Articles on taking someone on there first GA flight?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Lndwarrior, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. Lndwarrior

    Lndwarrior Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Gary
    I'm taking a young man up for his first GA flight tomorrow and want to make it as educational and interesting as possible. I know there are a number of articles out there on this subject but after a half hour of Googling I can't seem to find a single one.

    Can someone point me to one/some/any of these?

    I know AOPA has some articles on this subject but I cancelled my membership some time ago.

    TIA
    Gary
     
  2. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    I may explain certain things but not over complicate. He is going for a ride, not an instructional flight and you are not an instructor.
     
  3. Salty

    Salty En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I like to explain things that might cause anxiety like noises they may hear, etc. less scary when they already know what it is.
     
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  4. Cluemeister

    Cluemeister Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    I've taken family members up on their first flight. Some of them are excited, others hesitant. But I've never done steep turns or stalls. It's not an amusement ride, it's a first flight, and you want to leave a good impression.
     
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  5. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Pretend you’re going on a checkride and explain everything as you would if the young man was the DPE. (Ie., talk through the pre-flight, runup, etc and tell him why you’re doing what you’re doing.) if he cares to take interest, you’ll know rather quickly, if he doesn’t, well then, he’ll be looking down at his phone for the majority of the time.
     
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  6. TK211X

    TK211X Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Honestly. Depends on the age and relative interest in aviation.

    So many things you can do to make a lasting positive impact it’s not even funny. Keep an eye out for subtle indications and responses to what you’re doing. It takes skill to sustain interest and make the experience interactive and enjoyable.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
  7. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    Don’t take him up on a bumpy day, first time pax may not like it and might be hesitant going up again. Ask me how I know it
     
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  8. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Line Up and Wait

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    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
  9. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Line Up and Wait

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    How did the flight go, Gary?
     
  10. Scrabo

    Scrabo Pattern Altitude

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    I always ask what they think the rudder does, of course you get the “it turns the plane “ type answers, usually they want to know more. As it’s a Piper I also ask that I hope there are not expensive shoes they are wearing.
     
  11. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    Not a "how to," but my story about one...
    http://midlifeflight.com/stories/fear-of-flying/

    Here's my keys.
    • Explain a few basics. Don't overload but be ready to answer their questions.
    • Be very aware of them during the flight. Are they thrilled, normally nervous, panic stricken, or somewhere in between?
    • Be gentle on the controls like a commercial pilot.
    • Advise them of configuration changes in advance. That normal change in RPM can be an unwelcome surprise to the uninitiated.
    • Let them fly if they are interested. Yoke will usually be more than enough.
     
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  12. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Line Up and Wait

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    Great advice!

    During the debrief after my private practical, the DPE told me that I needed to work on being smoother with my control inputs. He suggested I pretend I was driving a limousine with Queen Elizabeth as my passenger. I took that advice to heart, and 55 years later still strive to execute any maneuvering smoothly without any abrupt changes.
     
  13. kgruber

    kgruber En-Route

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    Keep it short
    Calm morning air
    Over their house
    smooth, no "demonstrations!
    Keep a sic sac handy.
     
  14. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Yup, on the 1st flight I try to give them an airliner like smooth ride.
     
  15. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

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    Check out my article on Page 20 of the March-April 2018 edition of FAA Safety Briefing Magazine. Hopefully there are a few tips that are helpful...

    https://www.faa.gov/news/safety_briefing/2018/media/MarApr2018.pdf
     
  16. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Line Up and Wait

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    We must ride on different airlines! Lol
     
  17. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Line Up and Wait

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    I always explain checklists are part of professional piloting. I scared the crap out of a passenger once that thought I was basically reading how to fly!
     
  18. Terry M - 3CK (Chicago)

    Terry M - 3CK (Chicago) Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    Brad Z likes this.
  19. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

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    I've given lots of rides now (well about 40) and this seems to work best for me and them

    1. Prefer evenings to mornings. An early evening flight starts with few bumps and ends with none. Winds are decreasing and often go calm. Might catch a nice sunset and/or see the moon rising...or both. Its cooling off vs getting warmer so not sweating or uncomfortable.
    2. Arrive early (even earlier in the winter), preflight and have EVERYTHING ready...why...because the majority are somewhat late.
    3. I dont invite them to help preflight, the majority dont care and some get spooked because in preflight mode we're looking for broken stuff. If someone does arrive early and asks questions ill keep preflighting and often say something like "remember that question and well talk about it up in the air". I like talking about the plane after we have landed, lots more time to let the conversation flow.
    4. When they arrive I like to welcome them and usually say "The plane is preflighted and ready to go! Weve got 78gals of fuel and 11qts of oil ...lets get you set up." I think that instills tons of confidence and keeps things moving. They inevitably ask how far or long 78gals will last. I also confirm whether they want to see themselves in a go pro camera or not...most do!
    5. I always teach the the door unlock/open and seat all the way back operations first. I have them sit in it and demonstrate it. If they cant handle that then no flight. Most get it right away and I know they can get out fast and without me if needed.
    6. The rest of the passenger brief follows (seatbelts, feet, controls, headset, sterile cockpit, etc). Everything but the takeoff brief.
    7. Now is the break for bathroom and a few questions.
    8. I help them get in and seated, headset on their lap (not on yet), buckled in and seat position so they can not reach the pedals!
    9. I get in, start the plane, brake check then radios on and finally headsets on. I save headsets for last as one less tangle hazzard if theres a startup emergency. We listen to ATIS/AWOS and help them set headphone volumes and check mics while the engine warms up.
    10. I always explain the run up, verbalize while doing it and explain loud engine they will hear.
    11. Tell them we are about to fly, its gonna be fun are you ready!
    12. I keep the takeoff brief short and explain the 3 takeoff emergency options.
    13. Takeoff and no one touches controls until Im well about TPA and often wait until level in cruise.
    14. If they want to fly we move their seat ahead and exchange controls. 80% of the time they want me to do the rudder pedals...no problem :)
    15. I love to take them somewhere close (25min or so). I ask them to fly us there. I give them about a 5min heads up before needing to take controls back. Most seem more than willing to give back the controls when they put together (from radio calls) that were going to land or fly over and airport.
    16. Save the steep turns for the end near home. Ill do a 45deg. Some will want to try it. If i know they arent queasy ill try pull part of a g and go for a near 60deg bank turn. After that its home. I think i only do steep turns for about 1/3 of tnem.
    17. Arrival means they slide seat back again before pattern entry .
    18. I always ask for help putting it away...a great time to answer questions, compliment them and read them.
    19. I never mention gas prices or the prorata stuff and never ask or suggest that they pay.
    20. I feel like 50% love it and genuinely want to go again. About 30% like it and can say theyve knocked it off their list. And about 20% realize that small GA flying isnt what they imagined such as: Its an older plane. Its loud and/smelly. Going 145mph still takes awhile to get someplace. Bumps and steep turns effecf the tummy, etc.
    ...still learning :)
     
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