OnlyWay2Fly
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Early 737, 3 Man Crew?

Wed Aug 18, 2004 6:29 am

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!
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Early 737, 3 Man Crew?

Wed Aug 18, 2004 7:47 am

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." - John Ringo
 
OPNLguy
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RE: Early 737, 3 Man Crew?

Wed Aug 18, 2004 8:55 am

>>>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
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OnlyWay2Fly
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RE: Early 737, 3 Man Crew?

Wed Aug 18, 2004 9:25 am

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!
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Early 737, 3 Man Crew?

Wed Aug 18, 2004 9:42 am

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." - John Ringo
 
lorm
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RE: Early 737, 3 Man Crew?

Wed Aug 18, 2004 10:32 am

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
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OPNLguy
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RE: Early 737, 3 Man Crew?

Wed Aug 18, 2004 10:45 am

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...
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IndianGuy
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RE: Early 737, 3 Man Crew?

Wed Aug 18, 2004 12:13 pm

On an Alliance Air flight there were 3 people in the cockpit. But I think the 3rd guy was a check-pilot or something.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Early 737, 3 Man Crew?

Wed Aug 18, 2004 7:25 pm

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
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citationjet
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RE: Early 737, 3 Man Crew?

Wed Aug 18, 2004 10:19 pm

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/
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AGM100
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RE: Early 737, 3 Man Crew?

Thu Aug 19, 2004 12:29 am

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.
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SlamClick
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RE: Early 737, 3 Man Crew?

Thu Aug 19, 2004 9:58 pm

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.
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lorm
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RE: Early 737, 3 Man Crew?

Thu Aug 19, 2004 10:58 pm

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
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SlamClick
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RE: Early 737, 3 Man Crew?

Thu Aug 19, 2004 11:30 pm

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.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Early 737, 3 Man Crew?

Fri Aug 20, 2004 12:00 am

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.
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HAWK
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L-188
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RE: Early 737, 3 Man Crew?

Fri Aug 20, 2004 6:03 pm

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.
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HAWK21M
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RE: Early 737, 3 Man Crew?

Fri Aug 20, 2004 6:41 pm

L-188....Any Idea what the 3rd man used to do.Apart from monitoring the Instrument parameters theres not much.
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HAWK
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L-188
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RE: Early 737, 3 Man Crew?

Fri Aug 20, 2004 9:01 pm

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.
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OnlyWay2Fly
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RE: Early 737, 3 Man Crew?

Fri Aug 20, 2004 11:32 pm

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!
 
OPNLguy
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RE: Early 737, 3 Man Crew?

Sat Aug 21, 2004 12:08 am

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.
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L-188
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RE: Early 737, 3 Man Crew?

Sat Aug 21, 2004 1:01 pm

I think your buddy is right OPNLguy,

I have no sources for that but it does seem like a more likely timeline.
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HAWK21M
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RE: Early 737, 3 Man Crew?

Fri Dec 10, 2004 3:40 am

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
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jwenting
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RE: Early 737, 3 Man Crew?

Fri Dec 10, 2004 6:07 am

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...
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musang
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RE: Early 737, 3 Man Crew?

Fri Dec 10, 2004 8:26 pm

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
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Early 737, 3 Man Crew?

Sat Dec 11, 2004 8:28 pm

Fantastic Aircraft I know I say it all the time  Smile
regds
MEL
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MxCtrlr
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RE: Early 737, 3 Man Crew?

Tue Dec 14, 2004 2:16 pm

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 talked to that were at UAL during that time, the "F/E" was basically an over-glorified secretary, completing the logbook and handling cockpit communications with ATC/Company/etc.

MxCtrlr  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
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HAWK21M
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RE: Early 737, 3 Man Crew?

Tue Dec 14, 2004 3:20 pm

I guess in due course of time they realised that Two man crew would be adequate,I glad they did.  Smile
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
747400sp
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RE: Early 737, 3 Man Crew?

Sun Oct 14, 2007 3:44 am

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.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Early 737, 3 Man Crew?

Sun Oct 14, 2007 10:35 am

Quoting 747400sp (Reply 27):
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.

Isn't section 41 common  Smile
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
timz
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RE: Early 737, 3 Man Crew?

Tue Oct 16, 2007 12:59 am

Quoting L-188 (Reply 15):
The 3 man crew wasn't a Boeing or FAA requirement

In earlier years (until the early 1960s anyway) it was an FAA-or-whoever requirement on 80000-lb+ airliners.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Early 737, 3 Man Crew?

Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:42 am

Anyone having a three crew pic on the type somewhere.
regds
MEL
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Transpac787
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RE: Early 737, 3 Man Crew?

Tue Oct 16, 2007 3:14 pm

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 30):
Anyone having a three crew pic on the type somewhere.

Yes sir, here's an old before/after pic of the SO station on a 762.

http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i239/elementx109/767FD.png
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Early 737, 3 Man Crew?

Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:27 pm

Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 31):

Was enquiring about the B737. Smile
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MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)

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