The Safety Features Card:

How to Insure Your Cards Are Both Legal and Effective.

    "Safety Information Shall be Depicted in a Clear and Distinct Manner"

      The Canadian CARS cover two aspects of the passenger safety briefing. The first part is that the briefing “shall consist of an oral briefing provided by a crew member or by audio or audio-visual means.”
      The second part is that the briefing must point out:

      (v) the location, purpose of, and advisability of reading the safety features

      The regulations also state that:

      (3) The safety information provided by the card shall:
      (a) be accurate for the aeroplane type and configuration in which it
           is carried and in respect of the equipment carried;
      (b) be presented with clear separation between each instructional
            procedure. All actions required to complete a multi-action
            procedure to be presented in correct sequence and the sequence of
            actions to be clearly identified; and
      (c) be depicted in a clear and distinct manner.

Safety Features Card for Amphibious Caravan C208      Nowhere, however, does it state that the Safety Features Card must be depicted with pictorial or diagram representation and must be understandable by non-English, or non-French speaking passengers. And yet, just try to get a Passenger Safety Features Card approved by Transport Canada unless it meets those very requirements. The fussy inspector who makes you redo your highly specialized safety features cards over and over until it is correct, however, is doing the right thing in meeting the above regulation.
     A pictorial or diagram based safety features card should be clearly and distinctly understood by almost anyone anywhere in the world. Meeting those criteria, however, is not easy especially since much of those requirements are highly subjective. What may be clear to one inspector may not be so clear to another.
     The route to having proper and legal safety features cards, however, is much easier now with the advent of modern computers and desktop publishing. The idea of making revising and updating the pictorial cards is still a daunting task, considering the details that must be correct in order to get the cards approved and re-approved.
     Take the little detail of depicting a mother holding her infant in her arms and assuming the correct brace position for an emergency landing. What position will she assume if the seat does not have a shoulder harness, and what position will she assume if the seat is equipped with a shoulder harness, and what position will she assume if the airline provides supplementary infant restraining harnesses? I don’t know if anyone makes supplementary infant restraining harnesses, but what if they did? How would you depict the correct brace position?
     The regulation also makes keeping your cards legal more difficult, but ultimately more practical, by insisting that the cards must be aircraft specific. Even if two aircraft are the same type does not mean they are of the same configuration. On one operation we had six amphib Caravans and 3 different configurations. Keeping the correct safety features cards in the correct aircraft became a constant problem and we finally had to mark each card with the aircraft registration to insure we had the right card for each aircraft.
     And then we changed the seating configuration on all the Caravans. What a nightmare. It was easy to change the seats in the Caravan. I could change the seats myself between flights, but it took a week in house to make up the new safety features cards and another week to get them approved.
     That is where The Bush Pilot Company can help. We provide a ready-made service for all types of bush aircraft, including helicopters and many commuter aircraft as well. The cards are made up according to the Canadian Aviation Regulations and proven by having been approved by Transport Canada Inspectors. Moreover, we are familiar with ICAO, FAR, CAA, and many other regulations worldwide and can make up cards to meet your requirements.
     We will revise any of the Safety Features Cards to conform to your exact aircraft type and configuration and either have it pre-approved by our local Transport Canada Inspector, or coordinate the approval with your local CAA. If necessary, and I would recommend it, we can mark each card with the type and registration of each specific aircraft.
     More importantly, we will keep all your cards for all your aircraft on file and if you need more or if your requirements have changed then we can easily print more or quickly update your cards and ship them out to you with the minimum amount of delay.
     Our Safety Features Cards are printed in distinctive colours to insure readability and are laminated for endurance. For most aircraft the cards are specifically designed to fold for easy storage in restricted seat back pockets, and to still be completely readable once opened.

Article by John S Goulet

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Last modified on March 05, 2006 .
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