Best practices in general aviation

We encourage all general aviation pilots to stay informed about the latest and safest best practices, and share them in your local flying communities.

Use this page to review best practices. “Take 5” minutes to read about topics like passenger briefings and personal checklists, watch a safety video, or order a poster for your flying club.

On this page

Use safety equipment properly

Always use shoulder harnesses

Tragically, one-third of general aviation accidents that should have been survivable end in death because the pilot or passengers didn’t wear a shoulder harness.

To get educated on this issue, visit Using shoulder harnesses on aircraft.

CASA 2021-02 Aluminum seat belt mounting bracket failures

Attention: Owners, operators and maintainers of Cessna 120 and 140 aeroplanes

The purpose of this Civil Aviation Safety Alert (CASA) is to raise awareness of concerns with failures of aluminum seat belt mounting brackets addressed in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) CE-15-13, and of the ongoing safety assessment undertaken by the FAA.

Turn on transponders

Transponders are found in most aircraft today, yet many pilots don’t turn them on. Find out why you should use your transponder: read Turn it on for safety.

Turn off your emergency locator transmitter when it’s not in use

An UNSAR is an unnecessary search and rescue alert. UNSAR costs are huge. Order and share this poster to raise awareness and prevent UNSARs: UNSAR costs are unreal.

Take off and land safely

General aviation accounts for two-thirds of all aviation accidents in Canada, and 72% of these accidents happen during take-offs or landings. Know how to stay safe during these two critical phases of flight.



Brief your passengers

You’re required to brief passengers before each flight about what to do in an emergency. But don’t just make time for briefings – make them clear and interesting, too.

To learn more, see Passenger safety briefings: why, when and how.

Review flight procedures

Prior to your flight, take a few minutes to review the applicable procedures for your departure, en-route and arrival.



Create a personal checklist

A “personal minimums checklist” guides you through the knowledge, skills and tools you need for flying and maintenance tasks.

Use a checklist to help you remember everything you need for a safe flight. Here’s an example of what to include: Personal minimums checklist for maintenance.


Fly safely with floats

To prepare yourself and your aircraft for a safe, enjoyable flight during all stages—preparation, take off, during flight and on arrival—read the tips in Flying safely with floats.


Fly safely with skis

Before you fly over frozen lakes and snow, don’t forget to review:

See and avoid traffic

It’s up to all of us to see and avoid other aircraft, including gliders. To do so, it’s helpful to know some facts about gliders.

Reducing risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning

CO has no color or odor. The onset of CO poisoning can be insidious: victims are often unaware that their environment is contaminated by this poisonous gas and that their mental and physical functions are being degraded. For these reasons, a CO warning device is a very sensible investment for owners and operators of GA aircraft. Refer to CASA 2019-07 for more information.

Best practices guides for flying an ultralight aeroplane

These guides were created by and for ultralight pilots, but they are also a helpful reminder for all pilots to fly safer. In addition, it is important that you understand the specific rules and regulations related to the airspace you’re flying in, your licence and its limitations, your aircraft, and your abilities.

Let’s all do our part to improve the safety culture in our community by applying these best practices:

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