Transavia incident and pilot left outside cockpit
For several days, a news story about a September 2012 incident in Transavia has been circulating in the press. The story is like this: "The commander of an aircraft Boeing 737 Transavia, who was flying from the Netherlands to the Greek island of Crete, had to go to the toilet. Following him, the co-pilot secured the door and fell asleep. On the way back, the commander sat at the door for a while, the co-pilot not answering the call, and during this time the aircraft was on autopilot. "
Most of the press speculated that for a few minutes the plane was on autopilot and unattended, mistakenly launching the idea that the pilot was stuck outside the cockpit.
The reality is a little different. The procedure for entering the cockpit differs from one company to another and from one aircraft to another. Following the September 11 attacks, a special security protocol was established which provides for the cabin door to be locked during the flight. The aircraft are provided with communication systems between pilots and passengers, on-board companions and passengers, pilots and on-board companions.
At the entrance to the cockpit there is an intercom and three LEDs (Red - I refuse to open the door, green - the door can be opened and orange - no answer), and through it a call is made to open the door from the outside. As with any intercom, there is a code, in the case of airplanes it is a maximum of 4 digits. (the image below is for example only, but does not look like an 737)
In the case of Transavia, I think the pilot asked for the door to be opened and the orange LED turned on - no answer. The commander had to wait a few seconds, maybe 1 minute, until he entered and the code and the door opened automatically for a few seconds, enough for the pilot to resume his seat in the cockpit.
In aviation there are procedures for almost any action. I want you to understand that there will be no pilot left outside the cockpit without access. The door can also be opened from the outside, only following procedures. The systems complement each other, precisely to prevent all kinds of unpleasant situations and for the safety of passengers. Not for nothing is the plane the safest means of transport.
The investigation I think will cover the time the unmanned aircraft was in, and less the part with the commander's state locked outside the cockpit.
Transavia is the low-cost company of the Air France-KLM group!