Thursday, August 10, 2006

A Conundrum

As pilots, one requirement of the Federal Aviation Regulations is to provide a pre-flight briefing to all passengers on specified items. The IFR Pilot's got a standard mantra that he runs through: how to operate the cabin door and seat belts (including the shoulder restraints), please don't grab the yoke or press the rudder pedals, and how to listen up on the headphones for when it's time to be quiet so I can talk to ATC. The usual rigamarole.

Sunday's Angel Flight presents a bit of conundrum for compliance with this requirement. According to the Mission Set-Up form, the passenger is deaf.

Well, that by itself wouldn't be a problem. I'd just gin up a briefing card that I would have her read and then acknowledge she understands by giving me a nod or thumbs up or something.

However, the Mission Set-Up form also indicates that she is "going blind." Now, I don't know exactly what that means. But let's assume for the sake of completeness that she's more than legally blind and would not be able to review a pre-flight briefing card.

How does one then comply with the requirements of FAR 91.107(a)?


Update: Angel Flight called - mission canceled. But still an interesting question to ponder...


AJ Harris said...

If the person informing you of her growing list of challenges is available, then he/she should know how to handle this.

Oblivion said...

What AJ said. Some type of 'translator' would need to be handy, I'd think.

John said...

While travelling through the Phoenix airport several years ago, I observed a husband communicating with his wife. Both of them appeared to be deaf. The wife used American Sign Language to sign to her husband and he signed back to her. I recognized this because I used to work with a deaf man and he taught me quite a bit of ASL. Interestingly, the wife was also blind. The way this worked was that the husband mostly finger spelled with his wife holding her hand lightly over his hand. I had no idea such a thing was possible, but they were clearly having a very involved conversation.

So while it is possible, you'd need a very specialized translator for your special case.