My family and I returned to the UK from our vacation in Lanzarote in the early hours of yesterday morning. As we boarded our flight my other half asked if the kids would be able to go see the captain and cockpit. I wasn’t sure it was still allowed. I remember my own father taking me to visit the captain during a flight in my youth, but obviously since 9-11 security has been stepped up tremendously.
Nonetheless, as a flight attendant called Julie walked past, we asked if it was possible. In flight is a definite nono, and that makes sense. But she did say that it was at the captain’s descretion either before take off or after landing. She asked the children’s names and got on the phone to the captain.
Within minutes she returned to say yes, the captain would gladly show them the cockpit. As we would not land until after 3am he decided that the kids would be too tired by then, and to bring them forward. Excited, they both rushed down the aisle.
Captain Mark Weaver led them inside and Harley took the captain’s chair, Pixie perched on the copilot’s seat. They were shown the basics of the controls and got to push a few buttons.
Harley was shown how to engage a systems report from the talking in flight computer.
Pixie disengaged the autopilot whereupon an alarm started beeping.
After thanking the captain profusely for his time and kindness we returned to our seats. Although both were very excited after having visited the flight deck, Pixie decided there and then that when she grows up, she wants to be a pilot! So much for wanting to be a vet.
Julie the flight attendant later returned with certificates for the children to show at school, along with a sticker proclaiming them future pilots.
This was a great end to an awesome holiday for the kids.