Preparing an Aircraft for Weighing – Other Considerations

in Aircraft Weight and Balance

Inspect the aircraft to see that all items included in the certificated empty weight are installed in the proper location. Remove items that are not regularly carried in flight. Also look in the baggage compartments to make sure they are empty. Replace all inspection plates, oil and fuel tank caps, junction box covers, cowling, doors, emergency exits, and other parts that have been removed. All doors, windows, and sliding canopies should be in their normal flight position. Remove excessive dirt, oil, grease, and moisture from the aircraft.

Some aircraft are not weighed with the wheels on the scales, but are weighed with the scales placed either at the jacking points or at special weighing points. Regardless of what provisions are made for placing the aircraft on the scales or jacks, be careful to prevent it from falling or rolling off, thereby damaging the aircraft and equipment. When weighing an aircraft with the wheels placed on the scales, release the brakes to reduce the possibility of incorrect readings caused by side loads on the scales.


All aircraft have leveling points or lugs, and care must be taken to level the aircraft, especially along the longitudinal axis. With light, fixed-wing airplanes, the lateral level is not as critical as it is with heavier airplanes. However, a reasonable effort should be made to level the light airplanes along the lateral axis. Helicopters must be level longitudinally and laterally when they are weighed. Accuracy in leveling all aircraft longitudinally cannot be overemphasized.