There must be a lot of jump seats that are empty each day. Could they not let us student pilots tag along?
I guess you're talking about jump seats in commercial airline cockpits, or are you talking about the jump seats in the cabin?
Within the freight industry I would expect the most jumpseats go unused per day and if the airlines allowed carefully selected individuals to fly in the cockpit soley to observe it would aid in their training and be a way of selection and recriuitment for the airline. Of course the flight crews might not like the idea of their routine flights being disrupted by a 'rookie'.
I can imagine that there would be security concerns with letting the public (and especially student pilots) into the cockpit. Remember, the guys who flew the planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were not professional pilots.
I heard that the only thing that one of those terrorists had flown before was a 747 on FS.
I agree with Ed. The risk is too high. The selection process can be as rigorous as possible, but there is still a chance, you are letting a ruthless psychopath into the cockpit, for what? Just to let a student pilot learn the ropes?
Most of the time the jump seat(s) are empty. Each airlines in the US has jump seat procedures to ensure safety. Jump seats are restricted to airline pilots of that airline or other airlines that have a reciprocal agreement with the airline in question. If there's a seat in the cabin, other airlines pilots must use that seat. Pilots of the same airline in question can use the jump seat even if seats are open in the cabin. The jump seat is controlled by the captain. This procedure differs slightly by airline and may differ in a large part in procedures in the rest of the world. Some aircraft have flight attendant(FA) jump seats as well. This allows flight attendants to jump seat. FA's are not allowed to jump seat in the cockpit.