Job Family: Aviation Flight Engineers
Services Offering this Occupation
Army  | Navy  | Air Force  | Marine Corps

Photo 1:
Man sets a switch in the aircraft cockpit. Photo 2: Captain does preflight inspection.

Short Description
The military operates thousands of airplanes and helicopters. Pilots and air crew members rely upon trained personnel to keep aircraft ready to fly. Flight engineers inspect airplanes and helicopters before, during, and after flights to ensure safe and efficient operations. They also serve as crew members aboard military aircraft.


What They Do
Flight engineers in the military perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Inspect aircraft before and after flights
  • Plan and monitor the loading of passengers, cargo, and fuel
  • Assist pilots in engine start-up, shut-down, and adjust power settings
  • Compute aircraft load weights and fuel distribution and consumption
  • Monitor engine instruments and adjust controls following pilot orders
  • Check fuel, pressure, electrical, and other aircraft systems during flight
  • Inform pilot of aircraft problems and recommend corrective action
  • Compute take off and landing limits
  • Brief passengers on safety procedures
  • Perform aircraft maintenance, and aircraft system rigging

Helpful Attributes
Helpful school subjects include general mathematics and shop mechanics. Helpful attributes include:
  • Ability to work as a member of a team
  • Interest in working with mechanical systems and equipment
  • Skill in using wiring diagrams and maintenance manuals
  • Strong desire to fly

Training Provided
Job training consists of classroom instruction and practical experience in aircraft inspection. Further training occurs on the job during flight operations. Course content typically includes:
  • Operation of aircraft systems
  • Inspection of aircraft engines, structures, and systems
  • Preparation of records and logs

Work Environment
Flight engineers live and work on air bases or aboard ships in all areas of the world. They fly in hot and cold climates and in all types of weather.


Civilian Counterparts
Civilian flight engineers work for passenger and cargo airline companies. They perform the same duties as in the military.

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