30. Flight Deck

Upstairs is the flight deck. Now, we can’t go up there for security reasons. This is a real plane in a real airport — and even the President needs to follow the rules on board.

Up those stairs is where the cockpit and pilots control this massive aircraft. When you first walk up the stairs, you run into the radio operators. It’s a big telecommunications facility, the airplane. When I was there, there were 85 telephones and you could make 22 phone calls at one time.

From there, you go into an area where there are four crew bunks, in case somebody needs to rest. Then there’s a flight engineer to the right. They’re taking care of all the meters and all the fuel and everything that’s on that airplane. And you go up a little forward and the pilot’s on the left side and the co-pilot’s on the right side. And when you’re sitting in that airplane as a pilot, if you can imagine all that metal behind you, and when you look out the left window you can’t even see the end of the wing. It’s a massive, massive piece of equipment.

Now we’re going to walk forward. Listen to the next track when you’re ready.