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Passenger distribution did not match the load sheet distribution.Luckily this had a good outcome. Luckily people went back and researched why this happened. Hopefully the "technical issue" has now been resolved. (www.bbc.com) More...
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One might have expected the in-charge F/A to notice the passengers clumped at the front of the plane and empty towards the back? A quick call to the rear F/A station could have confirmed this and then notification to the flight deck would have solved any issue. The F/A’s are the cockpits’ eyes acting as a last line of defense against abnormalities prior to departure. There is so much more to the job than coffee, tea, seat belt, O2 demos , arm doors & cross check.
The pilots aren't allowed to take a look back in the cabin? I wonder what airlines like Southwest do, without seat assignments and passengers determining their own load arrangement.
I would guess that with such short routes and sufficient load factors, possibly above 75% the C of G, stays within the envelope......but it’s only a guess!
The flight attendants do a zone count in the cabin, report back to either pilot and pax are moved as needed for weight and balance for take off.
Assuming the crew also accurately know where the baggage and cargo arms and weights are..
That is a very valid point. The pilots have a calculator or wheel chart to calculate weight and balance, but to actually know what's really in the cargo hold is a different matter. It's not like the Air Force where thete are combined pax and cargo in the same cabin and the loadmaster double checks everything is where it should be.I brought that subject up in initial FA training and the instructor didn't know how to respond.
I wonder if the A-321/A-320 use the containerized method for loading baggage or cargo. Then the load sheet would show the location and weights. I think it was just the pax seating chart that was never updated from the A-320?