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Flight Engineer


1685FCC
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Hey all, I just wanted to throw this out there that so far I have been medically cleared to pursue my cross training into the Flight Engineer career field. After 10 years of \"Crew Dawg\" work and making TECH I hit my wall and cross road at the same time. I still have the whole approval process yet from AFPC, but so far things look good. I am getting pumped up again about a new path in my career. Any and all suggestions, comments, and tips are very much welcome. I\'ll keep you all posted.

DaveB)

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I can only wish you luck in achieving your goal.

If you stick with it and perhaps even go into the civilian world as an F.E., I would suggest that you keep in mind that it is a \"different career path\" and not a \"higher career path.\" The mechanics you leave behind are not becoming beneath you, they are only on a different path.

A good F.E. is worth his weight in gold in the civilian world, too.

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Steve,

Thanks for the observation! You are spot on! I told myself when I do this thing I would never forget about the MX side of the house. I have known Engineers that treat MX like...well you get the picture. I have the utmost respect for every single person that puts on the uniform each morning. I have also looked into flying after the military and keeping all options open.

Dan,

Thanks for the advice man!! I\'ll keep that one in mind.

DaveB)

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Guest cobra935o

All I can say is that you make sure it really is something that you want to do! There is a lot of baggage that comes with the \"bag\" as they say! It sure isnt a job for everyone! I was a C-130 crew chief as well, and there are a lot of times I wished I wouldnt have \"crossed over\", but I can say I wouldnt have the stories to tell if I hadnt either! Just remember no matter what, pilot pro is never fun, no matter who ya are, hehe!

Nathan

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  • 3 weeks later...

1685FCC. From a now retired C130 F/E, as well as B707, L1011 and B747, I wish you all the best in your endeavour. Sadly, the career path in the civvy world is almost extinct with the major airlines. The \"bean counters\" convinced everyone, including the military, that F/E\'s were no longer required, something with which I totally disagree. If you intend staying with the military your prospects of having an extended career as a F/E are pretty good. It may be a little late to be looking toward a F/E career outside the military. Good luck from an Aussie Old Fella.

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Guest cobra935o

I can honestly say in 12 years of flying, and 17.5 years total on C-130\'s you are the first person I have ever heard say they liked pilot pro! It really sucks when you are at Kadena, and have no where else to go for 5 hours, but Kadena, and Futemna!

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  • 1 month later...

Good luck dude. This was the best career move I could have ever made! I kick myself for not crossing over earlier. I\'ve been an Engineer for 7 years and only met one guy i didn\'t get along with. Also, MX will look at you differently. Your days of being accepted in MX are over! They will more or less tolerate you. The big thing is that engineers never show up to an airplane to break it! Contrary to popular belief.

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That is why I liked the Navy concept as being an FE was a collateral duty and he/she still had his maintenance job to do. In fact I was the Acting Maintenance Control Chief for almost a year plus being a senior Instructor FE.

If you were one of those \"It is my job to pre-flight an aircraft to death\" it was proven pretty quickly and that FE could find themselves burning the midnight oil to get the aircraft fixed.

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Guest cobra935o

I bet Doss liked your application, hmm, wants 130, and actually wants to go to Dyess, I wonder why he couldnt get you a date to start sooner, hehe. Good luck and congrats!

Nathan

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Always thought the FE -1 preflt was to ensure the acft was capable & configged to do the mission - after the mx guys made sure the acft was safe to fly, had it prepped & all was in order. Sometimes we had (found) issues, but by & large, we got a very good product from mx. In 20 years on the acft, can only recall just a very few instances when mx gave us a plane they knew shouldn\'t fly - & then only under lots of pressure by higher-ups to make release time.

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It\'s a crap shoot for us. MX thinks that we hate them so that\'s why we break jets. It never crosses their minds that whoever came up with bright idea of putting a Boeing 707 in Alaska wasn\'t thinking it completely through. Also, just like every other engineer here, we want ensure that the plane is safe and will perform the mission. It\'s our lives on the line. And it\'s our mess to clean up when we encounter a malfunction in the air!

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EClark wrote:

It is the job of the Crew Chief to see that the plane is ready for flight.At Stewart I preflighted a lot of planes mostly mine and some time the flight crew would say you are going with us today and that\'s the way it was:unsure: :unsure:

I\'d like to think that MX never hands over a plane that shouldn\'t fly, but we also know there is a lot of stuff the herk can fly with and be just fine even though the Air Force says it\'s not supposed to. I have seen mx supervisor tell me or the FE \"Oh I\'ve seen this before, it\'ll last another month\" or whatever excuse. I always do the walkaround with my FE and make sure I know the full story about the forms when I head out. I know it can\'t make the FE feel very safe when they ask a question about aircraft status and the crew chief can\'t answer it.

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Well it you make it know to mx that you aren\'t out to screw them then they will like you. I went to seal a plane the other day with 2 very good cheifs and it was the easiest -1 i\'ve ever had. I also let it be know to the pro sup that they are spot on and the plane look great. I told him that the next friday they should get a cut back. Haven\'t check back with them to see if it happend. But they were standing there when i said it. But the fact comes in, stick to your book. I have many pro subs say \"it\'s good by your book\" then just ask them if it\'s good by their book also. Don\'t fly it if the CC won\'t get on it with you. That is what i always told the FE when in was MX. So just be honest, DO NOT go toe to toe with the pro sup that is what your AC is for. I made that mistake once. It\'s a bad way to go. Just don\'t arguee with MX, let your AC or Ops Suer do that. Best of luck.

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I\'m afraid I can remember a couple of FE\'s at Rhein Main who would rather break an airplane & have the mechanics bust their butts on a cold, miserable German winter early morning while he sits in ops drinking coffee & bragging about his feat. I won\'t print any names, but CB comes to mind.

I don\'t mind flying a broke airplane -- I just don\'t like surprises. Tell me the truth; I can handle it!!!!

Just remember, if you ever take your FE skills into the world of commercial aviation, you ain\'t gonna get paid if you ain\'t flying -- except for your guarantee. And, if you break too many planes for chicken-s**t squawks, you ain\'t gonna have a job either!

OK, I\'m stepping down from the soapbox now.

Don R.

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