Despite it being a Sunday I’m up, showered and have forced down the inevitable oatmeal and orange juice that forms my standard pre-flight meal
I’m nothing if not punctual, so when S texts me to let me know he’s arrived. All I need to do is put on some shoes and grab my pre packed bag and head downstairs.
As I wander out of the building I see S sitting in his car.
Reading a book
A picture book about flying!
“REALLY!” I laugh
“No, honestly it has got everything we need to know, Here’s taking off and landing and look! It even has night flying!” S informs me.
I’m laughing too hard to comment at this point.
It turns out that contained inside this picture book is something almost as funny.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you here: the ultimate passenger briefing as authored by S and reproduced with his permission
Passenger Briefing Effective April 21st, 2014
This document does not supersede any instructions given by the Pilot in Command. The PIC is to be obeyed at all times, even if he seems nuts.
Transport Canada requires all passengers to be briefed before flight. By agreeing to proceed with this flight, you agree to follow all instructions, guidelines, disclaimers and other crap in this document. You also agree to absolve the Pilot In Command (PIC) of any liability in case of injury, death, public humiliation, or mental trauma that may result.
Aircraft Introduction & Safety Equipment
The aircraft you will be flying in today is a single engine Piper that was built before the pilot was born. The fact it still has not crashed despite its advanced age is to be taken as an indicator of the safety and reliability of the machine.
o Do not eat or drink too much before the flight. Do use the bathroom before we leave. You are also asked to surrender any knives, firearms, explosives, hazardous materials, sharp objects and thermonuclear devices of any kind.
o This is the big spinning fan blades at the front of the airplane. Do not approach. Always assume the engine will suddenly start for no reason and chop off whatever is in its way. Failure to do so results in a huge mess and lengthy clean-up.
· Doors & Seatbelts
o This aircraft has door latches and seatbelts that are not the same as in cars. Please ask for instructions. The seatbelts are to be kept tight and secured at all times after engine start. Do not unfasten your seatbelt while the engine is running. Do not attempt to exit the aircraft in flight. The cabin door is on the front passenger side. There is a latch both in front of the armrest, and at the top of the door. Enter and exit the aircraft by stepping on the wing from behind. Do not step on the flap if it’s not fully retracted (flush with the wing).
o Do not touch any knobs, switches, toggles, levers, buttons, handles, pedals, or any other controls in the airplane unless you have been invited to do so. In particular, please keep your feet clear of the rudder pedals on the floor.
o Your headset and intercom will allow you to talk to the PIC. Feel free to chat and make comments. If you see another aircraft, please point it out. However, if the PIC raises his hand, it means he needs you to shut up so he can hear and talk on the radio. He is not trying to give you a high-five.
o Turbulence in a small aircraft will be more than you experience in an airliner. This is normal. Do not be alarmed. If you do get nauseous, alert the PIC. There are several things we can do to alleviate nausea and sick-bags are available. At any point, if you decide you have had enough, let the PIC know.
o During the landing, you will feel a stronger impact that on an airliner. In a cross wind, you may find that you land “tilted”, and the wheel on one side touches down before the other. You may also hear the stall horn on landing. All of the above is normal. As long as nothing broke off, the landing is to be considered “Good”. If the aircraft is no more bent that at the beginning of the flight, the landing is to be considered “Excellent”.
o At any time, feel free to pray to the deity of your choice, even in the absence of an emergency. In case of emergency, “Don’t Panic”. The PIC will let you know when it is time to panic. The PIC will brief you on what to do based on the specific emergency. In the event of a crash, exit through the cabin door, turn right, and dismount the aircraft from what remains of the wing. In the event the cabin door cannot be opened, a small baggage door can be accessed from the luggage compartment. Fat people (such as the pilot) are screwed. The emergency locator transmitter (ELT) is located in the tail of the aircraft and the switch is on the left hand side beside the pilot. Activate it in the event of a crash to help rescuers locate your corpse before complete decomposition. There are no parachutes in the airplane; but feel free to bring whatever religious paraphernalia you deem necessary for the safety of the flight or to gain entrance to a desirable after-life.
Post-Flight Information Disclosure
All passengers are required to keep their mouths shut regarding any mistakes the pilot may have made. However, you are encouraged to make blatant lies about how great the pilot is in the areas of flying abilities, manners, charm, and personal hygiene.