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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 1st Jan 2009, 03:32
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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Awful professional F/E's snagging snags.

Tristar 500, as one of those awful professional F/E's, also now retired, I find your comment nonsensical. Your reference to No 2 Engine Overheat is somewhat intriguing, especially when you state that the "pilot community used to know about it, indeed expect it, it was no big deal and we just reset the pointer and write it up as such" I presume you are referring to an EGT exceedance and that the "pointer" you re-set was on the EGT indicator. If my presumption is correct I wonder how many times you, with your extensive knowledge of TriStar operations, were responsible for later engine failures when the hot end failed from too many of those "expected OH's" which you thought inconsequential, but your professional F/E's knew were important enough to make a "big thing" out of?

Last edited by Old Fella; 1st Jan 2009 at 04:34. Reason: Expanding response
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Old 1st Jan 2009, 05:12
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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I don't want to make a big thing of it...

but once again, Hear, Hear...Old Fella!!

FD
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Old 1st Jan 2009, 05:19
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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F/E's

Flight Detent, thankfully comments from people such as Tristar 500 regarding the value of F/E's are few. Thanks for your support and also to JD for your comment re the Hounslow Flying Club etc etc.
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Old 1st Jan 2009, 09:48
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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My two eurocents worth

Quick interjection here from a young (30-odd) former glass pilot who for the last two years has had the chance to fly the 747-200... the F/Es I fly with are, almost to a man, knowledgeable, professional, capable and priceless when problems arise ! A little rough around the edges perhaps (ours are predominantly aussies ), but very fun to fly with.

More than once a sharp-eyed F/E has spotted things we pilots both missed, occasionally saving my bacon on sim or line checks.

I sometimes wish we hadn't traded an extra pair of eyes, brain and extensive technical knowledge with an EICAS/ECAM; I'll take my engineer's expression over a computer's assessment of the situation anyday!

I know when I eventually convert to the -400, I'll spend the first few hundred hours looking over my shoulder only to find a big gap...
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Old 1st Jan 2009, 09:59
  #65 (permalink)  
 
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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
Yup, sounds familiar.
The smart F/E simply trimmed the thrust accordingly, just as he was supposed to do.
The 'un-smart' ones simply bit*hed and moaned.

They were ignored...and if it became intrusive...replaced.

No discrepancy went in the Tech Log without the Commanders specific approval at the companies where I have worked, and this instruction came directly from the respective fleet manager.

As it should be.
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Old 1st Jan 2009, 12:42
  #66 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by 411A View Post
No discrepancy went in the Tech Log without the Commanders specific approval at the companies where I have worked, and this instruction came directly from the respective fleet manager.

As it should be.
If, by that comment, you mean deliberate suppression of snags from the Tech Log, that's nothing to be proud about, 411A.

Put quite simply, it's illegal - to say nothing of the arrogant attitude to safety which it displays ...

JD

Last edited by Jumbo Driver; 1st Jan 2009 at 13:07.
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Old 1st Jan 2009, 17:03
  #67 (permalink)  
 
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....you mean deliberate suppression of snags from the Tech Log, that's nothing to be proud about, 411A.
Negative, Jumbo Driver.
The reason is to be sure that the snag is properly and accurately described/noted.

Improperly worded maintenance descrepancies give untold grief to the ground tech folks...we use the FIRM code method for best results.

As Lockheed intended....works like a charm.
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Old 1st Jan 2009, 19:09
  #68 (permalink)  
 
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Thank you Tristar 500, I rest my case.
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Old 1st Jan 2009, 19:56
  #69 (permalink)  
 
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Simply trim the thrust like he was supposed to.

411A, you may have 26 years or whatever on the Tristar, but it seems from some of your comments that you've not learnt a whole lot in all that time. The post from Tristar500, which you seem to find familiar, "that the smart F/E simply trimmed the thrust" is fine if the EGT limit has not been exceeded in time or value. Just resetting the pointer after such events without being able to enter the EGT max value and duration tells the maintenance people nothing of value. From your later comment that nothing went into the Tech Log without the Commander's specific approval (sanctioned by the Fleet Manager) is a system which ignores the knowledge and experience of the flight engineer, and is likely illegal. I have never had to work under such a system, in fact would not work under such conditions. Thankfully the Military and the Civil operators with whom I worked believed that I had been trained well enough to know what needed to be entered in the Tech Log and what did not. Those airlines which use pilots in the F/E position have "panel operators", not professional flight engineers.

Last edited by Old Fella; 1st Jan 2009 at 21:17.
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Old 1st Jan 2009, 20:02
  #70 (permalink)  

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No discrepancy went in the Tech Log without the Commanders specific approval
That is exactly the way it should be for any operation. This does not mean that only the PIC can do the write up, but that no entry should be made without the PIC's approval and review.
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Old 1st Jan 2009, 20:11
  #71 (permalink)  
 
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... correct - if that's what he really meant ...

JD
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Old 2nd Jan 2009, 09:06
  #72 (permalink)  
 
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I think maybe we need some clarification here as I think 411A's position is somewhat ambiguous.

The Commander has overall responsibility for the flight, particularly including all safety aspects. Within that responsibility is the obligation to report any unserviceability of that aircraft and to ensure that the aircraft only operates within the acceptable defect conditions appropriate to that aircraft (e.g. MEL for despatch). The Commander is legally required to ensure that all significant defects are reported. He is not allowed to exercise discretion in reporting only those defects which (for example) have no commercial bearing on the operation of that aircraft - in other words, he should not be selective.

Now with regard to the operating relationship between the Commander and a professional Flight Engineer, there are two fundamentals - firstly, the competence of the Flight Engineer and secondly, trust between him and the Captain. The two are clearly interdependent and, in my experience, it is extremely rare for these qualities not to exist.

Within this environment, therefore, it would be perfectly normal for the F/E to write up the Tech Log with any significant defects, maybe but not necessarily after prior discussion with the Captain, and for the Captain to sign the Tech Log as Commander. Use of a Fault Isolation Manual (FIM or FIRM) is very often helpful in clarifying or diagnosing the problem. What the Commander may not do is to be selective about what is reported - e.g. for expeditious or commercial reasons. On re-reading 411A's post, it is not clear to me whether he is actually advocating such practice or not.

Personally, I would never fly for an operator that tried to coerce me in what I reported in a Tech Log. The Commander has perfectly clear legal requirements and no professional Commander should allow these responsibilities to be subjugated by commercial pressures.

JD
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Old 2nd Jan 2009, 12:03
  #73 (permalink)  
 
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Quote:
No discrepancy went in the Tech Log without the Commanders specific approval

That is exactly the way it should be for any operation. This does not mean that only the PIC can do the write up, but that no entry should be made without the PIC's approval and review.
Quite so, co-pilot, and yet....a very few seem to have forgotten (or, never really knew) how the system was designed to work.

In these few cases, a letter from the head shed was usually sufficient to set these (usually old, sometimes malcontent) Flight Engineers straight.
Normally....
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Old 2nd Jan 2009, 13:49
  #74 (permalink)  
 
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Maybe a similar letter to the odd remaining old malcontent self-opinionated CRM-challenged head-in-the-sand Captain might be a good idea also, 411A ... ?

JD
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Old 2nd Jan 2009, 17:44
  #75 (permalink)  
 
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Maybe a similar letter ....
It would never happen.
Simple as that....
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Old 2nd Jan 2009, 17:52
  #76 (permalink)  
 
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But maybe it already has ...

JD
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Old 3rd Jan 2009, 00:29
  #77 (permalink)  
 
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"Have forgotten or never really knew"

411A, I am certainly old (and now retired), however I was never a malcontent. Sometimes , but very rarely, I did not look forward to going to work. On those very rare occasions I did not look forward to a trip it was only because I knew the PIC was of the same personality as your comments suggest you are, a self-opinionated one man band with a contemptuous opinion of your crew. If you hold such a lowly opinion of your lesser ranked crew members as your posts infer it must be a very uncomfortable environment in which to operate when you are the PIC.

I am sure that the aircraft manufacturers who designed aircraft with a F/E position believed that the F/E was a necessary member of the crew, just as they believed their aircraft needed two pilots. Obviously, the company for which I worked after life in the military thought we were a valuable asset, enough so for F/E's and F/O's to be on the same pay scales. I hope you get to enjoy your retirement, when it comes. I am sure many with whom you fly surely will.

Personally I can say with honesty that the vast majority of pilots with whom I operated were highly professional and skilled individuals who accepted that it was a "Crew" aircraft operation where all were expected and able to make their contribution to the smooth and efficient conduct of a flight in a friendly environment. Those pilots receive the respect of their fellow crew members, something which I guess would not concern you Sir.

This letter is not from the "head shed", just from one of those whom you would probably have ignored, found intrusive and sought to have replaced.
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Old 3rd Jan 2009, 02:58
  #78 (permalink)  
 
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Judging by this video, ONE could argue that a PFE doesnt need a pilot

YouTube - 747 Autoland

Mutt
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Old 3rd Jan 2009, 03:45
  #79 (permalink)  
 
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B747 Autoland

Mutt Nice video of an autoland from the Simulator, but in the real world the Classic requires a minimum crew of 3 for normal operations, although reading some posts not all people think so.
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Old 3rd Jan 2009, 05:20
  #80 (permalink)  
 
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As a thirty year F/E I find 411's comments farcical. I spent my years writting up tech logs and handing them to the skipper to sign, never had one fail to sign it and in doing so obviously agreed with me. If a limitaion had been broken there would not be a skipper that I know that would not want it written up. I know that when we have had to carry snags a discussion was always had......these times where normally when opeerating into wierd and wonderful places that no person in their right mind would want to stay. These discussions also involved the FO and his views were taken into consideration. I was a proffesional FE and as such resent some of the remarks made by some, I know we are thick skinned but some people really take tha biscuit. If I ever fly again my standards would not change and if i ever had to fly with 411 and he ignored my advice he would be flying without me for sure. Thanks old fella for your words of wisdom.
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