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Flight Engineer

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Summary

Monitor the instruments used on airplanes.

What does a Flight Engineer do?

As a flight engineer, sometimes called a second officer, you’ll make pre-flight, in-flight, and post-flight inspections. Before takeoff, you’ll inspect the aircraft and ensure that it’s safe to operate. You work in close coordination with the two pilots during all phases of flight, and at the end, you submit a completed flight log of the trip.

Your job is to inspect the outside of the plane to make sure there are no fluid leaks and that tires are inflated properly. Inside the aircraft, you’ll look at the weather patterns and determine the amount of fuel required for the flight. Flight engineers must help the pilot and copilot check the operation of more than 100 instruments, including the air conditioning, cabin airflow, the main electrical system, and the engine power.

To become a flight engineer, you must have a strong background in flying aircraft. Additionally, you need to be skilled at reading instruments, dials, and the gamut of tools used in planes. Leadership and the ability to make rapid decisions are beneficial skills, and physical fitness and form are a must for flight engineers.

The minimum educational requirement for becoming a flight engineer is a high school diploma, although most airlines prefer to hire applicants with at least two years of college education. Flight engineers must have good vision, hearing, and normal color perception. Before hiring an applicant, physical exams are conducted. Flight engineers also need commercial pilot’s licenses and flight engineer’s certificates.

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