June 2007 Issue

Non-Pilot Copilots

Our untrained copilots always want to ďhelpĒ us fly the plane, but is this really a good idea? How to keep non-pilots busy, contributing and happy.

Just let me know if thereís anything I can do" is a common request of the non-rated passengers Iíve carried aloft from time to time. Usually, we donít even get to that point; the idea of going up in a personal aircraft is sufficiently foreign to most non-pilots they canít even conceive of helping minimize the workload. They also donít understand theyíre contributing to it. Passengers unfamiliar with the concept often are a necessary evil of flying personal aircraft. Having been both the PIC and the pax over the years, Iíve seen the phenomenon from both sides. Most of the time, some patience, understanding and smooth flying on a good-weather day is all the pilot needs to assure a pleasant experience for the pax and a safe flight.

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