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Are Flight Engineers "real" Pilots?

Fri Apr 22, 2005 2:21 am

I just asked myself if flight engineers on older aircraft like 742, 743, DC10 etc. actually have a real pilot's license? In other words: Can they take the seat of a first officer or captain in case their "old" airplane is phased or do they the become unemployed?

Jan
 
EMBQA
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RE: Are Flight Engineers "real" Pilots?

Fri Apr 22, 2005 2:30 am

In some cases yes, others no. Today the FE position is just a stepping stone to move up to the right seat within a company that flys 3 man crews. But there are a few 'old school' FE's out there that only hold a FE License.
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MD-90
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RE: Are Flight Engineers "real" Pilots?

Fri Apr 22, 2005 3:07 am

It depends on whether the FE actually has a pilot's license or not. Most do, nowadays, but in the past (the great long, long ago) a lot of them didn't.
 
SATL382G
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RE: Are Flight Engineers "real" Pilots?

Fri Apr 22, 2005 3:10 am

...and their are former Captains who, due to the age 60 rule, elected to continue working as a Flight Engineer....
"There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as being shot at and missed" --Winston Churchill
 
FredT
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RE: Are Flight Engineers "real" Pilots?

Fri Apr 22, 2005 4:17 am

'Are Flight Engineers "real" Pilots?'

No, they are skilled professionals.

*dives for cover as a hailstorm of Jeppesen binders comes flying*  Wink
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MD11Engineer
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RE: Are Flight Engineers "real" Pilots?

Fri Apr 22, 2005 9:11 am

You have to distinguish between PFEs (Professional flight engineers), who often have a maintenance background and second officers (pilots in training). While the first ones are actually capable of doing troubleshooting in flight and were often used to do and sign off maintenance on outstations, where there was no regular MX (it could happen that the crew had e.g. to change a wheel, Condor e.g. carried a flight kit of two spare wheels (1 nose, one main), a standard mechanic´s tool box, torque wrenches, a bottle jack and a box of oil and hydraulic fluid cans on their DC-10s), the later one mostly only know when to press which button during which stage of the flight.

Jan
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PADSpot
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RE: Are Flight Engineers "real" Pilots?

Sat Apr 23, 2005 2:13 am

Thanks a lot for all your input! Now it is clear. Either way i am far too advanced with my studies to change the profession. But sitting in the back of the cockpit, turning fuel pumps on and off appealed to me on my search for a as far as possible smooth job with acceptable payment .... Big grin

Jan
 
meister808
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RE: Are Flight Engineers "real" Pilots?

Sun Apr 24, 2005 10:52 am

I don't know how 'smooth' it would be job-security wise, since most operators are parking any airplanes that require an FE.

-Meister
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HAWK21M
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RE: Are Flight Engineers "real" Pilots?

Sun Apr 24, 2005 4:46 pm

What are FEs normally doing since most Aircraft have Two man Cockpit crew.Do they upgrade to F/Os or just choose another proffession.
regds
MEL
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Jetlagged
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RE: Are Flight Engineers "real" Pilots?

Sun Apr 24, 2005 9:05 pm

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 8):
What are FEs normally doing since most Aircraft have Two man Cockpit crew.Do they upgrade to F/Os or just choose another proffession

Some will prefer to stay as F/E, because there are still a lot of three crew aircraft flying, especially in the freighter world. Others may convert to pilots. It depends on many factors, such as age, willingness to migrate, medical issues, etc. So you can't really generalise on what is normal.
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HAWK21M
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RE: Are Flight Engineers "real" Pilots?

Sun Apr 24, 2005 11:37 pm

Quoting Jetlagged (Reply 9):

Some will prefer to stay as F/E, because there are still a lot of three crew aircraft flying, especially in the freighter world. Others may convert to pilots. It depends on many factors, such as age, willingness to migrate, medical issues, etc. So you can't really generalise on what is normal.

What would be the steps in general to convert from FE to F/O.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
doug_or
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RE: Are Flight Engineers "real" Pilots?

Sun Apr 24, 2005 11:55 pm

To upgrade to FO they would need an AMEL commercial pilots license with an intrument rating. Most US carriers that fly 3 man crews (NWA, FedEx, UPS, DHL), hire pilots that start out in the FE seat. I believe Planet (an FL based 727 charter operator) use MX guys like MD11 was talking about.
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