Flying with Children

I have a 6 year old and 3 year old and an Avidyne SR22. Any recommendations youth headsets and how to secure the child seat? No LATCH system in my plane. Any other advice would be greatly appreciated.


For a long trip, Nyquill and heat does wonders. Otherwise I’ll let the parents here fill you in.


Welcome to COPA!

I’ve found that Bose Xs work fine for very young kids. Our baby has been using them since he was about 12 months old. He doesn’t always keep them on but when he does they fit. You probably won’t need this because of the age of your kids but silicone earplugs with a neoprene headband works well for noise suppression without the headphones. The Disney channel on XM radio or Elmo’s World on the iPad also helps with our 18 month old!

Putting car seats in the plane is a hassle. I just use the waist part of the belt and feed it through like you would in a car. Its a tight fit though and with our seat you end up with the buckle under the padding between the kids legs. There is no way to have the buckle outside on one side or the other. Be careful about putting the buckle in a tunnel in the seat. There are places where you can latch the two halves but there is no room to lift the latch to unbuckle it and can be almost impossible to get out. The shoulder straps have to be fed down around the sides of the seat to near the base of the seat to make this work and everything is extended to their limits. I’ve been thinking about getting a seat belt extender (anyone know where to get one that fits our buckles?) for the waist belt that would live in the car seat as it is taken in and out. By doing that you wouldn’t need to have all the straps fully extended and wouldn’t have a buckle under the kids legs.

Their are a bunch of threads here on the COPA site about flying with kids in a Cirrus. Just put ‘kids’ or ‘babies’ in the search box and some of them will come up.


I use Bose X and regular car seat that I strap to the seat. Not a real quick move in and out but otherwise efficient and safe

For kids over age 2 who can sit forward facing (well, it’s now age 2 in California, but could still be 1 in other states), the Combi Cocorro Convertible Car Seat is the only way to go for our planes. It is the lightest carseat I’ve ever picked up, and it’s got a huge opening in the back that easily fits our seatbelts. Installing it takes less than a minute, and the lack of weight is always a nice feature. However, rearfacing it is completely useless because it is simply impossible to attach securely in either a car or a plane.

One other thing is that booster seats are not FAA approved and therefore not legal in our planes. Where that leaves a 4 year-old I don’t know: my oldest is 3.

Good luck!

My kids are also 6 and 3. We use Lightspeed Zulus all around and they seem to work well. I can adjust them small enough to fit both kids’ heads and the noise canceling helps make it a more comfortable ride for them. The 6 year old gets to have his mike in front of his mouth. The 3 year old chews on it so we typically flip it up so it is on top of his head. I’d recommend trying out an adult headset like a Zulu that you can use with adult passengers. You may find (like we did) that they work for the kids also. We recently did a 4 hr 15 min flight and both kids were still comfortable with the headsets at the end (that’s our longest to date).

We’ve got a Graco seat for the 3 year old. For the 6 year old you’ll have to figure out solutions you are comfortable with. There is the issue of what the FAA has approved and then there is the concern of what actually works to position your kid in the seat belts properly. You’ll have to make a call on how to balance what is legal vs. what is likely to be safer.

Enjoy flying with the family…

  1. Legal? is there a legal requirement in US for child seats in private aircraft? I know there isn’t one for commercial.

The concern goes in the opposite direction. I have run into this on commercial airlines multiple times. The seat isn’t required (in fact under 2 yrs old you can hold the kids in your lap) but you aren’t allowed to use a seat in the plane unless it is stickered as approved for use in aircraft.

Basically they would rather have your kid sit without a child seat in the adult seatbelt than have them sit in a car seat that is crash tested (in cars) but lacks the placard saying it can also be used in a plane.