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Old 19th August 2007, 18:50   #91
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The Milan airport is quite bad though I wouldnt say its as bad as CSIA, atleast it has a Ferrari Store.
Well, a Ferrari store doesnt help when you have a six hour stopover and you need to rest your backside comfortably. Ever been to their Business Class "Lounge"? Some of our railway stations have better First Class waiting rooms - there is NO way you can 'rest' in between flights - which is exactly what a Hub is meant for. They only serve coffee, peanuts (yeah!) and cookies with some horrible Italian beer and some rotgut whiskey in the lounge. Yes, even during mealtimes.

PS: Not to mention horrible pink walls that look like they came out of Filmistan in the '70s. You half expect Rajesh Khanna to be sitting on the next seat wearing oversize sunglasses, flared trousers and a golf cap.

At CSIA at least you can get a meal, their Lounges have comfortable chairs or things where you can stretch your feet out comfortably. Not squat, square single-seaters with no backsupport or even a corner you can lean on.

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Jet Airways has Recaro seats in economy class and their First Class seats are amazing as well.
Jet's Recaro seats were not made 20 years back.

Last edited by Steeroid : 19th August 2007 at 18:58.
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Old 19th August 2007, 19:13   #92
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Originally Posted by navin View Post
Dont expect them to invite 25 year old men into the cockpit in this day and age.
Would you believe I did a full flight in the cockpit, from Mumbai to chennai, seated from take-off in Mumbai to landing in Chennai, in the cockpit?
I even applied the reverse thrust while stopping. Of course the captains hand was on top of my hand, but it felt like I was doing it and I was thrilled to little pieces.

I was 31 at the time. lol.

But I had some special influences. Mostly, you are right old man.
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Old 20th August 2007, 11:37   #93
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Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
Would you believe
I WOULD BELIEVE, You did a Mum-Chennai around 3 in the morning while you were drunk and cosy on your bed.


Like Sanjay Dutt getting sights of Gandhi in Munnabhai, Sam is getting sights of flying a plane.


SAM, you seriously need some rest. You'd been working too long.

EDIT: Rtech, Sam has already mentioned that he had some special influences....(Influence of 12 pegs or a bottle of Johnie Walker Blue)

Last edited by panky12345 : 20th August 2007 at 11:47.
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Old 20th August 2007, 11:39   #94
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Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
Would you believe I did a full flight in the cockpit, from Mumbai to chennai, seated from take-off in Mumbai to landing in Chennai, in the cockpit?
I even applied the reverse thrust while stopping. Of course the captains hand was on top of my hand, but it felt like I was doing it and I was thrilled to little pieces.

I was 31 at the time. lol.

But I had some special influences. Mostly, you are right old man.
Hmm. All the influences in the world would not have helped that pilot save his job if this happened on a commercial flight! Did it?
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Old 20th August 2007, 11:46   #95
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London Heathrow - Avoid if possible, crowded, dirty, miserable. Check in staff are out to rip you off if your hand baggage is slightly off. Best solution. Keep a large carry bag hooked on the back of your trolley and fill it with your junk. Demo your hand baggage with a "fingerlift". Worse case, they may weigh it and see that it complies. Walk away and fill the hand baggage. Don't be too clever and try to put 20kg in else you won't get through security. Secuity are bolshy about one piece of hand baggage. Once you are in duty free, you are home. If you over fill your bags, worst case is that it is removed and put into hold.
Hey ajmat - I have been travelling Heathrow for the last couple of years regulalry. I think they are the one of the best airports in the world. Very very friendly and I have always had excess bagage - both checkin & cabin - not once have they said anything to me. Maybe yours was an unlucky day when you went there.
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Old 20th August 2007, 11:55   #96
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Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
I even applied the reverse thrust while stopping. Of course the captains hand was on top of my hand, but it felt like I was doing it and I was thrilled to little pieces.

I was 31 at the time. lol.

But I had some special influences. Mostly, you are right old man.
What ? You did that in a cockpit ?
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Old 20th August 2007, 12:03   #97
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OK I will elaborate.
For very obvious reasons, I can take no names.

I was the 3rd person in the cockpit. I had a economy ticket of course, I was not smuggled on board. I boarded, like any other passenger and as soon as I was onboard, the crew supervisor informed me that the captain had called me in the cockpit. She had been warned to look for a guy in bright red shorts. I kept my bag in the overhead compartment and I sat in the cockpit at the airport at Mumbai, while the flight was on the ground. I kept my head very low so that I was not spotted on flight, while on ground.

The plane got into the queue to take off. It was fun to say the least. All along I sat in the 3rd seat behind the 2 pilots. Finally when our turn came, we took off.
Once we took off, I was made to sit very comfortably on the flight. The pilots showed me around the cockpit and soon stuck up newsapapers to reduce the glare (sunfilm not allowed).
The crew was well aware that I was in the cockpit, as they served me a great meal inside.

The Captain showed me a view that I will never forget. At this point I had no camera, but I was allowed to take photos (of the view only) if I wished. Unfortunately I had forgotten my camera.
When you see a plane skim the edge of the clouds, ripping the clouds open like tearing white candy floss into little bits, you realise, you can see nothing from the little side-holes they call windows.

If anyone is a pilot here, he will smile and nod, because he knows exactly what I am talking about.
I was allowed to speak only if the captain nodded. I would make a sign to show that I wanted to speak and if he shook his head I would keep quiet.

I always wondered how a plane keeps a constant altitude. I always had visions of an altimeter and the pilots pulling up on the joystick till that altitude was reached. It is not so. There is a little dial, like a volume control. You set the altitude and the plane does the rest and maintains it.
Want to go lower? Turn the dial to the desired height and the plane does the rest. Amazing. Made me feel like the electronics I handle in my life are primitive.

There are many more absolutely wonderful things in a cockpit, stuff you would not believe. No, I will not pretend I understood every thing.

Eventually the time came to land in chennai. The captain asked the first officer to make the landing and he supervised.
When the time came, the first officer made a perfect landing. After all wheels had touched ground, as promised, the captain motioned for me to hold the reverse thrust lever, then placed his own hand on it and applied the necessary thrust.

He did it. But my hand was on it and my hair was standing.

After the plane landed, I was instructed to keep my head as low as possible while the plane taxied. After all the passengers got off, I got out from the cockpit and deplaned.

Yes, this happened. I was sober, 31 years old and I was given an experience I will never forget till my dying day. These are the things that add colour and memories to your life.

And Rtech, it was a commercial flight. A big bird. I'll tell you over a drink soon. There is also a little more to this story.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 20th August 2007 at 12:20.
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Old 20th August 2007, 12:29   #98
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Originally Posted by vkochar View Post
Hey ajmat - I have been travelling Heathrow for the last couple of years regulalry. I think they are the one of the best airports in the world.


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Maybe yours was an unlucky day when you went there.
Ajit comes from the Planet Zouk, therefore he should've had a few dozen unlucky days, not just one.
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Old 20th August 2007, 12:30   #99
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It's quite wonderful SAM to know this. Lucky you. :-)

Last edited by panky12345 : 20th August 2007 at 12:39.
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Old 20th August 2007, 12:44   #100
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lol. OK in this short while, (off the forum discussion) it seems some are unwilling to believe my story.
My dear friend Panky made a different (read:disbelieving) post earlier, just before mine, but after my telephonic discussion with him, he edited it.

I realise I cannot possibly explain the matter to every one of you on PM and/or phone.

Well, I'll just tell you that it happened, every little bit of my tale is true and I'll stake my word on it. You don't have to believe me after that, I am perfectly OK with that.
Let's not derail the thread anymore.

If you know me well enough, you'll know I don't need to make up something for the extra attention.

If you do not believe me, just laugh it off as a crazy YetiStory® - ok?

Back to travel, my belief in Air Deccan was re-confirmed. Speedzak booked a ticket to watch Transformers (fun movie!!!) with us. Even by the time the movie had begun, the AD flight had not taken off. At least we have some reliability. We can be assured it will be late lol.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 20th August 2007 at 12:48.
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Old 20th August 2007, 15:24   #101
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Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
I was the 3rd person in the cockpit.

All along I sat in the 3rd seat behind the 2 pilots.

If anyone is a pilot here, he will smile and nod, because he knows exactly what I am talking about.
I was allowed to speak only if the captain nodded. I would make a sign to show that I wanted to speak and if he shook his head I would keep quiet.

I always wondered how a plane keeps a constant altitude. I always had visions of an altimeter and the pilots pulling up on the joystick till that altitude was reached. It is not so. There is a little dial, like a volume control.

There are many more absolutely wonderful things in a cockpit, stuff you would not believe. No, I will not pretend I understood every thing.

And Rtech, it was a commercial flight. A big bird. I'll tell you over a drink soon. There is also a little more to this story.
a-ha, "cockpit of a bird", I get the picture. :-) but Sam I did not know you were into 3somes. Just kidding.

On a serious note, where was the flight engineer? or does the co-pilot double as the FE given today's limited availabilty of trained personnel and complexity of today's aircraft?

Yes big birds like the 737 or 320 that you were probably on are fly by wire/ dial. Pipers, 152s, 172s, etc (in the "old days" there was no Magellan or Garmin either) are not so equipped.

BTW you kow you can get a PPL at Juhu Flying club. It is off linking road just before Juu beach on the right (at the end of a small lane).

Things (regulations, clearances, etc..) in the US were a lot easier pre 9-11. "Schools" in India were less crowded pre Damania and Jet Airways. So today getting a PPL is much more effort.
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Old 20th August 2007, 16:40   #102
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On a serious note, where was the flight engineer? or does the co-pilot double as the FE given today's limited availabilty of trained personnel and complexity of today's aircraft?
Our domestic flights usually have only 2 personnel in the cockpit. The Captain and First Officer. The engineer seat is usually left vacant.
Depending on the airline and aircraft the crew can vary between 2 to 7 personnel. It is never less than 2 in the cabin.
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Old 20th August 2007, 17:14   #103
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Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
After all wheels had touched ground, as promised, the captain motioned for me to hold the reverse thrust lever, then placed his own hand on it and applied the necessary thrust.

He did it. But my hand was on it and my hair was standing.
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a-ha, "cockpit of a bird", I get the picture. :-) but Sam I did not know you were into 3somes. Just kidding.
Lol! navinji I would be more worried reading the above para by Sam.


ps: Sam the experiences of Air-deccan are ridiculous. You remember meeting my friend at the AV-expo? He is a pilot at Air-deccan.
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Old 20th August 2007, 17:40   #104
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Sam, you have given excellent reviews and things to keep in mind. Can you give some tips to fight " fear of flying"?
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Old 20th August 2007, 17:49   #105
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Wow - very very nice experience. I can imagine what it must have felt like
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