINAL LOAD FORM WAS DELIVERED TO THE AIRPLANE WE WERE ASKED ABOUT STANDBYS AND OUR PRELIMINARY NUMBERS SHOWED US 200 LBS UNDER GROSS TKOF WT. I WAS ONLY AWARE OF 1 JUMPSEATER BUT THOUGHT THAT SINCE HE HAD CHKED IN 40 MINS BEFORE PUSH AND GIVEN A SEAT THAT HIS WT WAS INCLUDED IN THE FINAL NUMBERS. ADDITIONALLY; A FEW MINS LATER; STATION PERSONNEL ENTERED THE COCKPIT AND STATED THAT THEY HAD A CTR OF GRAVITY ISSUE WITH 376 LBS OF THE CARGO AND 'COULD WE TAKE IT.' I VERIFIED WITH MY FO THAT THE CTR OF GRAVITY WAS NOT AN ISSUE AND I TOLD THEM TO LOAD IT. ACCORDING TO THE LOAD CTL MGR AFTER THE FACT; SOMEHOW LAX OPS LOADED 4 ADDITIONAL PEOPLE (OVER WHAT OUR FINAL LOAD FORM SAID) AND IT TURNED OUT THAT IT WAS NOT A CTR OF GRAVITY ISSUE AT ALL; BUT THAT THE CARGO WAS ADDITIONAL TO OUR NUMBERS. THIS WAS A HUGE MISUNDERSTANDING AS IT CAUSED US TO BE APPROX 1000 LBS OVERWT AT TKOF. THE BREAKDOWN IN COM WAS CAUSED BY SEVERAL ISSUES: 1) AS THE CAPT; THERE IS NO WAY OF KNOWING HOW MANY STANDBYS OPS HAS; AND THIS NUMBER WAS NEVER RELAYED TO US. WE HAD ASSUMED AND WERE NEVER CORRECTED THAT THE FINAL LOAD FORM CONTAINED AN ACCURATE PAX COUNT. 2) PERHAPS HAVING STATION PERSONNEL WHO MAY NOT BE PROPERLY TRAINED IN WT AND BAL ISSUES MAKE DECISIONS THAT RESULT IN STATEMENTS SUCH AS 'WE HAVE A CTR OF GRAVITY ISSUE WITH 376 LBS OF CARGO;' IS HUGELY MISGUIDED. CLRLY THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN STATED TO THE CREW MEMBERS THAT THIS CARGO WAS IN FACT; ADDITIONAL. THE FINAL LOAD FORM SHOULD THEN HAVE BEEN MODIFIED SO THAT WE HAD AN ACCURATE; WRITTEN REPRESENTATION OF WHAT WAS ABOARD THE ACFT. 3) SINCE THE LOADING OF THE ACFT TRULY TAKES PLACE OUT OF THE HANDS OF THE FLT CREW MEMBERS; THE COMPUTATION OF WT AND BAL SHOULD BE LEFT OUT OF OUR HANDS AS WELL. IT IS SIMPLY ONE MORE AREA FOR INPUT OR LOOP ERROR. WITH 3 DIFFERENT AREAS OF THE COMPANY (AND PROBABLY MORE IF I CONSIDER THE BAGGAGE PERSONNEL AS WELL); THERE IS TOO MUCH OPPORTUNITY FOR THIS TYPE OF MISCOM.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of January 2009 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.