Flight engineer - High school to flight school

Discussion in 'U.S. Air Force' started by Maemurch, May 13, 2018.

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  1. Maemurch

    Maemurch Officer Candidate

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    Dear Peeps,

    I am curious to see what options I will have with my flight engineer training. Civilian and Miltary careers. Would I be able to switch from my designated C-130H Flight engineer to other planes or even helicopters at some point? How does transferring to different bases work out for within the Air Force Reserves? Will my career field limit me in locations?
    Thank you for your answers!

    Mae
     
  2. Dook

    Dook 2nd Lieutenant

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    I don't know how the Air Force works but in the Navy the flight engineers could switch from P-3 to C-130's at the end of their tour. The Navy C-130 flight engineers were getting extra pay that the P-3 engineers were not getting so a lot of guys switched (the engines are the same) but all C-130 squadrons in the Navy are full time reserves.

    Why would you want to leave C-130's for helicopters? On helo's you wouldn't be an engineer you would just be a crew chief, not sure if the Air Force pays crew chiefs extra pay that flight engineers get.

    Will your career choice limit your locations? Yes, but don't see that as a bad thing. There are some really bad places out there. Stay C-130's so you can see the world. You will always get crew rest, unlike the maintenance guys, and you will also get per diem.
     
  3. Maemurch

    Maemurch Officer Candidate

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    I am very interested in flying life flight at some point in my civilian career and thought being an FE on a helicopter would help that along. I am trying to find out what further career options (civilian and military alike) open up with this particular position.

    My partner wants to get back into the space branch, and he is also trying for C-17 AF Reserve pilot. Our current career choices seem to clash with options for locations. However I don’t see a reason to back out of my chance to be the first AF Reserve recruit to go through the High School to Flight school program with all the amazing benefits I got offered, nor do expect him to back off the dreams and goals he is pursuing.

    I feel like this shouldn’t be a an impossible thing to do.
     
  4. Dook

    Dook 2nd Lieutenant

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    Helicopters don't have flight engineers, they have crew chiefs. It's not exactly the same. On a C-130 or a P-3 the flight engineer is a critical crew member and usually gets extra pay other than just flight pay. Also, I don't believe you would be allowed to switch from flight engineer to a helo crew chief. Flight engineers are critical positions that take years of training. Helo crew chiefs are a dime a dozen.

    In the Navy the flight engineers are on P-3 and C-130 aircraft. I'm not sure about the P-8. All of the Navy C-130 units are reserve units so you would not be active duty Navy but active duty reserve, also known as TAR which stands for Training and Administration of Reserves. There are two Navy's, active, and active reserve. They mostly do not mix other than two helo squadrons that are mixed so if you are active duty you will never be assigned to a reserve unit and vice versa.

    Active duty guys get re-enlistment bonus'. TAR's never do UNLESS you are a flight engineer.

    The reservists do not compete for promotion with the active duty or active reserves. If you are a reserve you only compete with other reservists who mostly only come in every other weekend, so, if you do a lot of extra "drills" you can really promote up quickly.

    If you were a reserve flight engineer you would promote up VERY quickly if you treated it like a full time job and took a lot of flights or even went active reserve for a year or two. As a reserve aircrew you can almost pick and choose what missions you want to take. You would travel the world and get paid your regular pay and extra pay called per diem, which is at least $60 a day. But, to be a US Navy flight engineer you have to be at least an E-5 in rank, which would take you about 2 to 4 years. Also, you have to be in a certain rate (job). In the Navy it is AM, AD, AE, and AME. I can go into more detail if you want.

    You can look up on Wikipedia all of the US Navy P-3 and C-130 squadrons locations. To be a reserve you would have to live near one of their locations. Obviously the same is true for the Air Force. You have to be able to drive in to work.

    In the Air Force the flight engineers are aircrew only. They do not work on the aircraft. I heard the navy switched to that also.

    It's a great job. You will see the world and get paid well. You will always get crew rest. The only really bad thing is when you don't feel well and you still have to fly or when ILS is 30 degrees off and you are trying to land in a snow storm in Canada and you are at 100 feet and you see a hangar go by underneath you and realize you're not over the runway.

    If you want to be a flight engineer and your boyfriend wants to be an air force pilot that could be a problem. Flight engineers are enlisted and pilots are officers and fraternization is grounds for a discharge. Sometimes it's allowed as long as you both are not in the same unit.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
  5. Dook

    Dook 2nd Lieutenant

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    Your listed location is Ohio. There are no Navy or Air Force C-130's in Ohio. So, I would recommend that you look into the Ohio Air National Guard. The 164th Airlift Squadron operates C-130's out of Mansfield.

    I would recommend talking with an Ohio National Guard recruiter then find someone who is actually in the Ohio National Guard and talk to them. The recruiter won't tell you the whole truth whereas the real guy will. I believe that national guard people are civilians during the week and one weekend a month they show up in uniform.
     
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