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747 Flight Engineer, Who Makes The Job Now?  
User currently offlineF.pier From Italy, joined Aug 2000, 1524 posts, RR: 9
Posted (8 years 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 12754 times:

Today I've seen a very nice video of a B742F flight engineer explaining all his job and his panel features.
It has very important functions and the explaination was quite interesting.
Now we all know that modern aircrafts don't have the flight engineer anymore, but who makes his job?

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineVikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10036 posts, RR: 26
Reply 1, posted (8 years 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 12734 times:
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Quoting F.pier (Thread starter):
Now we all know that modern aircrafts don't have the flight engineer anymore, but who makes his job?

If by that, you mean how are his functions performed, then quite a lot of them are now part of the FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Control, I believe). As in, tweaking the engines to ensure they are delivering the correct thrust, not exceeding limits, etc.

Someone more knowledgeable can expound upon that.

~Vik



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17043 posts, RR: 66
Reply 2, posted (8 years 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 12698 times:

Most of the job has been automated to the point that the Captain and F/O can perform it without significant expansion of their duties. As Vikkyvik says, FADEC has played a big part in that. If you can get hold of them, compare the engine start checklists for the 741 and the 744. The former is much longer and more complex.

This development be compared to the elimination of the navigator position on long haul in the 50s/60s. With better inertial navigation systems and navaids, the navigator job became "small" enough to be handled by the Captain and F/O.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineTom12 From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2005, 1078 posts, RR: 13
Reply 3, posted (8 years 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 12672 times:

Quoting F.pier (Thread starter):
Today I've seen a very nice video of a B742F flight engineer explaining all his job and his panel features.

Any chance you could post a link to this, sounds cool ... and interesting.

Tom



"Per noctem volamus" - Royal Air Force Bomber Squadron IX
User currently offlineJetlagged From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 2556 posts, RR: 24
Reply 4, posted (8 years 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 12609 times:

I don't know about the video referred to but a very good one I've seen on the subject is the World Air Routes "Polar Air Cargo" DVD. This covers both 742F and 744F operation. ITVV also have a DVD covering the 747-200 (Virgin Atlantic). Both cover the 747 Classic F/E station in great detail.

Regarding F/E replacement, a huge part of this was due to the development of EICAS (Boeing) and ECAM (Airbus). FADEC came along later. EICAS and ECAM can replace all the individual indicators which used to be on the F/E panel, leaving just the control knobs and switches which could be relocated to the overhead, displacing the CB panels which used to be there. Automation reduced overall workload and so the F/E ceased to be viable. Shame really as the F/E performs a valuable role on the flightdeck as a third pair of eyes with a different technical background.

The F/E used to do a lot of checklist reading too, but checklists are much simpler these days so even this task is reduced.



The glass isn't half empty, or half full, it's twice as big as it needs to be.
User currently offlineF.pier From Italy, joined Aug 2000, 1524 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (8 years 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 12519 times:

Quoting Jetlagged (Reply 4):
I don't know about the video referred to but a very good one I've seen on the subject is the World Air Routes "Polar Air Cargo" DVD.

The video I saw was the same series:

http://www.worldairroutes.com/OceanAirlines.html


User currently offlineWrighbrothers From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 1875 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (8 years 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 12291 times:

Quoting F.pier (Thread starter):
Now we all know that modern aircrafts don't have the flight engineer anymore, but who makes his job?

An over glorified circuit board and some wires, but that's a personal opinion.

Quoting Jetlagged (Reply 4):
The F/E used to do a lot of checklist reading too, but checklists are much simpler these days so even this task is reduced.

Indeed, the F/E also used to be able to sign the aircraft off if it had a slight technically problem at the gate (at least here in the UK), they also used to do the pre-flight walk around and so could spot any problems.
He or she was also an extra pair of eyes, and could give some help if needed, in the flight deck or the cabin, fixing a lose panel or something like that.

Wrighbrothers



Always stand up for what is right, even if it means standing alone..
User currently offlineHKA From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 148 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (8 years 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 12124 times:

O.K.

then what happened to all those flight engineers ?

Where did they end up, I mean what job did they do when the older planes were replaced with those that didn't require thier services ??


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17043 posts, RR: 66
Reply 8, posted (8 years 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 12097 times:

Quoting HKA (Reply 7):
then what happened to all those flight engineers ?

Where did they end up, I mean what job did they do when the older planes were replaced with those that didn't require thier services ??

As I recall, a lot of them were/are actually pilots. So quite a few probably became F/Os.

[Edited 2006-09-07 01:00:27]


"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineVC10 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1411 posts, RR: 15
Reply 9, posted (8 years 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 12089 times:

With some airlines you will find that the airline offered those suitable F/E the chance to train as a pilot,but with BA other than 40 slots all the F/E retired or took jobs as cabin crew.

Myself I retired and that allowed me the opportunity to fly as a F/E on a restored Connie, which was fantastic, as I had never crewed a piston powered airliner before.Mind you it was all for free and a good pension allows you to do it.

I had a fantastic career and would not have changed it for anything.Now many people ask me would I have not preferred to have been a pilot, well sometimes yes, but with the pilots I flew with they always made to feel that I was a valued member of the crew, even to them buying the beer after some technical fault was overcome.

Great days and how many people can say that of their career

littlevc10


User currently offlineDALMD88 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2555 posts, RR: 14
Reply 10, posted (8 years 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 12085 times:

Quoting HKA (Reply 7):
then what happened to all those flight engineers ?

Where did they end up, I mean what job did they do when the older planes were replaced with those that didn't require thier services ??

It depends on a few things. There were two types of FE. One was a commercial pilot that picked up the FE ticket as a way into the cockpit of a big jet. Those guys just moved into the right seat.

The other was know as a Professional FE. Some were over sixty so they couldn't go back to the front seat. Some of these guys were exmechanics. Their choices were get their commercial pilot ticket and stay where they were or search for an outfit still flying a FE type aircraft. Most of the older guys either switched companies or retired. As more new aircaft came on line there were fewer and fewer PFE types.


User currently offlineFlyinTLow From Germany, joined Oct 2004, 521 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (8 years 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 11835 times:

Quoting Wrighbrothers (Reply 6):
Indeed, the F/E also used to be able to sign the aircraft off if it had a slight technically problem at the gate (at least here in the UK), they also used to do the pre-flight walk around and so could spot any problems.
He or she was also an extra pair of eyes, and could give some help if needed, in the flight deck or the cabin, fixing a lose panel or something like that.

Wrighbrothers

With LH, a lot of them were also trained as Cruise Relief Pilots, taking a pilot's seat and acting as the pilot during cruise for longer flights in order for one of the pilots to take a rest. There were limitions to it about altitude and time. I think they were only allowed in a seat over 24000 ft. and not for more than 2 hours.

Cheers,

Thilo



- When dreams take flight, follow them -
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