usage of 'complement'

Status
Not open for further replies.

Spetsnaz26

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2007
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
China
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?
 

Barb_D

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Member Type
Other
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
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
 

Spetsnaz26

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2007
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
China
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?
 

Barb_D

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Member Type
Other
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
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.)
 

konungursvia

VIP Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
English
Home Country
Canada
Current Location
Canada
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.
 

omasta

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2009
Member Type
Student or Learner
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
 

Barb_D

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Member Type
Other
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
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?
 

omasta

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2009
Member Type
Student or Learner
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.
 

Barb_D

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Member Type
Other
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
You knew more about it than I did!

Thank you for the extra research!
 

Spetsnaz26

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2007
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
China
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.

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

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.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top