I’m relatively new to this forum, and I hope this is not a stupid question, but I was wondering if two First Officers are allowed to fly an aircraft together, or is there always a Captain in the cockpit ?
There are no stupid questions (well there are but yours isn’t one) but the answer is no. While all First Officers are fully licensed and rated to fly their respective aircraft they have not gone through and passed upgrade training and therefore are not qualified to be the PIC (Pilot in Command). Since the regs require there must be a PIC on every flight you can’t have 2 FOs. You can however have 2 CAs flying together but that’s expensive.
Thank You Adam
At my airline, if there is a three person crew due to the length of the flight, there will be a few hours when two FOs are flying the airplane when the Captain is on break in the back. However, even on break, he/she is still the captain and retains authority over the aircraft.
Thanks Chris and Adam ,
At your respective airlines, would you consider the ratio between FO’s and Captains to be 1:1, or are there more FO’s than Captains. If so, what ratio would in your opinions, approximate the current trend in the airline industry in general. How would you guys compare such trend with how it was in the past?
Because international flights often require a third pilot, there are more first officers than Captains on the international fleets, while on the domestic side the ratio is roughly 1:1. There are no changing trends on this, it takes one Captain and one or two first officers to fly an airplane, it has been that way since the flight engineer left the cockpit and will be that way for a long, long time to come.