Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sterile Cockpit

I have some advice for all of you laptop users out there. My laptop died last night - taking all of the information I had on it with it. OK, so I'm not completely a lost cause, because the important stuff had been backed up. But there were a lot of odds and ends that I would LIKE to have that aren't worth paying someone to recover for me (especially when I have to buy a new laptop!). So, with as cheap as external hard drives have become, buy one and back up your laptop! I am on the road right now, so I am without computer (other than the hotel one I'm using now) until I get home. Anyone who knows me knows I am a workaholic, so it's very frustrating not to be able to get things done. I am also not looking forward to searching for program disks and reinstalling...

Also, I got a phone call today from someone warning me about the pictures on my blog. He reminded me of the "sterile cockpit" rule.

Sterile Cockpit Rule From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

'The Sterile Cockpit' - from NASA ASRS
The Sterile Cockpit Rule is an FAA regulation requiring pilots to refrain from non-essential activities during critical phases of flight,[1] normally below 10,000 feet. The FAA imposed the rule in 1981 after reviewing a series of accidents that were caused by flight crews who were distracted from their flying duties by engaging in non-essential conversations and activities during critical parts of the flight.

The following is the actual text from U.S. FAR 121.542/135.100, "Flight Crewmember Duties":[5]
(b) No flight crewmember may engage in, nor may any pilot in command permit, any activity during a critical phase of flight which could distract any flight crewmember from the performance of his or her duties or which could interfere in any way with the proper conduct of those duties. Activities such as eating meals, engaging in nonessential conversations within the cockpit and nonessential communications between the cabin and cockpit crews, and reading publications not related to the proper conduct of the flight are not required for the safe operation of the aircraft.
(c) For the purposes of this section, critical phases of flight includes all ground operations involving taxi, takeoff and landing, and all other flight operations conducted below 10,000 feet, except cruise flight.

I would imagine they would include "taking pictures."

So, I have removed any pictures that may cause someone to think I have been violating this regulation. I am extremely concerned for the safety of my passengers (as well as for my own skin), so I don't want anyone to think I would be risking lives, airplanes, my job, or my pilot's license (not to mention my credibility) just for the sake of the blog.


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