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Work in progress:Aircraft Hold Loading Risks
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This article describes the risks, associated with loading of aircraft holds and the possible consequences of mis-loading. It also contains examples of aviation occurences where the loading has been a contributory factor.
Principal Hold Loading Risks
The principal risks associated with loading of aircraft holds are as follows:
- Holds are not loaded by the loading crew in accordance with the Loading Instructions provided - and the Load Instruction/Report Form is not amended to reflect these changes.
- Where the loading has been different to the original Loading/Report Form and the Loading/Report form is updated, the last minute change (LMC) has not been correctly applied to the original loadsheet calculations and checked for mass and balance limits.
- The load is not secured or restrained appropriately
- Unauthorised items are loaded (e.g. dangerous goods).
- Aircraft structure (or propeller blades if applicable) is damaged by unintended impact from mechanised loading equipment. Such impacts may go unnoticed by the loading team or in some cases is noticed but not reported. This may happen when the load team can see no apparent damage so consider reporting the impact unnecessary. Where the aircraft structure is formed using composite materials, all impacts must be reported. While evidence of significant damage to a metal structure is usually clearly visible, this is not necessarily true for composite materials. Although the skin may appear to be undamaged, the core of a composite structure may have deformed or have been significantly weakened.
Consequences of Mis-loading
- Loss of Control in flight
- Runway Excursion during take off or landing
- Aircraft Hold Damage during flight
Accidents and Incidents
Loss of Control
- A306, Paris CDG France, 1997
- B190, vicinity Charlotte NC USA, 2003
- B722, Cotonou Benin, 2003
- B744, Gardermoen Norway, 2004
- SF34, Kirkwall Orkney UK, 2003
- B744, Bagram Afghanistan, 2013
- F27, vicinity Guernsey Channel Islands, 1999
- B738, Dubai UAE, 2013 - unauthorised transport of dangerous goods.
- Passenger Cabin Loading
- Unit Load Devices
- Dangerous Goods
- Aircraft Load and Trim
- Loading of Aircraft Holds
- UK CAA CAP 1008 Last minute changes (LMC) - Guidance document, February 2014
- UK CAP 1009 Gross error checks - Guidance document, February 2014
- UK CAA CAP 1010 Ramp/ Aircraft Loading Operations Checklist, February 2014
- FAA AC 120-85A 'Air Cargo Operations', June 2015
- ISAGO Standards Manual 5th Edition, March 2016
- FAA SAFO on 'Cargo Restraint Strap Assemblies', July 2016