By Cory Graff
When conducting weight and balance calculations on an airplane, you want the machine to rest at flight attitude. On a tail-dragger, the aircraft can be 10 degrees or more nose-up when it is sitting on the ground. When the angle shifts, so does the weight distribution of the plane’s components. To get the plane oriented correctly, a mechanic uses leveling lugs—a pair of small brackets carefully riveted into the interior of the plane. Run a rigid piece of wood or metal between these lugs and you have an excellent place to set your level. One look at the level tells you whether you are tail up or nose up, or just right.