Dtw757
Topic Author
Posts: 1270
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2003 10:05 am

What's Happening To The Flight Engineers?

Thu Nov 06, 2003 10:25 am

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.
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EMBQA
Posts: 7797
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 3:52 am

RE: What's Happening To The Flight Engineers?

Thu Nov 06, 2003 11:00 am

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"
 
fly727
Posts: 1752
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2003 8:27 am

RE: What's Happening To The Flight Engineers?

Thu Nov 06, 2003 1:22 pm

Easy... we are no longer requiered.
Fortunately I hold a commercial also.
RM  Smile
There are no stupid questions... just stupid people!
 
Guest

RE: What's Happening To The Flight Engineers?

Thu Nov 06, 2003 1:32 pm

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.
xxx
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.
xxx
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...
xxx
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.
xxx
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.
xxx
Happy contrails  Smile
(s) Skipper
 
subzero
Posts: 62
Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2002 7:22 am

RE: What's Happening To The Flight Engineers?

Thu Nov 06, 2003 2:45 pm

one abbreviation. FMS

Richard
 
Dtw757
Topic Author
Posts: 1270
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2003 10:05 am

RE: What's Happening To The Flight Engineers?

Thu Nov 06, 2003 8:40 pm

B747skipper

Thank you, great information!!

dtw757
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cedarjet
Posts: 8101
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 1:12 am

RE: What's Happening To The Flight Engineers?

Thu Nov 06, 2003 8:51 pm

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
 
airliner777
Posts: 411
Joined: Thu May 25, 2000 6:38 am

RE: What's Happening To The Flight Engineers?

Thu Nov 06, 2003 8:54 pm

I have always admired you B747skipper! Thank you Sir!
 
ProSimTec
Posts: 316
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 12:16 am

RE: What's Happening To The Flight Engineers?

Fri Nov 07, 2003 12:05 am

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.

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