Throwing punches, eh?... Not yet darlin', not yet.
Please re-read my first post (which is the one you responded to) and point out my "blatant over-glorification" of flight engineers, humor me. It was, at one time, a simple question regarding the outlook for flight engineers in general. Your memory seems to be conveniently selective; if you look again you'll see that it was only after you made a point of flippantly debasing the F/E role and taunting me to engage:
"Perhaps you can give me insight on why you think they could be cost-effective?"
that I even decided to reply. I aim to please.
I don't know why you bothered with the "in flight" scenarios, when I'd previously conceded that once you're airborne - there's probably not a hell of a lot an F/E or a heavily fortified avionics unit can do to fix the problem.
I'm happy for you that you're in an environment where the maintenace is always available and adequate - count yourself lucky! There are plenty of pilots flying around out there who would welcome the luxury of having any
mechanic on the block when they arrive - much less an adequate one.
Where, in any of my messages do you read into them the implication that pilots are incapable of performing a thorough pre-flight? What I said is that no panel can do it.
How can you possibly claim to know that an F/E will never
save an operator money by helping out on the line? Over the course of a year, tens of thousands could turn out to be a grossly conservative estimate, for all you know. Again, I wonder how you managed to arrive at the conclusion that an F/E could not ultimately increase profit margins - do you have some kind of longitudinal data to back that claim up, or are you just hoping it'll wash?
In answer to your question - Yes; I do believe that having a flight engineer as part of the flight crew is ultimately cost beneficial. An ounce of prevention... If it makes you feel good somehow to mistake my spirited argument in favor of keeping all qualified people in the cockpit, for fiscal foolishness - go right ahead. I can cozy up to the idea that you're displeased with my desire to see the responsibilities distributed equally among the flightcrew. To want for better than to overburden people because we have a little technology that can do 70% of what the F/E used to do. What a bargain - the company saves a few bucks and all you have to do is pick up another fiftren percent of the load - hey, who do they thank first?
Avionics is groovy - but that science is nowhere near as valuable as a well trained and experienced human mind. I'm willing to bet that even you would have to admit there's merit in that.