I flew co-pilot on a 19-seat turboprop during my airline pilot rookie year. One hot summer day, we landed at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport (KROA), deplaned our passengers, and loaded up 19 more. We didn’t take on any more fuel because we needed to be as light as possible for the windy, high, hot and humid departure.
This was a quick turn, so we SWAG’ed the numbers at the gate and did actual flight calculations on the taxi out. Almost to the runway, I realized we were 250 pounds overweight.
We had a choice: Return to the gate and offload a passenger (guaranteeing someone would miss the connecting flight out of Dulles) or sit in the run-up area for 15 minutes and burn the equivalent weight in fuel. Two lousy options. [Read more…]