- Flying with nonpilot passengers requires additional planning. Preflight weight and balance and safety instructions are a given, but remember, your passengers are having a very different experience from yours.
- With nonpilot passengers, it's much better to embrace the adventure and not focus on the destination. If there is any consideration about stopping, take a break.
- If you are flying higher than about 10,000 feet with passengers, at a minimum bring an inexpensive, light spray oxygen canister for a quick, intermittent pick-me-up. Everyone experiences higher altitudes differently.
- Brief your passengers on things like problematic hot starts that might cause a delay well before departure so they can be mentally prepared.
- Beginner pilots can be wary of asking ATC for changes. Don't be shy about challenging ATC, including canceling IFR in some conditions.
- Book learning is wonderful, but when it comes to passenger emergencies and total eclipses, there is no substitute for being there.
- A 99 percent eclipse is interesting, but a total eclipse is a life experience. Don't miss it in 2024.