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Early 737, 3 Man Crew?  
User currently offlineOnlyWay2Fly From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 30 posts, RR: 0
Posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 10292 times:

Back in the mid 1960's, when the 737 was introduced, ALPA successfully lobbied the FAA for a third man in the cockpit. There was no F/E station on the flight deck, but ALPA said that the 3rd man was needed as a "lookout" for other aircraft, as the pilots had an increased work load without the engineer.
Interestingly, ALPA did not make the same demands for the DC-9/BAC-111, so rumor has it that several airlines passed on the 737 and ordered the other aircraft to prevent having to pay that third salary.
This brings to mind a couple of questions that hopefully some of my fellow "gray hairs" can answer:
1. What was the rank of that third man? Was he still designated as a F/E?
2. How long did this arrangement last?
3. Why did ALPA exclude the DC-9/BAC-111 from this requirement?

Any answers/comments/stories are appreciated.


Alas poor Western, I knew them well!
32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17186 posts, RR: 66
Reply 1, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 10205 times:

Related to this: Union regulations in NZ and Russia forced Boeing to include a flight engineer's position on the 767, until they came to their senses and changed the regulations.


"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 10166 times:

>>>1. What was the rank of that third man? Was he still designated as a F/E?

F/E....


>>>2. How long did this arrangement last?

Late 1960s, IIRC...


>>>3. Why did ALPA exclude the DC-9/BAC-111 from this requirement?

Don't know for sure, but I'd speculate that it was because the only major US airline operating the 737 way back then was United (and maybe Western, also) and that the overall "issue" with these airlines and ALPA had been resolved before operators of DC-9s (and others) still were dealing with their pilot groups. If United/Western agreed to a 2-pilot cockpit, it'd have taken the wind out of the sails re: efforts of other pilot groups. Again, just speculation...

Then again, maybe ALPA knew how uncomfortable the jumpseat in a DC-9 really was!  Big grin


User currently offlineOnlyWay2Fly From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 30 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 10131 times:

OPNLguy, thanks for the info....Starlion, now that you mention it, I seem to remember hearing about the early 767 rules...Thanks.
Makes me think about the old trans-Atlantic days, with 4 (or more?) on the flight deck.



Alas poor Western, I knew them well!
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17186 posts, RR: 66
Reply 4, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 10115 times:

What I have always wanted to see is a pic of a 767 flight deck with an F/E postion. But no such luck so far.


"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineLorm From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 409 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 10041 times:

Starlionblue, I have an Airways mag with just that picture of the 767 Ansett used to operate with the 3 man crews, one before and after the modification. Quite interesting to see, I'll try and scan it in later on and quote the article. They had IIRC at least 5 delivered in the 3 man crew configuration, and maybe one? converted. I have to dig around for the magazine, I'm sure it's in my mess somewhere  Wink/being sarcastic
-Mike



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User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 10021 times:

Back to the original 737 question, I got curious, and found this:

http://www.jalcrew.jp/jfu/english/b747-400/3man03.htm

In a nutshell, United started flying three-man crews in 1970, and the article mentions Wien and Frontier, as well as Aloha (who wanted an exception for a 2-man crew since they were in Hawaii, with better weather and a supposedly lesser workload). Looks like there were various legal ranglings during the 1970s, and after 1979, United appears to have been the only one left with a 3-man crew. I know a an old-time ex-UAL guy and I'll ask him tomorrow when they went to a 2-man crew...


User currently offlineIndianguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 9963 times:

On an Alliance Air flight there were 3 people in the cockpit. But I think the 3rd guy was a check-pilot or something.

User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31712 posts, RR: 56
Reply 8, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 9889 times:

The B737 has always been a Two man Cockpit crew aircraft from the time it began flying commercially.
The FE was never needed as the B737 had a Master caution and Annunciator panel installed which alerted the Crew to a caution light illuminating on the overhead panel.It was supposed to reduce the workload on the Two man crew eliminating the need of a FE.
There are however Two seats provided in the cockpit of a B737 stated as Observer positions 1 & 2.#2 observer seat is located directly behind the Capt seat,while the 1st observers seat is Foldable and is located fwd of the door to the cockpit.
regds
HAWK



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineCitationJet From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 2469 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 9843 times:

Hawk21M
I believe that the 737-100 had 2 and 3 cockpit crew configurations. See the following link:
http://www.aerospaceweb.org/aircraft/jetliner/b737/



Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,737,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773.
User currently offlineAGM100 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 5407 posts, RR: 17
Reply 10, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 9789 times:

On the -300 freighter their are 4 seats . We are installing a second observer seat on one right now. Boeing SB 737-25-1233. I assume it is for a cargo handler or something like that.


You dig the hole .. I fill the hole . 100% employment !
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 11, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 9643 times:

As for the BAC-111 and the DC-9 I don't know if this is the answer or not, but I'm not sure it would even be possible to put two jumpseats in these aircraft.

A "forward observer seat" is required under FAR Part 25. This would have to be in addition to the engineer's seat.

I once sat in a 767 engineer seat. It was a prototype aircraft and a Boeing test aircraft. They said that the decision had already been made that the plane itself did not required an engineer and that this airframe was going to be tested to destruction because it was not economically feasible to convert it to two-pilot.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineLorm From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 409 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 9615 times:

I once sat in a 767 engineer seat. It was a prototype aircraft and a Boeing test aircraft. They said that the decision had already been made that the plane itself did not required an engineer and that this airframe was going to be tested to destruction because it was not economically feasible to convert it to two-pilot.

I wonder if it is possible, Slamclick, you sat in one of the Ansett 767-200s that were eventually delivered to Ansett? Supposedly as the article I referenced in post
http://www.airliners.net/discussions/tech_ops/read.main/96529/ (Ansett's 767-200s with Engineers Stations)

It states all these 767s were painted originally in Boeing House Colors with corresponding regs. They were all consecutive msns off of the production line, msn 22692-22696. Of course I'm only speculating, as I don't know what the one you were on was painted like, but it would be quite cool to know if you were on one of these unique aircraft  Smile/happy/getting dizzy



Brick Windows
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 13, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 9602 times:

LorM No, what I got a tour of was a Boeing test article. I don't believe that it was ever delivered to any airline and that the airframe was made available to static testing after the flight test program was complete. This is based on what the crew told me.

At the time I was aboard no 767 had yet been delivered to any airline. The type certificate had not yet been awarded. The plane was all-over green, but it was neither paint nor zinc chromate. I was told that there is some coating that Boeing uses during this phase that protects the sheet metal but will permit painting later if that is to happen.

The interior was bare and it had a number of consoles in the cabin which inlcuded video cameras trained on instrument panels. The crew was all from Boeing flight test. They said that it was a prototype and not a production aircraft.

However, I do not know what eventually did happen to that aircraft.




Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31712 posts, RR: 56
Reply 14, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 9585 times:

Citation Jet....
The Website only states Flight crew 2-3 it could also be 2-4.There are four seats available in later models.
What was the 3rd flying man doing sitting behind the P9 panel.
There is no Boeing stated data quoting a FE panel was present or a FE was need to fly.Thats what Im trying to state.
I still stand by Two oprating crew with 2 observer seats.No FE.
regds
HAWK



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29840 posts, RR: 58
Reply 15, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 9466 times:

Hawk the story is that when the 737...in the United States.....was first introduced into service the union contracts with several of the airlines that operated them required that aircraft to be flown with three man crews. The third guy having very little to do. Keep in mind that a 737 was a bigger airplane then the early 10 series DC-9, which never had this stupid union requirement put on it.

Eventually a little sanity prevailed and those 737 operators where able to switch over to the two man crew.

The 3 man crew wasn't a Boeing or FAA requirement, only ALPA.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31712 posts, RR: 56
Reply 16, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 9458 times:

L-188....Any Idea what the 3rd man used to do.Apart from monitoring the Instrument parameters theres not much.
regds
HAWK



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29840 posts, RR: 58
Reply 17, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 9438 times:

I dunno, shop stewart? get coffee?

Never have seen any specifics on what his job on the 737 was....Like I said, it was a union thing.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineOnlyWay2Fly From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 30 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 9418 times:

According to the book where I read about this 3 man practice, the 3rd man was there as a "lookout" for other aircraft, since the pilots were busier with the aircraft systems due to the lack of a flight engineer.
BTW, the book is "Loud and Clear" by Robert J. Serling....somewhat dated now, but still a good read.



Alas poor Western, I knew them well!
User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 9412 times:

I finally heard from my ex-UAL buddy, and he recalls United dropping the 3rd guy on the 737s back around 1972-1973 or so. This differs with the info mentioned in the link in reply #6, so I have no idea what the real answer is.

User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29840 posts, RR: 58
Reply 20, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 9315 times:

I think your buddy is right OPNLguy,

I have no sources for that but it does seem like a more likely timeline.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31712 posts, RR: 56
Reply 21, posted (10 years 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 8771 times:

The B737 cockpit is too cramped for even Two Guys.
I think modification to the seat tracks did help in making Entry/Egress to the seat easier.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 18
Reply 22, posted (10 years 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 8712 times:

As to stupid union regulations: UK trains to this date (unless it was changed very recently) have a 2nd man in front, a leftover from the days when there was a driver and a second man to load the coal into the steam engine.
This person has no reason to be there, no job at all except to draw wages...

Unions refused to allow diesel and electric trains unless the crew remained the same...



I wish I were flying
User currently offlineMusang From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2001, 872 posts, RR: 7
Reply 23, posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 8591 times:

This must have changed since your information Jwenting, trains here are now flown solo!. But you're right about the stupid union regs. Recently railway employees were found to be drawing ££ for staffing signal boxes which had been demolished!

We call it "Jobs for the Boys"

Regards - Musang


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31712 posts, RR: 56
Reply 24, posted (10 years 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 8511 times:

Fantastic Aircraft I know I say it all the time  Smile
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
25 Post contains images MxCtrlr : L-188....Any Idea what the 3rd man used to do.Apart from monitoring the Instrument parameters theres not much. From what I gathered from folks I talke
26 Post contains images HAWK21M : I guess in due course of time they realised that Two man crew would be adequate,I glad they did. regds MEL
27 747400sp : If I was any part of an flight deck crew in the 60s. I would not want to fly on an ugly little 737. Put me in a good looking 727 or 707.
28 Post contains images HAWK21M : Isn't section 41 common regds MEL
29 Timz : In earlier years (until the early 1960s anyway) it was an FAA-or-whoever requirement on 80000-lb+ airliners.
30 HAWK21M : Anyone having a three crew pic on the type somewhere. regds MEL
31 Post contains links and images Transpac787 : Yes sir, here's an old before/after pic of the SO station on a 762.
32 Post contains images HAWK21M : Was enquiring about the B737. regds MEL
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