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Does Flt engineer count as total time?

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Well-known member
Feb 26, 2002
Does 121 Flt engineer time count as total time? Not to receive a new FAA certificate or such. Just to meet upgrade to captain requirements in assumption for insurance purposes.

Anybody seen regs that would cover this.

As Flt engineer if any crossing restrictions or altitude busts or course deviations are made your ticket is in trouble too.

You run all the checklists, emergencies and abmormals.

You run the power on takeoff and climb and in cruise.

You are just as responsible as the pilots.

Seems if you share the responsibility you should share the total flight time as well.

Need 600 hours more at a 121 regional on jet now to upgrade to captain and have 2400 pilot time now. With my FE time I would have 3800 total time.

The bid only says you need 3000 total time, 1500 multi and 500 turbine. Says nothing about 121, fixed wing vs helicopter or FE time.

They are planning on hiring some guys back from the majors who are on furlough which will put me back for 3 yrs or so before I get back in position for upgrade to captain if I don't take it now. What do you think?

Any FAA clarification out there to substantiate FE time as total time to show the insurance company. It just specifies total time, not total pilot time.
FAR Part 1 defines "flight time" as pilot time that commences when an aircraft moves under its own power for the purpose of flight and ends when the aircraft comes to rest after landing.

It also defines "flight crewmember" as a pilot, flight engineer, or flight navigator assigned to duty in an aircraft during flight time.

One then could draw the conclusion that since a flight engineer is separate from a pilot, then flight engineer time is not "pilot" time, and therefore is not considered "flight" time or total time. I have never worked as a flight engineer, but have known those that have. They count flight engineer time separately. Most applications consider flight engineer time seperate from flight time or total time. At my company, the COM lists the requirements for upgrade, and specifically refers to "pilot" time, then says that XXX number of hours as flight engineer may count towards this time.

You can count your FE time as "Other" time in your logbook and in your total time for your resume, but I doubt any airline will take it as any kind of time towards requirements: Total time, ME time, etc. or towards upgrade.

On applications, there is generally no place to put FE time, except some airlines have you list it separately.

It may help you get an interview or hired, but it won't help you upgrade. Good luck!

I talked to a pilot on our jumpseat that flew for someone that had a lot of FE's. They were getting rid of all the aircraft that required FE's, and many of the FE's didn't have enough flight time to upgrade to FO. They had to leave the company, build time somewhere else, and then apply again and start over. So, moral is, don't accept an FE position unless you have enough time to upgrade, and FE time does not count unless the company specifies that it does.

I had the same problem flying freight, since they wanted pic time for fo's to upgrade. If you didn't come with the PIC time, you wouldn't get any as SIC and could never move up. Sort of a catch-22, huh?
Yet FE time does count toward;

Total times for the year and the 30 and 7 days.

Counts against duty time and rest requirements.

Does count as outside the company commercial flying in most union contracts because it counts for duty, rest and yearly times.

500 of 1500 FE time counts towards you ATP requirements for 1500 total time needed for your ATP.

So it least it seems if you can count 500 of 1500 FE time towards your FE total time and you now have an ATP you should legally be able to count 500 of it towards your total time.

Thanks for comments, really apreciate it.
Just because the FAA sets limits on FE flying, doesnt make it the same as pilot time. The FAA also puts limits on dispatchers working, but that doesn't make it flight time. Ultimately, you are asking about getting a better job. If an airline wants to count FE time, it's their business, but most don't. Insurance companies don't either, so that is the real problem. Good luck to you.
I had a buddy who used his FE time to get hired on a jet for a corporation that required 1000 jet. He had 1500 stick time and 250 multi but 1100 FE time. That jet was a GIII that company was Johnson & Johnson. Go figure!

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