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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    This is super interesting! Thank you for taking your time for this extensive reply. The thing is I already swore in and signed my contract, if things work out I'll be a flight engineer for two years full time reserves out of Youngstown Ohio after one year of consecutive training (Basic, tech school no.1, Survival and then Techschool no.2) . They just received several C-130's from the Pittsburgh Squadron as they are switching to C-17's. Its supposed to be a new program to fill in the various empty slots of flight engineers they said. And as this offer to pioneer a new program was to good to say no to I signed first and now I'm asking the questions. Something I need to work on I guess. However it was not in my mind whatsoever which effect it could have on my relationship. However, being 23, building a career is more important to me right now.
    I will start out as an E3, so i guess it depends on how many missions I go on to climb up the rank ladder?
     
  2. Maemurch

    Maemurch Officer Candidate

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    So it would be beneficial to me to look into active duty as well, I figure a transfer might not be impossible for an in demand career field. It sounds very tempting to be able to retire in 20 years. The only concern I would have is to finish my education while being active duty, however fulltime active reserves is probably not less time extensive.
     
  3. Dook

    Dook 2nd Lieutenant

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    In the Navy you can't join to become a flight engineer because you can't do it until you make E-5 so it sounds like the Air Force Reserve will let you go in as a flight engineer.

    Basic is boot camp, tech school is aviation training, survival sounds like SERE school where they pretend to be enemy and tie you up and yell at you, and I believe your second tech school is flight engineer training, not sure. If you start out as an E-3 then you are ahead of everyone else by about two or three years but you are 23 so you are a bit older anyway.

    Climbing the rank ladder depends on one thing, I hate to say it but it's true, how good of a kiss up you are to the senior enlisted. Always agree with them and act like they are the best, brightest, and smartest people on the planet even when they are not. Oh, and don't get in any alcohol related incidents.
     
  4. Dook

    Dook 2nd Lieutenant

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    Also, one other thing. I know someone who couldn't make it through flight engineer training. He was a good guy, smart. He always did well on tests but he couldn't make quick snap decisions. In practical training they would throw an emergency at him and he would always want to discuss the situation. You have to be able to act immediately, pull an engine shutdown handle, fire off a fire extinguishing bottle, pull the right circuit breaker, don an oxygen mask, or whatever. There isn't always time for discussion.

    Another girl we had was very fragile. She would cry over the simplest little thing. One time they worked her through lunch and she didn't get to eat when she wanted to so she went to the senior enlisted and complained about it. She wanted to become aircrew on C-130's but there was no way they would allow it. They didn't feel that she could handle an in flight emergency.

    There have been C-130's that have barrel rolled because the raft (the emergency rafts are in the upper wing) inflated in flight and caused drag on one wing that flipped the aircraft in flight. Another time a C-130 lost all electrical in flight at night because the ground crew disconnected the battery when they were launching the aircraft and the C-130 had an electrical problem in flight. The FE had to use one of the emergency battery powered flashlights on the aircraft to see the instrument panel so they could land.

    You have to be able to handle stressful situations.
     
  5. Dook

    Dook 2nd Lieutenant

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    I don't know how much Air National Guard units fly. You should call a unit and ask a lot of questions.

    In the Navy you may or may not have time to go to night school. Most squadrons you would just work too much to be able to go to school but they do pay for 75% of your tuition if you have the off time. I don't know how much air national guard units work. I doubt they work as much as the Navy because national guard people are civilians during the week and they would have to get over time pay.

    C-130's are slow and you can only fly for about 10-12 hours before crew rest kicks in so from Ohio it will take 2 days of flying to get to the middle east or 2 days to get to Japan. Normally you will fly for 10 hours and then spend the night at an AFB in Germany, or Alaska, or Lajes, then continue on the next day. Navy flight engineers probably flew about once a week, either on a training mission that went no where or they left on a six day flight. Also the Navy always had a deployed C-130 in the middle east, Japan, or Italy. The crew would go there for one month at a time and operate with maintenance people and two aircrews so they could fly multiple missions every day, one crew on one day and the other crew off. If the plane broke the aircrew sat in the hotel and waited. Sometimes in far away locations it would take 4 days to change an engine.

    Most of the people in the military spend their money as fast as it comes in. I retired at 40 years of age after serving 20 years. I saved and invested the entire time and now I have a very nice home on 10 acres in the California foothills and it's all paid for.
     
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