Flight Engineer Training: How to Become a Flight Engineer

If you engage in flight engineer training, you could learn to play an equally important role in the operation of the aircraft as the pilot does--perhaps a more important one. Your responsibilities as a flight engineer would be on both the ground and the aircraft. Prior to the flight, an inspection would have to be performed to check for any fuel leaks. Inside the airplane, you would have to scrutinize the operation of various instruments. These include fuel gauges, landing gear and other such gauges.

Flight engineers also have to analyze the weather conditions and the designated flight course. Determination of the amount of fuel to be loaded is also your responsibility. 

Educational Requirements

There are a series of educational and other requirements for this pivotal position.

  • You must have completed at least two years of college.
  • You must be 21 years of age to obtain a flight engineer certificate.
  • Pass the flight engineer practical and knowledge test, which can be taken by individuals at least 19 years old.
  • Obtain a second-class medical certificate, from a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) designated doctor.
  • Prepare and appear for the flight engineer knowledge test.
  • Obtain a license as a commercial pilot and other certificates.
  • Complete a two-year course in engine and aircraft maintenance.
  • You may also have three or more years experience in aviation.
  • Clear the written examinations that cover flight theory, aircraft performance, weather effects and related subjects.
  • Pass the in-flight exams, which assess your ability to execute normal and emergency tasks.

Job Opportunities

You can find job assistance at various flight schools. The FAA also enlists the various jobs available. Search for more job opportunities for flight engineers at http://www.aviationemployment.com. You may also apply directly to the major airlines. The information on various airlines is available at the Air Transport Association of America.

Future Prospects

Depending on your qualification and experience, you will have the opportunity to grow in this profession. Flight engineers have the opportunity to become pilots or copilots. This can be done by obtaining the various licenses required for these positions. Also, you need to have enough actual flight time to meet the required number of hours. Many people accomplish this by joining the military, but this is by no means the only way to enter this profession.

There is limited growth in this field, as the use of computerized flights is gaining popularity and has become the standard practice. The older planes will be replaced by newer ones in the near future. This could cut down the demand for flight engineers significantly.

Tips for Becoming a Flight Engineer

In order to become a flight engineer, you must:

  • Demonstrate acute knowledge in electrical, communication, mechanical and the pneumatic fields.
  • Gain crucial expertise in the hydraulic and related systems within the aircraft.
  • Develop a good understanding of flight theory, flight maintenance and other equipment within the aircraft.
  • Impress your chain of command and peers with your ability to understand and interpret diagrams, charts, publications and flight journals.