Monday, February 18, 2008

Coming to You Live From the Cockpit

(Wall Street Journal, 2/12/08)

Listening to air-traffic control communications while flying across the country on United Airlines, Hugh Coppen heard the flight's captain receive a warning of turbulence ahead. A seasoned traveler, Mr. Coppen acted quickly before the captain alerted passengers. "I knew to run to the bathroom, because you may not be able to go for the next hour," he said.

Mr. Coppen's inside knowledge came from "Channel 9," the audio feed of communications between the cockpit and air-traffic controllers available on United aircraft. Unique among U.S. airlines, Channel 9 is very popular with aviation buffs and road warriors. United says Channel 9 tends to be the most listened to channel on its entertainment system during takeoffs and landings...but allowing passengers to listen in on the cockpit is controversial....

Read the rest of the article here.