Monday, December 08, 2008

Let's Roar, the Pilots Want to Sleep

I love this story today in the aviation newsletter saying that the superjumbo A380 aircraft are so quiet in long-haul flight that off-duty Emirates pilots trying to sleep in the compartment near the flight deck are being kept awake. They're having a hard time sleeping because without the "white noise" effect of typical aircraft engines, they "can hear all the crying babies and flushing toilets" in the passenger cabins.

Last year, when I flew a Lufthansa-operated A380 on a shakeout flight with a full passenger load from Frankfurt to New York, the first thing I noticed on board was how quiet it was. So as someone who sometimes depends on noise-canceling earphones in flight and a portable white-noise machine for hotels on the road, I feel their pain.

[Correction: Please note the excellent comment below. On the Emirates A380, the crew rest compartment is poorly located (from the crew's perspective) aft, not forward by the cockpit.]


1 comment:

B. N. Sullivan said...

"...pilots trying to sleep in the compartment near the flight deck are being kept awake."

Actually, part of the problem is that the crew rest compartment on the Emirates A380 is NOT near the flight deck. Instead, it is all the way aft on the all-economy main deck. Emirates reportedly chose this configuration in order to allow more room on the upper deck for the first class lounge.

In addition to hearing all the cabin noises, pilots also complain that passengers mistake the door to the crew rest area for a lavatory door, and repeatedly pull on the door handle.