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Inviting non pilots along

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Inviting non pilots along

Old 11th Dec 2021, 16:19
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Mobile phones into flight mode or off and check/go to the toilet before we leave.

If you drop anything to the floor, tell me as it could find it's way under the rudder pedals.

And $100 on a hamburger?
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Old 11th Dec 2021, 23:54
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Keep in mind that the non flying public is generally clueless and borderline ignorant.
Low wing airplane - approach, embark and disembark to the rear and do NOT walk around the front of the plane.
High wing - approach, embark and disembark to the rear of the strut and do NOT walk around the front of the airplane.
Tell them to NEVER touch the propeller.
They may see you do it but there’s a simple answer, you know when it’s safe.

When pushing back just ask one person to help and not all of them.
Have the preflight completed before they show up and just give the safety brief.
Involve them in the flight, have them point out landmarks and other traffic.
Fly like you’ve got your grandmother in the back and your inheritance is at stake.
Its all about their enjoyment.
If you invite people then don’t expect them to pay.
If they ask you for a joyride then it’s more then fair to ask for sharing the cost.
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Old 12th Dec 2021, 06:57
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Porteous Loopy View Post
There are a lot of very useful points here. Whilst under pressure of trying to plan a flight and coordinate the activities of non-experienced passengers it might be possible to forget some of the great advice. Perhaps there would be some value in listing the points in some form of aide memoire? Just an idea.
Wasn't there a whole thread on this recently?

Last edited by SWBKCB; 12th Dec 2021 at 15:21.
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Old 12th Dec 2021, 08:12
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by B2N2 View Post
If you invite people then don’t expect them to pay.
If they ask you for a joyride then it’s more then fair to ask for sharing the cost.
This is what I couldn’t find how to explain earlier.
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Old 12th Dec 2021, 08:43
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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I think someone mentioned it but I will say it again: distraction management. No matter what you say beforehand to people with no experience of light aircraft, they will do things that occupy your attention at inopportune moments. Think of it like taking a car full of schoolchildren for a fun trip somewhere. If you are not confident in dealing with passenger issues while operating the aircraft safely, get some more practice in before attempting it for real. You need spare capacity available to do this, otherwise no-one will enjoy the flight.

I find keeping a gentle running commentary on what’s going on helps, and most importantly telling people what’s going to happen next, so they are not surprised/startled/frightened by something benign. Remember, the whole objective is fun, sport and amusement, not to leave people thinking that aviation is unpleasant and dangerous...
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Old 12th Dec 2021, 12:18
  #26 (permalink)  
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Whether you're a new PPL, or very experienced, the care you take of your passengers should be the same. Being an experienced pilot will add a layer of safety, but if you're keeping the flight safe anyway, that should be fine, you passenger won't know the difference. Do not fly to the limit of your skill, fly to the comfort and enjoyment of your passenger. I have observed that newer pilots are sometimes less casual about the flight, and in being so, demonstrate more care for their passenger. When flying a plane is routine, a pilot's interest in the passenger's ride may be too.

As said, keep the flight short, until you're confident that passenger is at ease being airborne. Choose a smooth day. If the passenger seems uneasy, or stops speaking, they're probably feeling airsick, and may not want to say - head home. If you know that your passenger is not feeling 100%, bank as little as possible, and draw their attention to features on the horizon, not below the plane.

Assure that they receive a briefing about seatbelts, exits, fire extinguisher, and first aid kit, sufficient that they can help themselves (and you) if you cannot. To the extreme, when I used to take my daughter fly in camping, I prepared detailed instructions on bright pink paper, and put them in a zip lock bag in her side pocket. I told her they were there, and if something happened to me to read them.

Telling your passenger to keep their feet off the pedals is impractical in some types, particularly if they're tall. I prefer to tell them that I don't mind if they rest their feet on the pedals, they will feel them moving - just don't oppose the motion they feel. I've never had a problem - and less worried passenger.

Taking a passenger is not the time to show off, it's the time to impress them with a boring, smooth flight - zero of "watch this....."
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Old 12th Dec 2021, 12:23
  #27 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Porteous Loopy
There are a lot of very useful points here. Whilst under pressure of trying to plan a flight and coordinate the activities of non-experienced passengers it might be possible to forget some of the great advice. Perhaps there would be some value in listing the points in some form of aide memoire? Just an idea.
Wasn't there a whole thread on this recently?
Yes, there was - started by Porteous Loopy and then deleted by Porteous Loopy.
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Old 12th Dec 2021, 13:32
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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I was trying to get into a 500m strip, which is short for me, but ok for our aircraft.

The approach was over a hill, I’m not used to passing low over a hill on short final before the land drops away to the runway infront, so it was my 3rd attempt (really the first one was just sighting, I wasn’t expecting to land off it) when my passenger suddenly LOUDLY exclaimed

“Down there…. Down there …” urging me to look.

Then said “a steam train!”

the only reply I could come up with was

”yeah, I’m a bit busy at the moment”.

Since that, I’ve briefed about sterile cockpit if I hold my finger up or look particularly busy
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Old 12th Dec 2021, 15:17
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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As a freshly minted PPL DO NOT experiment with destinations you’re not familiar with while carrying passengers.
Save that for flying with pilot friends.
However tempting do not pick up your passengers at farms trips or private strips you’re not familiar with.
It may be perfect for the owners STOL two seater and your four seater club banger may end up in the trees.
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Old 12th Dec 2021, 19:08
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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I find keeping a gentle running commentary on what’s going on helps, and most importantly telling people what’s going to happen next, so they are not surprised/startled/frightened by something benign. Remember, the whole objective is fun, sport and amusement, not to leave people thinking that aviation is unpleasant and dangerous...
Totally agree. All this stuff demanding that the passenger should not be involved, sit tight, touch nothing and shut up other than that is: "look out the window, if you see an aeroplane - then tell me" is terrible. Or is this the idea: we used to tell the children, on long journeys, when they were small, to count red telephone boxes to keep them occupied.

After 12,000 hours of flying I have never had anyone grab the controls or accidentally apply the foot brakes. I have never enforced silence or suppressed questions. At the times that it is important to hear ATC or other aircraft I simply tell the passengers that silence from them, for a time, is needed and why.

Some years ago I had a young excellent instructor working for me, it was her first job. She came back from one trial flight as white as a sheet. Just after take off her passenger had grabbed the controls such that she had to fight him off and this it transpired wasn't the first time. She had fully briefed this trial flight and once in the aeroplane he was instructed to keep his feet on the floor and hands off the controls. This is what she had been taught. I encouraged her to involve the trial flight more. That there are lots of opportunities to allow the them to apply the controls while on the way to the runway: to test the brakes, full and free movement of the rudder pedals and the hand controls. This was contrary to her training but she took my advice. She never had such an experience again.

The passenger/trial flight adult is not stupid nor ignorant but they need information, and that is why they have enthusiastically come along. Many will lap up the information with relish but others may be bored by too much. Use your judgement. Most of us are uncomfortable when not in control, information is empowering. Involving your passenger in the walk round is not a distraction. You will probably do it in more detail than you have ever done.

Last edited by Fl1ingfrog; 12th Dec 2021 at 19:30.
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Old 12th Dec 2021, 21:35
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by B2N2 View Post
As a freshly minted PPL DO NOT experiment with destinations you’re not familiar with while carrying passengers.
Save that for flying with pilot friends.
However tempting do not pick up your passengers at farms trips or private strips you’re not familiar with.
It may be perfect for the owners STOL two seater and your four seater club banger may end up in the trees.
oh, I should mention this was with a chap a fly with regularly. I should have said that.

Definitely not a new passenger.

I suppose I was just mentioning because even experienced passengers sometimes get it wrong.
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Old 18th Dec 2021, 08:43
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by double_barrel View Post
As a low hours PPL, I have never flown with a non pilot. I am beginning to wonder about asking among my group of friends and colleagues if they would like to come along for a sight-seeing flight to one of the more picturesque airstrips that I am familiar with, and perhaps contribute to the fuel costs, or at least buy me a $100 hamburger. I could use the flying time, and someone contributing to the costs would be very helpful. Of course, I understand that this would be a different scale of responsibility compared to flying with someone who understands exactly what they are letting themselves in for.

I know that I would have jumped at the chance to do this just a couple of years ago - but obviously I am strange. I wonder if you folks could share some experiences/suggestions/precautions on approaching and flying with innocent non pilot friends? What reaction might I expect when they first see a rattly old C172 rather than the sleek jet they probably had in their minds ? How do passengers typically react to being bounced around by turbulence while squeezed into a tin can with all the sophistication of a Hillman Imp? How often do they scream and grab your arm?! A few sudden and substantial, buffets are almost inevitable as we descend over ground that has been baking in the sun. Obviously a good briefing is critical to set their expectations, but how to get that right without overloading or terrifying them....
Some quick thoughts.

* As a low timer you should consider taking a special crew management addon lesson with an experienced trainer. Distractions at wrong moment demand a high skill for being focussed.
* Do short straight line hops with passengers not used to the rapid movement of small aircraft.
* Get sick bags and train (!) what to do when that annoyance occurs.
* No kids in the front seat until experienced enough to be better than their parents.
* Check the insurance coverage of the aircraft and make sure passengers are covered.
* Don't get any money for anything related to the flight, especially when holding a FAA license. The line to CPL-mandatory is ultra-thin. Donations outside the flying world don't count.

Last - I don't take passengers I don't know and trust my life on, wouldn't be the first suicide from the right seat.
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Old 18th Dec 2021, 09:25
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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...and remember it's meant to be fun!
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Old 18th Dec 2021, 11:56
  #34 (permalink)  
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Last - I don't take passengers I don't know and trust my life on, wouldn't be the first suicide from the right seat
Happily, as a PPL, it can be presumed that you're only taking people whom you have invited, and thus you know - or else, how did they get invited? If you know someone whom you suspect is unbalanced, you should be doing something for them other than taking them flying! I can't say that no one has ever committed suicide from the right seat, but I think the chance that you might choose ti invite a person along, who then seized upon the opportunity to wrestle control away from you long enough to crash the plane are infinitesimally small - worry about absolutely everything else before that!

As for passengers being sick, firstly never coax a person into flying, if they choose not to accept your invitation, smile understandingly. Not everyone is meant to fly, and some know it. Once airborne, it is your job to take enough interest in your passengers to be aware if they have stopped talking, that will be the first sign they are feeling unwell. Ask them how they are feeling. If they say "fine", they could still be attempting to conceal airsickness, make the flight smooth with fewer turns, and consider ending it early. If they say they are feeling unwell, certainly fly smooth with few turns, and end early. Direct their attention to features on the horizon, and fly so they remain in view as much as possible. When you need to turn, direct their attention to a feature which come more into view as you turn, not something they'll have to twist or look down to continue to see. In 45 years of flying hundreds of people, often on their first flight, I've only had three be airsick, and two of those were entirely mu fault for maneuvering when I should have flown much more sublimely. More commonly, I have quietly terminated a flight early, suspecting a passenger was feeling unwell, to have them continue to assert that they were fine. Memorably, in the case of one person, who was my passenger in her professional capacity as an aircraft engineer, I have, on three different flights brought her back early, as she was so quiet, and hardly responded to me, that I figured she was unwell. She keeps telling me that she loves going flying. I have told her twice now, that she should assert that to me while flying, rather than after I have landed, and I'll give her a longer flight!

Just because you might fly a four seat plane, does not mean you have to fill the seats, just take one person, until you're used to carrying passengers.

A reason to not take kids in the front seat might be that kid in the front, and parent(s) in the back is poor C of G, but more importantly, see point above.

I once had a teenage passenger front seat with me. I knew that this person was mentally disadvantaged, so was not entirely sure what to expect. He seemed to be having a wonderful time, and I let him fly just a little at altitude. Later in the flight, he decided that he'd like to fly again, and did not accept my instruction to let go. So I pitched the plane up against his control inputs, and released his seat lock, so the seat rolled back while I then pushed the control wheel forward. It was momentarily messy, but he could then no longer reach the controls. If you're really uncertain about passenger and controls, position their seat out of reach. But, if you're uncertain anyway, you should not take them at all.

Sure, confirm insurance. But, if you're renting the plane from a reputable organization you can be confident that it is correctly insured, it's a legal requirement - but sure, ask. I have been asked several times to present my papers during random ramp checks, so it never hurts to have them in order! Ironically, one of those ramp checks was at a dock in Arctic Canada, while I was flying (solo) a Transport Canada flight test. The two Transport Canada inspectors were un moved when I explained the purpose of the flight, show us your papers.... Well, I was insured to fly the plane under my employer's fleet insurance, for which I was not carrying any papers (my oversight). he plane was insured, and those papers were there. Happily for me, the inspectors did not figure out that I was not covered by that policy, and accepted what I presented.

As said, as a PPL, your only reason for taking a passenger is for fun, so make it fun, and keep it fun.
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Old 20th Dec 2021, 15:23
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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https://www.latimes.com/local/la-xpm...html?_amp=true

https://azdailysun.com/passenger-pil...49b480d75.html

https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com...html?_amp=true


Obviously rare but it does happen.
Can’t find the news link but I believe it was Florida where a person jumped during an introduction flight for the instructor to return alone.
Personally I wouldn’t fly with a person with any mental retardation.
Done that once and it turned into an immediate turn for downwind and expedited landing.

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Old 20th Dec 2021, 18:16
  #36 (permalink)  
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I agree that people have committed suicide by jumping in flight, and I can think of a few other sad stories of this in addition to those referred above, but I believe that those were cases where the passenger sought (and booked/paid for) the flight. If you, as a PPL are inviting a person for a flight (the most likely way that you could have a passenger at all as a PPL) you do not have someone along who has approached you to take them up.

But, yes, were you to be approached by a person not known to you at all, to be taken flying, that should make you think just a little more about your willingness to take that person.
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Old 21st Dec 2021, 05:20
  #37 (permalink)  
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True of course, I would certainly be very selective about who I approached. For example, I certainly won’t be starting with my wife! She is a terrible back seat driver in the car and she grabs my arm when in an A380 encountering a bit of a wobble. I dread to think what she would be like crammed up against me while I was trying to manage a 172.
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Old 23rd Dec 2021, 22:32
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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I had a little Beagle mix and she went everywhere with me including to school with me...and I would put her in the plane as I was doing my training...that being said,

if you're careful you may convince them to feel a 2 G turn or experience a power on stall. One of my former girlfriends was terrified by flying, she needed a Xanax or Ativan to fly so I was surprised when she came along with me in a little Archer. she experienced, slow flight, 2G turns and touch and goes. Afterwards, she lost her fear of flying, no more meds, and when it came time to travel she would say I was on a 767 or I was on a 737...etc.
the epilogue would demonstrate that she subsequently went Sky diving!
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Old 23rd Dec 2021, 23:10
  #39 (permalink)  
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For about ten years, I would attend a friend's annual corn roast with my plane. I took all the kids flying, which usually meant that I flew the entire afternoon, thirty or so flights was common. In one of the latter years, a delightful teenager presented herself, and told me that I'd taken her flying (her first flight) years earlier at the corn roast. She was so inspired that she joined air cadets, earned both her glider and powered licenses, and had now been accepted into the Canadian Forces in the hope of being a pilot.
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Old 28th Dec 2021, 23:55
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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Nobody is afraid of flying. They're afraid of dying

Pilot DAR, isn't it wonderful to get someone interested/obsessed with flying?
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