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bobdarvey
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B727 cockpit

Tue Jul 07, 2020 5:09 pm

Hi everyone,

I have a naive question about the cockpit of the B727.

The 727-100 flew for the first time in 1963. The 727-200 in July 1967. Meanwhile, the 737 made its first flight in February 1967. The cockpit of the latter had only 2 pilots, no flight engineer.

Why didn’t Boeing take the opportunity to have the same cockpit as the 737 in its 727-200’s? And why wasn’t there at least the possibility of retrofitting the 727 cockpit with only 2 pilots, as MDD did for the DC-10/MD-10 ?

Cheers.
 
GSOtoIND
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Re: B727 cockpit

Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:26 pm

I could be wrong, but I believe there was some regulation at the time that gave a weight limit for two-pilot aircraft. The DC-9 entered service around the same time, but was quite a bit smaller than the 721. The DC-9-10 was only marginally larger than the CRJ900 or EMB-175.
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catiii
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Re: B727 cockpit

Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:29 pm

This should answer most of your questions: https://ethw.org/First-Hand:Evolution_o ... light_Deck

I would note that UA (I believe) crewed the airplane initially with a S/O for industrial relations reasons, although I would be unclear what a S/O on the jumpseat on a 732 would actually do! My understanding is a subsequent contract eliminated it.

As to why no one modified the 727 to a two man cockpit, my sense is the economics didn't make sense.
 
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NWAROOSTER
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Re: B727 cockpit

Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:36 pm

The cockpit of the 737 originally has had a flight engineer. The airlines started wanting the 737 like the DC-9 to be a two man crew but ALPA fought it. When Western Airlines started selling their three man crew 737s to Air France and turning them over to Air France at MSP, and not buying any 737s, ALPA realized they were fighting a losing battle and Boeing started building 737s with two pilots. At the time there were too many 727s flying with a flight engineer to consider using a two man crew and to convert them would not have been practical or economical. Flying two types of 727s was not really an option. Thus the new builds continued to be a three man crew. At the time the only US built aircraft with two man crews were the DC-9 and the 737.
Annset Airlines of Australia had some 767s built with a three man crew due to a union contract requiring three man crews. They were eventually converted to a two man crew as 767s were being built as a two man crew aircraft.
When the Airbus A320 came out there was talk about making that aircraft a one man crew as it was so automated. It never happened as would have been a heavy workload, especially in an emergency or if the only pilot became incapacitated who would fly the aircraft This was discussed in a very early A320 training class for mechanics which at the time was eight weeks in 1988.
You can also read the article noted in the post immediately above mine. :old:
Last edited by NWAROOSTER on Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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argentinevol98
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Re: B727 cockpit

Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:46 pm

NWAROOSTER wrote:
The cockpit of the 737 originally has had a flight engineer. The airlines started wanting the 737 like the DC-9 to be a two man crew but ALPA fought it. When Western Airlines started selling their three man crew 737s to Air France and turning them over to Air France at MSP, and not buying any 737s, ALPA realized they were fighting a losing battle and Boeing started building 737s with two pilots. At the time there were too many 727s flying with a flight engineer to consider using a two man crew and to convert them would not have been practical or economical. Flying two types of 727s was not really an option. Thus the new builds continued to be a three man crew. At the time the only US built aircraft with two man crews were the DC-9 and the 737.
Annset Airlines of Australia had some 767s built with a three man crew due to a union contract requiring three man crews. They were eventually converted to a two man crew as 767s were being built as a two man crew aircraft.
When the Airbus A320 came out there was talk about making that aircraft a one man crew as it was so automated. It never happened as would have been a heavy workload, especially in an emergency or if the only pilot became incapacitated who would fly the aircraft This was discussed in a very early A320 training class for mechanics which at the time was eight weeks in 1988. :old:


Did three-crew 737s have some kind of F/E panel like Ansett's three-crew 767s? Seems like that would be a very tight fight in the cockpit of a 737 if that was the case. Or was it that some kind of S/O sat in a jump-seat and awkwardly "monitored" the instruments in front of the pilots or perhaps did something else like handle radio communications?
"He sospechado alguna vez que la única cosa sin misterio es la felicidad, porque se justifica por sí sola"-Jorge Luis Borges
 
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NWAROOSTER
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Re: B727 cockpit

Tue Jul 07, 2020 7:02 pm

argentinevol98 wrote:
NWAROOSTER wrote:
The cockpit of the 737 originally has had a flight engineer. The airlines started wanting the 737 like the DC-9 to be a two man crew but ALPA fought it. When Western Airlines started selling their three man crew 737s to Air France and turning them over to Air France at MSP, and not buying any 737s, ALPA realized they were fighting a losing battle and Boeing started building 737s with two pilots. At the time there were too many 727s flying with a flight engineer to consider using a two man crew and to convert them would not have been practical or economical. Flying two types of 727s was not really an option. Thus the new builds continued to be a three man crew. At the time the only US built aircraft with two man crews were the DC-9 and the 737.
Annset Airlines of Australia had some 767s built with a three man crew due to a union contract requiring three man crews. They were eventually converted to a two man crew as 767s were being built as a two man crew aircraft.
When the Airbus A320 came out there was talk about making that aircraft a one man crew as it was so automated. It never happened as would have been a heavy workload, especially in an emergency or if the only pilot became incapacitated who would fly the aircraft This was discussed in a very early A320 training class for mechanics which at the time was eight weeks in 1988. :old:


Did three-crew 737s have some kind of F/E panel like Ansett's three-crew 767s? Seems like that would be a very tight fight in the cockpit of a 737 if that was the case. Or was it that some kind of S/O sat in a jump-seat and awkwardly "monitored" the instruments in front of the pilots or perhaps did something else like handle radio communications?

I can't answer the question as I never was in a three man crew 737. I can only speculate that there was a flight engineer's panel of some kind for a second officer. This may have required that the bulk head panel to the cockpit would have to been moved back some. I do not know how this would have affected the 1L passenger door. I don't believe the airlines would have like a third person just occupying a jump seat behind the the two pilots. Northwest actually eliminated the flight engineer back in the 707 early days where the second officer or "flight engineer " had to be a licensed fully qualified pilot capable of flying the aircraft and that may be where the term second officer came from. I am sure other airlines eventually had the same requirement.
Originally a flight engineer could be a mechanic who was not qualified as a pilot. He also replaced the navigator using a sextant to locate the aircraft's position. The sextant was still used for a while on the 707. I remember them coming into the instrument shop for repair and calibration. Prior to that in the piston days there was a radio operator and a navigator as part of the flight crew. :old:
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UA735WL
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Re: B727 cockpit

Tue Jul 07, 2020 8:03 pm

NWAROOSTER wrote:
argentinevol98 wrote:
NWAROOSTER wrote:
The cockpit of the 737 originally has had a flight engineer. The airlines started wanting the 737 like the DC-9 to be a two man crew but ALPA fought it. When Western Airlines started selling their three man crew 737s to Air France and turning them over to Air France at MSP, and not buying any 737s, ALPA realized they were fighting a losing battle and Boeing started building 737s with two pilots. At the time there were too many 727s flying with a flight engineer to consider using a two man crew and to convert them would not have been practical or economical. Flying two types of 727s was not really an option. Thus the new builds continued to be a three man crew. At the time the only US built aircraft with two man crews were the DC-9 and the 737.
Annset Airlines of Australia had some 767s built with a three man crew due to a union contract requiring three man crews. They were eventually converted to a two man crew as 767s were being built as a two man crew aircraft.
When the Airbus A320 came out there was talk about making that aircraft a one man crew as it was so automated. It never happened as would have been a heavy workload, especially in an emergency or if the only pilot became incapacitated who would fly the aircraft This was discussed in a very early A320 training class for mechanics which at the time was eight weeks in 1988. :old:


Did three-crew 737s have some kind of F/E panel like Ansett's three-crew 767s? Seems like that would be a very tight fight in the cockpit of a 737 if that was the case. Or was it that some kind of S/O sat in a jump-seat and awkwardly "monitored" the instruments in front of the pilots or perhaps did something else like handle radio communications?

I can't answer the question as I never was in a three man crew 737. I can only speculate that there was a flight engineer's panel of some kind for a second officer. This may have required that the bulk head panel to the cockpit would have to been moved back some. I do not know how this would have affected the 1L passenger door. I don't believe the airlines would have like a third person just occupying a jump seat behind the the two pilots. Northwest actually eliminated the flight engineer back in the 707 early days where the second officer or "flight engineer " had to be a licensed fully qualified pilot capable of flying the aircraft and that may be where the term second officer came from. I am sure other airlines eventually had the same requirement.
Originally a flight engineer could be a mechanic who was not qualified as a pilot. He also replaced the navigator using a sextant to locate the aircraft's position. The sextant was still used for a while on the 707. I remember them coming into the instrument shop for repair and calibration. Prior to that in the piston days there was a radio operator and a navigator as part of the flight crew. :old:


I read on here that the 737s that flew with an SO had the 2 crew 737 flight deck. The SO sat in the jump seat and had no controls other than an audio panel for his headset. The SO did the walk around, made all the PAs, communicated with FAs, and talked to the Company on the radio. Pilot workload must've been pretty low.
"One test is worth a thousand expert opinions" -Tex Johnston
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: B727 cockpit

Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:16 pm

NWAROOSTER wrote:
argentinevol98 wrote:
NWAROOSTER wrote:
The cockpit of the 737 originally has had a flight engineer. The airlines started wanting the 737 like the DC-9 to be a two man crew but ALPA fought it. When Western Airlines started selling their three man crew 737s to Air France and turning them over to Air France at MSP, and not buying any 737s, ALPA realized they were fighting a losing battle and Boeing started building 737s with two pilots. At the time there were too many 727s flying with a flight engineer to consider using a two man crew and to convert them would not have been practical or economical. Flying two types of 727s was not really an option. Thus the new builds continued to be a three man crew. At the time the only US built aircraft with two man crews were the DC-9 and the 737.
Annset Airlines of Australia had some 767s built with a three man crew due to a union contract requiring three man crews. They were eventually converted to a two man crew as 767s were being built as a two man crew aircraft.
When the Airbus A320 came out there was talk about making that aircraft a one man crew as it was so automated. It never happened as would have been a heavy workload, especially in an emergency or if the only pilot became incapacitated who would fly the aircraft This was discussed in a very early A320 training class for mechanics which at the time was eight weeks in 1988. :old:


Did three-crew 737s have some kind of F/E panel like Ansett's three-crew 767s? Seems like that would be a very tight fight in the cockpit of a 737 if that was the case. Or was it that some kind of S/O sat in a jump-seat and awkwardly "monitored" the instruments in front of the pilots or perhaps did something else like handle radio communications?

I can't answer the question as I never was in a three man crew 737. I can only speculate that there was a flight engineer's panel of some kind for a second officer. This may have required that the bulk head panel to the cockpit would have to been moved back some. I do not know how this would have affected the 1L passenger door. I don't believe the airlines would have like a third person just occupying a jump seat behind the the two pilots. Northwest actually eliminated the flight engineer back in the 707 early days where the second officer or "flight engineer " had to be a licensed fully qualified pilot capable of flying the aircraft and that may be where the term second officer came from. I am sure other airlines eventually had the same requirement.
Originally a flight engineer could be a mechanic who was not qualified as a pilot. He also replaced the navigator using a sextant to locate the aircraft's position. The sextant was still used for a while on the 707. I remember them coming into the instrument shop for repair and calibration. Prior to that in the piston days there was a radio operator and a navigator as part of the flight crew. :old:


Read up on the ALPA/FEIA wars before saying NWA eliminates the flight engineer. It was ALPA that insisted on “pilots” be flight engineers, the FEIA (union representing “professional” engineers ie mechanic background engineers) went on strike over the issue. Eventually all the ALPA carriers made the FEs Second Officers on one seniority list—ALPA list. There were quite a few engineers went, at company expense, to pilot schools,got their CPL and had ALPA numbers. I flew with some great ones at EAL. BTW, it was this issue that split the AA pilots into their own union, APA, and kept the PFEs until they retired, but new hires were SOs.

Prior to 1964, all civil planes having a TOGW greater than 80,000# had to have an FE. After 1/2/1964, it was required by TC.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/91.529
 
argentinevol98
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Re: B727 cockpit

Tue Jul 07, 2020 10:33 pm

NWAROOSTER wrote:
I can't answer the question as I never was in a three man crew 737. I can only speculate that there was a flight engineer's panel of some kind for a second officer. This may have required that the bulk head panel to the cockpit would have to been moved back some. I do not know how this would have affected the 1L passenger door. I don't believe the airlines would have like a third person just occupying a jump seat behind the the two pilots. Northwest actually eliminated the flight engineer back in the 707 early days where the second officer or "flight engineer " had to be a licensed fully qualified pilot capable of flying the aircraft and that may be where the term second officer came from. I am sure other airlines eventually had the same requirement.
Originally a flight engineer could be a mechanic who was not qualified as a pilot. He also replaced the navigator using a sextant to locate the aircraft's position. The sextant was still used for a while on the 707. I remember them coming into the instrument shop for repair and calibration. Prior to that in the piston days there was a radio operator and a navigator as part of the flight crew. :old:


UA735WL wrote:
I read on here that the 737s that flew with an SO had the 2 crew 737 flight deck. The SO sat in the jump seat and had no controls other than an audio panel for his headset. The SO did the walk around, made all the PAs, communicated with FAs, and talked to the Company on the radio. Pilot workload must've been pretty low.


Thanks to both of you for the replies. It is interesting to think about what an SO/FE would have possibly done in such an obviously unnecessary role. The way UA735WL describes it makes it sounds like a quite pleasant job. I imagine that SO pay wasn't at all bad and with so little workload it seems like a hell of deal for the employee.
"He sospechado alguna vez que la única cosa sin misterio es la felicidad, porque se justifica por sí sola"-Jorge Luis Borges
 
GSOtoIND
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Re: B727 cockpit

Wed Jul 08, 2020 1:10 am

Besides the MD-10, have there ever been retrofit programs to convert a jet from 3-crew to 2? I know the A300 went from 3 to 2 in the early 80s with the A302FF, but I think the older A/C kept the old setup.
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Starlionblue
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Re: B727 cockpit

Wed Jul 08, 2020 2:29 am

GSOtoIND wrote:
Besides the MD-10, have there ever been retrofit programs to convert a jet from 3-crew to 2? I know the A300 went from 3 to 2 in the early 80s with the A302FF, but I think the older A/C kept the old setup.


The 747 also went to two crew. But like the A300, it wasn't a retrofit.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
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bobdarvey
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Re: B727 cockpit

Wed Jul 08, 2020 7:46 am

Thanks everyone for your answers !
 
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bobdarvey
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Re: B727 cockpit

Wed Jul 08, 2020 7:47 am

Thanks everyone for your answers !
 
Zeke2517
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Re: B727 cockpit

Wed Jul 08, 2020 9:33 pm

I’ve always wondered, with a qualified pilot, or Second Officer acting as a flight engineer for however long it takes for their seniority to allow them to be promoted to the right seat, was there ever a concern about their flying skills eroding? Sure, they probably flew for years before getting the airline job, but I suppose they could also sit by their panel for years without touching a yoke.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: B727 cockpit

Wed Jul 08, 2020 9:38 pm

Yeah, at EAL, we had 15-20 year engineers. They had great QOL holding onto their seniority to bid the trips they wanted. They could have upgraded, some could have gone from SO to Captain.
 
113312
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Re: B727 cockpit

Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:09 am

There actually was a study to convert the 727 to a two man cockpit. However, there were many issues and the complexity and cost of doing so would not be worth the benefit. If you want a more detailed discussion, contact me directly.
 
e38
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Re: B727 cockpit

Thu Jul 09, 2020 2:25 am

Quoting Zeke2517 (Reply 14), “was there ever a concern about their flying skills eroding? Sure, they probably flew for years before getting the airline job, but I suppose they could also sit by their panel for years without touching a yoke.”

Zeke that’s actually a great question because yes, this happened quite a bit—flight engineers (Second officers) remaining as such for many years for seniority and quality of life purposes.

But what most airlines discovered was that after a few sessions in a simulator that concentrated on basic flying skills as well as takeoffs, approaches, and landings, the pilot would regain the required proficiency fairly quickly. There was flexibility in the curriculum to allow additional sim time, as needed, and the airlines understood this. Sort of like the saying which goes, “you never forget how to ride a bicycle.” Same concept.

I knew quite a few “long-time” flight engineers and none of them had trouble transitioning back to an actual hands-on “flying” position. For some it just took a few additional sim sessions.

e38
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: B727 cockpit

Thu Jul 09, 2020 4:22 am

Zeke2517 wrote:
I’ve always wondered, with a qualified pilot, or Second Officer acting as a flight engineer for however long it takes for their seniority to allow them to be promoted to the right seat, was there ever a concern about their flying skills eroding? Sure, they probably flew for years before getting the airline job, but I suppose they could also sit by their panel for years without touching a yoke.


As e38 mentioned above, yes.

The same issue is currently present at airlines that initially hire you as a cruise relief pilot. You can be a cruise relief pilot for years before upgrading. Did my manual handling suffer while I was a cruise relief pilot? Of course. And that's one reason why there are so many sectors in the upgrade course.

As e38 also says, basic flying skills come back fairly quickly. It isn't really a big problem.

It should also be remembered that manual handling is only one part of the pilot skillset. Communications, procedures, command skills and so on can all be maintained as a cruise relief pilot. I'd say my skills in these areas improved during this time, in fact. Sitting in the jump seat you can observe the operation during hundreds of sectors with your full attention span. This is a leg up if you use the time productively.

On the other hand, if you've been a "passenger" during your time as cruise relief, not using the available "lessons" to increase your knowledge, you will find the upgrade more difficult.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
mmo
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Re: B727 cockpit

Thu Jul 09, 2020 6:22 am

When I got hired at NW, the time flying sidesaddle was less than a year to go from there to the right seat on the 3 holer or to the 747/DC-10 flying sidesaddle. To be honest, it wasn't a problem at all.
From a TRI perspective, there is more of a problem when you go from a 320 to something like a 757. Even though your situational awareness might be better, your actual hand flying has eroded significantly.
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CosmicCruiser
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Re: B727 cockpit

Thu Jul 09, 2020 12:04 pm

mmo, I too had only 1 ½ years in the F/E seat and it wasn't a problem. I did have a friend who stayed in the back seat for several years out of personal necessity and when he went to F/O he did have some problems getting it all back. We were lucky huh?
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: B727 cockpit

Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:58 pm

Instructor, “straight and level, please”. Upgrading long-time SO, “Both? At the same time?”
 
mmo
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Re: B727 cockpit

Thu Jul 09, 2020 3:30 pm

CosmicCruiser wrote:
mmo, I too had only 1 ½ years in the F/E seat and it wasn't a problem. I did have a friend who stayed in the back seat for several years out of personal necessity and when he went to F/O he did have some problems getting it all back. We were lucky huh?


I'd rather be lucky than good any day!!!
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CosmicCruiser
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Re: B727 cockpit

Thu Jul 09, 2020 5:22 pm

ditto!
 
mcg
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Re: B727 cockpit

Thu Jul 09, 2020 6:11 pm

Zeke2517 wrote:
I’ve always wondered, with a qualified pilot, or Second Officer acting as a flight engineer for however long it takes for their seniority to allow them to be promoted to the right seat, was there ever a concern about their flying skills eroding? Sure, they probably flew for years before getting the airline job, but I suppose they could also sit by their panel for years without touching a yoke.


I've wondered that if in the days when most pilots came from the military whether many of those second officers maintained their piloting skill by serving in the air force or navy reserve as pilots.
 
RetiredWeasel
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Re: B727 cockpit

Thu Jul 09, 2020 8:38 pm

mcg wrote:
Zeke2517 wrote:
I’ve always wondered, with a qualified pilot, or Second Officer acting as a flight engineer for however long it takes for their seniority to allow them to be promoted to the right seat, was there ever a concern about their flying skills eroding? Sure, they probably flew for years before getting the airline job, but I suppose they could also sit by their panel for years without touching a yoke.


I've wondered that if in the days when most pilots came from the military whether many of those second officers maintained their piloting skill by serving in the air force or navy reserve as pilots.



Retired from the AF after 20 years. Hired by NW. Spent a year on the panel of a 727, then a year on the panel of a 747-200, then got an FO bid on the 727. I certainly wasn't exceptional, but didn't have much of a problem in the upgrade.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: B727 cockpit

Fri Jul 10, 2020 1:15 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Instructor, “straight and level, please”. Upgrading long-time SO, “Both? At the same time?”


:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
Max Q
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Re: B727 cockpit

Fri Jul 10, 2020 11:20 am

I spent four years as a 727 FE before upgrading to FO on the same, did not have any previous jet time but had a decent amount of other experience


That, being young and absorbing how things were done and staying on the same aircraft helped significantly in the upgrade although it wasn’t easy


Seniority is always a big deal, I knew a few people that stayed on the panel for many years, holding on to ‘quality of life’ and avoiding the upgrade


It was a mistake for a few that stayed on the panel too long, weren’t able to transition to the RHS and were forced out



I didn’t enjoy the FE position though and wanted to get back to flying the aircraft, I did so as soon as my seniority allowed me to hold FO despite having to commute to reserve in that position, a miserable lifestyle I wouldn’t recommend!
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
strfyr51
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Re: B727 cockpit

Sat Jul 11, 2020 5:10 am

I was an FE in the Navy and Later became a PFE on Lockheed Electra's. C130's,727, and 747, I didn't mind the job but then I fought the impression that because I was a PFE that I was some sort of bellhop for the pilots which I wasnSo tht was 't. Once I spent all night replacing a failed Engine fuel control and Air Driven Hydraulic Pump after a flight and the Captain went through a bunch of changes because I was in Coveralls in the morning. Well then? I went to the Hotel, Got a shower, took a Nap and changed. So he was REALLY angry when I got back! some of the Pilots didn't like having PFE's but since the FE's didn't work for flight ops? What were they going to do? I was also the Inspector and signed the Maintenance release as well. so that was that company's policy. I wouldn't take that job again.
 
Max Q
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Re: B727 cockpit

Mon Jul 13, 2020 11:47 am

Great stuff, good for you PFE’s were and are in a whole other category, your knowledge and hands on expertise was invaluable, a much better solution for crewing overall


But, for many of us we just had no choice, as you know the FE position / SO was the starting position for most pilots in this country for many years, an apprenticeship of sorts


I found it interesting for about six months and educational but then, as a frustrated pilot I couldn’t wait to get back to a front seat

Best wishes
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
FlyHossD
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Re: B727 cockpit

Mon Jul 13, 2020 2:59 pm

Max Q wrote:
...I found it interesting for about six months and educational but then, as a frustrated pilot I couldn’t wait to get back to a front seat

Best wishes


I had the good fortune to go from FE on the 727 to FO in 5 months and the sim training went well*. My training partner - also going from 737 FE to 727 FO, struggled mightily and eventually returned to 727 FE. He had been a fighter pilot prior to being hired by the airline and then spent nearly 6 years as a FE before attempting the upgrade. We studied hard and he had a great attitude, but he just never gained the instrument scan he needed; that scan was different that he'd used in the fighters (A-4s?).

*Getting the landings dialed in was another matter, but the second check airman saw the problem right away (that was a happy day).
My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
 
RetiredWeasel
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Re: B727 cockpit

Mon Jul 13, 2020 3:49 pm

At NW, we had many SO's that flew as FE's on the 747-200 panel for years. The pay was actually equal or better than a DC-9 FO when you added the international override and international per-diem. And many liked the longer trips as some required only one commute a month. I bounced from FO to SO several times as cutbacks in aircraft and bases changed frequently in the 90's and early 2000's and spent a lot of time on reserve due to low seniority in wide bodies. I wasn't in the training dept., but never heard of long time SO's having a difficult time upgrading to 742 FO when they got the seniority, but it was a concern.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: B727 cockpit

Mon Jul 13, 2020 8:53 pm

A good friend went from EA to NW in the summer of ‘89. Between the two lines, he did almost 10 years panel-pecking. Commuting was an issue, but mostly couldn’t hold the seniority to get to the FO seat. A 27-year career and finished holding a middlin’ line on the DC-9 just before the DL/NW merger which was his age 60 year. Missed the 65 cut-off by a couple of months.

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Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos