A good number of airlines are working through the process of quickly converting passenger aircraft to cargo (and a few are making a mess of it). Because the coronavirus has taken control of most aviation flights, except for Cargo flights.
However, we all know the virus has spread rapidly around the world with the US recently passing 600,000 confirmed cases and 93% of the world’s population are living in countries with some form of border restriction ranging from banning travelers from specific countries all the way to some nations banning all entry to their country entirely. Now because of these unprecedented border controls being put in place as well as numerous travel bans and a downturn in the economy, many airlines are seeing their demand of flights dry out like never before. Many are operating at a tiny fraction of their expected demand with some being grounded completely or only for charter flights responding to the virus outbreak.
Because of this downturn, many passenger airlines are facing financial uncertainty and huge losses from the drop in revenue. And they are now looking at the option of flying cargo-only flights as a way to keep their aircraft flying and making at least some money.
So here is a guide on how converting passenger aircraft to cargo aircraft is possible
Um, that’s basically it. Avoid picture three, and you’re fine.
Here a few more details …
It’s not hugely complex, and there is some good official guidance on it. Based on the EASA rules
Setting up the cargo
* The mass of the cargo shall not exceed the structural loading limits of the floor
* Aisles & exits MUST remain clear to allow for emergency action
* Loads on seats must not exceed 77kg
* Underseat stowage is only permitted if the cargo is FULLY under the seat. The weight for underseat cargo shall not exceed 9kg
* All cargo packaging must be able to handle the Delta Pressure
* The vertical CG of the cargo must be equal or lower than the
during all flight phases
passenger CG provided by the seat supplier
* Cargo carried in overhead bins must not exceed the weight stated
* Dangerous Goods MUST be carried in the hold ONLY.
During the flight
* There must be ONE empty row in-between crew in the passenger compartment and cargo
* The only persons permitted on board the aircraft are employees of the company acting in their role. Any other persons would be classed as passengers and the flight would not be operated in accordance with the exemptions
* On board crew MUST occupy Cabin Crew seats. Crew cannot share a row with cargo
* Any fire/smoke in the passenger compartment must be easily
– investigated by the crew on board and must be able to be
– extinguished by the onboard equipment.
– All smoke/fire detection equipment shall be maintained in accordance with EASA regulations
Loadsheet and monitoring
* Load Sheet to ACCURATELY reflect the position of cargo onboard
* PIC must be informed of cargo contents by NOTAC – to be including in briefing pack
* The CG of the aircraft must be operated within those for passenger flights
* Cargo to be checked during flight phase. At the minimum:
– Before Takeoff
– Before Landing
– During Cruise Phase
* At any other time on the direction of the PIC
– Avoiding making PA’s to the cargo. Unlikely to be interested.