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Home > Air Travel > Is the Flight Attendant flying the plane?
Is the Flight Attendant flying the plane?
Flying - Air Travel
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 06:35

Flight Attendant Helps Land Plane to Chicago

Hi Capt Lim,

I travelled from Singapore to Bali on an Airbus A320 flight which was delayed for an hour in the evening. I noticed that at 18:05 hours the Captain came out of the cockpit to go to the toilet. He beckons the male cabin attendant using his head to go into the cockpit.

As the toilet was used the Captain made a little chat with the female staff. When the Captain was finished, the male cabin attendant exited the cockpit.

At approximately 18:30 hours the co-pilot went to the toilet and the same thing happened again.

Is this normal protocol?

From a passenger's perception, is the cabin attendant flying the aircraft?

Andrew

Hi Andrew,

It is normal practice for there to be at least 2 people in the cockpit when one of the pilots visits the toilet. This is not to say that the flight attendant replaces the pilot on the controls. He or she is not trained to fly the plane (unless he/she is privately licensed on smaller planes) nor is the Flight Attendant allowed to sit on the pilot’s seat or manipulate any controls in the cockpit.

He sits on the reserve or jump seat to assist in other matters such as retrieving a manual at the back, reading the check list or being a communication medium during an emergency when the other pilot is in the toilet.

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Airbus A320 Cockpit

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Pilot's Etiquette
Hi Capt Lim,

Recently I flew from KK-KL with AirAsia and was seated on a hotseat. After take-off when the plane was stable I noticed the pilot (a young man in his 20s) came out of the cockpit and went to sit on an unoccupied hotseat. He then played with his ipad and then slept through most of the entire journey. He only returned to the cockpit minutes before landing. The announcement during mid-way was made by the co-pilot.

Is this an acceptable conduct on the part of the pilot?
Chris , 20 Jun, 2012
Pilot's Etiquette

I believe the pilot was an observer or examiner and not the Captain of the flight. He was only interested in observing the take-off and landing phase of the flight and not the cruise.
Captain Lim , 01 Jul, 2012

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