Re: Sterile Cockpit ????

From:         "Stuart Law" <stuart@slaw.com>
Organization: Stuart W. Law Co
Date:         12 Oct 96 21:34:31 
References:   1 2
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Petter Lorck <lorck@sn.no> wrote in article
<airliners.1996.2038@ohare.Chicago.COM>...
> audmcl@aol.com (AuDMCL) wrote:
> >What is the "sterile cockpit" rule.  Something to do with vasectomies?

Operations conducted under Airline Transport (Part 121) rules
or Air Taxi/Commuter (Part 135) rules are subject to special
restrictions on crew duties during "Critical Phases" of flight
operations.  These are detailed in Federal Aviation Regulation
121.542 and 135.100.  Since the rules appear to be identical, I
include only the 121 version:

121.542 Flight crewmember duties.
   (a) No certificate holder shall require, nor may any flight
crewmember perform, any duties during a critical phase of
flight except those duties required for the safe operation of
the aircraft. Duties such as company required calls made for
such nonsafety related purposes as ordering galley supplies and
confirming passenger connections, announcements made to
passengers promoting the air carrier or pointing out sights of
interest, and filling out company payroll and related records
are not required for the safe operation of the aircraft.
   (b) No flight crewmember may engage in, nor may any pilot in
command permit, any activity during a critical phase of flight
which could distract any flight crewmember from the performance
of his or her duties or which could interfere in any way with
the proper conduct of those duties. Activities such as eating
meals, engaging in nonessential conversations within the
cockpit and nonessential communications between the cabin and
cockpit crews, and reading publications not related to the
proper conduct of the flight are not required for the safe
operation of the aircraft.
   (c) For the purposes of this section, critical phases of
flight includes all ground operations involving taxi, takeoff
and landing, and all other flight operations conducted below
10,000 feet, except cruise flight.

   Note: Taxi is defined as "movement of an airplane under its
own power on the surface of an airport."