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Why Three Crew Trans-Atlantic?  
User currently offlineFerengi80 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2007, 695 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 3418 times:
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I'm just watching one of my favourite DVDs, World Air Routes presentation of a UA 772 from ORD-LHR. One thing baffles me. We saw the removal of the Second Officer (Flight Engineer) role in the newer aircraft as aircraft became more automated and airlines wanted to save money. Now we see a 777, one of the most advanced airplanes in the world, with the Captain and TWO First Officers. Why is this? I understand safety is probably a reason following 9-11, but is there any other reasons for this? I noticed this also in World Air Routes presentation of South African Airways A340-600 from TLS-JNB also.


AF1981 LHR-CDG A380-800 10 July 2010 / AF1980 CDG-LHR A380-800 11 July 2010
30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineTornado82 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 3408 times:



Quoting Ferengi80 (Thread starter):
Why is this? I understand safety is probably a reason following 9-11, but is there any other reasons for this?

Hours of service. The 3rd guy relieves the other two to keep everyone under the legal max. Irrelevant to 9/11.


User currently offlineFFlyer From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 733 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 3396 times:

Relief pilots. You see them all the time e.g. on Delta. I guess this is to do with the airline's pilot contract, rather than anything else (general legal duty hours). Am I right?

User currently offlineGemuser From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 5828 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 3337 times:



Quoting Ferengi80 (Thread starter):
the Second Officer (Flight Engineer) role

A second officer and flight engineer are NOT the same. A FE is a different qualification, a FE is not necessarily a pilot and most pilots are not qualified as FEs.

FFlyer is correct for the B777. You still see FEs on B743. QF have just renewed their FEs contract until 2010, so they will still be with at least one top line carrier until then.

Gemuser



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User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2858 posts, RR: 48
Reply 4, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 3331 times:



Quoting FFlyer (Reply 2):
Relief pilots. You see them all the time e.g. on Delta. I guess this is to do with the airline's pilot contract, rather than anything else (general legal duty hours). Am I right?

US FAR 121 operated flights greater than 8 hours require a relief pilot to allow for crew rest enroute. Many trans-Atlantic sectors (JFK-SNN, for instance) are less than 8 hours and are operated by two pilots. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the pilot working agreement.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 26021 posts, RR: 22
Reply 5, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 3262 times:



Quoting PGNCS (Reply 4):
Quoting FFlyer (Reply 2):
Relief pilots. You see them all the time e.g. on Delta. I guess this is to do with the airline's pilot contract, rather than anything else (general legal duty hours). Am I right?

US FAR 121 operated flights greater than 8 hours require a relief pilot to allow for crew rest enroute. Many trans-Atlantic sectors (JFK-SNN, for instance) are less than 8 hours and are operated by two pilots. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the pilot working agreement.

Is there a different rule for very longhaul flights, e.g. 14 or 15 hours etc? Some of those flights seem to have 2 relief pilots for a total of 4.


User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2858 posts, RR: 48
Reply 6, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 3226 times:



Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 5):
Is there a different rule for very longhaul flights, e.g. 14 or 15 hours etc? Some of those flights seem to have 2 relief pilots for a total of 4.

Yes. Sectors exceeding 12 hours must have two full crews, a total of four pilots. Normally all are type rated, though some airlines operate with one Captain and three FO's.


User currently offlineCosmicCruiser From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2255 posts, RR: 15
Reply 7, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3195 times:



Quoting Gemuser (Reply 3):
A second officer and flight engineer are NOT the same. A FE is a different qualification, a FE is not necessarily a pilot and most pilots are not qualified as FEs.

Semantics....here the "S/O" IS the FE....the FE IS the S/O. and he/she IS a pilot. It's the entry level position and yes you must have an FE rating.

Quoting PGNCS (Reply 6):
Normally all are type rated, though some airlines operate with one Captain and three FO's.

We use both Capt & F/Os as RFO and everyone is type rated.


User currently offlineWILCO737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 9118 posts, RR: 76
Reply 8, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 3168 times:
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Looks like we have a different rule here  Wink

on some routes we have a 3rd guy (SFO = senior first officer) on board. Sometimes it is a CRC. And some routes, even friggin long is just CP and FO... LEJ-HKG! only CP and FO... LONG flight indeed...
but FRA-ORD is 3 people because it takes off in FRA at 1:30am...

WILCO737 (MD11F)
 airplane 



It it's not Boeing, I am not going.
User currently offlineVC10 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1412 posts, RR: 15
Reply 9, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3163 times:



Quoting CosmicCruiser (Reply 7):
Semantics....here the "S/O" IS the FE....the FE IS the S/O. and he/she IS a pilot. It's the entry level position and yes you must have an FE rating.

The fact that in many American airlines the F/E is also a pilot is a company regulation, but I know of at least one American company who used {or did until the demise of F/E] straight F/E, and I hold a FAA flight Engineer ticket but I am no pilot.

However I would admit that generally in the USA , since the advent of jets ,the F/E position is seen as the entry level as you stated

littlevc10


User currently offlineWILCO737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 9118 posts, RR: 76
Reply 10, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3156 times:
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Quoting VC10 (Reply 9):

At LH cargo we have 12 CRCs who are our old F/Es from the B747-200 freighter. Now they are "only " CRCs and are NO pilots at all! They are not allowed to sit in the front seats when below 20,000 feet. They have no Pilot qualification... but they know a lot about the old B747-200 systems  Wink

On LH passenger flights you have a CP, SFO, FO crew (Captain, Senior First Officer, First Officer). When the CP is taking his break the SFO will "act as PIC" and the FO is in the right seat. When the SFO is taking his break, the CP is in the left seat, the FO in the right seat. When the FO is taking his break, the CP is in the left seat and the SFO in the right seat.

WILCO737 (MD11F)
 airplane 



It it's not Boeing, I am not going.
User currently offlineStall From Switzerland, joined Apr 2004, 257 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 3145 times:



Quoting WILCO737 (Reply 10):
At LH cargo we have 12 CRCs who are our old F/Es from the B747-200 freighter

What does CRC mean ?



Flying is fun
User currently offlineWILCO737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 9118 posts, RR: 76
Reply 12, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 3143 times:
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Quoting Stall (Reply 11):

We just say: Crew Relief Pilot... dont know where the other C comes from Big grin

WILCO737 (MD11F)
 airplane 



It it's not Boeing, I am not going.
User currently offlineTranspac787 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 3217 posts, RR: 16
Reply 13, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3082 times:



Quoting PGNCS (Reply 6):
Yes. Sectors exceeding 12 hours must have two full crews, a total of four pilots. Normally all are type rated, though some airlines operate with one Captain and three FO's.

And, any route over 16 hours needs a full triple-crew....6 pilots. Currently, no US carrier operates a route this long - CO's EWR-HKG comes close though, blocked at 15:50.

In response to the 1 CA / 3 FO, almost all airlines do this now (at least US carriers). I know for certain this is how it's done at NW, UA, and AA.....CO and DL I'm not sure. NW just recently changed this during their bankruptcy. Prior to BK they flew their 744's with 2 CA / 2 FO, but during bankruptcy they changed it to 1 CA / 3 FO, and type-rated all the FO's.

You'll also see a lot of routes that don't need relief crew on the eastbound, but do require them on the westbound. As such, you'll see the relief crew memebers carried on the eastbound leg anyway. So, occasionally you'll see 3x pilots on a flight under 8 hours. JFK-LHR is a perfect example.


User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2858 posts, RR: 48
Reply 14, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 3067 times:



Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 13):
In response to the 1 CA / 3 FO, almost all airlines do this now (at least US carriers). I know for certain this is how it's done at NW, UA, and AA.....CO and DL I'm not sure. NW just recently changed this during their bankruptcy. Prior to BK they flew their 744's with 2 CA / 2 FO, but during bankruptcy they changed it to 1 CA / 3 FO, and type-rated all the FO's.

My employer still has 2 Captains/ 2 FO's and all are type rated.


User currently offlineVC10 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1412 posts, RR: 15
Reply 15, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3020 times:



Quoting WILCO737 (Reply 10):
At LH cargo we have 12 CRCs who are our old F/Es from the B747-200 freighter

This is quite interesting , as when it was suggested to that Big Airline in the UK , that this was a possiblity for their older F/E they said it was not legal to have a non pilot in the seat even when the aircraft was in cruise.

I really admired the way that most European airlines treated their F/E as that position came defunct , with a lot of their younger F/Es, who were suitable, being trained as pilots. That Big Airline even lent I believe KLM and LH F/E to fill in the spaces while their F/E were on pilot training. It is nice to see that at least LH had plans for some of their older F/Es too.

That Big Airline did I suppose train 40 F/E as pilots , but that was only because they tried to cancel a pilot's training course, however it was so expensive to cancel that they decided to use it for F/E training.

I always thought that CRC stood for Cruise Rated Crewmember, but I could be wrong

Thanks again for the info

littlevc10


User currently offlineWILCO737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 9118 posts, RR: 76
Reply 16, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3015 times:
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Quoting VC10 (Reply 15):

Yeah, the problem was: they had a contract as F/Es at LH Cargo and LH Cargo cannot just fire them just because no F/Es were needed anymore. Don't know the exact reason why...
So LH Cargo had to make them an offer: train to become F/O, fly as CRC (whatever it now really means Big grin) or get retired early and get some money from LH Cargo ...
Well, some are pilots now, some retired, some failed the F/O training and some said: I'll stay as CRC and still get the F/E salery! So they are in the 50s now and make hell of a lot money for just sitting there and watching on the instruments at 20,000 feet or higher  Wink

They have of course some kind of a type rating for the aircraft, but they never got trained how to land it and they are not allowed to anyways  Wink

WILCO737 (MD11F)
 airplane 



It it's not Boeing, I am not going.
User currently offlineFlyMatt2Bermud From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 563 posts, RR: 7
Reply 17, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 2961 times:



Quoting CosmicCruiser (Reply 7):
We use both Capt & F/Os as RFO and everyone is type rated.



Quoting PGNCS (Reply 14):
My employer still has 2 Captains/ 2 FO's and all are type rated.

Under ICAO guidelines and regulations and the laws of the State (countries) which you operate all pilots must be typed in the aircraft if the the type certificate requires two pilots. Though an SIC type qualification will suffice. The US is one of only a few countries that do not require an SIC type.



"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward" Leonardo Da Vinci
User currently offlineLevg79 From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 995 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 2740 times:



Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 13):
any route over 16 hours needs a full triple-crew....6 pilots. Currently, no US carrier operates a route this long

How long is UA's SFO-SYD? I'd say it has to be pretty close to 16 hours.

Leo.



A mile of runway takes you to the world. A mile of highway takes you a mile.
User currently offlineDoug_Or From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3442 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 2703 times:



Quoting Levg79 (Reply 18):
How long is UA's SFO-SYD? I'd say it has to be pretty close to 16 hours.

blocked for 14:26.



When in doubt, one B pump off
User currently offlineCoolGuy From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 414 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 2687 times:

What's an example of the shift times of three crewmembers on flights, for example, 8 hours, and 14 hours.

User currently offlineBellerophon From United Kingdom, joined May 2002, 585 posts, RR: 59
Reply 21, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 2662 times:

Ferengi80

Most of the replies you've received refer to FAA crew duty limits, applicable to US carriers and those foreign countries who have adopted the US system.

JAA regulations, applicable to most European carriers, including mine, are less stringent in this respect, and allow my airline to operate flights such as LHR-MIA, and LHR-ORD, with only a two pilot crew.

As Transpac787 has said, you'll sometimes see relief pilots on sectors that don't require them legally, simply because they were required on the way out. For us, SFO-LHR would be an example. We need an extra pilot on the LHR-SFO sector, we now have an extra pilot in SFO, and so we use that pilot on the SFO-LHR sector, even though legally we don’t have to.

Finally, on routes that require a double crew, we use 2x Capt and 2x F/O (rather than 1x Capt and 3x F/O) because of the differing subsequent schedules of individual crew members, and to provide scheduling with some down-route standby cover.

For example, LHR-SIN, after crew rest in SIN, the four pilot crew now splits up. One Capt and F/O operate SIN-SYD, a two pilot crew sector, whilst the other Capt and F/O operate SIN-LON, still a four pilot crew sector, but this time joined by a different Capt and F/O who operated SYD-SIN some two days earlier.

You could operate this schedule with 1x Capt and 3x F/O, but you would lose some crew flexibility in the event of disruption or sickness down-route.

Best regards

Bellerophon


User currently offlineGemuser From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 5828 posts, RR: 6
Reply 22, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 2568 times:



Quoting CosmicCruiser (Reply 7):
Semantics....here the "S/O" IS the FE....the FE IS the S/O. and he/she IS a pilot. It's the entry level position and yes you must have an FE rating.

So what are the requirement in the USA for a FE rating? In Oz there is NO FE rating, it is an FE licience. As far as I can remember it did not require a full ground engineers course but it was a lot more engineering than any pilot gets.
So its not just semantics, it's also jurstrictions!

Gemuser



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User currently offlineWestWing From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2135 posts, RR: 7
Reply 23, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2529 times:



Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 13):
In response to the 1 CA / 3 FO, almost all airlines do this now (at least US carriers). I know for certain this is how it's done at NW, UA, and AA

For what it's worth, every UAL longhaul transpacific flight that I have been a passenger on (usually 744s) I remember always seeing two four-stripers in the cockpit crew (I am an aerogeek, I tend to keep track of such things). So at least for UAL, which I admit, I only know from the perspective of a passenger, I find it hard to believe that UAL dispatches a longhaul transpacific flight without 2 Capt + 2 FO. (I am talking of flights between CONUS and Asia/Australia).



The best time to plant a tree is 40 years ago. The second best time is today.
User currently offlineCosmicCruiser From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2255 posts, RR: 15
Reply 24, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 2496 times:

[

Quoting Gemuser (Reply 22):
So what are the requirement in the USA for a FE rating? In Oz there is NO FE rating, it is an FE licience

Since I've only known a very few "professional" F/Es (Flying Tigers had a few that came over to Fedex and I think I flew with only one and that's a story in it's self), we've always just referred to it as the F/E rating but it's all the same I would say. I would also guess that during the days of "prof" F/Es there may have been more in depth knowledge of systems since most, so I've heard, had mech. backgrounds and may have done a little maint when necessary. In more recent years the F/E position was held by pilots as entry level positions and would progress to flying seats. Also the FAA has made a point of emphasizing that they will do NO type of maint on the jet. I can think of one such example where the capt. told the S/O (F/E) to swap to pressure gauges in order to verify a bad gauge and the FAA almost took his license. I do have a separate piece of paper that says F/E turbo-jet on it and it says "certificate" so let's compromise with F/E certificate/license/rating. At least here the S/O IS the F/E any other crewmember will be the Capt., F/O or RFO
 Silly


25 Transpac787 : UA was actually one of the first legacies to do it. I don't know for how long now, but I know it's been at least pre-9/11 that they've flown with onl
26 Post contains links and images VC10 : Well here in the UK the CAA still/did issue a F/E licence and the requirements are listed in the following site http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/175/SECTION
27 CosmicCruiser : this may explain it. Meet the aeronautical experience requirements (FAR 63.37). When taking the flight engineer practical test for the initial issuanc
28 Post contains images VC10 : Cosmic Cruiser, As I met every requirement other than being a pilot or military, I was quite amazed that he said I was not qualified to sit the F/E ba
29 WestWing : Perhaps so. Your explanation of 1+3 does makes sense. I only report what I see a passenger, I do not have any inside knowledge of UA standard operati
30 CosmicCruiser : Yeah I'm sure. when I was hired the F/E written was required because 727 F/E was the entry position. Now some guys go straight to the MD-11 right sea
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