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A flight engineer (FE), also sometimes called an air engineer, is the member of an aircraft's flight crew who monitors and operates its complex aircraft systems.In the early era of aviation, the position was sometimes referred to as the "air mechanic".This can eliminate the need for technical repair crews to accompany the aircraft on short deployments.On civilian airplanes the FE is positioned so that he or she can monitor the forward instruments, pilot selections and adjust the thrust levers located on the centre pedestal; the FE's chair can travel forward and aft and it can swivel laterally 90 degrees, which enables him or her to face forward and set the engine power, then move aft and rotate sideways to monitor and set the systems panel.
On most multi-engine airplanes, the FE sets and adjusts engine power during take off, climb, cruise, go-arounds, or at any time the pilot flying requests a specific power setting to be set during the approach phase.Flight engineers can still be found on some larger fixed-wing airplanes, and helicopters. In most modern aircraft, their complex systems are both monitored and adjusted by electronic microprocessors and computers, resulting in the elimination of the flight engineer's position. civilian aircraft that require a flight engineer as part of the crew, the FE must possess an FAA Flight Engineer Certificate with reciprocating, turboprop, or turbojet ratings appropriate to the aircraft.