Couldnt let you in the cockpit, and the airline probobly wouldnt let you on the airplane without a ticket, and TSA wouldnt let you through security without a ticket... so shadowing a pilot would be a very hard thing to do...
DO this...An airline pilot...not so much...HOWEVER...if you have a local airport (one that has business jets fly in and out of), go to the company and explain your situation...Depending on if the owner is willing to take the liability, it wouldn't be a problem, and you could fly right seat or even jump seat on some of the bigger business jets.
Now, something I DID...because i had a similar situation as you, is that you can intern with the airport manager. Basically you do everything from filing to actually working out with the maintenance guys (which is A LOT of fun!)...
It's a government run airport 9/10 times, so a free worker is something they would love to have. You are around airplanes, and everything the entire time. It's worth it.
Also, you can ask a Flight school if they'd let you sit back seat on some lessons with instructors. I mean, that is really worst case senario, but i'd go with the first two. i suggest the internship though! i did it, and i'm a pilot, i'm still 18. i did it last summer. Go for it! e-mail if you have any questions. firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact the civil air patrol. It's not shadowing an airline pilot but the do have a cadet program. You could be flying around now looking for Steve Fossett if you were already a cadet. Costs next to nothing to join. Good luck.
You may be right; for six years now the security on airliners
has been so tight that nobody except the pilots and FAA
inspectors on a check ride are allowed in cockpits.
However, you might want to check with a pilot, if you know
one, to see what he can tell you. He could at least describe
his job and the training he had to get for it. I'm not sure if you
could get to visit an airliner on the ground or not; airlines
keep them flying as much as possible to maximize income.
But if you know anyone it sure wouldn't hurt to ask.
Don't waste money on a first-class ticket; the cockpit door
is kept shut and locked at all times during flight. Years ago
it wasn't this way, but they have to do it now to prevent
hijackings. Sad but true!
Well...yeah but i'd be hard to learn, flying is something you have to experience not just watch and if you really wanna get involved, call the airlines, make a trip for first class, first row and watch him from seat A1...:]