With the summer holidays just around the corner, we’ll soon be inundated with requests from parents asking if their kids can see the cockpit.
But there are some rules to this that many parents are unaware of and that can lead to disappointment for you and your child when we ultimately have to say “no”.
In this week’s Sun Online Travel blog, I share when you can and can’t see the cockpit so you can get that all-important picture of your child with the pilot.
First, it is not possible to inspect the cockpit when the plane is in the air, nor when the engines are running.
We shouldn’t distract the pilot at all during flight and drag a group of kids into the cockpit while they’re busy flying the plane, we just can’t do that.
Parents are often shocked when they hear this and upset when we have to say “no” to them, but they just need to be aware of the safety rules and use a little common sense too.
Something could go wrong, but if the pilot is busy posing for photos, he may not spot it. You really need to focus during this time.
Which leads me straight to rule number two: Don’t ask us if your kid can see the cockpit when we’re obviously busy.
This usually happens when we’re getting people on the plane – which is probably the busiest time of our shift.
As anxious as you are to see the pilot, this is a terrible time to ask us.
If we stand around and don’t do much, that’s fine, but the chances of that happening are very slim since you’re all boarding the plane.
Please assess the situation before asking us and make sure we are not upset before asking us.
The best time to view the cockpit is after the plane has landed and the engines are shut down.
However, if the pilots have to flee, you may not get a picture with them.
Sometimes the engineers are happy to join for a tour, but they’re wearing safety vests rather than a nice suit, so it’s probably not the photo you were hoping for.
However, it’s better than nothing and certainly not part of their job description. So don’t be too ungrateful when that happens.
And just because it’s the best time to check out the cockpit certainly doesn’t make it the best time to ask us.
Don’t wait until you get off the plane because that will almost certainly be a no.
The best time to ask us about this is just after the aircraft has reached cruising altitude and the seat belt signs are off.
Then after landing we can find out if that’s possible.
That way the pilot is relaxed, he has finished the flight and there should be no problem letting you in for a few minutes.
Finally, when you want to get into the cockpit, you need to pack food and drink bottles in your bags.
People either come in and let their kids drink or eat snacks, or they do it themselves.
Eating and drinking must never be near the equipment in the cockpit. Again, it should be common sense, but people seem to forget that when they get on our planes.
So before you go in search of your cockpit vacation photos please think about it because it will make your life and our life easier.
Meanwhile, this pilot recommended a smart way to always be the first to get off the plane.
And another pilot revealed why you should never change seats mid-flight.