I have been incredibly busy at work this week, after having taken a week off to do Disney with Beverly just the week before. My airplane was due for annual, and delays at the shop caused my to fly commercial on the Florida trip – paying more for the inconvenience is a double whammy. It didn’t help that four people were going, and this is where owning your own airplane really shines.

Sussex Aero in Georgetown pulled out all the stops for me, and I had received a call while still in Florida that the airplanes annual had been completed without a hitch. Phew. We were headed to Oshkosh.

Bev and I had never camped. I had not taken five minutes to consider what we’d need for that endeavor, but Bev stepped up to get us ready. All this week we started gathering the gear we’d need by the door, and I started to sweat as I walked past the growing pile. Maybe I’d need a C-130 to lift this stuff.

I started communicating my concern, and eventually got to a point where I asked Bev not to add one more thing. Her hair dryer was a casualty on that list, which was silly on my part when you think about it. We knew we had to draw the line though, so at some point we said let’s stop talking about it and just stop adding stuff.

On Friday night after work, I put all the gear in my Mustang along with the bathroom scale. Bev was getting food ready and working at home while I loaded the airplane. Each item was weighed and placed in the cargo area or the backseat. I updated my weight and balance worksheet as the work continued, so I could strategically place the gear.

I did bring cleaning gear for the airplane, which gave me the opportunity to clean it up after the annual – right at our campsite alongside the runway 18/36.

I was surprised to learn that I could have added a bit more weight if needed; even with six full fuel tanks. Here is the worksheet from that day:

PA30 Weight and Balance
PA30 Weight and Balance

By fdorrin

Recently rated Gulfstream 280 pilot, working on instructor qualifications. WestWind and Astra corporate jet flight instructor. Contract corporate pilot. Own and operate a PA30 Twin Comanche. CFII; MEI; ME-ATP; SES; Typed in DHC-8, B-25, IAI-1124, IAI1125, G100, G280. Retired engineer / executive - Delmarva Power, Conectiv Energy, and PEPCO Holdings, Inc.