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LatAmFlyer
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Smoking In The Cockpit

Wed Feb 24, 2016 6:27 am

This topic hasn't appeared in the forum for a few years, according to a search. I'm hoping for an update.

What do you suppose is the ubiquity (or not) that airline pilots worldwide smoke cigarettes in the cockpit? I can remember back in the mid '90s when I was invited onto the flight deck while circling in for a landing at SCL (And what a thrill that was!). I was flying on LB from LPB, now defunct. While at the time smoking in the passenger cabin was not permitted -- either by law or by company rules -- the pilot himself was smoking. The co-pilot was smoking, and the flight engineer was smoking. All three of them, sometimes concurrently.

As I looked with awe at the photo of the flight deck of the Air France 747-428 contributed to this forum by Pascal Maillot last month, I noticed what looks like a factory-installed ashtray under the port window -- though it could be something different. How common is smoking in the cockpit nowadays? Do airlines turn a blind eye? Does airing out the flight deck after landing clear enough smoke and smell that the airline wouldn't know the difference?

Just looking for your opinions or stories you've heard.

See the fascinating photo at https://www.airliners.net/photo/Air-France/Boeing-747-428/2783878/L/ for reference.
 
ilari
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RE: Smoking In The Cockpit

Wed Feb 24, 2016 7:02 am

Some years ago I got to visit an AY cockpit. I noticed a pack of smokes between the pilots. I asked, "Are you guys smoking here?" No, said the captain, it just felt uncomfortable in my pocket.
 
N1120A
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RE: Smoking In The Cockpit

Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:03 am

Workplace health laws in the US would likely ban smoking in cockpits in most situations.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
flyingfool
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RE: Smoking In The Cockpit

Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:42 am

Chinese pilots, especially on cargo flights, are not so strict about no smoking on the flightdeck.
 
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cougar15
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RE: Smoking In The Cockpit

Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:25 pm

Quoting flyingfool (Reply 3):
Chinese pilots, especially on cargo flights, are not so strict about no smoking on the flightdeck.

Neither are the dutch or belgians on cargo flights. Had to laugh when the tripple Pilot packed out his can of airfresher, or when the 744F Skipper told me to blow my smoke into the galley sink as it draws it away. just some experiences on the jumpseat as a freightdog )
some you lose, others you can´t win!
 
rbrunner
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RE: Smoking In The Cockpit

Wed Feb 24, 2016 1:09 pm

I saw pilots smoking in the cockpit recently during flights. I suppose air circulation in the cockpit is very efficient. I'm sure that nobody outside the cockpit noticed anything at all. And yes, ashtrays are usually built into cockpits. As long as it doesn't bother the other pilot...
 
q120
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RE: Smoking In The Cockpit

Wed Feb 24, 2016 1:21 pm

Over a decade ago, following the arrival of a company cargo flight, I walked into the cockpit and it reeked of marijuana. I waited a few minutes for the crew to leave the aircraft so I could further investigate. I looked in the ashtrays and found a dozen roaches (left overs of a joint).
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results
 
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STT757
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RE: Smoking In The Cockpit

Wed Feb 24, 2016 1:22 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 2):
Workplace health laws in the US would likely ban smoking in cockpits in most situations.

What about Vaping? I'm also guessing a few also dip.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
BestWestern
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RE: Smoking In The Cockpit

Wed Feb 24, 2016 1:53 pm

Quoting flyingfool (Reply 3):
Chinese

Not so long ago I took a domestic flight with the chairman of a Chinese regional airline (737 operator). He went up to the cockpit for a smoke mid flight.
Greetings from Hong Kong.... a subsidiary of China Inc.
 
bnatraveler
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RE: Smoking In The Cockpit

Wed Feb 24, 2016 2:00 pm

Every flight I've had with RO the pilots smoke in flight...air circulation isn't that good and the front part of the cabin smells like an ashtray.
 
nws2002
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RE: Smoking In The Cockpit

Wed Feb 24, 2016 2:45 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 2):

Workplace health laws in the US would likely ban smoking in cockpits in most situations.

OSHA generally does not have much in the way of jurisdiction onboard the aircraft. The FAA and OSHA have recently signed an MOU that allows some enforcement of OSHA regulations but it is limited.
 
Max Q
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RE: Smoking In The Cockpit

Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:42 am

Quoting LatAmFlyer (Thread starter):
I noticed what looks like a factory-installed ashtray under the port window -- though it could be something different.

Haven't looked at the picture but that's probably what it is, regardless of whether that particular airline allows smoking
in the cockpit its VERY important to have somewhere to dispose safely of a cigarette, people break rules but it would be far worse to have them put a still burning extremely hot butt in a place not made for that purpose where it could combust.


Same reason you still see ash trays on restroom doors in the cabin.


Improper cigarette disposal has cost lives,as in the Air Canada DC9 fire.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
737tdi
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RE: Smoking In The Cockpit

Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:41 am

Quoting Max Q (Reply 11):
Haven't looked at the picture but that's probably what it is, regardless of whether that particular airline allows smoking
in the cockpit its VERY important to have somewhere to dispose safely of a cigarette, people break rules but it would be far worse to have them put a still burning extremely hot butt in a place not made for that purpose where it could combust.


Same reason you still see ash trays on restroom doors in the cabin.


Improper cigarette disposal has cost lives,as in the Air Canada DC9 fire.

All aircraft in the US have an ashtray in the lavatories. It is just the way the FAA works. They are slower then molasses. Change comes very slowly. If that ashtray is missing the aircraft is grounded. WOW!.
 
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propilot83
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RE: Smoking In The Cockpit

Thu Feb 25, 2016 12:13 pm

From what I know, smoking is prohibited in the cockpit, however, they are allowed to carry small guns. This is information from the FAA in regards to the FAR's, DHS post 9/11 era.
 
Woodreau
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RE: Smoking In The Cockpit

Thu Feb 25, 2016 12:30 pm

The ashtray in the lav is definitely required for flight. People steal them all the time and it is Mel deferrable.

The ash trays in the cockpit don't last long after a new plane comes on line. Usually 3 months after delivery a plane will be lucky if it still has the ash trays in the cockpit.

One thing I do find interesting - the cockpit have installed trash cans just like the cockpit has installed ash trays. But the trash cans are not used for trash. They're just unused. They're too small to be used for that purpose instead a galley cart trash bag is hung on the FO's arm rest and that is what is used for trash disposal.
Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
 
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longhauler
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RE: Smoking In The Cockpit

Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:05 pm

Maybe I am flying with the wrong people, but it has been years since I encountered a pilot who even smokes, let alone one who would dare smoke in the cockpit.

I recall though the grey area, when cabin smoking was not allowed at all and smoking in the cockpit was not addressed. I once flew a flight MXP-YMX-YYZ as a B767 F/O, and cabin smoking was not allowed. But the cockpit became the "designated smoking area" for the Captain and all 8 of the F/As. One after the other, sometimes two ... it never stopped.

As a non smoker, I had to go on full 100% oxygen just to stop from shaking!

Quoting Max Q (Reply 11):

Improper cigarette disposal has cost lives,as in the Air Canada DC9 fire.

The cause of AC797 was never determined. What was determined was that it was neither a fire in the lavatory waste bin, nor a flush pump malfunction. But I understand your drift ... in that era, smoking was allowed and cabin fires due to cigarette disposal were a very real concern.
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
 
RetiredWeasel
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RE: Smoking In The Cockpit

Fri Feb 26, 2016 4:00 am

Quoting longhauler (Reply 15):
I recall though the grey area, when cabin smoking was not allowed at all and smoking in the cockpit was not addressed.

Ya, as I recall there was a grace period before the flight crew was told definitely "if it's a non-smoking flight, that means the front end too" (747s). It didn't stop a few old crusty Captains though. I know one that would politely ask the FO and SO if they minded if he lit up. Didn't matter what you said, he did it anyway.

There was the story among red tail pilots, that one CA had a vacuum hose he could attach to the old sextant port (later called the 'smoke evacuation port'. He allegedly plugged it in and opened the valve (a little??) and it not only would suck out his cigarette smoke, but he would vacuum the cockpit with it. I never saw it but I heard the story from other pilots..but it still could be one of those urban legends.

I did, as an SO, occasionally give in to the flight attendant requests (with the CA approval) and try to evacuate some of the smoke in the back end of the tube where the smokers were seated. The totally-unapproved-by-anybody-procedure was to raise the cabin altitude a couple of thousand feet. The theory being that as the outflow valves opened up more, the smokey air would exit. The CA would then turn on the no-smoking sign claiming approaching turbulence or some other lame excuse. It kept the cabin crew happy-usually those junior ones stuck in the tail section.
(added). Then you would slowly bring the cabin back down to the appropriate level.

[Edited 2016-02-25 20:26:56]
 
Max Q
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RE: Smoking In The Cockpit

Fri Feb 26, 2016 4:12 am

Quoting 737tdi (Reply 12):
All aircraft in the US have an ashtray in the lavatories. It is just the way the FAA works. They are slower then molasses. Change comes very slowly. If that ashtray is missing the aircraft is grounded. WOW!.

With good reason, would you rather have someone put a burning cigarette in the trash ?


They are there for a good reason.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
LH707330
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RE: Smoking In The Cockpit

Fri Feb 26, 2016 5:02 am

Quoting RetiredWeasel (Reply 16):
There was the story among red tail pilots, that one CA had a vacuum hose he could attach to the old sextant port (later called the 'smoke evacuation port'. He allegedly plugged it in and opened the valve (a little??) and it not only would suck out his cigarette smoke, but he would vacuum the cockpit with it. I never saw it but I heard the story from other pilots..but it still could be one of those urban legends.

Which planes still had the sextant ports? Did all of the 747s and DC-10 generation still have those, or were the older DC8/707s?

Quoting RetiredWeasel (Reply 16):
I did, as an SO, occasionally give in to the flight attendant requests (with the CA approval) and try to evacuate some of the smoke in the back end of the tube where the smokers were seated. The totally-unapproved-by-anybody-procedure was to raise the cabin altitude a couple of thousand feet. The theory being that as the outflow valves opened up more, the smokey air would exit. The CA would then turn on the no-smoking sign claiming approaching turbulence or some other lame excuse. It kept the cabin crew happy-usually those junior ones stuck in the tail section.

Wouldn't this be the best idea?

Quoting cougar15 (Reply 4):
when the 744F Skipper told me to blow my smoke into the galley sink as it draws it away.

The galley sink drains overboard, so you could just post up right in front of the outflow and it would go outside.
 
RetiredWeasel
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RE: Smoking In The Cockpit

Fri Feb 26, 2016 6:37 pm

Quoting LH707330 (Reply 18):
Which planes still had the sextant ports? Did all of the 747s and DC-10 generation still have those

As far as I can remember, all NW 747 classics had that port with the possible exception of some of the freighters that were converted pax planes...but I think they had it too. Not sure about the DC-10 even though I flew it for a couple of years. I wasn't an FE on that plane, so you tend to forget some of the details behind your seat.

I think I read somewhere that the first 747-100 delivered to PanAm had the sextant port but even they didn't use it for it's intended purpose (taking sun and star shots) as they were already putting INS's in their 707s.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Smoking In The Cockpit

Sat Feb 27, 2016 3:52 am

Quoting LH707330 (Reply 18):
Which planes still had the sextant ports?

Apart from 707s and DC-8s, the VC-10 also had it. I expect almost all aircraft types operating longhaul international routes in those days had a sextant port. The Bristol Britannia had it.

This is a BOAC VC-10:

http://www.vc10.net/Technical/Images/vc10_periscope.jpg
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Smoking In The Cockpit

Mon Feb 29, 2016 6:29 am

Under regulations Smoking on board is prohibited both in Cabin & Cockpit.
Out here it is strictly followed even for Freighters.
Reading the posts above, it looks like some Folks in the Flight deck were flouting rules.

There can be numerous arguments to state if non smoking contributed to safety in terms of health or fire however
if Regulations are in place ....then they need to be followed.
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
RetiredWeasel
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RE: Smoking In The Cockpit

Mon Feb 29, 2016 3:24 pm

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 21):
Reading the posts above, it looks like some Folks in the Flight deck were flouting rules.

US Congress banned smoking in the cabin in 1990. It didn't apply to the flight deck until later (unsure if it was ever banned by law). US Airliners wrote their own rules regarding smoking in the cockpit in the early-mid 90's and yes, some addicted pilots did occasionally ignore those rules. Every legacy airline had a few of those types on the seniority list.

Many of the posts above are referring to that transition period. And of course, the US Congress laws don't apply to foreign carriers unless they specifically state "while flying in US airspace".
 
JAGflyer
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RE: Smoking In The Cockpit

Mon Feb 29, 2016 3:31 pm

My airline is currently leasing an aircraft that was previously operated by a carrier that has had bad luck with 777s. When the aircraft was delivered I could smell a faint odour that reminded me of a car that had been owned by a smoker. A sort of stale tobacco odour of sorts. The ashtrays showed signs of having been used at some point. Even to this day, 2 years later I still smell that "smoker's car" aroma when I am on the aircraft.
If you flew today, thank a Flight Dispatcher!
 
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7BOEING7
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RE: Smoking In The Cockpit

Mon Feb 29, 2016 6:48 pm

When the 767/757 came out one of the "improvements" in the cockpit was that the airflow was supposed to be such that if one pilot was a smoker the other pilot wouldn't be affected -- don't know how well that ever worked.
 
737tdi
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RE: Smoking In The Cockpit

Thu Mar 03, 2016 9:51 am

Quoting Woodreau (Reply 14):
The ashtray in the lav is definitely required for flight. People steal them all the time and it is Mel deferrable.

Only if you lock out the lav.. It can not be used. I just ran across a situation where the lav. smoke detector was popping it's breaker. Yes, it is a MEL situation but you have to disconnect the lav. completely. No flush motor, no lighting, no lights. Completely! Wow, had to open the ceiling panel and disconnect the entire lav.. Wow.
 
BravoOne
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RE: Smoking In The Cockpit

Thu Mar 03, 2016 4:00 pm

To my knowledge Pa Am never used INS as a regular long range nav system other than a couple of evaluation flights as the Delco Carousel was about to come on line in the initial 747's. The reason the 747 had the sextant port was that they were very concerned earlry on that the system would not be ready for normal service, thus they had a back up plan to continue with the 2nd Office/Navigator as they had done for years prior with the 707. The last nav configuration that the Pan Am 707's utilized was a Bendix dual doppler with an Edo 600T Loran A/C setup. This eliminated the 2nd officer as the other crew members could access the system for routine navigation. This set up did not work well at high lats so the Nav was still utilized along with Grid navigation for some semi polar routings.

So that's the reason the sextant port wound up on the 747.
 
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7BOEING7
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RE: Smoking In The Cockpit

Fri Mar 04, 2016 1:51 am

Quoting BravoOne (Reply 26):
So that's the reason the sextant port wound up on the 747.

And it was also used as the "Smoke Evacuation Port" in the "Cockpit Smoke or Fumes Removal" checklist.
 
BravoOne
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RE: Smoking In The Cockpit

Sat Mar 05, 2016 1:30 am

Quoting 7BOEING7 (Reply 27):
And it was also used as the "Smoke Evacuation Port" in the "Cockpit Smoke or Fumes Removal" checklist.

So which came 1st, smoke evac or sextant? My money says sextant and the smoke evac was an after thought. This same "smoke evac" is not found on the -8
 
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7BOEING7
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RE: Smoking In The Cockpit

Sat Mar 05, 2016 6:10 am

Quoting BravoOne (Reply 28):
So which came 1st, smoke evac or sextant? My money says sextant and the smoke evac was an after thought. This same "smoke evac" is not found on the -8

Nor on the 744's. If you've got the right attachments you can use it to vacuum up during descent.
 
BravoOne
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RE: Smoking In The Cockpit

Sat Mar 05, 2016 3:51 pm

Quoting 7BOEING7 (Reply 29):
Nor on the 744's. If you've got the right attachments you can use it to vacuum up during descent.

Are you sure about that? I seem to recall it being present on the -400.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Smoking In The Cockpit

Sun Mar 06, 2016 8:16 am

Quoting 7BOEING7 (Reply 24):

When the 767/757 came out one of the "improvements" in the cockpit was that the airflow was supposed to be such that if one pilot was a smoker the other pilot wouldn't be affected -- don't know how well that ever worked.

Can someone elaborate here.
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
BravoOne
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RE: Smoking In The Cockpit

Sun Mar 06, 2016 3:41 pm

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 31):
When the 767/757 came out one of the "improvements" in the cockpit was that the airflow was supposed to be such that if one pilot was a smoker the other pilot wouldn't be affected -- don't know how well that ever worked.Can someone elaborate here.

I suspect the poster is speaking of the fact that the flight deck on the 757/767 does not get recirculated air as the cabin does??

[Edited 2016-03-06 07:43:57]
 
BravoOne
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RE: Smoking In The Cockpit

Sun Mar 06, 2016 4:03 pm

Quoting 7BOEING7 (Reply 29):
Nor on the 744's. If you've got the right attachments you can use it to vacuum up during descent.

It appears that the 747-400 did have a smoke evacuation port installed as it shows up the FCOM and QRH regarding smoke and fumes evacuation.,
 
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7BOEING7
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RE: Smoking In The Cockpit

Mon Mar 07, 2016 6:54 pm

Quoting BravoOne (Reply 32):
I suspect the poster is speaking of the fact that the flight deck on the 757/767 does not get recirculated air as the cabin does??

Actually, no. The airflow within the cockpit was to be such that any smoking in one seat would be drawn out of the cockpit without passing to the other side of the cockpit. Sort of an invisible wall between the pilot and the copilot. Again I 'm not sure how well that worked.

Quoting BravoOne (Reply 33):
It appears that the 747-400 did have a smoke evacuation port installed as it shows up the FCOM and QRH regarding smoke and fumes evacuation.,

True, but it was a different system that was not visible to the flight crew (as the sextant port was) except for the "T" handle in the overhead circuit breaker panel that would open the port. Since it was a two man crew, operation of the port had to be available from the pilot's seats which couldn't be accomplished with the old system.
 
barney captain
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RE: Smoking In The Cockpit

Mon Mar 07, 2016 8:51 pm

WN allowed smoking in the cockpit - mostly to accomidate the needs of one Mr. Herb Kelleher  

He would come up mid-flight to "say hi", oh and while he was there....... 

I don't remember when the rule changed, but as I recall, it was simply a company decision and wasn't based on any federal regulation.
Southeast Of Disorder
 
BravoOne
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RE: Smoking In The Cockpit

Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:48 am

Quoting 7BOEING7 (Reply 34):
True, but it was a different system that was not visible to the flight crew (as the sextant port was) except for the "T" handle in the overhead circuit breaker panel that would open the port. Since it was a two man crew, operation of the port had to be available from the pilot's seats which couldn't be accomplished with the old system.

That makes sense as I was thinking about how that worked out for the UPS 747 over in Dubai.

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