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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Wed Nov 22, 2006 12:24 pm

Quoting C133 (Reply 48):
Sorry, this isn't true. At American Airlines, at least, the professional FEs never had pilot qualifications or licenses. Can't speak for other carriers.

Knowing AA and the APA attitude towards AA, I would not be surprised that they forced the company to put a third pilot in addition to the FE on board when the FAA changed the regulations, instead of allowing what the other airlines, and I assume with ALPA’s permission to qualify the FE as the third pilot. I searched FAR Part 121 and I cound not find any reference to the FE becoming the third pilot, but I would assume that when the FAA authorized 2 person cockpits they rescinded and removed that regulation requiring a third pilot.

I know for sure that Pan Am qualified their FE’s as pilots because in the early 1960’s Pan Am contracted with Flight Safety to train their FE’s for their commercial pilots licenses. Flight Safety purchased from Cessna a fleet of 1964 Cessna 150’s and they were based at Farmingdale Airport on Long Island, NY. After Flight Safety completed the contract in 1968 they sold off their fleet of Cessna’s and I purchased one of them. It had in the records all the flights and the pilot’s names and they were all Pan Am. I knew a Pan Am pilot years ago and showed him these flight records and he said they were all Flight Engineers.
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Wed Nov 22, 2006 12:58 pm

In a follow on to FedEx's MD-10 program, UPS has started developing an MD-8 program to make the DC-8 two crew and automate most systems on the aircraft. This modification is justified in that UPS has NO retirement plans for the DC-8.
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Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2001 4:13 am

RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Wed Nov 22, 2006 9:10 pm

Quoting Jetstar (Reply 50):

The way I seem to remember the debate [ but it was a long time ago] that when the jets came on the scene ALPA lobbied that the straight F/E should be replaced by somebody with a pilots licence aswell. At the time this was perceived as a means of protecting their members employment as the number of jet aircraft airliners required would be less than the piston variety,or so they thought

They were succesful in having the requirements changed for a pilot to get a F/E ticket, but a person without a pilots background could still get one. However many of the airlines then insisted [pilot pressure] that their F/E both old and new held pilot qualifications. Anyway it was all a long time ago now .

With no pilot background some 6 years ago I indeed got a FAA F/E ticket

Just for interest, does any know if the 747-400 was offered with a three man crew option to start with, as I have heard that it was and one airline took it up, but changed their mind before construction started

Anyway Be happy littlevc10
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Thu Nov 23, 2006 12:21 am

Can't remember the exact origin of the issue, but when the jets came along, the airlines decided it would be better for future new hire pilots to start in the third seat and work their way up from there. At American the existing flight engineers, with a contract separate from the pilots' were given contractual preference to the third seat but no pilot training. The pilots, facing layoffs due to the increased productivity of the jets, negotiated a Second Officer position in jet cockpits--riding the jump seat mostly as a radio operator. This was, of course, ridiculous featherbedding for domestic operation with voice radios, and was eliminated fairly quickly. The FEs, however, continued to occupy their third seat until the last 727 was retired, eliminating their job for the few remaining (un-retired) "2 stripers".

At other airlines, say Pan Am, the problem was solved in a different contractual manner, by offering the FEs pilot training. As I remember it, many took the offer; some succeeded, some didn't. However, I never heard of an FAA rule requiring 3 pilots in the cockpit, and believe the AAL experience is evidence it didn't exist.
Fine: Tax for doing wrong. Tax: Fine for doing well.
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RE: Why 3 Person Cockpit On The DC-10?

Thu Nov 23, 2006 12:56 am

In the early 60's when the FE staffing decision was made,quite a few of the A&P engineers at NWA got their pilot ratings and joined the pilot seniority list,some retiring as 747 captains,I assume this happened at the other carriers involved,at AA I remember getting on the DC10's and seeing an old "two striper" working the panel,they were to some degree working the split cockoit.(FEIA-APA)
Work hard fly right..don't understand it

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