I spent an entire commercial flight in a 737-800NG cockpit. Here’s the story.
At the beginning or end of each flight, I speak to one of the flight attendants, explain my crazy love of aeronautics and then ask if there’s way to take a look at the cockpit. The cabin crew often goes and asks the captain. 9 times over 10, the captain says no for security reasons. But the 1 over 10 times are just awesome.
I went inside these cockpits A319 – A320 – 737-800 (The old and new generation) and 747-400 (I was sitting in the upper deck)
Once there, I introduce myself and ask some questions. For example, I asked an A320 captain if he finds it easy to fly the aircraft with his left hand, since the sidestick on an Airbus is in the left for the captain.
In this picture, I was with the first officer in a 737-800NG cockpit.
And then, I flew in a cockpit
Back in 2009, I chatted for a few minutes with a 737-800NG captain. Then, things started being busy in the cockpit since they were preparing the departure. I thanked the pilots and I was going out from the cockpit when the captain asked me: “Have you ever flown in a cockpit?” I answered “No”. Then he said: “Great, this is going to be your first time”.
It was a night flight and the ATC communications were on speakers. I heard and saw everything. The pilots even answered my numerous questions during the flight.
Definitely a moment I’ll never forget. (by ,)
Normally no one is allowed to get in, but here is a story how I was allowed into the cockpit.
Last summer 2014, I missed my flight, and was therefore put on a wait list for the evening flight. Consequently, if there are no seats available, I would have to leave the airport very late at night and carry all my heavy luggage for the next day trip.
When I arrived to the airport for the second time to see if I can take the flight, the check in agent told me that all the the flights were full and that my odds of getting on were slim to none.
Fortunately, one of the agents was super friendly, kind and very understanding and he told me that he would make sure I get on the flight that night !
To my surprise, when I got on the plane the cabin crew asked me to come inside the cockpit: I was on cloud nine ! I had the chance to go into the cockpit from the beginning till the landing on !
As I got in, many questions flood my mind: It was an Airbus aircraft and there were a bewildering number of dials and controls. I found it very cool despite how cluttered and overwhelming it was. All the controls were within arms’ reach.
I also sensed some tension in the cabin, both the pilot and the copilot were communicating with air traffic controllers, the copilot had a bunch of papers in front of him and his hands were sweating.
Then we took off, even though the flight was at night: it was breathtaking!
We were in a vertical position looking at an infinite black sky: Thrilling !!
Later on when the tension was gone, the pilot started talking and cracking out some jokes with me, I was very delighted and gratified to go through such a unique experience.
The second best part was the landing part: it was smooth and awe-inspiring.
Definitely a moment I’ll never forget !