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How Do Single Pilots Go To The Toilet?  
User currently offlineDainan From Sweden, joined Sep 2005, 69 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 5 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 31526 times:

How do pilots relieve themselves when flying single? Do they us some sort of portable toilet and if so, how would they use it without compromising the safety? Or do they fly with some sort of diaper on like space pilots do, just in case? :p

Let's say that you're flying your Cessna Citation CJ4 from London to Iceland as a single pilot. The weather is clear and constantly looking down at the North Atlantic makes you wanna go number one. Would a pilot in that situation entrust his wellbeing to the autopilot, praying that he won't hit any clear air turbulence or have an engine failure, and run back to the toilet to take a leak? It sounds like big no-no I guess, but does it happen?

58 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineGarpd From UK - Scotland, joined Aug 2005, 2630 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (3 years 5 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 31530 times:

Two words: Adult nappy (or: Adult Diaper for the Americans on this board.)


arpdesign.wordpress.com
User currently onlineFlaps From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 1261 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (3 years 5 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 31344 times:

Trim a few degrees nose down, descend 200 feet scurry to to the cargo hold and make use of relief tube. Scurry back to the cockpit before the aircraft climbs more than 200 feet above original altitude and level off again at assigned altitude. Well, at least thats how it works in an empty C303. Never tried it with pax.

User currently offlineZkpilot From New Zealand, joined Mar 2006, 4805 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (3 years 5 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 31267 times:

"How do single pilots go to the toilet?"
The same way as married ones     



56 types. 38 countries. 24 airlines.
User currently offlineJoeCanuck From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 5410 posts, RR: 30
Reply 4, posted (3 years 5 months 6 days ago) and read 31159 times:

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 3):

Dammit...stole my line...



What the...?
User currently offlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7075 posts, RR: 8
Reply 5, posted (3 years 5 months 6 days ago) and read 31121 times:

Do what the rest of the aviation public does, drink less before your flight and use the toilet in the boarding area just before getting on the a/c, you don't really beleive that all 200-300+ pax on a long haul flight use the limited number of toilets available on the a/c do you?
I think the airport designes are a hint, what's the last thing that you see before you board an a/c and the first that you look for when you deplane.


User currently offlineRara From Germany, joined Jan 2007, 2057 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 30966 times:

Quoting par13del (Reply 5):
you don't really beleive that all 200-300+ pax on a long haul flight use the limited number of toilets available on the a/c do you?

I think on a 9 or 10 hours flight with meal service etc., most everyone would get up and take a leak at some point in time, no?



Samson was a biblical tough guy, but his dad Samsonite was even more of a hard case.
User currently offlineSOBHI51 From Saudi Arabia, joined Jun 2003, 3427 posts, RR: 17
Reply 7, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 30768 times:
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Few years ago i was a passenger on a Learjet, with no bathroom, of course nature called very badly, the F/O gave me a kind of plastic bag with a kind of chemical inside, did my thing and urine became frozen, the crew disposed of the bag at destination.
I am not sure if this is used still.



I am against any terrorist acts committed under the name of Islam
User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 8, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 30546 times:

Quoting Dainan (Thread starter):
Let's say that you're flying your Cessna Citation CJ4 from London to Iceland as a single pilot.

That's 1050-1150 nm from Stansted to Rekjavik - 2 1/2 to 3 hours maximum. The pilot goes before the flight. If you've done much flying, certainly enough to be qualified in that jet, you've learned how to manage your pre-flight fluids and bathroom planning.

Now if you are flying from Wick to Rekjavik in a PC-12 - which is part of the normal deliver route, so the interior has not yet been fitted - you need a temporary device because you are looking at a 3 to 4 hour flight.

Along with the devices listed above - there are also specially designed bottle type urinals for both males and females.

http://www.sportys.com/PilotShop/category/930

The diaper option is used by a lot of small aircraft ferry pilots because they make the entire flight across the North Atlantic while wearing survival suits. They can't 'drop trousers' in those suits.


User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6537 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 30428 times:

My uncle had the plastic bottles things in his Bonanza, both a male and female kind (he was often flying with his wife, for pleasure or air rallies).


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineBirdwatching From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 3811 posts, RR: 51
Reply 10, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 30381 times:

Well, this is the kind of question you have to ask glider pilots.

We fly 8 hours sometimes and we just HAVE to drink when it's warm in summer, so at one time you just have to go. Some pilots wear diapers, others use Zip Loc bags or bottles. It kind of helps being a man, as you have most of the required plumbing factory-installed.

It's fun to drop the plastic bag out the window while thermaling and you wait till it hits the ground. I'd never do it over populated areas though. Just in the forest.

Soren   



All the things you probably hate about travelling are warm reminders that I'm home
User currently offlineDainan From Sweden, joined Sep 2005, 69 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 30215 times:

Thank's for all the replies. There seem to be many interesting and creative solutions out there.

Is it legal for a single pilot to leave the cockpit while flying on autopilot in order to use the on board lav if he is flying a bizjet equiped with one?


User currently offlineJetCaptain From Canada, joined Dec 2000, 236 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 30227 times:

Use barf bags with caution. Years ago myself and 2 friends embarked on a cross country journey to the big city in a rented Cessna 172. About an hour and a half into our return trip back home our back seat passenger informs us he has to take a wicked piss and just can't hold it anymore.

We begin to discuss our options, we're only about 30 minutes from destination and already running late so we don't really want to make an unscheduled pit stop. In an ironic twist of fate we just happened to be flying in the vicinity of Niagara Falls at the time which probably didn't help with our friends state of mind. Things rapidly deteriorate and our backseater is now almost to the point of tears in what appeared to be an extreme state of discomfort, he had to go NOW.

With no other apparent options I pass him back a barf bag and tell him to use that. Now up to that flight it was always part of our pre-flight procedures to make sure there were barf bags onboard, however I never actually looked at them to make sure they were in a satisfactory condition, and as we were about to learn, the one I passed back had been ripped and had a few small holes in the bottom of it.

Now with the aroma of stinky pee filling the cabin, that stuff really stinks in such a small confined space, our hapless passenger begins to inform us in no uncertain terms (the "F" word repeated multiple times) that this now half full bag of stinky pee has sprouted a leak of it's own. In the ensuing panic we surmise the best course of action would be to immediately discharge the offending bag from the aircraft ASAP.

I pull the throttle back to slow down and crack open the door. Leaning forward our hapless passenger begins to try and rapidly egress the bag through the partially open door, when we learn another of life's cruel lessons, the structural integrity of a half full barf bag of pee is no match for the 110 mile per hour wind stream. As soon as the leaky bag begins to poke out and make contact with the outside airflow it promptly explodes into a fireball of warm yellow urine, with most of the blowback being sprayed directly into the face of our now very hapless passenger.

In the ensuing hysterical laughter it's all I can do to maintain straight and level flight. As I look back to survey the damage I observe that the now empty bag had managed to exit the aircraft after all where it had now become lodged on the horizontal stabilizer. I carry a few extra knots on the approach not knowing the full aerodynamic effect on performance caused by a barf bag stuck on the stab, probably nothing but safety first.

We got a few looks as we taxied into the flying club with a long yellow streak down the side of the fuselage and a barf bag stuck on the tail. Confirming the condition of all onboard barf bags, and making sure all passengers have gone to the washroom before departure, is now part of my pre-flight checklist.


User currently offlinebohica From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2674 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 30186 times:

These might help:

http://www.sportys.com/PilotShop/product/13087

http://www.sportys.com/PilotShop/product/13088


User currently offlineGST From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2008, 930 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 30182 times:

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 10):

It's fun to drop the plastic bag out the window while thermaling and you wait till it hits the ground. I'd never do it over populated areas though. Just in the forest.

After cold weather sheep have been found dead with only an empty plastic bag next to them...

It is entertaining to see on the logger traces which pilot's aircraft have more rapid spiraling tendencies when they need to pee, looks like a downward thermal as they try to manage the logistics.

[Edited 2011-02-27 09:38:58]

User currently offlineFly2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 30159 times:

Quoting JetCaptain (Reply 12):
JetCaptain

                 

Awww man brings back memories. 

I have the most annoying bladder. It always seems to fill up at the worst possible moments. On a flight from VCV to PRC, I made absolutely sure to empty my bladder one last time before I left the FBO. Sure enough halfway to PRC 1 hr into the flight my bladder feels like it wants to explode again. I thought about using the sick sacks as well but fearing a mess as with JetCaptain's story I opted to sacrifice my water bottle. So I pee into said bottle, filling it up 98% of the way, screw the lid on it, and then open the window and dumped it out in the middle of the desert. I watched in horror how it missed the horizontal stab by 2" at most, next time I'll now better and make sure to fully extend my arm well below the stab and skid the plane with the rudder the opposite way before releasing it to prevent a messy disaster 


Also, many Beechcraft came equipped with a "pilot relief tube". Which was basically a hose with a funnel you peed on and which dumped the stuff overboard with a venturi. I think King Airs still have them to this date.

Not a beech, but same concept:



[Edited 2011-02-27 09:52:33]

User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6837 posts, RR: 46
Reply 16, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 30132 times:

One simple solution; land. In nearly 1200 hours of flight I cannot recall any instance where I was faced with an "emergency"; it always seemed adequate to use the bathroom before takeoff, even on some flights that were 4-5 hours. The only exception I recall was one time I took a couple of my nephews flying; after about an hour one of them (I believe he was 6 or 7 at the time) started saying that it was time to go home. He didn't say why, and I did not hurry back; but it turned out that he needed to use the bathroom. He then announced that next time he was taking a "full service flight."


The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineGST From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2008, 930 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 30094 times:

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 15):
next time I'll now better and make sure to fully extend my arm well below the stab and skid the plane with the rudder the opposite way before releasing it to prevent a messy disaster

I wouldn't guarantee that side slipping will help overly. You get some fairly funky eddies and such that may well still result in disaster of the yellow plane variety. Can i suggest doing a test run with water?


User currently offlineSAAFNAV From South Africa, joined Mar 2010, 260 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 30101 times:

On the C130 we have 2 Urinals, dumping overboard from the belly.

When you do close formations, the first thing the lead aircraft's crew do is have whizz.

If it really hits the other plane, I don't know, but it's the idea that count.

Regards,

Erich



On-board Direction Consultant
User currently offlineFly2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 30058 times:

Quoting GST (Reply 17):

I wouldn't guarantee that side slipping will help overly. You get some fairly funky eddies and such that may well still result in disaster of the yellow plane variety. Can i suggest doing a test run with water?

Good point

I wonder if flying knife edge or inverted may help 


User currently offlineDainan From Sweden, joined Sep 2005, 69 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 29962 times:

Thank you for all the insightful and hillarious answers! :p

Back to topic though, is it actually legal to leave the cockpit for a visit to the toilet if you're flying SOPs?


User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6837 posts, RR: 46
Reply 21, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 29958 times:

Quoting Dainan (Reply 20):
Back to topic though, is it actually legal to leave the cockpit for a visit to the toilet if you're flying SOPs?

If you're flying a single engine plane it's not really possible. You do whatever you do at the pilot's seat.



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13968 posts, RR: 63
Reply 22, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 29949 times:

My maternal granddad as a young man during WW2, was a bomber pilot in the Luftwaffe (mostly in Northern Africa and Southern Italy until they ran out of fuel in 1943 and he got issued a rifle and told that he was a infantryman from then on).
During one of his first solo cross country flights in some open cockpit biplane (I think it was a Bücker Jungmann, back then the initial trainer of the Luftwaffe), he told me he felt his morning coffee come back to say "hello, here I am again!".
Dressed up in a padded jumpsuit type of flight suit and sitting on a seat parachute, and no place to land in a field for a pit stop, he just let go.
After he returned to his airbase, the Luftwaffe docked him for washing and repacking the parachute.

Jan


User currently offlineDainan From Sweden, joined Sep 2005, 69 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 29932 times:

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 21):
If you're flying a single engine plane it's not really possible. You do whatever you do at the pilot's seat.

Yeah, that makes sense. But what if you're flying a Citation or a Phenom or a Beech with a great reliable autopilot? would it be a breach of any regulations to leave the cockpit unmanned while you use the toilet?

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 22):

My maternal granddad as a young man during WW2, was a bomber pilot in the Luftwaffe (mostly in Northern Africa and Southern Italy until they ran out of fuel in 1943 and he got issued a rifle and told that he was a infantryman from then on).
During one of his first solo cross country flights in some open cockpit biplane (I think it was a Bücker Jungmann, back then the initial trainer of the Luftwaffe), he told me he felt his morning coffee come back to say "hello, here I am again!".
Dressed up in a padded jumpsuit type of flight suit and sitting on a seat parachute, and no place to land in a field for a pit stop, he just let go.
After he returned to his airbase, the Luftwaffe docked him for washing and repacking the parachute.

Jan

That's an amazing story.
Hehe good that it didn't get him in to worse problems than that. I guess that incidents like that one must happen mor often than one thinks


User currently offlineFly2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 29919 times:

Quoting Dainan (Reply 23):
would it be a breach of any regulations to leave the cockpit unmanned while you use the toilet?

Strictly speaking, no:

Quote:
FAR § 91.105 Flight crewmembers at stations.

a) During takeoff and landing, and while en route, each required flight crewmember shall—

(1) Be at the crewmember station unless the absence is necessary to perform duties in connection with the operation of the aircraft or in connection with physiological needs

I haven't been in this situation, but even without an autopilot, if there's a potty in the back, and the plane is properly trimmed and in smooth air and after putting the ATC comms on the PA system, you bet I'll use the potty if my bladder is about to explode.

*This is just the FAA, mind you. I'm too lazy to find what ICAO says.

[Edited 2011-02-27 14:48:51]

25 Post contains images NAS738 : Not everything is written in the regulations. Some things is just self explanatory, like "you cant fly with only one wing" etc. And before you smart
26 NAS738 : I'm not so sure you can say that. If anything where to happen, or about to happen there are many regs they can take you down on. § 91.13 Careless or
27 Post contains images Fly2HMO : Well of course. It's a huge gray area if you consider all the other regs, they're very much subject to different interpretations. In this case my int
28 Post contains images GST : I would love to see you maneuvering into those states without spilling any from your receptacle. Seriously, it could be quite an interesting challeng
29 Post contains images Dainan : Now this is interesting. According to the FAA, you can physically leave the cockit if your physiological needs call for it, correct? That means that
30 Post contains images Fly2HMO : Maybe you could develop pilot relief tube system that terminates in a slinger ring (or whatever its called) as used in some wet props. I'm sure that
31 pwm2txlhopper : Knowing I have an overactive bladder, when I use to make a cross country flights longer than an hour or so, I'd just bring an empty Coke bottle with
32 26point2 : Know-it-all new guy put this funnel to his mouth as he says "...what's this? Oxygen?". Didn't have the heart to tell him. Wonder if he ever found out
33 stratosphere : Hell doesn't have to be single pilot ask the Amerijet 727 pilots who they did it with no lavs
34 Post contains images Dainan : Please do enlighten me sire, what was the deal with those 727s?
35 bond007 : Agreed. Most single pilot ops are very short flights. The examples given here for 4 and 5 hour flights, and ferry flights, are not common ... and eve
36 SEPilot : The other factor was that every flight I have taken I have always had the option of an unscheduled landing if needed; there have always been airports
37 chuchoteur : You're lucky! A couple of years ago my flight instructor was delivering home a brand new aircraft for our flying club. About 20 minutes out, he sudde
38 Post contains images NAS738 : The way I interpret that is that it could cover anything from doing your run-up right in front of another plane without turning away, to low flying w
39 Post contains images Fly2HMO : You could always tie a string to the yoke and pedals and take it along with you as you walk back
40 Lemmy : Now THAT'S funny stuff.
41 Post contains images N243NW : This might become problematic should you have the need to command a pitch down with the string while in the back of the plane...as my statics profess
42 Post contains images hal9213 : Thanks to everybody contributing with hilarious stories I wondered about that, too. Whats more dangerous? Leaving your post with autopilot for 20 seco
43 Post contains images FredT : I'm sure you mean "it could be fun to drop the plastic bag out the window". Illegal to drop things from aircraft in most of the world, see... Dunno w
44 Post contains images Fly2HMO : Fortunately for us in the US the FAA doesn't give a damn what you drop provided you don't hurt or break anything. I've bombed a certain somewhere wit
45 ArmitageShanks : I did a solo cross country from TRI-CHA years ago and they had free bags of popcorn at the FBO and I let about 3 of those suckers go along the way ho
46 emirates202 : We're all talking about taking a #1, but what about #2?
47 SAAFNAV : You are allowed to drop ballast from an aircraft. So just argue that smelly, yellow ballast works best!
48 N243NW : In the U.S., you're technically allowed to drop anything you like from an aircraft, so long as it doesn't cause damage to persons or property and doe
49 HAWK21M : the Good ol plastic bottle is an option.
50 foxxray : It happened to me once. During a 5 hours flight in a PA28, i felt a sudden urge to pee !!! Fortunately, i had a water bottle... What a relief to have
51 Larshjort : I've had a guy sit in the aircraft after a test flight while i towed the aircraft from the refuel station to the hanger. When I arrived at he careful
52 Post contains images jollo : I almost peed myself laughing too hard... As a glider pilot, I always relied on an empty plastic bottle for emergencies as per "old hand's" recommend
53 SAAFNAV : When I glide, I try to remember to open up my fly before hand, and when I strap in, 'position' myself for easier access. Still stays a pain in the as
54 spudsmac : Citation 123 request temporary frequency change...
55 Post contains links stratosphere : http://articles.cnn.com/2009-09-04/t...ts-cargo-plastic-bags?_s=PM:TRAVEL
56 Post contains images bond007 : In the military, it's a special diet a day or two before a long flight consisting of 'low residue' food I once got into a friends C172, and he warned
57 DashTrash : Epic! There are those who have, and those who will. May God have mercy on your soul. Walk of shame and hope the pax don't raise hell. That in and of
58 WROORD : Great minds speak alike.....
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