- Wed Apr 18, 2007 4:23 pm
Any time I've asked to see the flight deck prior to the flight, I have not been turned down (viewing it on the ground). I haven't even bothered asking to see it in the air since 9/11.
Things used to be so different. As a kid who travelled a lot growing up, I spent a lot of time in the cockpit. I think my questions grew to become a little different than most 10yr olds, to the point where on one flight, I was allowed to change the auto pilot hdg selector on a SAS DC-9 to initiate a 30 degree heading change. I also got to change the power setting on the throttle quadrant on an Alitalia 747.
The best flight, though, was from Heathrow to Frankfurt in an L-1011, where I never even SAW my assigned seat. As I boarded, I asked the flight attendant if it would be possible to see the flight deck prior to takeoff, and gave her my Air TC book (the Australian equivalent of the ROTC, I suppose). The pilots let me up there and when they found out that I was in the Air Training Corps, they pulled out the fold-down seat, gave me a headset and said, "enjoy the ride".
Those are experiences I'll hang onto forever. It's a tragedy that they won't be repeated for generations to come. I do what little I can, though. Any time I fly single engine GA, I always give my passenger the opportunity to fly the plane. Sometimes they weren't expecting to hear it, and the resulting grin on their face is priceless.