This is my type of upgrade!


A Cramped Seat, but With the Best View: the Cockpit

(to paraphrase Pika1000: dad blasted debug error! Was going to post article here but will have to settle for the link)

This article reminds me of the few times I was able to ride in the cockpit.

The first time was on a Mid Pacific Air flight from Honolulu to Maui and back. A friend of mine in Mid Pacific’s dispatch got me on board.

Also in Hawaii, I was able to fly on the FAA’s 727 based in Honolulu on a couple of navigational aids check flights.

The last time was on a flight from Oakland to El Paso via Phoenix on America West. This was pre-9/11. I was working for the FAA at the time and two of my segments were overbooked so I was able to get the cockpit jumpseat.


Once, back in the late '80s, I flew QF SYD-LAX on an old 747 (with spiral staircase). early in the flight, I asked the FA if I could see the cockpit, and to my surprise, after checking, she said I was welcome to! In those days, the 747 had a flight engineer who sat behind the pilot and copilot, facing to the side, monitoring oxygen levels, humidity, fuel burn, and so forth, keeping records, balancing fuel between tanks, etc. He was a bit bored, and happy to have someone to talk to. I flew in the cockpit for the rest of the flight. It was so comfortable up there, with the high humidity and oxygen (he showed me how he kept the cabin level just above the red line, while the cockpit was nice and high), that I didn’t want to leave, and I was finally kicked out just before landing.