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As a kid, I remember going to the cockpit of a plane with my mom (I believe the airline was AOM French Airlines).

Is this still possible now?

I understand the answer might differ with different airlines/countries, I'm mostly interested in European and Asian airlines/countries, specifically Japanese.

Is there some specific regulations for international flights, or does it depends on departure/arrival locations?

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  • $\begingroup$ Related question $\endgroup$ – DeltaLima Feb 24 '15 at 7:03
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    $\begingroup$ You can ask... $\endgroup$ – Ross Presser Feb 24 '15 at 12:29
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    $\begingroup$ For EU and USA, this question has already been answered here. This is also a related-ish question. $\endgroup$ – reirab Feb 24 '15 at 15:08
  • $\begingroup$ Pity they don't put a camera in the cockpit that I could watch as a channel on the in-flight entertainment system... with the audio channel hooked up to the radio. $\endgroup$ – Roman Feb 25 '15 at 12:05
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    $\begingroup$ @romkyns What, and have the passengers panicking because they've misinterpreted something the pilots said, or some minor problem with the plane as meaning OHMYGODWE'REGONNACRASH!!! $\endgroup$ – David Richerby Feb 26 '15 at 15:48
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This stopped after the World Trade Center attacks.

You might be able to get a kid in briefly before the plane takes off.

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    $\begingroup$ Or after it lands. $\endgroup$ – RoboKaren Feb 24 '15 at 5:15
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    $\begingroup$ @Antzi I think it was Delta; it was years ago, though, and I think I was still in elementary school at the time (i.e. like 10 years ago), and I don't remember origin/destination, other than "probably US domestic flight, because we don't go internationally that often". What I remember is that I got to see the cockpit, and I think the pilot let me request more printer paper, and I got a little set of "junior pilot" wings. That's about what I remember. $\endgroup$ – cpast Feb 24 '15 at 5:58
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    $\begingroup$ My eight year old daughter was in the cockpit of an A320 and an A330 on the same day a little less than a year ago. The A330 captain even gave her the flight map! Both were after landing, once in Spain and the second in Israel. $\endgroup$ – dotancohen Feb 24 '15 at 9:09
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    $\begingroup$ This is inaccurate. As an adult, I visited the cockpit during a transatlantic flight in 2008. However, I did have to return to my seat before the plane arrived over Canada because of post-9/11 regulations. $\endgroup$ – usernumber Feb 25 '15 at 2:53
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    $\begingroup$ I attended a talk by an A380 captain who works for BA. I asked him this question. His answer was a very enthusiastic "YES", but unfortunately only on the ground. He also said that he'd allow an adult just as well; doesn't have to be a kid. He was saddened that he could no longer let enthusiasts and especially aspiring children to experience the cockpit in flight. $\endgroup$ – Roman Feb 27 '15 at 0:31
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Usually the cockpit is restricted during any phase of flight besides boarding/de boarding. This is usually the case with major airlines with any destination in Europe, or the U.S., not sure abut Asia though

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  • $\begingroup$ As for Asia: No, same rule as US/Europe - except you know the right people, then it's possible... One of my wife's friends is a pilot of a major airline. We've been to his cockpit several times. $\endgroup$ – Patric Hartmann Mar 9 '15 at 21:44
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Generally speaking, you will not get very lucky unless you are a pilot yourself and are carrying your license with you (and even then, this is airline dependent). If this is the case, you might even be able to ride in the jump seat for a portion of the flight

On the ground a lot of pilots/cabin crew are friendly and would be happy to show you around. Use common sense though and ask to go after landing for the best chance - before take off the crew will be quite busy with pre-flight checks.

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    $\begingroup$ By 'pilot' here do you mean 'airline pilot?' Most pilots, of course, are not airline pilots. Also, is there a specific area where you happen to know this to be the case? I have never heard of this being a possibility for private pilots here in the U.S., but if it is, I'd really like to know. $\endgroup$ – reirab Feb 24 '15 at 15:01
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    $\begingroup$ I'm based in South Africa and having a cursory glance at various local aviation forums, it appears that this happens occasionally here. From the language used, it appears learner pilots have the quite a bit of luck, with the airline pilots being happy to show the up and coming pilots what its like up front on a big jet and answer any questions they may have. $\endgroup$ – mccdyl001 Feb 25 '15 at 6:32
  • $\begingroup$ Awesome! Thanks. You might want to edit your answer to include that information (specifically the parts about it being in South Africa and student pilots having a better chance.) Also, if you could include link some of the forum citations, that would be great. As a student pilot, this makes me want to visit South Africa. - lol $\endgroup$ – reirab Feb 25 '15 at 7:00
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Can I ask to go to the cockpit during a flight ?

Of course you can. The answer will be a firm "No" and you will be watched very closely by the cabin crew and any plainclothes security onboard until you land. It's possible the police will be waiting for you.

Can I ask to go to the cockpit after a flight ?

Of course you can. If it's a longer stop the crew are often happy to show off their office. If it's the end of a 12 hour intercontinental flight with a bad-weather landing they might decline.

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    $\begingroup$ I'm curious - can you provide any instances of the police talking to someone after landing due to a request to visit the cockpit? $\endgroup$ – colti Feb 24 '15 at 17:41
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    $\begingroup$ @colti It wasn't in the media but I know a couple of years ago two student pilots had that treatment after asking to visit in flight. I do wonder if the police would have been called if they were white students... $\endgroup$ – Ben Nov 2 '16 at 10:35
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About 30 years ago I did this during flight when I was a kid. These days I manage to do it for my daughter but only while boarding.

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It's a security and/or safety risk to allow any persons in the cockpit these days.

This accident happened as a pilot allowed his children to take control during flight.

With the autopilot active, Kudrinsky, against regulations, let the children sit at the controls.

I've seen flight crashes, in which persons in the cockpit have interfered with the flight in one way or the other.

Based on these experiences, unauthorized persons in the cockpit is totally not allowed these days.

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    $\begingroup$ I think you can reference this accident as well, if you want. "[The accident] was in part caused by the airline electing to not follow the Sterile Cockpit Rule and that a passenger was sitting in a cockpit jump seat during the flight." $\endgroup$ – Jonas G. Drange Feb 24 '15 at 16:10
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    $\begingroup$ 9/11 is much more significant here than Aeroflot 593. $\endgroup$ – David Richerby Feb 24 '15 at 22:25
  • $\begingroup$ You probably need to qualify that last sentence; those particular experiences did not drive changes in cockpit access; and it's clear from other answers here that it is not the case that unauthorized persons are "totally" not allowed in every cockpit. $\endgroup$ – bye Feb 25 '15 at 12:49

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