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  1. #1
    Spetsnaz26's Avatar
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    Default usage of 'complement'

    I understand 'complement' can refer to the group of officers and sailors required to man a ship. But is this also true for an aircraft? Can I say 'aircraft xxx has a complement of 200'?

    if the complement of a ship is defined as a certain number of people required to run it, is it true that this number is relatively constant and have nothing to do with the 'Actual' number of people onboard?

    passengers onboard a commercial airliner does not help to man the aircraft the way the aircrew does, so is it right that they are not part of the 'complement' of the airliner?

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    Default Re: usage of 'complement'

    Geez. I have to say, I was actually in the US Navy, and I don't know the answer to this. It's not used very often.

    Apparently it IS used for aircraft, but it would not apply to passengers. I don't even know if it's used for commercial aircraft.

    See this, for example: P-3 Orion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    Default Re: usage of 'complement'

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Geez. I have to say, I was actually in the US Navy, and I don't know the answer to this. It's not used very often.

    Apparently it IS used for aircraft, but it would not apply to passengers. I don't even know if it's used for commercial aircraft.

    See this, for example: P-3 Orion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Thank you.

    By the way, what was your post when you served in the navy?

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    Default Re: usage of 'complement'

    I was the public affairs officer for a naval aviation station, and then was the operations officer for a joint-service unit that processed people entering all branches of the service. The first job was more fun. (However, I spent four weeks on ships during each of the summers after my freshman year of college and my junior year of college.)
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: usage of 'complement'

    One thing that might help is to remember the Latin meaning of the word complement, from the verb "to fill, to complete." Any use that makes that sense clear is fine. Any vehicle that is immobilized by its lack of crew can have that crew be considered its complement.

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    Default Re: usage of 'complement'

    Quote Originally Posted by Spetsnaz26 View Post
    I understand 'complement' can refer to the group of officers and sailors required to man a ship. But is this also true for an aircraft? Can I say 'aircraft xxx has a complement of 200'?

    if the complement of a ship is defined as a certain number of people required to run it, is it true that this number is relatively constant and have nothing to do with the 'Actual' number of people onboard?

    passengers onboard a commercial airliner does not help to man the aircraft the way the aircrew does, so is it right that they are not part of the 'complement' of the airliner?
    Hello!

    I'm ex-sailor too. I think that 'complement' means an essential number of qualified people needed to run the ship. It is stated in the ship's certificate where the required number of qualified and trained officers, engineers, sailors, motormen, cooks and so on is listed. So before the departure of the ship the essential crew must be onbord, otherwise the ship is not allowed to sail.

    Best regards

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    Default Re: usage of 'complement'

    Thanks omasta, but do you know if, for example, there were another 15 people on board for the purpose of training, would you refer to them as part of the ship's complement? For example, when I was on a ship just for training, not for actually running the ship, was I part of the ship's complement?
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    Default Re: usage of 'complement'

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Thanks omasta, but do you know if, for example, there were another 15 people on board for the purpose of training, would you refer to them as part of the ship's complement? For example, when I was on a ship just for training, not for actually running the ship, was I part of the ship's complement?
    Hi!
    I' m almost sure that any additional personnel beyond the listed crew in ship's seaworthiness certificate is not the part of the ship complement. Anyway, I've checked in my English - Polish Dictionary of Science and Technology and entry 'complement' has in position 2: obsada etatowa (statku) which means in English: regular, permanent personnel (of the vessel)

    The dictionary is 1986 edition, so if something changed in the meaning of the word, in today's English, and if you want to be quite sure then I would recommend consulting your local sources.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: usage of 'complement'

    You knew more about it than I did!

    Thank you for the extra research!
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: usage of 'complement'

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    One thing that might help is to remember the Latin meaning of the word complement, from the verb "to fill, to complete." Any use that makes that sense clear is fine. Any vehicle that is immobilized by its lack of crew can have that crew be considered its complement.
    Quote Originally Posted by omasta View Post
    Hello!

    I'm ex-sailor too. I think that 'complement' means an essential number of qualified people needed to run the ship. It is stated in the ship's certificate where the required number of qualified and trained officers, engineers, sailors, motormen, cooks and so on is listed. So before the departure of the ship the essential crew must be onbord, otherwise the ship is not allowed to sail.

    Best regards
    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I was the public affairs officer for a naval aviation station, and then was the operations officer for a joint-service unit that processed people entering all branches of the service. The first job was more fun. (However, I spent four weeks on ships during each of the summers after my freshman year of college and my junior year of college.)

    Thanks, everyone. So the moral is--airline passengers are not part of the complement. Sad,but I'm glad I avoided making a fool out of myself.

    So thank you guys again.

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