How times have changed since the first commercial flight in 1914, but that didn’t woo the passengers the way it did post-war in the 1950’s – this is when the change happened.
And now as we approach 2020 what a change we have, a role reversal that put the highest of corporations to shame.
Remember the days when Pilots were men regarded as a step down from an astronaut (a step down from an astronaut, now that’s some achievement!) and Cabin Crew were glamorous ladies who flew the world, and both could grace the cover of Vogue? Then, we had the Aircraft Engineers who were seen as either geeks or not even thought about having a significant role in Aviation – who wanted to deal with a greasy mechanic anyway?!
This was the era when the roles in aviation were carved in stone; you know what I mean- the George Clooney Pilot, the Angelina Jolie Cabin Crew and the err, the Mechanic who may as well as been an extra in The Simpsons!
And now as we approach 2020 what a change we have, a role reversal that put the highest of corporations to shame- no longer are these roles stereotyped as Male or Female. The Pilot is now a highly regarded Female Commander in charge of $300m aircraft, using technology that the space shuttle takes pride in, along with her fellow sidekick the FO.
The Cabin Crew is a mixture of young men and women- still looking and smelling good as ever, but always ready to look after their passengers and make their flag carrier proud.
Then we come to the Aircraft Engineer…
No, it doesn’t end there, this Engineer is now at the pinnacle of aviation, no longer regarded as that extra sitting in the front row of an Eddie Murphy Show, no longer that guy that gets the blame because the aircraft has gone tech through no fault of their own and no longer a role played by just some guy who nobody knows.
This Aircraft Engineer has to study to know the most complex systems known to us; they must know what the pilot knows, what the Cabin Crew knows and has the responsibility to look after the passenger- way before their colleagues in the air do.
Be it passenger or training aircraft, the responsibilities remain the same for the Engineer but the Engineer is now looked upon as a highly regarded and trusted individual who is proud to see an aircraft in the sky and think- I did that…
(PS We still get the blame when an aircraft is grounded).