Just yesterday, I came across this 'news article' while browsing the internet (See here). In the article, a young woman claimed she was entertained in the cockpit for the entire duration of her MAS flight back in 2011 and that one of those pilots was also the first officer of the missing B777-200ER of flight MH370.
She also claimed that the pilots were "smoking throughout the flight". In the video attached to the article, the news reporter also mentioned that while there are regulations preventing passengers from smoking in-flight, these do not apply to the pilots themselves.
I am aware that there are very strict regulations for pilots and their consumption of alcohol, and I assumed that there would be equally stringent rules for smoking as well. Thus, I found it very hard to believe that a pilot would not only smoke in the cockpit, but also get away with such a breach in security protocols.
The sceptic in me suspects that this story was more likely the result of a young woman who found her pictures with the pilots on her flight, made up most (if not all) of this story to go with the photos, and presented it to the media in an effort to bring some attention towards herself. This may or may not have been the case. Ultimately, my knowledge of what goes on behind cockpit doors is limited, hence the following questions:
1. Are there any regulations in place to prevent pilots from smoking in the cockpit? If there are, how would those regulations compare to the ones governing the consumption of alcohol?
2. Are there any smoke detectors in a cockpit?
3. From my understanding, pilots often work with different pilots on each flight. Therefore, how likely would it be that a pilot would agree to remain silent when his colleague on the flight deck was being very "inviting" towards some of his passengers? Wouldn't the pilot be more likely to report his colleague's errant behaviour, in the event that he failed to convince his colleague to act in a more professional manner?
The disappearance of flight MH370 is a sad event, which for some has likely ruined their confidence in air travel. As an aviation enthusiast, it saddens me even more that this article is being circulated, further damaging the public's perception of airline pilots.
Thank you very much in advance for taking the time to read my questions, and thank you for answering questions in your blog from those of us who want to know more about matters in aviation.
PS. I have read your book 'Life in the Skies' and enjoyed it a lot and I am also enjoying the book 'Cockpit Confidential' by Patrick Smith, which I probably would not have picked up had you not recommended it in your new book.
Thank you for your wonderful site and inspiring book [Life in the Skies]. The book is really simple to read. It consist a lot of information about the procedures and safety of flight.
I really want to be a commercial airline pilot and thank God my parents are willing to send me to a flying school (HMA) and class will commence starting middle of March 2014. Actually I am already equipped with a Degree in Engineering but still flying is my passion and dream, and I would go all out for my dream, but as we all know in the past 3 years there was a glut of pilots and many of them got their wings clipped. So here are some of my questions:
1) What is the current employment rate now for commercial airline pilots? Does AirAsia still hire co-pilot from the flying schools?
2) According to the current news about MAS suffering a massive loss, when an airline is suffering at such loss, do they still hire pilots?
3) Are the graduates from flying school qualified enough to be hired as co-pilots? Or they have to find their own ways to increase their flying hours?
4) Is it true graduates from flying school have to take yearly examination/test to keep their CPL active?
5) Is there any expiration for CPL/IR with ATPL holder? In the event they are not able to secure a job as pilot?
6) In your opinion, what do you think of the employment rate for this coming 2 years?
Thank you for your time and I hope I can get some advice from you.
If you like what you read, more stories are found in my book LIFE IN THE SKIES (Preview here) and you can purchase a copy here. To check for any latest updates or postings, you can follow my Twitter at @CaptKHLim or Facebook here