PHX787
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How To Get "invited" To The Cockpit?

Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:19 am

Hey guys,

I always enjoy shots of the cockpit by you all, and I myself have a few shots, especially of the 77L, 763, and MD90, but I was reading some trip reports by some of the guys and they mentioned they were "invited" by the crew to the cockpit after the flight. Usually when I want to take a cockpit shot, I usually ask the crew after I land and when I am walking towards the front of the aircraft.

I feel like a jackass sometimes when I have to ask, so I gotta ask, is it notoriety that gets you an invite (everyone knows Sam Chui in the aviation industry) or is it just being nice or chatting with the staff?

Thanks, and sorry for the strange question 

-PHX787
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DL747
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RE: How To Get "invited" To The Cockpit?

Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:33 am

Hi Zach! I usually find myself like you, I have to ask. Although, I think if you were wearing a 777 shirt or something of the like, you may get noticed. My plane shirts get a lot of looks form the pilots. I was even overhearing on a weather conversation one time at SNA and the pilots kept looking in my direction. When I reguritated a NOTAM form SEA to them, they took some notice. Really, in most cases, though, I would imagine you have to ask. I have asked quite a few times, and never been denied. AS pilots especially are extremely friendly in almost every case.
Just like the shirt says, Boeing Builds It Better!
 
PHX787
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RE: How To Get "invited" To The Cockpit?

Sun Feb 24, 2013 5:23 am

Now what about a 747 cockpit? That's what I'm flying to NRT in March, and i'm in E.C.  
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Randomguytom
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RE: How To Get "invited" To The Cockpit?

Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:35 am

I'm all ways to shy to ask.  
 
N243NW
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RE: How To Get "invited" To The Cockpit?

Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:37 am

Usually, if I want up front for a couple minutes, I ask the flight attendants after the flight (not before, when the crew is busier) if I could "say hi to the pilots." It sounds a bit nicer and less suspicious than "see the cockpit."

Results have generally been very good. Often (on smaller planes, especially) the pilots can overhear me asking the FAs and invite me in even before the FAs can say anything.
B-52s don't take off. They scare the ground away.
 
CXB77L
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RE: How To Get "invited" To The Cockpit?

Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:10 pm

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 2):
Now what about a 747 cockpit? That's what I'm flying to NRT in March, and i'm in E.C.

Ask.

Some crews will let you, other crews won't. It doesn't just differ from airline to airline; it depends on the crew you get. I flew on the NZ 744 twice in 2011, both times in economy class, and both times I asked to visit the cockpit at the end of the flight. They said 'no' the first time, but 'yes' the second time, and I managed to go upstairs on a 747 for the very first time, as well as take a picture of the cockpit.

It never hurts to ask. Explain that you're an aviation enthusiast. The worst they're going to do is say 'no'.
Boeing 777 fanboy
 
jlunddk
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RE: How To Get "invited" To The Cockpit?

Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:44 pm

I was on a KLM flight from TNCM to EHAM and when I saw the captain take a walk in monkey class, I asked him if it was possible to visit the flightdeck. He told me that they weren't allowed to let anyone into the cockpit during flight, but I was welcome when they had parked at the gate and the passengers was disembarked. Unfortunately I didn't have time because of my connecting flight, but as you will see, it's not impossible to visit the cockpit if you ask politely and will wait till you have landed.
 
megatop412
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RE: How To Get "invited" To The Cockpit?

Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:54 pm

Don't ever be too shy to ask or feel foolish for doing so. The reward you get for taking chances for something as simple is this is by far greater than the feel of rejection. No one is going to just hand it to you, especially in these days of heightened suspicions about requests for cockpit access. After the flight lands, identify yourself as an aviation photographer and ask to see the front end and chat with the crew. More often than not you will find success
 
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FYODOR
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RE: How To Get "invited" To The Cockpit?

Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:56 pm

Hi Zach,

Two things you need for success:
1. Guys told correctly - ask. Do not afraid to hear 'No'. You lose nothing, you just with the same you had. And you might will get 'Yes'. This is unigue investment with no risks and possible benefits  
2. You have to talk to people on the same language. Learn aviation more deeply, communicate with pilots, aviation specialists. People always fill friendly and less alert if they see you know the issue and experience.

Indeed now it is not as easy as it was in 90s - those times I regulary asked permission to visit the cockpit. After 9/11 it is more difficult, however still possible. Nine years ago I've entered the cabin of Il-114 just talking to guys from the crew and the company (luckely it was charter for football game). In couple of years I've become this airline phorographer. In additional couple of years have started to fly officially with different companies and different crews. There were no relatives, external help etc. Just communication and skills - in aviation and in photography, indeed   Third important condition to have doors open - people like good photos.  

Regards,

Fyodor
 
Geezer
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RE: How To Get "invited" To The Cockpit?

Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:12 am

Quoting PHX787 (Thread starter):
or is it just being nice or chatting with the staff?

[quote=FYODOR,reply=8]Regards,

Fyodor



Zach;

You just heard it from the best aviation photographer in all of Russia ! I'm thinking that any pilot who realizes Fyodor is aboard his plane, he's gonna run back and INVITE him to the cockpit. ( Would probably sneak him in and have him fly the jump seat.)

Everything he says is exactly the way it is; asking your question is anything but "strange"; all pilots were little boys once; and you're not even a little boy anymore; you're a confident, bright, young man who is passionate about something that both of those fellows "up front" are STILL passionate about. I'll give you a very good example of what I'm talking about; when I still lived in Cincinnati, there is a big printing company there that makes silk-screen T shirts and sweat shirts for every college there is; ( Its called "Velva Sheen" I think) I used to stop at their outlet store from time to time and pick up a few "over runs"; on one trip, I saw this nice sweat shirt that had been printed for Embry-Riddle Aviation University in Florida; One day I wore my Embry Riddle shirt to the Home Depot Store on Fields-Ertle Rd. Just as I was coming out of the store, I had a couple of sheets of plywood, and this very nice looking young fellow with his wife and little boy came up and offered to help me; then he asked me, "did you go to Embry Riddle"? I told him "no, but I sure wish I had, because I'm always loved airplanes" ! He grinned real big, stuck out his hand and introduced himself...... at the time, he was a B 727 Captain for Delta, and said he was just ready to start transitioning to fly the 767;

So I don't know how impressed flight crew may be by an "airplane " T shirt, but I can tell you that Captain was damn well impressed to see me with his Alma Mater on my shirt ! ( I think he was even more impressed that I didn't lie about it and try to B.S. him about doing something that he did and I didn't ). I swear, if that guy hadn't had his family with him, I think he would have offered to buy me a beer; he ended up giving me his card, and telling me to give him a call at home sometime, and that he would arrange to meet me at CVG before he was scheduled to fly, and would give me the "grand tour" of any Delta birds that was not doing anything at the moment; I think you're a pretty resourceful young fellow, so maybe you can score a few T shirts some place that will have a similar effect ! Here's my BEST advice; don't waste your time on Non Av; start hanging on Tech Ops; read every single thread; you don't need to know how to fly an airliner; but the more you know about all of the systems, about ATC, about "why does one company do this, while another company does that"..........the more knowledgeable you become about airline ops, you will be enhancing yourself as being someone young who really is interesting and worth talking with, for people who are a little older than you, and who probably had the same interested that you have, when they were your age. Let's face it; anyone who is an airline pilot has obviously worked long and hard to get to where they are at; they see themselves as professionals, and rightly so; It's not like auditioning for a part in a play, or interviewing for a job, it's merely preparing yourself a bit so as to be seen as exactly what you are; a confident, knowledgeably young person on the way up ! And confident people are NEVER shy about meeting ANYONE !

I almost forgot...........this is the most important thing of all; good grammar ! You don't need to be an English major, but you DEFINITELY need to be able to speak English effectively; (something that is becoming harder to find daily any more)
Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
 
Garyck
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RE: How To Get "invited" To The Cockpit?

Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:35 pm

Quoting FYODOR (Reply 8):
2. You have to talk to people on the same language. Learn aviation more deeply, communicate with pilots, aviation specialists. People always fill friendly and less alert if they see you know the issue and experience.

Thats exactly right, I've been keen flight simmer for years, flying on-line using real world flightplans and learning the correct ATC procedures via CAP413. Over the years I have gained access to the flight deck when we have reached the gate just by asking the FA is she will ask the captain for the days route, I always wait till after meal service when the FA's are winding down a little mid flight, I tell them that I'm into flight simulation, I know we departed the airport from RWY XX and if she could ask the captain/CO-Pilot what SID and route we are on, if possible the STAR in to the destination airport.

Twice the first officer has come to out speak to me, and all but once I have been invited to the flight deck to been 'shown' around and to be given the information I asked for inc the Arrival RWY.

On one flight from ORD-MAN, the captain gave me all his flight notes, North atlantic Plotting charts, Diversion info, Aircraft weights etc when at the gate.

As Fyodor said, learn the 'aviation Language', don't be afraid of hearing No, if you are going to use 'the language' be competent on what your saying, I'm sure once a Captain tried to call my bluff, but I was able to engage easily into the conversation. He asked me if I knew what LNAV and VNAV was..............
Keep your Ladders close, but your camera closer
 
Geezer
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RE: How To Get "invited" To The Cockpit?

Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:12 am

Quoting Garyck (Reply 10):
On one flight from ORD-MAN, the captain gave me all his flight notes, North atlantic Plotting charts, Diversion info, Aircraft weights etc when at the gate.

Excellent advice Gary ! I had never thought about that, but that's even better than what I was thinking about; You're idea about having an FA slip a note to the flight crew at an "appropriate" time is REALLY a great idea.

I was very interested in reading what a few of Fyodor's "secrets" are ! ( Fyodor being among my "hands full" of the very best photographers contributing to A.net )
Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
 
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FYODOR
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RE: How To Get "invited" To The Cockpit?

Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:27 am

Quoting Geezer (Reply 9):
from the best aviation photographer in all of Russia !

Thank you for kind words however I can accept it. There are at least about ten great aviation photogs in Russia I would never value below me. And I value some of them higher.

Point is they do not or had stopped posting their shots on Anet. But they are not going worse even with this circumstance.  

Fyodor
 
wilco737
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RE: How To Get "invited" To The Cockpit?

Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:42 am

Guys,

I want to bring in some light from the 'other side'.

I am first Officer so I am not alone to decide if someone is allowed to visit the cockpit or not. It is the final decision by the commander (Captain).

Problem is: we don't know if anybody wants to get into the cockpit. We are sitting behind the door (and in the 747 on the 1st floor) and are simply not at the door to say goodbye or hello during boarding.

Just ask! That is the most important thing. And ask the F/A to call in the cockpit to ask if you are allowed to make a short visit in the cockpit.

Usually during boarding or deboarding we have a couple of minutes of spare time to welcome you guys.

But it looks like that many people don't ask anymore as during my 2,5 years on the 747 now only 3 times people ask. Well, it was a couple more, but that were 3-8 year old kids with their parents 

So, don't be shy, be polite and ask the F/A that you are an aviation enthusiast and you would like to see the cockpit.

Good luck and see you soon in the cockpit   

wilco737
  
 
PHX787
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RE: How To Get "invited" To The Cockpit?

Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:41 am

Quoting Wilco737 (Reply 13):
Good luck and see you soon in the cockpit

Thanks for the advice, Wilco, and I'm assuming DL's 747 pilots are probably saying the same thing...

PS If I ever get on a LH 748 (please tell your brass to send one to NRT!) I'll be sure to stop by and say hi to you  
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wilco737
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RE: How To Get "invited" To The Cockpit?

Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:43 am

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 14):
Thanks for the advice, Wilco, and I'm assuming DL's 747 pilots are probably saying the same thing...

Of course there are always black sheeps out there, but I guess most are nice and friendly.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 14):
PS If I ever get on a LH 748 (please tell your brass to send one to NRT!) I'll be sure to stop by and say hi to you  

I'll tell him, but to be honest the routes in the pipeline for the 748 are good so far (personally for me). Rumours, rumours 

wilco737
  
 
ChampagneBell
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RE: How To Get "invited" To The Cockpit?

Sat Mar 09, 2013 12:50 pm

Hello I'm new here, I might have to fly to Nice (LFMN/NCE) in May and I was wondering if by saying the following I could maybe potentially get invited in the Cockpit:

Me: I realized that we took-off from RWY XX and I was wondering what was a our V1 and V2? Would it be around 140 knots for V1 and 150 for V2?

F/A:...

And so on.


I am suppose to be flying a Boeing B747-400 of Air France. Oh and I also collect Safety Cards.

[Edited 2013-03-09 05:45:16]

[Edited 2013-03-09 05:45:45]
 
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FYODOR
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RE: How To Get "invited" To The Cockpit?

Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:34 pm

Quoting FYODOR (Reply 12):

Thank you for kind words however I can accept it.

I can't accept indeed.  
 
Hywel
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RE: How To Get "invited" To The Cockpit?

Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:53 am

Just go to Russia   you'll have no problem jumpseating for the entire flight if you ask nicely.
 
Braniff747SP
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RE: How To Get "invited" To The Cockpit?

Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:19 pm

Ask. On US airlines one will often be allowed pre-departure or post. On other airlines you may even be allowed in-flight... But the crew won't know unless you ask.
The 747 will always be the TRUE queen of the skies!
 
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FYODOR
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RE: How To Get "invited" To The Cockpit?

Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:50 pm

Quoting Hywel (Reply 18):
Just go to Russia

I'm afraid here it is much more complicated than in Europe or US.  
 
KLAXAirport
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RE: How To Get "invited" To The Cockpit?

Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:14 am

I try and ask and overcome my fear of "No." and have only gotten rejected one time. The only time I've been rejected was on my first ever A380 flight on SQ, from JFK-FRA, and the FA rejected it even before asking the pilot. Asking does have its AMAZING perks. I've received old charts after visiting the cockpit of a LH 346 in MUC. Also, I have received a B767 pin and an entire OFP from a HA Captain on the 330. Another thing I recommend is try talking to the FA during the flight. It is very interesting to see where FA like frequenting and how they enjoy their job. Don't be afraid.

Cheers,
KLAXAirport   
 
wilco737
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RE: How To Get "invited" To The Cockpit?

Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:35 am

Quoting KLAXAirport (Reply 21):
I try and ask and overcome my fear of "No.

I guess that is the biggest fear of most people. I remember when I was young asking the F/A and that was pre 9/11. I was afraid all the time, but it was worth it. Did my first landing in the cockpit of an Airbus A310 in PMI. I loved every second of it   

Quoting KLAXAirport (Reply 21):
and the FA rejected it even before asking the pilot

That sucks. It is not her job to decide who may get into the cockpit and who may not. Maybe the pilots told her they don't want any visits or it was some kind of checkflight or training etc so that she knew in advance that visits are not possible.

Just ask and try. Be nice and polite.

wilco737
  
 
PHX787
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RE: How To Get "invited" To The Cockpit?

Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:14 am

Quoting wilco737 (Reply 22):
I guess that is the biggest fear of most people. I remember when I was young asking the F/A and that was pre 9/11. I was afraid all the time, but it was worth it. Did my first landing in the cockpit of an Airbus A310 in PMI. I loved every second of it

I never had a fear of asking the F/As or pilots anything, really. I posted this thread because it seemed like some got an invite but I guess most just asked  

Here's a few cockpit shots I managed to grab:


http://i46.tinypic.com/14y4brd.jpg
http://i49.tinypic.com/5yu9fo.jpg
http://i48.tinypic.com/iyo6dk.jpg

Obviously not the best photos (the 77L cockpit was from my iPhone) but yeah They're all really nice pilots over at DL  
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KLAXAirport
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RE: How To Get "invited" To The Cockpit?

Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:51 pm

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 23):
I never had a fear of asking the F/As or pilots anything, really. I posted this thread because it seemed like some got an invite but I guess most just asked  

Here's a few cockpit shots I managed to grab:

Obviously not the best photos (the 77L cockpit was from my iPhone) but yeah They're all really nice pilots over at DL  

Where'd you fly from? You went to NRT?

Cheers,
KLAXAirport   
 
PHX787
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RE: How To Get "invited" To The Cockpit?

Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:28 am

Quoting KLAXAirport (Reply 24):
Where'd you fly from? You went to NRT?

The 77L was shot at NRT, the MD90 was in MSP, and the 763 was in PHX  
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emair
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RE: How To Get "invited" To The Cockpit?

Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:46 pm

with a Spanish carrier five years ago I used to ask if I could stay in the cockpit for landing, they actually called three or four times (Photo ID: 1358145) 25 mins before landing to join the pilots for the rest of the flight!

Emair

[Edited 2013-03-24 09:50:57]

[Edited 2013-03-24 09:51:19]
 
PHX787
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RE: How To Get "invited" To The Cockpit?

Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:36 am

Here you go guys! Asking them pretty much did the trick. All the pilots were pretty happy to see an enthusiast on board!


http://i46.tinypic.com/c45y8.jpg
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Luftfahrer
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RE: How To Get "invited" To The Cockpit?

Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:03 pm

Quoting DL747 (Reply 1):
I think if you were wearing a 777 shirt or something of the like

...sometimes looking in the direction of the cockpit during (de-)boarding is enough to get "invited". I speak from experience.   On other occasions I just asked and have so far not been turned down once. Sure, sometimes it was just a quick look inside, but that's better than nothing, right? Just make sure to be polite so that the pilots stay inclined to grant access to fellow enthusiasts, and when taking a picture, ask for permission before uploading it.  
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[Edited 2013-03-29 10:07:46]
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