Aircraft Use and Capability and Ocean and Overland Transport

A. Aircraft Information

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) frequently uses aircraft to support disaster response activities. It may use commercial aircraft or Department of Defense (DOD) aircraft. OFDA must first check the availability of commercial air carriers to meet disaster response needs. If commercial aircraft are available, they are chartered by OFDA Washington (OFDA/W) Logistics through USAID Office of Transportation. Because licenses may be required to charter commercial aircraft, check with OFDA/W Logistics first.
If commercial aircraft are not available, OFDA may request assistance from DOD. If DOD approves the request, OFDA will work directly with the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s (J4) Logistics Readiness Center to work out the details on needs, availability, timeframes, and accountability. Be advised that any time DOD aircraft are used, OFDA must follow all DOD regulations on weights, cubes, manifesting, hazardous cargo, and takeoff and landings. If more information is needed on DOD regulations or restrictions, contact the OFDA’s Logistics Officer.

When loading and offloading any type of aircraft, the pilot or the crew chief is in charge, and will make the final determination on a "go/no-go" for the flight based on the load, weather conditions, runway conditions, and any conditions specific to the flight.

Always consider safety around aircraft. Follow the instructions of the pilot or crew chief.

B. Points To Consider When Dealing With Aircraft

  • Whenever possible, store all materials to be airlifted in con-tainers (e.g., suitcases, backpacks, and metal and cardboard boxes) for rapid handling and stacking on pallets.
  • Ensure that all individual containers must be small enough to fit through passenger doors of commercial aircraft in case cargo space is not available.
  • Package personal gear (e.g., in a pack or suitcase) with the owner’s name clearly marked for rapid customs processing.
  • Mark packages containing hazardous materials or chemicals and separate them from all other cargo so they can be left behind if they are refused by the carrier.
  • Ensure that individual pieces of cargo do not weigh more than 200 lb to enable pieces to be moved by two people. Each DART member is responsible for his or her personal luggage.
  • Consider the following factors when determining the fuel requirements and, thus, the cargo capacity of the aircraft (the more fuel required, the less weight available for cargo):
    • Length of the flight.
    • Availability of fuel en route to destination.
    • Availability of fuel at or near final destination for the return trip.
  • Follow crew duty day and flight times. Aircraft at your disposal are not an unlimited resource.

Crew duty day refers to the maximum amount of time that a flight crew can be engaged in standing by for a flight or actually flying in an aircraft. The normal crew duty day is 15 hours of combined standby/flying time. Crew flight time refers to the maximum amount of time a flight crew can spend physically flying or maintaining an aircraft. Sometimes certain preflight and postflight aircraft activities are included in crew flight time duty; verify this with the flight crew in advance. For your planning purposes, find out the flight crew’s duty day and flight times.

C. Aircraft Loading and Offloading Methods

Aircraft can be loaded in four ways.

  • Bulk-loaded: Cargo is loaded on the floor and held in place by nets, straps, or ropes.
  • Bulk loading may increase the usable cargo space on an aircraft; however, securing cargo in place may be more difficult than palletizing. Depending on the offloading equipment at the destination airport, bulk loading may be the best loading option. Bulkloading aircraft is normally seen on Russian cargo planes, such as the IL-76 and AN-12.
  • Palletized: Cargo is preloaded onto pallets; held in place by nets, straps, or ropes; and then loaded onto the aircraft.

Palletizing cargo is a frequently used method of moving OFDA commodities. Military and commercial aircraft can use pallets. Military pallets, officially called dual rail 463L pallets (nicknamed "cookie sheets"), measure 88 by 108 in, are made of aluminum, and weigh 356 lb. The loaded pallets can range in weight from 2,000 to 6,000 lb. These pallets are reusable and must be returned. Do not leave them at the unloading site. Pallets are used on C-5s, C-17s, C-141s, C-130s, and some commercial aircraft. For logistical planning purposes, when building pallets, limit the height of a pallet to 96 in for these aircraft unless authorized by the crew chief to stack higher.
The size of commercial pallets varies, but the most common sizes are 88 by 108 in or 88 by 125 in. Commercial pallets are used on DC-8s, B-727s, DC-10s, and B-747s and weigh approximately 231 lb. These pallets are also reusable. Commercial Hercules aircraft (C-140s) also use an 88 by 118 in pallet.

• Containerized: Cargo is preloaded into closed containers, and then loaded onto the aircraft.

Containerizing cargo is a method used to load the belly of commercial aircraft, such as 747s and DC-10s. Cargo containers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and the maximum loaded weights for containers used on aircraft can range from 200 to 10,000 lb. Each type of container is designed to be loaded and offloaded with cargo in place using a mechanized loading system or a forklift.

If a forklift will be used to load or offload containers or pallets, make sure that the forklift can carry the largest pallet, has tines long enough to counterbalance the weight, and that the highest point of the forklift is lower than that portion of the aircraft (wing, tail, or door in open position) where it must move to retrieve the container or pallet.

• External (helicopters only): Cargo is placed in a net or suspended from a line, and then picked up and moved by the helicopter using a belly hook.

External (sling) loading of cargo is performed with helicopters. Helicopters normally can lift and move less cargo externally than internally. The external cargo is loaded into specially made nets that are connected to a cargo hook on the belly of the helicopter. Cargo may also be suspended on cables (leadlines). Make sure that leadlines and nets are approved for slinging cargo.

Remember that pallets, containers, nets, and leadlines are reusable and may also need to be returned quickly to their points of origin to be used for loading more cargo. Always think in terms of "backhauling" cargo equipment for reuse or when no longer needed.

D. Points To Consider When Planning To Receive Aircraft Cargo

  • Ramp space for parking the aircraft. If no ramp space is available and the cargo will have to be unloaded on the active runway, consider offloading time and the schedules of other aircraft arrivals.
  • The weight of the loaded aircraft and the ability of the ramp to support parked aircraft.
  • Availability of trucks and laborers if the aircraft will be manually offloaded. Remember, planes may arrive at all hours.
  • Availability of correctly sized offloading equipment (e.g., K loader or forklift) if the aircraft will be offloaded using offloading equipment. Think again about arrival times. If offloading equipment is not available and a DOD aircraft is being used, OFDA Logistics may be able to get approval from DOD for the Air Force to bring along a forklift on the arriving aircraft. The amount of relief commodities that will fit on the aircraft, however, may be reduced.
  • Storage space near the ramp if the commodities will be stored close to the offloading point. Consider whether the location of the storage area will cause security problems.

Tables C-1 and C-2 list some types of fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft that have been or might be used by OFDA during disaster operations. The tables include specifications for the different categories of aircraft. The purpose of these tables is to assist in planning for the movement of people and commodities. Note, however, that these figures represent approximate aircraft specifications. Specifications for each aircraft will vary based on individual aircraft configurations and ratings, operating range, runway conditions, temperature, altitude, wind speed, and direction. Always check with local aviation authorities about which types of aircraft can operate in and out of local airports.
These tables do not include specifications for aircraft capable of spraying insecticides. These specifications are available through the OFDA Logistics Officer.

Table C-1. Capacities of Aircraft Freighters

Aircraft Type

MaximumCargo WeightMetric Tons(2,220 lb)

Cargo Hold SizeL x W x H(cm)

Door SizeW x H(CM)

UsableCargoVolume(m3)

Pallet Qty.224 x 318(cm)

DesiredRunwayLength(ft)

Most Often Used

AN-12

15

1,300 x 350 x 250

310 x 240

100

n/a

n/a

AN-26

5.5

1,060 x 230 x 170

200 x 160

50

n/a

n/a

AN-124

120

3,300 x 640 x 440

600 x 740

850

n/a

10,000

B707-320C

43

2,900 x 330 x 210

340 x 230

160

13

8,000

B727-100F

16

2,000 x 350 x 210

340 x 220

112

9

7,000

B727-200F

21

2,700 x 350 x 210

340 x 220

150

12

8,300

B747-200F

109

5,100 x 500 x 300

340 x 310

525

37

10,700

B747-400F

113

5,100 x 500 x 300

340 x 310

535

37

n/a

DC-8 55AF

43

3,000 x 330 x 210

350 x 220

150

13

8,000

DC-8 62AF

43

3,000 x 330 x 210

350 x 220

160

14

8,000

DC-8 73AF

51

4,100 x 330 x 210

350 x 220

210

18

8,000

DC-10 10F

56

4,100 x 450 x 250

350 x 260

380

23

8,000

DC-10 30F

70

4,100 x 450 x 250

350 x 260

380

23

8,000

IL-76

40

2,500 x 330 x 340

330 x 550

180

n/a

2,800

MD-11F

90

3,800 x 500 x 250

350 x 260

365

26

n/a

Other Craft Used

A300F4-100

40

3,300 x 450 x 250

360 x 260

320

20

8,200

A300F4-200

42

3,300 x 450 x 250

360 x 260

320

20

8,200

A310-200F

38

2,600 x 450 x 250

360 x 260

260

16

6,700

A310-300F

39

2,600 x 450 x 250

360 x 260

260

16

6,700

AN-22

60

3,300 x 440 x 440

300 x 390

630

n/a

n/a

AN-32

6.7

1,000 x 250 x 110

240 x 120

30

n/a

n/a

AN-72/74

10

1,000 x 210 x 220

240 x 150

45

n/a

n/a

B737-200F

12

1,800 x 330 x 190

350 x 210

90

7

7,000

B737-300F

16

1,800 x 330 x 210

350 x 230

90

8

7,000

B747-100F

99

5,100 x 500 x 300

340 x 310

525

37

9,000

B757-200F

39

3,400 x 330 x 210

340 x 220

190

15

5,800

B767-300F

55

3,900 x 330 x 240

340 x 260

300

17

6,500

BAe 146 100QT

7.5

1,600 x 280 x 180

330 x 190

65

6

4,200

BAe 146 200QT

9.5

1,600 x 280 x 180

330 x 190

65

6

4,700

BAe 146 300QT

10

1,800 x 280 x 180

330 x 190

75

7

n/a

BAe HS-748

5.1

1,100 x 250 x 190

270 x 170

55

n/a

n/a

Banderante

1.5

950 x 160 x 160

180 x 140

15

n/a

n/a

Beech 99

1.2

580 x 120 x 120

120 x 130

8

n/a

n/a

Cessna 406

1.5

460 x 140 x 130

125 x 125

8

n/a

n/a

Corvair CV-580

7.2

1,600 x 250 x 170

310 x 230

68

n/a

n/a

DC-3

3.5

1,000 x 200 x 175

215 x 150

30

n/a

4,300

DC-6

13

1,585 x 315 x 220

315 x 200

100

n/a

6,000

DC-9 10F

10

1,800 x 275 x 190

340 x 200

70

6

6,000

DC-9 33F

17

2,100 x 275 x 190

340 x 200

90

8

5,500

F-27

5.9

1,300 x 240 x 180

230 x 180

45

n/a

4,200

Fairchild Metro III

2.2

500 x 150 x 130

65 x 45

10

n/a

n/a

HS 748

6.0

1,090 x 135 x 190

170 x 265

55

n/a

n/a

King Air 350

1.2

590 x 140 x 140

120 x 160

10

n/a

n/a

L-100

22

1,780 x 310 x 260

300 x 280

120

6

n/a

L-100-20

20

1,780 x 310 x 260

300 x 280

120

6

n/a

L-100-30

23

1,780 x 310 x 260

300 x 280

120

6

n/a

L-1011 1F

49

4,100 x 460 x 290

400 x 300

296

23

7,400

L-1011 200F

54

4,100 x 460 x 290

400 x 300

296

23

7,400

L-188 Electra

15

2,000 x 300 x 190

350 x 200

80

6

n/a

LET-410

1.6

500 x 150 x 160

145 x 120

11

n/a

n/a

SD 360

3.5

1,000 x 190 x 185

165 x 140

35

n/a

n/a

SD 380

2.7

940 x 190 x 190

165 x 140

28

n/a

n/a

Shorts Belfast

34

1,900 x 360 x 360

400 x 400

250

n/a

n/a

Shorts SD-330-200

3.3

900 x 190 x 190

140 x 170

28

n/a

n/a

Trislander

1.5

800 x 110 x 125

120 x 110

250

n/a

n/a


Note: The cargo capacities and cruise speeds listed in the table are averages for that type of aircraft. Actual capacities will vary based on the altitude, ambient air temperature, and actual fuel on board.

Table C-2. Types of Helicopters That OFDA Typically Uses During Disaster Operations

Helicopter Type

FuelType

CruisingSpeed(knots)

Typical AllowablePayload forHovering InGround Effect(kg/lb)*

Typical AllowablePayload for HoveringOut of GroundEffect (kg/lb)†

Number of PassengerSeats

MI-8

Jet

110

3,000/6,600

3,000/6,600

20-30

Boeing H 47 Chinook

Jet

130

12,210/26,918

12,210/26,918

33

Bell 205 A-1

Jet

90

635/1,400

635/1,400

14

Bell 206L Long Ranger

Jet

110

522/1150

431/950

6

Bell 412 Huey

Jet

110

862/1900

862/1900

13

Sikorsky S-70 (U

Jet

145

2,404/5,300

1,814/4,000

14-17

Other Helicopters Used

Aerospatiale SA-315B Lama

Jet

80

420/925

420/925

4

Aerospatiale SA-316B Allouette III

Jet

80

526/1,160

479/1,055

6

Aerospatiale SA-318C Allouette II

Jet

95

420/926

256/564

4

Aerospatiale AS-332L Super Puma

Jet

120

2,177/4,800

1,769/3,900

26

Bell G-47 Aviation

Gas

66

272/600

227/500

1

Bell 47 Soloy

Jet

75

354/780

318/700

2

Bell 204B

Jet

120

599/1,200

417/920

11

Bell 206B-3 Jet Ranger

Jet

97

429/945

324/715

4

Bell 212

Jet

100

1,270/2,800

907/2,000

13

Bell 214 B-1

Jet

140

1,089/2,400

1,667/3,675

15-20

Boeing Vertol BV 107

Jet

120

4,400/9,700

4,400/9,700

n/a

Boeing Vertol BV 234

Jet

135

11,657/27,000

11,657/27,000

n/a

Eurocopter (MBB) BO-105 CB

Jet

110

635/1,400

445/980

4

Eurocopter BK-117A-4

Jet

120

599/1,320

417/920

11

Sikorsky S-58T

Jet

90

1,486/3,275

1,168/2,575

12-18

Sikorsky S-61N

Jet

120

2,005/4,420

2,005/4,420

n/a

Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane

Jet

80

7,439/16,400

7,439/16,400

n/a


* Use when takeoff and landing areas are relatively flat and load is nonjettisonable. Actual payload will vary based on elevation and temperature, amount of fuel, and other factors.

† Use for sling load missions (cargo is placed in a net or suspended from a line and picked up and moved by the helicopter using a belly hook) and adverse terrain (landing areas on top of steep ridges or adjacent to cliffs)or weather. Actual payload will vary based on elevation and temperature, amount of fuel, and other factors.

E. Ocean and Overland Transport

Ocean shipment always uses containerized cargo where the cargo is preloaded into closed containers and then loaded onto container ships. Containers may contain preloaded skids or be bulk-loaded. The type of overland transport depends on local road conditions and vehicle availability. Truck transport may use containers, or the trucks may be loaded with skids or bulk-loaded to fill the available space. When planning for loading containers or trucks with skids, know the container and the skid dimensions and whether the skids are stackable, so that the number of skids that can be placed in a container or truck can be determined.

Typical dimensions and specifications of the most common containers are listed in table C-3; however, checking on the availability and specifications of overland carriers with local transport companies is recommended.

Table C-3. Overland Transport Capacities

Type of Surface Carrier

Payload

Cubic Capacity(m3)

Standard Sea/Land Containers

20 ft (6.1 m)

22 t

33

20 ft high cube (HC)

28 t

37

40 ft (12.2 m)

26 t

67

40 ft HC

26 t

76

Other Carriers

Standard railway car

30 t

52

Large lorry and trailer

20-30 t

n/a

Large articulated lorry

30-40 t

n/a

Medium lorry

5-8 t

n/a

Long wheelbase Land Rover,Land Cruiser or pickup truck

1 t

n/a

Typical water tanker

8 t

8

Hand-drawn cart

300 kg

n/a

Camel

250 kg (more for short distances)

n/a

Donkey

100 kg

n/a

Bicycle

100 kg

n/a

Last updated: March 20, 2006