Flying Kids

I have to fly my grandaugter. For about a 2 hour flight she is 15 months old. Has anyone done this with any kids. How did they handle the sound and the flight. I know to deend as slow as possible. Thanks From Don


She’ll probably sleep most of the way. Put her in a carseat in the back with an adult alongside, with plenty of toys/books, snacks and water to drink. A lightspeed headset will actually fit little kids like this, as I found out with my own toddler Byron, but if it’s just a one-time flight I wouldn’t worry about the noise/hearing issue. I have flown Angel Flights with very young children and they all went quite smoothly.


Kevin is right Don. My children have been flying since two months of age. At that age they typically will fall asleep soon into the flight. Try a headset or another type of hearing protection but don’t fret if she doesn’t go for it. Descend slowly as you stated. Bring along some snack food and something to drink. This will help with any ear problems that could arise on the way up or down. Bring enough of the drink to last the flight. You probably won’t have a single problem.


WeÂ’ve been flying with our first child since he was 2 weeks old. WeÂ’ve been flying a 182RG with he and his mom in the back seat. Our son was originally in a rear facing car seat. We used David Clark H10-13.4 headsets with the youth adapter headband for a good fit. Because I was paranoid about potential hearing damage, I also had the Headsets Inc. electronic noise reduction modules added.

Our son is now 18 months old and has over 100 hours of flying under his belt. He is a real delight in the plane and his hearing is just fine. We had a bit of trouble between 12 and 14 months when he would often try to take off his headset. As a note of caution – for young children and infants – do NOT plug their headsets into the intercom until the volume has been checked. As we pilots typically don’t sit in the back seat, there is no way of knowing how the volume levels have been set. I can’t tell you how many times my wife has nearly had her ear drums blown out by the other folks who fly our plane after they have left the volume turned all the way up (they don’t use noise canceling headsets). We prefer to not plug in a headset for a child until they can communicate well and understand my hand signals of when to be quiet when talking with ATC.

We’re expecting twins in March and by necessity are moving up to a Piper Lance. We hope to get them flying right away as well. I’ve got David Clark H10-13X headsets for them and am simply adding the youth adapter headband to those headsets as well. Now if I only had time to get my CFI rating – they could all start logging time!


Hopefully the picture of my son when he was much younger shows up OK. I wasn’t sure how to include the picture on this forum so I linked it to the user profile. The picture seems a little scrunched up - but you get the idea. It is never too early to start them off flying!!!

I strongly suggest you put her in your Cirrus and fly it! I’ve tried to fly my children and their arms get very tired! They don’t do well at altitude, where it gets cold, and their payload stinks :slight_smile:

(Sorry, I couldn’t resist)

My experiences with very young kids (<3) have been varied. One loved the flight, fell asleep and threw-up (on his Dad) the entire 45 minute flight. He loved the first flight so much, he couldn’t wait to do it again! Which he did - all the way home!!!

Second story was with my niece, who was 2 at the time. She had no problem on start-up taxi or take off run. BUT the moment the wheels were off, she started screaming. Neither I nor her Mom could figure it out. Yes, we returned very quickly.

I’d recommend that if you have the time, you do a familiarization program… baby steps. Bring the kid to the plane with Mom and maybe any other security items like a blanket, doll or teddy bear. Let her see you get in, fool around inside, then let her get in. Don’t start it or anything, maybe play a game or give her attention that she likes. Get her out quickly. The idea is too make it a positive experience and leave her wanting more. Then wait a few days and do it again, but this time after she is out, show her other planes flying and let her know that “Daddy” does the same thing and it is FUN. If she seems even the least bit scared, slow down, don’t force anything. Once again, the idea is to get her to ASK to fly.

After a few more days, maybe get her in the plane and “Drive around”, but don’t fly. Maybe let her watch Daddy fly away and return.

If this all works perfectly, wait for a very nice smooth day and take her for a very short flight with Mom and all of the security items.

Most kids I’ve flown with did not want headsets, but I did not have kids versions. Also, if you can, do what you can to keep noise to a minimum. Throttle back asap after takeoff and cruise ant a gentle setting.

Hope this helps.

Well Don, we started taking our kids when they were younger than 15 months and only had a couple of upchucks. The biggest pain
in the but was when 2 of the 3 decided to become pilots and I had offered to pick up the tab. They both got their IFR’s last year
and now they think the 172 isn’t good enough and they want to use the Cirrus! Our grand daughter at 3yrs thinks flying is just a
faster way to go and has no problem. So beware what you are getting into.

It is my opinion that GA aircraft are loud enough to risk permanent hearing damage even on short exposures. As adults we are free to take this risk, but we should take every precaution for children and use hearing protection whenever possible.

I fly my neices and nephews quite a bit and they all (most) love it. None are as young as 15 mos., but the only two problems I’ve had are 1) descending too fast to make a hole in the clouds on a VFR flight, which left my nephew howling from ear pressure…you should be esp. sensitive to this with a baby; 2) once instance of motion sickness…I didn’t get my neice on her booster seat and with nowhere to focus outside, the slight turbulence made her sick.

I expect a 15 mos old will probably nod off for most of the flight, though

While hearing loss is not my specialty, kids, even 15 months old have been around noisy places. The one to really watch for is airpressure, and here is a sure way of avoiding it. If the kid is still with a bottle, make 2 bottles of his/her favored drink. As you start climbing hive one bottle, the second bottle save for descent. My daughter was 3 months old, when she first flew with me, and she did not complaint or was not in pain at all. She still loves to fly with me. My second daughter started flying with a bottle when she was 6 months old. Once you take care of this, there is not much you can do, but have someone watch over the little one. Have fun!

Thanks again for the help. The trip there and back went very well with our grandauwter. What we used is some winter ear muffs and she slept most of the way. The seat belt straps worked great thanks for that one. It was so stable. I think if we would have used the shut she would have been the safest. I love this forum and I love my SR-20 From Don N705DM

Is there a special attachment you use for the car seat? Will the shoulder harness work properly with it?
Horner Chen

It is a bit of a pain, but it is workable. I have found the easiest way seems to be the following:

Place the car seat in the back seat face down, i.e. the base is facing the seat back and the seat is facing the floor.
Loosen the lap belts almost to the end of the belts and pull plenty of slack out of the shoulder harnesses as well.
Thread the buckles through the base of the seat and buckle them together at the center.
Flip the seat up into its normal position with the base on the seat.
Pull the lap belts tight while pushing the seat down into the seat cushion firmly.
I use a towel or a cushion to keep the child seat frame from leaving an impression on the airplane seats.

This works pretty well and the child can see outside the airplane very easily.
Hope your kids enjoy it.

Thanks to all for the information. And for the photo. From Don

A friend of mine found that his daughter’s airsickness vanished with supplemental oxygen. Now when she gets in the plane, she grabs for the canula because she knows it makes her feel better.


I attribute a lot of loud noises, many M80s and more, when I was a kid to my current hearing which requires the best of ANR to even have a chance of picking up all of the traffic.

My 2 cents


Oh, and don’t let them attempt an ILS without coupling the autopilot. They get flustered and sometimes get a little below the glideslope. [;)]

Seriously, my kids have always flown very well. If there’s a downside, it’s that now that they’re older (15 and 11), they regard GA flying no differently than a ride in the family car. I sometimes wish it would be more “special” for them.

  • Mike.