SR20 Weight Balance

What is the max weight experienced for useful load? How much past the 795lbs? …I am supposed to take a trip with 4 grown men and need 3 hrs fuel, so concerned. Also, anyone have the Weight/Balance calculations for SR20?

you’ll need two planes or fill the baggage compartment with helium balloons

If you’re waiting for someone to tell you about operating their airplane over maximum allowable gross weight, you’re in for a looooooong wait.
The useful load for a typical SR20 is a shade under 900 lbs. If your four “grown men” average 170 lb each, that leaves you a bit under 220 lb for fuel, or about 35 gallons. That’s just barely three hours of fuel with zero reserves. If the grown men have grown beyond 170 lb each, the situation is even worse. Either way, you’ll certainly have to make an intermediate stop.

You can find an SR20 weight and balance spreadsheet in the section of the members-only part of the COPA web site.



I assume from the question that the empty weight of the SR20 you’re flying is 2105 lbs (“How much past the 795lbs?”). You don’t mention the weight of the four grown men - but assuming each is 170 lbs, you’d be able to carry 115 lbs, or 19 gals, legally - or about enough to fly for one hour at typical altitudes on a typical day at a typical power setting, ROP, not counting an allowance for a climbout (from what elevation? to what altitude?) after day VFR reserves (is it IFR? Then, as you know, you’ll need more reserves).

I know that’s not what you asked. You probably know how to do this calculation, too… and that’s probably why you didn’t give the specifics - peoples’ weights, and all the numbers where I assumed “typical” values. I may even have very slightly exceeded the max gross weight myself in the past (not saying I did, just that it’s vaguely possible, on a few occasions when I may have guessed weights when I should have weighed). I do know for sure that I have always been VERY certain that my takeoff, and landing, CG would be within bounds.

My concern here is for you. Two more hours of fuel is at LEAST 20 gals (if you operate efficiently, LOP); but is two hours then enough? You’ll be going slower. Oh… what will the winds be doing when you go? Three hours of flying in an SR20 at 150 knots will be 3:45 of flying if you have a 30 knot headwind (again, ignoring the climb/descent). Assuming that you ARE considering 150 kts TAS, that’s more like 13GPH for planning (on average)… so two extra hours is 26 extra gallons. That’s 156 lbs over gross. 36 gals more if you allow for a 30 kt headwind. That’s a total of 55 gals - almost full fuel, and 216 lbs over gross.

I’m not trying to make you feel bad - I don’t even know who you are. But I don’t want to read about you in the papers… no, I wouldn’t even DREAM of doing this trip as you’ve described it… and I urge you not to, either. Actually, let me rephrase that – if your feeling bad will cause you to reconsider this and make other plans instead, I hope you feel awful.


OOPS – I just noticed that I based my assumption of your empty weight on a 2900 lb max gross weight… perhaps you have an SR20 that allows for 3,000 lbs? In that case, I assume that your empty weight is 2205 lbs? Chunky for a '20, but possible. My own '20 is 2121 lbs empty, and I think it has pretty much every option. Either way… please be careful.