Three-crew flight decks, please

“There was a time when big jets had Flight Engineers and when two (2) crew members would ALWAYS be in the cockpit when another visited the Lav or galley. Maybe it’s time to have a 3RD pilot in the cockpit, not just for safety, but for sanity.”  —GlueBall at Professional Pilots Rumor Network PPRN).

The PPRN has become one of the go-to sites in following the search for the missing Malaysian jetliner, though it’s gained a lot of no-pilot commenters this month. GlueBall, however, has been a member since 2001 so we can assume he’s legit.

And he makes a good point, if, as seems to be the case, at least one of the two line pilots in this mystery turned rogue. Or, if there were two hijackers with sufficient weaponry to keep the two line pilots cooperating. A third guy up front would make either scenario more difficult.

Not impossible, but more problematic. It would give passengers more confidence, in this age of terrorism, which events like MH370 are seriously eroding.

3 responses to “Three-crew flight decks, please

  1. I dunno about re-designing the cockpit for three people. Sounds a bit expensive, to me. How about some simple rule, like only one of the two pilots, captain or co-pilot, one MUST not be a bat-shit crazy muslim fanatic?

    Or would that be profiling? W would be “mad, if it was profiling.”

  2. My rule was and is: Never fly a third-world airline, no matter whose bird they’re using. The last time I broke the rule was a Flamingo Airlines DC-3 from Miami to the Bahamas in 1971. Had a big pink flamingo on the tail. A bumpy flight but we got there without getting our feet wet.

  3. What you say it true, I guess, but an experienced pilot that has gone bonkers will find a way to sabotage a plane, unfortunately.