Who is a flight observer?
An observer is a person who occupies a jump seat on the flight deck during a flight.
There are various reasons to have an observer on a flight:
- Checking or examination of pilots
- External (e.g. CAA) or internal (company) audit
- Pilots on positioning duty (e.g. jump-seating to another base, home, etc.)
- Pilots in training on supernumerary flight
- Or even for no special reason, for example a pilot’s family member or friend on the flight deck (this usually requires special permission)
There are special rules on how to behave as an observer. These usually include:
- No distraction of the flight crew, including a sterile cockpit
- No use of personal electronic devices (PEDs)
- No video recording during the flight
The flight crew should familiarise an observer with all applicable rules before the flight.