Squid
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Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:39 am

Hey Everyone,

I was just wondering if anyone would know this, but did the first generation of airliners, I.e. the 707, 727, 747-100, DC-8, DC-10, and L1011 really need a flight enginner? Or even the large props before them, i.e. the DC-6, DC-7, Lockheed 749, and 1049? Boeing did produce early 737's without the third seat, as well as Douglas and the DC-9. I was just curious if it was "really" needed or if it was a FAA weight and size issue or a union issue?
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:48 am

For those props, definitely. Just starting the engines was quite the job, and they had to be constantly watched in flight. In flight shutdowns were also common. The Connie was notorious for them.

For the jets, I would say the F/E was necessary as well. Remember this was before digital engine control. A lot of data to be processed when it came to engines and other systems. Now it's all on a screen and run by computers. Then, the engineer was the computer.

737 and DC-9 came out later than 707. I think this was the start of the transition period. And a 747 is much more complex than a 737.
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C46
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:25 am

I thought Qantas initially kept the 3 crew layout with the B767 but I'm not sure if that was due to union demands - thought it was.

For the early jets yes, you needed the FE for what Starlionblue explained. Especially as well for the props. Remember too that way back then the navigator was a dedicated position as well. And still used for certian applications.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:15 am

Quoting C46 (Reply 2):
I thought Qantas initially kept the 3 crew layout with the B767 but I'm not sure if that was due to union demands - thought it was.

It was. The F/E panel was totally pointless.
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Gemuser
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:02 am

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 3):
Quoting C46 (Reply 2):
I thought Qantas initially kept the 3 crew layout with the B767 but I'm not sure if that was due to union demands - thought it was.

It was. The F/E panel was totally pointless.

It was not QF. It was Ansett.

Gemuser
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Gemuser
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:19 am

Quoting Squid (Thread starter):
I was just wondering if anyone would know this, but did the first generation of airliners, I.e. the 707, 727, 747-100, DC-8, DC-10, and L1011 really need a flight enginner? Or even the large props before them, i.e. the DC-6, DC-7, Lockheed 749, and 1049?

Short answer - YES. They were designed that way. The main reason:

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 1):
A lot of data to be processed when it came to engines and other systems. Now it's all on a screen and run by computers

It was actually worse than StarlionBlue says. If you get a chance just look at all the dials presenting information to the pilot/co-pilot in a B707. (The former Air Force One at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, for example) The sheer number of instruments was mind boggling and there were as many, if not more at the FE station and yet more at the radio operators station and more at the navigators station. (QF operated 5 man crews on B707s until the end of B707 operations). It simply was not possible to shoe-horn that much information in front of the pilots using the technology of the time. Radios also had valves in the B707! That takes up room.

The other thing computers have done, as well as process data faster is to compress data and data display into ever smaller spaces.

Gemuser
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Starlionblue
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:53 am

Quoting gemuser (Reply 4):
Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 3):
Quoting C46 (Reply 2):
I thought Qantas initially kept the 3 crew layout with the B767 but I'm not sure if that was due to union demands - thought it was.

It was. The F/E panel was totally pointless.

It was not QF. It was Ansett.

Gemuser

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SEPilot
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:42 pm

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 1):
737 and DC-9 came out later than 707.

But they used the exact same level of technology. I disagree that the FE was ever needed on the jets; the 4 engined propliners did arguably need them (although the DC-4 didn't have one); but jets were far more reliable and required far less attention. The 744 had more efficient engines than the earlier 747's, but I don't think the control functions were much different, or had any more automation. The same parameters still had to be monitored, and the controls were pretty much the same. I don't think that 707/747/DC-8/DC-10/L-1011 FE's ever had much to do.
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canoecarrier
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:14 pm

Quoting Squid (Thread starter):
Or even the large props before them, i.e. the DC-6, DC-7, Lockheed 749, and 1049?

A little off topic, but didn't the Super Connie and DC-6 have a Navigator as well as a FE?


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From what I understand several types of Russian civil aircraft still require a FE and a Navigator. Here's a Navigator's position on the II-76.


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[Edited 2011-09-29 13:15:24]

[Edited 2011-09-29 13:18:06]
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:29 pm

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 7):
I don't think that 707/747/DC-8/DC-10/L-1011 FE's ever had much to do.

The F/E had a lot more to do than take care of the engines. Electrics, hydraulics, and pressurization all needed to be controlled and monitored.
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bueb0g
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:36 pm

Quoting Squid (Thread starter):
but did the first generation of airliners, I.e. the 707, 727, 747-100, DC-8, DC-10, and L1011 really need a flight enginner?

Yes. The workload on the Captain and FO has high enough as it was, and it would have been more than dangerous to impose the task of acting as the F/E on them. F/E's also came in hugely handy not just during day-to-day operation but especially during emergencies - remember that on modern jets, one of the pilots can focus on comms and the actual flying while the other focuses on the emergency checklists; the systems generally take care of themselves, and don't require much more than a few button pushes to configure (not to say that flying an aircraft during an emergency is anywhere near simple or easy on a modern jet). On those older types everything is manual, and for instance whereas on modern a/c you can dump fuel with a press or two it was a laborious process under the old system. So yes, they were needed - it wasn't just for the unions.


Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 8):
From what I understand several types of Russian civil aircraft still require a FE and a Navigator. Here's a Navigator's position on the II-76.

Some even require a radio operator...
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747classic
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:11 pm

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 7):
I don't think that 707/747/DC-8/DC-10/L-1011 FE's ever had much to do.

Another arm chair pilot. Where did you get that information, did you ever made a (trans-ocean) flight (in the cockpit) in one of the early jets.

Several pilots couldn't even make the transistion from the piston to the jet age, because of the increased workload (time management, speed increased almost 100% and more complex systems) and retired early. Most pilots, operating these jets, were very glad to have a profesional F/E on board.
All mentioned jets were flown with a 3 man crew , with one man dedicated to the flying task and two men dealing with problem solving during abnormal procedures. A safe operation, in an analoque cockpit with only very limited automatisation.

Regards ,

Peter, doing nothing for 30 years on the "classic" 747.

[Edited 2011-09-29 14:26:16]
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canoecarrier
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:21 pm

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 10):
Some even require a radio operator...

One has to think that goes back to the Soviet days where everyone had to have a job and they needed a crewmember with English fluency to talk to ATC?

Quoting 747classic (Reply 11):
Another arm chair pilot. Where did you get that information, did you ever made a (trans-ocean) flight (in the cockpit) in one of the early jets.

From the photos I've seen there seems to be quite a bit to keep track of before they automated a lot of those systems.

I'm surprised none of you caught the mini-bottle of Courvoisier on the II-76 FE station.

[Edited 2011-09-29 14:26:24]
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tb727
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:44 pm

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 7):
I don't think that 707/747/DC-8/DC-10/L-1011 FE's ever had much to do.

lol really? Did you ever look at the FE panel on any of those? It's not for show lol! Ask a DC-8 crew how easy it is to balance the fuel or even fuel the thing on the ground. Now I have heard that the L-1011 and A300 were a little easier to plumb but it's no 767 FE panel.

As 747classic has said and I have many times before, a 3 man crew is the way to go. I love it, especially when I have a good PFE back there.
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Scooter01
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:11 pm

I just read a bit about the Boeing B-47, a pioneering aircraft for it's day, -near sonic speed, SIX jetengines etc.
But no flight-engineer in the 3-man crew. The pilot was the pilot, the co-pilot doubled as a tail-gunner and the navigator doubled as a bombardier.

Scooter01  
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stratosphere
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:49 pm

The Concorde absolutely needed an FE i have a two part video of the Concorde and its operation. The complexity of that airplane for sure required it...Now could todays technology if a similar supersonic passenger aircraft were developed do away with the FE? Probably...
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:49 pm

Three factors really, already mentioned but I'll summarize.
- Due to limited automation, the workload was MUCH higher in the 50s and 60s designs.
- Space contraints. Now one screen can hold tons of info. You can flick pages and drill down. All that had to be analog gauges and lights back in the day. No way you could cram that in front of the pilots.
- Miniaturization. A radio on the 707 was a big thing that used tubes. Now it's a tiny thing that uses semiconductors. Again, no way to cram it in there.

Pilots are quite busy today. But just as an example they can start the engines with more or less one button press. Back in the day it was a whole complex procedure which required monitoring a row of gauges and finicky adjustment.

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 10):
Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 8):
From what I understand several types of Russian civil aircraft still require a FE and a Navigator. Here's a Navigator's position on the II-76.

Some even require a radio operator...

I think that's because many pilots didn't speak English.

[Edited 2011-09-29 17:49:26]
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canoecarrier
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:53 pm

Last time I checked, the C-17 was the only US military transport that didn't carry a FE, as well. And, I think the C-130 still has a Navigator.

Quoting tb727 (Reply 13):
As 747classic has said and I have many times before, a 3 man crew is the way to go. I love it, especially when I have a good PFE back there.

I have a headache just looking at that picture.
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ShyFlyer
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:14 am

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 17):
Last time I checked, the C-17 was the only US military transport that didn't carry a FE, as well.

The KC-135s have a crew of three: pilot, co-pilot, boom operator.
http://www.af.mil/information/factsheets/factsheet.asp?fsID=110

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 17):
And, I think the C-130 still has a Navigator.

Some do, depending on the mission. Some -130s have F/Es, some don't (the J models for example).

The C-5 has two F/Es!
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B747FE
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:59 am

Quoting Squid (Thread starter):
Squid

The FE is the systems expert on board those aeroplanes.
In addition to handle his/her system panel; checklists; take off-cruise-landing data; weight & balance; pre & post flight inspections, he is also the "maintenance diagnostic computer" and an invaluable troubleshooting aid for the ground engineers.
Plus, is an extra set of trained eyes.

Quoting 747classic (Reply 11):
Quoting SEPilot (Reply 7):
I don't think that 707/747/DC-8/DC-10/L-1011 FE's ever had much to do.

Another arm chair pilot. Where did you get that information, did you ever made a (trans-ocean) flight (in the cockpit) in one of the early jets.

Outstanding reply 747classic. Thanks!!

Quoting tb727 (Reply 13):
As 747classic has said and I have many times before, a 3 man crew is the way to go. I love it, especially when I have a good PFE back there.

  

Regards,
B747FE
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HaveBlue
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 4:15 am

My roommate is a 747 first officer now and was a 747 FE for years before that. From his stories I can assure you his services were appreciated by the pilots before he ever become one (he was a pilot on L1011's before getting the FE job). Also if you read the transcript and narrative of UA flight 811 the FE was an indispensable asset to getting that 747 back down safely under those extraordinary circumstances.
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lowrider
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:33 am

Quoting Squid (Thread starter):
I was just curious if it was "really" needed

With the level of technology available on the 747 Classic, absolutely yes. I have had FE's head off problems before a red tabbed checklist was required.

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 7):
The 744 had more efficient engines than the earlier 747's, but I don't think the control functions were much different, or had any more automation.

Sorry, but that is not the case. The 744 is significantly more automated and while basic systems are similar, controls and practices are significantly different.
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Fabo
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:02 pm

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 7):
The 744 had more efficient engines than the earlier 747's, but I don't think the control functions were much different, or had any more automation.
Quoting 747classic (Reply 11):
Quoting tb727 (Reply 13):
Quoting B747FE (Reply 19):

Thank you guys for calling him out. I was going to do it myself, but it would sound silly from another armchair/virtual pilot.

Truth is, though, that the more I drill into the various classics in the sim - B707, B747classic, Tu-154, or lately A300, I respect the work of crew more and more, wondering how some dary say - I do the work of five in one - when sim flying, say, an Il-62.
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MD11Engineer
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:05 pm

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 10):
Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 8):
From what I understand several types of Russian civil aircraft still require a FE and a Navigator. Here's a Navigator's position on the II-76.

Some even require a radio operator...

being both a licenced radio ham and aircraft maintenance engineer, I can say that today´s radios might be simple to operate (not requiring much attention from the pilots), but the old-style radios (especially on the HF bands) were much more sensitive and a skilled radio operator could fiddle with filters and setting to establish a communication link, which today´s automated radios won´t be able to do. E.g. he could use notch fliters or noise blankers to filter out interference. Also morse code transmissions can still be heard when voice transmission would long be drowned in the static background.
My amateur radio station is still very much like an old aircraft HF installation. There are many buttons and knobs to adjust settings and it is quite sensitive on reception, but it needs the operator´s full attention, unlike the modern pilot-operated HF radios.

Jan
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SAAFNAV
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:21 pm

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 17):
Last time I checked, the C-17 was the only US military transport that didn't carry a FE, as well. And, I think the C-130 still has a Navigator.

Generally speaking, all C-130's up to the J model carries a F/E and a Nav.
J models can also be fitted with a Nav module for example Search and Rescue/Special Ops missions.

In an emergencies, you will be glad for a F/E. One pilot flies, the rest sort out the emergency.
And I do believe (based on experience) that being a multi-crew aircraft commander is the best thing. You only take-off and land. The rest is basically done for you.
The only crew that really works during the whole flight is the F/E and Nav. I'm not joking or exaggerating.

Erich
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OldAeroGuy
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 3:27 pm

Quoting Scooter01 (Reply 14):
I just read a bit about the Boeing B-47, a pioneering aircraft for it's day, -near sonic speed, SIX jetengines etc.
But no flight-engineer in the 3-man crew. The pilot was the pilot, the co-pilot doubled as a tail-gunner and the navigator doubled as a bombardier.

I doubt the B-47 accident rate would be acceptable for a civil airliner.
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Stealthz
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 3:40 pm

Something not mentioned, least I didn't see it.

In the days of the long haul propliners through to the early jetliners, well into the widebody age, many of the stops were not the wonderfully advanced palaces of technical capability we see now.
DC-7s, Connies, 707/DC-8/VC-10 etc often found themselves at stations that were spartan, even rudimentary my modern standards. Lacking not only equipment but skilled personell, the FEs often found themselves monitoring or actually performing some line maintainence duties.

It would not be uncommon for an FE to find himself in the heat of Mauritius or Karachi or a freezing night in Gander up on a platform(perhaps a ladder) changing a few dozen spark plugs!
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canoecarrier
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 4:45 pm

Quoting stealthz (Reply 26):
It would not be uncommon for an FE to find himself in the heat of Mauritius or Karachi or a freezing night in Gander up on a platform(perhaps a ladder) changing a few dozen spark plugs!

I suspect this is true. Many FEs started their careers as AMTs.
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tb727
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 5:52 pm

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 17):
Last time I checked, the C-17 was the only US military transport that didn't carry a FE, as well. And, I think the C-130 still has a Navigator.

Doesn't the US military require a navigator on board for anything over water with more than I want to say it was 50 or 100 passengers on board? I had a military escort on the jumpseat once and he said he was a Navigator on the KC-10, he said he didn't have anything to do but was required to be there because of that rule when they carried enough people.

Quoting stealthz (Reply 26):
Lacking not only equipment but skilled personell, the FEs often found themselves monitoring or actually performing some line maintainence duties.

It's still that way lol, ride along with me on an ad hoc charter on the 727, what a circus sometimes.
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Fabo
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:30 pm

Just came across a picture of F/E station in a Yak-40. Not sure if FE is required to fly though.



Some Tu-204 also have FE stations. Story behind it is vaguely similar to the 767 one, IIRC.
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fly707
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:57 pm

I think six eyes are better than four.
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Fabo
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:59 pm

Quoting tb727 (Reply 28):
ride along with me on an ad hoc charter on the 727,

Call me when you find yourself in Europe. I didn't have the guts to talk myself up front the first - and last - time I was in a 727  
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Viscount724
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:10 pm

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 8):
A little off topic, but didn't the Super Connie and DC-6 have a Navigator as well as a FE?

All the early jets used on longhaul international routes also had navigators until the mid to late 1960s when most carriers began replacing them with intertial navigation systems.
 
Max Q
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:24 pm

Quoting Squid (Thread starter):


I was just wondering if anyone would know this, but did the first generation of airliners, I.e. the 707, 727, 747-100, DC-8, DC-10, and L1011 really need a flight enginner?

The real first Generation jet transports were the Comet and Caravelle, followed a little later by the B707 and DC8's.




The other Aircraft you quote are really second generation.




All of them, most certainly needed an FE, having spent four years working as one, I can assure you of that.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
canoecarrier
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 11:08 pm

It's actually quite sad, FEs typically worked their way into the cockpit by being mechanics first. Although I never became a pilot or a mechanic I grew up and worked at the airport around both. They have very different personalities and both can learn from each other. By necessity, FE got their hands dirty early in their career and in my experience were always one of the first people I had contact with when the odd 727 showed up.

Right after Sept. 11 CO had somewhere around 300 FE retire in 2002. They may have come from a different era of aviation but from my perspective having someone with a mechanics perspective on board can only be a positive thing. But, that costs money.

And interesting history of a FE duties and a great read here in 3 parts:
http://www.enginehistory.org/the_mak...of_a_flight_engineer_%284%29.shtml
http://www.enginehistory.org/the_mak...of_a_flight_engineer_%285%29.shtml
http://www.enginehistory.org/the_mak...of_a_flight_engineer_%286%29.shtml

[Edited 2011-09-30 16:11:13]

[Edited 2011-09-30 16:16:02]
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Max Q
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 11:45 pm

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 34):


It's actually quite sad, FEs typically worked their way into the cockpit by being mechanics first. Although I never became a pilot or a mechanic I grew up and worked at the airport around both. They have very different personalities and both can learn from each other. By necessity, FE got their hands dirty early in their career and in my experience were always one of the first people I had contact with when the odd 727 showed up.

I agree it is a shame to see the FE's go, they were a vital asset in the cockpit.

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 34):

Right after Sept. 11 CO had somewhere around 300 FE retire in 2002. They may have come from a different era of aviation but from my perspective having someone with a mechanics perspective on board can only be a positive thing. But, that costs money.

The grounding of the DC10's after 9-11 did force the remaining FE's out but these were not Professional Flight Engineers. Nearly all of these Second Officers were retired Captains that wanted / needed to continue working past age 60, the mandated retirement age at the time.



The only position with no age limit they could work in then was as an FE or Second Officer, with the only Aircraft requiring this position leaving the fleet they were then forced to retire.



When I was hired at Cal it was as a Second Officer on the B727, this was the traditional starting seat for any Pilot working for a major Airline in the US, after a few years I moved to the right and then the left seat.



As more and more Captains retired they began to almost completely take over the FE seat on the widebodies we flew then, (B747 and DC10) as these schedules and pay were better than the A300 and B727, the other three Pilot Aircraft we operated then.



I knew of one that was still working at 71 years old !





A Professional Flight Engineer is a completely different career, starting as a Mechanic and then moving up to the FE position after many years, they were and are invaluable, very rare in the US, more commonly found in other countries, there are still a few working out there !

[Edited 2011-09-30 16:50:07]




I really enjoyed the Flight Engineer stories Canoe.


[Edited 2011-09-30 16:55:44]
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tdscanuck
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Sat Oct 01, 2011 1:49 am

Quoting Max Q (Reply 35):
I agree it is a shame to see the FE's go, they were a vital asset in the cockpit.

I love having more eyes and hands on a flight deck but I think "vital asset" might be overstating it. The safety rate has consistently been going up, with and without FE's. That's not to say it got better because we removed FE's (it probably would have been even better if they'd stayed) but it's pretty obvious that technology has kept apace where a non-FE airliner is at least as safe as an FE-airliner of yesteryear.

Tom.
 
Max Q
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Sat Oct 01, 2011 6:54 am

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 36):

I love having more eyes and hands on a flight deck but I think "vital asset" might be overstating it. The safety rate has consistently been going up, with and without FE's. That's not to say it got better because we removed FE's (it probably would have been even better if they'd stayed) but it's pretty obvious that technology has kept apace where a non-FE airliner is at least as safe as an FE-airliner of yesteryear.

Disagree, technology has improved automation to the point where, if everything is working normally the workload for two
Pilots is reasonable.




Throw in some system failures, abnormals and or emergencies etc and it's a different story, the workload can be very high, and in some cases beyond what a regular crew can cope with in a reasonable time period.




A prime example of this would be the QF A380 uncontained engine failure, in that case they were lucky enough to have an augmented crew on board, however even with four Pilots on board it took them nearly two hours to work through all the checklists and return to land.




A Flight Engineer could have been invaluable here, in fact I would go so far as to say this position should have been allowed for in the A380's design.





The recent, tragic crash of the UPS 744 in Dubai is another example where an FE could have been very useful. Things
got very bad, very quickly with that fire, so bad, the Captain decided to leave the flight deck in an attempt to discover the source of the fire and possibly fight it.




He never came back.




If they had an FE on board the two Pilots could have been dedicated to helping each other land ASAP while he could have attempted to fight it, at least if he had been overwhelmed there would still have been two Pilots left.




There are still, many occasions where an FE would and could be very useful, with three cockpit crewmembers one can dedicate himself to flying the Aircraft while the Captain and FE can resolve the problem.




This, indeed was our standard procedure at CAL when we had three Pilot Aircraft.




When you only have two Pilots, in an abnormal situation the workload is much higher and the Pilot flying cannot dedicate himself to flying, he must be involved in working the checklists, communicating with ATC and flying.




It is not the best system.




In fact, whenever we carry a relief Pilot he or she will be used 'as an FE' working with the Captain to accomplish the checklists while the FO can just fly.





But we don't always carry a relief Pilot..
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
Gemuser
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Sat Oct 01, 2011 12:09 pm

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 7):
(although the DC-4 didn't have one)

The Qantas ones certainly did and did so until retirement in the 1970s. Not sure about the TAA & Ansett's, but would think so.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 37):

A prime example of this would be the QF A380 uncontained engine failure, in that case they were lucky enough to have an augmented crew on board, however even with four Pilots on board it took them nearly two hours to work through all the checklists and return to land.

Actually it was 5, the normal PIC, FO & SO crew, a check & training captain checking the PIC and a senior check & training captain checking the check & training captain! A coincidence certainly, but a happy one according to the PIC in a later media interview.

Gemuser
DC23468910;B72172273373G73873H74374475275376377L77W;A319 320321332333343;BAe146;C402;DHC6;F27;L188;MD80MD85
 
Max Q
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Sun Oct 02, 2011 2:35 am

Quoting gemuser (Reply 38):


Quoting Max Q (Reply 37):

A prime example of this would be the QF A380 uncontained engine failure, in that case they were lucky enough to have an augmented crew on board, however even with four Pilots on board it took them nearly two hours to work through all the checklists and return to land.

Actually it was 5, the normal PIC, FO & SO crew, a check & training captain checking the PIC and a senior check & training captain checking the check & training captain! A coincidence certainly, but a happy one according to the PIC in a later media interview.

Thanks for the correction gemuser, but that further illustrates my point, two Pilots can be overwhelmed in certain situations.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
wn700driver
Posts: 1475
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Sun Oct 02, 2011 6:54 am

Quoting Max Q (Reply 35):

As more and more Captains retired they began to almost completely take over the FE seat on the widebodies we flew then, (B747 and DC10) as these schedules and pay were better than the A300 and B727, the other three Pilot Aircraft we operated then.



I knew of one that was still working at 71 years old !

I remember my grandfather telling me this is how he retired "twice" from PA. IMS, he was hired on sometime in the late jurassic period as a navigator and worked his way over and up from there. I think I do recall him mentioning that the FE position routinely got very busy in the 377 stratocruiser, as this aircraft shut down engines almost regularly.
Base not your happiness on the deeds of others, for what is given can be taken away. No Hope = No Fear
 
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tb727
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Sun Oct 02, 2011 3:47 pm

Quoting Max Q (Reply 35):
I knew of one that was still working at 71 years old !

Yeah, we've got a bunch in their mid 70's! That's good and bad, I really hope I'm done flying by then lol.
Too lazy to work, too scared to steal!
 
Max Q
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:44 am

Quoting B747FE (Reply 19):

The FE is the systems expert on board those aeroplanes.
In addition to handle his/her system panel; checklists; take off-cruise-landing data; weight & balance; pre & post flight inspections, he is also the "maintenance diagnostic computer" and an invaluable troubleshooting aid for the ground engineers.
Plus, is an extra set of trained eyes.

Quoting 747classic (Reply 11):
Quoting SEPilot (Reply 7):
I don't think that 707/747/DC-8/DC-10/L-1011 FE's ever had much to do.

Another arm chair pilot. Where did you get that information, did you ever made a (trans-ocean) flight (in the cockpit) in one of the early jets.

Outstanding reply 747classic. Thanks!!

Quoting tb727 (Reply 13):
As 747classic has said and I have many times before, a 3 man crew is the way to go. I love it, especially when I have a good PFE back there.



Well said and I could not agree more.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
sprout5199
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:00 pm

Quoting gemuser (Reply 5):
Radios also had valves in the B707! That takes up room.

WOW as an Electronic Tech, I havent heard tubes called valves in a looong time. But then again, I'm the only tech where I work that actually worked on equipment with tubes, and know tube theory.

Dan in Jupiter
 
Gemuser
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:48 am

Quoting sprout5199 (Reply 43):

Quoting gemuser (Reply 5):
Radios also had valves in the B707! That takes up room.

WOW as an Electronic Tech, I havent heard tubes called valves in a looong time. But then again, I'm the only tech where I work that actually worked on equipment with tubes, and know tube theory.

Dan in Jupiter


What are tubes?  
Full name: thermonic valves!
Diffrent places different termiinology!

Gemuser
DC23468910;B72172273373G73873H74374475275376377L77W;A319 320321332333343;BAe146;C402;DHC6;F27;L188;MD80MD85
 
SAAFNAV
Posts: 365
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:35 am

Quoting gemuser (Reply 44):

Full name: thermonic valves!

Nit-pick: Thermionic Valves  

Just had to start my day right.

Cheers
On-board Direction Consultant
 
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tb727
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:13 am

After watching this, I bet if they had an FE it maybe wouldn't have happened and they probably wouldn't have had to go around twice...just saying...

http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Pil...g_Dallas-Fort_Worth-131311394.html
Too lazy to work, too scared to steal!
 
stratosphere
Posts: 1087
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RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Thu Oct 13, 2011 2:57 am

Quoting tb727 (Reply 46):
After watching this, I bet if they had an FE it maybe wouldn't have happened and they probably wouldn't have had to go around twice...just saying...

http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Pil...g_Dallas-Fort_Worth-131311394.html

I hate to second guess any flight crew but this seems kinda sloppy. Maybe some extra training is needed here.
 
don
Posts: 251
Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2003 4:44 pm

RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:26 pm

Quoting Max Q (Reply 37):
The recent, tragic crash of the UPS 744 in Dubai is another example where an FE could have been very useful. Things
got very bad, very quickly with that fire, so bad, the Captain decided to leave the flight deck in an attempt to discover the source of the fire and possibly fight it.

In addition to the UPS 744, Swissair 111 crash is also a classic example for having a FE. In 747-1/2/300s Cockpit smoke / evacuation checklist which is executed by FE, goes to individual electric bus level to detect and isolate a smoke source which is near impossible in a 2 man crew aircraft in a cockpit filled up with smoke.

Also if you ask a pilot who now flies a 2 man crew aircraft but used to fly a 3 man crew aircraft which crew complement he/she prefers, I can tell you answer will be the former.

And now few FE jokes
In a 3 man crew;
FE: Knows everything, does nothing
FO: Knows nothing, does Everything
Captain: Knows nothing, does nothing

Why does a FE feels like a stage coach driver? Because he is sitting between 2 axxholes

Captain's briefcase is stuck closed. How do you get it open? Tell FE that there is a sandwich inside.   
 
mandala499
Posts: 6460
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2001 8:47 pm

RE: Flight Engineer Really Needed?

Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:46 pm

Quoting don (Reply 48):
And now few FE jokes
In a 3 man crew;
FE: Knows everything, does nothing
FO: Knows nothing, does Everything
Captain: Knows nothing, does nothing

Why does a FE feels like a stage coach driver? Because he is sitting between 2 axxholes

This video I think suits the above joke very well!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4TRSYhrEJE
FE's Lament...
Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right... Here I am... stuck in the middle!

  

If you think an FE has nothing to do... my last flying job ID tag says I'm a navigator... My job was to play with the navigation computer... boring? Well, no! Was I really needed? For the flight we did, yes...
Is a Flight Engineer really needed? If it requires an FE, answer is yes!

Mandala499
When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !

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