M3.3.202 Evaluate Part 91K/121/125/135 (10 or More and Turbine‑Powered Aircraft) Certificate Holder’s Weight and Balance Control Program


Function:     3.0 Certification

Duty:            3.3 Air Operator Certification

Previous Task Analysis:

1985 Allen Corp Task #1.3.23


Difficulty:          3

Importance:      5

Frequency:        1

Criticality:   Y


Job Aid:        N

PTRS Tracking






























Legal References:

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


Evaluating (initial or revision) a certificate holder/applicant’s Weight and Balance (W&B) control program procedures.

Significant Interfaces:

Certificate Holder/Applicant

Responsible Flight Standards Office

Flight Standards District Office

Procedural Guidance (current editions):

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

Order 1380.51             Program Tracking and Reporting Subsystem

Order 8900.1               Flight Standards Information Management System (FSIMS)

SAS Elements:

4.4.5 (AW)                  Weight and Balance Program

6.3.3 (AW)                  Cargo Handling Equipment, Systems, and Appliances

5.2.2 (OP)                   Carry-on Baggage Program

6.3.1 (OP)                   Carriage of Cargo

3.3.3 (OP)                   Flight/Load Manifest/Weight and Balance Control

AC 43.13-1                 Acceptable Methods, Techniques, and Practices—Aircraft Inspection and Repair

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

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:

K:         Order 8900.1, Vol. 3, Chap. 47, Sec. 1

1.1.       Manual or revision;
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.

NOTE: Reporting System(s). Part 121 use Safety Assurance System (SAS) Automation and the associated Data Collection Tools (DCT) others open PTRS record.

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:

K:         Order 8900.1, Vol. 3, Chap. 47, Sec. 1

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.
K:         Order 8900.1, Vol. 3, Chap. 47, Sec. 1
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.
K:         Order 8900.1, Vol. 3, Chap. 47, Sec. 1
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.
K:         Order 8900.1, Vol. 3, Chap. 47, Sec. 1
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.
K:         Order 8900.1, Vol. 3, Chap. 47, Sec. 1
2.5.       Training programs for the following (including vendors):
a.   Maintenance personnel,
b.   Operations and dispatch personnel, and
c.   Ground handling personnel.
K:         Order 8900.1, Vol. 3, Chap. 47, Sec. 1
2.6.       A means of documenting and retaining individual training records.
K:         Order 8900.1, Vol. 3, Chap. 47, Sec. 1
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.
K:         Order 8900.1, Vol. 3, Chap. 47, Sec. 1
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.
K:         Order 8900.1, Vol. 3, Chap. 47, Sec. 1
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).
K:         Order 8900.1, Vol. 3, Chap. 47, Sec. 1
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, if applicable.
K:         Order 8900.1, Vol. 3, Chap. 47, Sec. 1
2.11.     A drawing of each cargo and/or passenger configuration that includes emergency equipment locations.
K:         Order 8900.1, Vol. 3, Chap. 47, Sec. 1
2.12.     Mathematical justification for loading provisions or schedules. This may be included under separate cover and not as part of the company manual.
K:         Order 8900.1, Vol. 3, Chap. 47, Sec. 1
2.13.     An alternate procedure for allowing manual computations, if a computerized W&B program is used.
K:         Order 8900.1, Vol. 3, Chap. 47, Sec. 1
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.
K:         Order 8900.1, Vol. 3, Chap. 47, Sec. 1
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.
K:         Order 8900.1, Vol. 3, Chap. 47, Sec. 1
2.16.     Procedures to verify actual weight of cargo.
K:         Order 8900.1, Vol. 3, Chap. 47, Sec. 1
2.17.     Standards and schedules for calibration of commercial scales used to determine baggage/cargo weights.
K:         Order 8900.1, Vol. 3, Chap. 47, Sec. 1
2.18.     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.
K:         Order 8900.1, Vol. 3, Chap. 47, Sec. 1
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 above items must be referenced by indicating the locations in the certificate holder/applicant’s manuals (e.g., volume, chapter).

K:         Order 8900.1, Vol. 3, Chap. 47, Sec. 1

3           Review all applicable draft OpSpecs/MSpecs/LOAs for accuracy.

K:         Order 8900.1, Vol. 3, Chap. 47, Sec. 1

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.

K:         Order 8900.1, Vol. 3, Chap. 47, Sec. 1

5           Review by Cargo Focus Team (CFT) for part 121 certificate holders. The 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
c.    Supporting 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.
K:         Order 8900.1, Vol. 3, Chap. 47, Sec. 1
5.5.       The CFT will provide email notification upon receipt of documents. They will use SAS DCTs and/or job aids to complete their review.
K:         Order 8900.1, Vol. 3, Chap. 47, Sec. 1
5.6.       After the CFT’s review, the CFT will send a memorandum to the PMI/POI via the Safety Standards office that the review is complete. Completing a review is estimated to take about 45 days.
a.   The memo will provide concurrence or non-concurrence along with comments.
b.   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.
K:         Order 8900.1, Vol. 3, Chap. 47, Sec. 1

6           Meet with certificate holder/applicant.

6.1.       Discuss any discrepancies with certificate holder/applicant and advise them on areas that need corrective action.
K:         Order 8900.1, Vol. 3, Chap. 47, Sec. 1

7           Task outcomes.

7.1.       Close the PTRS record. Part 121 certificate holders use the appropriate SAS DCT.
K:         Order 1380.51
Order 8900.1, Vol. 3, Chap. 47, Sec. 1
7.2.       Complete the task. Issue applicable OpSpecs/MSpecs/LOAs in accordance with Volume 3, Chapter 18.
K:         Order 8900.1, Vol. 3, Chap. 47, Sec. 1
7.3.       Document the task. File all supporting paperwork in the certificate holder/applicant’s office file.
K:         Order 8900.1, Vol. 3, Chap. 47, Sec. 1

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.
K:         Order 8900.1, Vol. 3, Chap. 47, Sec. 1