Pilot's tip of the week

Preflight Passenger Briefing


Subscriber question:

"Few pilots I fly with ever give a safety briefing to their passengers. What items should we point out or discuss with our passengers before takeoff?" - Larry J.


“Let’s start at the beginning. FAR 91.107 mandates that no pilot may take off a U.S.-registered civil aircraft unless the pilot in command of that aircraft ensures that each person on board is briefed on how to fasten and unfasten that person’s safety belt and, if installed, the shoulder harness.

preflight-passenger-briefing.pngThe Big Picture—Make sure your passengers are well aware of just what it is they will be doing. Your passengers can be an asset or liability on any flight. Your preflight briefing will directly determine which role they play. Let them know what they can do to help you (i.e. scanning for traffic) and what they can do to hurt you (i.e. distracting you from flying). They should know how long the flight will be and make sure there are no surprises.

Sterile Cockpit—Airline pilots are not allowed extraneous chatter during critical phases of flight and neither should you. Make sure they know exactly when they can talk with you and when not to!

Airsickness—Everyone is capable of feeling uncomfortable during flight, especially newcomers. Provide airsickness bags and make sure your passengers let you know sooner rather than later if they are having problems.

Evacuation—Make sure all passengers know how to evacuate from the aircraft in an emergency. You may be incapacitated and your life could well be in their hands!

Traffic—We operate in a busy aviation system. All sets of eyes are critical. Get your passengers involved with looking outside and calling out other aircraft.

CRM—Good cockpit resource management says that we get everybody in our aircraft involved in conducting safe operations. Let your passengers know their feedback is important and they should not be intimidated about advising you of safety concerns.”

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