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Leaving The Cockpit

Tue Nov 30, 1999 1:36 pm

Ok, this is a real question not a joke. What does a pilot do when "nature calls"? Do you leave the cockpit and use the lav like any other passenger? Or is there some other setup?

On a similar note, what are the rules regarding pilots leaving the cockpit during flight? Obviously one person has to be there at all times but are both (or all 3) required to be present for the duration? I really can't think of a good non-emergency reason a pilot would have to leave the cockpit anyway, other than to be relieved at the end of a shift for the long-haulers.

Just wonderin'
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
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RE: Leaving The Cockpit

Tue Nov 30, 1999 1:41 pm

I'm pretty sure they use the lav like everyone else. And I once saw the pilot walk through the plane saying hello to everyone.
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RE: Leaving The Cockpit

Tue Nov 30, 1999 3:58 pm

Pilots do use the lav just like everyone else. I've seen pilots walk around for several minutes. Their legs have got to get tired and cramped sitting on the flightdeck.
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RE: Leaving The Cockpit

Tue Nov 30, 1999 5:26 pm

I asked one of my pilot friends about this once, and if memory serves he said that in a 2-man crew if one has to leave the cockpit the other must put on his oxygen mask.
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RE: Leaving The Cockpit

Tue Nov 30, 1999 7:03 pm

At my present airline, and at my previous airline, the pilot was allowed to leave his/her seat for "physiological reasons" while the aircraft is in cruise flight. Obviously situations dictate at other times during the flight, and may be classed as emergencies.

"Physiological reasons" can mean anything from using the same lav everyone else uses, to stretching one's legs to retrieving some water from the galley. At our company, visiting the passenger cabin for PR or other non-related reasons is not permitted.

In Canada, the remaining pilot is not required to use supplemental oxygen unless the flight is above FL410. In the USA, it's FL350.

Best Regards,

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RE: Leaving The Cockpit

Tue Nov 30, 1999 8:20 pm

I heard that in a 3-men crew, only one can remain under certain conditions. 2 remaining is recomended.
In a 2-men crew, leaving the cockpit by one is allowed but the safety conditions are higher but I don't know them exactly.
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RE: Leaving The Cockpit

Wed Dec 01, 1999 9:05 am

I'm pretty sure that the FARs state that in a two man crew, one can leave just as long as one is on the flight deck.

As an additional footnote, both pilots must have their safety belts fastened at all times while at their duty stations.

- Neil Harrison

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