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Delta Air Lines Pilot Interview Profiles

Date Interviewed: July 2010
Summary of Qualifications: 5000TT, 1300PIC turbine 121, 135
Were you offered the job? No
Pilot Interview Profile:
Everyone was courteous and the interview was relaxed. My experience was much harder than anything I've read on the gouge or from previous friends who have been interviewed and hired in June. 12 interviewed, only one was military. Not sure how many were hired or not. I was second out the door.
Previous gouge's for test's was good. ATP test prep is good, but don't just memorize the answers because they are obviously not the same. The interview is what I failed. They started out by going over my application and talking about my education and work history. Lot's of personal style questions. What is it about flying that made you decide you were going to make it a career? What do you like about it? Was there a moment when you knew for sure this is what you wanted to do? What criteria would you use to determine if you need to call in fatigued or not? Check in time for your trip is 10:00am tomorrow morning, tell me about how you would prepare for your trip starting the day before? Now it's check in time and you meet your FO, what would you do now? How would you brief the crew? Tell me a time you had to deal with a difficult passenger? Have you ever gone above and beyond to help a passenger? Captain in the bar at 8hrs prior to show, what are you going to do? Captain and lead flight attendant get in argument at the gate while in the cockpit, then captain looks at you and says "I'm not going to talk to her anymore." What are you going to do? What was your hardest checkride? There were a few more but I can't remember.
Delta has some quirky hiring practices. They'll ask about a time when you had to deal with a difficult passenger and then hire an FO with no experience at all.
Date Interviewed: July 2010
Summary of Qualifications: Civilian Regional Jet Pilot. 5700 Total Time 1300 PIC 0 PIC Turbine 4500 Turbine Time. ATP Written.
Were you offered the job? No
Pilot Interview Profile:
Right now it seems that Delta is interviewing pilots who are about 28-34 years old who have between 5500 and 6000 total time. That was the case for the 12 people in my group who interviewed (with maybe the exception with the military guys and their total times). We were told that currently there is a need for 305 pilots to be hired and in training between August and October. 8 out of 12 were invited to the second day of the interview process. Unfortunately, I was one of the four who was not invited. Our group consisted of 10 RJ pilots (both FOs and Captains) and 2 military pilots. Of the 12, four of the pilots being interviewed were able to check the minority box on the application. The entire process is not the most pleasant even though all the Delta people are nice to work with. Stress levels are high and there are many uncertainties of not knowing what to expect throughout the day.

I failed the panel interview. It typically lasts about an hour. There were three people on the panel to ask questions. Two were pilots (both former Air Force), one pilot was active Delta, the other was retired Delta, and the other guy was Delta HR. The bulk of the questions were about high school, college, my attendance at my current job, speeding tickets. More time was spent on what I did 15 years ago than on anything related to flying. They asked who paid for my college? Why I chose it? If my high school was private or public, etc.? If I was involved in any sports or activities in high school? Just a few tech questions. How would I handle a captain who does not want to use checklist right from the beginning of the flight? How would I handle it if this captain does not respond to my desire to insist on using checklist? How would I handle receiving an ACARS message from the company that there might be a bomb on board the aircraft while we were in cruise flight? What makes a good captain? What makes a bad captain? Examples of each?

The Cog test was a challenge and everyone seems to end it feeling like they did not do well on it regardless of how one actually does. I feel that it is rather difficult to study for it. Memorizing letters of the alphabet with their associated numbers would help with one of the sections. 1A, 2B, 3C,....21U, 22V, 23W, etc. Making flash cards with a guy holding a flag and having him face you or face away, inverted and up-right. Which hand is the flag in?

The psychology test was (I think) 250 questions. Not to worry easy questions so it is quick to answer all 250. Answer honestly and you will be fine. Example: Do you always read questions twice? Do you ever cheat when playing solitaire? Strongly Agree, Neutral, Strongly Disagree, etc.

The knowledge test was 60 questions in 60 minutes. I have been told that they take questions from a random 500 question bank. Tough test. Some questions have what seems as two right answers. Questions that come to mind: In a thrust limited airplane, when does trust equal drag? 30 50 70 or 90 degrees of pitch, ATC Light gun signals. True airspeed with respect to ALT and temp change. Load Factor and effects on it. CG and handling with an aft loading. EPR measures pressure of what to pressure of what? Flammability and compressibility of a gas versus liquid? Runway lighting? Beacon lighting? Holding questions, entry, headings to fly, speed to hold? What is dihedral? What is angle of incidence? What do Fowler flaps do? What affect hydroplaning the most?

Panel interview is half of your day and the computer testing is the other half. The problem was you do not receive a schedule and when you are done with a portion, they just leave you in a lobby. Nobody knew when to eat, when to be ready for the next portion of the process, etc. So everyone just had to figure out the schedule on their own, ask someone, or just wait in the lobby. Could be ten minutes, could be three hours... Same thing happened when they informed us of the results of the day

If you fail the computer testing, you are eligible to reapply in 6 months. If you fail the panel interview, you can never interview at Delta again. In my opinion, getting hired by Delta is like is like winning the career lottery. Good luck!
Date Interviewed: March 2008
Summary of Qualifications: 4000TT
Were you offered the job? No
Pilot Interview Profile:
Everyone was very professional and courteous.

Knowledge test was straight forward, study gouge and you will do fine. I looked through it once, thought I didn't prepare enough and did fine.

Personality and Cog Tests went fine as well. I don't know what you would study for these and really no reason to. Just do your best.

Interview, I thought went quite well, but you never know. I had 2 Captains and 1 Human Resource person. Went over the application in detail, I had a few minor discrepancies. Situational questions...First was, as FO what would you do if the Captain refused to fly a strict noise abatement procedure, wants to fly his own departure? Second situational question was...now you're the Captain and some VIP pax board the aircraft fairly intoxicated sitting in First Class, F/A feels uncomfortable having them on-board but the Gate Agent says they're friends of mine and they're fine, what do you do? (I would definitely talk with other fellow pilots/captains and see what their take is on these situations. There are many different answers and I honestly think it depends on who is interviewing you that particular day).

Asked what your boss would say about your attendance.
Asked for an example about your customer service skills.
A flying situation where you said "I will never do that again".
What would your co-pilot say about you.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
What is the hardest thing you've ever done?
What is one word that best describes you?
Any organizations you belong to?
A few questions about the military.

All in all a great experience, very professional and courteous. Just be yourself and do the best you can!
Date Interviewed: March 2008
Summary of Qualifications: 4100 total
1100 PIC turbine
3 internal letters of rec
Were you offered the job? No
Pilot Interview Profile:
The gouge is still right on. I found the interviewers to be friendly at first. They questioned all my answers quite extensively.

Have you ever had any moving violations?
Me - No
Interviewer - Are you sure?
Me - yes
Interviewer - Do you own a car?
Me - yes
Interviewer - That is hard to believe.

Questioned at length about attendance record (only two sick calls in the last 12 months)

Captain asks you (FO) to lie to the pax and tell them a mx delay is actually weather, what do you do?

I told them I would not lie to the pax for the Capt.

They questioned my judgement about this BIG time. I told them if the Capt. wants to lie to the pax he can do it himself.

Retired Capt. asked me if I really wanted to make a big deal about something so small. I said I did. Lying is against my morals. They all gave me a look like I was nuts.

The Capt. continuously arrives at the marker 100 feet low. It is a visual approach and the landings are good - what do you do?

I said I would not make a big deal about it other than making the standard calls. They are not dangerous and it is a visual approach. They questioned me again. I said if I really had a problem I would take it to Professional Standards.

Looked through my logbooks extensively - no major questions there.

Asked about a difficult day - My response was concise and explained a time I thought I did a lot for the pax. They questioned how much I did and told me that ANYONE at their airline would have done the same (which I know not to be true).

Asked about flying with low-time FO's.
Asked about ever wanting to be a Check Airman at my company.

Overall they seemed to be quite full of themselves.

Cog test was easy. Don't freak out about it or pay to practice it. Study the gouge for the knowledge test.

Good luck.
Date Interviewed: February 2008
Summary of Qualifications: 6000TT, 3000 PIC, Mil/121
Were you offered the job? Yes
Pilot Interview Profile:
All gouge on here is good. Just wanted to add the study guide that Delta sent me, you can look over what ever areas you my need to review. Good luck to all.

8 people interviewed, 5 got the offer.

The following outline details the topics covered by the test, as they relate to the four major areas. It is suggested that you invest time studying these areas, up to a level required for an ATP exam, in order to do well on the test
The outline is followed by a list of sample reference sources for preparing for the test.

Comparable references may be substituted for those listed.

• Airplane nomenclature and terminology
• The atmosphere
o Static pressure, density, temperature, humidity and viscosity and
relationships to altitude
o Standard atmosphere: Pressure, temperature and density
• Basic aerodynamic principles
o Aerodynamic properties and relationships to airflow dynamics
o Properties of airflow
o Pitot-static effects
o Ground speed and effect of wind
o Mach number, critical Mach, speed of sound, and effects of change of
temperature and altitude
• Aerodynamic forces
o Airfoil nomenclature, properties of airflow about an airfoil, properties of
aerodynamic forces
o Center of gravity, flight path, relative wind
o Relationship between lift, thrust, relative wind, drag and flight path

Page 2 of 7

o Angle of attack, angle of incidence
o Generation of net lift force, influence of angle of attack
o Aerodynamic force, lift, drag, moment about aerodynamic center and
factors affecting
o Effects of changing angle of attack or true airspeed on moment about
aerodynamic center
o Forces in a turn, climb and descent
• Lift
o Lift force—factors affecting
o Minimum flying speed and stall—factors affecting
o Ground effect
• Drag: types, causes and effects
• Thrust
o Power curves
o Factors affecting
• Stability and control
o Trimmed flight
o Relationship between controllability and stability
o Function of airplane control surfaces
o Proverse roll and adverse yaw
o Dutch roll
o Wake turbulence
o Engine out aerodynamics
o Dutch roll
• Flight at high angles of attack
o Aircraft stall characteristics—factors affecting
o Stall and stalling angle of attack
o Fundamental principle of stall recovery
o Stall speed and effect of gross weight, load factor and altitude
o Purpose of high lift devices and effect of flap extension
• Operating strength limitations
o Maneuvering load factor—effect of velocity and gross weight

Page 3 of 7

o V-speeds
o Safe flight envelope
• Takeoff and landing
o Factors affecting minimum takeoff and landing distances
o Effect of gross weight, pressure, altitude, temperature, humidity, wind and
ground effect of takeoff and landing performance
o Friction and aerodynamic braking effectiveness—factors affecting
o Hydroplaning
• Airplane performance
o Effect of weight, altitude, wind and angle of attack on airplane
o Maximum endurance, range, angle of climb, rate of climb, glide range,
glide endurance
• Physical principles of gas turbine engines
• Principles of gas turbine operation
o Basic principles
o Effect of pressure, temperature, altitude and humidity on thrust in a gas
turbine engine
o Effect of airspeed and ram effect on thrust in a gas turbine engine
o Engine instrumentation
o Function of gas turbine compressor
o Function of turbine section
• Compressor stalls
o Characteristics and causes of compressor stalls: airflow distortions,
mechanical problems
o Methods to avoid, reduce or resolve compressor stalls
• Hydraulic systems
o Basic hydraulic theory
o Basic operation of aircraft hydraulic systems
o Function of basic hydraulic components used on aircraft
• Electrical systems

Page 4 of 7

o Basic operation of an aircraft electrical system
o Methods of producing electricity in aircraft
o Function of aircraft electrical components
o Aircraft electrical distribution system
• Fuel systems
o Basic operation of an aircraft fuel system
o Function of basic fuel system components used on aircraft
o Fuel flow through basic aircraft fuel system
• Lubrication systems
o Basic operation of an aircraft lubrication system
o Function of basic lubrication system components used on aircraft
• Accessory, starter and ignition systems
o Basic operation of an aircraft accessory, starter and ignition system
o Types of accessories used on aircraft and how they are driven
o Starting sequence for a gas turbine engine
o Types of abnormal starts
• Flap system
o Types of large aircraft flaps
o Effects and methods of actuating flaps
• Landing gear system—brakes, tires
• Air conditioning and pressurization systems
o Basic operations
o Abnormal situations
• Anti-ice/de-ice systems
Air Navigation
• Introductory air navigation: basic concepts, principles and terminology
• Chart projections and plotting
o Great circle and relationship to aircraft navigation
o Heading, course, track, bearing and relationships among them
• Altitudes and airspeeds
o Relationship among pressure, altitude and airspeed

Page 5 of 7

o Indicated airspeed, calibrated airspeed, true airspeed, ground speed and
Mach number
• Winds in flight
o Evaluating the effect of wind on the path of an aircraft over the ground
o Windshear—its recognition, considerations and actions
• Rate of descent—considerations and computations
• GMT and conversion to local time
• Electronic navigation
o Methods used for electronic navigation
o Electronic navigation aids and instruments
o Aircraft position and course to navigational aid given magnetic bearing
• Charts and chart symbology
o Airport charts
o En route charts
o Approach charts
o Navigational aids and distance scales
• Approaches
o ILS approaches
o Non-precision approaches
o Visual approaches
o Final approach segments
o Approach minima
o Landing/missed approach/rejected landing
• Holding
o Speed and entry rules
o Endurance speeds and computations
• Ground navigation
o Runway and taxiway lighting and markings
o ATC clearances and clearance limits

Page 6 of 7

• Structure of the atmosphere
• Atmospheric pressure and temperature
• Winds and circulations
• Clouds and moisture; fog and low clouds
• Atmospheric stability and turbulence
• Air masses and frontal systems
• Thunderstorms and windshear
• Icing
• Weather depiction charts and radar summary charts—weather maps, winds aloft,
prognostic charts, constant pressure charts
• Aviation weather reports
o Terminal forecasts, area forecasting (ATIS, METAR, etc.)
o Flight weather advisories, pilot reports
• Weather radar

Page 7 of 7

Sample Reference Sources
FAA Publications:
• Federal Aviation Regulations/Aeronautical Information Manual (FAR/AIM)
• FAA Handbook Series: Instrument Flying Handbook
• Aviation Weather
Textbooks, Reference Materials from Civilian or Military Pilot Training Programs, for
• Aerodynamics for Naval Aviators
• Air Force Introduction to Aerodynamics/Takeoff and Landing Performance
• Air Force Weather for Aircrews
• Air Force Academics for Instruments
• Air Force Applied Aerodynamics/Endurance
General Technical References:
• Encyclopedia of Technical Aviation, Gary Bristow
• Private Pilot Workbook, Jeppesen & Co.
• International Encyclopedia of Aviation, David Mondey
• An Invitation to Fly: Basics for the Private Pilot, Dennis Glaeser, Sanford Gum,
Bruce Walters
Topic Specific References:
• Aircraft Gas Turbine Technology, Irwin Treager
• The Aircraft Gas Turbine Engine and its Operation, Pratt & Whitney
• Elements of Gas Turbine Propulsion, Jack Mattingly
• Turbine Aircraft Flight Manual/Operating Handbook; or more general: The
Turbine Pilot’s Flight Manual, Gregory Brown and Mark Holt
• The Aviator’s Guide to Navigation, Donald Clausing
• Understanding Mathematics for Aircraft Navigation, James Wolper
• Aviation Meteorology Unscrambled, Kenneth McCool
• Encyclopedia of Weather and Climate, Michael Allaby and Richard Garatt
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