Multicrew procedures for private pilots

MCC / multi crew cooperation (or coordination) is usually known from commercial aviation. It helps to prevent errors and eases the workflow in a multi pilot environment – meaning that two pilots are operating one aircraft at the same time. So you might think that this is not interesting for private pilots – but this is wrong.

Multicrew procedures for private pilots

Why MCC is also interesting for private pilots

Usually private pilots fly on their own. It can be for recreational reasons only or to go from A to B because of a meeting. Nevertheless there are some situations where PPL owners have to deal with another pilot in the cockpit.

During Checkflights

Whenever you are renewing your license / rating you’ll be sitting right next to a flight instructor or aviation examiner. In this scenario you are confronted with a multi crew situation. The flight instructor will not be a guest only.

Therefore multi crew procedures might be applicable to your flight as well!

During initial pilot training

Student pilots always have to deal with a multi crew situation. Here it is especially  important to perform good change-over procedures (by the flight instructor). It is imperative, that the nascent pilot knows when he is on the controls.

What kind of procedures would be important

As a MCC course also focuses on pilot – cabin crew communication, the focus for private pilots will be on the pilot – pilot communication.

“The main focus should be that the whole crew stays within the same (closed) loop – they should have the same¬†perception of reality!”

Handing over

Good practice is to make clear and ‘closed’ handing over of the controls. For example the flight instructor likes to hand over the controls to the student after a demonstration:

  • Flight instructor: “Your controls
  • Student: “My controls

This example might sound too simple but it is a good one. It clearly communicates the intention “Now it is your time to be on the controls and I hand them over to you”. The student accepts this “Now I take over the controls and will continue flying the aircraft”. The communication loop is closed.


A well known example for multic crew cooperation is briefing the other pilot. Departure, take-off, emergency, approach – everything can be briefed.

The bonus: As the other one knows what you’re going to do he/she can interfere upfront in case of any wrong intentions.

“Studies have shown that two licensed pilots flying together is a more dangerous combination than a student – instructor combination.”


Although multi crew cooperation is tailored to commercial cockpit environments, some procedures and thoughts are very useful for private pilots as well.

Flight instructors are usually focusing on these things – it is also beneficiary for other pilots not involved in commercial flying to keep an eye on that.

Fly safer together!


#flysafe #multicrew #privatepilot


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