Crew - Flight Engineer

Training

RAAF didn’t train many engineers, so many engineers who flew with ‘G’ for George were British. Australian flight engineers mostly had a background as ground maintenance staff.

Trained in the basics of flying, in case the pilot was injured.

Physical position in plane

Location of engineer

Sat on fold down seat next to the pilot, facing the starboard (RH) wall. In front of him was a panel of gauges to indicate:

  • Electrical charge
  • Engine coolant temp.
  • Oil pressure and temp
  • Fuel levels
  • Controls for:
    • Fuel tank selection
    • Fuel booster pumps
    • Oil dilution

Responsibilities and duties

Responsibility for keeping the aircraft operational. Tasks included:

  • Monitor engine performance
  • Fuel consumption
  • Transfer fuel between tanks
  • Address any problems, inflight
  • Check crews’ oxygen supply/equipment
  • Log gauge readings
  • Sometimes he would drop “window”
  • Act as observer
  • Started engines and conducted pre-flight checks with pilot

Dress

A typical uniform consisted of a helmet, oxygen mask, parachute, boots, shirt, trousers, tie, gloves, a whistle and an escape kit.

AWM P01993.030Flying Officer Robert Maxwell Bryant (navigator) (left, with map) and his engineer in the cockpit of an aircraft, possibly a Pathfinder Lancaster 'R'. P01993.030