Week Two: Mass & Balance 2016-08-26 23:18:00 2018-06-17 14:48:11
Pilot George
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Week Two: Mass & Balance

26 August 2016

That's topic two of module one complete!

CTC Classroom Mass & Balance

At the time of writing our CP is now halfway through module one of Ground School, which is a scary thought, and over this past week our focus turned to topic two, Mass & Balance. When we were introduced to the topic I was happy to find that its content resembled my day-to-day role as an aircraft dispatcher at Bristol Airport which later helped me to understand the foundations of the many calculations used as the week progressed. With that said though, there were still new concepts I hadn't seen before, such as trimmed load sheets (as pictured below) which were only ever completed by Ryanair Dispatchers at Bristol. 

CAP 696 MRJT Loadsheet

Whilst Human Performance & Limitations was quite in depth and detailed, Mass & Balance introduced many hands-on elements and worksheets which I found much more enjoyable and easier to grasp - i'm a visual learner after all. That's not to say I found Mass & Balance easy to begin with though as it introduces mathematical formula and the transposition of such which was never a strong point of mine. Thankfully though and don't ask me how, it just clicked mid-week!

What is Mass & Balance?

Korean DC10 Tipped

In a nutshell the Mass & Balance topic exists to provide aircrew with all of the necessary knowledge to not only calculate (accurately) the mass and loading of their aircraft, but also its centre of gravity and how to calculate any adjustments in order that a flight is only ever carried out within the limits issued by the aircraft's manufacturer. Correct Mass & Balance calculations also ensure no harm comes of the aircraft both on the ground (as pictured) and in the air as per Air Canada's Gimli Glider incident.

If your interested in the full break down of what's covered in the topic here's the full list:

  • Units & Conversions
  • Aircraft Mass Definitions
  • Allowed Take-off Mass
  • Maximum Traffic and Fuel Load
  • Cargo Loading & Limitations
  • The Effect of Mass & It's Distribution
  • Datum, Moments & Determining Centre of Gravity
  • Aerodynamic Chord & Centre of Gravity Position
  • Adjusting the Centre of Gravity
  • Methods for Weighting Aircraft
  • Weighing Passengers, Crew & Baggage
  • Loadsheets & Trim

Evening Revision

CTC Evening Revision

Unlike high-school when you might go home, kick back and relax with the latest episode of your favourite TV show, there's no rest for many ATPL students! There's so much content to learn and in order to stay on top of it most of us worked well in to the evening this week (as pictured alongside Will, Jack & Will - Hi guys if you're reading). I've always said that i'd imagine flight training to be more of a degree in terms of intensity than my actual degree was and I'd be right! Whilst I wish I could solely focus on Mass & Balance, I know that i'd forget all about Human Performance & Limitations so night time revision is a must for me in order to absorb both the new and remember the old. 

What's next?

CTC Aviation A320 Simulator

As this weekend is a bank holiday we've not got any classes until Tuesday which means I'm off home for my Cousin's Christening and it'll be nice to not only see the extended family but also enjoy a short break from the madness. I'm told that the real learning begins on Tuesday when we get stuck into Principles of Flight and I'm not sure why, but i'm not looking forward to that topic for some reason. Nevertheless, at least I'll have the A320 simulators there to remind me of what I'm truly here for! 

Thanks again for reading, and to those of you who have commented and emailed me in the past thanks for that too! 

All the best,


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