M3.3.202 Evaluate Part 91K/121/125/135 (10 or More and Turbine‑Powered Aircraft) Certificate Holder’s Weight and Balance Control Program
3.3 Air Operator Certification
Aircraft Maintenance Division
1825-Aviation Safety Inspector
Rating and Ranking:
PTRS Tracking: 3639 5639
SAS Elements: 4.4.5 (AW) 6.3.3 (AW) 5.2.2 (OP) 6.3.1 (OP) 3.3.3(OP)
Regulatory and/or Statutory Requirement(s):
49 U.S.C. § 40113 Administrative
49 U.S.C. § 44701 General Requirements
49 U.S.C. § 44705 Air Carrier Operating Certificates
49 U.S.C. § 44707 Examining and Rating Air Agencies
49 U.S.C. § 44713 Inspection and Maintenance
14 CFR Part 21 Certification Procedures for Products and Articles
14 CFR Part 23 Airworthiness Standards: Normal Category Airplanes
14 CFR Part 25 Airworthiness Standards: Transport Category Airplanes
14 CFR Part 43 Maintenance, Preventive Maintenance, Rebuilding, and Alteration
14 CFR Part 91 General Operating and Flight Rules
14 CFR Part 121 Operating Requirements: Domestic, Flag, and Supplemental Operations
14 CFR Part 125 Certification and Operations: Airplanes Having a Seating Capacity of 20 or More Passengers or a Maximum Payload Capacity of 6,000 Pounds or More; and Rules Governing Persons on Board Such Aircraft
14 CFR Part 135 Operating Requirements: Commuter and On Demand Operations and Rules Governing Persons on Board Such Aircraft
CAR 3 Civil Air Regulations (CARs) Part 3, Airplane Airworthiness—Normal, Utility, Acrobatic, and Restricted Purpose Categories
Relevant Guidance and Advisory Material (current editions):
Order 1380.51 Program Tracking and Reporting Subsystem
Order 8900.1 Flight Standards Information Management System (FSIMS)
AC 43.13-1 Acceptable Methods, Techniques, and Practices—Aircraft Inspection and Repair
AC 43.13-2 Acceptable Methods, Techniques, and Practices—Aircraft Alterations
AC 120-27 Aircraft Weight and Balance Control
AC 120-85 Air Cargo Operations
FAA-H-8083-1 Aircraft Weight and Balance Handbook
Other Aircraft Equipment Lists
Other Aircraft Flight Manuals (AFM)/Rotorcraft Flight Manual
Other Aircraft Maintenance Manual (AMM), Aircraft Service Manual
Other Aircraft Maintenance Records (W&B Records)
Other Aircraft’s W&B Control Program Document
Other Approved W&B Manuals
Other Operations Specifications
Other Pilots Operating Handbook (POH)
Other Supplemental Type Certificates (STC) and Supplements
Other TC Data Sheet and Aircraft Specifications
TSO-C90 Cargo Pallets, Nets and Containers (Unit Load Devices)
TSO-C172 Cargo Restraint Strap Assemblies
Prerequisite Specialized Training:
NOTE: Ensure you have the most current information. The Flight Standards Information Management System (FSIMS) may be used to obtain current guidance.
Job Task Performance Steps and Knowledge:
1 Coordinate with the certificate holder/applicant. The certificate holder/applicant must submit the following for review:
1.1. Manual or;
1.2. Weight and Balance (W&B) program document (if not part of a manual);
1.3. Pertinent company procedures;
1.4. Instructions for completing forms used in aircraft weight control and aircraft loading; and
1.5. Mathematical justification for loading provisions or schedules.
2 Review the certificate holder/applicant’s manual/program document. The manual must include procedures, levels of authority, and information appropriate to 14 CFR part 91, 91K, 121, 125, or 135. In addition, the ASI must confirm that the manual includes the following:
2.1. Manual introduction, to include:
a. Description of the philosophy and the goals of the manual;
b. Description of the division of contents between volumes, if more than one volume; and
c. List of Effective Pages (LEP), including dates.
2.2. Manual revision and distribution procedures to ensure:
a. Current information is provided to all manual holders; and
b. Manuals are available to maintenance, operations, and ground personnel, and the certificate holder/applicant furnishes them to the responsible Flight Standards office.
2.3. Definitions of all significant terms used in the program. The definitions must reflect their intended use and include any acronyms or abbreviations unique to the manual.
2.4. Description of the organizational unit responsible for the control and maintenance of the W&B program, to include:
a. Definitions of lines of authority, and
b. Description of the support structure.
2.5. Training programs for the following (including vendors):
a. Maintenance personnel,
b. Operations and dispatch personnel, and
c. Ground handling personnel.
2.6. A means of documenting and retaining individual training records.
2.7. Procedures for:
a. Determining standards and schedules for calibration of aircraft scales;
b. Pre-weighing instructions and requirements;
c. Determining which aircraft are to be weighed;
d. Establishing and maintaining Basic Operating Weight (BOW) equipment lists for each aircraft;
e. Recording the type and serial number for each scale used, airplane weight, residual fluids, and scale tare weights;
f. Initial weighing of aircraft;
g. Monitoring and adjusting individual aircraft or fleet, empty weight, and center of gravity (CG);
h. Periodic reweighing of aircraft;
i. Ensuring aircraft are configured under approved data;
j. Ensuring the certificate holder’s manual lists the certified unit load devices (ULD) and pallet-net combinations approved for each aircraft;
k. Control of ULDs, including serviceability standards, CG offset, and buildup;
l. Ensuring cargo is loaded in accordance with the manufacturer’s Weight and Balance Manual (WBM) or the STC instructions; and
m. Control and oversight of vendors, including freight forwarders.
2.8. A loading schedule consisting of graphs/tables or a special loading schedule for a calculator or computerized program. These schedules must ensure that pertinent data is available for all probable W&B conditions of the aircraft.
2.9. Load manifest procedures for:
a. Completing the load manifest per §§ 121.665 and 121.693;
b. Ensuring the load manifest is carried on the aircraft per § 121.695 and/or § 121.697 (as applicable);
c. Ensuring the load schematic is retained with the load manifest for special cargo loads;
d. Retaining the load manifest for the time periods specified in the CFR; and
e. Distributing the load manifest under part 91, § 91.1027; § 121.695 and/or § 121.697 (as applicable); § 125.405; and § 135.63(c).
2.10. Procedures to be used by crewmembers, cargo handlers, and other personnel concerned with aircraft loading, for the following:
a. Distribution of passengers;
b. Distribution of fuel;
c. Distribution of cargo;
d. Verification and acceptance of actual cargo weights as listed on a bill of lading;
e. Restriction of passenger movement during flight, if applicable; and
f. Hazmat requirements, as applicable.
2.11. A drawing of each cargo and/or passenger configuration that includes emergency equipment locations.
2.12. Mathematical justification for loading provisions or schedules. This may be included under separate cover and not as part of the company manual.
2.13. An alternate procedure for allowing manual computations, if a computerized W&B program is used.
2.14. Procedures for a weight range system, if applicable, that ensures:
a. The range is typical of passengers carried on similar operations;
b. Computations for critical load considerations support the ranges;
c. Personnel responsible for loading the aircraft are required to prepare appropriate loading records;
d. The system includes methods for loading passengers whose weights are outside the range; and
e. Loading records indicate the number of passengers within the stated range and account for passengers who fall outside the range.
2.15. A system for loading nonstandard weight groups, such as athletic squads or military groups and their baggage, which must use actual weights for both passengers and baggage.
2.16. Procedures to verify actual weight of cargo.
2.17. Standards and schedules for calibration of commercial scales used to determine baggage/cargo weights.
2.18. Confirm the manual includes procedures to ensure that carry-on baggage is limited to articles that may be placed in overhead compartments or under seats. The certificate holder must account for carry-on baggage weight in the same manner as checked baggage or added to the average passenger weight.
2.19. Review the certificate holder/applicant’s OpSpecs/MSpecs/LOAs for the following:
a. Aircraft make/model/series (M/M/S).
b. Type of loading schedule.
c. Loading schedule instructions for:
1. Passengers and crew (average weight by survey or actual weight),
2. Baggage (average weight by survey or actual weight) and cargo (actual), and
3. Nonstandard weight groups.
d. W&B control procedures.
NOTE: The certificate holder/applicant’s manual location (e.g., volume, chapter) for Loading Schedules and Procedures must be referenced in the OpSpecs/MSpecs/LOAs.
3 Review all applicable draft OpSpecs/MSpecs/LOAs for accuracy.
4 Analyze the results. Upon completion of review, analyze the results and determine whether the certificate holder/applicant’s manual and OpSpecs meet all requirements.
5 The Cargo Focus Team (CFT) will conduct an initial review of the W&B control program and any major program changes related to cargo. This ensures the air carrier has addressed all policies, procedures, methods, and elements involved in the transport of cargo and make recommendation to the PI for approval. Supporting documentation (e.g., source documents applicable to cargo operations: manufacturer WBM, STCs, supplements, reports, and FAA Forms 8110-2/8110-3).
5.1. PMIs/POIs will open an entry in the Program Tracking and Reporting Subsystem (PTRS) using either activity code 1088 or 3088 and place the words “WBM Review” in the“National Use” box. The PMI, in coordination with the POI that has assigned oversight responsibility for part 121 certificate holders, will do a cursory review of the certificate holder’s W&B control program using the job aids and timelines at
https://avssp.faa.gov/avs/afs300/SharedInfo/default.aspx, in the “Risk Cargo Matrix Schedule” folder under the “Cargo Risk Matrix/Job Aid” heading. In conducting the review, emphasis should be placed on the integration of the manual into the certificate holder’s operation.
5.2. PMIs/POIs will send notification to the CFT office email (9-NATL-Cargo-CFT@faa.gov) indicating that the PIs have completed their review and confirmed all documents associated with the W&B Control Program have been uploaded for the CFT review.
5.3. PMIs/POIs will upload the following documents to the “Cargo Document Hold” location according to your region. This location can be accessed at the Flight Standards Service (FS), Aircraft Maintenance Division’s (AFS-300) SharePoint shared information portal at https://avssp.faa.gov/avs/afs300/SharedInfo/default.aspx.
a. The air carrier’s
complete W&B control program manual(s), such as ground operations, flight
operations, ramp operations, fueling, and cargo loading,
b. The training
programs associated with W&B, load manifest, and cargo loading, to include
special cargo, cargo restraint, and personnel qualifications, and
documentation (e.g., source documents applicable to cargo operations:
manufacturer WBM, STCs, supplements, reports, and FAA Forms 8110-2/8110-3).
5.4. After completion of this activity, PMIs/POIs will, after completion of this activity, close the PTRS record entry.
5.5. The CFT will provide email notification upon receipt of documents. They will use SAS DCTs to complete their review.
5.6. After the CFT’s review, the CFT will out-brief the results documented in SAS to the Certificate Management Office.
NOTE: The CFT review may result in a PI developing an action plan to address issues identified during CFT review. This action plan should use system safety attributes and the risk management decision making process to resolve any findings.
6 Meet with certificate holder/applicant.
6.1. Discuss any findings with certificate holder/applicant and advise them on areas that need corrective action.
7 Task outcomes.
7.1. Close any SAS Action Plan and the PTRS record. Part 121 and 135 certificate holders use the appropriate SAS DCT.
K: Order 1380.51
7.2. Complete the task. Issue applicable OpSpecs/MSpecs/LOAs in accordance with Volume 3, Chapter 18.
7.3. Document the task. File all supporting paperwork in the certificate holder/applicant’s office file.
8 Future activities.
8.1. Normal surveillance to be conducted using PTRS codes 3639/5639. Part 121 certificate holders will use SAS to document surveillance.