"I thought you had the key...."

OTTAWA, Ontario (Reuters) –The pilot of a Canadian airliner who went to the washroom during a flight found himself locked out of the cockpit, forcing the crew to remove the door from its hinges to let him back in, the airline said on Wednesday.

CA BOB:So, like, quit jok’n’ eh, an’ open the door, I had to wiz so bad I could taste it!.
FO DOUG: No way, eh, you’ll hork all the back bacon!

Heh, I heard about this. I’m sure the passengers just loved this - especially on a CRJ where they have a nice view of the whole event.

Is the FO restricted to his seat while the only inhabitant of the cockpit, or is he allowed to get up long enough to open the door?

Also, what kind of tools do you need to unhinge a cockpit door? Are these readily available? Security implications? There’s more questions than just these, but they sure beg to be answered.

From the same article…

Jazz spokeswoman Manon Stewart said that with 30 minutes of the flight to go, the pilot went to the washroom, leaving the first officer in charge. But when he tried to get back into the cockpit, the door would not open.

The door malfunctioned … this is a very rare occurrence,” Stewart said, adding that the crew’s decision to remove the door had been in line with company policy.

Well, the tools needed to unhinge the door existed in the cabin by definition, did they not?

now THERE is yet another cheery thought.

Though, actually, given how freaked most people are today if somebody starts pulling at the door hinges everybody and his brother will be at the guy pulling him off the door and holding him down. its not like you can pop the door off the hinges in 15 seconds . . . more like 45!

It took them 10 minutes to unhinge the door, so I suspect people would have plenty of time to take a person down. Of course, if the door opens into the cockpit, then any would-be intruders wouldn’t be able to unhinge the door in the first place…

It is not likely that the F/O got up out of his seat and left no one but george flying the plane for 10 minutes to get the hinges out.

Next time I’m on an airplane I’ll look but I am fairly certain the hinges are on the outside so if the Flight Crew is disabled in the cockpit people can get into the cockpit to fly the plane. . .

Flight - “Center, flight 123… standby, I need to unhinge the cockpit door to let the captain back in.”

Center - “Flight 123, uh, roger, understand… can you not fly the aircraft on your own?”

Flight - “Oh, it’s not that. The captain took a shit and took all the approach charts and checklists as reading material, but the door’s stuck.”

15 minutes later…

Flight (captain speaking) - “OK Center, Flight 123 back with you.”

Center - “Wow, that took a long time… or did the First Officer have to learn how to fly the airplane too?”