Aviation Careers: Reviews on the Flight Engineers’ Aviation Jobs

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Background of Flight
Working as flight engineers would surely have been involved with various aviation jobs. In fact, some of these aircraft jobs include the monitoring operation of various mechanical and electrical devices aboard an airplane. They are concerned with the condition and the performance of the plane before, during, and after the flight. Roger Bacon, an English scientist and writer who lived in the fourteenth century, was one of the first people to seriously study the problem of flying. After him came Leonardo da Vinci, who drew pictures of wings he thought could be attached to human arms and legs. Furthermore, Montgolfier brothers, Joseph-Michele and Jacques-Etienne were the ones who built the first successful balloon with a basket suspended below for passengers.

Duties of a Flight Engineer

The need for flight engineers in aviation employment arose as planes became more complex. Ordinary jet airliners, for example, may have several hundred devices and instruments, many of which need to be checked frequently. There are also gauges to indicate pressures, fuels, and temperatures. Pilots of such planes need the assistance of flight engineers to watch all these indicators. Before takeoff, a flight engineer inspects the outside of the plane which is part of the aviation job, like monitoring the tires and fuel tanks. Likewise, inside the plane, he assists the pilot and the co-pilot in making preflight tests of instruments and equipment. During the flight, the engineer watches and operates many instruments and devices to check the performance of the engines and the air-conditioning, pressurizing, and electrical systems. The engineer also keeps records of engine performance and fuel consumption. This person reports any mechanical difficulties to the pilot, and if possible makes emergency repairs. After the plane has landed, the engineer makes certain that any necessary repairs to the plane are done by a mechanic.



Requirements

In their aviation careers, the age range for flight engineers usually ranges from 21 to 35 years. Airlines require the applicant to be in excellent physical condition, and to meet a height requirement. A high-school education is required, and at least 2 or more years of college would be desired. Young people who have a flight engineer certificate are more readily hired, although a person who has a commercial pilot’s license may be hired and then given additional training. Moreover, one can qualify for a flight engineer’s certificate with a certain required years of training and work experience in the maintenance, repair, and overhaul of aircraft and engineers, including a certain period of training and experience on four-engine piston and jet planes. At least a certain length of hours of flight time is required to become a captain of a four-engine piston and jet planes, or required hours experience in the armed forces will also qualify for airlines work. Likewise, the completion of the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) approved course of ground and flight instruction is another way to qualify.

An applicant for a license in dealing with aircraft mechanic jobs must pass a written test on flight theory, engine and aircraft performance, fuel requirements, weather, and maintenance procedures. In addition, the applicant must pass a rigid in-flight test on normal and emergency duties and procedures and be able to pass a rigorous yearly physical examination. In a practical flight test on a four-engine plane, one must demonstrate knowledge of preflight duties and procedures. The nature of this work affords little opportunity for experience and exploration. Young persons with a definite interest in planes, engineers, and related technological areas, however, should find reading material that will give him or her additional insight into this occupation. It may be possible to obtain experience at small airports, working with engines, or in some schools that offer air-cadet programs. Note that after gaining the necessary experience, the best way to become a flight engineer is by direct application to an airline. To gain experience, it may be necessary to work in maintenance or repair and then transfer when an opening is available as a flight engineer. A flight engineer can become a chief flight engineer for an airline. Seniority, which allows one to select choice routes and schedules, is the usual road to advancement. The person who qualifies as a pilot can be promoted from flight engineer to copilot and may then follow the regular line of advancement open to other copilots. Furthermore, the flight engineer has a position of responsibility in his aircraft job. The work requires skill and training and the ability to act under a variety of circumstances.

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