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XWRed5

Airline security

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Hello all.Just a post to ask if anyone out there knows much about current airline security issues.I just returned to Scotland from a pleasant holiday in Lanzerote.On the flight back in a B757, I was surprised/amazed/concerned to see the first officer standing in the forward galley just in front of the flight deck, and in front of the toilet which I was going to use.I presume that the flight deck door was locked, but although the cabin crew had drawn a curtain to hide this from view, he obviously had to exit then re-enter the flight deck.I don't think he was even using the toilet, and the flight only lasted 4 hrs.Does anyone have any similar experience?I would have thought that post 9/11 such trips into the cabin area by flight crew enroute would have been forbidden? Interested to hear what anyone else might think about this issue.

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Chris,That does seem odd. If he wasn't going to the bathroom enroute, I can't think of any reason why the FO would be out of the cockpit, especially post 9/11. Wish I knew more specifics.

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>Maybe he was hungry or thirsty?!>>JimStill, he should have called a FA, who knows what is was about, it's not right no doubt but I'm sure he had a reason to be there, I have a lot of faith in the pilots concerning this issue.

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Many times there are relief pilots if the flight is long enough and they rotate getting rest in 1st class seats.scott s..

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>I would have thought that post 9/11 such trips into the cabin>area by flight crew enroute would have been forbidden? Here's is something which I could find from a Transport Canada Aviation Policy Letter which likely has similar parallels to the regulations and practises for other aviation authorities and air carriers. (Full copy of the policy letter can be found here: http://www.tc.gc.ca/CivilAviation/commerce/policy/PL149.htm )"The flight deck door may be unlocked and opened when crew members and other authorized persons are required to exit or enter the flight deck in the performance of their duties, for physiological needs or for overriding concerns related to the safety of flight. Persons entering or leaving the flight deck must follow procedures established in the company operations manual."So based on this there are stated reasons for when a flight crew member could leave the flight deck and it is not something which is therefore strange or worrying if the policies set in place were followed for the air carrier and air regulations applicable to the flight.Jeff

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They do it all the time, even on some of our 30 minute flights for the airline I work for. Nothing to be concerned with.

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Chris,It's for a "physiological break", i.e. use the loo, stretch legs, relax for a minute. It is perfectly legal and eminently sensible for him to do it. On a four hour flight I would suggest it's nigh on essential, particularly to help avoid DVT.If your security problem is that the door has to be opened, well, the door has to be opened anyway when the cabin crew bring food/drink in. It makes no difference who passes through the open door, just that it's open. I'm sure the airline concerned had procedures to mitigate those risks (you mentioned the curtain).I would be interested to know why you would think that flight crew trips to the passenger cabin would be forbidden. If they're allowed to fly the plane I can't help feeling that using the loo is a much less security risk.Honestly interested in your thoughts, Ian

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Hello all and thanks for all your thoughts.To cover a few of these points - the pilot concerned wasn't a relief crew, and as far as I could see was happily chatting up the flight attendants!Maybe I am being too sensitive, but given the events of the recent past, I really would have thought that any opportunity for any non authorised person to gain entry to the flight deck during a flight would have been eliminated by strict procedures.I believe that long haul jets have crew rest areas, which do not require visits through the main cabin?Now obviously the pilots need to go to the toilet and get refreshments, but I would have thought there were ways round that.The toilet into which I was going was literally one foot from the flight deck door, in fact I had to squeeze around the pilot in question in order to gain access, and despite the (half)drawn curtain, there were no restrictions on passenger movement in this area.Thanks again to everyone who contributed to this thread.I do have an ATP contact, and the next time I get the chance to chat with him, I will ask him what he thinks of this matter.I suspect(as has already been suggested) that this sort of issue is fairly commmonplace - maybe I am just being too paranoid!

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Yeah you are too paranoid about it.On another security subject, bullet proof doors.You can easily shoot through the wall on the left or right side of the door. I don't know of any pilots that fly the airplane by sitting on the throttles, so what is the purpose of the door now.

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>To cover a few of these points - the pilot concerned wasn't a>relief crew, and as far as I could see was happily chatting up>the flight attendants!Perk of the job, the main point is whether they were worth chatting up! Potentially a security issue in the morning :-)>Maybe I am being too sensitive, but given the events of the>recent past, I really would have thought that any opportunity>for any non authorised person to gain entry to the flight deck>during a flight would have been eliminated by strict>procedures.The flight deck door is locked and there are strict procedures in place regarding the opening of it. When it is locked both sides are free to move around as they wish, when it is to be opened the airline will have strict procedures governing its use.>I believe that long haul jets have crew rest areas, which do>not require visits through the main cabin?Some but not all.>Now obviously the pilots need to go to the toilet and get>refreshments, but I would have thought there were ways round>that.I would love to know how you would plan on getting round that ... a tube and a small hatch?>The toilet into which I was going was literally one foot from>the flight deck door, in fact I had to squeeze around the>pilot in question in order to gain access, and despite the>(half)drawn curtain, there were no restrictions on passenger>movement in this area.The door is locked, you cannot enter the flight deck while it's locked, there doesn't need to be a restrictions when the door is locked ... it's locked.>I suspect(as has already been suggested) that this sort of>issue is fairly commmonplace - maybe I am just being too>paranoid!There is no issue and you are being paranoid, the only problems with flight crew in the front galley is if they start trying to prepare food or make the coffee, I would avoid it at all costs. Maybe not a security issue but definitely a health and safety one!Each airline will have it's own security policy which will have been approved by that country's security agency. It will include the company policy and procedures on the flight deck door. The fact you were on the aircraft says the policy has been accepted and they are happy it's being used. Irrespective of what anyone says, the door will need to be opened in flight at some point, flight crew are not hamsters ... or any other caged animal.Hope this helps,Ian

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