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Everything posted by DC10FE

  1. Mortarbait, Check your private messages. When were you with Transafrik? Don R.
  2. Mortarbait, At the risk of being accused of honking my own horn (I am a retired FE, I\'m allowed to), here\'s a letter I wrote and had published in Airways magazine a few years ago. It pretty much explains the difference between an SO and a PFE. The 727 guys will know what the title \"Check Essential\" means. Don R. “CHECK ESSENTIAL!†John, Please thank Mac af Uhr for his extremely enjoyable article \"Back Seat Drivers\" in your July issue. As a fairly recently retired professional flight engineer (PFE) with the DC-6, Hercules, Electra, B-727 and, finally, the DC-10-30F in my log books, the article brought back some very pleasant memories. Since the article was written from a Second Officer’s (SO) perspective, I’d like to make some observations from the perspective of the PFE. The SO is a pilot who is dreaming of the day he will be upgraded to a window seat. On the other hand, a true PFE (or “oilerâ€) is, the majority of the time, an A & P licensed mechanic who is happier than a pig in …; well, he’s very happy to be sitting directly in the center of the cockpit on his Hercules or riding side-saddle on his jet. He does the best job he can in that capacity and isn’t looking for another seat. In flight, the flight engineer is usually thought of as just along for the ride, making sure his fuel is balanced, his generators are generating, his hydraulics are pumping and that the arrival and departure messages are sent. It’s when an in-flight emergency pops up that he comes into his own. When that happens, as he looks up, all he sees are two faces full of deer-in-the-headlights eyes looking at him. I remember many times in the DC-10 simulator handling multiple in-flight emergencies, my desk covered in emergency checklists I’m trying to orchestrate concurrently while also completing the normal checklists. All this taking place with minimal emergency lighting, a flashlight with dying batteries, a face full of oxygen mask and the two pilots struggling to make sure we all don’t crash and burn. One final observation. Last week I was corresponding with a very good friend of mine, a retired DC-10 captain. We were reminiscing about his days as a very young C-130A aircraft commander in Vietnam. Here is an excerpt from that email: “the comfort of wearing a flight suit, headsets, pallets, ALCE’s, a 781 in my hands and, for your benefit, but with truth more real than you know, the confidence of looking over my right shoulder at some of the finest flight engineers in the world.†Thanks, Roy. Best Regards, Don Rogers Valrico, FL
  3. When I was with Transafrik, I had an Angolan captain (Luis Cardoso Paiva) that loved to control the cockpit temperature himself. Every time he\'d toggle it to cool, I\'d reach up behind him & run it to full cold. When he\'d try to warm it up a bit, I\'d run it to full hot. In the 7 years I flew with him, he never did figure it out! I never did really mind the the pilots messing with the overhead panel -- just ask first. It\'s sorta like being a bartender -- you don\'t want someone else behind the bar with you mixing their own drinks. I can\'t count the number of times I started engines while the pilots were programming the INS -- or was it the other way around; were they starting the engines while I was programming the INS? Don R.
  4. It was common practice on the C-118\'s at Rhein Main in the 1970\'s to hook up a line from the fuel boost pump in the main wheel well & wash down the exhaust tracks on the flaps. Never had one blow up -- I guess we were lucky! My favorite sound was an old Shakey (C-124 for the youngsters) taxiing by at a rumbling idle with the brakes just screaming. Don R.
  5. Now that\'s just not right!! I started my Air Force career in the 463rd Troop Carrier (Assault) Wing in 1963 at Langley & finished it in the 463rd TAW in 1985 at Dyess. Don R. [img size=472]http://herkybirds.com/images/fbfiles/images/463_TCW_1.jpg
  6. Well, since we\'re raggin\' on FO\'s (co-pilots), do you know how to make the 727 a 2-man (person) cockpit? Put the gear handle on the FE\'s panel!!! Don R.
  7. I have a couple of friends flying for Lynden, too & they love it. If I wasn\'t so friggin\' old, I go to work for them in a second. Of course, this retired life is pretty good, too. Don R.
  8. Bob, Yep, that\'s the same airplane that burned the nose off back in 1974. I was stationed at Dyess at the time -- in fact I was driving down the flightline road with my wife & kids (pre 9/11 security) & saw smoke coming out of 815\'s forward escape hatch. This was in the pre-cell phone days (prehistoric), so I had to hunt down a land line. Colonel Ferrier was a really nice guy, but a victim of circumstances. I think he was also the wing king when we flunked 2 ORI\'s in a row, but one of the problems there was that we were just getting the \"brand-new\" 1974 H-models & trying to integrate them into the E-model fleet. The Pope people were pissed because they had to pull back to back Mildenhall rotes. Aaah, the good old days -- Bravo & Delta Squadrons! OK, I\'ll sit down now. Don R.
  9. DC10FE

    M in MC

    Dan, OK, I\'ll bite. Having been away from the Air Force for more than 20 years, what the hell is FARP? Don R.
  10. Does anyone else see the irony in the MRS serial number 4567 in item It\'s actually a Saudi H-model, RSAF 1627! Don R.
  11. TalonIIVito, I wouldn\'t give up all hope of finding a PFE job 6 years from now. The re-engined & re-skinned DC-8-73\'s that UPS flies were zero timed (I\'m told) so they\'ll be around for a while as will some of the other DC-8\'s & 10\'s. The 727 will also be around for a while, although you\'ll probably be flying it in some 3rd world country. The commercial Hercs will also be around for a long time to come. There\'s nothing that will economically replace them. You\'re right, though -- an FE ticket & and A&P license are basic requirements for employment as a PFE. Don R.
  12. Thanks for the reply, Greg. Yeah, I remember those were some nasty times between the pilots & the FE\'s. The first time I got out of the Air Force in 1967, I went to work for Eastern at Logan in Boston as a Connie & Electra mechanic. The two groups would hardly speak to each other. Eastern offered to train the FE\'s so they could get all their necessary certificates, but most of the FE\'s refused. I don\'t know when it was finally resolved -- I was only there for 6 months & then went back in the USAF. Don R.
  13. Greg, I\'ve noticed in that very handsome photo of yourself that you\'re wearing only two stripes on your epauletts. In all the companies I\'ve ever worked for, the PFE wore three bars whilst the load & ground engineer wore two. Do you remember what airplane you were on or who you worked for when you took that photo? Just curious. Don R.
  14. Bob, Planecrashinfo.com says that there were 7 crew & 0 pax on board. Of the 7 crew there were 5 fatalities. It reported that the pilot & copilot survived. Don R.
  15. George, We had that flushable crapper on PJ-TAC (5225) in Angola back in 1991. I can see where it would be quite an assett in the \"real world,\" but in the 3rd world countries, we had to put chains around it to keep the pax from using it because we could never get it serviced. Wow, $180,000 -- what a deal!! Don R.
  16. Pauline\'s -- wasn\'t that the club on MacArthur just before the bridge? Don R.
  17. Mr. cfisher, I think you need to thicken up your skin a little if you want to survive on this board. As I read Dan Wilson\'s & herkhealer\'s posts, I got the distinct impression that they seemed to be poking fun at themselves & not you & your checklist expertise. I\'ve never met Dan Wilson in person, but from reading his posts -- a PRIMA DONNA he ain\'t!! I\'m impressed with your credentials, but, even after my 24,000+ hours, I still embarrassed myself at times. Usually, when you do something that embarrasses you, you do it only once (or maybe a second time). I\'m living proof of that!!! Don Rogers
  18. I agree with dagebow. In my 7 years with Transafrik in Angola & other s**t-holes of the world, I can\'t remember ever draining the SPR manifold -- & we blew A LOT of tires. (Of course, the tire always seemed to blow on a rainy night on a dirt runwway.) Don R.
  19. Gary, I also sent you a private message with my email address. I may be able to help you out too. Don R.
  20. I haven\'t been near a J-model, but from the photos I\'ve seen, the cockpit windows are the same no matter whether it\'s an A-model through the J-model. Is Lt. Col Oliver correct in that ststement? I don\'t want this taken as criticism, I\'m just curious. Don R.
  21. Having no experience on the AC-130\'s, this may seem like a stupid question to the Spectre guys. The other night, I watched the movie \"Transformers\" & in one scene, an AC-130H is blowing away some bad guys (Decepticons). There is a brief shot of the cockpit showing what looks like an FE\'s panel on a jet. Who\'s position is it, the nav? It\'s actually a pretty good flick & it\'s the first time since \"Black Hawk Down\" that the DoD has supported a movie. Don R.
  22. DC10FE


    Hey Hush! Welcome aboard. I can think of a few 3-letter codes for the Legion, but quite a few more 4-letter ones; especially the morning after. If you Google Earth Waldorf, you can find the building there. I don\'t know if it\'s still open or not, though. The last time I was there was in 1995 when I made a detour on my way home from Kigali. So how\'s the retired life? Don R.
  23. DC10FE


    Thanks, Bob I never thought to check the Landings.com web site. Lots of good stuff there. Don R.
  24. DC10FE


    Was the 3-letter code (the IATA code) for Rhein Main AB FRA or FRF? One is for the air base & the other is for the flughaven, but I can\'t remember which is which. I remember the ICAO code for the air base was EDAF. Thanks, Don R.
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