Questions Passengers Can Ask A Pilot

BY Beth Williams


Did you know there are rules about questions passengers can ask a pilot?

It is true you may not ask certain questions. On the flip-side, there are questions that pilots must answer.  The rules are regulated and set by the FAA. Read the regulations below to understand what question you can pose to the pilot on y our next flight.

Passenger Rights

Aircraft accidents kill and injure passengers and pilots each year. If you are curious about your flight, you may ask a pilot certain information.

The FAA requires that a pilot will:

  • Have a seat and seat belt for you
  • A preflight safety briefing
  • Show you how to use the seat belt and operate the doors
  • How to exit the airplane during an emergency
  • Explain the location and use of survival equipment
  • File a flight plan
  • Tie down all cargo
  • Weight and balance of the aircraft

A passenger may ask a pilot:

  • Are you licensed, rated and current for this flight?
  • Have you checked the weight and balance of the aircraft?
  • Have you obtained a weather forecast?
  • Have you filed a flight plan?
  • Should I make alternative arrangements or reschedule due to bad weather?

A passenger may not ask a pilot:

  • To carry a payload beyond the weight and balance limitations of the aircraft
  • To takeoff or land at an airstrip which is less than the length required by the aircraft
  • To fly below 500? except for takeoff or landing
  • To fly into weather he or she considers unsafe or against regulation
  • To fly beyond allowable duty time limits
  • To take risks by continuing a flight for the sake of meeting one of your prior commitments

Pilots are entitled to expect passengers to:

  • Comply with their directions as to loading of the aircraft
  • Accept the nature of VFR flight and the possibility of delays or cancellation of the trip
  • Follow their instruction is the event of an emergency

Flight Comfort

No matter if you speak with the pilot or not you do want to travel comfortably.  Sometimes that means a simple little inflatable pillow or eye shades will help get you to slumber or rest on board. We recommend inflatable pillow as once deflated they hardly take up any room in your carry-on bag. The outer material on the newest styles of pillow is soft and breathable.  Take a look here, see if you should upgrade your on-board experience with a new pillow.