Shining the spotlight on the second in command in the cockpit – the co-pilot.
From Air Stewardess to Pilot
The role of the co-pilot is often misunderstood by the flying public. Also known as the first officer, the co-pilot is the junior of the two pilots in the cockpit in terms of rank, and wears two or three stripes on the epaulet.
Although the pilot, also known as the captain or aircraft commander, is responsible for everything that happens onboard the plane, it is a common misconception that the junior pilot, the lesser-known co-pilot, is only an assistant or a trainee who does not take off or land the aircraft. This cannot be further from the truth. It is, in fact, normal procedure at the start of a flight for the captain and first officer to decide who, between them, is going to be the pilot flying (PF), so that the other would be the pilot non-flying (PNF), or now known as pilot-monitoring (PM).
It’s interesting how good manners can oftentimes completely disappear when patience wears thin and fuses become short in a less than ideal situation. I’ve observed this at the departure gate when, frustrated by a slight delay, passengers jostle to get on board and claim space in the overhead cabin before anyone else can take up the choice spots.
I recently received an email from a traveler regarding a less than fragrant aroma in the cabin – the result of outside food being smuggled on board. AirAsia practises a ‘no outside food’ policy, and part of the reason for this is to ensure that no one carries stinky food into the cabin. Unfortunately, neither the guest nor the cabin crew could track down the source of the offending aroma. And so, the guest (and all those around her) had to endure the strange odour as best they could.
What makes apples fall from trees? What stops you from floating off into space? Gravity – the force that pulls or attracts a body towards the centre of the Earth.
Tightrope walkers understand this better than anyone else. Precariously navigating a rope that seems as fine as a thread, with just a balancing pole as an aid, these stunt artists are able to entertain us because they understand the simple concept of the centre of gravity (CG).
On a plane, this concept is equally important. A conventional aircraft normally has a forward CG. This is designed in such a way that should anything happen to the engines, the nose of the aircraft would dip downwards, allowing the plane to glide like a paper plane.
Most planes glide well. For example, an Airbus A330 can glide without engines for about 160 kilometres from a height of 40,000 feet! This was proven when, in 2001, an Air Transat (a Canadian airline) plane ran out of fuel due to a ruptured fuel line while flying from Toronto to Lisbon in Portugal. The pilots made history by flying the plane without power and gliding to land safely on an island in the Azores region in the Atlantic Ocean.
First of all, congratulations on your website. It´s very interesting.
My doubt is: You are doing a RKPK (Pusan) VOR DME-A approach, circling to land on Runway 18R. You then reach and maintain the MDA 1700 feet. Additionally you have the runway in sight and the lead-in approach lights.
If you follow the lead-in lights and maintaining the MDA (MDH 1687 feet) waiting to intercept the PAPI lights (3º), you will be very high on finals and would be very dangerous to land.
The statement says "If you have the runway, approach lights or environment in sight you can start the descent to the runway".
My question is: If you follow the lead-in approach lights, can you leave the MDA with a normal rate of descent of 500 to 700 fpm without losing sight of the approach lights?
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