Anonymous asked in Cars & TransportationAircraft · 1 month ago

Third pilot in commercial plane?

Who's the third person in a commercial plane's cockpit? I know there's the pilot and co-pilot known as first officer.

7 Answers

  • Willie
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    He takes over if one or both of them have to go to the little boy's room.

  • 1 month ago

    There used to be an engineer, but not anymore theses days. 

  • 1 month ago

    In the earlier days of aviation the 3rd member of the flight crew was the flight engineer. They were responsible for navigation and had control of non-flight systems on the aircraft such as the HVAC systems, interior lights, etc.

    The flight engineer became obsolete in the 1980's when computer technology and GPS systems had improved to the point where the Captain and First Officer could handle those tasks (with help from computers) without taking too much of their attention off the flight controls.

    There is sometimes a jump seat in the cockpit where a 3rd person can ride. This is called dead-heading and that person is just along for the ride, they're not officially part of the crew.

  • 1 month ago

    That's Capt. Victor Basta.

    "What's your vector, Victor?"

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  • Zack
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Third person was the flight engineer. They controlled certain systems such as pressurization, air-conditioning, fuel systems, hydraulics, and generators/APUs. They were used for piston powered airliners (ex: DC-3) and old jets (ex: Boeing 707, Concorde), but computers have made them obsolete.

  • 1 month ago

    On long range flights there's often a spare pilot, who will change seats and sit in when one of them needs a relief. Particularly these days, when a pilot is not allowed to be on his own on the flight deck. Or he may be an assessor, checking the competence of one of the pilots for line training purposes.

    There are very few flight engineers these days except on particularly elderly aircraft designs.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Flight Engineer. They basically do not exist any more except on a very few very old 3-crew planes that are still flying cargo.

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