Instructor and passenger taking a flight in a fixed wing Microlight Ikarus C42

The ultimate guide: What to include in a passenger briefing

As a responsible pilot, it’s crucial to conduct a comprehensive passenger briefing to ensure everyone’s safety and comfort. So, whether you’re a seasoned aviator or a budding pilot, this blog post will guide you through the essential elements to include in your passenger briefing. In fact, you are legally responsible for providing a passenger briefing according to the Air Navigation Order (see the safety sense leaflet here).

Welcome aboard and introduction

Start your passenger briefing with a warm welcome. Introduce yourself, creating a friendly and approachable atmosphere. By establishing a personal connection from the start, you’ll help passengers feel more at ease and build trust in your abilities as their pilot. Before getting into the aircraft, brief them on how to get in, what to remain clear of, and check what they are bringing onboard.

C42 interior cockpit at Goodwood Aerodrome

Seat belts and safety

Safety is of paramount importance in aviation. Explain the location and proper use of seat belts and harnesses. Ensure that each passenger understands the importance of wearing them throughout the entire flight, including takeoff, landing, and any turbulent conditions. Encourage them to keep their seat belts securely fastened until you provide further instructions.

Emergency exits and procedures

Next, familiarise your passengers with the location of emergency exits and demonstrate how they operate. Explain the emergency procedures, such as evacuation protocols, and emphasise the importance of remaining calm and following your instructions in case of an emergency situation. Reinforce that their safety is your top priority. You are also legally obliged to tell your passengers if there is or is not a first aid kit, fire extinguisher or life jacket onboard.

Interior seating of C42 Ikarus microlight

Communication and headsets

Inform your passengers about the communication system on board, particularly if headsets are available. Explain how to use them to communicate with you during the flight. Encourage passengers to ask questions or request assistance using the provided headsets, promoting open lines of communication throughout the flight. You should also explain when they need to be quiet allowing you to concentrate on aviating or radio calls yourself. This is especially important during key moments of the flight such as being in the circuit, landing and take off.

Cockpit environment and comfort

To ensure your passengers have a comfortable flight experience, provide information about cockpit features, including window ventilation and door handles. Encourage them to let you know if they have any specific requirements or concerns regarding their comfort during the flight. It’s also worth briefing them on what they can and cannot hold onto should they feel the need!

SportAir Microlights

Photography and electronic devices

Discuss the guidelines for using electronic devices and photography equipment on board. Clarify any restrictions or safety considerations, such as when devices should be switched to airplane mode or restrictions on the use of certain devices during critical flight phases. Ensuring everyone understands these guidelines will contribute to a safe and distraction-free environment.

Club member flying Eurofox microlight

Flight duration and Route highlights

Inform your passengers about the estimated flight duration and highlight any notable landmarks or points of interest along the planned route. Sharing this information not only keeps your passengers engaged but also allows them to appreciate the unique perspectives and breathtaking views that flying offers.

A FREE briefing template you can use

Here’s an idea of what you can include in your passenger briefing:

Outside of the aircraft

  • Approach the aircraft from the rear and mind your head on the wing parts
  • Remain clear of the big spinny thing at the front
  • Enter backside first
  • Demonstrate door handle mechanism

Inside the aircraft

  • Seat belt operation
  • Door mechanism
  • Window vent operation
  • Seat adjustment (if there is any)
  • Fire extinguisher and first aid kit
  • Life jacket location and operation
  • Keep feet away from pedals
  • What to hold on to and what not to hold to
  • Remaining quiet during the flight and when using the radio
  • Actions during an emergency
  • Look out for other aircraft and how to inform you

Disclaimer: This post was written for reader entertainment only and was up to date at the time of writing. Always seek a qualified flying instructor or qualified professional for more information regarding aircraft and airfield operations, equipment, regulations and aviation legislation.