Topic Author
Posts: 186
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2000 7:53 am


Fri Jan 12, 2001 12:39 pm

Considering DC-8's are basically older than dirt (LOL, just kidding) are there any plans for UPS to get rid of them, in the wake of the A300 order???

Also, UPSPilot, what aircraft do you fly, since I'm sure you'll read this?

Posts: 288
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2000 11:46 am


Fri Jan 12, 2001 12:44 pm

I hope airbus is replacing its DC8s with airbusses, that it ordered. According to FAAs website they currently have 49 of them...wowie.
UPS Pilot
Posts: 840
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 1:17 pm


Fri Jan 12, 2001 2:14 pm

Yes, UPS is going to replace the DC-8 but not anytime soon. The DC-8's are in good shape. They meet noise regulations, new avionics, re-engined all with CFM-56's and there are alot of spare parts for them. As time warrants, when the DC-8's become unflyable or unprofitable then they will be phased out. They have all been pretty much retired to domestic duties though. There are a few flying to Latin America (Puerto Rico) and I think one still flys on a Inter-Asian route but they use to fly long haul quite a bit, not anymore.

UPS is the worlds largest operator of the DC-8 with 49 in operation.

I fly the 757 Fed Ex DC-10.
Posts: 3094
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 6:40 am


Fri Jan 12, 2001 3:03 pm

The DC8's were overhauled and returned to zero time when the new CFM engines were hung. The planes are not old at all if you consider this. I wouldn't be surprised if you see these UPS planes flying for another 30 years. However mayber not with UPS. Even the DC8's that werent converted only have about 50,000 cylcles. About half the design life.

Nothing other than the L188 was built as tough or over engineered than the DC8.

Posts: 196
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2000 12:28 am


Sat Jan 13, 2001 9:42 am

I bet when UPS retires the last A300, many years down the road, they will pick the crew up in a DC8.


Flying The DC-8

Sat Jan 13, 2001 10:58 am

What is it like to fly the DC-8? I bet it really fun flying a bird that requires manual flying. I say that with the advent of all of these modern day marvels that we call airplanes today. I love the 777 and the A340, but having to REALLY fly it you know. If you can tell me, how long would a new-hire have to ride the F/E panel on that thing before getting a front seat? Let me throw that question out there for 727 as well. How long? Is UPS a carrier that is filled with SENIOR, SENIOR guys that aren't going anywhere for a long, meaning movement is relatively slow? I will understand if you can't answer, I am just a student pilot, who as dreams you know. Thanks in advance.
Posts: 208
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2000 12:53 pm

RE: Flying The DC-8

Sat Jan 13, 2001 12:01 pm

Also, the UPS DC-8's get very few cycles/hours per month compared to when they were passenger a/c.

Posts: 810
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2000 10:55 am


Sat Jan 13, 2001 12:31 pm

The 727 is the best plane to fly. It handles great and can do some amazing stuff. No high tech autopilot or FMS, either, though we have GPS which allows us good long range navigation and GPS approaches....but it's not hooked up to the autopilot other than to track a course. The autopilots in the -100's don't even have altitude there is no vertical navigation, other than in your head. It's a fun plane to fly and we have the best schedules if you want to do short legs and maximize your days off. I talked to an F/E who had an upgrade class to F/O on the 757 the other day....he had been with UPS for 15 months. The 727 is pretty senior, too, I guess because we have the best schedules. I've been there 11 years and am 20 out of 145 or so in the right seat. An educated guess, if you don't mind being junior and living in Louisville, would be 1.5 years to the right seat and 6 or 7 years to the left.


Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:00 pm

Man, 15 months riding the panel? I bet to a pilot that might suck. Flying the airplane in the front, to watching the hydraulics or monitoring the cabin pressure for at least year, I can't imagine what the transition is like. If you can explain, what does a F/E do, in a nutshell? Is he really the guy that is suppose to hold the airplane together if something goes wrong? It is kind of funny if you ask me. Such a high responsibilty position, for a new hire. Thanks in advance.
Posts: 810
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2000 10:55 am


Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:13 pm

The F/E does the cockpit and exterior preflight and performance data. In flight, it's mostly monitoring the gages in the back but a good engineer is your third set of eyes below 10,000 feet. The engineer can see over both pilots shoulders and out all the can help with radio it's an important job. I've had sharp engineers catch mistakes that both I and the captain have made. I stayed on the panel three years and didn't mind it at all, in fact, at one time I was number two in the seat. My seniority allowed me to bid easy trips. You learn a lot of tricks about how to fly the plane, common pilot mistakes, and see how the systems works when you get a chance to sit in the back. If you have the right attitude, it can be a great experience. If you have a bad attitude, you'll hate it......and not be very useful, either.
Posts: 3094
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 6:40 am


Sat Jan 13, 2001 7:10 pm

I flew both planes, the 727 and the DC8, as engineer and co-pilot and finally the 727 as captain.

The 8 was a piece of work. It was a nice plane to fly but heavy on the controls. The plane lagged far behind the control inputs. On the approach you have to be absolutley stabilized inside the outer marker or it was ugly trying to correct as most new pilots aleays over corrected.

As being an engineer on the 8 I disliked having fuel the airplane. You need to remain with the plane and manually open and close the fill valves to balance the fuel load. The 727's fueling valves can be operated by the fueler at the fueling panel. It was easy to flame out an engine if you forgot you were transfering fuel. No I never did it, but I know two people who have. It's not uncommon.

The 727 is, from my experience and the testimony of pilots who have flown other planes, the sweetest airliner to fly. I can only compare it to the DC8. Down low when being vectored for the approach is when the 727 is a joy to fly. Very manouverable. The plane is very responsive to control inputs. Literally if you can fly a cessna or a piper you can fly this airplane. It's that easy.

The engineer position is great. I know I spent 99 percent of my time as an engineer with my seat facing foward nudged up to the pedestal. It was a phenominal experience. I loved being an engineer. Being an engineer allowed me to transition into the right seat of the DC8 with 350 hours TT. I couldn't have done it unless I occupied the engineer seat first. It taught me to fly the plane. By the time I had upgraded I knew all the profiles, and numbers for the plane. Ie. airspeed and power settings.

Yes it is the F/E's job to hold things together in an emergency. The reading of an emergency checklist is an art. You have a rythm or you don't. It is a action response checklist. The engineer reads the checklist item and it's appropriate action and then the appropriate crew member will complete the action and then recall the response. It is the engineers job to verify the correct actions are carried out with the correct response. But when things get tough in an emergency a good engineer knows how and when to complete the checklist himself.

There are only five items in the 727 cockpit that need verification of another crewmember to move. These items are the fire handle, the thrust lever, the start levers, the fuel shutoff valves, and the CSD disconnect. Everything else can be accomplished without the other crewmembers verification. A good engineer knows when it is time to accomplish a checklist by himself.

The only thing I hated about the 727 as an engineer was that the space was a little cramped. It was hard to turn your seat from the side facing position to the front without brushing your knees against the sharp bolts holding the armrest on to the first officers seat. I removed a fair amount of skin over the years doing this. Also if the FO put his seat back as far as it would go the engineer would have a cranium on his desk.


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