Crew Briefings

At the beginning of each flight, the Captain will usually give pre-departure crew briefings to the flight attendants, and then to the other pilot(s).

While each Captain is different in his/her brief, most will include this information to the flight attendants:

1) introduction to each individual
2) flight time to destination
3) weather to be encountered, if it is to be turbulent
4) if a life vest briefing is required (over water flight)
5) any  aircraft/cabin maintenance items that can impact flight
6) flight deck entry procedures
7) any security concerns
8) review of rejected takeoff (abort) and evacuation procedures
9) feedback/comments, anything special the flight attendants would like to see or require

Usually after the Captain briefs the flight attendants, then it is close to boarding the aircraft.

The Captain will then, at sometime before the main door is closed, give a  pre-departure briefing to the other pilot(s) on how he/she would like to conduct that flight, and if more than one flight together, the rest of the flights they will fly together. Once again, each Captain is different, but the major topics covered could include:

1) working as team together, backing each other up - the bottom line is always a safe operation
2) on takeoff, will call rejecting the takeoff if below 100 knots (more on this in a future topic!). If above 100 knots will reject for only power loss of engines or anything unsafe to fly to a speed called V1 (vee-1) (discussed later). This is the decision point to stay on the ground and handle the emergency or go airborne and handle it
3) if rejecting, tell the Tower we are rejecting, and tell the passengers to remain seated

These are the two main crew briefings that the Captain will give before each flight and will pertain to the crew for the duration of their time together. The way many crews are scheduled now (versus the "olden days") it seems that the flight attendants and pilots are always changing out every flight. This of course, leads to a lot of briefings!

The other two briefings that concern just the pilots are a departure briefing and arrival briefing. For these briefings, it is the pilot flying that does the briefing (the two pilots - the Captain and First Officer usually alternate takeoffs and landings). The departure briefing could include the following:

1) lateral and vertical means of navigation used on takeoff/departure
2) if we experience an emergency, what will be the course of action (return to departing airfield usually)
3) specific departure instructions
4) any potential obstacles on departure that we need to be aware of
5) any other pertinent information that could impact departure (thunderstorms, windshear, etc.)

The arrival brief will be conducted by the flying pilot again and could include the following:

1) destination weather
2) runway(s) in use
3) arrival procedure to be used with applicable speed/altitude requirements
4) approach speeds
5) flap setting
6) autobrakes setting
7) "go-around" procedures 

As always, communications is most important and is a vital part of what is called CRM (Crew Resource Management). These standardized crew briefings (along with checklists), lay the foundation for a safe flight. This is particularly important when flight attendants and pilots can be different for each flight!

Crew Briefings back to Preflight

Crew Briefings back to My Airline Flight