U.S. Air Force Flight Engineer—The Human Computers Aboard Aircraft


A Flight Engineer is primarily responsible for inspecting and operating the mechanical systems of the aircraft. I’m technical
sergeant Craig Hernandez and I’m a Flight Engineer in the United States Air
Force. The aircraft that I fly is the e3 AWACS
or the airborne warning and control system. My name is technical sergeant
Robert McClinton I’m an e3 AWACS Flight Engineer the way I like to explain it to
people is we are the human computer. They expect the Flight Engineer to know
everything about the aircraft. Typical day when we fly you know you’ll show
early in the morning and you’ll do your initial briefs, find out the status of
the aircraft, the weather for the day, your plan for the mission. So biggest
thing as a Flight Engineer you’re constantly moving your eyes checking
everything, every little bit. You don’t want to miss anything. We’re in charge of
landing gear, our air conditioning system, hydraulics, engines and our flight
controls. in the air specifically for the AWACS,
we’re in charge of orbit data. Electronics, hydraulics, engine bleed air,
pressurization and backing up the pilots on their instruments. We’re really there
to get them where they need to go so that they can accomplish their mission.
If there is a a problem or emergency we will you know handled situation work
with the aircraft commander the rest of the crew to make sure that we can
accomplish the mission and then keep the aircraft in a safe configuration. We want
to make sure that everyone gets home safely at the end of the day safety is
our primary concern. When it comes to becoming a Flight Engineer, we all have
the same basic training, however, we have to have specialized training to our
specific aircraft. They usually involve simulator training and then after that
actually flying on the aircraft until you can pass a check-right and get
qualified. The training is actually pretty rigorous, it’s a lot of memorization
there’s actual math computations things like that. The hardest that I’ve ever
been through as far as you know military training. My favorite part about being
a Flight Engineer is seeing the Systems Expert and having people look to you for that
expertise and having them rely on you and actually their confidence in you.
Several things make a successful Flight Engineer, I think the ability to handle
several things at once, especially under pressure, most the time you’re the only
flight engineer on the aircraft so you rely on yourself any break down
communication can lead to mission failure or even a safety issue. Flight Engineers like to say we earn our money when things go wrong. You get a lot out of it giving
something of yourself for the greater good,
just experience things that you wouldn’t normally probably in any other career
field or civilian job. The reason I became a Flight Engineer is because I
didn’t want to just work on the outside the airframe, I wanted to fly in it.
That’s my plane right there.

19 thoughts on “U.S. Air Force Flight Engineer—The Human Computers Aboard Aircraft

  1. The dod gets 700+ billion dollars of taxpayer money in a year. Yet they are not capable of uploading a video in at least 1080p?

    Smh

  2. Honestly I’m 13 and I already kinda know how to fly for some reason also I already planning to join the USAF

  3. So you guy have the strongest military and make the most money on the world and spend 21% of your country’s GPS on the stupid military

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