Human Factor Articles

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Passenger Briefings

How's Your Passenger Briefing?

The Piper Navajo was only a few minutes en route when the overwing Emergency Exit panel opened and departed the aircraft. Luckily, its departure did no other damage to the airframe.

The pilot immediately initiated a return to base and landed safely. It turned out that a curious passenger had removed the plastic cover over the exit handle, and then operated the Emergency Exit release handle.

The pilot and five of the six passengers were no worse for wear. The sixth passenger complained of frosbite — perhaps that was our curious friend.

Passenger safety briefings need to do more than just point out where the exits are. Some do's and don'ts need to be included. Obviously, common sense isn't common.

Originally Published: 1/1997
Original Article: How's Your Passenger Briefing?