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Families on flight decks?

Old 24th Jun 2022, 16:12
  #21 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
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First time? Bristol 170 of Silver City Lydd-Le Touquet in the late 50s around the age of 10. I discovered in my 30s tat if you asked nicely many piloys would welcome you and, I;m afraid I became a bit of a junkie.
Favourite approach? For very personal reasons San Francisco - Point Reyes 22000 feet, over the city about 12000 down the peninsular to somewhere near Redwood City then left 180 to come back over the spans (San Mateo Bridge) - non-pi;lot language!
Most surprising? Meeting a pilot on Saturday AM who told me he'd done his last 757 trip - going back to 747s, Having gone to Paris Orly on Monday morning very early - beautiful views of Paris. I'd decided not to ask for the cockpit on the way home but there was the pilot I knew.. . On finals to Heathrom we had an A340 cross in front of us as we went for 27R. Except the 340 couldn't land on 27L because something fell off the last departure and now he was in front of us on 27R. This led to very late landing clearance, maximum braking and brake overheat warnings.
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Old 24th Jun 2022, 16:26
  #22 (permalink)  
Son of Slot
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Great stories, thanks every one. Hartington's sounds like that was a special landing.
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Old 25th Jun 2022, 00:21
  #23 (permalink)  
Paxing All Over The World
 
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In 1999 I was working in MUC and regularly popping back. One round trip was STN-MUC-STN with GO. For long reasons, this was a freebie from the CEO of GO! The outbound was fine and straight forward. On the return, I heard a distinctive South African accent on the Captain's welcom PA. I wrote a note (cannot recall what but making ref to my SA heritage) and asked a CC to take it forward.

Once in the cruise, I was invited up. I was put on the jump seat and we chatted for a while - it was a Friday evening, already dark (it was November) and poor weather at destination. Naturally we spoke about South Africa and how it was that I had a freebie, personally from Barbara Cassani. When the CC returned to collect me, it seemed that they had discovered I was not a moron and had been on FDs before, I was given a headset and told to strap in for the approach.

It was a VERY lively approach, much as 25F describes. It was raining and gusting srongly (Terribly sorry but I did not write down the METARs) and it was fascinating to watch the control inputs as we approached STN.

Arriving on stand, after shut down, the two pilots turned back to look at me with a sort of, "Well, what did you think of that?". I was still rather spaced out by this first night time and poor weather FD experience and decided to risk a joke. "Well, guys ... I'm really diassapointed ... I thought you were something special - but you had to turn the windsheild wipers on!" Happily, they saw the intended humour and I thanked them for a memorable trip. I was the last off the aircraft.
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Old 25th Jun 2022, 00:29
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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An airline I worked for up until recently (western Europe). Had the policy that if you wanted to be on the flight-deck inflight, you had to be known by the flight crew. So I've had family, friends etc in the flight deck in the past years.
It's really nice when you can show your family and friends your workplace
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Old 26th Jun 2022, 17:19
  #25 (permalink)  
Son of Slot
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The most memorable FD experience was an 'ordinary' one but made memorable for a sad reason. I was in Scotland on a contract and due to travel south on the Friday 8th of June 2001.

I cannot recall how I got onto the flight deck, what I asked or said - I have no memory. That is because, on the Tuesday of that week, my father died. It was not unexpected as his heart had been failing for a couple of years. We were all glad for him that he went straight out by having 'the big one', rather than a minor heart attack and then the problems that brings. He was 78 and had served in the RAF (hence my interest in aviation) and, just two weeks earlier, he had said to my sister, "If I fall off the perch tomorrow, I won't mind as I've a wonderful life." and he did fall off his perch, as he was writing a letter at his desk, with all his marbles fully intact, when he crumpled to the floor. It was, of course, a big shock to all of us but we were all comfortable that, for him, it was simple.

That Friday evening, it was a 733 of EZY out of EDI and the guys up front were great. They asked if I'd been on a FD before and soon learnt that I was a seasoned Pax. I told them of my father's RAF experience and I was on the jump seat + headset for landing at LTN. I had not been on the FD for LTN before and that flight became special for Dad, as he always enjoyed hearing when I'd been able to get up front.
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Old 26th Jun 2022, 21:02
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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My flight deck experience's started in early 60,s with DC4 / Ambassadors on short hops into Europe from the likes of Southend / Manston / Luton, though to be fair I can hardly remember them, though I do remember a member of Cabin crew showing me around Luton very early in the morning pre flight, which my late Mother identified as 1964.

We then progressed to Viscounts from Southend with Channel Airways on similar routes, with occasional forays into the cockpit, but that was pre 67 so I have little memory directly. There was also a flight on a British Eagle Britannia to Palma, where I got to go up to the pointy end, which I remember seemed to have a huge cockpit in comparison with my earlier experience's and types'. I remember this well, as we were going there to buy a "family" house from where I am typing this evening, which seems appropriate. Palma at the time had a row of Nissan huts, and a horse hitching rail outside, which is a little different to today, Indeed there is a picture at home of me sat on this with AERPURTO DE PALMA sign behind. It was shortly after this that my late Father was posted to Chile, and I started my long association with BCAL 707 on the Santiago to Gatwick service via everywhere in between it seemed, on my way too and from school in the UK.

As I was only young, and as there were others in a similar situation, there where "aunties" supplied by BCAL who were ex cabin crew who looked after us on our routes to South America. I always appeared to be the last off so to speak, as I was going to the terminus, and we were well behaved, though one Auntie let slip that the flights to West Africa and Zambia were more challenging in this regard, as many of the boys were farmers sons and daughters and were less than genteel I think she said. Anyway as a rule on these flights you used to get an invite up if you wanted, usually over the South Atlantic when it was quiet, unless there was trouble in the ITCZ with weather. Surprisingly it was not a common request from my peers, so often you got to sit there for an hour or so if you were well behaved, and did not bore the crew with silly questions, which became easier as I got older obviously.

After the families return to Europe my flight deck experience's declined, so the only one I remember was on a 727 Dan Air from Tenerife to Manchester circa 1975 at Christmas, where we over took a Laker 1-11 from Les Palmas bound for Gatwick off Lisbon. I said I was surprised Laker operated that type on that route and range,which caused much bemusement with the crew, and I stayed in the cockpit until near Bournemouth.

After this there were no visits until a Girlfriend convinced me to dress up as a Bear for a week in support of Children In Need, and she then wrote to both BA / and BMI to see if we could fly around their short UK and closer European Sectors raising cash for that charity. Both thought it was a good idea, but BA had already blown their charity budget that year, but BMI said we could go ahead and furnished us with tickets and passes for the flight which were about 4-5 sectors per day. On a flight from Birmingham to Brussels the Captain asked to be relived after boarding, as he had witnessed a Bear walking over the apron, and did not think he should be flying with those sort of apparition's !! On the return sector he thought it would be a good stunt for the Bear to emerge from the cockpit post take off, so I was in the cockpit for take off and landing. Also the Copilots wife was due a baby, and he asked if we could take some duty free perfume in for him, and the Captain asked for us to bring some Beer in, which was sold on the ramp by the ground staff. The night was misty as it was November, and we only just got into Birmingham before it was closed. Indeed our ATP flight the following morning from Birmingham to Heathrow was canceled, and we went by Bus. I have a picture of me physically picking up some cabin crew in said Bear suite on an East Midlands to Amsterdam route, which I will try and find and post when I am back home.

We now move to late 80,s and Mr Mac,s "air force", where I hired two DC8 to fly some urgent cargo from Houston to Stanstead for my US based company. I was in Houston coordinating this with K&N and got the option of flying back with my "air force" or Delta via Gatwick. I chose "my Air Force" and had a great trip on the FD from pushback to unloading, a great crew , with some colorful Vietnam tales as all were ex military !

I was then going out with an SAS stewardess and got some jump seat trips on a Friday from Manchester to Copenhagen on a DC9. My last FD trip was into Kai Tak with CX as an old friend was the pilot.

Since then the nearest I have had is doing bush flying in Africa in Cessna Caravans, which has been most enjoyable, but not in the same league as previous experience's, and then 911 happened and the world changed for the worse.

Kind regards
Mr Mac

Last edited by Mr Mac; 27th Jun 2022 at 20:57.
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Old 27th Jun 2022, 17:57
  #27 (permalink)  
Paxing All Over The World
 
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That's a great collection Mr Mac

Talking of Dad's, one daylight that I had on VS from CPT-LHR, I decided to spend money on the Satphone service and it worked very well. I called my father when crossing the Sahara. I reminded him about his experiences of navigating from England to Cairo in WWII, when their map only gave 'Camel Track First Grade' and 'Camel Track Second Grade' as routes to follow. Looking out for camel tracks was not easy as the sand does tend to move ...! But they got there. He was so thrilled to think of me comfy in the cruise, being able to phone him in his retirement.
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Old 27th Jun 2022, 20:52
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Paxboy
Comes from getting old, and being lucky with my parents, and indeed my dads jobs, and also my own career. The satphone,s we’re definitely amusing, and I did the same as you on an EK 330 out of Manchester to DXB some where over the Black Sea in early 2000,s.. Interestingly I can never remember using one for work purposes , which I am sure was there selling point when introduced.

I will find the BMI photo when home, and I will post it on this thread as the CC may still be around or remembered, you never know.

Cheers
Mr Mac
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Old 28th Jun 2022, 20:42
  #29 (permalink)  
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Delighted to have started a thread that’s sparked some great recollections , here’s a wee bit more.
In the 60s , my dad was promoted & we moved to Bermuda , then Nigeria.
Like Paxboy , I was a member of BOAC’s junior jet club.
My book has long since been lost but I think I remember dad pointing out that we’d travelled on G-ASGN , the VC10 later destroyed at Dawson’s field.
My love of aviation was very much encouraged by my father , so flight deck visits were regular as a child- dad had to accompany his children when we did so!
On my last trip with my sister on the 747 ‘classic’ , I was on the jump seat at Heathrow as they started the aircraft but the last engine fired up wasn’t reading correctly on the gauge.
Grins all round & ‘looks like we aren’t going anywhere...’ from Captain & 1st Officer , until the Engineer leaned over my shoulder , tapped the gauge & the needle sprang to into line with the others!
I have been on the flight deck into San Francisco , Bangkok, Montreal , JFK , and of course, Heathrow lots of times.
Most memorable return to Heathrow was on a beautifully clear night , I don’t know the routing to the runway but we came in over the city & the city airport.
Captain said he’d never seen it so clear.
It was a trip with a relief crew & their captain appeared to give a ‘You know where we are if needed’ as we did the approach , then added ‘Aren’t these simulators great?!’ , as that’s exactly what the view looked like.
Another trip , we returned to LHR but then had to wait to cross the ‘active’
Not just us in the 747 , we had a great view of Concorde on a tug also crossing further down.
’We’re safe now , they aren’t gonna risk Corde’ said the FO!
On a personal note , as I’m here , a massive THANK YOU to any BA crew reading this.
You were always friendly , polite and made me welcome.
I continue to be grateful.
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Old 29th Jun 2022, 15:52
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Been lucky enough to have several pre 9-11 . Possibly best was Stockholm to Berlin-TEMPLEHOF , only pax on an LH f50 . Great trip great crew great view landing at Templehoff not long before it closed for good. Also LHR-Abu Dhabi on Gulf Air tristar . Captain ex BA , amused that Mrs PB worked for Speedbird London which they then called up to lie about having a problem with passenger with my surname , me having foolishly said she was the duty operator . Much appreciation , to , now I look back on it, the many crews who were kind enough to let me go along for part of the ride .
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Old 29th Jun 2022, 16:22
  #31 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Originally Posted by Flugzeug A View Post
Delighted to have started a thread that’s sparked some great recollections , here’s a wee bit more.
In the 60s , my dad was promoted & we moved to Bermuda , then Nigeria.
Like Paxboy , I was a member of BOAC’s junior jet club.
My book has long since been lost but I think I remember dad pointing out that we’d travelled on G-ASGN , the VC10 later destroyed at Dawson’s field.
My love of aviation was very much encouraged by my father , so flight deck visits were regular as a child- dad had to accompany his children when we did so!
On my last trip with my sister on the 747 ‘classic’ , I was on the jump seat at Heathrow as they started the aircraft but the last engine fired up wasn’t reading correctly on the gauge.
Grins all round & ‘looks like we aren’t going anywhere...’ from Captain & 1st Officer , until the Engineer leaned over my shoulder , tapped the gauge & the needle sprang to into line with the others!
I have been on the flight deck into San Francisco , Bangkok, Montreal , JFK , and of course, Heathrow lots of times.
Most memorable return to Heathrow was on a beautifully clear night , I don’t know the routing to the runway but we came in over the city & the city airport.
Captain said he’d never seen it so clear.
It was a trip with a relief crew & their captain appeared to give a ‘You know where we are if needed’ as we did the approach , then added ‘Aren’t these simulators great?!’ , as that’s exactly what the view looked like.
Another trip , we returned to LHR but then had to wait to cross the ‘active’
Not just us in the 747 , we had a great view of Concorde on a tug also crossing further down.
’We’re safe now , they aren’t gonna risk Corde’ said the FO!
On a personal note , as I’m here , a massive THANK YOU to any BA crew reading this.
You were always friendly , polite and made me welcome.
I continue to be grateful.
I second that- the numerous BA crews I had the pleasure to meet were just so welcoming and put me at ease. My first ever was 757 to Helsinki and I can’t express just how wonderful they were
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Old 29th Jun 2022, 17:46
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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A couple more experiences -
747-100 out of JFK. Cabin crew come upstairs and say they can't shut door 1-L. Caption and FO start thumbing the manual meanwhile engineer heads downstairs. A few minutes later there was a VERY loud bang followed by the FE reappearing and saying "let's go".
Then there was a 757 Newcastle in to Heathrow. Beautiful, sunny evening until we started finals. We could see the tops of Canary Wharf and the City of London. but not a lot else. We entered the fog at about 800ft and suddenly - nothing. The crew just sat there (exaggeration for effect) and allowed autoland to do its' thing. Impressive.
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Old 29th Jun 2022, 18:34
  #33 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2006
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in the early 1980 2 I used to take my sons to the cargo terminal at LHR on a Saturday so they could go in the cockpit of Pan Am's B747 Freighters ...( I worked for one of the airlines they handled ..)
pre all the security and no issues .. the crew were very nice to my sons and made them welcome and explained what all the gauges and levers were for ... although I'm not entirely sure their explanations were truthful. My sons couldn't believe that the crew had to climb up a ladder - and that it was pulled up after they were in the cockpit ..
My aviation career enabled ( and required ) me to spend many hours in the cockpit .. on B707F & DC-8F.
One of the most memorable is a flight to LUN via NBO and the sight of Mt Kilimanjaro through the cloud at sunrise ..
African skies through the cockpit window are always so unbelievably clear and at night the stars so near.
From FL 350 - you can almost see right across the continent - just magical.
I also had the opportunity to travel in the cockpit out of PER on the "new" B747-400 - how strange to see just 2 pilots and no F/E - and the view from the jump seat across WA is so amazing.
I then spent many many hours in the cockpit of A300 F ..and always nice to see sun rises and sun sets , ( the joys of cargo flights ) beautiful skies over many cities..
The thread triggered so many memories ..
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Old 30th Jun 2022, 01:53
  #34 (permalink)  
25F
 
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I've only got one Junior Jet Club logbook left - I kept forgetting / losing them - and it only has a round trip on VC-10 to Rawalpindi / Islamabad. But the return trip was on G-ASGC, the aircraft at Duxford and the subsonic transatlantic record holder for some time.
Usually I would fly with my next-older brother; we would *always* ask for a visit to the flight deck. A lot of these flights were referred to by CC as "lollipop specials" (I think) as you'd have a *large* number of unaccompanied children going to/from school in the UK. On one occasion though we didn't have the usual numbers, so my brother and I were asked if we'd like to sit in first class? And would we like a bowl of cornflakes with sliced banana? Best airline food *ever*.
Another flight one of our cohort managed to blag CC into giving him a selection of miniatures "to give to his Dad". "Will you?" we asked. "Sure, apart from the Amaretto" he replied. He was, what, fourteen? Quite possibly less.
But finally I did the trip out without pesky older brother and having shown during my cockpit visit that I could sit quietly etc., was invited back for the landing in Rawalpindi. Strapped into the jumpseat with headphones on, the Captain indicated the emergency exit above our heads and said something like "if needed - open that, grab the rope, get out". On approach we had ATC say something that nobody understood. Baffled looks all round. I thought I might be able to interpret, being more used to the local accent, but no, I didn't get it either.

Last edited by 25F; 30th Jun 2022 at 02:15.
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Old 30th Jun 2022, 20:16
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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25f
We seem to have had the same experience too and from school, you with BOAC and me with BCAL. 🙂
I am an only child as my older brother died during child berth so I did all this on my own. A kind BCAL stewardess introduced me to Chivas Regal in the same way as your miniatures which I hated, so we tried Amaretto over Ice and G&T both of which I still enjoy. I was 15 at the time but probably looked a little older and the auntie no longer accompanied me after 13 I think. However by that time I could do that route and all the disembarkations in my sleep, indeed I often used to show fellow business passengers where to go. 🙂
Cheers
Mr Mac

Last edited by Mr Mac; 1st Jul 2022 at 06:38.
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Old 30th Jun 2022, 23:37
  #36 (permalink)  
25F
 
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Mr Mac - it was BA by the time I started flying unaccompanied. (I did fly BCal 707 to Kano in the early 70s, with family). I didn't partake of the miniatures myself, being happy with the legendary tuckbox. Of course my oldest brothers used to complain bitterly that they used to be *much* larger "in the old days". I still have one of the BA branded ones. I'd like to see a modern nutritional label on one of those: "Sugars: 2000% of Recommended Daily Intake". Other great freebies - packs of playing cards, and BA branded writing paper on which one would write a letter to a non-flying friend and in the address bit top-right put something like "Somewhere over the Gulf at 35,000 feet" just to rub it in.
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Old 1st Jul 2022, 08:51
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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Never actually been onto the flight deck, closest was LHR-BRU pre 9/11.
I had missed the BA flight due to horrendous queues for security, so was put on the SABENA flight. I think it was a 737. I was in business, front row, RHS, window seat with empty next to me, only about a dozen PAX in total.
Cockpit door was left open throughout the flight, but kept shutting, and opening again!!

I got a decent view when it was open!

I do have 14 hours in a PA28-140 (but then bought a house and couldn't afford to continue the flying)

Oh, and WAY to many hours on FlightSim (according to the missus!)

Cue the SABENA joke - Such A Bad Experience Never Again!
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Old 1st Jul 2022, 10:24
  #38 (permalink)  
Son of Slot
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Hello Sneezy24 and welcome to the cabin, it looks as if you have been lurking in PPRuNe for a while.

Thank you everyone for all these stories, they are great and a happy diversion, please do remember some more.
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Old 3rd Jul 2022, 00:44
  #39 (permalink)  
25F
 
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Okay, silly story from a lollipop special... nothing to do with aviation except it took place on a PIA 747, because the VC-10s had been retired.
My brother and I announced that we had psychic powers. He would lay out four playing cards, I would turn my back, one of the other "diplobrats" would point at one, my brother would tell me to turn round, I'd make a huge show of "guessing" which card had been pointed at, and then identify it.
Worked every time.
They couldn't work it out.
Eventually they forbade my brother from speaking to me, but by this time they were so engrossed with the cards that I was able to simply look over my shoulder during the pointing phase - and nobody noticed.
And after that one we said that we were exhausted, all this psychic stuff was hard work, and so on.

The trick was *very* simple. "Okay" or "Ready" - first card. "Turn round now" - third. "Yes, done" - second.
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Old 3rd Jul 2022, 09:46
  #40 (permalink)  

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I have had some cracking jumpseat rides before Sept 11. Kept me going many a times when staring at the volume of rubbish stuff I had to learn for the ATPL.
Now I sit in the flight deck whenever I am at work. The views never get old.





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