A Safety Guide for
Aircraft Charter Passengers
This information is provided to increase your safety awareness when flying in a small, chartered aircraft that does not have a flight attendant. While the pilot will provide the mandatory pre-flight passenger safety briefing, afterwards you are very much a guardian of your own safety. Although unlikely, the pilot may have to make an emergency landing. Depending on the nature of the problem, this could result in simply an inconvenience or damage to the aircraft and personal injury. You may also have to evacuate the aircraft unassisted. Take an active interest in enhancing your own safety by following the guidelines in this page.
This information is not intended to replace any instructions given by flight crew members.
Start safely by reading this page and then discussing your trip with the aircraft operator. Explain where and when you want to go and who will travel, and work out the details together. Make it clear to the charter company and the pilot that safety is paramount, that delays are acceptable and that unsafe flying is not for you.
Air operators and pilots are trained and qualified to evaluate the weather for any intended flight. However, if you have any question or doubt about the weather conditions, don’t be afraid to ask. In the same vein, you should not pressure any operator or pilot to go flying if they recommend waiting for better weather.
Wear appropriate clothing and footwear for the conditions on the ground you are overflying. If you experience a delay on the ground or if the aircraft becomes stranded in the wilderness, you’ll be glad you did. In the improbable event of an emergency, the clothes you are wearing can play a significant role in your safety. People wear synthetic blend fabrics because they area easy to maintain and do not wrinkle when spending a long time seated. However, they ignite quickly, shrink, melt, and continue burning after the heat source is removed. In the unlikely event that the aircraft is evacuated even pantyhose contribute to injuries, as they melt and cause burns from the friction generated with contact on the slide. Wearing clothes made of natural fibres such as cotton, wool, denim and leather offer the best protection during an evacuation or fire. Synthetic fibres (rayon, polycotton and nylon, including hosiery, wigs, hairpieces, scarves, ties and underwear) can become very hot and melt causing first, second and even third degree burns.
Avoid leaving large areas of the body uncovered. Steer clear of shorts or skirts because they do not cover extremities. Wear non-restrictive clothing as this allows you greater movement.
By placing a barrier between the fire and the victim, even in the form of covering the skin, some protection from burns will be provided.
The most common injuries to feet during accidents or emergencies can be prevented by wearing suitable footwear. Wearing fully enclosed leather low-heeled laced or buckled shoes, boots or tennis shoes is recommended. Avoid sandals and high heeled dress shoes. Keep your footwear on during the flight. In an emergency finding your shoes will probably be one of the last things on your mind. Unprotected feet can slow departure from the airplane once outside. Imagine trying to walk through jet fuel, possibly on fire, broken glass, or sharp metal fragments without shoes to protect your feet.
Carry adequate reserves of any specialized medication you require.
Eyeglasses can easily be broken or lost: it pays to carry an extra pair. Consider removing your glasses during takeoff and landing and placing them in your pocket to protect them.
If you intend to operate in the bush, take a survival training course or at least read a book on the subject. Remember that hostile environmental conditions can exist close to civilization.
It is dangerous and illegal to pack dangerous goods in baggage or to carry them on board. Don't pack matches in your luggage; carry them on your person. Check with the flight crew before packing or carrying gases, corrosives, aerosols, flammable liquids, explosives (includes ammunition), poisons, magnetic materials or any other material or substance of which you are uncertain.
As a general rule passengers and crew members are not permitted to transport dangerous goods on board an aircraft in their carry-on or checked bagages, or on their person. However there are some exceptions to this rule. Please consult the following website for the Provisions for dangerous goods carried by passengers or crew: http://www.tc.gc.ca/CivilAviation/commerce/ DangerousGoods/regoverview/passlugg/menu.htm
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