warreng24
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Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Mon Nov 20, 2006 9:51 am

Why was the DC-10 designed and certified to require a 3 person cockpit?

The DC-9 was developed about 5 years earlier and it had a 2 person cockpit.

Mods: Not sure if this should have been posted to Tech/Ops. Please move if appropriate. Sorry.
 
EMBQA
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Mon Nov 20, 2006 11:14 am

Quoting Warreng24 (Thread starter):
Why was the DC-10 designed and certified to require a 3 person cockpit?

The DC-9 was developed about 5 years earlier and it had a 2 person cockpit.

Because the DC-10 is three times larger then the DC-9 and has three times as many systems.
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
HPRamper
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Mon Nov 20, 2006 11:15 am

The third person was a flight engineer. Around 1990-91 the MD-11 was introduced and also the MD-10 modification, both of which did away with the 3-person crew. Once advanced avionics came in, a third person wasn't needed to watch all the gauges etc.
 
TrijetsRMissed
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Mon Nov 20, 2006 11:19 am

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 1):
Why was the DC-10 designed and certified to require a 3 person cockpit?

The DC-9 was developed about 5 years earlier and it had a 2 person cockpit.

Because the DC-10 is three times larger then the DC-9 and has three times as many systems.

Also 3 person cockpits were not uncommon when the DC-10 was designed. The L-1011, 727, 747, and 737 all had 3 man crews at one time.
There's nothing quite like a trijet.
 
EMBQA
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Mon Nov 20, 2006 11:47 am

Quoting TrijetsRMissed (Reply 3):
and 737 all had 3 man crews at one time.

We have gone around and around on this one. The B737 never had a F/E. For one thing where would you put him..?? On the Co-Pilots lap..?? in the forward lav..??
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
charlienorth
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Mon Nov 20, 2006 11:52 am

My quote function is tango-uniform...but some carriers actually did operate the 737 with a 3rd man,he sat in the fold down jumpseat,at UAL they were nickmaned "social director',the major carriers (UAL and WAL)flew withe this arrangement,the local service companies (PI and Frontier) operated with a crew of two up front...believe it was eliminated in the late 70's or very early 80's
Work hard fly right..don't understand it
 
TrijetsRMissed
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Mon Nov 20, 2006 11:55 am

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 4):
Quoting TrijetsRMissed (Reply 3):
and 737 all had 3 man crews at one time.

We have gone around and around on this one. The B737 never had a F/E. For one thing where would you put him..?? On the Co-Pilots lap..?? in the forward lav..??

It was designed with a 3 man crew for 737-100. Just because it has long been changed does not mean it never happened.
There's nothing quite like a trijet.
 
VEEREF
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Mon Nov 20, 2006 11:56 am

IIRC wasn't it Ansett that operated 767's that were built with F/E stations to meet local pilot union criteria?
Airplanes are cool. Aviation sucks.
 
gigneil
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Mon Nov 20, 2006 12:00 pm

United did as well, at first.

N
 
mav75
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Mon Nov 20, 2006 12:14 pm

Quoting VEEREF (Reply 7):
IIRC wasn't it Ansett that operated 767's that were built with F/E stations to meet local pilot union criteria?

Either them or QANTAS.

As for the original question, I think it's a good one. All widebodies of the era had the 3 man cockpit. My guess on the reason is that there was not enough automation for the size and complexity of these aircraft to eliminate the need for the F/E.

Do any DC-10 fans have a more accurate or official explanation for the 3 man configuration?
 
Lucky42
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Mon Nov 20, 2006 12:43 pm

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 4):
We have gone around and around on this one. The B737 never had a F/E.

Obviously you haven't gone around enough. Charlienorth is absolutely right on I know someone who was hired on at UAL as a 737 FE only for a short time before going to the DC-8.
 
charlienorth
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Mon Nov 20, 2006 12:47 pm

I've heard it was a big reason for the DC9 sale to North Central,they didn't want the possibility of being forced to fly with the 3rd crew member.
Work hard fly right..don't understand it
 
hmmmm...
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Mon Nov 20, 2006 1:45 pm

With the introduction of EICAS, the FE positition was deemed safe to eliminate. The advent of the glass cockpit meant that the pilots could see all the instruments, albeit on screens that need to be called up, that the FE could see at his own station on dedicated analogue instruments.

One could argue that it is better to have three men in the cockpit, but when it became feasible to get rid of the third man, and his salary and benefits, the airlines jumped at the chance with the new technology.

There was a time when some airliners had dedicated navigators, some even had a man just for the radio.
An optimist robs himself of the joy of being pleasantly surprised
 
Lucky42
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Mon Nov 20, 2006 1:58 pm

Quoting Hmmmm... (Reply 12):
There was a time when some airliners had dedicated navigators, some even had a man just for the radio.

You still see this in some Russian airliners...Although Aeroflot is going more western in their airliners.
 
N1120A
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Mon Nov 20, 2006 3:55 pm

Quoting TrijetsRMissed (Reply 3):
Also 3 person cockpits were not uncommon when the DC-10 was designed. The L-1011, 727, 747, and 737 all had 3 man crews at one time.

The only reason the 737 had a 3 person crew is because United's unions demanded it.

Quoting Charlienorth (Reply 5):
My quote function is tango-uniform...but some carriers actually did operate the 737 with a 3rd man,he sat in the fold down jumpseat,at UAL they were nickmaned "social director',the major carriers (UAL and WAL)flew withe this arrangement,the local service companies (PI and Frontier) operated with a crew of two up front...believe it was eliminated in the late 70's or very early 80's

United eliminated their third person way before that, a few years after the introduction of the aircraft and the negotiation of a better contract.

Quoting TrijetsRMissed (Reply 6):
It was designed with a 3 man crew for 737-100. Just because it has long been changed does not mean it never happened.

You are completely wrong. The 737-100 was designed for a 2 person flight deck. AFAIK, no 737-100 ever flew with more than 2 people at the front. Some of the earlier -200 models flew that way, particularly at United, because of their union contract.

Quoting Mav75 (Reply 9):
Quoting VEEREF (Reply 7):
IIRC wasn't it Ansett that operated 767's that were built with F/E stations to meet local pilot union criteria?

Either them or QANTAS.

Ansett, and there was absolutely no need for it.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
LAXintl
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Mon Nov 20, 2006 4:44 pm

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 4):
The B737 never had a F/E.

Air France operated 737-200s for a brief period in the early 80s with the FE position. Again this was a union staffing requirement.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
SkyexRamper
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Mon Nov 20, 2006 9:39 pm

Quoting Warreng24 (Thread starter):
Why was the DC-10 designed and certified to require a 3 person cockpit?

Cause it's a little too hard for the captain to hit the switches and monitor fuel flows that are 6' behind him. Big grin
Good Luck to all Skyway Pilots! It's been great working with you!
 
VEEREF
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Mon Nov 20, 2006 9:58 pm

Quoting Mav75 (Reply 9):
All widebodies of the era had the 3 man cockpit. My guess on the reason is that there was not enough automation for the size and complexity of these aircraft to eliminate the need for the F/E.

Basically sums it up.
As a crewmember on the DC-10, I can also certainly vouch for the added benefit of a third brain and set of eyeballs up front as well.
Airplanes are cool. Aviation sucks.
 
ZRH
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Mon Nov 20, 2006 10:02 pm

In these days all long-haul aircrafts had three man cockpits, like the L 1011 or the 747.
 
higherflyer
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Tue Nov 21, 2006 1:35 am

Quoting Warreng24 (Thread starter):
Why was the DC-10 designed and certified to require a 3 person cockpit?

The DC-9 was developed about 5 years earlier and it had a 2 person cockpit

IIRC, the FAA had an aircraft weight limit for certifying 2 man vs. 3 man flightdecks. The 737 and the DC-9 were below the limits.
 
EMBQA
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Tue Nov 21, 2006 1:46 am

Quoting Lucky42 (Reply 10):
I know someone who was hired on at UAL as a 737 FE only for a short time before going to the DC-8.

Where did he sit...? In the forward lav...?? On the lap of the Co-Pilot...? There is no FE station in the 737 or any place other then the jumpseat to sit. There is no panel to work or tasks for an FE to perform.

[Edited 2006-11-20 17:53:36]
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
charlienorth
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Tue Nov 21, 2006 1:51 am

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 20):
Where did he sit...? In the forward lav...?? There is no FE station in the 737 or any place other then the jumpseat to sit. There is no panel to work or tasks for an FE to perform.

Like I said in a previous post he sat in the fold-down jumpseat,it would be aft of the pedestal and between the pilots,it was strictly a feather-bedding job,he would read checklists operate switches and probably fetch food and pass coffee to the other two.
Work hard fly right..don't understand it
 
timz
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Tue Nov 21, 2006 2:05 am

Quoting Higherflyer (Reply 19):
IIRC, the FAA had an aircraft weight limit for certifying 2 man vs. 3 man flightdecks.

80000 lb MTOW as I recall-- so when they were designing the DC-9 they initially planned to keep it below that limit.

Dunno when they increased that.

Didn't UA's 737s have a FE panel, along with the FE?
 
charlienorth
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Tue Nov 21, 2006 2:17 am

Quoting Timz (Reply 22):
Didn't UA's 737s have a FE panel, along with the FE?

No he just sat in the directors chair...in the early 60's during the cockpit representation fight acouple airlines (TWA and AA,I think)flew with 4 up front,Capt,First Officer,Second officer,allALPA and an FE (FEIA) on the 707's.
Work hard fly right..don't understand it
 
wjcandee
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Tue Nov 21, 2006 2:40 am

Quoting VEEREF (Reply 17):
As a crewmember on the DC-10, I can also certainly vouch for the added benefit of a third brain and set of eyeballs up front as well.

That was certainly the argument for a long time about 3-person cockpits in any event, just as it was for a "fireman" in locomotive engines long after there was no coal "fire" into which he was supposed to shovel fuel.

While this makes sense intuitively (the "extra set of eyeballs to be scanning the skies"), it also creates a different CRM environment. Most ironically, some of the better-known accidents involving CRM actually occurred with more-than-the-usual-compliment of pilots in the cockpit. In Eastern 401, the L1011 that flew into the swamp while everyone screwed with a burned-out lightbulb in the gear lights, there were actually FOUR guys in the cockpit, the three mandated and an Eastern pilot jumpseater. In the Midwest Express accident in which IIRC the crew somehow didn't realize that they'd blown an engine on takeoff and thus didn't apply the proper procedures to correct for it, they had three guys in the cockpit, including a senior Midwest guy in the jumpseat. The absolutely-pathetic-and-tragic ATI accident where they repeatedly botched a 3-engine takeoff when ferrying a DC8 before, on the umpteenth try, they managed to lose control and kill themselves, was a 3-person crew. There were -- what -- four guys in the cockpit of that showboat B-52 that crashed so dramatically in rehearsal for an airshow, including officers at least equal in rank to the pilot? Sometimes, it seems, the CRM environment in which multiple people seem to agree that something is okay tends to drown out that third person's voice of reason...

I don't doubt that in high-workload sections of flight, having a 3-man crew is extremely helpful, but I think it turns out that it doesn't necessarily make anything "safer".
 
mav75
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Tue Nov 21, 2006 4:51 am

Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 24):
While this makes sense intuitively (the "extra set of eyeballs to be scanning the skies"), it also creates a different CRM environment. Most ironically, some of the better-known accidents involving CRM actually occurred with more-than-the-usual-compliment of pilots in the cockpit.



Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 24):
Sometimes, it seems, the CRM environment in which multiple people seem to agree that something is okay tends to drown out that third person's voice of reason...I don't doubt that in high-workload sections of flight, having a 3-man crew is extremely helpful, but I think it turns out that it doesn't necessarily make anything "safer".

It's not always all bad either. A classic example of this is UAL 232 (which, ironically for this thread, happened to be a DC-10) which benefitted from having a DC-10 flight instructor. Almost every CRM class I've sat through uses that flight as a model of how to do it right. In fact, if I'm right, the concept of CRM as we know it now was created AFTER this accident to help create a safer and more cohesive and effective team up front.

The Eastern crash happened almost 20 years before this when the cockpit dynamic was a lot different.
 
lincoln
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Tue Nov 21, 2006 5:12 am

Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 24):
Most ironically, some of the better-known accidents involving CRM actually occurred with more-than-the-usual-compliment of pilots in the cockpit. In Eastern 401, the L1011 that flew into the swamp while everyone screwed with a burned-out lightbulb in the gear lights, there were actually FOUR guys in the cockpit, the three mandated and an Eastern pilot jumpseater.



Quoting Mav75 (Reply 25):
It's not always all bad either. A classic example of this is UAL 232 (which, ironically for this thread, happened to be a DC-10) which benefitted from having a DC-10 flight instructor

Damn, beat me to it. Wasn't there a total of four people working on that one as a team-- Cpt. Haynes, the FO, the flight engineer, and the flight instructor who happened to be in the cabin, and came up to see if he could help?

I'm not a pilot, but the concepts behind CRM are well and good as long as you remember the M -- management. Someone has to "take charge" and manage the resources. This isn't saying "I'm the captain, I'm right" but someone has to make the final decision; it's when everyone is engrossed in the situation and stops paying attention to the outside world, no matter if you have 2 people or 20, that things are going to fall appart.

Lincoln
CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
 
LHRSpotter
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Tue Nov 21, 2006 6:37 am

Quoting Mav75 (Reply 25):
It's not always all bad either. A classic example of this is UAL 232 (which, ironically for this thread, happened to be a DC-10) which benefitted from having a DC-10 flight instructor. Almost every CRM class I've sat through uses that flight as a model of how to do it right. In fact, if I'm right, the concept of CRM as we know it now was created AFTER this accident to help create a safer and more cohesive and effective team up front.

The flight instructor D. Fitch was actually deadheading on that flight and was sitting in the cabin. When the plane started experiencing difficulties he entered the cockpit and offered his assistance. This would've happened even in a two man cockpit. Would've still made the CRM books though since they even used additional resources from OUTSIDE the cockpit.
 
jetdeltamsy
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Tue Nov 21, 2006 7:39 am

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 1):
Because the DC-10 is three times larger then the DC-9 and has three times as many systems.

Uh....no.

727's also carried flight engineers.

The aircraft was designed at a time when the available technology made a third human in the cockpit a necessity. The MD11 is a two man crew.

Today's technologies allow a two person crew to handle everything.
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
C133
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Tue Nov 21, 2006 7:50 am

The DC-3 and DC-4 had two crew cockpits. When pressurization was added to the DC-6 the FAA, in their infinite wisdom, ruled that the aded complexity warranted the addition of a third crewmwmber, a flight engineer. The Convair 240 (as well as the Martin 202) with only two engines was exempt from this, but all the four (and 3) engine U.S. airliners from the DC-6 onward had 3 crew cockpits. It was just automatic. Going along with how things were done, the 767 was designed to include a flight engineer and the first dozen or so airplanes were built that way.

Somehow either Boeing or it's customers floated the idea that the 76 could be safely operated by two pilots, the concept was accepted, and the design (as well as the early airplanes) was changed. The FE was no more. Who knows, maybe the FE position was never really needed at all, but as has been said, the extra person was extremely handy to have at times.
Fine: Tax for doing wrong. Tax: Fine for doing well.
 
meister808
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Tue Nov 21, 2006 8:03 am

Why a 3 person cockpit on the DC-10? So the third guy can manage the throttles when the #2 engine explodes, of course...

-Meister


(yeah yeah, you all beat me to it)

Quoting Mav75 (Reply 25):
A classic example of this is UAL 232
Twin Cessna 812 Victor, Minneapolis Center, we observe your operation in the immediate vicinity of extreme precipitation
 
N1120A
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Tue Nov 21, 2006 8:20 am

Quoting C133 (Reply 29):
Somehow either Boeing or it's customers floated the idea that the 76 could be safely operated by two pilots

The 767 was designed with the exact same cockpit as the 757 and they hold the same type rating. It was designed from the start to have 2 crew
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
timz
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Tue Nov 21, 2006 9:00 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 31):
[the 767] was designed from the start to have 2 crew

You mean, it was designed from the start to be capable of using 2 crew, right? But three crew was planned as an option?

It wasn't until 1982 (?) that that blue-ribbon commission (or whatever it was) ruled that two crew was enough for future widebodies; ALPA had agreed to accept their ruling.
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Tue Nov 21, 2006 9:03 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 31):
It was designed from the start to have 2 crew

Depends how you look at it. Still the really early 767s had a simple FE panel, and a seat for the FE, IIRC. But it was so basic they figured they could just squeeze everything in the overhead panel.

There's a picture of the FE panel somewhere out there.

[Edited 2006-11-21 01:04:53]
 
cedarjet
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Tue Nov 21, 2006 9:15 am

The 767 was always built as a two-man cockpit. The flight engineer's station for the Ansett -200s was added afterwards, as a customer option. I flew in the jumpseat of an Ansett 767-200 with a flight engineer's panel and everyone in the front office, "flight engineer" included, thought it was a hilarious jape to have a dude with his own little panel of buttons to press, none of which did anything. We laughed our arses off actually, cos I asked him what he did and none of them had an answer! I can attest to it being a very small panel, with very few controls or displays, I do recall four big orange buttons but that was all! Quite surreal. Eventually the panels were ripped out and replaced with the more usual bookshelf.

Here is the only photo I can find. Unfortunately you can't see the bath toy vibes of the actual panel but you can see the flight engineer's head with headset on, in the far right of this photo:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Russell. Bradley.



(Ansett were the only airline to have this ridiculous arrangement. UA may have flown with heavy crew to speed up crew familisation etc, or carried Boeing observers as UA were first to fly, but they never operated three man crew on the seven six.)

[Edited 2006-11-21 01:21:30]
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
SNfreak
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Tue Nov 21, 2006 9:23 am

Here's a pic
And it's an AA plane

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Daniel Werner


[Edited 2006-11-21 01:25:14]
Life is simple : Eat, Sleep and Fly
 
lorm
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Tue Nov 21, 2006 10:24 am

Quoting Cedarjet (Reply 34):
The 767 was always built as a two-man cockpit. The flight engineer's station for the Ansett -200s was added afterwards, as a customer option. I flew in the jumpseat of an Ansett 767-200 with a flight engineer's panel and everyone in the front office, "flight engineer" included, thought it was a hilarious jape to have a dude with his own little panel of buttons to press, none of which did anything. We laughed our arses off actually, cos I asked him what he did and none of them had an answer! I can attest to it being a very small panel, with very few controls or displays, I do recall four big orange buttons but that was all! Quite surreal. Eventually the panels were ripped out and replaced with the more usual bookshelf.

Negative.

Boeing offered buyers the choice of either a two or three crew environment. Ansett was one of the first to buy the 762 in March 1980 with a five plane order that included 12 737-200s and 4 727-200s. When Ansett's 767 order was signed the Australian Federation of Air Pilots and Australian Airline Flight Engineers Association insisted that the plane be operated by two pilots and one flight engineer.

The five planes were intially delivered from Boeing with the FE panel installed.

The first five 767-277s were
VH-RMD msn 22692 reg date 06/06/83 ex N8278V (Boeing house registration)
VH-RME msn 22693 reg date 06/13/83 ex N8292V ""
VH-RMF msn 22694 reg date 06/22/83 ex N8287V ""
VH-RMG msn 22695 reg date 08/23/83 ex N8289v ""
VH-RMH msn 22696 reg date 09/20/84 ex N1791B ""

The FE panel featured a standard 767 EICAS CRT with display controls, Compartment temp controls, Pneumatic controls, Hydraulic controls, Electric controls w/ APU controls, and Pressurization Controls.

After AFAP no longer represented Ansett's pilots in 1989 following a dispute. The three-crew agreement was no longer binding, and talks began with the FE Association to alter the requirement. The five original 767s would be converted.

The first aircraft to be modified was VH-RMG done in Melbourne in Febuary 1998, done in five days. It required moving only the relevant systems to the overhead. The remaining 767s were converted.

Only one aircraft VH-RMD took more labor to be converted. It was wired with the FE panel permanently "hard wired".

Before


After


I posted this information in a thread awhile back in Tech Ops in http://www1.airliners.net/discussions/tech_ops/read.main/96542/. I found the photos again so this is a repost of the information contained in that thread. References and photos were taken from Airliners Magazine Nov/1998 "Ansett's Unique 767s" written and photographed by Chris Boulton. Original photos were posted under permission from mod VC-10.

LorM

[Edited 2006-11-21 02:27:43]
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474218
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Tue Nov 21, 2006 11:12 am

Unless I am mistaken the A300 (prior to the -600 version) also required a 3 man flight crew.
 
EMBQA
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Tue Nov 21, 2006 11:22 am

Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 28):
727's also carried flight engineers.

....and the 727 has three engines and is more complex system wise.
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
levg79
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Tue Nov 21, 2006 11:46 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 31):
The 767 was designed with the exact same cockpit as the 757 and they hold the same type rating. It was designed from the start to have 2 crew

Actually, in the 1990s when airlines of the former Soviet Union started operating 767s, they had a 3-man crew. As I recall speaking to one of former SU and later 9Y pilots, the 3rd person was responsible for talking on the radio and calling out altitudes during landing, among some other minor things.

Leo.
A mile of runway takes you to the world. A mile of highway takes you a mile.
 
jetstar
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Tue Nov 21, 2006 12:40 pm

IIRC the FAA regulations at the time required a flight engineer on all 2 engine airplanes that weighed over 80,000 pounds and all 3 or more engine aircraft. Both Boeing with their 737-100 and Douglas with the DC-9-10 had a maximum weight just under the 80,000 pound limit so they were certified for 2 pilots.

It was an ALPA move to target these 2 man airplanes and they chose the 737 for their action. Both United and Western were forced to fly the 737 with a flight engineer who basically just sat there and read the checklist and operated a few switches. Because of ALPA’s targeting the 737, it cost Boeing quite a few sales of the B-737 in the US because many of the other airlines purchased the DC-9 or the BAC 1-11 instead as their short range jet aircraft. I remember reading somewhere that Boeing was threatening to sue ALPA over this work action to recover their financial losses if ALPA did not drop this requirement. If you look at the early operators of the B-737 and DC-9, most domestic airlines like Eastern, Continental, TWA, Delta, Southern, Ozark, Allegheny, Texas International, Air West, Northeast all went to the DC-9 where Boeing only sold the B-737 to United, Western, Piedmont and Frontier. The 2 pilot vs 3 pilot cockpit was one of the main reasons the airlines went with the DC-9 instead of the 737

Braniff and Mohawk went with the BAC 1-11, so in the early days Douglas greatly outsold Boeing in the short range jet market in the US and Boeing never really recovered their losses, once the airlines started operating the DC-9, they stayed with Douglas and ordered the later versions as well even after ALPA dropped their FE requirement on the B-737.

ALPA started this because the airlines were planning to replace their DC6/7’s, Lockheed Connies and Electras, all with 3 pilot cockpits with the new short range jets from Boeing and Douglas and they were trying to preserve these FE positions on the new jets. ALPA also fought hard to prevent Boeing from certifying the B-767 with 2 pilot cockpits and the first 767’s delivered to United had a flight engineers panel on them. When Boeing got the FAA to sign off on the 2 pilot cockpit for the 767, Boeing modified these first few airplanes and removed the FE panel. UA was the only other operator of the 3 pilot 767 and it was only for the first few months they operated the airplane. I think it was only the first 4 or 5 airplanes that had the FE position on them, All subsequent 767’s delivered to UA had 2 pilot cockpits. UA wanted their 767’s in service as soon as possible and they were willing to operate them with the 3 pilot cockpit instead of waiting until Boeing got the 2 pilot FAA certification.
 
lincoln
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Tue Nov 21, 2006 12:53 pm

In a similar vein, on aircraft that still require flight engineers, are there still crewmembers who are "just" flight engineers?

I seem to remember hearing about airlines using "non-professional" flight engineers which, at least the way I understood it were people who had captain/first officer ratings and would fufill the role of a flight engineer. I.e. of any given three-person crew, any crewmember was qualified to preform any function and the flight engineer on one flight may be a PIC the next day. (I'm doing a poor job of conveying this, but hopefully it makes enough sense)

Lincoln
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wjcandee
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Tue Nov 21, 2006 1:26 pm

Quoting Mav75 (Reply 25):
if I'm right, the concept of CRM as we know it now was created AFTER this accident [United 232] to help create a safer and more cohesive and effective team up front.

CRM (or the need for defining and teaching a set of principles like it) were first suggested by the NTSB in the human factors section of a report on the 1971 crash of an Allegheny Airlines prop where the cap intentionally busted the MDA and ignored the First Officer's protests about doing so.

Eastern 401 occurred in 1972. It is a classic example of an absence of resource management and tunnel vision. ("Do you want me to fly?" asks the first officer to the captain while the captain is directing the F/E on how to screw with the blacked-out gear light. No response.)

United started a program to define cockpit roles in a way that set clear guidelines about how captains should exercise command authority and how crew should interface, around 1980.

United 232 wasn't until 1989, so Al Haynes and his boys had all been through CRM training, or its predecessor, for many years.

Continental was an early-adopter of CRM. Continental used to show a simulator video recreating Eastern 401 using the CVR transcript and actual airline pilots in the roles, and then discussing with groups of captains and groups of f/os their reactions to it. It's pretty damn effective.

Interestingly, for the longest time, Eastern rejected even the need to consider CRM.

Of course, the FAA now mandates this training at all Part 121 carriers.

[Edited 2006-11-21 05:29:10]
 
N1120A
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Tue Nov 21, 2006 2:55 pm

Quoting Timz (Reply 32):
You mean, it was designed from the start to be capable of using 2 crew, right? But three crew was planned as an option?

It was designed from the start to be a 2 crew aircraft. The three crew option was to get around requirements of the various unions.

Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 33):
Depends how you look at it. Still the really early 767s had a simple FE panel, and a seat for the FE, IIRC. But it was so basic they figured they could just squeeze everything in the overhead panel.

They didn't need to figure it out. The airplane, along with its sister 757, had the first true glass cockpit and needn't squeeze anything in.

Quoting Timz (Reply 32):
It wasn't until 1982 (?) that that blue-ribbon commission (or whatever it was) ruled that two crew was enough for future widebodies; ALPA had agreed to accept their ruling.

Remember, the 767 didn't start flying in service until September 1982. It was designed from the start to be the first widebody flying with 2 crew and the first to have full commonality with a narrowbody (the 757). The 767 is the reason the FAA promulgated the 2 crew rule, not the other way around.

Quoting Levg79 (Reply 39):


Actually, in the 1990s when airlines of the former Soviet Union started operating 767s, they had a 3-man crew. As I recall speaking to one of former SU and later 9Y pilots, the 3rd person was responsible for talking on the radio and calling out altitudes during landing, among some other minor things.

Which had nothing to do with the aircraft.

Quoting Lincoln (Reply 41):
In a similar vein, on aircraft that still require flight engineers, are there still crewmembers who are "just" flight engineers?

Most airlines employ full pilots now as flight engineers for simplicity.
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TrijetsRMissed
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Wed Nov 22, 2006 8:02 am

Generally

Quoting Mav75 (Reply 25):
Almost every CRM class I've sat through uses that flight as a model of how to do it right. In fact, if I'm right, the concept of CRM as we know it now was created AFTER this accident to help create a safer and more cohesive and effective team up front.

While your are right that CRM classes surely cite this as a positive example of having CRM, it was being taught by several airlines before this accident.

The four major accidents that lead to the program are the EA L1011 in Miami, Pan Am/KLM 747's at Tenerife, Air Florida 737 Potomac, and UA DC-8 Portland crash.
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vc10
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Wed Nov 22, 2006 8:15 am

although very few in number now I think you will find that in the UK at least all F/E are straight F/Es. In fact this was the case with British Airways until they no longer needed them with the retirement of Concorde

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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Wed Nov 22, 2006 8:17 am

Quoting Lincoln (Reply 41):
In a similar vein, on aircraft that still require flight engineers, are there still crewmembers who are "just" flight engineers?

I seem to remember hearing about airlines using "non-professional" flight engineers which, at least the way I understood it were people who had captain/first officer ratings and would fufill the role of a flight engineer. I.e. of any given three-person crew, any crewmember was qualified to preform any function and the flight engineer on one flight may be a PIC the next day. (I'm doing a poor job of conveying this, but hopefully it makes enough sense)

Lincoln

There is no such thing as a non-professional Flight Engineer, if the certification requires an FE, then that person must be in possession of a FE rating, if on piston airplanes than they cannot be a FE on a jet airplane until they get their FE jet airplane rating and visa versa.

The age 60 rule only applies to pilots, not FE’s so some pilots who reached the 60 year limit if the company allowed it can downgrade to the FE position for a few more years but at the FE pay rate, but increasing their time in service with the company. Any pilot who downgrades to the FE position also must possess an FE rating, they cannot act as an FE on their pilot’s license.

In the days of the DC-6/7’s and Lockheed Constellations the requirements were for 2 pilots and a Flight Engineer, most often the FE was an A&P mechanic as well because they were in charge of the aircraft systems. When the first airline jets like the B-707 and DC-8’s came into the service the FAA required 3 pilots in the cockpit, so all the professional FE’s had to go and get their FAA commercial pilots licenses, even though they would never actually touch the flight controls of the airplane. After this FAA rule was imposed almost all the airlines started their new hire pilots off as FE’s and as they gained seniority they were able to move up to the right seat. The senior FE’s who did not want to upgrade stayed in their FE position and became very senior and would bid all the good trips, but the new pilots who were hired had to move up the ladder and could not stay as an FE for their entire career.

As all new airplanes today are 2 person cockpits, the Flight Engineer is slowly becoming extinct, just like the navigator. As the B-727’s, DC-8’s, and 10’s and the B-747 up to the –300 are retired, they are being replaced by 2 person cockpits and I would assume in about 10 years they will be very few Flight Engineers left.
 
C133
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Wed Nov 22, 2006 9:18 am

From the Boeing web site at this URL:

http://www.boeing.com/commercial/767family/pf/pf_fltdeck.html

An excerpt:
"The crew-size debate reached its peak in the spring of 1981, when a U.S. presidential task force was commissioned to determine the safety of two-crew operations for large widebody aircraft. After several months of hearings and extensive human-factors and safety data analyses, the task force concluded in July 1981 that two-crew operations could be conducted safely. This decision came less than a month before the first 767 was to roll out of the factory. Following the task force report, the United Airlines pilots' union agreed to fly a two-crew 767. With similar agreements among other airlines and their pilots, the last major barrier to full acceptance of the two-pilot configuration was removed.

Eleven of the 12 airlines that had ordered the three-crew 767s changed their orders to the two-crew design. The timing of a change of this magnitude had enormous implications for 767 production and certification. Extensive planning and lead time were needed. The first structural parts went into production two years before the airplane was to roll out of the factory in August 1981. The first avionics system (an inertial navigation gyro) was delivered 20 months before rollout.

By September 1981, Boeing had developed the necessary plans to retrofit airplanes already produced with the three-crew flight deck and to incorporate the new design into the production line, beginning with the 31st airplane."

Hope this settles the issue, at least for now.
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C133
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Wed Nov 22, 2006 9:28 am

Quoting Jetstar (Reply 46):
When the first airline jets like the B-707 and DC-8’s came into the service the FAA required 3 pilots in the cockpit, so all the professional FE’s had to go and get their FAA commercial pilots licenses, even though they would never actually touch the flight controls of the airplane.

Sorry, this isn't true. At American Airlines, at least, the professional FEs never had pilot qualifications or licenses. Can't speak for other carriers.
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474218
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Wed Nov 22, 2006 10:03 am

Back when Douglas DC-6's, DC-7's and Lockheed Constellation's were the way to travel, they had flight deck crews of 4 and five. Pilot, Co-Pilot, Flight Engineer, Navigator and Radio Operators were fairly common. As more modern equipment became available some of these flight crew members begin to become redundant. First the Radio Operator as radios became more powerful and smaller, then the Navigator as onboard navigation equipment became more reliable, than the Flight Engineer as digital glass flight station instruments became the norm. Next may be the the Co-Pilot and then?