Weighing a RFDS PC-12 Aircraft

Date published

17 Feb 2020

When our PC-12 aircraft arrive from the Pilatus factory in Switzerland, the plane undergoes an aeromedical fit-out, performed by our specialist engineers. The 760 hour fit-out equips the aircraft to serve as an intensive care unit in the sky. Any significant modifications to an aircraft required the operator to reweigh the aircraft.

Our aircraft are weighed by qualified and authorised personnel. To weigh the aircraft all three wheels are moved onto the weight pads carefully. Once weighed, our authorised aircraft weigher provides us with a report that is kept with the aircraft’s logbook. Our pilots also receive a copy which is loaded into our computer management systems.

It is critical to know the weight of our aircraft for optimal flight performance and patient safety. Our pilots must calculate the weight of everything on board the aircraft including; equipment, people and fuel, prior to flying to ensure they do not exceed the allocated weight capacity of the aircraft. RFDS pilots are responsible for the loading of our patients in our aircraft to ensure the weight is balanced in the aircraft in order to maintain the Centre of Gravity.

The Centre of Gravity of an aircraft is the point where all weight is evenly distributed and balanced. If the weight is not evenly distributed or if there’s major change in balance, the aircraft is more difficult to control. Our highly trained engineers and pilots ensure the weight and Centre of Gravity are measured correctly to ensure the best flight performance and safety of our patients.