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Ask the Pilot, with Captain Mike Bowers


Q: What are the chimes that we frequently hear during a flight?
A: The chimes are designed to alert the flight attendants of various things going on in the aircraft. One chime notifies the flight attendants to pick up the phone to answer a call from the pilots. There are tones for when you ring your flight attendant call button, and when a passenger in the lavatory needs assistance. When we cycle the seat belt sign, there is yet another tone. When we are climbing through 10,000 feet, we send a double chime to the cabin to let the flight attendants know it’s safe for our customers to use certain portable electronic devices. As part of their safety and service training, flight attendants recognize the different tones and the colored lights on the aircraft ceiling to determine the nature of the call.

Do you have a question for Captain Bowers? You can write to him at askthepilot@united.com

One Response to “Ask the Pilot, with Captain Mike Bowers”

  1. Raymond Stanten Says:
    November 20th, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Excellent, educational and illuminating article “Ask the Pilot” – particularly if you are a frequent flyer and have a special interest in commercial aviation.

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