Ask the pilot: What is the standard for takeoff?

What is really the standard for takeoff? We asked Pernilla Nilsson, Flight Captain at SAS.

Question: Shortly before reaching the runway for takeoff, you tell the cabin crew to take their positions in different ways, depending on who the pilot is. Some companies say nothing at all, but we passengers hear a number of different peeping sounds on board. What is the standard way of doing this? And what do the different pings mean? /Mario

Pernilla Nilsson

Title: Flight Captain

Years att SAS: 22

Home base: Copenhagen

Flies: A319, A320, A321

Flight hours: 12,800

Favorite airport: One beautifully situated airport I regularly arrive at is Bergen. The landscape is fantastic with the mountains and fjords. You’ll never get tired of this view.

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Hi Mario,

During taxi, takeoff and landing, everyone on board must be seated with their seatbelts fastened. The only exceptions are cabin crew members, who may perform safety related duties, such as safety demonstrations and then, only during taxi.

When the aircraft approaches the runway, the captain must make sure that everybody is seated before takeoff. A call comes from the cockpit approximately one minute before the final roll-up to the takeoff commences. This is a signal to the cabin crew that take-off is imminent, and it’s the “final call” for them to take their seat if they haven’t already done so. The procedure for how the signal is delivered differs between companies and aircraft types. It can be by voice via the PA (passenger address system) or by flashing the seatbelt sign which chimes (with a “bing bong” type sound) in the cabin.

Pernilla Nilsson, Flight Captain

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