For Passengers Ears Only
Today is passenger awareness day for all who fly right seat with out a care in the world.
Any licensed pilot will tell you it takes a great amount of time and dedication to complete both the ground school and flight testing which enables them to be the captain.
From the time a person decides to take flight training thru completion there is a barrage of studying testing and hurdle hopping to prove the individual is capable and competent to hold a pilots licence.
The candidate is subjected to in flight emergencies and challenges under a variety of situations, making sure there is a though understanding of what to do if something goes wrong.
Once this phase has passed many continue for years with out re- visiting the POH
(Pilots Operating Hand book). To refresh their memory on how to handle engine failures and other unscheduled conditions which may arise in flight why not put the person at the controls to the test.
Remember one thing about flying any aircraft your suspended by thin air at great speeds with out any brakes and before long guaranteed to be returning to mother earth.
This being said why is it so important frequent flyers of the aviators club be informed of what exactly to think about when going flying?
Why because you are directly involved in all events which take place on any particular flight, and if you think nothing ever goes wrong simply read over to the aircraft accidents well documented by the FAA.
Unfortunately even with high standards in flight training and maintenance, there are still many variables which attribute to damaged aircraft and injuries all over the world on a daily basis.
So what can you do as a passenger to aid in the safe uneventful return of each flight as you have in the past, and expect to in the future?
Firstly, be a part of the flight crew from the point of helping organize the equipment for any flight, and to keeping the captain honest in their duties by the occasional quiz.
When planning a trip into far off lands, be sure there is a lighter on board and emergency equipment, including bug spray in the summer for the unlikely event you find out the battery is dead late in the day at that wonderful remote lake you have just discovered.
Never ever wear anything which gives buoyancy in flight such as a boater style life jacket or floater coat, especially important for children!
Simple logic for this is if an aircraft does end up inverted in water for any reason ,it will be near impossible for the individual pinned to the ceiling to evacuate and equally difficult to aid in their Egress.
As for life vests, next time you are over open water think about where yours is, and know how to inflate it should your life depend on that knowledge.
Next time you are entering any aircraft look around at things such as door handles and exits, because the time to find out they are foreign objects to you is not during an emergency.
When you wrap the seat belts around your waist and buckle them together take note that they are not built by Ford or in any way released by pushing a button on your hip, as is your familiar automobile style belts. Shoulder harnesses in the front seats were designed and tested for forward impacts, wear them at all times without any exceptions.
That includes the person at the controls, as he/she would become a liability instead of the guiding light should you end up in the lake with a sudden stop, and they becoming one with the dash board.
Get information on the brace for impact position, which in simple terms means cross your arms and grasp the shoulder harness at chest level.
This will help to avoid breaking limbs outstretched when impact forces exceed many times your body weight.
Remove glasses and your headset thus avoiding entanglement, followed by unlatching doors at the Captains command which will ensure the exit can not be jammed shut during the sudden stop.
On occasion pull out the aircraft manual stuck way in the back of the glove box, and quiz your captain on emergencies and critical speeds such as engine out descents rates which should be committed to memory.( If this upsets them more the reason to continue)
The last suggestion I have for you is, before long enrol yourself and your fellow flyers in Egress Training. My personal experience in warm pool Egress Training with over 5000 pilots and passengers is, none did well the first few tries in our simulation equipment submerged in warm water and under ideal conditions, that includes pilots who are responsible for their passengers