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Crash-8 Q400 balancing act

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Groundfeeder

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Thought I may have mistakenly boarded a Deathstar A330 last Tuesday evening for my late evening flight to Rockvegas!

The first 4 rows on the Q400 were empty with pax filling seats from row 5 for a fairly fully loaded aircraft. I can only assume that this must have been full of mainly daytripping bizoids with no hold-luggage, so they needed to pack from aft to keep within trim.

After takeoff, many pax up front then moved forward to the seat of their choice, so the balance couldn't be that crook.

Hope they don't keep this balancing act as a regular feature of the Q400 as I haven't seen this before on my many Q400 flights.
 

flyer4703

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Flew to Rocky Friday morning and flight was loaded the same way. Once we were airborne people were moving to fill the empty seats.
Nobody was asked to move back for landing. Is the trim more important on take off than landing?
 

ColinP

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Same thing happened to me on a recent Crash-8 flight ADL-KGC.
The story I have been told is if they have a bit of aft trim on the climb they don't need to use any up-elevator which reduces drag by a miniscule amount and might save a dollar or two in fuel. As soon as the seatbelt signs go off and the plane levels out to cruise they don't mind you moving because the trim is only important in the climb phase. ---penny-pinching I reckon.

p.s --This is my first post, so be gentle if you reckon this is B.S.
 

Damien

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ColinP said:
Same thing happened to me on a recent Crash-8 flight ADL-KGC.
The story I have been told is if they have a bit of aft trim on the climb they don't need to use any up-elevator which reduces drag by a miniscule amount and might save a dollar or two in fuel. As soon as the seatbelt signs go off and the plane levels out to cruise they don't mind you moving because the trim is only important in the climb phase. ---penny-pinching I reckon.

p.s --This is my first post, so be gentle if you reckon this is B.S.

Welcome to AFF, ColinP. The folk around here are normally fairly gentle...

I have heard the same story as you have. It makes sense in the way that everything QF makes sense. :confused:
 

serfty

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ColinP said:
Same thing happened to me on a recent Crash-8 flight ADL-KGC.
The story I have been told is if they have a bit of aft trim on the climb they don't need to use any up-elevator which reduces drag by a miniscule amount and might save a dollar or two in fuel. As soon as the seatbelt signs go off and the plane levels out to cruise they don't mind you moving because the trim is only important in the climb phase. ---penny-pinching I reckon.

p.s --This is my first post, so be gentle if you reckon this is B.S.
Again, welcome to AFF.

In the later 90's used to commute several times a month MEL-CBR and found this type of loading on half full flights was quite common. As soon as the belt light went off it was then time for half the APX to reallocate there seats.

Anyone who tried to move before takeoff incurred the firm but gentle wrath of the FA. :shock:
 
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oz_mark

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Groundfeeder said:
Thought I may have mistakenly boarded a Deathstar A330 last Tuesday evening for my late evening flight to Rockvegas!

Not many A330's in the Deathstar fleet at the moment.

Passenger positions seem to be much more important for take-off and not so much after that. I have seen on many flights where people have tried to move before take-off only to be sent back to their assigned seat. After take-off it is a free for all.
 

markis10

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ColinP said:
The story I have been told is if they have a bit of aft trim on the climb they don't need to use any up-elevator which reduces drag by a miniscule amount and might save a dollar or two in fuel. As soon as the seatbelt signs go off and the plane levels out to cruise they don't mind you moving because the trim is only important in the climb phase. ---penny-pinching I reckon.

Not quite - centre of gravity in terms of aircraft weight and balance affects the elevator effectiveness.

Static Margin is calulated prior to departure (Static Margin is the % Mean Aerodynamic Chord that CG is ahead of Neutral Point, with a typical range of 5% to 15% as a good starting point).

Lower static margins indicate less static stability (greater elevator authority), while higher margins indicate more static stability (lesser elevator authority). You can have too much static margin, which results in elevator stall which can just get plain ugly. The pilot of an aircraft that has too much weight up front may find it very difficult to rotate!
 

novacatz

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markis10 said:
Static Margin is calulated prior to departure (Static Margin is the % Mean Aerodynamic Chord that CG is ahead of Neutral Point, with a typical range of 5% to 15% as a good starting point).

Obviously! well, I am glad that we got THAT sorted out! :D:D:D
 

Groundfeeder

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Lower static margins indicate less static stability (greater elevator authority), while higher margins indicate more static stability (lesser elevator authority). You can have too much static margin, which results in elevator stall which can just get plain ugly. The pilot of an aircraft that has too much weight up front may find it very difficult to rotate!

Looks like I've started a techo-babble here, so's I might stir the possum a trifle.

If thats the case, why aren't the Q400 belly strakes retractable, given that you've got the balance favouring aft movement (with pax stacked in rear) and the strakes trying to counter it. Maybe they're just there to keep the long lady from wagging her butt too much!

By the way, on the return ROK-BNE on the Q400 yesterday, she was fully loaded all rows! Looks like QLink may have to accept fuel losses in such instances, however Johhny Howard has apparently saved heaps of fuel by flying at nite. I wonder what tomes his spin doctors have been reading?
 

Groundfeeder

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BTW, I guess from the NO AVATAR box that perhaps a certain criteria now exists within this forum to encourage posters to summarise themselves with some innocuous cartoon or configuration. Guess I'll just have to keep taking them pills ....

(Moderator please push to a more relevant sandpit if desired)
 

celtic_cub

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HA,....you should try living in weipa.

they stack the plane the same, although they run the dash 8s up here, and they are always full, we only have on average 2 services a day.

I love coming home qantas, esp the upgrade to business from cairns to bris. :)

Qantas link, really should be doing quite well, every flight i go on i reackon they would have to have at least 100% of all the seats full. Cant wait till they put a Q400 on up here to cairns.

:)

Gold=one month.
 

thadocta

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celtic_cub said:
Qantas link, really should be doing quite well, every flight i go on i reackon they would have to have at least 100% of all the seats full. Cant wait till they put a Q400 on up here to cairns.
At least 100% of the seats full? So it is possible to have more than 100% of the seats occupied? :rolleyes:

Dave
 
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Groundfeeder

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So it is possible to have more than 100% of the seats occupied?

It is in Nth QLD, as if you're real lucky you can get to face backwards and see where you were. (no offence intended to my pointy headed friends!!)
 

Damien

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thadocta said:
At least 100% of the seats full? So it is possible to have more than 100% of the seats occupied? :rolleyes:

They assign people the lavatory seat at check-in when it's really busy. :D
 

NM

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Damien said:
They assign people the lavatory seat at check-in when it's really busy. :D
And those under 7kg can go into the overhead lockers :shock:.
 

Amerrican

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flyer4703 said:
Flew to Rocky Friday morning and flight was loaded the same way. Once we were airborne people were moving to fill the empty seats.
Nobody was asked to move back for landing. Is the trim more important on take off than landing?

Of course.

Plane heavier on takeoff, therfore more near the edge of the performance parameters.
 
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