The Life of a Boeing 727 Second Officer
Greetings from the backseat a.k.a. sitting sideways, playing the piano etc.! The largest operator of 727 aircraft in Canada, Kelowna Flightcraft Air Charter Ltd. currently employs me as a Second Officer. The company’s main flying contract is with Purolator Courier, flying overnight freight to most major city centres in Canada. Convair 580 aircraft are used to connect smaller centres to the main Purolator system. The Convair aircraft are also used in the summer months for fishing lodge charters, primarily on the West coast of Canada.
The entry-level flight crew position at KFC is primarily Second Officer on the B727. I’ve been with the company for short time, and though I’m not flying at the moment I find the backseat is giving me a good introduction to the operation of a large, transport category aircraft (and it’s a Boeing!).
In the three-crewmember cockpit environment, Crew Resource Management can not be ignored. The Second Officer, though the junior position on the flight deck team plays a pivotal role in safe and efficient line operation. Some of the duties of a S/O include the reading of ALL the checklists (normal, abnormal and emergencies), performs the aircraft pre-flight (walk around, emergency equipment check etc.), prepares the TOLD (Take-Off & Landing Data) cards and cruise cards for the pilots, completes the Aircraft and Maintenance log books, sets engine thrust in most phases of flight, engine trend monitoring (records all engine and flight parameters in cruise), adjusts and logs fuel distribution between the fuel tanks, sets and monitors the pressurization, runs the environmental controls, etc.. There is a lot to keep you busy. Organization is very important in accomplishing all of the duties in a safe, timely manner. Having your duties completed efficiently also leaves time to assist the Captain and First Officer, and deal with any abnormal operational or maintenance occurrences. During the approach phase of flight (and all other phases, for that matter), as a S/O you get to see how challenging a 727 can be to fly. KFA is certified for CAT II operations and, having had the opportunity to experience a CAT II approach a few times now, I must say they’re pretty slick.
As a S/O with KFA I’ve been working on average 14 days per month since I started with the company. The wage (starting at approx. $30,000) is an increase from what I was receiving at my previous place of employment. Everyone I’ve come into contact with during my time at the company is friendly, helpful and supportive. Traveling across Canada, coast to coast, is another aspect of the job I find to be exciting and interesting. I was ready for a change when I came to Kelowna Flightcraft, and I haven’t been disappointed.
I don’t want to spent the rest of my life in the backseat; I do aspire to be in the right seat and, if circumstances will allow, to be in the left seat of one of the most unique civilian aircraft flying today.
Cheers from Hamilton Cargo Hub!
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