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To All Airline Pilots, ATC Question  
User currently offlineERAUPilotATC From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 29 posts, RR: 0
Posted (10 years 2 months 16 hours ago) and read 6497 times:

After 9/11, my former teachers are not clear on the situation of "famrides" (SP). Can you give the status for controllers getting free flights?

18 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 1, posted (10 years 2 months 16 hours ago) and read 6416 times:

I am not sure and someone will probably pop up here who does know.

What I do know for sure is that as a pilot for one airline, I cannot ride in the cockpit of another airline. I think my Ops manual still lists air traffic controllers as one of the authorized groups, but there might be other guidance saying that they cannot ride on the flight deck.

Also, I have not seen anyone on the flight deck since 9-11 except our own pilots and one FAA air safety inspector.

Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineKaddyuk From Wallis and Futuna, joined Nov 2001, 4126 posts, RR: 25
Reply 2, posted (10 years 2 months 16 hours ago) and read 6403 times:

I think that what is written in the manuals isnt really followed to the letter in the sky.

The rules on cockpit access can be inturpreted to suit whatever situation you want. And I guess that in the end, if a captain wants me in the cockpit, then that is up to him because he is running the joint

Whoever said "laughter is the best medicine" never had Gonorrhea
User currently offlineRamper@iah From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 240 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (10 years 2 months 16 hours ago) and read 6392 times:

Air Traffic Controllers can no longer ride in the cockpit jumpseat of commercial airliners. Before 9/11, they were allowed to submit a request to their supervisor to take a familiarization ride on an FAR part 121 carrier to experience the ATC operation from a pilot's point of view. I hope that one day they will be allowed on the jumpseats once again. I had a lot of ATC questions answered byt these guys. It was definitely a win-win for ATC and the flight crews.

User currently offlineAJ From Australia, joined Nov 1999, 2397 posts, RR: 25
Reply 4, posted (10 years 2 months 13 hours ago) and read 6337 times:

We can still have Atcos up the front in our company.

User currently offlineRick767 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2000, 2662 posts, RR: 51
Reply 5, posted (10 years 2 months 9 hours ago) and read 6252 times:

We still have FAMs for ATCOs too, really useful for them and us and the favour is nearly always returned so we can see the operation from their perspective too.

Like Ramper@iah said, it's a win-win.

I used to love the smell of Jet-A in the morning...
User currently offlineWing From Turkey, joined Oct 2000, 1575 posts, RR: 24
Reply 6, posted (10 years 2 months 7 hours ago) and read 6203 times:

We also allow ATC crews for familarization flights as they also compleate the same backround security procedures to wear that badge inside the airport perimeter.Its only limited to domestic flights in my company though.

I am personally infavor of this.Its very important that the ATC guys know that we are more than blinks on the radar screen and some wrong decisions they make(even if doesn't kill us) may seriously bother us.An example comes to my mind is at Dalaman airport everytime after touch down the tower gives you the taxi instructions to your gate.

-XYZ123 vacate runway to your right,right again and taxi to stand number 4...
In few seconds...
-XYZ123 did you copy?
I've met one of them at a dinner and mentioned him that is really not safe to talk with radio during landing roll with speeds over 100 knots,it could be a good practice to wait a little more to allow the pilots slow down to a safe speed.He said he was not aware of it.

More teamwork between pilots and the ATC is very important,both parties learn where a word ends up after it leaves the mouth.Surely a win-win...

Widen your world
User currently offlineFinnWings From Finland, joined Oct 2003, 640 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (10 years 2 months 1 hour ago) and read 6093 times:

Here in Finland part of the ATC student training is 10 flight lessons in single engine piston aircraft. They also study the whole PPL theory as well and I believe that is excellent system because it offers a little bit pilots point of view to ATC students.

However, I'm not sure do they get jumpseat rides on board of bigger aircrafts as well.

Best Regards,

User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 8, posted (10 years 2 months 1 hour ago) and read 6093 times:

Kaddyuk if that is correct for the UK, then you guys are enjoying what we now consider the "wild west" days. If a captain on a US air carrier allowed a non-qualified, non-documented person onto the flight deck on a revenue flight he would be fired for certain and possibly jailed.

Used to be like that. My wife and both of my children have had jumpseat rides, usually on ferry flights, at more than one airline.

I always liked the ATC fam rides. It is amazing how much simple but important stuff was cleared up between us on those flights. I also enjoy taking our mechanics and dispatchers. We need to see operations from the other guy's perspective from time to time.

Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineFinnWings From Finland, joined Oct 2003, 640 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (10 years 2 months 1 hour ago) and read 6068 times:

If a captain on a US air carrier allowed a non-qualified, non-documented person onto the flight deck on a revenue flight he would be fired for certain and possibly jailed.

The rules aren't so strict here in Europe. It is quite easy for the airline employees to get jumpseat rides even still nowadays. All you have to do is politely ask from gate agent prior to boarding who will announce the flight crew and then everything depends of the captain. Especially if the flight is fully booked there is good chance that captain will take stand-by passenger(s) to jumpseat. However, it is sure that flight crew will not open the cockpit door during the flight.

Best Regards,

User currently offlineAAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3494 posts, RR: 46
Reply 10, posted (10 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5983 times:

For FAA certified air carriers... NO! Access to cockpit is now extremely limited. Until recently even "sister" airlines could not permit cockpit crewmembers access to each other's cockpits (i.e. AE pilots were prohibited from AA cockpit jumpseats & vice-versa).

*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
User currently offlineSPREE34 From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 2264 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (10 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 5906 times:

T S A Screws up everything it touches. Then spends over 1 million in funds to celebrate.

I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
User currently offlineLowrider From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 3220 posts, RR: 10
Reply 12, posted (10 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 5806 times:

Fam Rides, short for Familiarzation rides, are sometimes given to pilots when transitioning into an aircraft either as a new hire or an existing employee, which they have previously flown, but have become unqualified in due to leave of absence, military leave, or some other reason that cause a lack of 90 day currency. Given the wider availability of Cat D sims, these are rarer and rarer

Proud OOTSK member
User currently offlineBaw2198 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 637 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (10 years 1 month 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 5597 times:

Up until 9-11 we could, but haven't been allowed since. Kindof a bummer since I enjoy aviation so much. Last I heard was that the ALPA was for it, but the FAA wasn't or maybe vis versa. Anyhow, I doubt it'll come back before I'm retired as far as the part 121's go. We are allowed part 91 rides but the flight crew has to make the offer, we can't ask (including corp. guys that doesn't have a call sign).

"And remember, Keep your stick on the ice"--->Red Green
User currently offlineAtco From Canada, joined Jul 2001, 277 posts, RR: 23
Reply 14, posted (10 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 5365 times:


I can assure you that no ATCO I have ever worked with takes the job lightly. We are always aware of the outcome if we get it wrong and acutely realise the importance of each "blip".

I agree that procedures at some airports and ACC's can be made better, and in that way Fam flights and Pilot visits to ATC are essential.
Open dialogue between ATC and flight crew only help to break down barriers and misconceptions and improve understanding. We can all learn how to help each other to achieve our goals, which are of course the same.........to get from A to B as quickly and safely as possible.

Fam flights are not necessary to remind controllers of their responibilities and the consequences of getting it wrong.



User currently offlineZID From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 294 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (10 years 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 4761 times:

Fam flights by controllers in the United States were curtailed before 9/11. The FAA started noticing that a majority of fam flights were to Las Vegas, Orlando, Hawaii, etc... So they decided to impose a cumbersome amount of restrictions, guidelines and paperwork upon controllers that chose to use the fam program. I used to go on one fam flight each year to familiarize myself with the piloting experience. I would just do a day trip to Des Moines, or Saint Louis, or Cleveland. But I haven't been on one since '99 or 2000 because of all the hoops we now have to jump through. The FAA simply made it not worth the hassle.

I'm not joking! This is my job!
User currently offlinePlanespotting From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3538 posts, RR: 5
Reply 16, posted (10 years 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 4423 times:

Before 9/11, anyone with a Commercial Pilots License could sit in the cockpit and jumpseat on a commercial aircraft, as long as he had the pilots permission. I work with the jumpseat coordinator at Southwest, and yes the rules for jumpseating our extremely strict in this country. There is something in the works for all airlines involving jumpseat agreements, that include a standardized photo and a network that will have each documented persons information up on the gate agents computer screen, that will allow that person to sit in the cockpit on any airline who is part of the system. it's a few years away however, and airlines aren't really putting money towards it right now with all the other shit that they are going through..

Do you like movies about gladiators?
User currently offlineModesto2 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2819 posts, RR: 5
Reply 17, posted (10 years 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 4173 times:

At JetBlue, flight attendants are allowed to ride up front and the FOM (flight ops manual) specifies specific individuals who are allowed to ride the cockpit jumpseat. Under part 94 ops like ferry flights, the airline's other crewmembers can ride in the cockpit at the captain's discretion.

User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 18, posted (10 years 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 4198 times:

The critical regulatory language pre-9/11 was in FAR 121.547(a)(4) "Any person who has the permission of the pilot in command and is specifically authorized by the certificate holder management and by the Administrator."

For those of you outside airline flight ops, the "certificate holder" is the airline and the "Administrator" is the FAA Administrator. So the way the certificate holder defines who can jumpseat is they write an operations manual which includes their jumpseat policy. The Administrator in the person of a FSDO that "holds the certificate" of that airline has appointed a Principal Operations Inspector or POI who accepts or does not accept the airline's jumpseat policy. At some airlines that policy was written and FAA accepted to be no more restrictive than the language in the regulation above.

In the golden days before 9/11 the FAA did not really mind so long as safety was not compromised in any way. Company management might not mind as long as safety, profit and propriety were not compromised. Taking your girlfriend on the jumpseat was an unlikely event on a revenue flight!

So if an airline had a fairly non-restrictive policy, you could ride jumpseat as long as the captain did not object, your name was on the flight release (which is how the company "specifically authorized" you. You got a briefing on the sterile cockpit rule, emergency exits available to you, use of your oxygen mask and anything else the PIC felt worth mentioning and you were off on a little adventure.

Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
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