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Colgan Air Pilot Interview Profiles

Date Interviewed: March 2010
Summary of Qualifications: I make a mean grilled cheese sandwich.
Were you offered the job? Don't Know
Pilot Interview Profile:
LGA - Flight Safety

They will invite you to interview, and contact you again a few days prior to the date they specified with travel arrangements. - Don't email em' unless you have to. They have hundreds of selected applicants and THOUSANDS of resumes to pick thru. Just start studying. If they don't have a place for you in the current class, and like you, they will put you in a later class date.

Applicants included furloughed Commuters, Regionalís, Freighters, a couple NetJets guys, 91/135 Corporate, Military, and Flight Instructors. Age group was 50's to what appeared to be legacy teens. (Ken Dorfman was one of them I think) - Google that. No matter what your background or experience level, you didn't really have an advantage. I don't think industry experience mattered either. It was mostly attitude. If you are typed on the aircraft they operate, you probably better browse your books. - In short, I think the humble prevailed over the guys that thought they are experienced.

Day 1: Stay at an airport hotel. - Not Pan American. It's the "cheapest" but ends up costing the same. If you are not familiar with NYC life, stay close to the airport. It only costs more money if you leave the safe zone.

Arrive at FSI on the "Route A Bus". - Its free. Then THE written test. (Use SheppardAir's 121 interview prep - It's worth it) Colgan's written test got quite a few people cut right away, so if you want the job, study. Gliem really won't help you. The test had a lot of questions that are not common knowledge. Shepp covers it and it'll cut your written study workload in half so you can focus on the important stuff. Have all your paperwork in order and filled it out properly just like they ask. They review it while you take the written and really will send you packin' if you don't have it done right.

Day 1, part two:
Logbook review...
Logbook times need to be as accurate as possible and make sure the airlineapp totals are close to your logbook totals. - They check. When they review your logs, you're being interviewed so keep your head on straight. No technical questions at that point. Mark all your check rides, including passes and fails. Don't try to BS about that part because they again will send you home if you try to beat around the bush or hide failures. If you have some failures, be prepared to discuss what you learned and how you grew from the experience.

Day two:
Be prepaired to wait if you don't arrive 1st on day one to sign in. HR/Tech panel interview. 1 captain, 1 HR Rep/FA, and 1 Chuck Colgan himself. Be prepared as to why they should spend money to train you. (Chuck) Know your current aircraft systems. The basic numbers. Come prepared to discuss but it's not that bad unless you don't know the basics. Know basic multiengine operations. Critical engine, adverse thrust/yaw, etc. (A Captain. I had Bart. He kept a stern poker face, but I could tell he's a good Captain to fly for) HR portion was hypothetical questions. Be creative on that part! Nobody can help you and you never know what you're gonna get. (HR/FA)

Day two sim:
Beech 1900 w/ dual EFIS. Raw data, no flight director or autopilot. Props are left full forward and yaw damper disengaged. It has a KLN90B in it, but don't plan on using it. (Thatís for those of you that know how you use that medieval POS. For those of you that don't, it's about like reading green Braille for the first time) They will give you a sim profile to follow with power settings and callouts. Don't try to be a wiz on the 1900, you'll probably never fly it again. Use your brainpower to study other things. They gave us a hold over a VOR followed by an ILS. I had very little time to decide on a hold entry, so be crisp on that. If you've flown an EFIS KingAir 90, 200, 350, or Beechjet you're fine. It would be wise to know the immediate panel though if you haven't so you're not hunting for information.

Overall, it was a good experience. The people I was exposed to from the company were straight forward and very professional. - Fun at times. Aircraft assignment is a crapshoot, so don't plan on anything.

Hope this helps!
Date Interviewed: February 2010
Summary of Qualifications: 1800 TT, 820 ME, 710 Turbine, Current part 91 Turbojet, ATP, CFI, CFII
Were you offered the job? Yes
Pilot Interview Profile:
After sending in an application to Colgan, I was contacted by Chuck a few days later via phone. He told me a little bit about the company, and asked if I had any questions. I asked several questions regarding the growth of the company, and he offered an interview in LGA or MCO (Orlando). I ended up requesting the MCO interview due to a work conflict. If you are not local, they will fly you out. Fortunately I only live a couple of hours aways, so I drove.

The Colgan HR staff will send you a large amount of paperwork that must be filled out prior to the interview. I would suggest NOT putting this off until the last minute, as there really is a lot of information to fill out, copy, etc. There is also an item that must be notarized.

On the first day of the interview, the HR staff began by collecting everybody's paperwork. They also handed out a 50 question ATP based test to everybody sitting at the table. There are a few 121 questions in there, which sort of through me for a loop since my written ATP was based on 135 regs. But it was very fair, and anybody that has recently taken the ATP written should be fine. If it's been a few months or more, I would definitely recommend a few hours of study (don't worry about the flight planning and systems questions in the ATP written). Just FYI, several people failed this test, despite numerous warnings to us in the days prior to the interview to take it seriously (the passing grade is 80%).

After the written, a member of the flight staff examines each of your logbooks to confirm how much and what type of flight time you have, and to see what kind of checkrides you've taken. They also ask about any busts/rechecks (fortunately I have none).

Next, I was brought into a room for a tri-panel interview with Sarah (very nice HR staff), Tim (ERW CP), and Eric (HOU based CA). Everybody was very nice, and asked the usual questions (what kind of flying have you been doing? What kind of research did you do on Colgan? Why do you want to work here? Why should we hire you over some of the other folks here?, etc.). I was asked a couple of simple tech questions by Tim, consisting of descent planning, airspace knowledge, speed limits, etc.). All stuff that anybody with a working knowledge of the IFR system should easily know and be familiar with. I was also asked what CRM means to me, as well as a couple of scenario questions (what would you do if the CA was going below mins?).

Afterwards, I was asked to give fingerprints and to come back the next day for the sim ride.

The next morning we met up in a classroom with Sam (very nice Colgan sim instructor), and we were given the sim profile for the day. It's consistent with the information shown in the other interview here and other places. Even if you didn't have the info before hand, they give you PLENTY of time to rehearse it in your mind and with a chair flying partner if you so desire. It's pretty simple, they just want to make sure you have basic instrument skills. If you are confused about the hold entry or want time to brief the approach, you are allowed to hand the sim off to your partner (I did to brief the approach). The sim is a lot of fun, and everybody I was with really had a good experience. We used a full motion level D B1900D sim.

Afterwards, Chuck talked to us individually about class dates, and then grabbed a few of us at a time to talk about the Colgan culture and plans for the future.

Everybody was EXTREMELY friendly, and the overall interview experience was very positive. Also, the group of people I interviewed with seemed like a great group of sharp pilots. Good luck!
Date Interviewed: January 2010
Summary of Qualifications: 1300TT 270ME 300 Turbine Current 135 CFI CFII MEI
2 Internal Recs
Were you offered the job? Don't Know
Pilot Interview Profile:
SO you want to work for Colgan.... Excellent choice!

First things first, you will be sent an interview packet via email once you have accepted the interview. Complete all paperwork or else you won't even be interviewed (of course you won't make this mistake)

Flew in on Saturday had a pretty late flight however so did the other 6 gentleman that rode with me to the Marine air terminal. Arrived and the room was packed with bags but no people, so we were told to take a seat and relax (good luck doing this). Sara Martinez and Chuck entered the room and chuck gave us a brief overview of the company. Apparently Colgan is getting more aircraft from united for some Saab flying so they are hiring additional candidates for this. After the company overview we were given the option of taking the written test then or waiting until the next morning to take the test. Most took the test that evening however a few took the option of taking the test in the morning.

The test is a 50 question ATP question based test with a few holds on it. The test is multiple choice and if you spend the $20 with Sheppard air for their interview prep then you will ace the written exam.

After the test is complete you take your hotel shuttle to your respective hotel and come back in the morning. Colgan sends you a list of hotels from which they have special rates with. I stayed at the Marriott which was $111, I heard others staying at the Clarion said it was ok but a little run down. The LGA airport hotel is nice as well and Colgan does offer a corporate rate with them as well.


You are to arrive at Flight Safety at 8am, I showed up a bit early and had to wait in the entrance to the building with Mr. Colgan and Paul Prior (a line Captain and Director of Training). Both Mr. Colgan and Paul are very nice guys however do not start asking things such as "are you going to be put on reduce rest on your last day because this is what my former airline did" it's not a good impression on a potential employer.

Once we were let into the building we headed back to one of the training rooms and were told to get comfortable. Paper work is collected as well as Log books while you wait for everyone to arrive. Paul (Dir of Training), Sara(HR), Tammy (HR), Sam (Sim instructor and Q check airman), Andrew (EWR Chief Pilot) and of course Chuck came into the room and we were given the day in the life of a Colgan Pilot introduction. We were given the opportunity to ask questions and pick the brains of the powers to be. Side Note: Colgan air although owned by Colgan is a very family oriented employer and every one will remember your name so be yourself!

After this brief introduction people start getting pulled out for HR and SIM. Slowly one by one you are called out based on when your flight departs, I was on the a late flight so I was towards the end. Tammy Sat in the training room with us and made us feel relaxed. Tammy and Sara are both very personable people and will do their best to put you at ease. Tammy has some good flight attendant jokes since she is the director of hiring for the FA's as well as a licensed FA. The floor is open at this time as well for additional comments or questions since it will be a long wait time.

Mr. Colgan and Andrew did my HR / Tech portion of the interview. Typical HR questions, Why Colgan, Explain this training event, Brief this approach, How do you know *****(company employee), Tell us about yourself, What is CRM, what is Situational awarness, Capt going below mins, Drunk Capt, Any questions for us? After this its back to the Holding room (training room) At this point everyone was complete for the interview portion of the interview so Mr. Colgan came in and told us we could take off our jackets and loosen our ties. The remainder of us were patiently waiting to be called out for the sim portion.

The Sim is pretty straight forward. You are provided with the profile earlier in the morning so you have all day to look at it. For our group it we flew out of LGA climbed to 3000ft were given vectors around then cleared direct to the LGA VOR and given a hold. "IF" you brief the hold correctly you will be given vectors to the ILS for 22.

Profile for the Beech 1900

Take off: RWY HDG Climb maintain 3000ft
Side note: Be sure to give a proper Take off brief remember you are being judged on CRM as well and this is a major part of it.

Set Power to 3000lbs of TRQ
PNF: 80kts
PF: 80kts Cross Check
PNF: @ 110kts V1
PNF: Positive rate of climb
PF Gear up
PNF: 1000ft
PF: Climb checklist

Sim is very sensitive so use trim and slow down, don't rush it but think ahead of the airplane

The hold is quite interesting, it starts with your weather dropping to 1 mile vis 500feet OVC. I was given I was on a 040 degree heading and was given hold NE of the LGA vor on the 060 degree radial standard turns maintain 2000 feet. I gave him the proper entry and was given vectors to the ILS. At this point give the airplane to your PNF since you need to brief the hold. If possible have your PNF set up the approach as well (the frequencies should already be in) then give him the plane and brief. I was stupid and didn't brief immediately so I had to give the plane to my PNF a little later than I would have liked in order to brief.

Once your given vectors start slowing down early it will help you out severely. 160kts to the marker 140 down the glide slope, loc alive flaps approach, glide slope alive gear down, GS intercept full flaps. Fly down to mins and the sim is either frozen or you are given the option to land.

Over all the interview was great, all the interviewers (Sara, Tammy, Andrew, Paul, Sam, and Chuck)are nice people and want to hire you. Colgan has some tremendous growth going on and you want to be on the leading edge of this because Colgan is going to double in size quick. There is preferential hire with Continental mainline and Colgan so this is an added benefit for those interested in Colgan. Health insurance is excellent Colgan uses Cigna for health and dental assistance, there is also an HSA. Typical pass travel benefits however your benefits are based on which Flag operation you fly under i.e. you are a Saab FO out of IAD your flag carrier would be United. Hope this helps and best of luck to those of you interviewing within the next couple weeks.
Date Interviewed: October 2008
Summary of Qualifications: ATP Written, 1500TT, 105 Multi, 120 Inst. CFI
Were you offered the job? Yes
Pilot Interview Profile:
Arrived in LGA on Monday and had the interview on Tuesday morning @ flight saftey. Met Karen and Kathy, which are two very very nice ladies. They gave a brief over view of the company and were very straight forward about how you should look @ your time working for Colgan. Plan on three years and then the skies the limit because of the Northeast experience and quick upgrade times. Our sim captain came in a little later and gave a brief on what to expect in the sim.

He gave each of use a print out for HPN 16 and expect the Departure 1 out of there. Take off, fly for a bit to get use to the Saab 340 then direct CMK to hold. Brief the hold and entry. If correct you will break off and receive vectors for the ILS 16 into HPN. Use good CRM and let your FO help you with flaps, radios, headings, gear, and Vspeeds. You'll break out @ 500ft and he'll stop the sim. Make sure you watch your gauges and know how to use RMI and HSI for the approach. Forget about the electric trim and use the manual wheel. Its not very touchy and a blast to fly!

Get your ATP done BEFORE you show up. They had their previous test on Ebay for sale so they got mad and reinvented the wheel but made it HARD as can be. Two guys from TSA and another airline had a ton of trouble with it. Second, smile, relax, and make conversation with everyone. Know the systems of your previous twin, Vmc factors..etc.

Colgan is a great company and you can see they have continued to grow when most others are shutting their doors. GOOD LUCK!!
Date Interviewed: September 2008
Summary of Qualifications: ATP MEL, LR-JET, 2700TT 790ME 140Turbine
Were you offered the job? Yes
Pilot Interview Profile:
Met in the classroom at FlightSafety about 9am. Started with a brief introduction to the company. Both Karen and Kathy gave a little information on the company followed by two line captains. Then the people that did not have the ATP written completed had to do a test with questions from the ATP test bank. Others that had already completed it just hung out in the break room or in the classroom. Then they started pulling people out one by one to do interviews with either Karen or Kathy and one of the line captains. Some topics were:

Have you ever had a disagreement in the cockpit?
Have you applied to any other airlines?
Why do you want to work for us?
Explain your career progress.
What would you do outside of your normal duties to make sure a flight departs ASAP?
What are the qualities of a good captain?
Give an approach brief (provided me with a Jepp chart)

Then we sat in the room and waited for the sim instructor to arrive. We got pulled out 2-3 at a time to go in the sim. Other gouges are correct as to what you will do in the sim. Each person will sit in the left seat and right seat but they will be judging you from the left. After that you go in the classroom. Then they come and get you one at a time to tell you if you got the job or not. If you are offered the job and you accept they give you a drug test form that you take to the medical office and do the drug test. Then you are done and can go to the terminal to catch your flight back home.
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