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but in reference to the comment about the "engineer who serviced it most recently" no engineering has been involved with this particular engine since the late 1930

The term "engineer" in the UK is almost meaningless.....the guy that fixes the water cooler in the office is an "engineer" in this country which I found incredible when I first came here.... In most places in the world it is enough to say you're an engineer to mean you have a degree in engineering but in the UK it is highly ambiguous..the word "technician" is rarely the context above I think it means the "mechanic" who serviced it.....

Unfortunately there is an associated devaluation of the engineering profession in the UK....which is perhaps reflected in the huge decline in industry here!

YPJT, United Arab Emirates

In the UK a Dustman is a Garbage Disposal Engineer!

When I was an Engineer, a Fitter was the person who hit it with a hammer, an Engineer was the person who knew why you hit it with a hammer!

yes, and the lady at the reception desk is now the "visitors communications manager" or such like. Bahh!

EBZH Kiewit, Belgium

I believe the historical reason for the imprecise use of the word 'engineering' in the UK was that those running the culture and owning UK industry actually didn't know the difference... despite the industrial revolution starting there! A disjointed situation that eventually became problematic with the rising necessity for R&D funding to remain competitive.

A lot of very skilled UK engineers ended up elsewhere, spending somebody else's R&D funds.

Jan, the 'visitor communications manager' comment is hilarious.... and true enough :-)

I'm an Engineer - two degrees, chartered, and Fellow of two large and prestigious engineering insitutions. I get as frustrated as anybody else about this, but that said I don't have a problem with some people who maintain aeroplanes using the term. The big research aeroplane that is my day-job is maintained by people who have been educated and assessed to at-least the standard of many chartered and certainly most incorporated engineers, and are at-least as capable of analysing a complex problem. My issue is where the less qualified also use the term. I was in a well regarded university engineering department not long ago where the lift was out of order - on the door was a sign saying that "an engineer has been called"; that was just silly.

I think regarding this issue of comeback on an instructor, we need to separate out judgement and skill. An instructor and/or examiner should have released a pilot into the world with the skill to get things right, and an adequate understanding of how and when to do so - if they didn't, then they should expect some comeback.

However, if somebody has been adequately trained and assessed, and then shows poor judgement in declining to use the skills and knowledge they have - then that is entirely down to their own personal failings and not those of their instructor.

In my opinion.


Boffin at large
Various, southern UK.

Protecting the title "Engineer" is a recurrent them on the goverment "ePetitions" site.

I don't hold out much hope though.

As my mate Colin used to say (when he got a job in the hanger for Dan-Air) "Last week I couldn't spell Engineer - now I am one"



EGKR Redhill

@Genghis: what is the difference between a "chartered" engineer and an "incorporated" specimen? Just one more UK oddity? Or is it a gradation, like "bachelor" vs. "Master"?

EBZH Kiewit, Belgium

A few years ago I went to a meeting of the - wait for it - British Computer Society!

Most of the utterly tedious proceedings were taken up with a debate on how they can return some "professional" value to the various BCS memberships. These had become self evidently worthless because anybody could join up and then put it on their CV. A friend of mine joined the IEE just to stick that on his CV.

But most serious employers are not stupid...

Speaking of that man who bust the Stansted airspace, it looks like the CAA is increasingly prosecuting people when in the past they might have given them the proverbial interview without tea and biscuits.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

@Genghis: what is the difference between a "chartered" engineer and an "incorporated" specimen? Just one more UK oddity? Or is it a gradation, like "bachelor" vs. "Master"?

As currently done, to become a CEng you have to have a degree to masters level, whilst to become an IEng you have to have a degree to bachelors level. Both require the degree, 2 years further training, and 2 years supervised professional practice.

When I qualified 18 years ago, it was HNC for IEng and BEng for CEng - there's been inflation!

In reality the difference in competence between IEng and CEng is trivial - the real difference is between the individual engineers. However, neither is all that easy to get.

Except possibly through the British Computer Society ! They have always, frankly, been something of a joke within the professional engineering community.



Boffin at large
Various, southern UK.

Silvaire wrote:

I prefer equality of opportunity over equal outcome

That makes little sense. You cannot simply “prefer” one or the other, they are two variables dependent on each other. There is no free lunch. Equality of opportunity is the ability of a person to move up on the social ladder, make a better life for himself, or herself and family.

Which is cause and which is effect, is open for discussion, most likely they are mutually dependent, but the relationship between them is unquestionable. Of all industrial nations, the US is at the very bottom of social mobility (even lower than the UK) and the highest in income inequality. The Nordic countries are on the opposite end of the scales. Thus, the American dream is just that – a dream, kept alive by continuously idolizing those very few individuals that manages to fight the odds due to extraordinary personal traits and a good deal of luck (Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Madonna, Elvis and so on ) The truth is, if you want to live the “American dream” (not just dream it), you stand a much better chance in the Nordic countries, Canada or even Germany/Austria.

Back to topic
what_next wrote:

As a freelance instructor I would have to learn all those lessons on my own expense the hard way. Why should I?

Life is always “easier” when you have a company covering your back. I want to turn it around. Why should a student care about what is most comfortable for you as an instructor? in any case, the cost of the instructor is not large compared with the cost of renting an aircraft. Frelance instructors or not, wouldn’t make that much difference I guess. The “must attend classroom” is lunatic though, and a huge costly nuisance. All universities are moving away from class room teaching altogether in favor of web/internet based courses.

The elephant is the circulation
3830 Posts
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