Talk:1660: Captain Speaking

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 20:05, 25 March 2016 by (talk) (*The possible origin of the Comic and some other notes*)
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Actually captain falling asleep wouldn't be unlikely or problem because there may still be two OTHER people in cabin. But yes, first method to find out where they are going would be to ask those other people in cabin. Next, you should be able to get something from the instruments in cabin - I suspect that modern planes DO have some sort of navigation map there. Failing that, asking tower for flight plan would be not only preferable to trying FlightAware, but you could likely do it without raising TOO much suspicious, pretending you just need some detail. And, yes: captain (or pilot in general) is only needed for pre-flight checks, take-off, landing - and if something unexpected happens, including some extremely bad weather. -- Hkmaly (talk) 14:53, 25 March 2016 (UTC)

Yeah it was badly phrased, pilots do fall asleep from time to time. Some long flights may even have two flight crews, so the pilots can get some shut-eye. It varies, but there is never only one person alone in the cabin as you say, if the co-pilot has to go to the toilet a flight attendant takes his place. As for positioning, older planes have instruments for that too, but they are far less sophisticated, might even require a map and a pencil :-) --Todor (talk) 15:59, 25 March 2016 (UTC)

Not entirely true; I've been on many short commercial flights (20-30 minutes) with one crew. The seat next to the pilot is often a passenger seat - when I sat there, the pilot gave me biscuits... Cosmogoblin (talk) 19:04, 25 March 2016 (UTC)

Just noting, the discussion shows up on main again. 16:00, 25 March 2016 (UTC)

On one of the few flights I got to sit in first class, the flight attendant started to welcome us passengers. She said "Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to..." then stopped. I was sitting in 1B so she said to me, "can I see your ticket?" I gave it to her and she completed the announcement. After she finished, I said quietly "forgot our flight number and where we're going, right?" She kind of sheepishly nodded. :-) I don't blame her though. She doesn't care about the flight number or where we're headed, and with all the flights they have to make, I'd probably forget once in a while too. Gbisaga (talk) 19:16, 25 March 2016 (UTC)

This comic may be in reference to the FlyDubai crash that happened on March 19th, 2016. The flight crew was supposedly severely fatigued. The aircraft that crashed also happened to be a Boeing aircraft similar to the one pictured. FlyDubai is a low cost carrier and they have been stretching their pilots as far as they can, and they apparently found the breaking point. In the US I know we have very strict duty periods for our pilots see FAR §121.473 (see below "Part 121 link"). So I wouldn't worry about flying in the US.

As for each line of text after:

The flight number is probably written down somewhere in the pilots flight notes, so i wouldn't be too hard for them to figure that out. After all they could end up doing multiple flights a day, it could be easy to forget the flight number normally. In Glass cockpits i would imagine the flight number is in the system.

The line about FlightAware, is in reference to the Website/App that shows all aircraft IFR flight plans (unless they pay to hide it). Thus a commercial airliner would show up on the site. It is odd that they would even need FlightAware, because in any aircraft that is new enough to have WiFi there would be a glass cockpit. Glass cockpits are set up before each flight to have the whole route programmed into the system. Which would be generally the same information as on FlightAware, since FlightAware gets the same flight plan that the pilots file with Air traffic Control. The only reason it's not exactly the same is because the pilots could put whatever they want into the flight computer, and may be planning to ask ATC to cut some corners later-on in the flight (which is normal).

Also on a side note: every Commercial Airline flight must be able to fly IFR (also in FAR Part 121 somewhere), which means the aircraft probably has GPS and at a minimum Radio Navigation systems (RNAV). This means that the pilots should always be able to find out where they are, but not where they are going. Also the pilot could just ask ATC or the Dispatcher who is assigned that flight#.

In regards to capability of Autopilots, each aircraft can have a different level of auto pilot from one that can only hold a heading to one that can fly pretty much every minute of the flight. Auto pilots on some of the larger newer planes have an auto land feature usable on CATIII(a,b,c) approaches. However Auto pilots cant talk to ATC or avoid inclement weather (to my knowledge).

Part 121 link:

  • AJ (Airline Employee/Private pilot (not an expert)) 3/25/16 2005Z