), and i was wondering what is the best way to ask to visit the cockpit? Should I not even ask, because of the issue of raising suspicion? I am flying by myself, as an unaccompanied minor, could this be an used as an advantage.
A couple months ago I flew on a Comair CRJ from Cincinnati to Albany. After all the passengers got off the plane in Albany, I politely approached the Captain and asked if a student pilot would be able to take a peek inside the cockpit. He said sure, no problem, and the FO gave me a quick tour. I figured that was the best time to ask.
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If you are of a darker skin tone, like me, it will probably help to be clean shaven and respectably dressed. It's unfair (my family's verifiable roots in the US go back to around 1795-1800), but true.
Usually best to do it after landing. Go up and ask politely to the head FA if you may take a peek in the cockpit. Provided the crew isn't trying to get the plane turned quickly, you'll usually find that they'll be very accomodating. Most pilots still genuinely love to show you their "office".
After landing is best since right before the flight they're usually in some stage of briefing, getting the clearance or writing something up
. Half the time now a days they'll probably be "buttoned up" behind the blast door, but that doesn't mean you can't ask!
I have to disagree, I think the best time is before the flight because that way, you get to see all the action! I have been able to see the pilots load the flight plan, get clearance, do the briefing, and complete the Before Start Checklist when I asked to go up before. The only problem that does pose is that, if you're the last passenger on, you're probably not going to get that much time (if you get to go at all) in the cockpit! Good luck!
As a UM, I'd ask the gate agent, or have your parent ask when they sign you out, if you could get a cockpit tour from the flight crew. They will probably just say no.
Then you could wait around the gate until you see the pilots get on the plane. You may not see them unless it's a crew change but this sometimes works. Walk up and tell the Captain your interested in taking flying lessons and ask if he'd have time to show you the cockpit. If he says no, your done.
If you get on the plane and haven't had a chance to talk to the pilots, you'll get an extra special chance since they will pre-board you as a UM. You could express your interest to the FA as your walk down the jetway.
If all else fails. Wait until after the flight deplanes. As a UM, they usually have you get off last. You might ask as you walk by the cockpit on the way out. Usually, one of the pilots stands in the cockpit door during deplaning and greets the passengers...great time to talk to the pilot.
The moral of the story is...don't give up. Many times you will be shot down but you just keep asking until you get what you want. It may take the sun and moon in perfect alignment and the gate agents have to have good karma...but your day will come.
I flew on a CRJ and made a request to the FA to visit the cockpit. I was told this, since Sept. 11 new regulations don't allow anyone in the cockpit, during flight, except for crew. They kindly granted me the tour once we landed and all the passengers departed.
Even prior to 9/11 US airlines prohibited people from visiting the cockpit during flight. I think this may have even been a Federal Regulation, but I'm not sure. In any event, it was certainly reiterated in all the airlines' Operation Manuals.
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It also helps if you're related to one of the pilots.
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Tell me about it. I spent last weekend jumpseating with my uncle. I programmed the FMC and went through the preflight checks with the F/O. I boarded well before anyone, and hungout in the cockpit until we were ready for pushback. The F/A's also treat you better when you are related to the captain.
Last summer I was flying Continental with my girlfriend, and the male FA was walking by in flight and saw I had one of my dad's old Private Pilot handbooks. It turned out that he was a real nice guy and was also a Private Pilot. It was an EMB 145 so after he was done passing out the drinks he motioned me up to the front where the FA makes the stuff or whatever and we talked for about 10 min about diff ways to go and stuff. After we landed my girlfriend and I were walking out and he told me to go talk to the pilots. They were extremely nice. I told him I was looking at diff aviation colleges and ERAU was my number one, and the captain said his son goes there. I actually got to jump in the FO seat and got a sweet picture that my girl took of the captain and me. They were very nice, I guess it also depends on if the pilots are in a good mood too.
I remember back in the day I used to really enjoy going up front. I remember waaaaay back a DL 727 crew letting me call for the clearance when I was 9 or 10 in Hartford, CT. I kept alot of momentos from those visits, once a CAL 737 crew gave me their copy of the flight release and weather packet. I still have it, brings back memories.
Since I have been occupying the right seat of the RJ, I have had a few FA's turn away people/kids wanting a peek at the flight deck without asking myself or the captain. Because I would surely oblidge.
If you ever ride on one of my flights, you are more than welcome to come visit.
If you ride in jumpseat and you do not work for that airline as a Pilot or a Dispatcher and someone flinds out or they get ramp checked, then you run the risk of getting the PIC in A LOT of trouble. I once saw a chief pilot ride around for an entire day with his daughter in the jumpseat and 2 days later was fired and his ATP ticket was suspended for a year........
FAA ramp check in PIT
Just an FYI