Non-Commercial General Aviation Flights
The flights described on this website are non-commercial General Aviation (GA) flights with light aircraft. Passengers should be aware that flights done under cost-sharing are not commercial flights and that those flights are carried out by pilots holding a Private Pilot license. For further details please continue reading.
This website describes cost-shared flight on light aircrafts. You should be aware of the fact that safety rules for cost-shared flights are not as strict as they are for commercial air transport flights. This means that there is more risk involved in taking a cost-shared flight than buying a ticket from a commercial airline operator, where much stricter safety rules apply and where the aircraft, pilots and the operator are subject to continuous checks and strict oversight rules from the authority. As opposed to commercial airline passenger flights, the risk levels involved in General Aviation flights can be compared with risk levels found in road transportation.
- Please note the following safety oriented code of conduct for passengers:
(1) Respect the pilot’s instructions
It is important to understand that the pilot is the only decision maker on the aircraft as he/she is the pilot in command. Before departure, the pilot can decide at any time to cancel the flight. During the flight passengers must abstain from making any comments on the decisions of the pilot, to avoid distracting the pilot from safely piloting the aircraft.
(2) Respect the pilot decision regarding weather hazards
As part of their pilot licence, private pilots have received training on weather conditions and the consequences of deteriorating weather conditions. Most pilots will only be allowed to fly in visual weather conditions as part of their VFR (Visual Flight Rules) training. Some pilots might have an IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) qualification and are permitted to fly under non-visual weather conditions. At all times, both VFR and IFR pilot's decision on flying, diversion during flight or not flying shall be respected. A passenger should never try to persuade a pilot to fly if the pilot has decided otherwise, at the risk of putting the passenger and the pilot in danger.
(3) Respect the maximum luggage weight
The light aircraft in which you will be flying is very sensitive to weight variations. The pilot takes into consideration the weight that passengers have declared for themselves and their luggage to check the plane’s gravity centre. Therefore it is mandatory that passengers respect the maximum weight authorised by the pilot on this aircraft and not move their luggage during the flight. It's for all those reasons that passengers shall indicate the weight precisely before departure and inform the pilot if it were to change.
(4) It is forbidden to carry illegal or dangerous goods
The passenger should never take illegal or dangerous goods with them. If the passenger has doubts about the dangerous nature of carried goods, the passenger shall inform the pilot and check with the pilot if transportation is possible. The pilot can check your bags at any time and refuse to take you. If the pilot sees that you are carrying dangerous goods and the pilot has not been informed, the pilot shall refuse to take you on board.
(5) Always be on time
When planning the flight, the pilot takes into account the planned time of departure and arrival and the expected weather conditions at those times. Thus it is important that the pilot is able to take- off at the planned time. In case of uncertainty on the timely arrival, passengers shall inform the pilot.
(6) Cancellation by the passenger before the flight
The passenger may cancel a flight at any time before departure.
(7) Safety rules
The passengers shall obey the following basic safety principles:
- Refrain from smoking during the flight when the pilot tells you.
- Passengers are never allowed to touch the instruments and controls as this could lead to an accident.
- Passengers shall not speak when the pilot is using the radio and during take-off and landing.
- Passengers shall never touch the door lock if the pilot has not instructed them to do so.
- Passengers should refrain from using psychoactive substances, including alcohol before or during flying.
- Please note the following safety oriented code of conduct for pilots:
(1) The pilot is the only one who has the authority to make decisions concerning the flight and the aircraft. The presence of other people on board should never make the pilot feel pressured to conduct the flight in a certain way, because he is the only one who knows how to safely pilot the aircraft. The passenger will have been informed about the possibility of the cancellation of the flight at any time for any reasons.
(2) Bad weather conditions are a primary reason for accidents in non-commercial General Aviation flights with light aircraft. Weather conditions can change quickly, as a result the pilot may cancel the flight. Therefore, the day before the actual flight, the pilot should inform the passenger of the weather forecast regarding the feasibility of the flight. The presence of the passenger on the day of the flight and their expectations that it will take place, shall not make the pilot reluctant to cancel a flight.
(3) The pilot can refuse to board a passenger at any time, for any reason (safety or operational) and without any justification.
(4) EU safety regulations only permit cost-shared flights by private individuals, if the direct cost (i.e. cost directly incurred in relation to the flight, e.g. fuel, airfield charges, rental fee for an aircraft) are shared between all parties, including the pilot. Cost-shared flights shall not have an element of profit. If a flight is not a cost-shared flight in accordance with EU safety regulations, the flight will be qualified as a commercial flight and commercial air operation rules will apply.
(5) Prior to the flight, the pilot shall always indicate the type of aircraft used for the cost-shared flight. Whenever, the aircraft type and model of the aircraft changes, the pilot must inform the passenger of such a change.
(6)The cost-shared flight will be conducted under the sole responsibility of the pilot under the applicable regulation for non-commercial flights with light aircraft by private pilots. It is also the pilot’s responsibility to ensure the flight is insured for flights with passengers.
(7) The pilot should inform the passenger that toilets are not available on board
For those who are interested in getting more information on the safety charter and cost shared flights please visit this EASA Website.