Second officer (aviation)


In aviation, a second officer is usually the third in line of command for a flight crew on a civil aircraft. Usually, a second officer is used on international or long haul flights where more than two crew are required to allow for adequate crew rest periods.

In some airlines, the second officer acts as a first officer, but still undergoes training and supervision from a training captain (Swiss International Air Lines, Lufthansa, Volotea among others use this denomination).

See also


  • Harris, Tom. How Airline Crews Work, website, June 14, 2001. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
  • Smith, Patrick. Patrick Smith's Ask The Pilot: When a Pilot Dies in Flight, website, 2013, which in turn cites:
    • Smith, Patrick. Cockpit Confidential: Everything You Need to Know About Air Travel: Questions, Answers, and Reflections, Sourcebooks, 2013, ISBN 1402280912, ISBN 978-1402280917.
  • Flying the World in Clipper Ships at, 2007.
  • Lufthansa website on cockpit careers