In aviation, the first officer (FO) is the second pilot (also referred to as the co-pilot) of an aircraft. The first officer is second-in-command of the aircraft to the captain, who is the legal commander. In the event of incapacitation of the captain, the first officer will assume command of the aircraft.
Control of the aircraft is normally shared equally between the first officer and the captain, with one pilot normally designated the "pilot flying" and the other the "pilot not flying", or "pilot monitoring", for each flight. Even when the first officer is the flying pilot, however, the captain remains ultimately responsible for the aircraft, its passengers, and the crew. In typical day-to-day operations, the essential job tasks remain fairly equal.
Many airlines promote by seniority only within their own company. As a consequence, an airline first officer may be older and/or have more flight experience than a captain, by virtue of having experience from other airlines or the military. Traditionally, the first officer sits on the right-hand side of a fixed-wing aircraft ("right seat") and the left-hand side of a helicopter (the reason for this difference is related to, in many cases, the pilot flying being unable to release the right hand from the cyclic control to operate the instruments, thus he or she sits on the right side and does that with the left hand). Other airlines may designate the more senior of two first officers operating a long-haul sector together with a captain in an enlarged crew as the senior first officer. The senior first officer will then sit in the left seat when the captain takes a rest.
Aircrew, also called flight crew, are personnel who operate an aircraft while in flight. The composition of a flight's crew depends on the type of aircraft, plus the flight's duration and purpose.
Air France Flight 296 was a chartered flight of a new Airbus A320-111 operated by Air France for Air Charter. On 26 June 1988, the plane crashed while making a low pass over Mulhouse–Habsheim Airport as part of the Habsheim Air Show. Most of the crash sequence, which occurred in front of several thousand spectators, was caught on video. The cause of the crash has been the source of major controversy.
Third officer is a lesser used civil aviation rank. It was primarily used by Pan Am, particularly on its Clippers flying boats during the infancy of extended range airline routes. The third officer served as a relief pilot and aircrew member, and could move between pilot, co-pilot, radio officer, and flight engineer positions to provide a rest period for the primary crews. Third officers in modern civil aviation are often not formally titled as such. Rather, these relief pilots take on a junior first officer rank or in some cases a second officer rank.
In aviation, a second officer is usually the third in line of command for a flight crew on a civil aircraft. Usually, a second officer is used on international or long haul flights where more than two crew are required to allow for adequate crew rest periods.
Indian Airlines Flight 605 was a scheduled domestic passenger flight from Bombay to Bangalore. On 14 February 1990, an Airbus A320-231 registered as VT-EPN, crashed onto a golf course while attempting to land at Bangalore, killing 92 of 146 people.
The 1965 Carmel mid-air collision occurred on December 4, 1965, when Eastern Air Lines Flight 853 (N6218C), a Lockheed Super Constellation en route from Boston Logan International Airport to Newark International Airport, collided in mid-air with Trans World Airlines Flight 42 (N748TW), a Boeing 707-131B en route from San Francisco International Airport to John F. Kennedy International Airport, over Carmel, New York, United States.
Invicta International Airlines Flight 435 (IM435) was a Vickers Vanguard 952, flying from Bristol Lulsgate to Basel-Mulhouse, which crashed into a forested hillside near Hochwald, Switzerland on 10 April 1973. The aircraft somersaulted and broke up, killing 108 people, with 37 survivors. To date, this is the deadliest accident involving a Vickers Vanguard and the deadliest aviation accident to occur on Swiss soil. Many of the 139 passengers on the charter flight were women, members of the Axbridge Ladies Guild, from the Somerset towns and villages of Axbridge, Cheddar, Winscombe and Congresbury. The accident left 55 children motherless.
TAME Flight 120 was a Boeing 727-134 airliner, registration HC-BLF, named El Oro, operating as a scheduled international passenger flight between Quito, Ecuador and Cali, Colombia, with a scheduled stopover at the Ecuadorian border town of Tulcán. The aircraft crashed while on approach to Tulcán's Teniente Coronel Luis A. Mantilla International Airport on January 28, 2002. The pilot flew the approach incorrectly in reportedly foggy conditions, and the aircraft crashed into the side of the Cumbal Volcano, located near Ipiales, Colombia, at 10:23 in the morning. All passengers and crew were killed in the crash.
Imperial Airlines Flight 201/8 was a charter flight by the United States Army to transport new recruits to Columbia, South Carolina for training. On November 8, 1961, the aircraft crashed as it attempted to land at Byrd Field, near Richmond, Virginia. This was the second deadliest accident in American history for a single civilian aircraft.
Japan Airlines Flight 1628 was a UFO incident that occurred on November 17, 1986 involving a Japanese Boeing 747-200F cargo aircraft. The aircraft was en route from Paris to Narita International Airport, near Tokyo, with a cargo of Beaujolais wine. On the Reykjavík to Anchorage section of the flight, at 17:11 over eastern Alaska, the crew first witnessed two unidentified objects to their left. These abruptly rose from below and closed in to escort their aircraft. Each had two rectangular arrays of what appeared to be glowing nozzles or thrusters, though their bodies remained obscured by darkness. When closest, the aircraft's cabin was lit up and the captain could feel their heat on his face. These two craft departed before a third, much larger disk-shaped object started trailing them. Anchorage Air Traffic Control requested an oncoming United Airlines flight to confirm the unidentified traffic, but when it and a military craft sighted JAL 1628 at about 17:51, no other craft could be distinguished. The sighting lasted 50 minutes and ended in the vicinity of Denali.
Merpati Nusantara Airlines Flight 9760 was a domestic commercial passenger 50-minutes flight, flying from Sentani Airport in Papua's Province Jayapura to Oksibil Airport in Oksibil, Indonesia operated by a de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 300. On Sunday, August 2, 2009, while carrying fifteen people over Papua, the aircraft went missing en route. Its wreckage was found a few miles from Oksibil two days later. All 12 passengers and 3 crew members were killed in the accident.
Kish Air Flight 7170 was a scheduled international passenger flight, operated by an Ektaban-based Iranian airlines Kish Air from Kish Island in Iran to Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE). On 10 February 2004, the aircraft serving the route, a Fokker 50, crashed while approaching to land at Sharjah International Airport killing 43 of the 46 occupants. The final report, conducted by Emirates General Civil Aviation Authority, concluded that pilot error was the cause of the accident.
On December 27, 1968, North Central Airlines Flight 458 crashed into a hangar while attempting a night landing in poor weather at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, in the United States. Of the 41 passengers and four crew members, only 17 passengers and one crew member survived. One person was killed and six were injured on the ground.
Nigeria Airways Flight 357 was a scheduled domestic passenger flight from Yola Airport in Yola to Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, with stops at Jos Airport in Jos and Kaduna Airport in Kaduna. On 13 November 1995, the Boeing 737-2F9, during its second leg of the flight from Jos to Kaduna, suffered a runway overrun accident at Kaduna Airport, leading to a fire that destroyed the aircraft. All 14 crew members survived, while 11 of the 124 passengers died.
Airline pilot uniforms were introduced in the early 1930s by Pan American World Airways at the beginning of the airline's Clipper era. At present, mainstream airline uniforms are somewhat standardized by the industry and widely used by airlines from the Americas, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa, from small regional operators to large international companies.
Downeast Airlines Flight 46 was a scheduled airline service in the United States from Boston's Logan International Airport to Rockland, Maine operated by Downeast Airlines. On May 30, 1979 a de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter operating the flight crashed during a nonprecision approach to Rockland's Knox County Regional Airport. All but one of the 18 people on board were killed. The cause of the accident was controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) after the failure of the flight crew to stop the aircraft's descent below the minimum descent altitude for the non-precision approach at Knox County airport. The investigation into the accident looked into the airline's corporate culture as a contributing factor to the crash; this was the first time an investigation took this approach to an air crash.
American Airlines Flight 383 was a regularly scheduled passenger flight operating from Chicago O'Hare International Airport to Miami International Airport. On October 28, 2016, the Boeing 767-300ER operating the flight was accelerating for takeoff down Chicago O'Hare's runway 28R when the aircraft's right engine suffered an uncontained failure that led to a severe fire. The crew managed to abort the takeoff and evacuate everyone on board, while responding emergency services extinguished the fire. Twenty-one people were injured, and the aircraft was substantially damaged, written off, and stored.
On February 13, 2018, around noon local time, a Boeing 777-222 airplane, operating as United Airlines Flight 1175 (UA1175), experienced an in-flight separation of a fan blade in the No. 2 (right) engine while over the Pacific Ocean en route to the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Honolulu, Hawaii. During level cruise flight shortly before beginning a descent from flight level 360, and about 120 miles from HNL, the flight crew heard a loud bang, followed by a violent shaking of the airplane, followed by warnings of a compressor stall. The flight crew shut down the failed engine, declared an emergency, and began a drift-down descent, proceeding direct to HNL where they made a single-engine landing without further incident at 12:37 local time. There were no reported injuries to the 374 passengers and crew onboard and the airplane damage was classified as minor under National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) criteria.
US-Bangla Airlines Flight 211 was a scheduled international passenger flight from Dhaka, Bangladesh, to Kathmandu, Nepal, that crashed on 12 March 2018 while landing, killing 51 of the 71 people aboard. The aircraft, a 76-seat Bombardier Q400 operated by US-Bangla Airlines, burst into flames after the crash, and the 20 surviving passengers were seriously injured from the impact and the fire. At the time of the accident, it was the deadliest aviation disaster involving a Bangladeshi airline, and the deadliest incident involving the Bombardier Dash 8 Q400.
On 10 July 2018, a Convair 340 owned by Dutch aviation museum Aviodrome crashed during a trial flight in Pretoria, South Africa. The aircraft suffered an engine fire moments after takeoff and crashed into a factory building as the crew attempted to return it to Wonderboom Airport.