ISTR that in Canada it's forbidden to allow passengers to touch the controls?
I have only let a few people take control, but most of them have been terribly ginger and I got the impression that they enjoyed looking out of the window. I'm not sure whether it's my teaching style or choice of passenger that's at fault.
401.03(1) Subject to subsection (2), no person shall act as a flight crew member or exercise the privileges of a flight crew permit, licence or rating unless
(amended 2010/02/02; previous version) (a) the person holds the appropriate permit, licence or rating;
The "privilege" would be primarily to act as the pilot in command. A Pilot in Command is responsible for the flight as a whole. A "flight Crew Member" would be a person who is entitled to exercise the privilege, and is required for the flight in terms of minimum required crew for that aircraft.
Therefore, for most of our GA aircraft, there can only be one flight crew member, unless it is a training flight, and that one flight crew member would have to be the PIC, so would have to have the appropriate license.
That said, I don't see anywhere in there where there is a prohibition of a non flight crew member handling the controls. Elsewhere it says that you have to be an instructor to provide training, and nothing says "go ahead and let the passenger fly for fun", but it is not prohibited either.
If a PIC is not satisfied that they can safely conduct the flight with a non pilot handling the controls, that is entirely up to them, and that is to be respected. However, in the absence of a prohibition, and if the PIC is comfortable letting another person to fly, I cannot see how it breaks a [Canadian] regulation.
Transport Canada had at me once, when an inspector became aware that on a weekly basis I rode around right seat, while the owner, who had lost his medical for a year, flew his 182RG around. TC tried to convince me that my doing so contravened regulation - but I did not see how. I was the PIC, the aircraft did not state which seat I was to occupy, so I acted at all times to assure that the flight was conducted safely - I just did not fly it myself.
There was chatter about the risks of pilot incapacitation, or loss of consciousness, and that I had to be an instructor to allow him to fly. Why, I asked, do instructors have incapacitation training? Not usually!. I could be left seat, and my non flying passenger become incapacitated, with every bit the same risks to the safety of the flight as though they'd been flying on the left when it happened. There seemed no retort to that logic.
Though TC was not going to condone my letting him fly, they seemed to decline making an issue out of it either....
If you are truly comfortable, let another person share the joy we do! I try to get every passenger to fly a bit if they will....
Do not know much about Italy but I bet you my half eaten sandwich that there are hundreds of unlicenced pax at the controls over France every single week-end... My Dad let me fly his Jodel for the first time when I was five years old and every time I was in the bird with him after that... It is current practice in all french clubs or owners over the Alps... No big deal and what a good way to transmit a passion! If you had to pay or register as a Student Pilot before having a go, there would not be many candidates to the licence. Safe flying all. Al.
Paperwork accidentally out of date isn't 'no licence whatsoever' even if legally it invalidates that licence. Yes, I knew about the scotman who killed himself in his first unlicenced and untrained flexwing flight and the loons above; that's why I wrote "don't appear much" instead of "never appear at all" in the reports.
Last edited by Shaggy Sheep Driver; 21st Dec 2012 at 11:03.
Seems to me most of the argument (particularly from Dg800) hinges around the definition of pilot. You'd hope that would be clearly defined, but that seems too much to ask; I think most pilots would agree there's a lot more to being pilot (whether in command or not) than simply poking the controls - or to put it another way, is someone on a trial flight a pilot? I'd suggest not.
Legalese aside, I've never had an issue with letting folks have a go; in my experience they're more worried they might do something daft than I am - provided they're not given control in an inappropriate situation, there's little they can really do to hurt the flight.
That said, I'd be more cautious with tandem seating, especially if the pax was behind - I remember an early gliding instructor explaining to me that he sat in the back because if I did something stupid he could smack me around the head until I let go(!)
UK perspective, and I suspect almost everywhere else too.
I suspect that the absence of specific legislation regarding pax handling the controls of private aircraft is due to the total non-issue of them doing so, to the extent that the law has no interest in it. Far beyond a non-issue in fact, surely this is so well established over the best part of a century that it is normal aviation practice?
It is unnecessary for the regs re commercial aircraft to address this as company Ops manuals deal with it.
Why anyone gets hot under the collar about this is beyond me, as is the attitude of a PPL who refuses to let pax have a go. How sad that people feel so over-regulated that they manage to imagine "rules" where none exist. Didn't they study Aviation Law? As it is something that everyone knows almost all piots do it would feature large if it were illegal, wouldn't it? And wouldn't there be regs preventing pax sitting in front of controls? Or requirements to remove them (if removable) if the seat occupant didn't have a licence? Use your noddles people. This is just daft! D'uh oh!
So what does the book have to say about this, nothing. Nothing whatsoever, so how does anyone dream this nonsense up?
Further on understanding of the the Aviation Law aspect, there has been discussion above on the definition of "flight crew" and whether hands on the controls makes one so. Common sense says not, but that's no longer something to be relied upon these days. However your knowledge of Aviation Law (once again) should tell you...How many pilots is the aircraft certified for? In the PPL case just one. In a normal private flight can it have more? No, just one. No one else can log hours but the pilot in command. If handling the controls made you part of the flight crew you'd be able to log the hours, wouldn't you? But you know perfectly well you can't. So what happens if a second PPL (this is not an instructional flight) is in the second seat. What happens if he doesn't handle the controls and just sits there. Is he part of the flight crew? Of course not. That's clearly daft. So if he now does handle the controls is he suddenly part of the flight crew? If so when does he log his time as whatever category of whatever this imaginary category of flight crew is? From take off? Handling time only? Of course not. How can he be if it is a single pilot operation? And wouldn't the regs - which are pretty comprehensive - deal with this glaring anomaly if it fact it actually existed. Of course it would. The fact they are silent on the matter proves that it is in fact pure imagination, it does not exist.
Forget about it people, get on with your flying and when appropriate let your eager pax have a go. When to do so is your decision as the sole pilot in command of a single pilot flight.
Last edited by Agaricus bisporus; 21st Dec 2012 at 13:42.
The PIC is responsible for the safety of the flight, and (assuming a successful outcome), he is the sole judge of that. Clearly there are some aircraft where most would feel it was safe, eg a PA28 S&L at 3000ft with CAS and wx OK. Clearly there are other aircraft where it would not be safe, eg small helicopters.
From the R22 POH:
CAUTION For helicopters with removable controls, remove left seat controls if person in that seat is not a rated helicopter pilot.
But even here it is a caution, and it certainly does not read as though they are describing a legal issue.
It is mind boggling the number of times PPLs seem to invent, make up or mis-interpret rules in a more restrictive fashion than necessary. Why are we a nation of devoted rule followers? For what it's worth I offer the controls to pax on climb out, provided I have deemed them not likely to panic, & if they wish to do so I let them fly the thing as long as they like while I do the RT & nav, including most of the way round the circuit to base leg at least. I do not however, gawp out the side with my finger up my ass while they are doing this. They are briefed to let go of everything if I say "I have control" or "gimme it!". I don't see the point in making pax think that poleing an a/c around the sky is rocket science performed by God-like Supermen. I have not yet allowed a non pilot land the thing though I did once let a perfectly qualified PPL nosewheel pilot land it,
(tailwheel), with no problems other than telling him to keep the stick all the way back after touchdown. I am not an instructor so no doubt I will now be considered an arsehole for being stupid. But & a big but, who is qualified to judge my judgement?
Quite right, Crash one. I do the same, except, since a bad experience many years ago letting a nosewheel pilot do the landing in an L4 Cub. He was a GA instructor of very many years (on spamcans), an ATPL with an airline day job, and very current. But he (me really for letting him do it) almost destroyed that Cub and possibly us as well. I caught it and recovered it in nanoseconds at what I thought was too late... but we and that lovely aeroplane survived. I don't know how. It's the closest I've ever come to aviation disaster. I might spill the full story on here some time; we'll see.
Nice to know I'm not quite unique, I don't think I'll do that again either as it did take a bit of footwork on my part to regain "control" during the roll out. His comment was " Everything went as smooth a silk till touchdown, then all hell broke loose!"