Pilot's tip of the week

Sightseeing Flights

Featuring

Subscriber question:

"I'm planning to take my niece and nephew on a sightseeing flight. I've never done this before. Is there anything special I should tell them before takeoff?"

Bob:

“Sightseeing flights always make me a little nervous because of the fact that they take place close to the ground and contain a built-in distraction. Neither of these situations is ideal.

A key to keeping these flights safe is a solid preflight briefing to our passengers. Along with our standard passenger briefing, they need to know that we will not make any low passes over people or places on the ground. It’s dangerous and inappropriate. They also need to be briefed on airsickness since sightseeing flights might involve extra maneuvering flight.

The subject of a sterile cockpit needs to be clearly understood so that there are no distractions to the pilot at inappropriate times.

Most importantly the pilot needs to fly the aircraft safely and judiciously throughout the flight. Slow flying or steep turns will not only unnerve the passengers, but can put the aircraft dangerously close to a stall at low altitude.

No matter where we fly, we need to thoroughly understand where we can safely operate and what we must avoid. With good preparation and forethought, a sightseeing flight can be a joy for all concerned. Have Fun.”

Do you have a special passenger briefing for sightseeing you've found to be helpful?

(NEW) VFR Mastery scenario #72 “Rocky Mountain Milestone” is now available. You know high-altitude flying, as it’s where you trained. You have a capable airplane and a clear plan in mind. The devil is in the details when it comes to calculated performance, though, and a few extra degrees can make all the difference in getting off the pavement. Watch the Intro video.

Get the Pilot’s Tip of the Week

Sign up here to receive tips like this every week along with videos, quizzes and more.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.