Weight and Balance
How often have you observed an airport baggage handler load luggage/cargo into the cargo hold of a commercial jetliner? Maybe you were in possession of a boarding pass that gave you the distinct honor of a window seat assignment. If so, watching this important phase of preparation for flight departure, is quite intriguing . Each item is strategically placed inside the compartment according to WEIGHT and BALANCE which must be secured properly, to prevent its movement inflight. The correct POSITION of each item is instrumental in determining the influence it may have on the operational efficiency of the aircraft.
According to the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), there are specific effects of weight on a jetliner. Excessive weight reduces the flight performance in almost every aspect. For example, the most important PERFORMANCE deficiencies of an overloaded aircraft are: Reduced maneuverability, excessive weight on the nose wheel or tail wheel, and higher/slower takeoff speed, just to name a few. There have several fatal crashes in recent years because of weight distribution errors. The pilot in COMMAND of the aircraft has the responsibility of knowing the maximum allowed weight and its CG (Center of Gravity) limits. The CG is not a fixed point ; its LOCATION depends on the distribution of weight. In other words, the CENTER OF GRAVITY determines the correct BALANCE.
As a new flight attendant, I was very inquisitive about cockpit instruments more than I was about serving coffee, tea or milk. I can remember on one of my flights the captain explained to me that the ATTITUDE gauge displayed the position of the aircraft relative to the horizon. The jetliner’s position determined the ALTITUDE, or how high or low it would fly, taking into consideration weight, balance, traffic or weather conditions.
How does this relate to LIFE’S JOURNEY? So many times we are weighed down with challenges that interfere with the balance we need to continue on our ordained path. The center of our focus is shaken or even destroyed all because we don’t take the right attitude (position) of WHO IS IN CONTROL! We dwell on past hurts and disappointments which can be heavy burdens that will suppress our altitude.
To correct insufficient weight and balance data, the cargo on a jetliner has to be REPOSITIONED for flight safety. As mentioned earlier, too much weight will effect performance. WE must reposition our mindset to allow the One who is in total command to refocus and recenter.
The writer of Hebrews puts it this way: The preceding chapter 11 gives us a history of all the confrontations that God’s people experienced who possessed great faith. Chapter 12:1, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every WEIGHT that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us”. NLT