For part 91 operations or regular trainer aircraft, what is the "LEGAL" requirement for which an aircraft re-weigh is required?

The ONLY thing I can find on the internet is in the W/B handbook page 9-3 which states: For small cabin aircraft, record a weight change of +/- 1 pound.

This is the first time I have ever heard the phrase "small cabin aircraft" And I am unsure if "record" means re-weigh.


1 Answer 1


I think you are looking at FAA 8083-1: "Weight and Balance Handbook". It doesn't define small cabin aircraft, but I think the handbook is derived from AC 120-27F, which defines small cabin aircraft as 5-29 passenger seats.

Figure 9-3 talks about the incremental weight change, and the corresponding paragraph says the weight changes are kept in a log, and says changes should be "recorded".

Looking at the AC, page 2-1 says small aircraft need their weight adjusted in the one pound increments. It calls it an incremental weighing, from context that is different than physically weighing the entire plane.

Typically items removed are weighed, then items installed are weighed, and the official W/B chart is updated. In other words, it’s a paper exercise.

  • $\begingroup$ That makes plenty of sense! thank you! $\endgroup$ Commented May 19 at 22:40
  • $\begingroup$ If you've bought an older GA aircraft and refurbished it, changing avionics, the interior, maybe adding winglets or extra fuel tanks, you'd re-weigh the whole thing and publish a new W+B chart. I certainly wouldn't trust a series of add/remove calculations based on some averages (that's like trusting calorie counts on a restaurant menu!). And the person signing off on the annual inspection would certainly need to agree that the W+B is an accurate representation of what's in the plane. $\endgroup$ Commented May 21 at 23:15
  • $\begingroup$ @grumpy1arrival is that a legal requirement? That’s went the question asked. $\endgroup$ Commented May 23 at 0:31

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