ferengi80
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Why Three Crew Trans-Atlantic?

Tue Nov 13, 2007 10:30 pm

I'm just watching one of my favourite DVDs, World Air Routes presentation of a UA 772 from ORD-LHR. One thing baffles me. We saw the removal of the Second Officer (Flight Engineer) role in the newer aircraft as aircraft became more automated and airlines wanted to save money. Now we see a 777, one of the most advanced airplanes in the world, with the Captain and TWO First Officers. Why is this? I understand safety is probably a reason following 9-11, but is there any other reasons for this? I noticed this also in World Air Routes presentation of South African Airways A340-600 from TLS-JNB also.
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Tornado82
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RE: Why Three Crew Trans-Atlantic?

Tue Nov 13, 2007 10:32 pm



Quoting Ferengi80 (Thread starter):
Why is this? I understand safety is probably a reason following 9-11, but is there any other reasons for this?

Hours of service. The 3rd guy relieves the other two to keep everyone under the legal max. Irrelevant to 9/11.
 
FFlyer
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RE: Why Three Crew Trans-Atlantic?

Tue Nov 13, 2007 10:34 pm

Relief pilots. You see them all the time e.g. on Delta. I guess this is to do with the airline's pilot contract, rather than anything else (general legal duty hours). Am I right?
 
Gemuser
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RE: Why Three Crew Trans-Atlantic?

Tue Nov 13, 2007 11:01 pm



Quoting Ferengi80 (Thread starter):
the Second Officer (Flight Engineer) role

A second officer and flight engineer are NOT the same. A FE is a different qualification, a FE is not necessarily a pilot and most pilots are not qualified as FEs.

FFlyer is correct for the B777. You still see FEs on B743. QF have just renewed their FEs contract until 2010, so they will still be with at least one top line carrier until then.

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PGNCS
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RE: Why Three Crew Trans-Atlantic?

Tue Nov 13, 2007 11:12 pm



Quoting FFlyer (Reply 2):
Relief pilots. You see them all the time e.g. on Delta. I guess this is to do with the airline's pilot contract, rather than anything else (general legal duty hours). Am I right?

US FAR 121 operated flights greater than 8 hours require a relief pilot to allow for crew rest enroute. Many trans-Atlantic sectors (JFK-SNN, for instance) are less than 8 hours and are operated by two pilots. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the pilot working agreement.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Why Three Crew Trans-Atlantic?

Wed Nov 14, 2007 2:56 am



Quoting PGNCS (Reply 4):
Quoting FFlyer (Reply 2):
Relief pilots. You see them all the time e.g. on Delta. I guess this is to do with the airline's pilot contract, rather than anything else (general legal duty hours). Am I right?

US FAR 121 operated flights greater than 8 hours require a relief pilot to allow for crew rest enroute. Many trans-Atlantic sectors (JFK-SNN, for instance) are less than 8 hours and are operated by two pilots. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the pilot working agreement.

Is there a different rule for very longhaul flights, e.g. 14 or 15 hours etc? Some of those flights seem to have 2 relief pilots for a total of 4.
 
PGNCS
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RE: Why Three Crew Trans-Atlantic?

Wed Nov 14, 2007 5:02 am



Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 5):
Is there a different rule for very longhaul flights, e.g. 14 or 15 hours etc? Some of those flights seem to have 2 relief pilots for a total of 4.

Yes. Sectors exceeding 12 hours must have two full crews, a total of four pilots. Normally all are type rated, though some airlines operate with one Captain and three FO's.
 
CosmicCruiser
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RE: Why Three Crew Trans-Atlantic?

Wed Nov 14, 2007 7:57 am



Quoting Gemuser (Reply 3):
A second officer and flight engineer are NOT the same. A FE is a different qualification, a FE is not necessarily a pilot and most pilots are not qualified as FEs.

Semantics....here the "S/O" IS the FE....the FE IS the S/O. and he/she IS a pilot. It's the entry level position and yes you must have an FE rating.

Quoting PGNCS (Reply 6):
Normally all are type rated, though some airlines operate with one Captain and three FO's.

We use both Capt & F/Os as RFO and everyone is type rated.
 
wilco737
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RE: Why Three Crew Trans-Atlantic?

Wed Nov 14, 2007 9:36 am

Looks like we have a different rule here  Wink

on some routes we have a 3rd guy (SFO = senior first officer) on board. Sometimes it is a CRC. And some routes, even friggin long is just CP and FO... LEJ-HKG! only CP and FO... LONG flight indeed...
but FRA-ORD is 3 people because it takes off in FRA at 1:30am...

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vc10
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RE: Why Three Crew Trans-Atlantic?

Wed Nov 14, 2007 9:56 am



Quoting CosmicCruiser (Reply 7):
Semantics....here the "S/O" IS the FE....the FE IS the S/O. and he/she IS a pilot. It's the entry level position and yes you must have an FE rating.

The fact that in many American airlines the F/E is also a pilot is a company regulation, but I know of at least one American company who used {or did until the demise of F/E] straight F/E, and I hold a FAA flight Engineer ticket but I am no pilot.

However I would admit that generally in the USA , since the advent of jets ,the F/E position is seen as the entry level as you stated

littlevc10
 
wilco737
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RE: Why Three Crew Trans-Atlantic?

Wed Nov 14, 2007 10:09 am



Quoting VC10 (Reply 9):

At LH cargo we have 12 CRCs who are our old F/Es from the B747-200 freighter. Now they are "only " CRCs and are NO pilots at all! They are not allowed to sit in the front seats when below 20,000 feet. They have no Pilot qualification... but they know a lot about the old B747-200 systems  Wink

On LH passenger flights you have a CP, SFO, FO crew (Captain, Senior First Officer, First Officer). When the CP is taking his break the SFO will "act as PIC" and the FO is in the right seat. When the SFO is taking his break, the CP is in the left seat, the FO in the right seat. When the FO is taking his break, the CP is in the left seat and the SFO in the right seat.

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stall
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RE: Why Three Crew Trans-Atlantic?

Wed Nov 14, 2007 10:48 am



Quoting WILCO737 (Reply 10):
At LH cargo we have 12 CRCs who are our old F/Es from the B747-200 freighter

What does CRC mean ?
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wilco737
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RE: Why Three Crew Trans-Atlantic?

Wed Nov 14, 2007 10:55 am



Quoting Stall (Reply 11):

We just say: Crew Relief Pilot... dont know where the other C comes from Big grin

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Transpac787
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RE: Why Three Crew Trans-Atlantic?

Wed Nov 14, 2007 4:38 pm



Quoting PGNCS (Reply 6):
Yes. Sectors exceeding 12 hours must have two full crews, a total of four pilots. Normally all are type rated, though some airlines operate with one Captain and three FO's.

And, any route over 16 hours needs a full triple-crew....6 pilots. Currently, no US carrier operates a route this long - CO's EWR-HKG comes close though, blocked at 15:50.

In response to the 1 CA / 3 FO, almost all airlines do this now (at least US carriers). I know for certain this is how it's done at NW, UA, and AA.....CO and DL I'm not sure. NW just recently changed this during their bankruptcy. Prior to BK they flew their 744's with 2 CA / 2 FO, but during bankruptcy they changed it to 1 CA / 3 FO, and type-rated all the FO's.

You'll also see a lot of routes that don't need relief crew on the eastbound, but do require them on the westbound. As such, you'll see the relief crew memebers carried on the eastbound leg anyway. So, occasionally you'll see 3x pilots on a flight under 8 hours. JFK-LHR is a perfect example.
 
PGNCS
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RE: Why Three Crew Trans-Atlantic?

Wed Nov 14, 2007 4:59 pm



Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 13):
In response to the 1 CA / 3 FO, almost all airlines do this now (at least US carriers). I know for certain this is how it's done at NW, UA, and AA.....CO and DL I'm not sure. NW just recently changed this during their bankruptcy. Prior to BK they flew their 744's with 2 CA / 2 FO, but during bankruptcy they changed it to 1 CA / 3 FO, and type-rated all the FO's.

My employer still has 2 Captains/ 2 FO's and all are type rated.
 
vc10
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RE: Why Three Crew Trans-Atlantic?

Wed Nov 14, 2007 7:03 pm



Quoting WILCO737 (Reply 10):
At LH cargo we have 12 CRCs who are our old F/Es from the B747-200 freighter

This is quite interesting , as when it was suggested to that Big Airline in the UK , that this was a possiblity for their older F/E they said it was not legal to have a non pilot in the seat even when the aircraft was in cruise.

I really admired the way that most European airlines treated their F/E as that position came defunct , with a lot of their younger F/Es, who were suitable, being trained as pilots. That Big Airline even lent I believe KLM and LH F/E to fill in the spaces while their F/E were on pilot training. It is nice to see that at least LH had plans for some of their older F/Es too.

That Big Airline did I suppose train 40 F/E as pilots , but that was only because they tried to cancel a pilot's training course, however it was so expensive to cancel that they decided to use it for F/E training.

I always thought that CRC stood for Cruise Rated Crewmember, but I could be wrong

Thanks again for the info

littlevc10
 
wilco737
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RE: Why Three Crew Trans-Atlantic?

Wed Nov 14, 2007 7:11 pm



Quoting VC10 (Reply 15):

Yeah, the problem was: they had a contract as F/Es at LH Cargo and LH Cargo cannot just fire them just because no F/Es were needed anymore. Don't know the exact reason why...
So LH Cargo had to make them an offer: train to become F/O, fly as CRC (whatever it now really means Big grin) or get retired early and get some money from LH Cargo ...
Well, some are pilots now, some retired, some failed the F/O training and some said: I'll stay as CRC and still get the F/E salery! So they are in the 50s now and make hell of a lot money for just sitting there and watching on the instruments at 20,000 feet or higher  Wink

They have of course some kind of a type rating for the aircraft, but they never got trained how to land it and they are not allowed to anyways  Wink

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flymatt2bermud
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RE: Why Three Crew Trans-Atlantic?

Wed Nov 14, 2007 9:42 pm



Quoting CosmicCruiser (Reply 7):
We use both Capt & F/Os as RFO and everyone is type rated.



Quoting PGNCS (Reply 14):
My employer still has 2 Captains/ 2 FO's and all are type rated.

Under ICAO guidelines and regulations and the laws of the State (countries) which you operate all pilots must be typed in the aircraft if the the type certificate requires two pilots. Though an SIC type qualification will suffice. The US is one of only a few countries that do not require an SIC type.
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levg79
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RE: Why Three Crew Trans-Atlantic?

Sun Nov 18, 2007 2:55 am



Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 13):
any route over 16 hours needs a full triple-crew....6 pilots. Currently, no US carrier operates a route this long

How long is UA's SFO-SYD? I'd say it has to be pretty close to 16 hours.

Leo.
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doug_or
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RE: Why Three Crew Trans-Atlantic?

Sun Nov 18, 2007 6:07 am



Quoting Levg79 (Reply 18):
How long is UA's SFO-SYD? I'd say it has to be pretty close to 16 hours.

blocked for 14:26.
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CoolGuy
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RE: Why Three Crew Trans-Atlantic?

Sun Nov 18, 2007 7:50 am

What's an example of the shift times of three crewmembers on flights, for example, 8 hours, and 14 hours.
 
Bellerophon
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RE: Why Three Crew Trans-Atlantic?

Sun Nov 18, 2007 10:53 am

Ferengi80

Most of the replies you've received refer to FAA crew duty limits, applicable to US carriers and those foreign countries who have adopted the US system.

JAA regulations, applicable to most European carriers, including mine, are less stringent in this respect, and allow my airline to operate flights such as LHR-MIA, and LHR-ORD, with only a two pilot crew.

As Transpac787 has said, you'll sometimes see relief pilots on sectors that don't require them legally, simply because they were required on the way out. For us, SFO-LHR would be an example. We need an extra pilot on the LHR-SFO sector, we now have an extra pilot in SFO, and so we use that pilot on the SFO-LHR sector, even though legally we don’t have to.

Finally, on routes that require a double crew, we use 2x Capt and 2x F/O (rather than 1x Capt and 3x F/O) because of the differing subsequent schedules of individual crew members, and to provide scheduling with some down-route standby cover.

For example, LHR-SIN, after crew rest in SIN, the four pilot crew now splits up. One Capt and F/O operate SIN-SYD, a two pilot crew sector, whilst the other Capt and F/O operate SIN-LON, still a four pilot crew sector, but this time joined by a different Capt and F/O who operated SYD-SIN some two days earlier.

You could operate this schedule with 1x Capt and 3x F/O, but you would lose some crew flexibility in the event of disruption or sickness down-route.

Best regards

Bellerophon
 
Gemuser
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RE: Why Three Crew Trans-Atlantic?

Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:27 am



Quoting CosmicCruiser (Reply 7):
Semantics....here the "S/O" IS the FE....the FE IS the S/O. and he/she IS a pilot. It's the entry level position and yes you must have an FE rating.

So what are the requirement in the USA for a FE rating? In Oz there is NO FE rating, it is an FE licience. As far as I can remember it did not require a full ground engineers course but it was a lot more engineering than any pilot gets.
So its not just semantics, it's also jurstrictions!

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WestWing
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RE: Why Three Crew Trans-Atlantic?

Mon Nov 19, 2007 8:22 am



Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 13):
In response to the 1 CA / 3 FO, almost all airlines do this now (at least US carriers). I know for certain this is how it's done at NW, UA, and AA

For what it's worth, every UAL longhaul transpacific flight that I have been a passenger on (usually 744s) I remember always seeing two four-stripers in the cockpit crew (I am an aerogeek, I tend to keep track of such things). So at least for UAL, which I admit, I only know from the perspective of a passenger, I find it hard to believe that UAL dispatches a longhaul transpacific flight without 2 Capt + 2 FO. (I am talking of flights between CONUS and Asia/Australia).
The best time to plant a tree is 40 years ago. The second best time is today.
 
CosmicCruiser
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RE: Why Three Crew Trans-Atlantic?

Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:26 pm

[

Quoting Gemuser (Reply 22):
So what are the requirement in the USA for a FE rating? In Oz there is NO FE rating, it is an FE licience

Since I've only known a very few "professional" F/Es (Flying Tigers had a few that came over to Fedex and I think I flew with only one and that's a story in it's self), we've always just referred to it as the F/E rating but it's all the same I would say. I would also guess that during the days of "prof" F/Es there may have been more in depth knowledge of systems since most, so I've heard, had mech. backgrounds and may have done a little maint when necessary. In more recent years the F/E position was held by pilots as entry level positions and would progress to flying seats. Also the FAA has made a point of emphasizing that they will do NO type of maint on the jet. I can think of one such example where the capt. told the S/O (F/E) to swap to pressure gauges in order to verify a bad gauge and the FAA almost took his license. I do have a separate piece of paper that says F/E turbo-jet on it and it says "certificate" so let's compromise with F/E certificate/license/rating. At least here the S/O IS the F/E any other crewmember will be the Capt., F/O or RFO
 Silly
 
Transpac787
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RE: Why Three Crew Trans-Atlantic?

Mon Nov 19, 2007 4:52 pm



Quoting WestWing (Reply 23):
I find it hard to believe that UAL dispatches a longhaul transpacific flight without 2 Capt + 2 FO. (I am talking of flights between CONUS and Asia/Australia).

UA was actually one of the first legacies to do it. I don't know for how long now, but I know it's been at least pre-9/11 that they've flown with only one captain. How is it so hard to believe too?? UA type-rates all their FO's now, even on the narrowbodies. Take LAX-HKG for example, their newest 744 route, blocked at just over 15 hours. CA and FO-1 will do the takeoff, then at ~30 mins into the climb, they'll get out of the seats and FO-2 and FO-3 will fly the first 7 hours of the flight. Then, halfway through, CA and FO-1 get back in the seats for the second 7 hours of the flight while FO-2 and FO-3 get their crew rest.

It's completely possible - and routinely happens - to have only one captain on board a multi-crewed flight. The only stipulation is that the captain must be in the left seat for both takeoff and landing. This is why UA 744 and 777 FO's have to go to the simulators quite often to keep up on their takeoff and landing currency. In my above example, FO-2 and FO-3 get neither a takeoff nor landing, they just fly during cruise. Because of that, a lot of FO's will go 90 days with only 1 or 2 TO's & landings.

As far as UA specifically goes, all flights with three crew are flown 1 CA / 2 FO, and all flights with full double crew are 1 CA / 3 FO. Only until recently, NWA flew 2 CA / 1 FO on Europe, and 2 CA / 2 FO on the transpacs. But as I said before, that was recently changed in their bankruptcy. Occasionally you will still see two captains on board a NWA flight though, only because the transition isn't yet fully complete.

I don't know how to explain why you would have seen 2x 4-stripes on board a UA longhaul. Maybe you were on a flight where a captain was getting a line check??
 
vc10
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RE: Why Three Crew Trans-Atlantic?

Mon Nov 19, 2007 6:22 pm

Quoting Gemuser (Reply 22):
So what are the requirement in the USA for a FE rating? In Oz there is NO FE rating, it is an FE licience.

Well here in the UK the CAA still/did issue a F/E licence and the requirements are listed in the following site


http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/175/SECTION%20K.pdf

As you can see there was either an engineering background or a pilot background requirement, but here in the UK the only airline that operated with a pilot as a F/E was the old BEA, but as always I could be wrong.

To do maintenance as a F/E on your type rated aircraft he would have to hold a Ground Engineers Licence on that type or have done a Company limited ground engineers approval on that type, which on my last aircraft required the F/E to do a 6 week longer conversion coarse than the Pilots , plus a bi-annual one day tech refresher in the hanger. This was perhaps more important for the old BOAC/BA as if you diverted for a technical problem there were not to many people licenced to work on Comets, Britannias, VC-10 and the old Concorde.

However there were severe limitations as to what he could do with his limited approval as if you required large parts to fix a problem the company would send a team to do it, so we did not bother ourselves too much with knowing how to change an engine as an example

I cannot find a site giving the FAA requirements for a F/E but they are similar to those of the CAA with engineering or pilot background experience before starting your F/E training. The big difference is that under the FAA the F/E has to have a Class 2 medical whereas in the UK he has to have a class 1 medical which he has renew annually

After being a UK F/E for some 33 years I applied to sit the exams for a FAA F/E licence , however the gent at the FAA was a bit worried that I was not qualified to sit them as I did not have a pilots licence   However after pointing out the other parts of the requirements he agreed that I was possibly qualified and I could go ahead and sit the exams.

Still all interesting from a historical point of view, but not worth 2 cents now   

Still be happy littlevc10

[Edited 2007-11-19 10:25:58]
 
CosmicCruiser
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RE: Why Three Crew Trans-Atlantic?

Mon Nov 19, 2007 7:09 pm

this may explain it.


Meet the aeronautical experience requirements (FAR 63.37).
When taking the flight engineer practical test for the initial issuance of a flight engineer certificate with a class rating, you must present satisfactory evidence of one of the following:
At least a commercial pilot certificate with an instrument rating and at least 5 hr. of flight training in the duties of a flight engineer.
The 5 hr. of flight training may be done in a simulator.
At least 3 years of diversified practical experience in aircraft and aircraft engine maintenance (of which at least 1 year was in maintaining multiengine aircraft with engines rated at least 800 horsepower each or the equivalent in turbine-powered engines) and at least 5 hr. of flight training in the duties of a flight engineer.
Graduation from at least a 2-year specialized aeronautical training course in maintaining aircraft and aircraft engines (of which at least 6 calendar months was in maintaining multiengine aircraft with engines rated at least 800 horsepower each or the equivalent in turbine-powered engines) and at least 5 hr. of flight training in the duties of a flight engineer.
A degree in aeronautical, electrical, or mechanical engineering from a recognized college, university, or engineering school; at least 6 calendar months of practical experience in maintaining multiengine aircraft with engines rated at least 800 horsepower each or the equivalent in turbine-powered engines; and at least 5 hr. of flight training in the duties of a flight engineer.
At least 200 hr. of flight time in a transport-category airplane (or in a military airplane with at least two engines and at least equivalent weight and horsepower) as pilot in command or second in command performing the duties of a pilot in command under the supervision of a pilot in command.
At least 100 hr. of flight time as a flight engineer.
Within the 90-day period before (s)he applies, successful completion of an approved flight engineer ground and flight course of instruction as provided in Appendix C of FAR Part 63.
 
vc10
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RE: Why Three Crew Trans-Atlantic?

Mon Nov 19, 2007 7:33 pm

Cosmic Cruiser,

As I met every requirement other than being a pilot or military, I was quite amazed that he said I was not qualified to sit the F/E basic , but I think that in the USA now most people have used a pilot qualification to get a F/E ticket. I do not think he was too used to some old dinosaur turning up wanting to do it with an engineering background Big grin

littlevc10
 
WestWing
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RE: Why Three Crew Trans-Atlantic?

Mon Nov 19, 2007 7:39 pm



Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 25):
I don't know how to explain why you would have seen 2x 4-stripes on board a UA longhaul. Maybe you were on a flight where a captain was getting a line check??

Perhaps so. Your explanation of 1+3 does makes sense. I only report what I see a passenger, I do not have any inside knowledge of UA standard operating procedures. I am going to keep my eyes peeled on my next two pacific flights to check if I see two captains on those flights.
The best time to plant a tree is 40 years ago. The second best time is today.
 
CosmicCruiser
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RE: Why Three Crew Trans-Atlantic?

Mon Nov 19, 2007 10:43 pm



Quoting VC10 (Reply 28):
but I think that in the USA now most people have used a pilot qualification to get a F/E ticket

Yeah I'm sure. when I was hired the F/E written was required because 727 F/E was the entry position. Now some guys go straight to the MD-11 right seat so I don't think it's required any longer. My how times change.

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