Friday, July 1, 2005

Airbus A320 Cockpit Pictures!

So while everyone was moving slowing out of the parked aircraft at Singapore's Changi Airport, I noticed a kid walking into a cockpit. What was he doing there?! Post 9-11, it's totally impossible to ask for permission for a tour of the cockpit while the aircraft was in flight. But what about if the flight was already over? I never considered that scenario, did the kid know something I didn't? Valuair has a more informal and carefree attitude towards life, could they possible accommodate to the most minute request in the entire world and allow someone to waltz into a cockpit for a glimpse of heaven? So I waited around while everyone alighted, and then walked to the front and asked the stewardess if I could go into the cockpit. She turned and asked the Singaporean co-pilot, whom I thought was an angel; he was so friendly and said sure, go ahead! So I went in and it was fantastic, with all the glowing gauges and knobs... I decided to push my luck because I had already had an inch and wanted a foot more. I asked whether I could take pictures. He didn't have a problem with that, but out of respect for the French captain, he asked his superior. The French man was still sorting out his Jeppesen charts, and casually agreed. So I got my foot. I didn't dare sit at the empty copilot's seat because it wouldn't be right. I was but a computer simulator turbo prop student, this is a real jet aircraft! I trembled in fear whilst in this temple of aviation, and hence some of the pictures are quite blurry. I told the copilot that I play the computer simulator (although that's technically incorrect since I don't know how to fly a jet with the computer yet), and he said yeah, this is just like the simulator. I guess he's probably right, since this aircraft, an Airbus A320, is flown-by-wire where electrical signals and not mechanical effort is sent to the flying surfaces. The pilot was probably quite amused as I bid him farewell...I'm going to try my luck in this manner from now on. Maybe I'll even dare sit in the right-hand co-pilot seat next time... Is that bad manners? Is this against FAA regulations?!

10 comments:

seadrop said...

that's so cool!

WhiteOut said...

i don't really think that the ICAO community would adhere to FAA regulations, but nonetheless, the bible (Federal Aviation Regulations) states that:

part 121.547 - any person who has permission from the pilot-in-command and is not deemed as a threat to safety and operation of the aircraft by the PIC.

it's a good reference, but inaccurate in this case because I think Singapore flights don't have to adhere to FAA regulations; and the FAR did further emphasize the type of personnel allowed into the flight deck.

WhiteOut said...

oh and here's a pic of the full cockpit:

http://www.airliners.net/open.file/845700/L/

i personally have seen too many problems and resultant fatalities with this cockpit. nonetheless just thought you might want a full photo.

jeffyen said...

Yes hidi, it's very cool. I don't mind sleeping inside lol

whiteout, it seems that the regulation has been amended; it's now much stricter. This pretty much excludes all inflight tours.

However, 121.547 is under Subpart T (Flight Operations), so maybe one can argue that it doesn't come into effect while the flight is not in operation? I don't have much luck finding the ICAO regulations, seems like it's country-specific? Not too sure... Anyway, I decided to learn to fly this plane on the computer, so I got this. ;)

FARS, 14 CFR, Sec. 121.547
Admission to flight deck.
(Source)
(a)No person may admit any person to the flight deck of an aircraft unless the person being admitted is—
(1) A crewmember;
(2) An FAA air carrier inspector, a DOD commercial air carrier evaluator, or an authorized representative of the National Transportation Safety Board, who is performing official duties;
(3) Any person who—
(i) Has permission of the pilot in command, an appropriate management official of the part 119 certificate holder, and the Administrator; and
(ii) Is an employee of—
(A) The United States, or
(B) A part 119 certificate holder and whose duties are such that admission to the flightdeck is necessary or advantageous for safe operation; or
(C) An aeronautical enterprise certificated by the Administrator and whose duties are such that admission to the flightdeck is necessary or advantageous for safe operation.
(4) Any person who has the permission of the pilot in command, an appropriate management official of the part 119 certificate holder and the Administrator.
Paragraph (a)(2) of this section does not limit the emergency authority of the pilot in command to exclude any person from the flightdeck in the interests of safety.

(b)For the purposes of paragraph (a)(3) of this section, employees of the United States who deal responsibly with matters relating to safety and employees of the certificate holder whose efficiency would be increased by familiarity with flight conditions, may be admitted by the certificate holder. However, the certificate holder may not admit employees of traffic, sales, or other departments that are not directly related to flight operations, unless they are eligible under paragraph (a)(4) of this section.

(c)No person may admit any person to the flight deck unless there is a seat available for his use in the passenger compartment, except—
(1) An FAA air carrier inspector, a DOD commercial air carrier evaluator, or authorized representative of the Administrator or National Transportation Safety Board who is checking or observing flight operations;
(2) An air traffic controller who is authorized by the Administrator to observe ATC procedures;
(3) A certificated airman employed by the certificate holder whose duties require an airman certificate;
(4) A certificated airman employed by another part 119 certificate holder whose duties with that part 119 certificate holder require an airman certificate and who is authorized by the part 119 certificate holder operating the aircraft to make specific trips over a route;
(5) An employee of the part 119 certificate holder operating the aircraft whose duty is directly related to the conduct or planning of flight operations or the in-flight monitoring of aircraft equipment or operating procedures, if his presence on the flightdeck is necessary to perform his duties and he has been authorized in writing by a responsible supervisor, listed in the Operations Manual as having that authority; and
(6) A technical representative of the manufacturer of the aircraft or its components whose duties are directly related to the in-flight monitoring of aircraft equipment or operating procedures, if his presence on the flightdeck is necessary to perform his duties and he has been authorized in writing by the Administrator and by a responsible supervisor of the operations department of the part 119 certificate holder, listed in the Operations Manual as having that authority.

jeffyen said...

Hey, tinker Yesterdayed this entry! hahaa

littlecartnoodles said...

That was so ****ing cool !

Since it's a budget airline, maybe you could have stayed longer if you had offered to help clean up the cabin !

satchithananda said...

reminds me of pre-9/11 days when the rules were more relaxed. the boeing aircraft were considered more "real" due to their use of the control column rather than sidestick as on the airbuses. running joke that i remember was that airbus got rid of the control columns to make space for meal service tray tables :P

jeffyen said...

littlecartnoodles: That is a FANTASTIC idea! I will try it next time!

vishra: The cockpit does look 'cleaner and more streamlined' than a Boeing jet. More space for meal trays is always a good thing lol

Ashton said...

Hi Jeff,
he's not french, he's czech n yes..I remembered you. thanks for the nice pics.
We dun adhere to FAR,it's the SGP ANO for us.
Cheers

Bala said...

As an Airline staff, I had pictures and some more interesting things. I do walk in to the cockpit almost more times..