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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 15th Dec 2008, 13:03
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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I would definitely say the left seat and the FE seat to be occupied in that situation.

Come to think about it, I've flown with some co-pilots (okay, okay, FOs) that for all intent and purposes the right seat was empty.
I think that summed it up quite nicely, Con-Pilot.
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 16:00
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Any flight instructor can fly any airplane without any help. Considering the low time and poor training many FOs get nowadays, during their first few hundred hours the instructor/mentor pilot who is PIC is effectively flying "solo".
In the US the panel guy/girl is not an engineer but a wannabee pilot and is virtually useless as a technically qualified crewmember. A genuine FE however is worth his weight.
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 17:37
  #43 (permalink)  

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On the FE sleeping, happened all the time. When we first started our operation the new hires, including myself, would be a FE on the 727 for the first year and would be a pilot on the smaller jets during the same period.

At the end of the week after all of us had landed we usually met at the Officer's Club at the Air National Guard Base that was near our hangar and had a few drinks to unwind. One evening one of the new guys, I'll call him Bob, was late getting to the club. I knew he was on the ground, he had been my FE all week. Now you need to understand that Bob while new with us, was a very qualified high time ex-freighter captain who had been flying Electras for years, prior to that he had been a corporate jet pilot. So he was no young kid.

Anyway he finally shows up and I asked him what took him so long. His reply was priceless and very typical of our operation.

"Well I was driving down the access road when a 727 took off, I was watching it and when the gear came up I fell asleep and ran off the road."

Once, along the line of 411A's story, I had an FE/pilot nearly empty the number 2 (center) fuel tank one night when he fell asleep while cross feeding to the one and three tanks. Fortunately I caught it in time and was able to reverse the feeds.

I also agree with other posters here about Professional Flight Engineers, they are worth their weight in gold. We were fortunate enough to have two in our operation.

Last edited by con-pilot; 15th Dec 2008 at 20:25. Reason: Cause I can't proof read worth nuttin.
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 19:47
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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Actually Boofhead, there are still a few American outfits using professional flight engineers. I've even met a few who came from being mechanics, though most are from the military. Certainly the exception though.

Went to sleep when the gear came up. That is one of the funniest things I have heard in a while... Guess I need to get out more.
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 20:23
  #45 (permalink)  

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I've even met a few who came from being mechanics, though most are from the military.
Both of ours were retired Air Force. One was the former NCOIC of maintenance of the 89th Squadron at Andrews AFB. That man knew Boeing aircraft inside out.
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 21:05
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Old Fella View Post
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.
Old Fella, my experience was that it was generally accepted that certain potentially critical configuration changes such as fuel balancing, or Emergency/Abnormal/Alternate items such as (for example) an IDG disconnect, should be done by one and monitored by another - common sense really, I think.

It was the same if one pilot was absent from the flight deck and (say) a North Atlantic ATC clearance came through, the pilot's receipt and readback would be monitored by the F/E. Just professionalism within an integrated crew in my book ...


JD
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 21:43
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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Crew Monitoring

JD, I have no problem or argument with what you point out regarding the use of Emergency/Abnormal/Alternate or even Normal Checklists. They are Challenge and Response Checklists. My comment relates to the normal operation of the aircraft, part of which includes fuel transfer/balance operations and many other configuration changes. The RAAF and the civil airlines with which I was associated all used professional flight engineers. None of us were used in any other role. Thankfully, we were well trained and almost all came from a background in aircraft maintenance, 12 years in my own case. Just as most pilots take pride in their piloting skills most F/E's do likewise with their F/E role. The comments of 411A and Con-Pilot, even if meant to be taken jokingly, are offensive to me and many other F/E's who take, or took, their job seriously.

The essence of good operations was, in my experience, a mutual respect for each other and an acceptance that without each member performing their role in a professional manner the quality of the "whole" was diminished. I was fortunate enough to fly with many pilots from various countries over a long period. I have no doubt that some F/E's may not approach the job as I did, just as some pilot's could improve their performance. Fortunately, the vast majority with whom I flew were great operators and treated me as an integral part of the team.
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Old 16th Dec 2008, 01:14
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Hear..Hear..Old Fella
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Old 16th Dec 2008, 02:03
  #49 (permalink)  

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The comments of 411A and Con-Pilot, even if meant to be taken jokingly, are offensive to me and many other F/E's who take, or took, their job seriously.
I have/had no intentions of being offensive toward you or any other Professional Flight Engineer. If I have caused any offense I do apologize.

In fact when I had one of our Professional Flight Engineers on the crew I was a lot more relaxed than when I had a Pilot/FE in the Engineer's seat. I could trust a professional not to screw up.

My attempt at humor was directed at the pilot/FE that sat in that seat.

I never had a Professional FE leave the APU running after takeoff.

I never had a Professional FE leave all the generators off line and still have essential power still powered by the APU as I started to pull out on the runway to takeoff. (Looked like a goddamn Christmas tree back there.)

I never had a Professional FE nearly run the number 2 fuel tank out of fuel.

I never had a Professional FE sit in the jump seat and refuse to help loading the baggage compartments because he was hungry and I couldn't find any food for him at 04:00 hours at a Air Force Base during a Special Operations mission.

I could go on, but I hope you get my point.
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Old 16th Dec 2008, 09:42
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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To all captains who have had experience of both:

Would you prefer the 'old days' and have a F/E or share the workload with F/O?

Extra set of eyes etc is always a plus but- would you go as far as having F/A looking out? Where does it stop?

As pilots, would you prefer a designated flight engineer or deal with the workload yourself?
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Old 16th Dec 2008, 16:09
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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never had the benefit of a F/E in the civil world but many hours spent in the RAF with them and when many hours into a very long patrol with more hours to go if something wasn't quite right it was always the flight engineer who advised us whether it was ok or whether to high tail it back to base, and what to do en route.
He was I thought the only man on board who knew how the thing worked,
all of it. The Flight engineer to us was priceless. We called it "crew cooperation" . CRM hadn't been thought of.
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Old 17th Dec 2008, 00:40
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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F/E Role

Con-Pilot. My apologies if I got a bit "touchy", comes with the ageing process maybe. My comments relate only to the "Professional" Flight Engineer and the part we play/played in the overall operation. As bluesilk noted, it was called "Crew co-operation" and was long before CRM was dreamt of. I enjoy my memories these days, almost all of which are good ones. Happy flying.
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Old 17th Dec 2008, 07:01
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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My apologies if I got a bit "touchy", comes with the ageing process maybe.
Quite likely...look and read between the lines for the humour...

I never had a Professional FE leave the APU running after takeoff.

I never had a Professional FE leave all the generators off line and still have essential power still powered by the APU as I started to pull out on the runway to takeoff. (Looked like a goddamn Christmas tree back there.)

I never had a Professional FE nearly run the number 2 fuel tank out of fuel.
Likewise and, I never had a professional Flight Engineer try to do the finger-dance on the electrical panel on the 'ole L1011, trying to manually sync the generators, either.
This was a typical pilot/FE scenario, simply because they didn't (couldn't be bothered to) actually listen in ground school and pay attention.
NO surprise there...these guys were too damn interested in the RHS.
And, when they eventually arrived there, they set a very poor standard of performance, which they constantly failed to achieve.
No surprise there, either.
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Old 17th Dec 2008, 08:02
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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In the days when the world was very young I was lucky enough to fly with only professional FE's. These had no aspirations to be pilots and I learned more about the aircraft from them than from any ground school.
Without exception, they were first class.
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Old 30th Dec 2008, 05:54
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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In fact on one takeoff the FE may have saved our lives. When I called for the first flap reduction, at 500 feet AGL, the guy in the right seat put the flap handle to full up/clean position. The FE saw him do that and yelled at me to get the nose down and start building up airspeed, then the FE put the flap handle back to 10 degrees.
I think I flew with this same co-pilot AND this same FE once!

Most days, I really miss my FE.
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Old 30th Dec 2008, 12:12
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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Devil

OK, just to liven things up a bit,
It was common belief / folklore on the mainline L1011 fleet that the BEA '3 pilot experiment' had resulted in the highest engine failure rate ever seen on the Trimotor.
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Old 31st Dec 2008, 03:13
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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Moonburn -
xxx
Be ready for 411A wrath soon.
He is actually a RR secret agent, aka as 004(11), also as Agent Tri-Bond.
His Chevrolet is powered by a RB-211.
xxx
Happy 2009, Moonburn, you also 411A.

Happy contrails
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Old 31st Dec 2008, 11:53
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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BelArgUSA.

If that's true it must run on palm oil, be registered in Liberia and have a maintenance history knocked up in a blacksmiths shed in la belle france.

You have a good year too.
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Old 31st Dec 2008, 19:20
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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moonburn It was common belief / folklore on the mainline L1011 fleet that the BEA '3 pilot experiment' had resulted in the highest engine failure rate ever seen on the Trimotor.

From my extensive knowledge of TriStar operations with both three pilots and with professional F/E your statement is complete bo**ocks. The main problems we had was when the F/E came on and started snagging things which were well known to the pilot comunity and accepted as normal. I can think especially of flights out of ATH in the summer when it was normal to get a #2 engine O/H. the pilots used to know about it, indeed expect it, it was no big deal & we just had to reset the pointer and write it up in the tech Log as such but the F/E used to try and make a big thing of it.

tristar 500
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Old 31st Dec 2008, 19:58
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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Now that is what the Longhaul fraternity would describe as a typical Hounslow Flying Club attitude towards professional Flight Engineers ...


JD
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