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When Do Pilots Use The Bathroom During Flight?  
User currently offlineRjpieces From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 17725 times:

I was just wondering when pilots use the bathroom these days. On flights in the US, is it required that the cockpit door be shut the whole flight? If so, what do the pilots do?

What about on longhaul flights? Surely the pilots must use the bathroom and eat and even change pilots. I've also heard that El Al NEVER opens the cockpit door. Any thoughts are appreciated.

47 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineScottysAir From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 17691 times:

Yes, I saw with the pilot was come out with the cockpit and went to the bathroom during on the flight and keep with the cockpit door close all of the times.

User currently offlineArmitageShanks From UK - England, joined Dec 2003, 3607 posts, RR: 15
Reply 2, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 17680 times:

I've seen pilots use the bathroom pretty soon after takeoff and during cruise. I wouldn't think there are any official regulations about it... When you gotta go you gotta go.

I'm sure they are pretty quick about opening and closing the door to the cockpit... Minimal chit chat.


User currently offlineOrdpark From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 573 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 17648 times:
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I don't know about EL AL, but United's pilots go when they have to....just make shure the cockpit door is locked.....

User currently offlineScottysAir From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 17640 times:

Correct and make sure keep locked with the cockpit door all of the times.

User currently offlineCx123 From Australia, joined May 2004, 695 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 17608 times:

I know in AA on the MD 80, the FA will use a Drink Cart to block the entrance to the cockpit. It is actually funny trying to see the FA jamming the cart and trying to remove it after the pilot has finished using the bathroom.

I know in CX there is a dedicated toilet in the upper deck on 744 for the pilot.

Also they serve F Class meals to the pilot, so they have to open the door.

I guess the risk in 744 is less as there are less people on the upper deck.

BA has CCTV on the upper deck


User currently offlineAlexchao From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 688 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 17598 times:

I have seen what CX123 described on AA's Super 80s. Fortunately, the purser on my flight was much more experienced and didn't have any problem securing the cart into place and then removing it.

In addition to the cart, another flight attendant stood in front of the cart.

Our purser used this method to deliver meals to the pilots as well.


User currently offlineUALongHaul From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 227 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 17551 times:

For some reason i always see pilots come out on short domestic flights numerous times like they have to prove to the F/C cabin that they look pretty in their uniforms and are hard at work talking about the wife and kids and other watercooler subjects up front and need to come relive themselves many times.

I never see pilots come out on longhaul flights more than once or twice. Once you are allowed to fly longhaul i guess you have a little more control over your bladder.


User currently offlineFLY777UAL From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4512 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 17536 times:

On UA, a cart is always positioned across the aisle blocking any entry (and the carts are HEAVY!), and a flight attendant enters the cockpit and locks the door to comply with the rule of two--two crew members in the cockpit.

F L Y 7 7 7 U A L


User currently offlineSonOfACaptain From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1747 posts, RR: 6
Reply 9, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 17535 times:

At US Airways, a F/A goes into the cockpit until the pilot comes back.

-SOAC



Non Illegitimi Carborundum
User currently offlineSA7700 From South Africa, joined Dec 2003, 3431 posts, RR: 26
Reply 10, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 17428 times:
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Seated on the upperdeck of SA 744's; you see pilots, F/O's and cabin crew come and go. Needless to say, the cockpit door is never open for long periods of time, however long enough to get a peek when you are seated in an aisle seat.  Big thumbs up


When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)
User currently offlineDoorsToManual From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 17393 times:

Generally pilots try and wait until after landing, then go in during a turnaround (I work for an airline that generally only flies shorthaul).

Failing this, there is another procedure, which is blindingly obvious so I don't have a problem writing about it: flightdeck calls cabin crew on interphone (2 chimes), crew member waits outside door looking out towards passengers (menacing, door-man look optional  Big grin ), pilot comes out for a pee. We've also got CCTV, so pilots can scan outside before letting anyone in.

No, our flightdeck door doesn't stay "shut" all the time.

regards


User currently offlineZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7084 posts, RR: 12
Reply 12, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 17303 times:

I presume that they go when nature calls. Just out of interest about the cockpit doors, I was on an NZ 733 form WLG to AKL and they left the cockpit door wide open for a good 15-20 minutes during cruise, you could see the pilots drinking their coffee etc... I was by the wing and I could see straight into the flight deck, I saw all the panels etc...
I bet this would never happen on a US airline.

SUJ


User currently offlineRT514 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 3 days ago) and read 17140 times:

While flying Business Class on an AC domestic flight this past January, I managaed to catch a glimpse of this exciting process.

The pilot exits, one FA goes into the cockpit and locks the door. Another FA remains in the galley and politely turns away anyone wishing to use the lavatory. Pilot exits, enters cockpit and then the two FA's continue their duties. The cockpit door was controlled by an electronic locking device that required input, presumably in the form of a security code.

It's actually very interesting, you could tell that this was a well rehearsed procedure.


User currently offlineBuckfifty From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 1316 posts, RR: 20
Reply 14, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 17103 times:

It's actually very interesting, you could tell that this was a well rehearsed procedure.

You make it sound like it's an opera or something. Come on everybody! We're talking about bodily functions here!

I mean, when I have to pee, I have to go pee. When I have to go poo, I will go poo. Just have to call the F/A in the cockpit, hopefully a nice one, so that the other guy sitting in the cockpit will have a nice time while I relieve myself.

That's all it is. Nothing magical about this whole thing. Well, peeing anyway...


User currently offlineRT514 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 16971 times:

I mean, when I have to pee, I have to go pee... That's all it is. Nothing magical about this whole thing.

Not quite that simple when piloting a commercial aircraft considering the added security measures that disgusting events in the world have necessitated. I can say that I was not surprised that there are specific procedures when security of the cockpit is vulnerable, whether it be for "peeing" or anything else.


User currently offlineBuckfifty From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 1316 posts, RR: 20
Reply 16, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 16910 times:

Not quite that simple when piloting a commercial aircraft considering the added security measures that disgusting events in the world have necessitated.

But actually, what I'm trying to say that it is quite simple. The procedures are in place not only for washroom breaks, but for other instances where pilots need to be in the back for any specific (or non-specific) reasons.

Things like this people get used to quite easily. All it means is that there should be an F/A in the cockpit so that the pilot flying is always at the controls (and thus not having to get up out of his or her seat to open a door), as obviously the doors are locked now at all times.

The CCTV works quite well, though we are still required to have a F/A in the cockpit when the other pilot leaves. Just in case if there is an emergency, and the F/A can be there to help with the checklists, or if the remote door latch mechanism fails for some reason.


User currently offlineRT514 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 16869 times:

But actually, what I'm trying to say that it is quite simple

I would have thought so too! It was apparent that a specific set of procedures were being followed, however.

As commercial aviation in Western countries is specifically targeted by terrorists, there are many things done on a flight that used to be simple but just aren't so simple anymore. As I personally saw, a pilot going from the cockpit to the lavatory is one thing that just isn't as casual and as simple as it once was.

This September will be the first time I will be on an American airline post 9/11 and I expect that things will be quite different compared to flights on American carriers in the past.

Bear in mind, Buckfifty, I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you. I'm just relaying what I observed.

[Edited 2004-06-15 18:13:41]

User currently offlineJamotcx From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 1037 posts, RR: 25
Reply 18, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 16828 times:

Last summer I got to get a nice peak inside the cockpit  Smile

I was chatting with the cabin crew at the front of the plane and the pilot went to the loo. I kinda held the door open and had a good look  Smile And no we werent on the ground.


Jamo


User currently offlineSimongkhon From Sweden, joined Oct 2003, 49 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 16256 times:

Yanks go to the bathroom, Europeans to the loo...... lol.

User currently offlineLnglive1011yyz From Canada, joined Oct 2003, 1608 posts, RR: 15
Reply 20, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 15871 times:

Just to add my $0.02 here, on my recent flight aboard Skyservice to CUN from YYZ, we had a inflight cabin computer control system problem (lights/t.v's and IFE system shut right down), the Purser knocked on the cockpit door and was talking to the pilots for a good 2 minutes with the door open...

I think they use common sense. I wouldn't be surprised if they communicate with the cabin crew to ensure that there aren't any 'suspect' people looking like they're going to charge the cockpit as soon as it opens..

Again, just my 0.02$!

1011yyz!




Pack your bags, we're going on a sympathy trip!
User currently offlineHorus From Egypt, joined Feb 2004, 5230 posts, RR: 60
Reply 21, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 15692 times:

I know that Qantas B747-400s have toilets for the pilots in the cockpit itself. They are located in the back right corner of the cockpit and look exactly the same as noraml toilets.


EGYPT: A 7,000 Year Old Civilisation
User currently offlineBruce From United States of America, joined May 1999, 5042 posts, RR: 15
Reply 22, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 15523 times:

Here is how it worked on my last CO EX flight w/one FA & two pilots. First the FA watched the bathroom (at the rear of the ERJ) and when the last person who occupied it left, she came back and locked the door. Then she went to the front and talked to the pilot on a microphone. The FO came out of the cockpit and the FA went in, and he made sure the door was locked with the FA and Captain inside. He walked to the back, used the lav, then walked back up and used the mic to talk to the cockpit. Then the door opened, and the FO went in & the Capt. came out (so the FO & FA were inside), made sure it was locked, went to the back, then back up, called the cockpit on the mic, the door which was locked from the inside was opened and the FA came out, Captain went in, and locked back up again.

bruce



Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
User currently offlineDbo861 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 883 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 15454 times:

When one of the crew members leaves the flight deck, the PIC must put on an oxygen mask incase of a rapid decompression in the cabin. If the copilot isn't in his/her seat, and there is a decompression and the pilot isn't wearing the oxygen mask, everyone would die.

One of my professors who is a furloughed 737 pilot told us about this in my Air Transportation class.


User currently offlineBuckfifty From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 1316 posts, RR: 20
Reply 24, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 15280 times:

When one of the crew members leaves the flight deck, the PIC must put on an oxygen mask incase of a rapid decompression in the cabin. If the copilot isn't in his/her seat, and there is a decompression and the pilot isn't wearing the oxygen mask, everyone would die.

I'm interested in what airline he was furloughed from. This is the first time I've ever heard of something like this.



25 Rjpieces : I've heard that as well, that the PIC must have an oxygen mask on if the other pilot is out of the cockpit. If the copilot isn't in his/her seat, and
26 Pe@rson : If a counsel, juror, defendant, judge, or other essential body in a trial requires the toilet, the trial will be adjourned until that person returns.
27 Gigneil : Its certainly not the first time I've heard of the PF having to don an O2 mask while the other seat was vacant. Rapid decompression at that altitude w
28 Rjpieces : Rapid decompression at that altitude would otherwise very likely cause everyone's death. What would be the difference if there was a rapid decompressi
29 Buckfifty : Rapid decompression at that altitude would otherwise very likely cause everyone's death. Chances are, in a really rapid decompression, the chances of
30 Dbo861 : "I'm interested in what airline he was furloughed from. This is the first time I've ever heard of something like this." United
31 Emorypilot : I sat in on a charter jet company's refresher course one time because I knew the chief pilot. It seems like I remember them saying something about a r
32 Post contains images NightFlier : I recall on a flight from Hollywood International to New York JFK on JB the first officer came out of the cockpit to use the bathroom. When he was in
33 NWAFA : Everyone, This is one of those questions that should NEVER EVER be talked about here in this forum. We KNOW that people are out there studying the dai
34 Post contains images C130HERCULES : Let me say a big HELLO to everyone here. Finally I have joined!!!! Thanks to all for making this website one of the best with the most amazing photogr
35 Texdravid : I agree with NWAFA!! As much as I, and others would like to know about the daily routine of pilots and F/A's, detailed explanations would only serve t
36 Dbo861 : Emorypilot~ FARs require pilots to use supplemental Oxygen at 12,500-14,000 feet MSLfor flight time more than 30 minutes. At 14,001 feel MSL, the pilo
37 KITH : NWAFA makes a valid point but anyone whose flown before post 9/11 in the US will have seen this. In march I was stuck for 2hrs on the tarmac in ORD wa
38 Post contains images Md80fanatic : For God's sake people, only once did people penetrate the locked cockpit door and THAT is still very debatable whether that even happened at all. You
39 Mez : With all the activity of the flight attendants blocking the cockpit door with trolleys, occupying the flight deck for the duration of pilot absence,et
40 CitationJet : The requirement for pilot oxygen mask use is defined in FAR 121.333(c)(3). 121.333(c)(3): If for any reason at any time it is necessary for one pilot
41 YOW : Canadian Air Regulations stipulate on pax flights with an f/a that two people have to be in the flight deck at all times, including during washroom br
42 Kgin11 : On a post 9/11 flight on Xmas Day, 2001 from OAK-HNL on AQ, after four hours of turbulence (I kid thee not), I got up to use the head. As I exited and
43 Sleekjet : Hey, they should just keep a jar under the seat.
44 Dbo861 : "I sat in on a charter jet company's refresher course one time because I knew the chief pilot. It seems like I remember them saying something about a
45 Chinaeastern : one thing i have noticed is that air new zealand domestic flights constantly leave the cockpit door open for a long period of time. i'm used to it alr
46 Sammyhostie : I have never experienced this oxygen thing and i've worked for 2 charters and 1 secheduled airline! The general rule I have always been taught is the
47 MD-90 : hahahaha Terrorists probably SHOULD use a.net for their information. It'd be a good way to get them to bungle the job. Signed, A former terrorist susp
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