blacksoviet
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What was the last US airliner to have a Third Officer?

Thu May 30, 2019 9:28 pm

When was the last American commercial airline flight that had a navigator in the cockpit?

Which airline operated this last flight?

What countries still use airliners with 4-man cockpits?
 
BravoOne
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Re: What was the last US airliner to have a Third Officer?

Thu May 30, 2019 9:49 pm

Pretty sure that would have been Pan Am on the 707. FWIW, the Nav at Pan Am was designated as a 2nd Officer as the Flight Engineer was a separate category from the pilot list. That all chnaged later in the 70's as the two seniority lists were combined. There probably were some 3nd tier operators of the 707 and DC8 that still used the Naviagtors up until the late 70, early 80's.
 
blacksoviet
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Re: What was the last US airliner to have a Third Officer?

Thu May 30, 2019 9:57 pm

BravoOne wrote:
Pretty sure that would have been Pan Am on the 707. FWIW, the Nav at Pan Am was designated as a 2nd Officer as the Flight Engineer was a separate category from the pilot list. That all chnaged later in the 70's as the two seniority lists were combined. There probably were some 3nd tier operators of the 707 and DC8 that still used the Naviagtors up until the late 70, early 80's.

Wow. That is amazing. Do you have any pictures of a 707 cockpit with a Navigator's station?
 
BravoOne
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Re: What was the last US airliner to have a Third Officer?

Thu May 30, 2019 11:12 pm

Nothing that I could post. There may be a few pics if you do a Google search, The Nav seat was on the left side, aft of the jump seat. SAT/TAS indicators plus a Loran set were the minimun along with the sextant mount in the ceiling. Later installations would have dual doppler/loran in the pedestal and overhead between the pilots as the nav was eliminated. At Pan Am the 2nd Officer was qualified as a Relief Pilot as well when Nav duties permitted.
 
744lover
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Re: What was the last US airliner to have a Third Officer?

Fri May 31, 2019 12:42 am

Being a kid in the 80s had it's perks: I could "come to work" with my father who used to be a load-master for a cargo operator. I clearly remember entering a 707 from LADE (Líneas aéreas del Estado) which had a 5 (yes, five) cockpit crew: captain, f/o, f/e, navigator and radio operator


The good old days

BR,
744lover
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: What was the last US airliner to have a Third Officer?

Fri May 31, 2019 1:09 am

Trans Caribbean had navs on the DC-8 in the early 70s, prior to the merger with AA. Some were offered pilot training and retired at AA.

GF
 
blacksoviet
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Re: What was the last US airliner to have a Third Officer?

Fri May 31, 2019 1:47 am

744lover wrote:
Being a kid in the 80s had it's perks: I could "come to work" with my father who used to be a load-master for a cargo operator. I clearly remember entering a 707 from LADE (Líneas aéreas del Estado) which had a 5 (yes, five) cockpit crew: captain, f/o, f/e, navigator and radio operator


The good old days

BR,
744lover

How could they possibly fit five seats into a 707 cockpit? Doesn't the 707 share the same cockpit with the 727? Why can't the navigator operate the radio?
 
BravoOne
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Re: What was the last US airliner to have a Third Officer?

Fri May 31, 2019 2:06 am

744lover wrote:
Being a kid in the 80s had it's perks: I could "come to work" with my father who used to be a load-master for a cargo operator. I clearly remember entering a 707 from LADE (Líneas aéreas del Estado) which had a 5 (yes, five) cockpit crew: captain, f/o, f/e, navigator and radio operator


The good old days

BR,
744lover


Not aware of any 707's needing a Radio Operator. The last airliner I saw that needed a dedicated radio operator was the L1049's that KLM operated into Indonesia and perhaps Africa and that was because they was still utilized the key in these parts of the world. The RO sat right behind the Captain on the Connie. I have seen pics of the RO on the DC6 & 7 and these were further aft on the flight deck.

You are correct when you say the five seats, but the jump seat behind the Capt was for an observer or in some cases the 3rd pilot.
 
blacksoviet
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Re: What was the last US airliner to have a Third Officer?

Fri May 31, 2019 2:58 am

BravoOne wrote:
744lover wrote:
Being a kid in the 80s had it's perks: I could "come to work" with my father who used to be a load-master for a cargo operator. I clearly remember entering a 707 from LADE (Líneas aéreas del Estado) which had a 5 (yes, five) cockpit crew: captain, f/o, f/e, navigator and radio operator


The good old days

BR,
744lover


Not aware of any 707's needing a Radio Operator. The last airliner I saw that needed a dedicated radio operator was the L1049's that KLM operated into Indonesia and perhaps Africa and that was because they was still utilized the key in these parts of the world. The RO sat right behind the Captain on the Connie. I have seen pics of the RO on the DC6 & 7 and these were further aft on the flight deck.

You are correct when you say the five seats, but the jump seat behind the Capt was for an observer or in some cases the 3rd pilot.

What is the key?
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: What was the last US airliner to have a Third Officer?

Fri May 31, 2019 3:08 am

Morse code aka telegraph.

GF
 
BravoOne
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Re: What was the last US airliner to have a Third Officer?

Fri May 31, 2019 3:12 am

blacksoviet wrote:
BravoOne wrote:
744lover wrote:
Being a kid in the 80s had it's perks: I could "come to work" with my father who used to be a load-master for a cargo operator. I clearly remember entering a 707 from LADE (Líneas aéreas del Estado) which had a 5 (yes, five) cockpit crew: captain, f/o, f/e, navigator and radio operator


The good old days

BR,
744lover


Not aware of any 707's needing a Radio Operator. The last airliner I saw that needed a dedicated radio operator was the L1049's that KLM operated into Indonesia and perhaps Africa and that was because they was still utilized the key in these parts of the world. The RO sat right behind the Captain on the Connie. I have seen pics of the RO on the DC6 & 7 and these were further aft on the flight deck.

You are correct when you say the five seats, but the jump seat behind the Capt was for an observer or in some cases the 3rd pilot.

What is the key?


Think of a telegraph key that you can send more code with. Hard to believe that in this age of CPDLC (datalink), that the "key" was used up until the mid fifties by both international airlines and the USAF for some communications. Countries like Africa and Indonesia were some of the last adopt VHF/HF for routine communications.

I have never really seen it used, but the USAF/Air National Guard C97's that I flew, still had a radio operators station with a key mounted at the table.
 
Gr8Circle
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Re: What was the last US airliner to have a Third Officer?

Fri May 31, 2019 12:11 pm

744lover wrote:
Being a kid in the 80s had it's perks: I could "come to work" with my father who used to be a load-master for a cargo operator. I clearly remember entering a 707 from LADE (Líneas aéreas del Estado) which had a 5 (yes, five) cockpit crew: captain, f/o, f/e, navigator and radio operator

BR,
744lover


As mentioned above, the 707 had a max of 4 cockpit crew....there was no radio operator.....and yes, the 707 had five seats in the cockpit, including the jump seat behind the captain's seat, which was normally empty....
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: What was the last US airliner to have a Third Officer?

Fri May 31, 2019 2:35 pm

Creek Party, Bravo One?

I was in a flight of F-100s being delivered to Turkey, over the Atlantic headed into Santiago. Somewhere around 20W, the front seater said we’re north of course by, probably 50nm. I asked how he determined this as we were still quite a ways out of TACAN range. He asked the tanker nav about our track, still using cel and LORAN, who replied, “right on course, sir”. Sure enough the flight did a 20* right turn when the TACANs locked on STG. Nav bought drinks and my front seater, an old KC-97 nav, explained CONSOLAN to me.

Remember sending position reports to USAF AIRWAYS stations instead of civil ATC?

GF
 
BravoOne
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Re: What was the last US airliner to have a Third Officer?

Fri May 31, 2019 3:12 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Creek Party, Bravo One?

I was in a flight of F-100s being delivered to Turkey, over the Atlantic headed into Santiago. Somewhere around 20W, the front seater said we’re north of course by, probably 50nm. I asked how he determined this as we were still quite a ways out of TACAN range. He asked the tanker nav about our track, still using cel and LORAN, who replied, “right on course, sir”. Sure enough the flight did a 20* right turn when the TACANs locked on STG. Nav bought drinks and my front seater, an old KC-97 nav, explained CONSOLAN to me.

Remember sending position reports to USAF AIRWAYS stations instead of civil ATC?

GF


The 146th (C97) out of KVNY was not a tanker (KC97), unit and thus the Creek Party designation did not apply to us. We were more into important things like making sure our troops had adequate supplies of American made toilet paper:) I do not recall ever making a position to USAF Airways/ Perhaps the Nav did this as I simply don't recall. Seem to recall making reports to McClellen?

There was a CONSOLAN station up north of SFO that we used when coming back to Travis AFB but it was mostly a backup for for confirming other nav data like LORAN and Cel Nav.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: What was the last US airliner to have a Third Officer?

Fri May 31, 2019 3:31 pm

Yeah, Creek Party was the tanker deployments to NATO, a good deal, I heard. I went thru OTS at Knoxville and some of the instructors were KC-97 pilots and navs. McClellan was a USAF radio station, among others like Croughton, Incirlik, MacDill. I never did the reports thru USAF stations, I think that went away in the Sixties. My old unit was C-124 and C-130 before the C-5, we still had some guys from the Shaky days.

I’ve only been to KVNY in bizjets, where was the unit based on the field?


gf
 
BravoOne
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Re: What was the last US airliner to have a Third Officer?

Fri May 31, 2019 4:07 pm

The 146th was based near the North west side where the old tower was. I think the hangars are still there as I see them in various TV movies occasionally. Two Squadrons of C97's for a total of 16 aircraft. They transitioned to the C130A just as I left. Could never figger the ANG master plan out? More like a dart board as some units would go from Cessna O2 to the F4, or the C124 to the F105. Crazy. VNY had P51's and the F86 before the C97 showed up. They were called up for the Berlin crisis but missed the call up for the Pueblo debacle. Actually flew as many hours and missions as if they had been activated so there was no real point in a full unit activation. The C97's became very unreliable so most missions terminated at Clark AFB so as to not break down and tie up valuable ramp space at Tan San Nhut.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: What was the last US airliner to have a Third Officer?

Fri May 31, 2019 4:15 pm

Or O-2 to C-5 as NYANG did. I’ve parked up in NW area in the Global, even flew a couple demo flights from there.

GF
 
Crackshot
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Re: What was the last US airliner to have a Third Officer?

Fri May 31, 2019 4:17 pm

I was reading about the ALM DC-9 that ditched in the Caribbean in 1970 and noticed one of the crew was a navigator. I guess that was because it was an over-water flight on an aircraft that only had VOR/ADF navigation?
 
BravoOne
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Re: What was the last US airliner to have a Third Officer?

Fri May 31, 2019 4:48 pm

Crackshot wrote:
I was reading about the ALM DC-9 that ditched in the Caribbean in 1970 and noticed one of the crew was a navigator. I guess that was because it was an over-water flight on an aircraft that only had VOR/ADF navigation?


Most likely the case. Not sure how that would work in the DC9?

I just Googled the accident and realized now that it was the ONA DC9 accident that is fairly well known within the airline community. I met the Captain of that flight many years ago now, but cannot rcall who he was working for,o or how his career moved on after that accident? ONA of course ceased operations many years ago as well.
 
Crackshot
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Re: What was the last US airliner to have a Third Officer?

Sat Jun 01, 2019 3:32 am

BravoOne wrote:
Most likely the case. Not sure how that would work in the DC9?


Good question. It was a flight from JFK to the Caribbean so not as bad navigation-wise as a trans-atlantic/trans-pacific flight.

BravoOne wrote:
I just Googled the accident and realized now that it was the ONA DC9 accident that is fairly well known within the airline community. I met the Captain of that flight many years ago now, but cannot rcall who he was working for,o or how his career moved on after that accident? ONA of course ceased operations many years ago as well.


The Captain, Balsey DeWitt, was terminated. I'm not sure if he found other employment at another airline. I'm not sure the fate of the First Officer and Navigator either.
 
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longhauler
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Re: What was the last US airliner to have a Third Officer?

Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:26 pm

The DC-8 was the last airliner that carried a Navigation Officer at Air Canada. The DC-8-41/43 and DC-8-54JT were the last delivered with an operational navigation station and would fly with a four man crew when necessary. The DC-8-53 and DC-8-61/63 were delivered with INS and did not carry a navigator. The DC-8-54JTs eventually had INS added, so the last DC-8 to fly with a Navigation Officer was the DC-8-43 and the position retired with the aircraft.

Crackshot wrote:
I was reading about the ALM DC-9 that ditched in the Caribbean in 1970 and noticed one of the crew was a navigator. I guess that was because it was an over-water flight on an aircraft that only had VOR/ADF navigation?

Air Canada used to do the same things with Vanguards and DC-8s when they flew to the Caribbean. A Navigation Officer was carried, where on a domestic flight it would be a three (or two in the case of the Vanguard) man crew.

Unlike the DC-8 where the nav equipment existed (but wasn't used on a domestic flight), I am not sure what was carried on the Vanguard to assist in navigation.

Crackshot wrote:
The Captain, Balsey DeWitt, was terminated. I'm not sure if he found other employment at another airline. I'm not sure the fate of the First Officer and Navigator either.


There is an excellent book written about the accident, "35 Miles From Shore". It is very interesting, as information that appeared decades later indicated that the Captain was not entirely at fault. It certainly explained well why they ended up where they did.
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
 
msiebert09
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Re: What was the last US airliner to have a Third Officer?

Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:33 am

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