Flight engineers needed--the best seat in the house

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Mark Hartnett
  • 96th Airlift Squadron
Shortly after take-off from our international airport, I often invite our flight deck visitors sitting on the bunk, to stand up and look out the windows. On a clear spring, summer, winter and especially autumn day, the view of our Twin Cities is spectacular! To be able to share this view with a flight deck guest is a pleasure. It is easy enough for an aviator to take it for granted. I do not!

...I am an American Airman.
My mission is to Fly, Fight and Win...

I am a 96th Airlift Squadron flight engineer and my office is the FE seat behind the pilot and copilot. I have a panoramic view of the flight deck as well as the scenery outside. As an enlisted flyer, once airborne my duties include running checklists, constant monitoring of all the aircraft engines/systems, scanning outside for traffic/ towers/ terrain and most importantly, working with the aircraft commander and crew to complete our mission safely. Ground duties include aircraft performance calculations, pre-flighting and occasionally servicing/ repairing the mighty C-130 Hercules.

Approaching retirement, several of my senior flyer's careers are winding down. Are you interested and motivated to Fly, Fight and Win in their stead? To become a 96th Airlift Squadron flight engineer you must hold a five level in one of the following AFSC's: 1A2, 1A3, 1A5, 2A (most), or 2M0. Or, regardless of AFSC, if you possess a FAA pilot license, this may be your opportunity to excel.

For an informal discussion concerning the FE training requisites and expectations, please contact me or FE NCOIC, Senior Master Sgt. Matt Welage, at 713-1725. I will also be happy to re-direct wing members interested in the pilot, navigator and loadmaster career fields to those section representatives in the 96th AS.
One side note, the FE career field is not a "Boys Only Club"! I encourage ALL qualified Airmen to learn about this interesting and rewarding career field. With over 26 years of experience as an enlisted flyer, I can honestly and with extreme bias say "this is the best enlisted job, in the best wing, in the Air Force"! Come join us.