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B744 Cockpit Visit For Grown Man

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So, I booked a flight on the United 747 from ORD to SFO before it's retired. Can't believe I'm asking this, but is it weird for a grown a** man to ask to visit the cockpit? How about asking for a picture in the captain's seat? Would pre-flight or post-flight be best?

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Not at all!

 

I always ask to visit the cockpit when boarding and even go the extra mile and ask to stay throughout the flight. Unfortunately the captains only agree to that about a fourth of the time. But they usually always love showing passengers of all ages around the cockpit.

 

Ethan E.

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So, I booked a flight on the United 747 from ORD to SFO before it's retired. Can't believe I'm asking this, but is it weird for a grown a** man to ask to visit the cockpit? How about asking for a picture in the captain's seat? Would pre-flight or post-flight be best?

 

Not sure how this is relevant to PMDG.

 

There's nothing wrong with asking to visit the flight deck. Whether the captain allows it or not is a different matter. It all depends how big their workload is and if they've got enough time. Post-flight is better for workload on the pilots, but worse because they just want to get home.

 

Good luck getting to sit in the Captain's seat. Chances of that are practically zero.

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Get to the gate early and ask the crew what works best for them. You may miss them if you wait for them after flight. Also, its not weird at sll for a grown man yo ask what youre asking of. Its going to be rare opportunity and you dont want to miss out on it.

 

Last but not least, be honest woth the crew about your intentions. Be escited! Thats the coolest thing ever to see the flight deck of a 747! Dont hide thst for one second! Also, if youre bashful, they may think your weird. So own it! Own your excitement and be pumped about it!

 

 

Also, I'm based out of Chicago. Let me know when you're going on your flight. Maybe we can have a quick meet and greet.

Not sure how this is relevant to PMDG.

 

There's nothing wrong with asking to visit the flight deck. Whether the captain allows it or not is a different matter. It all depends how big their workload is and if they've got enough time. Post-flight is better for workload on the pilots, but worse because they just want to get home.

 

Good luck getting to sit in the Captain's seat. Chances of that are practically zero.

dude, you have no kdea what youre talking about. United pilots are pretty cool about this stuff. Theres probably a 100 percent chance he will be able to sit in the captain's seat.
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dude, you have no kdea what youre talking about. United pilots are pretty cool about this stuff. Theres probably a 100 percent chance he will be able to sit in the captain's seat.

 

I'll put money on it not happening.

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I got to sit in the Captains set on an American 737-800 at KSNA while at the gate. Even go to do the TCAS test and Ann Lights test! Was super cool, he has a very good chance man. 

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I'll put money on it not happening.

why wouldnt he? It makes no sense. Its just an airplane.
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why wouldnt he? It makes no sense. Its just an airplane.

 

Yeah why do airlines not let random strangers sit at the wheel of a few hundred million dollar aircraft with potentially a few hundred other people on board. Beats me!

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So, I booked a flight on the United 747 from ORD to SFO before it's retired. Can't believe I'm asking this, but is it weird for a grown a** man to ask to visit the cockpit? How about asking for a picture in the captain's seat? Would pre-flight or post-flight be best?

 

This is what I do and it works for the flights and different airlines I've flown:

 

Go to the gate early and ask the pilots when they arrive for preflight.  

 

I would sit near the entrance to the gate and when pilots arrive, I'd ask if I could get a cockpit visit. The Chief Purser would usually be there as well, so when the pilots agreed, they also passed the message to the Purser so when I arrived at the aircraft for boarding, the Purser automatically got another attendant to take me to the cockpit. 

 

If it's a turnaround, the best time is to wait until everyone exits the aircraft and then ask. 

 

But bottom line - it's not weird at all! Pilots love explaining stuff to #avgeeks. Just remember - always get permission to touch anything. 

 

PS - for the Captain's seat - this works best if you ask after the flight. The pilots are getting out of there anyways so they usually agree. (also from my experience) - BUT varies from airlines to airlines and dependant on the pilots. The ones I've met are kind enough to allow me. But again, varies. 

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Yeah why do airlines not let random strangers sit at the wheel of a few hundred million dollar aircraft with potentially a few hundred other people on board. Beats me!

Not in flight, obviously. But there's hundreds of pictures, videos, etc of avgeeks getting to sit in the captains seat either before or after the flight. There isn't a "100%" chance of it happening, though, and that's definitely something you let the captain offer instead of asking yourself.  

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My advice is to ask during the flight if you can visit after landing.

 

Pre flight is busy and there is enough distractions already.

 

Post flight you have a excellent chance of visiting the flight deck and sitting in one of the front seats.

 

You may miss out if the crew are busy dealing with defects or other post arrival issues that can come up.

 

You may also miss out if the crew is tired and or grumpy.

 

If you don't ask you don't get.

 

Good luck

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Yeah why do airlines not let random strangers sit at the wheel of a few hundred million dollar aircraft with potentially a few hundred other people on board. Beats me!

You seriously didn't think he wanted to do that in flight did you? There's a reason most airlines allow the flight deck door to be opened after the engines are shut down. Just sayin...

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You seriously didn't think he wanted to do that in flight did you? There's a reason most airlines allow the flight deck door to be opened after the engines are shut down. Just sayin...

 

When did I mention in flight. An aircraft is still a potentially dangerous piece of equipment even when it's parked up with the engines off.

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Well, look at my picture on the left.  That's in a B737-300 Southwest Airlines.  I asked if it was ok to take a picture in the cockpit and the pilot agreed and told me to sit in his seat.  He asked me for my phone/camera and took that picture.  Then he squatted down and explained the overhead, etc to me.  This was in Tulsa between flights, (turn around).  I've also done the same on several flights.  On one flight they were ready to begin preflight ops and shut the cabin door with me still there.  I just shut up, realizing it was sterile cockpit time.  They let me out after the checklist readings.  I was told then that I could stay in the jump seat during the flight only if I was a certified pilot.  A lot of fun.

Enjoy you trip and God bless you.

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United Airlines Captain let me sit in his seat on a 777 and have a photo taken after we had landed in Chicago. He saw me looking in the cockpit as I got off and invited me in.

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I rode the jumpseat once on a 747-200 we chartered to the Middle East. Awesome flight crew - a very eclectic mix of a Kiwi First Officer, Icelandic Captain and British Flight Engineer. These guys had seen a few things in their time and dropped off a few interesting loads!

 

Great to see the team dynamics between the three flight crew members for engine start and takeoff.

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My first time sitting in the captain's seat was in 2011 when I came home from Toronto on a Westjet 737-800. Cool stuff. 

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I always ask and even though I know the standard typical response is "sorry after 9/11 we're not allowed anymore blablabla", sometimes one might have some luck and get to sit in the jumpseat.

 

I've flown in the jumpseat a couple of times, and I didn't know the crew or anything. Just asked them politely when boarding. If it's a stewardess, say "Excuse me, could please be so kind and ask the Captain if I could have a quick look into the cockpit and say hello?". If you get in, introduce yourself, shake hands, be polite and also have something interesting to say, don't just stay there. On the ground they can "figure you out" and see if you're potentially dangerous or not. If they like you, they might offer you to stay. In flight they won't let you in probably.

 

One time I'm particularly happy of was an ATR-72 flight GCLA to GCXO, they flew pretty much visually, what a joy!

 

On another occasion on an Air Canada 767 when I got in I saw the IRS panel on the overhead, it was set to HDG and the number was "5", meaning 5 minutes to align the IRSs. I said "5 minutes to go there, don't forget your initial position in the FMC", they laughed and let me stay some minutes during the pre-flight. I couldn't stay for the flight though, but the crew was really great.

 

And I have a picture on the left seat of an Air Canada A320. They offered me to take the picture, it wasn't even me who asked for it! :)

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I got super lucky one time post 9-11, coming back from Paris to LAX on AFR 777-300 and they FA's knew I was a Private Pilot, I asked to see the cockpit once we landed whenever it was convienent, to my suprise the purser came back and I got the stand behind the flight crew on dsecent into LAX. We were descending out of FL190 and was up there for about 10 minutes! Talk about awesome!

 

This would never happen on a US carrier. 

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When did I mention in flight. An aircraft is still a potentially dangerous piece of equipment even when it's parked up with the engines off.

your logic is still flawed at best. I let people take a look and sit in the seats if they want in my airplane. Im there to make sure they dont touch anything. If they want to touch stuff i tell them they need to ask first to make sute it wont hurt the plane. I havent had any issues. I have seen countless captains have zero issues with what the OP is requesting.

 

I dont know if you fly for an airline. If you do and thsts how you want to run your ship, great! Its your airplane and your rules prevail. However, its usually not like that in the states.

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The only time I've been told 'no' was back in 2003 by British. In their defense, it was only a few years after 9/11 and we'd just flown into DC.

 

Well before 9/11 it was pretty much a default yes, even in flight. I only recall going up front in a flying forehead in flight though (B1900D). I got up to the upper deck of a UAL 742 back when Hale-Bopp was in the night sky (spectacular sight since they'd shut the lights off upstairs as they weren't using it for passengers - equip swap for seasonal volume down to FL). In 2005, I got up front in a Lufthansa 744 after asking during the flight if I could see up front after we got to FRA (politely, in German). A couple years ago, I went up front to have a look at the red headed hybrid (764) as I walked out. Since it was a 6 hour flight and one of the FAs took a liking to our group, I asked him as we were walking out if I could go say hi to the crew up front and got a "go for it." I've gotten up front on a handful of 737s, too. I'm sure there have been others.

 

Honestly, you're probably better off with a 744, or some other longer range aircraft. Anecdotally, they tend to stick around after the flight longer. The last 7 flights I've been on in the last month - all shorter range - the flight crew has been long gone by the time I get up there.

 

Long story short: just ask. There's nothing wrong with it. Some airlines might be a little more nitpicky about it (Aer Lingus rings a bell with their "no pictures" thing...as if nobody's seen a picture of a flight deck, but I digress...), and some will sit there and talk your ear off.

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I don't find your question weird at all!!

 

That said, I did as once, 2 years ago while flying back from Colorado on United to see the cockpit, we were mid flight. The FA was not at all pleased that I had asked and told me "No, no, that is absolutely out of the question, no one is allowed into the cockpit ever...please take my seat immediately."

 

I didn't think I was so out of line....I would have loved to see the cockpit during the cruise. 

 

This is what I Recommend: I have found that crews usually let me see the cockpit once we are de-planing...and of course the plane is parked on the ground. I feel they think you are less of some kind of threat given the flight is now over, and you must be some kind of avgeek as why would anyone want to spend more time on the plane rather than exist as fast as possible to grab your luggage and get the heck out of the airport....so you could always try that route. 

 

Very Best,

Max 

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When I lived in Hong Kong in the 1980's and was regularly travelling the HK - London route on either Cathay Pacific or BA 747's I always asked the stewardess in flight if my children could visit the cockpit. I also asked if I might accompany them also. The kids weren't interested but it was me I was really asking for! I must have visited the cockpit a dozen or so times and I can't ever recall being refused. In fact I even recall you had to await your turn whilst a queue of children/fathers finished their visits!

 

The flight crews were always most accommodating and happy to greet you and explain a few of the workings; and the views from the cockpit at sunrise/sunset were stunning. I had a rudimentary understanding in those days of the cockpit layout, but it's those visits that made the PMDG 747-400 my go to aircraft in flight simulation.   

 

Since 9/11 all that changed but what I did try later was to ask the stewardess if she could get the flight crew to take a few seconds of video on my camera - I'm not sure if that is even allowed now.

 

Bernard Walford

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Go for it, if they cant, they will say no, but... its hard to believe they will do so. Remember, for airline such behavior is reputational bonus almost for free.

 

Luckly I don't have to beg as my brother is a captain on a nice 777-200, soon 787. Not telling the airline ;-) but I've seen this and that during visits ;-)

 

Tom Link

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I would say post 9/11 never ask in the air. On a recent flight on Southwest I was the last off the aircraft. My wife and kids in front of me. Crew was saying goodnight and I said " that's a nice office you got there". He asked if I wanted to take a look around. It was 1230am after a long travel day and I am sure my wife would have snapped if I delayed us more so I said "Oh thank you but its late and I can't. I would have loved to". They are humans. I imagine there are grumpy ones out there. This was their last flight of the night and was still willing to show me around.

 

Good luck and take pictures if they allow it.

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