Why aren’t there enough flight engineers flying behind the pilot and co-pilot anymore?

Like the concord for example it had a third cockpit flight member called a flight engineer who is responsible for switching the amount of fuel in each tank to weight balance the concord Aircraft’s Airframe before going over MACH1. And correct me if Im Mistaken.

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Well the answer is quite simple, avation is evolving and modernizing thus eliminating the need for a flight engineer as the technology can do the flight engineers task. You can still see flight engineers position on older aircraft such as the 727 and A300 etc. Hope that cleared up any doubts.


I think its because of a hijacking on FedEx Express (Federal Express at the time) flight 705

That makes zero sense whatsoever. Because of a crash they removed a position necessary to fill on many aircraft?

The simple answer is the computer, why risk human error when you can turn on the pump automatically by turning a 0 to a 1 and setting a timer. Computers are cheaper than humans and are safer, it’s simple.

And this is a real world topic, quit moving it back to general.


FDX 705 wasn’t a crash. Was an attempted hijacking my a former employee. It landed back safely at Memphis

Well, flight engineers have been taken over by avionics. Computers can do basically everything that the Flight Engineer did.

This topic is 2 months old, no need to reply.


You can still find. FEs on C-130E/H, C-5s, etc and many other military aircraft ( except C-17)

C-5s have 2 engineers

C-130E/Hs also still have navigators and on some missions so do KC-135s

Passenger transport aircraft have evolved to the point where the flight engineer was no longer necessary.

FADEC controls the engine parameters. Data links feed the engine and system data back to engineering on the ground for remote monitoring (I had an issue on a GE95 which we were pondering when engineering sent us an ACARS message to keep an eye on it!). Fuel balancing is a thing of the past except in abnormal situations.

The only thing the computers will never be able to replace is the ability to find the cheapest beer and most unhealthy foods easily on a night stop.

I miss the FE’s.