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Flying a 747 Classic/Tristar with no FE

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Flying a 747 Classic/Tristar with no FE

Old 13th Dec 2008, 16:50
  #21 (permalink)  

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I agree on where to put the two pilots in a B727, but Flaps 10? Which had a detent between 5 and 15?
Oops.

After I wrote that yesterday I realized that I had a brain fart. Yup, you're quite right, it is 2-5-15-20-25-30-40. Must be a sign of old age, well that and it has been over ten years since I flew a 727.

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Old 13th Dec 2008, 17:52
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Rumor has it that Orient Thai operated a L1011 with 2 crew, the Captain got xxxx with the FE, and actually took off without him.

http://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/1...n-tristar.html


Mutt
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Old 13th Dec 2008, 18:34
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Back to the original question ...

I have several times pondered on this - imagining an "On the Beach" scenario with your nearest and dearest depending on you, finding a fuelled Classic sitting on the tarmac, all shut down but otherwise ready to go. If you are current and experienced on type, undoubtedly it would be possible.

You enter through the electronics bay, start the APU from its own battery, then 4-engine start from the APU and cross-bleed, setup the F/E panel before taxy and again before take-off, then fly the aircraft single-handed. It would certainly concentrate the brain - and it would be nice to have a serviceable A/P and not too many ADDs - but I am confident it would be possible. There should be no problems with CRM ... but no catering either ...

I would have thought that operating the ship with just 2 crew instead of 3 would, by comparison, be an absolute doddle!


JD
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Old 13th Dec 2008, 18:35
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Also, when one of three is incapacitated, is it safer to fly with both pilot positions occupied and FE post empty, or with FE post occupied and one pilot seat empty?
IMO as a 747 Classic Captain, it would be best to stay in the seat to which you are most accustomed.

If the FE is incapacitated, the Captain could more easily unstrap and set up the panel as desired, leaving the FO to handle the controls and radio in the interim. Before approach, set it up for landing, then get back in the left seat and fly it.

If the FO is incapacitated, it's really a no-brainer. Both the Captain and the FE can do their jobs from their accustomed seat, and the FE is used to monitoring the front of the cockpit from his seat. The Captain merely takes on the PNF duties as well as the PF duties.

If the Captain is incapacitated, there's a bit of a decision to be made. While communication between FE and the left seat is much easier, the FO may not be as comfortable finding controls or landing from the left seat. For those who might doubt it, there IS a significant difference in the "feel" of the cockpit from the opposite seat!
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Old 13th Dec 2008, 23:44
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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It's certainly easier to reach the gear & flaps from the FO's seat, but you'd really need to see the FE's panel so I'd go for the Captain's seat for single pilot ops.
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Old 14th Dec 2008, 00:02
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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the 747 classic is the most forgiving aeroplane to fly and the most satisfying.it really handles like a classic sportscar or a 3 litre v6 cruiser,just an amazing machine.fine when all systems operating correctly, however,the flight engineer is vital to a smooth,stress free operation.totally different to the 400 which replaced it.i prefer the 200 as a pilots aeroplane,it wins hands down.very lucky to have flown them.
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Old 14th Dec 2008, 08:41
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You'd really need to see the FE's panel

18-Wheeler, I presume you are commenting on a normal Classic crew where the Captain becomes incapacitated scenario. That being the case, would you care to expand on why "You'd really need to see the FE's panel"? It would seem to me, that if the Captain becomes incapacitated, the F/O would be far more comfortable controlling the aircraft from the right seat as he always does on any sector where he is the PF. The FE knows what he has to do and I would think the pilot flying has enough on his plate just flying, without having to "check" that the FE panel is properly configured.

For ASFKAP. Have you anything worthwhile to contribute or can we expect more of the same meaningless posts?
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Old 14th Dec 2008, 09:09
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I agree Old Fella - with the Captain incapacitated, the F/O should certainly remain in the RH seat, where handling will be much more familiar.

As far as seeing the F/E panel is concerned, you can do so from the RHS by leaning left and back from the seat, and then turning to the right, which gives a good view of most of the panel. I've done it many times. You can even reach some of the fuel pump switches with the right hand from that position.


JD
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Old 14th Dec 2008, 09:36
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FO flying from RH seat

Thanks JD. I guess I still have a question about why 18-Wheeler believes "You'd really need to see the FE's panel" as reason for the Captain to have to be removed from the LH seat so that the FO could occupy it. Don't quite understand where he is coming from, but the inference could be that the FE has to be monitored. I certainly hope that is not his reasoning.
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Old 14th Dec 2008, 09:45
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reason for not answering is...... he is flying 2 classics at the same time.
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Old 14th Dec 2008, 10:05
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The presumtion of being able to operate a Classic B747 without a Flight Engineer or someone at the panel is that nothing needs to be changed during the flight. There is a very big diffence between setting up an unpressurised aircraft, set tank to engine for a quick circuit and a 12 hour sector say PER/JNB. My 18,000 hours as a B707/747 FE kept me busy constantly adjusting cabin temps, pressurisation and ballancing fuel. Some 747 models have 9f uel tanks which have to be used in a set order. Over a 12 hour sector the fuel use on each engine varies tremendously and rebalancing is a must.


The other presumption is that no abnormal precedures have to be carried out.
For most abnormals that would be difficult co ordinating switching from the pilots seat.On a long sector I found that there was often an abnormal checklist to run. The operator that I spent most of my time with also designated the FE as the checklist handler. While I am in no way saying the pilots couldnt handle a checklist, the crew training had the FE do it. In time of problems we do things as we are trained so no FE means pilots doing what they have not practised and on the B747 multiple checklists are common when a primary system fails.

I agree with earlier comments. The only 2 man situation that works for all circumstances is Capt/FE. I've done it a few times and it works because both can check each other. It's impossible for the F/O to check the FE as the panel can't be seen from the F/Os seat.

As far as the Ansett B767 FEs are concerned, I'ver said on PPRuNe before that I have seen an original B767 sales book which promoted the aircraft as a 3 crew aircraft. Ansett was a launch customer and bought the aircraft as advertised. It then made an agreement with the AAFEA on crewing the aircraft that it purchased. The aircraft then changed but Ansett stuck to its agreement. For the first year at least it was a good decision because of the many problems that they had and the MEL relief that was given by carrying the FE. After that the situation was more equestionable. I can also remember seeing B767 FEs at NRT for an Asian airline??? in the very early days of B767 ops.
For the record I am not ex Ansett and never flew as a B767 FE.

Wunwing
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Old 14th Dec 2008, 10:23
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Old Fella, I think there are always times when the guy at the panel needs to be monitored. For example, when going on to straight feed or for any other fuel configuration change - that's just the way the flight deck operation always has been in my experience on the Classic. I certainly don't think the F/E needs to be monitored otherwise.

There are always individual exceptions, of course, as there also are in both the other seats, but I've trusted F/Es for best part of 30 years (far more in fact than some of my ex-shorthaul pilot colleagues who came over to the fleet more for pension reasons than for operational aptitude) and I'm certainly not about to change that habit now. The Classic 3-man crew (CPE) operation was about as good as it gets, in my opinion ...


Originally Posted by Wunwing View Post
It's impossible for the F/O to check the FE as the panel can't be seen from the F/Os seat.
Absolute not so, Wunwing - it can be done, as I have said earlier. I've done it more times than I care to remember.


JD

Last edited by Jumbo Driver; 14th Dec 2008 at 10:40. Reason: typo
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Old 14th Dec 2008, 13:35
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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18-Wheeler, I presume you are commenting on a normal Classic crew where the Captain becomes incapacitated scenario.
You presumed incorrectly - I was talking about a single crewmember flying the aeroplane.
If there was two crew, either pilot incapacitated would be no great hardship .... most times, as long as the FE is good and the vast majority of them are.
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 03:59
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All of the Ansett 767's were 'reconverted' back to 2 Pilot operation eventually.
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 04:31
  #35 (permalink)  
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.. that conversion must have cost an arm and a leg ..

The original tale was that it just wasn't worth the dollars ... another of Sir Peter's little idiosyncratic legacies ..
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 06:38
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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TriStar Flight Engineer

For the most part, set and forget logic, except for routine fuel feed management to keep within specific aircraft limitations...
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 07:16
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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FE asleep

18-Wheeler. How kind of you to concede that most FE's are good. So too are most Pilots!!

JD. In all my years operating as a FE I was never conscious of being "monitored" by either pilot when managing the fuel, or the pressurisation, or the hydraulics, or the environmental system etc etc. If I was ever monitored other than in the Sim or on a Line Check it was done without being apparent.
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 07:20
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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I did some TCAS training in the 747 Classic at Burgress Hill, whilst doing a 727 conversion course, with an ex BA 747 Captain. After the training he demonstrated a take off couple of circuits and a 2 engine landing all by himself it was impressive.

So yes you can fly the aircraft with no other person to assist but that was in the Sim would you want to do it for real. Personal opinion no the extra pair of eyes and team work all ways reduces the work load which is invaluable in those high stress situations
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 07:53
  #39 (permalink)  
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Well, you can also fly a 767 or a 330 with just 1 pilot but that doesnt mean we should do it all time. So, yes, you can get it into the air, but do you want to fly, navigate and talk to atc while you doing checklist at the panel, well, have fun.

Anyway, its less fun to fly without the Engineer
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 12:51
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411A it would appear that you change your views depending on which post you reply to.
Don't you and old fella get in a snit, old boy, just a little humour...

Actually, our F/E does quite a lot prior to engine start...trimsheet, bug card, keeps an eye on fueling, exterior inspection, etc....so 'dozing for dollars' enroute is OK with me.

Fat-fingured Fred over KMEM was a complete waste of time, however...
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