Transportation and air travel depend on all systems functioning smoothly and efficiently. This necessitates a thorough inspection and supervision by trained personnel. Flight engineers are highly respected members of the crew who have a vast understanding of how these complex systems work. They receive advanced training on pre-flight, in-flight, and post-flight procedures to ensure safe operations.
Today's commercial and government aviation organizations continue to require flight engineers. Do you want to pursue this fascinating career path? Our guide will explain the flight engineer's career, roles and responsibilities, the salary range, and finally, how to become a flight engineer.
What is a Flight Engineer?
A flight engineer, also known as an air engineer or air mechanic, is a member of the aviation industry who is in charge of maintaining and checking up on the systems and instrumentation of an airplane while it is in flight.
While a flight engineer does not fly the aircraft, they ensure all the mechanical and technical parts are functioning properly. They collaborate closely with the pilot and crew members to provide safety, maritime, and system information. They inspect the engines and all systems to ensure they function correctly before takeoff.
Additionally, they help create the flight plan and ensure that the aircraft has enough fuel for the intended flight. During the flight, they monitor fuel levels, the engine, and other mechanical and electrical systems to ensure everything is in working order. In addition, they answer any inquiries from the captain and record any inspections and modifications.
What are the roles and responsibilities of a Flight Engineer?
- Before taking off, ensure that every part of the aircraft, including the engine, the instruments, and the mechanical systems, has been checked for compliance and safety.
- Monitor the weather closely.
- Review and assist with the flight plan.
- Verify that the aircraft has enough fuel for the flight and keep an eye on the fuel used.
- During flight, monitor mechanical and electrical systems and make necessary adjustments, such as wing flaps, fuel gauges, and pressure indicators.
- Assisting with various aircraft activities, such as throttle levels when taking off
- Inform the pilot, crew members, and dispatchers of the status of the instrumentation, fuel, and other systems.
- Regulate air conditioning, engine power, and cabin pressure.
- Identifying and resolving any potential issues that may occur during flight
- Perform a post-flight examination.
- Keep track of all measurements, readings, and system adjustments.
Qualifications to Be a Flight Engineer
To determine physical fitness; flight engineers must pass a physical examination that tests their vision, hearing, lungs, hearts, and other organs.
Flight engineers spend a lot of time working with aircraft's mechanical systems. They should be knowledgeable about equipment, instruments, and the inner workings of an aircraft's systems, including maintenance techniques.
People who want to become flight engineers need to have a strong command of the English language. It's crucial for someone in that position to be able to deliver their message to the intended audience clearly and concisely. Being able to communicate effectively decreases the possibility of errors occurring as a result of miscommunication.
A flight engineer must possess a strong sense of justice. People who choose a career as flight engineers must be analytical, deliberate, and calculated in their decisions and in their assessment of the hazards involved. Because there are no risks in this profession, everything must be done precisely.
Flight engineers should be able to collaborate with a team of people. Additionally, he or she should be able to act as a team leader. Individuals who choose a profession as a flight engineer may have a technician or a junior flight engineer under them. He or she must be able to communicate effectively and work toward a mutual goal.
Attention to Detail
People who choose to become flight engineers is expected to demonstrate very high attention to detail. He or she mustn't overlook anything while inspecting or running tests. To prevent any unexpected events, every component of every aircraft's machinery should be thoroughly inspected.
Steps to Become a Successful Flight Engineer
- Build a solid foundation in mathematics, physics, and chemistry during high school.
- Pursue a bachelor's degree in Aviation or a related field.
- Obtain a commercial pilot license.
- Gain 1,500 hours or at least 3 years of flying experience
- Flight Engineer licensing and certifications
- Pursue master’s degree in the related field
- Pursue doctorate if you have a passion for research works.
Degree Programs for Flight Engineer
Bachelor’s degree Program
Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering
Bachelor of Science in Avionics
Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering
Bachelor of Science in Professional Pilot
Bachelor in Aviation Transport
Bachelor’s degree in Technical Operation of Aviation equipment
Bachelor of Engineering in Aircraft Engineering
Bachelor of Science in Aviation Maintenance Science
Bachelor of Science in Aviation Meteorology - Flight
Master’s degree program
Master of Science in Remote Pilot Aircraft Systems
Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering
Advanced Master in Air Navigation System Engineering and Operations
Master of Science in Unmanned & Autonomous Systems Engineering
Master in Aeronautics and Astronautics
Master of Aeronautical Military Sciences
Master in Aeronautics & Space Science and Technology
Master of Science in Avionics
Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering
Master’s degree in Aviation Management
Salary of a Flight Engineer
The salary of a flight engineer in various countries is listed below:
Average annual income of a flight engineer
Advantages and Disadvantages of Becoming Flight Engineer
- The profession is well-paid and quite glamorous.
- The profession allows you to visit a wide range of new places.
- Flight tickets for immediate family members are free or discounted.
- Opportunities for foreign employment
- Opportunity to design, develop and test new and innovative technology used in aerospace research
- Working actively on challenging and exciting aircraft
- The satisfaction of securing the crew's and passengers' safety
- Opportunities to work in many aviation industries
- Constant improvement of abilities and knowledge
- There is no room for error of any kind because it could result in the loss of countless lives.
- Flight engineers can be needed to put in long hours at the end of the project to ensure and validate their work.
- Very few job openings as a direct consequence of automation.
- This profession involves a lot of physical and psychological stress.
- No job assurance Volatility in the aviation industry
Career as a Flight Engineer
The BLS predicts that between 2019 and 2029, employment of airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers will increase by 3%, or approximately as quickly as the average for all occupations. Although some of the functions that flight engineers traditionally handle on commercial flights can now be done by technology, there is still a high demand for flight engineers for military aircraft. Military aircraft operate with different systems and are subject to more attacks and mechanical issues.
- Aviation Maintenance Technician
- Aircraft Maintenance Engineer
- Aviation Communications Engineer
- Airline Pilot
Top Global recruiters
- All Nippon Airways.
- Cathay Pacific.
- Etihad Airways
- Singapore Airlines.
- Japan Airlines
- Korean Air.
- Qatar Airways
- Singapore Airlines
FAQ Related to How to Become a Flight Engineer
Can a mechanical engineer work in aviation?
Those with a background in mechanical, electrical, or aeronautical engineering are qualified to work as flight engineers. To work in this field, one must be familiar with flight theory.
Are Flight Engineers the Pilots of the airplane?
No. Flight engineers are not the pilots of airplanes. Instead, they support the pilot by keeping an eye on the aircraft's instruments and carrying out maintenance while it is in the air. But, a flight engineer must have a commercial pilot's license and at least 1,500 hours of flying experience, even if they are not the actual pilots of the aircraft.
To make sure they have the knowledge and capabilities to take over pilot duties in an emergency, they are tested for each type of aircraft you will be flying in.
Does the flight engineer have to travel?
The majority of a flight engineer's work involves travel. He or she is frequently required to travel by plane as a part of the job. Alternatively, they must travel to the location where the plane is landing. While the technician might not need to travel, a flight engineer's profession does require travel.
What is the nature of the employment of a flight engineer?
A flight engineer's employment is both permanent and contractual. Individuals who choose a profession as a flight engineer might work for either a governmental or private organization.
Does every flight have a flight engineer?
A flight engineer is necessary for big helicopters and on flights with three or more engines. However, most modern aircraft's sophisticated systems are now monitored and adjusted by electronic microprocessors and computers, thereby eliminating the post of flight engineer.