Entering the cockpit pre-flight

Hey everyone!

I’ve been flying (as a passenger) for quite a while, and I was once urged (by a very friendly male FA) to go into the cockpit and ask a few questions.

The plane was a Delta MD80 (Which was quite old). I started talking to Theo F/O while the Captain was running checklists. I told him I wanted to be a pilot, and he smiled. He began firing questions.

“What principle describes lift?” Bernoulli’s.
He looked at the Capitan
“What are slats?” He smiled, knowing he could teach me something.
“Little things on the leading edge of the wing to help generate lift” he looked at the Capitan again.
He thought for a moment, and then smiled again.

“Your on final, winds 23 knots from the northwest. It’s raining. The runway is super wet. Your approved for landing. The moment you touch down you skid. What do you do?”

I thought for a moment, and replied: “thrust levers to 100%, roll to correct the offset and pull up once reached VR. Make a go around and try again.”

The Captain chcukled. He told the FO the lists were done, and the FA led me to my seat and we pushed back.

The pilots seemed to really enjoy talking to me, so my question is to you:

Is it okay (or encouraged?) to talk to the pilots before boarding is done? (For RWA Pilots out there,) do you guys like it when this happens?

Thanks everyone!



Sounds like you really know your stuff Pie!


I think it is perfectly fine and should be allowed, if not encouraged. I have not had an experience like this yet, though I will try and ask the FA if I could go to the cockpit, maybe even while we are in the air. Seems like such an enjoyable experience. As a 13 year old, I die to be up in the skies every single day. I play Infinite Flight as a way to feed my desire to fly. I study aerodynamics in my spare time, and plan to go for my Privates Pilot License (PPL) when I am 16. I love when pilots interact with passengers.

See you in the skies!


I could not agree more.

Whenever I’m flying right before we hit rotation speed, I whisper to myself:

“This is the greatest feeling in the world. You ready?” And the plane becomes airborne.


For me it depends, on the turn around I don’t mind pax coming in to the flight deck and asking a few questions, usually we get young kids who have “Logbooks” that our company made for kids to record their trips. It really depends on the Sector and the conditions, I know a lot of guys I fly with enjoy the odd visit and question.



Seeing as you’re a pilot (it might be different where I live), but are you allowed to give the flightplan and paperwork (seeing as nothing sensitive is on it) to a passenger if they request it? I’m not sure if it was on this forum or another one but I recall someone asking the pilot for the paperwork for that flight and actually got it, and wanted to see if it’s true!

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While it is possible to be invited to the cockpit mid air that is reserved on the Captain’s call and only with a long standing rapport with the captain. Even then invitation to the cockpit mid flight is rare due to multiple possibilities that could jeopardize the flight, the pilots have more of a responsibility to limit distractions even in non critical parts of the flight, and individual corporate policies on sterile cockpits. One’s best chance would probably be to be another member of the flight crew that is off duty and has worked with the Captain before.


How do you know all of this stuff? I am learning as a pilot about commercially used airplanes like the 737 to become a pilot when I am older. I did a lot of research but couldn’t find any websites available. Could you suggest to me some because I really want to know how you know all of this stuff. :)

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A luxury I’ve never been afforded. I am flying virgin to the US in February, a family friend has bid to be the captain so I shall keep my fingers…and toes crossed!!

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Every trip no matter who I have traveling with me I always ask to go into the cockpit. I’m in college and still wanting to go into the cockpit ;)


@SkyHighGuys Do they let you in Robert when you arrive onboard in your frontier baseball cap? You must be a legend among the frontier ranks!!


Whenever I land I always count down from 10 and usually when I hit 0 we touchdown


I mean the w/x prog charts we give away the rest of the flight plan we have to keep as its audited by the company and has various sensitive information.



How does one go about asking for that?

I am actually well known and on a friendly basis with their tech support guys and some FAs.


It’s so rare as to not happen ever. As far as I know due to FAA regs as well as Airline operational procedures only operating crew are allowed on to the flight deck during a flight, this is part of the rules after 2001.

I have been on the flight deck once landed to have a look and brief chat to the pilots ( as normally after a long haul I try and keep it short as know they want to finish work and get to the hotel or back home!). @KindaAngrySliceOfPie was really lucky to get on the FD prior the flight as this is a really busy time for the crew whilst they get ready to fly.

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That would have been so nice, I prefer going in after the flight when they’re not getting all prepared

If you ask one of the friendly FA’s if you can visit the flight deck after flight, they usually arrange it. The FA’s usually have a good idea the mood the guys are in up front and know if it’s worth your while. Once if there and had your chit chat ask if their is a copy of an old Prog Chart that you can have. Depending the captain they may give you a bunch or None… it’s just the way it goes.

I’ve been told, that you can only go into the cockpit after flight, and not during or before flight

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Defiantly not during the flight and I think before the flight has only a very small chance,much better toask a FA towards the end of the flight if a possibility once at the gate.