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What Is A Cruise Pilot?

Thu Nov 28, 2002 7:52 am

I was reading this post and it mentioned a cruise pilot:

What is a cruise pilot? How many are used on shorter longhauls (between Europe and North America) and how many are used on longer long hauls (between Europe and SE Asia)?
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RE: What Is A Cruise Pilot?

Thu Nov 28, 2002 8:00 am

 Big thumbs up
Pershoyu Spravoyu Litaki!
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RE: What Is A Cruise Pilot?

Thu Nov 28, 2002 8:10 am

Unless I'm wrong, a cruise pilot takes over the First Officer's function while the aircraft is in cruise. Correct me if so...

I don't think a cruise pilot is used so much on 'short-longhauls' as you stated, but more on the 'long-longhauls' such as LHR-LAX.

Ivan Coninx - Brussels Aviation Photography
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RE: What Is A Cruise Pilot?

Thu Nov 28, 2002 8:27 am

Some modern cruise ships have incorporated large decks that allow small planes to take-off-and-land while the ship is at sea, kinda like an aircraft carrier. The pilots who operate these flights are known as "Cruise Pilots" because they work for the cruise line.
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada

RE: What Is A Cruise Pilot?

Thu Nov 28, 2002 8:28 am

What about Carnival Airlines? They were owned by a cruise line, so does that make their pilots "cruise pilots?"

RE: What Is A Cruise Pilot?

Thu Nov 28, 2002 3:35 pm

Dear Airplanetire -
A cruise pilot is an additional pilot crewmember as sometimes used by some airlines, in case the minimum pilot crew, say a pilot and a co-pilot would exceed flight time or duty time limitations is they were only pilots...
Having a cruise pilot on board permits the other pilots to take their turn, during flight, to have a rest period...
Example airline xyz national rules is 8 hours limit for flying time for crews of two pilots... for crews of 3 pilots, it becomes a 12 hours limit... the "extra" pilot is sometimes referred to as a "cruise pilot"...
All airlines policies and countries have different rules... i.e. with PanAm, we had... -
Basic crew, was captain, co pilot, flight engineer...
Augmented crew, was 2 captains, a co pilot, 2 flight engineers...
Double crew, 2 captains, 2 co pilots, 2 flight engineers...
Hoping you got an answer to your question -  Smile
(s) Skipper
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RE: What Is A Cruise Pilot?

Fri Nov 29, 2002 2:12 am

Some airlines are using the expression " Senior First Officer " for the function as described by747skipper.
The SFO is allowed to sit in the Captains seat during " cruise " and has the command during the period the captain takes his rest on certain "long-haul" flights - the SFO requires additional training for his duties
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RE: What Is A Cruise Pilot?

Fri Nov 29, 2002 2:34 am

As Skipper has said, the pilots fly the cruise period due to the long flight times so the other crew can get some rest, as legally the crew that performed the take off must also perform the landing.

We have 3 pilots on LHR-LAX/SFO/JNB/NRT/CPT and 4 on LHR-HKG/PVG, and usually just 2 on the rest.

"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
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RE: What Is A Cruise Pilot?

Fri Nov 29, 2002 2:51 am

I think this varies from airline to airline so you have to be careful applying a strict definition on these terms. I am a Senior First Officer but I cannot fly from the left seat, to do so would be illegal. I have to pass the APIC (Acting Pilot In Command) qualification before being allowed to do that, which is at least another year away.

Similarly many people perceive a "Second Officer" is just a cruise pilot, but not so in our airline. I was a Second Officer when I started out, and carried out the precise duties of a First Officer, just on a lower salary!

So this does differ from airline to airline. Our airline do not employ so called "cruise pilots".
I used to love the smell of Jet-A in the morning...
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RE: What Is A Cruise Pilot?

Fri Nov 29, 2002 3:25 am

Thanks everyone! So with the cruise pilot, do the other two (captain, first-officer) both go and rest, or do they take turns so that there are still two people in the cockpit?

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