Old 20th Jan 2015, 02:38
  #166 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Australia
Posts: 4,932
tdracer et al,
A question for the full anoraks, membership of Air Britain optional: Why was VH-EAL delivered with M on the top of the rudder?

The two v. three pilot ( most US airlines did not use specialist F/Es in the jet era) was all union, just as it was in Australia. The demand was for three crew aircraft if they had more than 100 revenue seats. Don't blame the FAA.

Remember the TAA strike over two versus three crew in the B737, which the AFAP lost. This was a major issue resulting in AFAP Overseas branch breaking away from AFAP and forming AIPA. QF pilots were happy to fly the B767 as certified. We had serious commercial competition, Ansett and TAA had the protection of the two airline agreement.

With the Reagan Commission adjudicating on the two versus three crew issue, Boeing hedged its bets, a considerable number of the original B767 were built so that they could have a "system" panel, to give the third pilot (or even sillier, an F/E) something to look at, as they effectively dead headed from walk-around to walk around. A number of 90 aircraft comes to mind, but don't hold me to it.

Boeing might be many things, but dumb is not one of them, all those aircraft could be two or three man crew with a couple of hours work. As somebody noted, how fast the Ansett sim. could be reconfigured!. After the Reagan Commission reported (and pointed out that 99 or 101 seats behind the cockpit door made no difference to what happened ahead of the cockpit door --- the (some) union demands were just "make work" programs.

There was never any intention by Boeing to use other than EICAS, and the cockpit of the B757/767 were common, the biggest difference was you stepped up into the B767, and down into the B757. I know I am supposed to say "flight station" because "cockpit" is sexist, but politically correct I am not!

My (now) CASA license says B757/767.

Source of the information: Boeing and having spent time at Renton ( doing B747-338 deliveries) when EAK/L/M/N were being put together, and having been on the O/S branch committee of the AFAP when much of this was a very heated issue.

Other hot issues were "glass cockpits", they were going to make us all epileptics, I kid you not, and this was an even a big issue in Cathay, with very strong union opposition to anything other than round dials. Other matters dear to the domestics, at the time, that the OSB would not have anything to do with were directives banning intersection departures, and any use of de-rated/reduced thrust takeoffs, "reduced screen heights" for takeoff calculations etc.. There were more, in a similar vein, but enough, already.

Having said that, what was noteable about the B767 intro into Qantas was how well flight ops transitioned into a 2 crew cockpit after a very long time with a 3 crew cockpit. Prior to the B767, the last 2 crew aircraft in its mainstream fleet was the DC4.
Believe me, it was no problem at all, Boeing SOP was the order of the day, and most of the early crews had extensive two pilot, one F/E B707 experience. Indeed, it was not even a matter that was discussed during training, particularly as a lot of the initial training , including F/Os, was done in Seattle and at Moses Lake.

Captain Alan Bones (recently deceased) ran the program for the first seven (P&W) aeroplanes, much of the success of the program should be put down to him, and his clear thinking, untainted by years of QF indoctrination.

The GE powered aircraft were my favorite, best 150 tonne fighter ever built.

Tootle pip!!
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