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State of Alaska Epidemiology Bulletin

Bulletin No. 16
July 18, 1991
Flyer's Bill of Rights


As PILOT of an aircraft, you HAVE EVERY RIGHT to expect your passengers to:

  • Comply with your directions as to loading of the aircraft

  • Respect your request for silence during takeoff and the approach to land

  • Accept without complaint the nature of VFR flight and the possibility of delays or cancellation of the trip

  • Follow your instructions in the event of an emergency.

As PILOT of an aircraft, you HAVE NO RIGHT

... to endanger the lives of your passengers by:

  • Loading the aircraft beyond its weight and balance limits

  • Omitting any flight planning or preflight steps

  • Carrying insufficient fuel

  • Not completing all systems checks and vital actions

  • Flying beyond the limitations of your certificate, rating or currency

  • Accepting an aircraft that is less than fully serviceable

  • Exceeding your duty time limits

  • Flying when you are not completely serviceable

... even if your passenger asks you to.


As a PASSENGER, you ARE entitled to ask your pilot:

  • Have you checked the weight and balance of the aircraft?

  • Have you checked the takeoff and landing performance charts for the aircraft at this weight and for the airfields concerned?

  • Have you obtained a weather forecast?

  • Have you filed a flight plan?

  • Are you correctly licensed, rated and current for this flight?

  • Is the aircraft fully serviceable?

  • Are you fully serviceable and within flying hour time limits?

  • Are you carrying an Emergency Locator Transmitter and survival equipment? Where are they located?

  • Should I make alternative transportation arrangements or delay commitments to allow for weather problems?

  • In event of an emergency, how do I get out of the airplane?

  • you have ear plugs?

  • Is all luggage tied down securely?

As a PASSENGER, you ARE NOT entitled to ask your pilot:

  • To carry a payload beyond the weight and balance limits of the aircraft

  • To take off or land at an airstrip which is less than the length required by the aircraft at that weight

  • To fly below the legal minimum altitude

  • To fly beyond his or her license, rating or currency limitations, particularly with respect to weather

  • To fly beyond the pilot's duty time limits

  • To take unreasonable risks by continuing a flight for the sake of meeting your prior commitments.

Other Important Information

  • Are helmets available if I wish to wear one?

  • Am I suitably dressed in case of a crash?
    Boots, not tennis shoes
    Down coat, not tee-shirt

  • Do I have matches and insect repellant?

  • Did I give my flight route, destination, timeline and air-taxi or pilot's phone number to a reliable friend or family member?

"You don't want to fly with commercial carriers who don't answer the questions you ask. If they won't talk, don't just walk, but run out of fast as you can."
John Hajdukovich, Past President, Alaska Air Carriers Association in Alaska Magazine, June 1991.

(Taken from Aviation Safety Digest, Department of Aviation, Australia; Alaska Aviation Safety Foundation and Alaska Magazine.)

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