How to Become an Air Force Flight Engineer


If you're interested in getting a job in aviation, particularly as a flight engineer, consider working for the United States Air Force (USAF). You can learn all you need to know for a lucrative position as a flight engineer in the Air Force, and even get paid while you're doing it.

  • Enlist in the USAF for 4 years. Locate a recruiting center near you and join the Air Force to begin your career as a flight engineer.

  • Gain some experience before being eligible to enroll in Flight Engineer school. According to the Air Force Manual, an individual must possess certain skill-level qualifications as a boom operator, loadmaster or maintenance worker (aircraft or missile system).

  • Enroll in Flight Engineer school after meeting all the requirements (usually in the third year of enlistment). Learn all aspects of the electrical and mechanical systems of aircraft as well as navigation, communication and hydraulic systems, flight theory and aircraft maintenance.

  • Pass Basic Flight Engineer school (approximately 2 months) and go on to specialized training dependent on which type of aircraft you want to work on. You will train at a different Air Force base depending on your choice.

  • Complete training on the aircraft type of your choice (about 3 months or so) and begin flying assignments. You have now successfully become an Air Force flight engineer.

Tips & Warnings

  • You must receive excellent performance reports and pass a flight physical and an altitude chamber test to be eligible to train as a flight engineer.
  • Do not become a flight engineer if you have expectations of working in the civilian field. Many major airlines have done away with the flight engineer position, instead using a third pilot to carry out those duties.

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