Duke From Canada, joined Sep 1999, 1165 posts, RR: 2 Posted (10 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 2315 times:
I read today an interesting article in Flight International regarding the DHL A300 that was hit by a missile. From the article, it is evident that while the damage by the missle covered a relatively small area of the wing, the crew just narrowly escaped death by teamwork-based, highly skilled airmanship, and the experienced flight engineer's actions seem to have accounted for a good share of the successful landing. This leads me to open up an old debate - is the demise of Flight Engineers a bad thing? Computers can do a lot, but would it be better if modern all-glass cockpits incorporated a human flight engineer anyway? For example, one fuel tank was blown apart and another leaking, and the FE was very careful with regulating the bleed of the remaining fuel. I can't see how a pre-programmed computer could make similar decisions in an emergency like this. This is just one example of how the crew worked together to land a critically imperilled plane. Could safety be a compelling factor for the return of FEs, especially in the huge A380?
Buzz From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 697 posts, RR: 21
Reply 1, posted (10 years 3 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 2121 times:
Hi Duke, Buzz here. I read an interesting article by Randy Sohn or John Deakin about teaching people to fly the Confederate Air Force's B-29. On that airplane he's the busiest guy up front. It's a seperate rating that deals with aircraft systems.
But the modern airplanes are automated enough so all the routine things can be automated. When it's not routine... i leave it up to your imagination.