Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
What's Happening To The Flight Engineers?  
User currently offlineDtw757 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1624 posts, RR: 4
Posted (12 years 7 months 19 hours ago) and read 4446 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.

8 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9453 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (12 years 7 months 19 hours ago) and read 4404 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"
User currently offlineFly727 From Mexico, joined Jul 2003, 1803 posts, RR: 16
Reply 2, posted (12 years 7 months 16 hours ago) and read 4316 times:

Easy... we are no longer requiered.
Fortunately I hold a commercial also.
RM  Smile

There are no stupid questions... just stupid people!
User currently offlineB747skipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (12 years 7 months 16 hours ago) and read 4299 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.
Happy contrails  Smile
(s) Skipper

User currently offlineSubzero From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 64 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (12 years 7 months 15 hours ago) and read 4233 times:

one abbreviation. FMS


User currently offlineDtw757 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1624 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (12 years 7 months 9 hours ago) and read 4150 times:


Thank you, great information!!


User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8658 posts, RR: 53
Reply 6, posted (12 years 7 months 9 hours ago) and read 4128 times:

Actually I'm not sure if the total hours on TW800 was "90 years", I think the F/E was a new hire and was on his fifth Atlantic crossing.

fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineAirliner777 From United States of America, joined May 2000, 495 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (12 years 7 months 9 hours ago) and read 4119 times:

I have always admired you B747skipper! Thank you Sir!

User currently offlineProSimTec From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (12 years 7 months 6 hours ago) and read 4034 times:

TWA 800 actually had 4 on the flight deck that fateful day. The F/E was still in training and a F/E instructor was there as well. So yes, the experience that day was well over 90 yrs.

Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
What's Happening To The MD-11 Fleet? posted Sun Nov 16 2003 18:32:23 by Duke
What's Happening To The Iran Air A330's? posted Thu Feb 7 2002 21:28:58 by Airmale
What's Happening To The Airlines? Look At These... posted Tue Jul 31 2001 09:11:17 by SEA nw DC10
What All Does The Flight Attendant Have To Say? posted Sat May 3 2003 21:29:24 by Deltadude8
What Happened To The SQ 006 Flight Crew? posted Thu Jan 31 2002 12:23:07 by Ryu2
What Happened To The CO CLE-LGW Flight posted Tue Oct 2 2001 20:07:46 by Thomacf
What Is Happening To The DC10s? posted Thu Jun 7 2001 21:45:27 by UAL#1fan
What Is Happening To The DC10s? posted Thu Jun 7 2001 21:43:11 by UAL#1fan
What Happened To The Planned DXB-CPH Service? posted Thu Nov 30 2006 12:46:55 by AbleToFly
What Happened To Delta Flight 3839 On 11/21/06 posted Fri Nov 24 2006 05:49:39 by Freakfor747