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57

No aircraft ever had more than two pilots (on duty at the same time). The additional flight crew members were flight engineer, navigator and radio operator. Dedicated radio operators were only needed in the early days when the radio was primitive and required some care and experience to tune properly. As it improved, operating radio was merged into ...


45

Confirmed (or Highly Probable) LAM Mozambique Airlines Flight 470: A report from the government of Mozambique states that the captain deliberately crashed an Embraer 190 in Namibia on November 29, 2013. Cockpit voice recorders were the primary evidence in the report, which found that the other crew members were locked out of the cockpit by the captain. ...


31

This website has the definition: Crosscheck is a generic term used by pilots and flight attendants meaning that one person has verified the task of another. In the cabin, flight attendants crosscheck one another’s stations to make sure the doors are armed or disarmed as necessary.


28

What's the general protocol for cabin crew, when asked by passengers who notice potential issues like this and get curious? The flight crew and pilots are under no obligation to inform the passengers about non critical issues and broadly speaking it's often better to provide only needed information so as not cause some kind of panic. In the vast majority ...


26

Well I suppose the answer depends on whether or not the flight crew are good dancers: If my uncoordinated self was trying to bust a move in an airline cabin I'd probably wind up kicking someone in the face, but these folks seem to be doing OK. I can only assume dance lessons are part of SpiceJet's crew training program :-) Alright, in all seriousness - ...


26

Along the approach path there is high terrain that causes turbulence and challenging winds. But it is also easyJet's call to classify any airport as they see fit. On a scale from A to C, they classify Heraklion as B. Other Cat B airports are where the takeoff performance calculations can be tricky as the excerpt below shows: Category B translates roughly ...


21

Navigation has gotten much simpler over the years. Initially, navigation would be done by a combination of dead reckoning, looking out the window for landmarks, and for night or long-distance flights, by celestial navigation (many old airplanes have a window at the navigator's station specifically to let the navigator see the stars). This took quite a bit ...


21

There'a a few reasons for this: Safety: During takeoff and landing, everyone should be buckled into a secure seat. They have these seats in the cockpit, and in large aircraft, they're actually very comfortable. Laying down in a crew bed would not be allowed during takeoff or landing (though it happens, off the record). Do note that these beds do indeed have ...


20

Here is an interesting presentation that discusses most of the communications systems on the A320 family (looks like the pictures you have and should apply in general). The CIDS (cabin intercommunication data system) starts about halfway through on page 21. The FAP is part of this system and can control: Passenger reading lights Passenger call buttons Cabin ...


19

Before the turn of the century (I can't believe I'm using that phrase, as I retired in 1999) and especially back when all 3 engine and 4 engine airliners had a flight engineer, the usual career path at many airlines was to hire in as an Flight Engineer, or FE (two stripes), progress to an First Officer, or FO (three stripes), and then become a captain (four ...


18

Excerpt from "First-Hand: Evolution of the 2-Person Crew Jet Transport Flight Deck" Early in the preliminary design effort, Boeing had taken a careful look at the in service performance and accident history of previous airplane designs. The conclusions were interesting: In flight troubleshooting sometimes led to more serious problems, occasionally ...


18

A quick search points to the following being part of the crew Pilot Co-pilot 2x Flight engineers: one on the engine controls; I am not sure of the purpose of the second one but a good guess is hydraulic and electric system monitoring, based on his proximity to the circuit breaker panel (source, scroll down for a 3D photograph of the flight deck). Navigator: ...


16

EDIT: please see at the bottom of the answer the update from EASA Are two people required in cockpit at all times on large commercial aircraft? No. From EASA, pag. 101-102: (emphasis mine) CAT.OP.MPA.210 Crew members at stations Flight crew members During take-off and landing each flight crew member required to be on duty in the flight ...


16

At Cairo West, a joint Egyptian-US military airfield, we once used a fork-lift with an empty pallet to get military personnel on and off a 747-200 when the stairs weren't available. It took awhile. That was the method sometimes used to get JFK on Air Force One (when that airplane was a 707 and never in public view, although one picture got out) to avoid him ...


16

What if a passenger really insists on knowing what's going on? As always, it depends. Let's briefly summarize the possibilities here: Passenger spotted an issue which the crew is unaware of. Passenger spotted an issue which the crew is aware of. Passenger is behaving in a rude manner. And let's go over the actions the flight crew can possibly take, ...


15

The context of this answer is 747-100 and -200 freighters at two airlines during the 1990s flying both civilian and military freight. In the case of the 747-100 and -200 you had a 3-man cockpit crew: Captain, First Officer, and Flight Engineer. With the 3-man crew, there was no regulatory need to carry an additional pilot for a long flight. The 747-400 has, ...


15

There are no rear entrances these days, but many smaller jets like the Avro-RJ, Bombardier CRJ series or Embraer regional jets have their own air-stair on the main (front left) door. On the smaller planes the door are hinged at the bottom and the stair are part of the inner side of the door, on the larger ones there may be folding stairs stowed beside the ...


15

1: Do pilots eat during flight or they wait until they are back on the ground? As pilots happen to be humans, their metabolism works in a similar fashion as yours or mine work. So they eat when they are hungry. On a long flight, they can eat during the flight, but on short flights (e.g. 30 minutes - 2 hours), they might not get enough free time to have a ...


15

Yes, cargo aircraft are like other aircraft in that there is generally at least a jump seat available. Especially larger aircraft will also have additional jump seats, a lavatory, and a galley. This area can be used for relief crew, or other crew that are just deadheading. There are exceptions though. The upper deck of the 747 is larger than just the ...


15

There is special phraseology snippets that allow information to be transmitted over the frequency with more accuracy, slower, repeated or worded differently. ATC may also query other company traffic to relay information in another language or they might use the ACARS/CPDLC system to transmit a text message, should both parties be capable. SAY AGAIN ...


15

Flight crew are the two in the cockpit. They would Aviate, Navigate and Communicate in that order. In large commercial plane they are separate from passenger by a cockpit door so they won’t know about your curiousity. Anyway their priority is the safety of flight, not to answer your question. The cabin crew, on the other hand, may not know about what happen....


14

The boom operator (or boomer) can freely move around the aircraft. The boom operator position is usually accessible from the cargo hold and the operator can use the opening to move from his/her position. This is especially important for the KC-135 Stratotanker, which has the boom operator working in a prone position. Image from sobchak.files.wordpress.com ...


14

It looks like your image came from this article, since they have the exact same one. According to Boeing, this is the most practical place, and Airbus has finally decided they agree. For the first time in Airbus aircraft –and after benchmarked[sic] Boeing´s configuration-, the A350 XWB’s crew rest compartments are in the aircraft crown.--All images and ...


13

In Canada's northern areas older large planes are used for freight. The crew just bring along an aluminum ladder.


13

Some large aircraft (like Air Force One) have been specially modified to include air stairs so that they don't have to rely on equipment on the ground: The air stairs are quite heavy though, so most airlines have made the business decision to remove them (to save money) and only operate out of airports that have appropriate ground facilities, including ...


13

The answer to this question is protected as Sensitive Security Information (SSI) and can't legally be disclosed here. Anyone who does answer the question either doesn't know what they are talking about, or faces steep legal consequences. Many, even most, questions relating to airline security (in the US at least ) are similarly handicapped.


13

Yes, there is a crew rest with two beds (bunk) connected to the cockpit on the 747. As MainMa notes, this can be found on 747-400 or 747-8 models, but not the older models. It can be seen on the seating charts here: The crew rest is directly across from the two lavatories. While the lavatories open into the aisle of the cabin (grey area), the crew rest ...


13

I spent many an hour crammed into the jumpseats of 727's (they have 2, both in the broom closet sized cockpit with 3 crew members). I worked as a cargo handler at the FedEx hub in Memphis and at the time we could book any open jumpseat. When i clocked out at 4am there were a couple hundred planes just about to depart for destinations all over the world. It ...


12

In general, the pilot could be a captain, major, or lt col, the copilot probably a 1lt or captain, and the navs any of the above. For a select crew handpicked for a "fate of the world" mission, you might put 2 instructor pilots together along with two senior navs, so all 4 as lt cols wouldn't be impossible. On the other hand, if the crew is essentially ...


12

Ground crew are typically employed by a handling agency, which is a company dedicated to performing ground handling of aircraft (exactly the things you describe). Some airports have several different handling agencies. Have you ever noticed, when waiting for your luggage to arrive at an airport, that there are several different help desks to choose from, ...


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