Thursday, October 8, 2009

The last two years have flown by....pun intended

Two years ago (today I think) I interviewed at my airline.

Prior to the interview I studied gouges on line (I used the Will Fly For Food gouges), bought a suit (haven't owned one since I was a kid), a red tie (not solid red...but red was the main color) and a soft briefcase. I also made a ton of copies of my licenses (pilot, radio, etc), passport you name it. The day of the interview I ate the same breakfast I had prior to every check ride...a McDonalds Sausage, Egg and Cheese McGriddle. Healthy? No. Good luck? Yes! I passed every check ride the first time after eating this. I attribute this feat not only too my skill but also to the heart attack wrapped in syurp that is the McGriddle.

There were 25 pilots initially in the waiting room. The age range was wide. Some looked barely old enough to drive. Others could have been my father. We were all placed in a room and then called out one at a time for various interviews. There was a simple "get to know you" interview along with a situational interview, technical interview (reading Jeppesen charts and questions about an aircraft listed in your logbook) interview and a documentation interview. Long day. I arrived at 7:30AM. We broke for lunch at 11:30AM and finished THIS SET of interviews around 3PM. Throughout the day the numbers of waiting pilots dwindled.

I remember one pilot who didn't make it. He went to ATP like I did, but had a very negative attitude. He never got his CFI ratings as he "didn't need then".  While sitting in the waiting room he openly talked about how horrible ATP was for him and how ATP did him wrong. He then discussed how he knew the airline would hire him because he is such a great pilot. He was gone before lunch. I later saw he was hired by another airline, a quick check of his FAA records showed he never passed training (those who pass training on a jet at any airline have a SIC type rating on their FAA record).

There was another pilot who was in a bad spot. He was young (23 if I remember). He got hired on by one regional. Hated it. Went to (the now defunct) Champion Airlines and was hired as a Flight Engineer. When he was hired upgrades to First Officer were quick. Then the economy started tanking. He had not flown at the controls in 6 months. He failed the technical portion.

After all of those interviews it was off for a simulator test. I was nervous as it was in a plane I have never flown before. This wasn't important. They just wanted to see if I could read an approach chart and fly the approach. I could and did. After a few days I was hired.

Saying I was on cloud nine would be putting it lightly.

This month will start my third year. The pay increase is just over 10%. Very nice. Not as nice as Captains pay....and no where near as nice as my salary at my IT cubicle job....but still nice.

1 comment:

  1. The pay may be less than the cubical job, but the view is better.

    The pay, the flying and the overnights will just keep getting better. If you survived the first two years, you'll do great in this business!


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