Hatfield veteran: 'If I did it wrong people's lives could be at stake'
A former Royal Air Force air loadmaster shares with the Welwyn Hatfield Times her experiences of the crucial job role.
The loadmaster performs the calculations, plans cargo and passenger placements to keep the aircraft within permissible centre-of- gravity limits throughout the flight.
Once positioned aboard the aircraft, the loadmaster ensures that their charges are properly secured, as an unexpected shift of the load can produce serious handling problems for the aircraft.
Jan Burt 64, of Welwyn, joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) at the age of 21.
Jan said: “I was so excited. I had always wanted to be an air hostess so it gave me the chance to do that and more.
“I had to make sure the aircraft was loaded and safe to fly. If I did it wrong people’s lives could be at stake.
“You’re trained so it’s just second nature. You don’t even think about it while doing it.
“One time three engines stopped working. We were doing hot air trials, and had to run the aircraft on one engine.
“It was one of my first flights so it was just exciting to me but it was very serious. We had to throw fuel tanks out so it would reduce to a weight where it was safe to land.”
Jan now regularly fundraises for dementia care at www.jan4dementia.co.uk