What exactly is a plane's useful load?

I wasn't sure exactly what it means. I thought it was the weight that a plane can carry *after* being filled with fuel, but I Googled it to be sure. I found a definition that says it's the max weight allowable INCLUDING fuel, people & baggage. This doesn't seem right! The specs for the Bonanza... show more I wasn't sure exactly what it means. I thought it was the weight that a plane can carry *after* being filled with fuel, but I Googled it to be sure. I found a definition that says it's the max weight allowable INCLUDING fuel, people & baggage.

This doesn't seem right!

The specs for the Bonanza g36 say its "useful load"= 1,073 lbs. If it can carry up to 6 people, let's assume they weight 170lbs each. 6x170=1,020 lbs. So according to the above definition, that would mean a Bonanza could only carry 53lbs of fuel?! Avgas weighs what, over 6 lbs/gallon?

Can someone please clarify exactly what "useful load" is for GA aircraft? I'm gearing up to get my ppl and wanna know this basic stuff in advance.

https://beechcraft.txtav.com/en/bonanza-g36
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