Nov. 18, 2013

The FAA recently issued a new draft version of Advisory Circular (AC) 120-27, Weight and Balance Control, that is available for public review and comment until Dec. 7. This draft version removes the standard average passenger and baggage weight data that the FAA has previously provided, which many Part 91, 125 and 135 operators have utilized in lieu of actual weights of passengers and baggage.

View the Draft Version of AC 120-27F, Weight and Balance Control (762 KB, Word)

NBAA Concerns with the Draft AC

The draft AC now gives the operator the option of either “average weights by survey” or “actual weights.” Many NBAA Members, Part 91, 125, and 135 alike, use the standard average passenger and baggage weight data the FAA has provided in previous versions of this AC in lieu of weighing passengers and baggage or asking passengers for their weight.

The option to use the standard average passenger weights avoids the problem of passengers under-reporting their weight, and reduces the liability associated with the operator’s responsibilty for the accuracy of the weight and balance data. Unfortunately, the FAA proposal would remove this option currently available to operators.

The option for operators to conduct passenger surveys to develop their own average weights requires a volume of data that would take many business aviation operators years to collect. Additionally, this option would add an administrative burden for many operators that does not exist today to initially collect and process the data as well as collect and process data for periodic revisions as described in the AC.

NBAA has and will continue to express its concerns to FAA about the policy changes being proposed through this draft AC.

How to Comment on the Draft AC

NBAA encourages Members to review and comment on the draft AC by the Dec. 7, 2013, deadline. To submit comments on this version of AC 120-27:

  1. Download the AC 120-27F Draft Document Comment Grid

    AC 120-27F Draft Document Comment Grid (28 KB, Excel)

  2. Add your comments to the downloaded comment grid
  3. Email the completed comment spreadsheet as an attachment to Adam Giraldes, FAA Aviation Safety Inspector, at

For More Information

For more information, contact NBAA’s Mark Larsen at