Aviation safety issues and actions

Balloon passenger briefing procedures

Issue number: AO-2018-016-SI-02
Who it affects: Crew and passengers on the operator’s flights
Issue owner: Go Wild Ballooning Pty Ltd
Transport function: Aviation: General aviation
Background: Investigation Report AO-2018-016
Issue release date: 30 October 2018
Current issue status: Partially addressed
Issue status justification:

The ATSB is satisfied that, although not every aspect of the safety issue has been or is being addressed, the safety action taken and proposed will reduce the risk associated with this safety issue.

Safety issue description

Although the operator had procedures for conducting a verbal safety briefing prior to flight and had safety briefing cards available, its risk controls did not provide assurance that all passengers would understand the required procedures for emergency landings. More specifically:

  • safety briefing cards were not routinely made available to passengers prior to or during flight
  • safety briefing cards for non-English speaking passengers did not include diagrams to help communicate important information
  • the procedure for safety briefings did not require passengers to physically demonstrate that they understood the required landing position
  • the procedure for safety briefings did not require the pilot and ground crew to crosscheck that a safety briefing had been conducted prior to departure.


Proactive Action

Action number: AO-2018-016-NSA-004
Action organisation: Go Wild Ballooning
Date: 30 October 2018
Action status: Monitor

The operator advised the ATSB that passengers were now required to adopt their landing position once all the passengers had boarded the aircraft, and that this procedure was checked by the pilot and/or ground crew prior to launch.

In addition, the operator reported that it was working on updating its passenger safety briefing cards for non-English speaking passengers. It had also considered including passenger safety information cards with its flight itinerary sent to passengers, but noted that this would be difficult when dealing with multiple languages.


ATSB comment:

The ATSB acknowledges the steps taken by the operator to introduce a procedure to ensure passengers, on boarding the aircraft, are required to demonstrate the landing position. Given that this has to occur after the pilot has boarded, the ATSB acknowledges there is less likelihood of the ground crew and pilot having a misunderstanding regarding whether a briefing has occurred. However, it would still be advisable to introduce a formal crosscheck to ensure that the briefing and demonstration takes place. In addition, the ATSB considers that further work to ensure that safety information cards are provided, or made readily available, for all passengers is important to further reduce risk.

Last update 30 October 2018