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Air Crew | Flight Crew

Aircrew and flight crew are the pilot, navigator and other crew members of an aircraft. These careers are covered in another training module. This module will be concerned with only the “other crew members of an aircraft.” Aircrew is simply the crew manning an airplane. The specific mission of the airplane determines what professions are reflected in the cabin of an aircraft. Flight attendants will not be found on an aircraft whose purpose is search and rescue, or on air evacuation or MEDEVAC flight/mission; nurses or doctors would be used instead. For a passenger plane it is specifically the air cabin crew that ensures passengers are comfortable throughout the flight and that the flying experience is a pleasant one.


Major airlines are required by law to provide flight attendants for the safety and security of the traveling public. Although the primary job of the flight attendants is to ensure that security and safety regulations are followed, attendants also try to make flights comfortable and enjoyable for passengers. 


Army Regulation 600-106, 2–4. Noncrewmember flying status (view AR600-106), defines all the “Noncrewmembers are authorized flying status if they must perform frequent and regular aerial flight in the discharge of their primary duties.” These duties include but are not limited to:

  • Aircraft maintenance personnel
  • Aerial photographers
  • Helicopter weapons systems repairman
  • Aeromedical physician’s assistant
  • Flight Nurse
  • Loadmaster
  • Aviation Warfare Systems Operator - Acoustic (AWA) 

The U.S. Navy defines “Aircrew and Crewmember” as in BUPERS INSTRUCTION 1326.4E dated 3 June 2011, Para 6 (definitions): The term aircrew applies to crewmembers and Noncrewmembers. Crewmembers are categorized as career enlisted flyers or non-career crewmembers.

  • Flight Nurse
  • Loadmaster
  • Flight engineer (C-130, P-3)
  • Aviation Warfare Systems Operator - Acoustic (AWA)

The U.S. Air Force defines “Aircrew and Crewmember” a Aircrew members will perform duty associated with their current aeronautical rating and aircrew qualification, unless ordered to perform mission-essential rated duties outside their normal aircrew specialty in direct support of MAJCOM (or equivalent) -approved operations…”  in AFI11-401, , 10 DECEMBER 2010. This definition looks a lot like both the Navy and Army’s Noncrewmember definition.  The U.S. Air Force listed duties include but are not limited to:

  • Pararescue members
  • Aeromedical Evacuation Crewmembers
  • Flight engineer
  • Loadmaster
  • Operational support medical personnel
  • Non-aircrew members assigned to RPA sensor operator positions
  • Flight nurse

Links to specific crew member jobs:

Job Description Flight Cabin Crew

Job Description Loadmaster

Job Description Flight Nurse

Job Description Loadmaster Mechanic 

Links to more reference information:

Courtesy: CENTERSEAT (IBNFE), USAF, US Navy, US Army



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