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ALC-36: Positive Aircraft Control
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Prevention and Response - Positive Exchange of Flight Controls


Prior to flight, a briefing should be conducted that includes the procedure for the exchange of flight controls. A positive three-step process in the exchange of flight controls between pilots is a proven procedure and one that is strongly recommended.



When a flight instructor wishes the student to take control of the aircraft, he/she should say to the student, “You have the flight controls.” The student should acknowledge immediately by saying, “I have the flight controls.” The flight instructor confirms by again saying, “You have the flight controls.” Part of the procedure should be a visual check to ensure that the other person actually has the flight controls. 


When returning the controls to the flight instructor, the student should follow the same procedure the instructor used when giving control to the student. The student should stay on the controls until the instructor says, “I have the flight controls.” There should never be any doubt as to who is flying the airplane at any one time.





The positive exchange of flight controls should be used by all pilots and crewmembers working together in the cockpit. Just as with flight instructors and students, if you are a crewmember in a flight crew, there should never be any doubt as to who is flying the airplane at any one time.