At least one recent airplane crash was caused by the plane being overloaded - too much weight on board. The National Transportation Safety Board wants passengers to be weighed to prevent further crashes.
The average weight of people in the US has increased dramatically in the past 20 years, with 65% of all adults now being overweight. In some states, a quarter of all residents qualify as obese. Airlines have been using outdated 'average weights' per person, and the result is that a plane the "seems" to be OK to take off might actually be far too heavily laden to safely fly.
These weighings have to take into account not only the weight of the actual passenger, but all the clothes he or she is wearing as well. The average weight in the summer might be far lighter than the average weight in the winter, when people are bundled up. Also, average weights seem to vary from airport to airport, depending on what group of people are most likely to be flying.
Current estimates are that the average person in winter is representing 185 pounds of weight. Many feel that, given the high number of obese people who fly, this number should be much higher.
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