FLIGHT ENGINEER OR SECOND OFFICER
The latter title applies when the employee is required to have minimum training as a co-pilot.) Nature of the Work. The Flight Engineer makes a walk-around inspection of the aircraft, checking approximately 200 items. She or he oversees fueling operations, reviews mechanics' reports, and assists the captain with preflight cockpit check. He or she also monitors engines, keeps track of fuel consumption, and the heating, pressurization, hydraulic, electrical and air conditioning systems.
Flight engineers or second officers troubleshoot and, if possible, repair faulty equipment in flight, check and maintain aircraft log books, report mechanical difficulties to mechanic crew chief, and make a final post-flight inspection of the aircraft. Work schedules are approximately the same as for the other pilot categories. Approximately the same as for the airline captain. Can move up to airline co-pilot or first officer. Approximately the same as for the airline captain. There are several approaches to acquiring pilot training. The first is through flight instruction at FAA Certificated flying schools. The student must be at least 16 years of age and be able to pass a third class medical examination. Courses consist of 40 hours of ground school instruction where students learn the principles of flight, aerial - navigation, weather factors, and flight regulations.
Flying lessons are conducted in dual controlled aircraft (20 hours dual instruction and 20 hours solo flight). The instructor judges when the student is ready to take the written and flight examinations which are given by FAA inspectors. Upon successful completion of both exams, she or he earns the private pilot's license which entitles the pilot to fly passengers, but not for hire. The private pilot can then undertake advanced instruction, learn to fly on instruments and earn a commercial pilot's license upon acquiring additional hours of flight experience. These achievements open up numerous pilot careers because now the pilot can fly for hire. Further study and experience could eventually earn him or her the Air Transport Rating to qualify as an airline pilot.
A second method of acquiring flight training is through pilot training in the armed forces. This entails no expense to the student other than a five year service obligation. With some additional study, the military pilot can qualify for numerous civilian pilot jobs upon leaving the service. The military services have been a major source of pilots for the airlines. Thirdly, a growing number of colleges and universities offer flight training with credit toward a degree. The graduate leaves school with a private or commercial license, and in a few cases, an Air Transport Rating plus a degree. Helicopter pilots can receive training in the armed forces or at special private FAA Certificated helicopter flight schools. Agricultural pilots can receive specialized advanced training at agricultural pilot schools. Some airlines offer training courses for corporate pilots transitioning to new jet aircraft. The airline's experience in jet flight training makes them particularly well qualified to provide this service to business firms.
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