What a shame it’s not possible to visit the cockpit when flying, always asked, rarely refused, some memorable ones, probably the best, from Glasgow to Paris, went up to the cockpit, Pilot pulled down the wee seat between them, explained what was going on, then we were approaching Paris, so I offered to leave, “No you’re ok, stay there” so I stayed for the landing, great!
Many years ago 1985 ish, I was working in Bulgaria and was flying back into LHR on a Balkan airlines (2nd worst in the world after Aeroflot) Tupolev 154 (almost the worst airliner in the world) and the cockpit door was wide open. As I was sitting in row 2, could see everything that was going on, so I asked if I could have a proper look, just before landing. We were flying up the Thames, quite low and could pick out all the landmarks. Both the pilot and co-pilot had their feet up and were drinking beer…
Yep - such a shame, I used to love it when passengers visited the cockpit - reminded me (not that I needed it) of the utter thrill and privilege of flying! You can still do it though - you just need to pick your aircraft - some of the Embraer jets are below 60 seats. The ‘closed’ door policy only applies to aircraft with capacity for more than 60 passengers and over a certain take-off weight (the aircraft - not the passengers!!). The majority of flight and cabin crew love having visitors (well behaved ones that is!!)
When I was a kid there was a thing called junior jets run by BOAC…you had a log book and every flight you got to go see the pilot, spend a bit of time in the cockpit and then get your log book stamped. There were air miles levels where you got some pin-on wings, I think I got as far as silver ones and was hugely proud of them. Those were the days when you were greeted by name as you boarded and given a fluffy blanket and a pillow, long haul is just not the same now…
I rarely fly these days, not out of choice but change of life (style) but it’s not something I miss. Had, and survived, far too many horrendous, sometimes downright dangerous flights that I’m sure I’ve used most of my luck up.
I’d still jump at the chance to go supersonic or to the edge of space though
my son has been in on easy jet and Ryan air several years ago now but not while landing. Always found them very friendly folks.
A friends adopted Son flies fast jets with the RAF.
With you Harry, lot of flying to join and pay off ships, a Dakota, from Southend to Emden, canvas seats, economy???
Then working in Saudi, 6on, 3 off, one Tristar landing, Horrendous at LHR, four tries before He banged it down, cross winds and a snow storm, when you see the cabin crew looking worried??? But we all shook the ‘Mans’ hand and said thanks getting off
my first ever budget flight to france was about 10 or so years ago. it might be 9 but it was horrendous weather. supposed to land at pau but landed at Biarritz instead. waited on the plane and pilot eventually took off and told us to “buckle in” probably the most scariest takeoff ive ever endured when the plane going up suddenly went off up and sideways lots of screaming. plane went back to normal and over the radio. “we may experience some turbulence” followed by laughter from many.
we landed safety and the pilot opened the door to the cabin and everyone was thanking him and shaking his hand.
Btw, I have jumped out of one once, (with a parachute), when I got home my neighbour, ex tax inspector asked, “where have been this weekend Bill?”. So I told him, he looked at me as though I was totally nuts, "I don’t understand you people, leaving a perfectly serviceable aircraft with one of those ‘things’, Unknown, by me, 'till then, He flew Spitfires during the War and had landed, more than once in flames, rather than bale out! He was a nice fellow, but a boring bugger, but, never judge by appearances was the lesson
Planes have come a long way since those early days…
It’s amazing how far Stella, pity it takes a War to inspire great leaps in science
I think the leaps are still going on… we just don’t get to hear about them… until/unless the need arises.