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Aviation Learning Center Document General Aviation Passenger SAFETY Briefing
Author: Susan Parson Date: January 2007
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Traffic and Talking
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Even if you are operating under instrument flight rules (IFR), you still have a responsibility to see and avoid other traffic any time you are in visual meteorological conditions (VMC). It never hurts to have extra eyes scanning for traffic, so brief your passengers to let you know whenever they spot other aircraft. In addition, tell them what you want them to tell you. A simple "airplane on the right" will suffice, but since everyone can visualize a clock, you might ask them to given you traffic information in terms of the "o’clock" positions used by ATC. The added advantage of this option is that passengers listening to ATC communications will have a better idea of where to look when you get a traffic call.


Expectations for communications -- talking -- are another good topic to include in your passenger briefing. Passengers may not readily understand the term "sterile cockpit," but they will certainly understand that there are times when you need to focus fully on your flying. Let your passengers know that they should not attempt to talk to you (except for traffic point-outs) during the busy takeoff/climb and approach/landing phases of the flight. If your intercom does not permit you to isolate the crew, let passengers know if you expect them to minimize their own conversation during these times.

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