Wanted: C-5 flight engineers

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Deb Robinson
  • 512th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Airmen who'd like to travel around the world while serving their nation might want to consider a career as a flight engineer with the 709th Airlift Squadron.

The C-5 flying squadron will be losing many flight engineers due to upcoming retirements and is looking for a few good Airmen.

"Flight engineers are professionals who provide reliable aircraft and dependable support to the Dover Team in fueling its global peacetime and combat taskings," said Lt. Col. James Lackey, 709th AS commander. "We want young Airmen who have the desire to learn and train to be flight engineers."

As a 709th AS flight engineer, Master Sgt. John Witzke has delivered cargo to warfighters and humanitarian cargo to people in need. While accomplishing this vital mission, he has seen places like the Great Pyramids in Egypt and explored the ancient ruins of Pompeii.

Travel isn't the only thing satisfying about the job.

"It's so rewarding to see the smiling faces of the Airmen, Soldiers and Marines as they see us arrive with stuff for them," said Master Sgt. Lawrence Roy, 709th AS C-5 instructor flight engineer.

Flight engineers are also responsible for conducting pre-flight inspections of the aircraft to ensure all systems are operational, monitor the aircraft's systems during flight and advise pilots of any issues that may deter their ability to maneuver the aircraft.

"We're like the keys to a car," said Sergeant Witzke. "Without us, the pilots can't operate the aircraft."

Not only is the job essential and rewarding, but it can be quite challenging as well, he said.

"A normal work day for a traditional reservist as a flight engineer isn't eight hours but sometimes a good 26," said Sergeant Witzke.

The complexity of the job requires flight engineers to fly missions a minimum of every 60 days to stay up-to-date in training, said Sergeant Roy. This averages to about three to four days a month.

To be considered for this opportunity, one must have an Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery score of 57 in the general category and pass a flight physical.

Once a 709th AS flight engineer graduates from the six month technical school at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, he or she accomplishes another year of upgrade training here to gain additional knowledge of the aircraft systems.

Reservists who are interested in this opportunity should contact Chief Master Sgt. Gary Auld, 709th AS director of engineers, at (302) 677-3774.