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Question About Cockpit Privacy  
User currently offlineSontag From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (15 years 3 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 903 times:

Is it a regulation with commercial airliners that when in flight, the pilots must close the cockpit door? Or is it pilot discretion? On a flight I was on on Big Sky Airlines (little little commuter airline in MT) I sat up front and the pilots left their curtain open for me to ask them questions and see what they were doing while in-flight. It was most interesting to me!

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineC-GAGN From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (15 years 3 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 903 times:

I don't think there's an oficial rule on it, its just company policy and the pilots discression. On Air Canada, they usualy leave the door open in flight, and just close it for TO and landing to keep it fron flying arround.

User currently offlinePurdue Cadet From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (15 years 3 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 903 times:

I believe that for US carriers, flying under Part 121 of the Federal Aviation Regulations, the law requires that the cockpit door remain shut and locked throughout the flight, except when people are going through it. That is the official excuse that US airlines print in their magazines for why passengers are not allowed in the cockpit. Aircraft with 19 or fewer seats, however, do not fly under Part 121 and therefore are not required to have the cockpit closed off. When I flew a Great Lakes Beech 1900D, the curtain was open for the entire flight except for about 45 seconds from short final until we were clear of the active at O'Hare. I assume that the Big Sky plane was <20 seats, so this is the reason they were allowed to leave the curtain open.

User currently offlineLauda 777 From Sweden, joined May 1999, 501 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (15 years 3 months 1 week ago) and read 903 times:

I flown with a Lufthansa partner Fokker 50 and the door was open, even under To & Landing.


Jonas



Joystick for flightsim. Yokes for real planes.
User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8124 posts, RR: 54
Reply 4, posted (15 years 3 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 904 times:

I don't think I've ever been on a BA 747 where the cockpit door was closed in flight - sometimes there's a curtain dividing off the entire forward area of the upper deck but usually you can sort of wander up. You can't just walk in unannounced, just loitering nearby is enough to catch the eye of the flight engineer and squat on the jumpseat for five minutes. Get a glimpse of the INS read-outs to find out where you are and then saunter back to the cabin. Nice!

I like the relaxed approach, I don't see the point of locking the cockpit door. It cuts the crew off from all kinds of interesting discussion with dead-heading pilots and airline staff or aviation enthusiasts, and even an smelly eight year old asking where the bomb release switches are alleviates the boredom of systems onitoring on a long flight.



fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineIce Cream Man From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 127 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (15 years 3 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 902 times:

All true, but with short busy flights I'm sure they rather do without all the 'interesting' questions.

Somehow it doesn't look very professional I think, to have the door open, especially for TO and landing. It could be a big distractor as well when they least need it.


User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8124 posts, RR: 54
Reply 6, posted (15 years 3 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 902 times:

Perhaps on short flights the workload is a lot higher, and the interruption at critical moments is a potential worry. So yes, the door should be closed on t/o and landing. But I don't think it looks unprofessional in flight - in fact the opposite, that they are so at ease that the is no need to be uptight and keep the door shut. Why do the FAA think a slab of plywood is going to keep a plane from being hijacked if there is a hijacker on the other side with a gun pointed at the flight attendent's head? No-one hijacks planes any more anyway, it's too difficult to be worthwhile.


fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineAmerican MD-80 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (15 years 3 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 903 times:

I think it is a Federal Regulation that the cockpit door be closed and locked while inflight. In the USA anyway. I know someone who flew on Mexicana from ORD-Mexico and once the plane left the USA, he got to sit in the cockpit. I think they lock it for hijacking reasons. And so the pilots are not distracted. The cockpit door has been closed on all the flights I have been on.

Colin Kumpunen


User currently offlineIce Cream Man From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 127 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (15 years 3 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 902 times:

It's not just hijacking reasons, think about the increase in air rage. Sure a door isn't going to stop them if they really want to get in, but do they know that ? They may think the door made of stainless steel. In any case, if the door is open it may only invite so called 'distressed' passengers to have a go at the pilots.

User currently offlineSontag From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (15 years 3 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 902 times:

My husband says he heard that pilots carry handguns in the cockpit. I've never heard of that. Anyone know if there's any truth to this?
I guess it would be a good idea as long as you don't have a trigger happy psychotic pilot!


User currently offlineIce Cream Man From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 127 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (15 years 3 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 902 times:

Yeah, that sounds like a great idea...bullets flying through a pressurized hull. Lovely. Also, what if Mr.Hooligan would get hold of the gun ? Not a great situation I would think.

User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8124 posts, RR: 54
Reply 11, posted (15 years 3 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 903 times:

Some flight crews are armed. Other airlines (El Al, Sudan, a surprisingly high number of others) carry armed sky marshalls. The bullets are actually like (unfamiliar Americanism coming up) a Hacky Sack, if I'm right in thinking that a Hacky Sack is a small bag of pellets or seeds. It's rolled up inside the chamber of the gun, and when it's fired it initially retains it's balled-up shape, and will make a big hole in the first thing it hits, ie a human. As it continues to travel it opens up like a pancake and slows down incredibly fast, and if it missed the target and hit someone four rows behind, it definitely wouldn't kill them, probably not penetrate (you'd have a bit of a bruise though). It wouldn't go through the skin of a plane, maybe a window at point blank range. Unarmed flight crews are usually given a baton or similar, and all carry handcuffs.


fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
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