Safety concerns when flying trike with a child passenger

Published by: Rizwan Bukhari on 26th Jun 2017 | View all blogs by Rizwan Bukhari


Hi all,


I am considering flying my 10 years old son on my trike. I fly an Airborne XT which has a nice shoulder and lap strap belt system.


Call it a paranoia but my biggest worry is the passenger belt umbuckling during flight. And I am looking for some ideas for redundant seat belt safety for my son before I take him up for a flight.


Any input will be greatly appreciated.









  • Jim Davidson
    by Jim Davidson 1 year ago
    1. Show the passenger how to buckle and release the seatbelt.
    2. Tell the passenger when it's appropriate to release the seatbelt.
    3. A person can solo an aircraft at the age of 14.
    Need I say more?
  • Damien B
    by Damien B 1 year ago
    >>Call it a paranoia but my biggest worry is the passenger belt umbuckling during flight.

    Use a little electrical tape over the buckle so they cannot get it undone. After 12 years of flying I'm more worried about them unbuckling (either intentional or accidental) than a quick exit on your command.

    Also be careful of analysis paralysis.

    I just took my 2 year old daughter up for a quick buzz around the pattern. She is obsessed with planes, I made a little video which I need to get to. I used a shoulder harness and some velcro straps to make sure she was not going anywhere. My biggest concern was that the Lynx helmet was just way too big to fit her and more of a hindrance for falling off so I just used a headset. If anyone has any ideas on this, I would appreciate some input myself (i.e. has anyone fixed a childs bicycle helmet to work with headsets?)

    I did a buzz around the pattern first before I took her to make sure the air was smooth up there while she was with my wife on the ground. I was quite nervous the whole time constantly looking back for the quick 4 minute flight! She keeps bugging me to go again..
  • Damien B
    by Damien B 1 year ago
    Rizwan, here is a 3 year old going up in this video (skip past the "boring" parts to 3.55, be prepared for the "bug eye" effect if you pause it there !!!)
  • John Olson
    by John Olson 1 year ago
    In... some other country...if the kid wants to fly you load the mother or father/brother/sister/granny first and put the kid on their lap, then buckle them both in.
  • Jozinko Sajan
    by Jozinko Sajan 1 year ago
    Not paranoia Rizz. He is your son... But 10 years old is not stupid to do something with the buckle during the flight. And allways you will in contact by intercom.
  • John Glynn
    by John Glynn 1 year ago
    I fly quite a few young people. For the 3-5 or 6 year olds, a taxi around the ramp is a great way to introduce them to the trike. No flight. On another visit to airport when they are ready I literally take them for a flight down the runway at 1 foot off the ground. Celebrate the experience afterward and make a big deal of it, because it is. When ready on another visit and the weather and parents are ready I provide a no more than 20 - 30 minute flight around the pattern. I consider ready when the child asks, "when am I going to go up there like the planes or birds?" Do not forget the awesome EAA Young Eagle Program geared for 8 - 17 year olds. All the guidelines and requirements are online. What the child receives is an unforgettable experience, some education, a great Young Eagles Certificate signed by the pilot, and free access to Sporty's Learn to Fly program online. A child may take more than one Young Eagle Flight as well. We need to light the spark in kids to fly so someday when we are unable to fly on our own, someone will take us up for a ride when we are all Old Eagles.
  • Glade Montgomery
    by Glade Montgomery 1 year ago
    Riz, did you say 10 years old?

    I don't think I would, like Damien, take up a 2 year old, but, heck, most 10 year olds are pretty big kids, and have plenty of ability to keep their heads on and straight (I am speaking metaphorically) in the course of events like a ride in the backseat, behind their dad, in a trike. I can't imagine even hesitating to do this when my kids were as old as ten. I imagine I'd have not hesitated when they were eight, and might have been willing even at six or five. I guess, furthermore, if I'd been flying at the time and any of my children -- even at three or four -- showed extreme anxiousness to go with me, I likely would (like Damien) endeavor to rig up a safe way by which to make it happen. Adventure is so great for children. In my view, it's one of the things we parents should always be endeavoring to give them.
  • Rizwan Bukhari
    by Rizwan Bukhari 1 year ago
    I want to thank all of you for your valuable input. My son is very adventurous by nature and does Kayak, Rock Climb, White Water Rafting etc and lately he has expressed a lot of interest in flying now.

    Mostly it was my paranoia to have something as a redundant measure in case there was an issue. It was a few weeks ago that I was flying along with my friends and when we landed, we found out that one of the pilot's seat belt unbuckled during flight and he was trying to buckle it while flying and having some challenge with it.

    Now I am pretty sure that it was not properly buckled in the first place (even before the take off). But it got me thinking about worst case scenarios.

    Again, I thank all of you and thanks to Damien for your phone contact and that video you sent me. Paranoia is gone now. I already tested a helmet on him and it is a little loose for him so I will stuff it with gloves or something in the helmet so it fits snug.

    And I will take him up.


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