Dtw757 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1515 posts, RR: 4 Posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 3444 times:
I was talking to a flight engineer sitting next to me on a flight I was on one time and was very interested to find out he personally only held a private pilot rating. He is a FE on a DC8 for BAX. With the retiring of the DC10's and 747 2's and 3's, it made me think that the FE jobs are disappearing fast.
Does anyone know if most FE's also hold commercial ratings and are transitioning to FO positions? Or does their total time really not count as PIC time, so they are just finding other jobs. Just kind of curious.
EMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9363 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3402 times:
Professional Flight Engineers (PFE) today are a dying breed. With the advent of the more advanced avionics packages and flight decks out today, the two man crew is common place. Most Flight Engineers today are just pilots working their way up the crew ladder...FE to Right Seat to Left Seat. I think it's kind of sad, as without the 3rd 'man' up front it takes away from Crew Resources. A prime example for me would be Swissair 111. With only 2 people up front, they became distracted with figuring out what their problem was instead of getting on the ground fast. With the FE, he could have worked the 'problem', while the pilots headed for the closest airport....and with TWA 800, the total time on the flight deck was something like 90 years...!! The FE had something like 30 years flying sideways...if there was a reading light out, he probally could tell you what seat and row just by the way the plane was flying...!!! I'm still not sold on the gov't determination yet.
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
B747skipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3297 times:
I always flew in airlines with airplanes manned by 3 crewmembers.
A captain, a first officer, and a flight engineer.
To a captain in these days, the most important other crewmember was the flight engineer.
After PanAm went bankrupt 1991, I had a one year contract as captain with Cargolux.
I was flying their older 747-271Cs... with a flight engineer.
Some of them got trained to become "cruise first officer" on the 747-400s...
But for that they had to get a CPL/IR...
They offered me to go to the 747-400 as a first officer for a year, then become captain.
I refused, I prefer the old 747 with 3 crewmembers, I still fly them today.
Most PFE - Professional Flight Engineers, few had a "pilot's license".
They had instead an A&P Mechanic certificate and maintenance experience.
Some flew privately, for fun...
Here in Argentina, I will not fly other airplanes. I have 5 years before retirement.
If they retire the old 747-200s, I will retire as well, my decision.
Airlines who fly 2 men airplanes in long range operations need 3 pilots anyway.
Two captains + a first officer, for flights over 8 hours duration.
The total salary of these three pilots is higher than 2 pilots + F/E...
Airlines DID NOT GAIN anything by supressing the F/E position.