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OA940
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Any tips on getting the crew to let you in the cockpit?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:33 pm

I have a flight coming up soon and, like any enthusiast, I would absolutely adore to see how everything works first-hand from the cockpit. I know that being let into the cockpit of a plane during the flight is basically impossible nowadays, but it does happen occasionally, and I've been lucky enough to experience it myself on a short hop with a (now bankrupt) regional airline.

Basically I was wondering if there was anything I could do to maximize the odds of actually managing to be let in, either during the flight itself or on the ground. Of course I get there are tons of factors involved and post-9/11 regulations are incredibly strict, but a man can dream, right? :D
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BlueberryWheats
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Re: Any tips on getting the crew to let you in the cockpit?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:28 pm

You might be getting a knock on the door soon from some friendly law enforcement officials with a thread title like that. :lol:
 
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Flyingdevil737
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Re: Any tips on getting the crew to let you in the cockpit?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:12 pm

I don’t really know about getting let in mid-flight, but I brought myself a nice 1:200 scale Virgin Australia 77W before I left and decided to put it together on the plane.

The FA saw me putting it together and asked if I would like to come up to the cockpit after the landing.....
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the very first Fokker airplane built in the world. The Dutch call it the mother Fokker.
 
747Whale
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Re: Any tips on getting the crew to let you in the cockpit?

Wed Jan 23, 2019 10:56 pm

OA940 wrote:
Basically I was wondering if there was anything I could do to maximize the odds of actually managing to be let in, either during the flight itself or on the ground.


In flight; no. The regulation is very clear about cockpit access, and very strict.

On the ground, sure. It's simple. Just ask.
 
Woodreau
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Re: Any tips on getting the crew to let you in the cockpit?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:43 pm

OA940 wrote:
I have a flight coming up soon and, like any enthusiast, I would absolutely adore to see how everything works first-hand from the cockpit. I know that being let into the cockpit of a plane during the flight is basically impossible nowadays, but it does happen occasionally, and I've been lucky enough to experience it myself on a short hop with a (now bankrupt) regional airline.

Basically I was wondering if there was anything I could do to maximize the odds of actually managing to be let in, either during the flight itself or on the ground. Of course I get there are tons of factors involved and post-9/11 regulations are incredibly strict, but a man can dream, right? :D


Just ask....

I have visitors up front all the time either before departure or after blocking in...

Lots of kids, sometimes kids who really aren't interested but the dad really is, some people afraid to fly and just want to see and inquire about the flight experience of the crew who is flying them to wherever they are going... Depending on their interest, I let them push engine fire test buttons, get an atis from the ACARS.push the autopilot disconnect "PRIORITY LEFT/RIGHT", turn on the seat belt sign. Everyone seems to enjoy visiting, I haven't heard any complaints yet.

The most number of people I've been able to stuff in the flight deck has been 8. (mom dad, 6 kids and the two of us behind all of them.)

At my first airline (post-9/11) our airplanes didn't have cockpit doors - it was just a flimsy curtain, we just left the curtain open and everyone could see what we were doing the whole flight. Sometimes on approach to landing after turning final with the FO flying, I'd turn around to look into the cabin, and everyone in the airplane had leaned into the aisle to try to look out through the front windows of the flight deck. (it's like looking through a straw - from the flight deck there wasn't a lot of relative movement - but to the people towards the back of the plane, they'd get a glimpse of the runway, then it'd shoot out of sight to the side, then come back, and shoot out of sight the other way...) Then I'd grin back at everyone, stick both hands up the air and yell "Look no hands!"
Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
 
MIAspotter
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Re: Any tips on getting the crew to let you in the cockpit?

Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:11 am

Yeah, just ask nicely, sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don´t.

I´ve had a few cockpit visits on some flights, (DY 787, LAN 787, LH A380, BA767) and the crew have been very welcoming.

I avoid asking for cockpit visits on short european flights since I know their turnarounds are quick and they need their time to run through their checks and prepare the next leg.

MIAspotter.
Nos vamos de Vueling?
 
zrs70
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Re: Any tips on getting the crew to let you in the cockpit?

Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:00 pm

I often ask the FA when I board saying, “Can you ask the captain if I can get a photo up front?”

More often the not, the Captain let’s me sit in her/ his chair for a moment.
19 year airliners.net vet! 2000-2019
 
opticalilyushin
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Re: Any tips on getting the crew to let you in the cockpit?

Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:51 pm

It officially varies from country to country, but in my experience it depends on the crew. I've had particularly good success with cockpit access inflight in Norway and Iran, and I know other countries are easy about it too.
 
Dfthu
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Re: Any tips on getting the crew to let you in the cockpit?

Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:59 pm

Last year on the Delta Dreamflight, they let us go in the cockpit during flight
 
B747forever
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Re: Any tips on getting the crew to let you in the cockpit?

Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:47 pm

As long as the crew have time, getting into the cockpit while on the ground is not a problem. However, inflight cockpit visits are very rare nowadays, though it still happens from time to time. Flew SAS ARN-LAX last year and was in the cockpit for close to 30 minutes while we flew over Greenland on a clear day. Saying that the view was amazing is an understatement!
Work Hard, Fly Right
 
DALMD80
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Re: Any tips on getting the crew to let you in the cockpit?

Sun Apr 21, 2019 2:16 pm

Woodreau wrote:
OA940 wrote:
I have a flight coming up soon and, like any enthusiast, I would absolutely adore to see how everything works first-hand from the cockpit. I know that being let into the cockpit of a plane during the flight is basically impossible nowadays, but it does happen occasionally, and I've been lucky enough to experience it myself on a short hop with a (now bankrupt) regional airline.

Basically I was wondering if there was anything I could do to maximize the odds of actually managing to be let in, either during the flight itself or on the ground. Of course I get there are tons of factors involved and post-9/11 regulations are incredibly strict, but a man can dream, right? :D


Just ask....

I have visitors up front all the time either before departure or after blocking in...

Lots of kids, sometimes kids who really aren't interested but the dad really is, some people afraid to fly and just want to see and inquire about the flight experience of the crew who is flying them to wherever they are going... Depending on their interest, I let them push engine fire test buttons, get an atis from the ACARS.push the autopilot disconnect "PRIORITY LEFT/RIGHT", turn on the seat belt sign. Everyone seems to enjoy visiting, I haven't heard any complaints yet.

The most number of people I've been able to stuff in the flight deck has been 8. (mom dad, 6 kids and the two of us behind all of them.)

At my first airline (post-9/11) our airplanes didn't have cockpit doors - it was just a flimsy curtain, we just left the curtain open and everyone could see what we were doing the whole flight. Sometimes on approach to landing after turning final with the FO flying, I'd turn around to look into the cabin, and everyone in the airplane had leaned into the aisle to try to look out through the front windows of the flight deck. (it's like looking through a straw - from the flight deck there wasn't a lot of relative movement - but to the people towards the back of the plane, they'd get a glimpse of the runway, then it'd shoot out of sight to the side, then come back, and shoot out of sight the other way...) Then I'd grin back at everyone, stick both hands up the air and yell "Look no hands!"

HOLY COW! I have NEVER been allowed to tough anything aside from the yoke. Wish more people did that.
You can take the boy away from aviation, but you can't take aviation out of the boy.
 
atomicstar
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Re: Any tips on getting the crew to let you in the cockpit?

Fri Apr 26, 2019 12:30 am

I have seen pictures of airplanes prior to 9/11, and most pilots don't close the cockpit door in flight, or just close a curtain. But after that, many transportation safety laws were added such as the cockpit door must be locked in flight.

I haven't yet, but I have seen a lot of videos on YouTube where people were successful with asking a flight attendant after landing.
 
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AirKevin
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Re: Any tips on getting the crew to let you in the cockpit?

Sat May 04, 2019 12:31 am

Just ask. The worst that can happen is they say no. In December of 2015, I was on a flight from Orlando to Newark, and I had contemplated the idea of asking after we landed. Of course, with the weather at Newark, the flight ended up being delayed to the point where they had everybody get off the plane. As I was getting off the plane, I asked the flight attendant if it was all right to check out the flight deck. He told me to go ask the pilots, so I did.
Captain Kevin
 
triple3driver
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Re: Any tips on getting the crew to let you in the cockpit?

Wed May 29, 2019 12:13 pm

Depends on the airline and nation, but in the US, you're absolutely not allowed to visit inflight, which is kind of a shame as one of my fondest memories was when, back before 9/11, the FA told us about a kid who seemed to be obsessed with aviation, and so the captain let him sit in the jumpseat for the duration of the flight, including landing. Lemme tell you, the look on his face after landing was absolutely worth it, I wish that we could do that now, but the law is the law. The craziest part is that, while on a trip to LA a few years back, another pilot seemed to have recognized me from somewhere, and it was the same kid from all those years back. He went and become a pilot, flying for UA now I believe, wouldn't you believe it. On the ground though, just ask the FA, and they'll ask us. We'll usually say yes, though if we're pressed for time, then we'll ask them if they can wait until after landing.
I have no special talents, just a passion for flying
 
e38
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Re: Any tips on getting the crew to let you in the cockpit?

Thu May 30, 2019 1:49 am

Quoting OA940 (thread starter), " I was wondering if there was anything I could do to maximize the odds of actually managing to be let in, either during the flight itself or on the ground."

OA940, as just about everyone else has already mentioned, just ask the flight attendant as you board the aircraft. It is that simple!

Now, there are a few limitations, of course. In the United States, as many have also mentioned, access to the flight deck is prohibited while in flight. At the company I work for, access is prohibited once the flight attendant closes the flight deck door (just prior to pushback from the gate), until arrival at the destination airport and we (the pilots) complete all our shutdown checklists and open the flight deck door ourselves.

A visit to the flight deck during the boarding process is generally OK. In most cases, we have plenty of time to program the flight management system (FMS), accomplish our preflight briefings, complete the checklists, and still visit with interested passengers. Occasionally, as triple3driver mentioned above, we may be pressed for time. If we are, we'll politely tell you.

However, for me, the best time for flight deck visitors is after the flight, while passengers are deplaning because I usually have more time to visit and explain things. There is a slight risk with this, however as some pilots leave prior to all the passengers deplaning and you may need to get to another gate quickly for a connecting flight.

Personally, I try to stay onboard until the very last passenger has deplaned. Occasionally, when we pass through a hub airport, we may be scheduled to work a subsequent flight with a different ship number at a distant gate. Once in a while, we get schedules with 45 - 50 minute turn times. In cases like this, I have little choice but to say "goodbye" to a few folks, then quickly pack up my flight gear and start heading to the new gate. I don't like to do this, but I don't have a lot of choice if I want the next flight to depart on time. This does not happen often; I normally have plenty of time after the flight to visit with interested passengers. Also, if you are on a pilot's last flight of the day, or last flight of the trip, it is not uncommon for them to start heading to the hotel or home very quickly after arrival. I don't do this, but many pilots do.

I hope this helps, but as others have already stated above, "just ask the flight attendant when you board the aircraft."

e38
 
DALMD80
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Re: Any tips on getting the crew to let you in the cockpit?

Fri May 31, 2019 6:53 pm

Quoting e38 "however as some pilots leave prior to all the passengers deplaning". I think of it as "Well, those guys took off like an empty 777." (if you haven't seen it, believe me.
You can take the boy away from aviation, but you can't take aviation out of the boy.
 
ZACH767
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Re: Any tips on getting the crew to let you in the cockpit?

Sun Jun 09, 2019 1:25 am

Just ask to the crew member and they will let you go.(That’s my experience on Air Canada.)
 
Longhornmaniac
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Re: Any tips on getting the crew to let you in the cockpit?

Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:11 am

I would certainly not let you up during flight, though I can also say in my pre-piloting years I did get up front during a domestic flight in Argentina. That was 2009 and was way cool.

Before or after the flight, just ask. I'd love for you to come up, check it out, and ask any questions.

Just a couple of friendly words of advice:

Although most of the time, we have some down time after we get the route programmed and have done our briefings while we wait for bag and passenger counts, be cognizant of the fact we are working and have a responsibility to keep things moving when we get that info.

There are also times where after a flight we may be rushing to get to our next plane, catching an employee bus back to our car if we've just gotten home, or trying to keep things moving on a quick turn. If we're not around or don't have time, don't take it personally.

Trust me, I get it. I would always try to turn left whenever I got on a plane, even up into my adulthood. It really is as simple as asking 9 times out of 10.
Cheers,
Cameron
 
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777Jet
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Re: Any tips on getting the crew to let you in the cockpit?

Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:10 am

Just ask. I always ask a FA later during the flight when they are not too busy if I can visit after arriving at the gate. Every time the flight has not been on a 777 I've been successful (excluding TG which is always never). Every 777 flight I've been rejected, even when flying in J. Don't know why 777Jet can't manage a cockpit visit on a 777...
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longhauler
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Re: Any tips on getting the crew to let you in the cockpit?

Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:03 am

BlueberryWheats wrote:
You might be getting a knock on the door soon from some friendly law enforcement officials with a thread title like that. :lol:


Only in the Paranoid States of America, where the terrorists truly have won.

The rest of the world recognizes an enthusiast's dream and allows access where legal and feasible.
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
 
YYZatcboy
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Re: Any tips on getting the crew to let you in the cockpit?

Tue Jun 18, 2019 3:35 am

If you want to ride in the flight deck, become a flight dispatcher. Then it's a part of your job. I've ridden J/S to some really cool places on my fam flights. One of the best perks in the Dispatch job.
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lesfalls
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Re: Any tips on getting the crew to let you in the cockpit?

Sun Jul 14, 2019 12:30 pm

I ask on every flight and get a yes 90% of the time either before departure or after landing. I did get jumpseat though when flying from Italy to Spain a couple of months back interestingly enough and that was the only time that I didn't ask to visit the cockpit interesting enough.

The airlines from experience that don't permit people to visit the cockpit at all are Aeroflot (due to SU flight 593) and Ethiopian where I was shouted at the purser twice for just asking (on my third flight though I was invited to visit though).

It really is a matter of who you get and in what way you show your passion for aviation.
Lufthansa: Einfach ein bisschen mehr. (Only a little more)
 
acjbbj
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Re: Any tips on getting the crew to let you in the cockpit?

Wed Jul 17, 2019 2:44 pm

longhauler wrote:
BlueberryWheats wrote:
You might be getting a knock on the door soon from some friendly law enforcement officials with a thread title like that. :lol:

Only in the Paranoid States of America, where the terrorists truly have won.
The rest of the world recognizes an enthusiast's dream and allows access where legal and feasible.

Paranoid States of Abomination. The USA is a mess right now.
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Died: 23 May 2006 (Long Beach, CA), age 84 years 10 months 1 day
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