Fly what you fix: Become a Flight Engineer
The Royal Canadian Air Force is recruiting internally for flight engineer positions. We sat down with Master Warrant Officer Alan Blanchette to discuss this position and how CAF members can apply.
Q: What are the qualities and qualifications you’re looking for in a Flight Engineer?
A: We are looking for passionate young leaders with great technical aviation expertise. They must enjoy flying and occasionally some travel away from home. But most importantly they must thrive on the excitement that missions will bring. Forget about a boring routine …your daily job is never the same twice. If you have initiative and work well with others, you are the women and men we’re looking for.
Q: Who is eligible to apply for this trade? What training is required?
A: Any aviation system technician or avionics system technician with four year post QL3. The training will consist of basic flight engineer training in Trenton, aircraft on type training, flight training, and survival training. No matter which aircraft you’ll be employed on, you will be highly challenged during the training, making you the technical expert on board the aircraft. This is extremely rewarding, especially when you are called upon to successfully resolve a real life emergency situation.
Q: Can you describe what a typical day as Flight Engineer would look like? What are the responsibilities of a Flight Engineer?
A: As I said, all work days are different. However, a “typical” day might begin with mission planning. Depending on the aircraft type on which you work, your mission could consist of search and rescue, air-to-air refuelling, tactical aviation, or maritime control. Duties include completing a pre-flight inspection, calculating weight and balance, aircraft and engine performance, and certifying the aircraft for flight. In flight, you’re responsible for instrument monitoring, like fuel management, oil pressures, and operating aircraft systems like air conditioning, hydraulics, and electronics. As a Flight Engineer, you are also trained to identify and react to aircraft abnormalities and emergency responses.
Q: What makes this new position exciting?
A: Simply because it is challenging, it is rewarding, and it allows you to make a difference. Of course you will face some days where you will feel the adrenaline rush of dealing with emergencies that test your knowledge and ability to perform under pressure. Other days the excitement will come from operational maneuvers you’ll be flying. But at the end of any day, it will always be rewarding.
Q: How can potential candidates learn more about how to become a Flight Engineer?
A: Your first step is speaking to a serving flight engineer to better understand the job requirements, responsibilities, and posting possibilities. You can reach the Flt Engr Recruiter, MWO Lesperance at (450) 358-7099 extension 7238.
The next step would be to either submit your memo to your Chain of Command indicating your interest in applying for Flt Engr, or make an appointment to speak with your base/wing Personnel Selection Officer to discuss your career options and application process. The application documentation and requirements can be found here or through your local Personnel Selection website.
So go ahead and become a flight engineer!
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