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A question for real world NG drivers

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How common is it to enter a cold and dark cockpit IRL meaning you will not run through all the preflight flows etc?

 

I've always been under the impression that when you're scheduled for a flight that is the first flight of the day for the a/c (when it has been parked over night for example) the cockpit normally will be cold and dark. However I've also heard many people saying it's very seldom the pilots will enter a cold and dark cockpit IRL.

 

Would be great to hear some real world drivers comment on this.


Richard Åsberg

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In the US, it is indeed rare for a pilot to get on a plane that's cold and dark.  They are generally plugged in on the gate and, if it had been shut down, maintenance will usually have it powered up long before the crew gets on board as there are other departments getting the plane ready for the next flight; cleaners, maintenance, customer service and catering, to name the most obvious.  Flight crews usually get on board about an hour before departure.  For overnighters parked off gate, maintenance tows or taxis (though taxiing is a lot less common now with fuel costs such as they are) the plane to the gate an hour or two before departure time.  As far as flows, the captain will still go through all the preflight checks on the flight deck while the FO is doing the walk around.

Cheers.  :smile:

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When I worked at southwest all the aircraft were cold and dark for the crews if they were at the gate overnight. The only aircraft not cold and dark were the ones parked off the gate somewhere. Those would have the APU going when the crew got there. We were not a maintenance base so the first person in the cockpit certified to get her ticking was the flight crew or one of the few certified "brake riders". These were normally ramp supervisors that were trained to power up the APU and use the hydraulic systems in order to be towed to/from remote parking.

 

 

Justin whetstone

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Justin makes a valid point.  I've worked at both hubs and line stations, but we always had mechanics on shift in either case, so it's fair to say that while it's carrier and station specific, I still believe it to be, in the grand scheme of the industry, the exception rather than the rule.

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Always equally great to come in here and get this kind of info "straight from the source".

 

Thanks again guys!


Richard Åsberg

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Hi guys,

 

What about at night, when yous are the last flight at night. What do yous do? Do yous shut down the full a/c (apu, ground connections, battery, NAV lights...etc)? Or how does the last flight of the night get left for the night till the next morning?

 

Thanks

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Depends on where you are if it's a maintenance hub or not, either way, cold and dark or not when. A new crew comes out A full preflight is required.

 

And to the last post yes everything is shut down and turned off after the last flight.

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Almost never cold and dark.

 

We have a Shut Down check and we have a Secure check if it doesn't fly for 90 minutes. If it's overnighting at a non-maintenance station, we kill everything but Ground Service.


Matt Cee

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and when you say ground service..

 

 

would this be the equivalent in the PMDG 737NGx to hooking up ground power?


Ciao!

 

 

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No. There is bus that can power a limited list of items for use by groomers/catering/etc. It's a small switch by the forward FA jumpseats.


Matt Cee

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Just to explain ground service:

Ground service is not the same as speaking of ground power. Ground service is a mode of use of the ground power, a way to power only the "service" utilities for ground cleaning. This means that cockpit will be off while cabin lights and AC plugs are on. The batteries are also charged in this mode.

Ground service switch is located in the forward galley panel and it is spring loaded to OFF with a magnetic latch to ON. When it is turned on and ground power is already avaiable the switch latches to ON and stays on until someone turn it off or when AC power from ground cart will be no more avaiable.


Regards

Andrea Daviero

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