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Fasten seat belts sign for the captain to take a toilet break.

  • 14-08-2013 9:37pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 5,054 ✭✭✭Pacing Mule


    Noticed this last night on a Ryanair flight.

    Internal phone call to stewardess was then followed by the fasten seat belt sign going on. We were forced to sit down with a by then crying baby (who had been just about dozing off being rocked whilst standing up) Once we were all sat down cockpit door opens, one of the pilots exits and was replaced by an air hostess in the cockpit. He visits the loo, comes back out, rings in, door opens, swaps with the air hostess and then the lights go back off. Not a hint of turbulence during the time period involved. Very very frustrating at the time but afterwards it got me thinking. Is there a policy / law that all passengers need to be seated before cockpit door opens ? I had thought in fact that it wasn't to open at all post 911 but perhaps regulations have changed.


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Comments

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 4,119 Mod ✭✭✭✭Locker10a


    What u witnessed is the by the book procedure for the the pilot need the loo/ when the flightdeck door needs to be opened inflight! Yes everyone must be seated when the door opens for obvious reasons!


  • Registered Users Posts: 726 ✭✭✭Shamrock231


    had thought in fact that it wasn't to open at all post 911 but perhaps regulations have changed.

    It'd have to open, you couldn't make someone go an entire flight without a trip to the bathroom.

    What happens though when the Cabin Crew go into the flight deck to bring them their meals or drink or something like that in other airlines? Everyone have to take their seats, or is it just when a pilot is in the passenger cabin?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,346 ✭✭✭basill


    Cockpit door security procedures are approved by the regulator and are specific to that particular airline. They do not need to be discussed on an open forum with non airline pilots for obvious reasons.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,223 ✭✭✭MuffinsDa


    Yeah right, basill. Security through Obscurity works really well as we all know... well done for your clever and non-smug contribution.

    "...Security through obscurity has never achieved engineering acceptance as an approach to securing a system,..."

    "...It is analogous to a homeowner leaving the rear door open, because it cannot be seen by a would-be burglar."


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,346 ✭✭✭basill


    Would you like the door codes whilst we are at it?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 21,886 ✭✭✭✭Roger_007


    If the captain had a vindaloo for lunch, It would probably be wise to fasten your seat belt!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,223 ✭✭✭MuffinsDa


    basill wrote: »
    Would you like the door codes whilst we are at it?

    No thank you. I made my point. I advise you to educate yourself and do some basic reading on security and how it works (Bruce Schneier books and blog would be a good starting point) before pontificating what can and can not be discussed in open forums...


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,886 ✭✭✭✭Roger_007


    ???


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,346 ✭✭✭basill


    Yeah thanks for that insight. I will stick to my ops manuals and fcoms. You stick to the spotting.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,223 ✭✭✭MuffinsDa


    basill wrote: »
    Yeah thanks for that insight. I will stick to my ops manuals and fcoms. You stick to the spotting.

    Wow that certainly wins the argument on benefits of security through obscurity...

    I rest my case.


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  • Subscribers Posts: 4,075 ✭✭✭IRLConor


    MuffinsDa wrote: »
    Bruce Schneier books and blog

    In fairness, Schneier has been pretty consistent in praising the securing of cockpit doors as one of the few things that changed after September 11th that was actually useful.

    As for the security by obscurity argument, that's very often oversimplified. If you rely on the obscurity for your security it's a fault. If you have a well-designed system then obscurity may be an additional benefit. It's not a black and white rule. Discussion of the finer points of when obscurity is and is not valuable is probably best left to the Information Security forum though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,729 ✭✭✭martinsvi


    I don't get what OP was so frustrated about? any airline/authority has the right to do certain things to improve security. In USA you can't event stretch your legs even if it's a long haul - they will yell at you - "no gathering in the aisles". It doesn't even have to be terrorism related. Sometimes crews are assaulted by drunk passengers, sometimes crew members are the ones with an evil plot.

    As a frequent flyer I personally think that a plane is not the place to spend your time standing up for no good reason. The biggest turbulences I've experienced come with no warning and people can get hurt quite bad.

    As for the "security through obscurity", MuffinsDa is completely right. Security never works if it's maintained by secrets that can be easily revealed. Airlines have to be confident that their procedures work even if witnessed/discussed by random people. Door code (especially if its different for different planes, flights) is not a secret that can easily be revealed, but let's say - a single hidden/secret button that would open a door - is.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,223 ✭✭✭MuffinsDa


    IRLConor wrote: »
    In fairness, Schneier has been pretty consistent in praising the securing of cockpit doors as one of the few things that changed after September 11th that was actually useful.

    As for the security by obscurity argument, that's very often oversimplified. If you rely on the obscurity for your security it's a fault. If you have a well-designed system then obscurity may be an additional benefit. It's not a black and white rule. Discussion of the finer points of when obscurity is and is not valuable is probably best left to the Information Security forum though.

    Thank's IRLConnor, valid points and argument, I agree with most of what you say. I didn't say Schneier disagrees with cockpit doors by the way. What I meant was it is more secure to say "Here, there is a cockpit door and it's bulletproof" than "Hmm... there may or may not be a door there and it may or may not be bullet proof". Open discussions also lead to more scrutiny from well-meaning people and improvement in the security of the system.
    I fully agree with you that it's not black and white, but in this specific case discussing something that is widely and openly available (and observable) doesn't harm anything, other than certain people's egos maybe!


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 18,184 ✭✭✭✭Lapin


    basill wrote: »
    Cockpit door security procedures are approved by the regulator and are specific to that particular airline. They do not need to be discussed on an open forum with non airline pilots for obvious reasons.

    Are you really suggesting that only pilots can discuss certain matters relating to security in public?

    Don't be so bloody ridiculous.


  • Registered Users Posts: 743 ✭✭✭LeftBase


    Lapin wrote: »
    Are you really suggesting that only pilots can discuss certain matters relating to security in public?

    Don't be so bloody ridiculous.

    I think what he is saying is that it is unnecessary to openly discuss security on an open forum.

    In this case the Airline in question has been mentioned and as cockpit door regulations are pretty important as far as security goes pilots will tend not to advertise how they work.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,223 ✭✭✭MuffinsDa


    LeftBase wrote: »
    I think what he is saying is that it is unnecessary to openly discuss security on an open forum.

    In this case the Airline in question has been mentioned and as cockpit door regulations are pretty important as far as security goes pilots will tend not to advertise how they work.

    I recommend blindfolding all passengers when the captain needs to go wee-wee.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,054 ✭✭✭Pacing Mule


    martinsvi wrote: »
    I don't get what OP was so frustrated about? any airline/authority has the right to do certain things to improve security. In USA you can't event stretch your legs even if it's a long haul - they will yell at you - "no gathering in the aisles". It doesn't even have to be terrorism related. Sometimes crews are assaulted by drunk passengers, sometimes crew members are the ones with an evil plot.

    As a frequent flyer I personally think that a plane is not the place to spend your time standing up for no good reason. The biggest turbulences I've experienced come with no warning and people can get hurt quite bad.

    The frustration was not with this as an isolated incident. The incident itself got me curious which led to the question about policy from a security perspective.

    What was frustrating was this was one of at least 10 occasions where some announcement or instruction from flight crew startled / woke up a baby just as he had been settled from the last time. From what I can tell (and this would be a different thread in itself) there is a deliberate policy to keep everyone awake so that revenue might be generated from them. Separate and multiple cabin announcements at high volume for pre order hot food, the drinks cart, get away cafe, smokeless cigarettes, children's activity sets, Ryanair scratch cards, which were followed by a special offer bonus announcement each time. Perhaps I noticed it more due to the baby but at least half if not two thirds of the announcements could have been done at same time. Instead even though it was a late night flight announcements were staggered at regular intervals across the 4 hours. After 3 hours of a plane with 5 or 6 kids in the same situation (loud crying etc) it was another ah FFS moment.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,234 ✭✭✭bikeman1


    Correct, you are their captive audience for the entire time you are on board.

    Try a flight to London, its just about the right sector length for Ryanair to nearly have a continuous announcement for the 1 hour flight.

    Back on topic, having flown with Ryanair nearly 100 times, it is very clear to see what the procedure is for a toilet break. If you are sitting in rows 1/2/3 you would want to be blind not to work out how its done!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 722 ✭✭✭urajoke


    For the love of God just give them the full security procedures for cockpit entry so the "well meaning people" can discuss it and tell us all where we are going wrong.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,223 ✭✭✭MuffinsDa


    urajoke wrote: »
    For the love of God just give them the full security procedures for cockpit entry so the "well meaning people" can discuss it and tell us all where we are going wrong.

    Blindfold! Blindfold!


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 722 ✭✭✭urajoke


    MuffinsDa wrote: »
    Blindfold! Blindfold!

    No gags would be better.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13 80RPilot


    This is a very standard procedure, If I need to go to the loo, the same said thing happens, I want to be out of the flight deck for as little time as possible. Would you prefer if the Captain was number 6 in a queue for the toilet at the back?

    If the Pilots were out of the cockpit for 15 minutes, thered be another thread on here about that too...


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭Growler!!!


    But you've a different problem 80R. Your jacks is at the back of the plane.........


  • Registered Users Posts: 13 80RPilot


    It could be worse! Some of them dont have one lol


  • Registered Users Posts: 743 ✭✭✭LeftBase


    MuffinsDa wrote: »
    I recommend blindfolding all passengers when the captain needs to go wee-wee.

    With the seatbelt sign on there is no danger of someone rushing the door when it opens and it cuts to a minimum the time the pilot is out of the flight deck. For example a Captain may not want to leave an inexperienced FO alone in the cockpit for a long period of time. They may only have a short while in the cruise in which to get the deed done. There are many reasons.

    I remember in the States they barricaded the top of the aisle with the food cart and the purser stood guard gawking down the cabin at everyone as we sat there. The captain then came out and stood there staring too...was a little off putting...he then pulled his fly down before entering the toilet....I thought he may go "gear down, flaps out" there and then...:confused:


  • Registered Users Posts: 900 ✭✭✭steve-o


    I have it on good authority that Ryanair dock the captain's pay while he's out of the cockpit, but as a nice touch they play the fanfare if he does a number 2.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 11,221 ✭✭✭✭ Karson Fat Umpire


    Couldn't the pilot have peed into a cup? I mean, how dare he use the toilet....


  • Registered Users Posts: 226 ✭✭McNulty737


    The frustration was not with this as an isolated incident. The incident itself got me curious which led to the question about policy from a security perspective.

    What was frustrating was this was one of at least 10 occasions where some announcement or instruction from flight crew startled / woke up a baby just as he had been settled from the last time. From what I can tell (and this would be a different thread in itself) there is a deliberate policy to keep everyone awake so that revenue might be generated from them. Separate and multiple cabin announcements at high volume for pre order hot food, the drinks cart, get away cafe, smokeless cigarettes, children's activity sets, Ryanair scratch cards, which were followed by a special offer bonus announcement each time. Perhaps I noticed it more due to the baby but at least half if not two thirds of the announcements could have been done at same time. Instead even though it was a late night flight announcements were staggered at regular intervals across the 4 hours. After 3 hours of a plane with 5 or 6 kids in the same situation (loud crying etc) it was another ah FFS moment.

    The whole world does not revolve around your baby getting to sleep. Maybe next time you could tranquillize him/her or even better yet stick the kid in the cargo hold? Would save the other passengers the extreme discomfort of having to listen to the whinging/screaming for four hours.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,901 ✭✭✭GTE


    This is one of the best examples of how forums go wrong.

    All that started the thread was an observation that a pilot seemed to make space for his toilet break by making sure no one goes to the loo, but it turns out to be a security procedure.

    I'd say end the thread there but I am sure there will be a counter argument to this post.

    The Ted and Dougal distance lecture springs to mind.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,973 ✭✭✭smurfjed


    Rumor has it that all airlines will have to introduce these next year.

    http://www.sportys.com/PilotShop/product/17485


This discussion has been closed.
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