Aviation Safety Letter 2/2005
To the Letter: Revenue Passenger in Co-pilot Seat
After reading your latest Aviation Safety Letter, I felt I had to write to you regarding a concern that I have. As a company pilot for a land developer based in British Columbia, I spend most of my time in my own cockpit. However, at times I must make the shuttle between Vancouver, B.C., and Victoria Harbour, B.C., to facilitate aircraft pickup, etc. My question and concern is with regard to some single-pilot operations that are allowed to have a revenue passenger sit in the vacant co-pilot position, with full access to the dual flight controls.
With a commercial carrier, I feel that seat should be left empty, occupied by company personnel or jump-seating pilots. At the very least, please remove the co-pilot controls! How quickly the fears of 9/11 have abated. At one time, even these harbour-to-harbour aircraft were considered for reinforced cockpit doors. Now they allow a complete stranger to sit up front, whom they know nothing about, mental or physical condition, and are allowed direct access to aircraft controls.
Even during my commercial flying of a Cessna 185, the right-hand control was removed and pedals stowed. Why should this situation be different? I feel this is a serious matter and that the extra revenue from that co-pilot seat should be forfeited in the name of increased safety of all the paying passengers in the rear who trust that all is being done correctly.
Adam Welch, Victoria, B.C.
Dear Mr. Welch, I looked into this matter and was informed that the department does not currently have, nor does it plan to have, regulations that would prohibit the carriage of a revenue passenger in the "co-pilot" seat of an aircraft not required to be flown by two pilots. - Ed.
Invest a few minutes into your safe return home this summer...
by reviewing your fuel requirements in A.I.P. RAC 3.13.
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