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Why does the Antonov 225 need 6 flight deck crew? What are they called and what do they do?

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    $\begingroup$ On this site it says that it featured service personnel so I can assume 3 pilots and 3 service men but I don't know for sure. $\endgroup$ – Martijn Vissers Jun 6 at 7:44
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    $\begingroup$ Have a look at this website, it is amazing. Pass slowly through the pictures, some are active photos. thepointsguy.com/news/… $\endgroup$ – user40476 Jun 6 at 9:07
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    $\begingroup$ It needs 6 to fly and a lot more to carry on load/unload for sure. I witnessed one landing once and it's impressive by its size, dwarfing 747 all around but how gently was the final approach/landing, like a feather before touchdown $\endgroup$ – jean Jun 6 at 11:46
  • $\begingroup$ @jean when I say crew I mean like then people who are operating the plane. For example: pilots, navigator, radio operator, flight engineer, etc $\endgroup$ – Leonard Tan Jun 6 at 13:57
  • $\begingroup$ @LeonardTan if you wish to be more specific, you can call them flight deck crew. $\endgroup$ – AEhere supports Monica Jun 6 at 15:23
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A quick search points to the following being part of the crew

  • Pilot
  • Co-pilot
  • 2x Flight engineers: one on the engine controls; I am not sure of the purpose of the second one but a good guess is hydraulic and electric system monitoring, based on his proximity to the circuit breaker panel (source, scroll down for a 3D photograph of the flight deck).
  • Navigator: due to the age of the type and the amount of non-standard routes it flies.
  • Radio operator: same reason as above.

The crew could likely be reduced after a modernization of the cockpit, without upgrading any other hardware like the engines, but the re-certification costs probably outweigh the benefits in this case, for a fleet size of 1.

Mostly sourced from this thread: discussion on Airliners.net about the An-225 crew duties, which also includes good images with annoyingly restrictive copyrights.

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    $\begingroup$ Wouldn't there also be a third pilot on long flights? $\endgroup$ – Martijn Vissers Jun 6 at 8:24
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    $\begingroup$ @MartijnVissers Not necessarily, the fully-loaded range is not huge, the amount of ferry flights the type has to do is limited (its not an airliner), it has much more leeway when it comes to flight scheduling and the regulations for chartered cargo flights might not be as demanding with respect to relief crews (this might be worth its own question, though). If absolutely necessary, accommodations can be made, not unlike regular airliners having ferry tanks installed in the cabin on occasion. $\endgroup$ – AEhere supports Monica Jun 6 at 8:30
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    $\begingroup$ Alright, that makes sense. Thanks ;-) $\endgroup$ – Martijn Vissers Jun 6 at 8:46
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    $\begingroup$ @LeonardTan I suspect the workload of monitoring 6 engines was considered excessive for a single crewman. $\endgroup$ – AEhere supports Monica Jun 6 at 9:35
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    $\begingroup$ @LeonardTan looking closely it does seem that most engine instruments are available at the station directly behind the co-pilot. I cannot discern what are the instruments at the station to the right of the engine gauges, but judging by the proximity of the circuit breaker panels, an educated guess would gravitate towards electrical or hydraulic system controls. $\endgroup$ – AEhere supports Monica Jun 6 at 9:44

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