50 votes

Would a takeoff be aborted if 'rotate' is not called out?

That could end up being a really bad idea if you've accelerated past your V1 speed -- your abort would then put you off the end of the runway, and the consequences from that range from bad to ...
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  • 41.8k
40 votes
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Has any accident been prevented by bending or breaking the rules?

First I have to admit that I have no idea what FAA regulations said about passengers taking part in controlling an airplane in 1989, but I guess it was at least frowned upon, even if the passenger ...
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  • 20.8k
32 votes

Has any accident been prevented by bending or breaking the rules?

The rules say to do whatever necessary to ensure safety of flight. 91.3 Responsibility and authority of the pilot in command. (a) The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, ...
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  • 16.1k
28 votes

Has any accident been prevented by bending or breaking the rules?

As pointed out above pilots may deviate from any regulation in the event of an emergency per §91.3(b). One of the more common events is a civilian aircraft making an emergency diversion and landing ...
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25 votes

Has any accident been prevented by bending or breaking the rules?

In 2017 an MD-83 aborted takeoff above V1. The pilot was widely criticized for that, which was against a lot of rules and conventional wisdom. The NTSB report determined that aborting above V1 was ...
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  • 1,214
23 votes
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In an airliner, does the Captain or the First Officer fly the airplane?

At the commercial airline level, there is very little difference between a captain and a first officer, other than the amount of time that they have been at the company (seniority). Typically, each ...
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  • 57.5k
18 votes

How is aircraft control positively transferred between pilot flying and pilot not-flying?

What you're quoting is the verbal portion of an important principle called Positive Exchange of Controls. This is a process of ensuring that someone (and only one) is always in control of the aircraft,...
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  • 6,004
17 votes

In an airliner, does the Captain or the First Officer fly the airplane?

As has been said in previous answers, the duties are divided between the PF and PNF, and the Captain and First Officer typically change which they will do each leg. However, company policy may specify ...
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  • 38.7k
16 votes
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How are conflicts between pilot flying and pilot not-flying over aircraft control resolved?

The whole idea behind the policies and procedures for transferring control of the aircraft between the pilots is so that everybody is always on the same page. Somebody always needs to be flying the ...
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  • 57.5k
15 votes

Can a F/O declare "My plane" to the Captain?

Pretty much every FO struggles with this. Technically yes, in the extreme case. If the actions of the capt are about to get everybody killed or otherwise endanger the aircraft, the FO is supposed to ...
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  • 104k
12 votes

Can a F/O declare "My plane" to the Captain?

Yes, the FO is allowed to take over control from the captain on his own initiative, if the circumstances justify it. One case that I know off where it saved the day was this incident of Lufthansa. ...
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  • 74.3k
11 votes

Is there any way to relieve the Pilot in Command?

There was a case in 2012, where the captain started acting erratically on the flight deck. The first officer tricked him out of the cockpit and shut the door behind him. Passengers restrained the ...
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  • 74.3k
10 votes

Do companies based in non-English-speaking countries require intra-cockpit procedural communication to be performed in English?

This is common in many international airlines. Lufthansa Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) dictates that all flight procedural communication (checklists, standard callouts, etc.) are done in ...
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9 votes
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What are the roles of the co-pilot in commercial aviation?

Firstly, "co-pilot" is not a term that is really used anymore. When people say that they usually mean the First Officer. It's a bugbear of mine because "co-pilot" implies that there is one real pilot ...
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  • 13.1k
8 votes

Which of the pilots flies when it gets dangerous?

In the end it's all up to the Captain. If the FO is PF, which with most airlines alternates with each leg of a block, and something exciting happens, the capt may let the FO continue flying if the ...
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  • 104k
8 votes

What are the factors behind crew pairing and crew rostering?

It is very, very complicated. It is so complicated that an entire department is dedicated to this task. Below I would provide a glimpse of crew rostering. Basics Most airlines provide roster on a ...
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  • 39.2k
8 votes

Has any accident been prevented by bending or breaking the rules?

There have been cases with incorrectly wired controls, with the aircraft doing the opposite action than such a wrongly wired control commands. Then the narrow rules about how to use the control to ...
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  • 11.6k
7 votes

What are the roles of the co-pilot in commercial aviation?

Your question's title says "commercial aviation", and in the question you indicate you're interested in the history. With that in mind, I'll add to Ben's excellent answer. Commercial aviation ...
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  • 38.7k
7 votes
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How exactly are checklists shared between the pilots?

Typically, both pilots will set up "their" stuff as prescribed in the airline SOP's, and then the checklist will be called for. At my airline, the captain has certain switches that he sets and ...
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  • 41.8k
7 votes
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Can a pilot choose his co-pilot?

As with everything it varies from airline to airline, but for the most part it is option 2). Larger carriers will usually give pilots the option of blacklisting another if they wish, but smaller ...
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  • 13.1k
7 votes
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What would happen if the flight engineer is unavailable on a 747?

This question has been asked and answered in a slightly different form at How able were pilots of three-person cockpits at running the normal FE work?, and I refer you to that for basic info. ...
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  • 38.7k
6 votes

Has any accident been prevented by bending or breaking the rules?

I will note that in maritime law there is the General Prudential Rule which states that avoiding a collision takes precedence over strict adherence to other rules and regulations. I would have to ...
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  • 159
5 votes

co-pilot incapacitation: land alone or with a passenger-pilot?

There are risks either case. There are no hard rules for or against calling a pilot from the cabin for help; it is up to the pilot to evaluate the situation and select the best course of action. The ...
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  • 39.2k
5 votes

How is aircraft control positively transferred between pilot flying and pilot not-flying?

During the flight, there is a pilot flying (PF) who is in control of the plane, and a pilot not flying (PNF), who is monitoring communications, systems, navigation, and other things. In order to avoid ...
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  • 69.7k
5 votes

In an airliner, does the Captain or the First Officer fly the airplane?

Both pilots will log time for the flight, although their log entries will be slightly different. The captain will log hours as Pilot-in-Command (PIC). In practice, "George" (the autopilot) will ...
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5 votes
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Is there statistical evidence of the benefits of CRM?

The benefits gained from CRM are not really applicable to a single pilot situation although solo pilots can apply CRM Ideals in their own regard. This FAA study touches upon it well in this study (...
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  • 95.9k
5 votes
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ETH 409: Was the most obvious sign of fatigue being a factor due to one of the pilots calling out “go around” when they were climbing after T/O?

The "Go Around" call was a call for a particular power setting (TOGA) because the aircraft was in a stall condition (rapidly decreasing airspeed, high AoA and stick-shaker). This was not fatigue by ...
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