The Airport as Pilots See It

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Pilots attend a medical examination, flight briefing, obtain an outbound clearance and do many other things at the airport. See what they usually do in detail.

Pilots enter a service building through a separate entrance in the airport terminal. The airport is divided into two areas – “normally occupied” and “nonoccupied” ones. “Normally occupied” area is an area inside the airport, in order to get there it’s necessary to pass checking. All other part of the building is called “Nonoccupied” area.

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Right after the checking all the crew should attend a medical examination.

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Here pilots receive a flight assignment where all other information about the flight is noted. Medical examination must be attended not sooner than 2 hours before departure and not later than 1 hour. A doctor measures pressure and takes a pulse rate. He assesses a pilot’s condition and in case he has any suspicion additional tests may be taken.

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In the next room chief stewards receive first-aid sets. After the flight they bring them back. The contents of the set is being constantly renewed and a special doctor checks expire dates of medicines.

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After medical examination the pilots go to the briefing room on a lower floor.

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At the end of the room, in a window, a co-pilot receives documentation for a plane in a large suitcase.  It is always carried by a co-pilot – some kind of hazing.

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The pilots are studying routing documents, approach patterns, checking airway weather report, choosing the best route, estimating the needed amount of fuel etc.

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Here the pilots receive information about the weather on all parts of the route,  wind direction and speed,  possible turbulence.

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An aircraft commander may see extra information concerning the flight at a separate table in the briefing room.

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If he has any doubts regarding the weather he may consult a meteorologist on duty.

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At a centering dispatcher window a co-pilot fills in a form with information about the flight. Based on this information a center of the plane’s mass is defined.

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Chief steward guidance.

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Philosophy of AIRBUS company is that the crew should be renewed. That is why an aircraft commander and co-pilots are different each time. The same situation is with cabin crew. They become acquainted before the flight in the lounge.

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Chief steward conducts instruction of the crew.

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Upon the preparation the pilot comes to the dispatcher and informs if he decided to carry out the flight.

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The pilots go to the plane by a special minibus. By the way, each trip of this kind costs 1000 rubles for the airline.

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On the apron’s territory everyone should wear green vests and the pilots are not an exception.

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Initial check of the system operation.

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Walk-around inspection of the plane.

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Sensors shouldn’t be icy in no circumstances.

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Vanes of the engine shouldn’t be icy as well.

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If they are, a technician is sent for to warm them.

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A filler hatch must be tightly closed.

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Static electricity dischargers are to be inspected too.

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And the engine’s exit too.

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The tail group should be set to zero.

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Brake lining and wheel stop condition is to be checked too.

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The airplane system inspection.

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The pilots use a “pony”.

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If everything is OK, no light should be on.

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They check safety devices.

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Orange curtains if the sun is too bright.

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54 thoughts on “The Airport as Pilots See It”

  1. Very informative, perhaps to a fault- the cockpit shots reveal a lot of systems info that can perhaps be exploited by bad guys, let alone crew pre- departure procedures. Never would’ve looked at it that way but 9/11 has changed a lot of perspectives on security, not just the U.S. Not saying ER did anything wrong either by posting this.

    • Haha… Paranoid much? There is drug cartels flying these planes over international borders trafficking drugs. If someone wanted pictures of the cockpit and departure info they could get them anywhere.

    • Looks just like the cockpit in MS Flight simulator to me. “bad guys”, lol, like d mentioned about drugs, you know, America consumes 350 metric tons of cocaine a year, and you’re worried about “bad guys” getting into a cockpit? 350 metric tons of cocaine a year and yet the magical terrorists can’t even drive up to a border crossing with a bomb and destroy it, lol, some terrorists. America’s murdered more civilians in the past 10 years than it ever will “terrorists”. Pedestrians are in more danger than air travlers any day of the week, so are victims of cancer of the anus, look it up. More people will die in the next two months on Americas roads than will ever or have ever died at the hands of terrorists in America’s entire god-damned history, look it up, the numbers are all there. Lol, lighting your underwear on fire? Hahaha. The war on terror is just an excuse to rise up the security state and everyone knows it, just like the useless lie of a drug war and the 70 billion dollars a year American spend on blow, at the expense of thousands of lives a year. Lol terrorists, hahahahaha. Let’s sit back and watch the media freak out for a few more months about the kid who lit his pants on fire, while they release details of the high level information this kid is relaying to them about his high level al qaeda connections, lol! According to media reports(and I’ve counted), the U.S. has killed or captured more ‘leaders’ of Al Qaeda than there are estimated members, LOL!


      • Well, been about 24 hours now, time to put a stake in the heart of this thread. This was an interesting experiment, take an E.R. tactic such as placing an innuendo to a post and see where it goes. It didn’t light a big firestorm, but got some funny lines, such as:”the kid who lit his pants on fire”, “lighting your underwear on fire? Hahaha.”, etc.

        Pacific NW, yous is the best retort, lucid, passionate, and you’re right about the security paranoia, not everybody buys into it, but hey; it gives jobs to MacDonald- wages TSA workers, just “look it up”.

      • Technically it is possible to catch/kill more leaders than estimated members because I’m pretty sure one would have to take someone’s place and also Terrorism yes is bad, but unlike drugs which is more self-enflicted, Terrorism works both ways somewhat, but in all sense it is seen as a Hate Crime.

        It really matters about intention because someone could be feeding someone boozes only to give them Liver Cancer, while another person would be just sharing a Drink and the Point of View of both sides.

        One might find good intention to be bad and that person might have a good or bad intention to say something is good when its bad or say its bad when its trying to disguise itself something good because a person who can recongize something bad.

    • I’m not sure what you think you know about airplanes, but anyone with the time and the money can get trained to fly.
      Airplane cockpits aren’t anything special. And really, if you want to fly an airplane, you only need to know some of the buttons to get it off the ground.
      There are large amounts of posters available online that lay out the cockpit in every detail possible. That tiny picture is laughable.
      If you were to check, Commercial Airliners aren’t military planes, so they are flown by civilians.
      There’s absolutely nothing in any non-military cockpit that would be detrimental if let known to the terrorists.
      Do you think its vitally important that you keep secret your de-icing knobs, your radio buttons, or your attitude indicator?
      Get real. If you want to help the terrorists, try telling them your birth date. That’s information is more harmful than a bloody cockpit.

    • lol you’ve gotta be kidding me. Just type “A320 cockpit” in google images and you’ll get a ton of cockpit photos. If you want even more detailed photos, just go to Not a security threat at all.

  2. I would not trust any of these 3rd world nationals to fly or drive anything, they should not be allowed to even operate complicated machinery.

  3. I was a pilot in the ’70’s. The info a terrorist needs won’t be found in these pics. Cockpit layouts, etc. are available from many sources. Almost anyone can be taught to fly. What terrorists look for are security systems and ways around security. These pics seem almost staged for publicity effect. There’s nothing there for a terrorist.

  4. I wouldn’t want to be on the same flight as those chain smoking former commies. After thirty minutes in the air they start twitching funny because they can’t get the nicotine fix and they get really weird.

  5. So this is the same plane as this where they loaded the fragile box upside down.

  6. I enjoyed reading this article, I’ll check back for more info soon, I’ve bookmarked your blog, thanks

  7. The English isn’t too good in that, did a seven year old write it? it just does sound right. Oh, and I’m English by the way, so i know the language.

  8. lol, If you think cockpit photos are a security issue, you’re dumb… considering that full operational manuals of cockpit functions can be found on the Internet.

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  10. Looks like a nice propaganda post from the former communist state. We can only pray that the airlines/airports are as organized as that.

  11. What Joe said. In the US, trudge through security like we’re a wanted criminal, go down to the lounge, check in, meet the crew, get the weather and the release, brief the crew, everyone does various preflight stuff like the aircraft walk around and getting clearance, then we go fly. We know our trips about a month ahead of time, and in general they don’t change much (weather and operational need notwithstanding).

    As an aside, I had a First Officer once who used to fly for Aeroflot. Even with all the post 9/11 BS, he was darned glad to be flying with us.

  12. A great collection of photos. Really impressive life inside the airport. But they have much high responsibilities too.
    So don’t get excited instantly.. :p


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