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Colgan Air Pilot Interview Profiles

Date Interviewed: November 2010
Summary of Qualifications: I met all the requirements
Were you offered the job? Yes
Pilot Interview Profile:
Know your IFR procedures and how to hold. Show up with your pants on and head on straight. Pretty simple interview although MANY people busted the sim... Reasons ranged from not knowing how to enter a hold to just simply lack of IFR proficiency.
Use Sheppard Air study software and the written test will be a breeze.
Date Interviewed: September 2010
Summary of Qualifications: does it really matter? There were applicants with as few at 1000TT (most of the multi) to seasoned pilots w/ as many as 5K TT...oh....and everything in between, of course.
Were you offered the job? Don't Know
Pilot Interview Profile:
-) Definitely call to make a reservation for the hotel. Don't wait till the last minute. If they say the interview will be 2 days long...chances are...

-) ASK for the Flight Safety rate. The hotels WILL try to screw you. Be persistent...and call to reserve a room as soon as you get the email w/ the hotels' listing.

-) PAPERWORK - have 'em ready. Read the other postings.

-) WRITTEN TEST: Sheppard Air is GREAT, however some candidates in my group did not use it. Bottom line is, no matter what strategy you use BE PREPARED. Several guys in my class got sent home right after the written. The written is not a variable out of your control. It's stupid to fail it.

-) Sim eval is exactly as narrated before, however they are not only looking for CRM. They wanna make sure you have the stick and rudder (and instrument) skills to make it thru part 121 training. I'm not a good performer in the box, I thought I did fine.
I wouldn't say it was a "piece of cake", being unfamiliar w/ the cockpit my eyes were wandering all over the friggin panel. TRIM, TRIM, TRIM!!! Apply the power settings they will give you. For some reasons the plane doesn't really slow down when you pull back on the throttle and it's easy to transition from too fast...to too slow...don't wanna do that. Make sure you don't baloon when you call the flaps, Only 2 position, but she will climb like nothing. Be on top of your holding procedures, and ILS approach. Look up SID and ILS 22 KLGA before you show up (I printed them out and took them w/ me to interview).

-) FORMAL INTERVIEW: different questions were asked to different applicants. Definitely know ME Aerodynamics, systems, WX, IFR in general, holding, personal, aviation background, a couple of IFR scenarios.

Overall it was a GREAT experience. This was really my first part 121 interview and I was a little apprehensive. It's easy to stress out, but don't. The staff was friendly and included Mr. Colgan, Mr. Eric (a Q400 capt) and Mr. John (saab 340 check airman) and Ms. Ashley from HR (very cute indeed -and professional of course ;)). Like I said they were super friendly and they won't have any problems cracking up a joke w/ you. Don't be the one that makes them work extra hard. Paperwork is a big thing.
Don't lie on failed check rides (2 or more than 2 is disqualifying) and on the number of infractions you got. If you are offered a job and they find out, they WILL send you home. Be honest. If you have any questions or concers, call Mr. Colgan before the interview. That phone call may save you and them some time.

Good luck and HAVE FUN during the interview process. Besides your techincal skills, they wanna get know who they can hang out in the cockpit w/ for a 3 or 4 days long trip, without having to carry a gun. Be yourself, don't be arrogant or a prick...be humble but personable.

Don't forget to THANK and be courteous to anybody from Colgan and FSI. Saw some folks being pretty sloppy...not a "goodmorning" upon entering the room or "thanks" at the end of the day.

Hope this helped!
Date Interviewed: August 2010
Summary of Qualifications: 1650TT 175ME CFI CFII MEI 4 YR DEGREE
Were you offered the job? Don't Know
Pilot Interview Profile:
Stayed at Airport Marriot. Call to make reservations. Make sure you TELL them to give you the FlightSafety discount. The lady I spoke to pretended that there wasn't one. I told her to check again because I wouldn't pay the $250 otherwise. She finally gave in and said she "Oh, looks like I just found it." Yeah right. Anyway it saves you $125. A shuttle will take you to FlightSafety in the morning. 10 minute trip. Make sure your paperwork is complete and in order or Tammy will eat your face off.

Took the written test immediately. 50 Q's. A breeze if you get the Sheppard Air Interview Prep.

Then logbook review with one of the pilots. Takes you into a separate room and just copies the total times, dates of checkrides and retakes. Asks to talk about any retakes. If you have any, don't just answer why the examiner failed you. Talk about what led up to the unsat, what you could've done differently and what you learned from it.

Then you wait for the interview with Chuck and a current Captain in what is probably the smallest interview room ever. Seriously, it was the size of a small walk-in closet. Chuck has a poker face and shows no emotion whatsoever so just stick to the point. Some of the guys were asked about systems of their most recently flown multi. Chuck asked to talk about my flight training. I rambled on for a few minutes as they paid no attention and just skimmed through my credentials. Captain asked if I had any emergencies and what I did to resolve. Asked what a critical engine was. Vmc factors. What would you do if you lost an engine immediately after takeoff.

For the sim evaluation you're given a profile, pitch/power/flap settings, and SOP callouts. Pretty simple. They're looking mostly for CRM. I asked my PNF to readback all instructions, tune & twist, and callout deviations from loc or glideslope. This helps alot.

-Takeoff rwy 13.
-Whitestone climb (right turn at 400 ft to 180, at 2.5 from LGS left turn 040.) Climbed to 3000.
-During the left turn I was given a hold at LGA. Be careful here because you're only around 4-5 miles from it. If you continue to use standard rate you'll probably just arc around it so be prepared to use 30 deg bank. Have your PNF center your HSI for you in the turn or watch the RMI.
All I did was state the correct entry and was immediately given vectors for ILS 22.
-You're in close for the vectors so be prepared for things to happen fast. Again, don't forget the callouts for configuration. Also, when your PNF adds flaps to 35 be prepared for the pitch increase. I nearly blew the glideslope on this.
Took it to mins and was done.

The entire process was pretty quick. A comfortable environment as soon as you arrive. I was there for about 4-5 hours for everything...mostly just waiting. Then left for the drug screen and flight home.

Know your last couple a/c systems. Multi aerodynamics. Emergency procedures. Get the Sheppard Air Prepware for the written. Print out the DP Whitestone climb and ILS 22 plate and practice them on a sim. Should be no problem for ya. Good Luck.
Date Interviewed: July 2010
Summary of Qualifications: 1,500TT, 300ME, CFI, CFII, MEI
Were you offered the job? Don't Know
Pilot Interview Profile:
If you are considering Colgan, you know they don't pay much, so stop whining already. That being said:

Everyone there seems very nice and friendly toward each other.It is a growing company and most want to be a part of it, especially now! The following are things we were told. You will know everyone you work with at your base by name. Colgan is taking delivery of 15 new Q's and has options for many more. There are many pilots transferring, upgrading...etc. so the high time new hires will go to the Q and the lower time new hires will probably go to the saab, IAD probably. Houston is a senior base, don't expect it.

Get all the paperwork done ASAP! Make sure to cross all your T's and dot all your I's or they will send you packing. Stay at a hotel close to LGA, one of the ones on their list. If you get in early on the first day, it can end up being a 1 day interview, if not AND you make it to the sim session, it ends up being a 2 day interview.

Part 1- 50 question multiple choice test, must pass with 80% or they send you on the next flight out. If you want the job, get the sheppard air software, it is worth the money.

Part 2- logbook review with a current pilot, captain or FO. Be prepared to explain failed checkrides, more than 2 is disqualifying. Don't lie or cover up because since the accident, they dig up everything. You'll get asked about your current job, general questions about your flight time, the a/c you've flown.

Part 3- Interview with a pilot, CA or FO, and an HR person. You'll get asked all the standard questions, so prepare what you want to talk about. Why Colgan, why should we hire you over the others, qualities of a good FO and CA, who was your worst student, has anyone ever scared you, worst day in aviation. Then some technical questions, be prepared to talk about your current plane and your most recent twin if they're not the same. Electrical system, fuel system, landing gear...etc. Properties affecting Vmc, ever been in an emergency. Prepare some non-selfish questions to ask about the company or the job.

Part 4- You will be given a sim profile to study throughout the day before you fly the sim. Listen to the sim instructor when he gives you advice on how to fly the sim! Expect a takeoff, some sort of departure climb, holding instructions (possibly fly the hold), dragged closer for immediate vectors to the ILS and that's it! We got: depart Rwy 13 LGA, whitestone climb, holding instructions, brief correctly and you won't have to fly it, immediate vectors to ILS 22 LGA (not even enough time to transfer controls to brief, just fly it). You are not graded on your landing if you make one.

The profile is pretty simple, no flaps on takeoff.
set torque 3,000
"check power" "power checked"
"80 knots"
"80 knots"
120 "V1" 122 "rotate"
"positive rate"
"gear up"
1000' "climb checklist" "climb checklist complete"

Climb at 140-160 kts
cruise 160-180 kts
descent 140-160
approach 140
speeds +/- 10, altitude +/- 100, 1/2 dot GS

If you set the power like they say, the speeds should be right on. Use your PNF as much as possible! Good luck, they want to hire you!
Date Interviewed: April 2010
Summary of Qualifications: 1300 Total, 1000 Multi-Turbine, Current 135 FO
Were you offered the job? Don't Know
Pilot Interview Profile:
I was contacted by Chuck directly and invited to interview. After that, it took a couple of phone calls and e-mails among the various HR folks to ensure that I got a plane ticket and all the required forms to fill out prior to the interview.

Upon my arrival in LGA, I headed straight to the Marine Air Terminal via the Route A bus. Flight Safety is located directly in front of the bus stop and across the street from the main Marine Air Terminal. It's easy to see.

The first part of the process is turning in your paperwork. The e-mail you will receive before the interview will contain this sentence: "Please note: Our protocol requires the interview team to cease the process if the requested information is not presented and complete at the start of the interview process, so please check and double check your work." The reason they want your paperwork complete and in the correct order is because they have a lot of people's paperwork to go through that day and they don't want to spend time searching through your packet of stuff looking for a specific form. Also, they ask you to only paperclip your information together. This is so that if it s in the wrong order, they won t have to take out staples to fix it. It isn t impossible, just fill everything out and follow the checklist.

The next part is the Written Test. They will tell you that it is based on the ATP written , and that is true, but not the entire ATP written. There are ZERO questions that reference any figures. There is one question about the proper entry to a holding pattern, but it starts, An aircraft is inbound to a VOR on the 020 Radial and is told to hold So you have to do a little math to get your inbound heading to the VOR.

Sheppard Air knows that interview written tests don t usually involve certain subjects and has a database of questions that includes only interview test questions. It costs $39 and is worth every penny. When you get the Sheppard Air software, you can ignore any questions about supplemental air carriers. That takes out a large percentage of the 807 questions. Go through the rest of the questions a few times and you should be good. Most of the questions focus on FAR s and Weather. Let me repeat this one more time: Get the Sheppard Air interview software.

After the written test there is a logbook review. They ll ask you to tab all your checkrides so they can look at them. There was a form that the reviewer had to fill out with the dates of all your checkrides. They also needed to know the date of your last flight as well as your total time in the past six months and last 12 months; so have that information readily available. Be prepared to talk about any failures.

For me, those two things happened on day 1. Some people went on and did their HR interview on day 1, and some went all the way into the sim on day 1. They had a serious interest in moving people through as expeditiously as possible.

The HR interview was relatively simple. For some it was a captain and Chuck and for others it was a captain and the head recruiter. There weren t any technical questions to speak of, and the HR type questions were what anyone would expect. Like I ve said, they were interested in making a yea/nay decision and getting you out of the room. They had a lot of interviews to do.

Assuming you made it through the previous steps, the last part was in the simulator. Depending on the location of your interview, it will be in different airplanes. Mine was in a Beech 1900D sim.

There were two key things they were looking for in the sim, (1) Do you have a decent instrument scan? and (2) Do you know your basic IFR procedures well enough to do them under time pressure? These two things show that you can be trained to fly a new airplane with a reasonable amount of practice.

They gave us a sheet in the morning to study with power settings, call outs, and a basic format for what we were going to be doing. It also had the DP and approach plate attached. They took some time to explain exactly what we were going to be doing and gave us some tips. Pay attention when they do this. They re giving you helpful information. There are, however, some things they won t tell you.

The take off will involve some sort of DP. Study it before you get in the sim, know it before you get in the sim, and brief it when you get in the sim. Also before takeoff, make sure your sim partner knows exactly what you want him to do throughout the whole ride. Your partner will be helping you by moving heading bugs and course needles, calling out altitudes and airspeeds, and flying the plane when you re briefing the hold and approach. He won t be allowed to call anything out to you or do anything for you unless you specifically ask him to.

In our situation, the departure was off of LGA, and the hold was over the LGA VOR (it s on the airfield).

No matter what the situation is, they won t let you get more than four miles or so from the VOR after takeoff before they tell you to turn back direct to the VOR and give you your holding instructions. Have your partner copy and read back your holding instructions and start the turn toward the VOR. While in the turn, your best bet is to look at the RMI and be able to decide the proper entry for the hold before you even roll out of the turn. While you re turning, the radial you re on is going to change, so be able to adjust for that. Study the thumb method and be able to do it with an RMI while turning. It isn t hard once you figure it out. Once your partner is done copying/reading back, you can hand the controls to him, make a decision on what your entry is going to be, give a quick briefing on what you re going to do when you hit the VOR, and take the controls back. If you did it all right, you can take the controls back and have a full mile left before you hit the VOR. You will definitely have to fly the entry.

Now it s time for the ILS. The approach in our case started 10 miles from the airport. Since we finished the hold over the VOR, I assumed we would have a 10 mile long downwind leg to set up and brief the approach. I was wrong. The evaluator moved the airplane in the sim (without telling us) to a point much closer to the initial fix that was 10 miles out. We were given short downwind and base vectors which made for about three miles to hand off the controls, brief the approach, and take the controls back before being told to intercept the localizer.

I watched four different sim sessions (I only flew one of them) and every single person got a bad vector onto the final. It was very easy to blow through the localizer. Here s the deal: the person operating the sim is a pilot and a job interviewer, not a trained air traffic controller. You will probably get a tight, bad vector; deal with it. It s relatively simple once you get on the approach. Fly it down to minimums, either they ll freeze the sim or give you the option to land it.

The keys to doing well in the sim are:

(1) Slow the plane down. There s no reason to go blasting around that close to the airport. They ll give you a speed range to use during cruise flight. Stay at the bottom of it.
(2) Know your hold entries. If you have to get a piece of paper and draw it, you re wasting time.
(3) Like everything else in this interview process, it happens quickly and you don t have very long to make an impression. They have less than ten minutes to evaluate you and get the next person in the seat. Be prepared to work hard for those ten minutes.

They don t expect you to be perfect during the sim. If you bust an altitude, say correcting and do something about it. They want to see that you can generally stay ahead of the airplane and at least know where you re supposed to be at all times.

After the sim, it was time to get finger printed and drug tested. That s the easiest part of the whole thing.

Good Luck.
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