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Key Lime Air Pilot Interview Profiles

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Date Interviewed: October 2014
Summary of Qualifications: 2000+ Commercial
Were you offered the job? Yes
Pilot Interview Profile:
I showed up early for the interview. They got me right in. The interview was with chief pilot, director of human resources, and one other person whom I can't remember his title. I was shown a NOS approach plate and asked to brief the approach the way I would in my current airplane. Then I was asked a few questions about symbols on the plate. After that, I was asked a few HR questions: Why Key Lime, How would I rate myself as a person on a scale of 1 to 10; How would I rate myself as a pilot on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the best); Tell us about a time you had a confrontation, and how did you handle it? A lot of the questions they asked are already on other gouges. They allowed me to ask several questions about Key Lime. It wasn't a difficult interview. They were great folks, and seemed friendly.

I was emailed a day or two later to schedule a sim eval. I didn’t know about this place called Advanced Aviation Simulators until a day before my eval. A friend who got hired by Key Lime told me about them. I wasn’t able to get much time there because Lisa (the owner) is so busy, and it was sort of last minute on my part. The time I did get was priceless. I would recommend them to anyone prepping for an airline sim eval- or any instrument training for that matter. She was working with 2 guys getting ready for Great Lakes Airlines in the Beech 1900D, and there was another guy there who was trying to get a Citation job. He was working with another instructor. The Beech 1900D she has is pretty realistic, and the Citation is cool, too. It is an awesome place. Lisa can simulate all kinds of different airplanes, and it’s so realistic. She said she has done United preps, SkyWest preps, and just about every airline prep you can think of. I could talk about that place for hours. Do yourself a favor! Look her up and call before your next interview. I am definitely going back. It’s called Advanced Aviation Simulators at Centennial Airport.

Anyway, the sim eval was at a local flight school in a red bird sim. I wasn’t really impressed with the red bird. It’s kind of like a fancy version of Microsoft’s flight simulator on a low resolution monitor packed inside a red shell. I was given an ILS approach and a VOR approach plate (NOS) and told to get in the sim and set up for the ILS first. It was an awkward eval. I was told they want to see how I feel out the airplane by not giving me power settings, but they are constantly involved in that they set power after takeoff for me- among other things. On the downwind vector, they told me they were going to fail an engine. I couldn’t even tell it had failed except that I noticed the ball deflected a little on the turn coordinator. They restarted the engine during final while I was on the glide slope. What a major distraction! Then I had to do the missed approach for the ILS. They clear me for the VOR approach as I crossed the VOR to enter the hold. I swear the inbound course for the VOR approach was different from the ILS’s missed approach hold inbound course. I looked at the plates online after I got home, and they are the same on the current plates. Make sure you check that before doing the VOR approach. After breaking out on the VOR approach, I was asked what it means when I see the approach lights. I started to say that I could come down to 100’ above…. I was stumbling on my answer because I was trying to find the runway, and the person interrupted and said it means I could come down to 100’ above the TDZE. I think technically a pilot can only use the approach light system as a visual reference and descend to 100’ above the TDZ if the red bars are also distinguishable (either the terminating row or the side rows). I don’t think it had the red lights. Look it up before you go. Good luck! I hope this helps.
Date Interviewed: July 2011
Summary of Qualifications: ATP + Type, 2000 Hrs +
Were you offered the job? No
Pilot Interview Profile:
I'm submitting this pretty late since when I was interviewed, but since I've been noticing Key Limes ad continuing to run I thought this would be handy for someone.

I responded to ad on Climbto350 website and followed up by mailing resume in, then finally got desperate and dropped it off on site at Centennial airport. I was then greeted by a woman who was the dispatch supervisor. She said someone would be in touch with me. I heard nothing for awhile and then got a phone call about two weeks later for an interview. I only had 3 days to study. I was emailed all the particulars, including what to expect for sim. I went to a wonderful place at the Centennial airport, called Advanced Simulators, to practise.

Day of the interview I checked in with dispatch lady and met chief pilot. Seemed like a really nice guy, he showed me hangar and planes. Dispatch lady led me to a room and another woman joined in. I think she was also a dispatcher. I got basic HR questions, why here? Challenging time in cockpit, etc. I was most struck by the disposition of the interviewers. They didn't seem happy to be there, even with the economy bieng terrible. In fact, they didn't smile much, and when interrupted by a maintenance guy, they answered his question in a very blunt way. The mechanic didn't seem to happy either, in fact, he was rather curt with them. When interview was over, I was told that the sim evaluator would be in touch with me. He called a couple of days later, was a pretty nice guy. I met him at a flight school called Flights Inc., located on the field. He started by asking me technical questions. I was given NOS plates, but asked to use Jepps, as thats what I'm accustomed to. I wasn't told in advance about the NOS. Jepp usage wasn't an issue, but he told me I'd have to learn NOS. I screwed up some of the finger flying, but mostly did okay. He then presented me with flash cards and showed me some airport markings, some I stumbled on since I've been mostly out of flying for awhile. My biggest problem was the sim.

The profile was to depart Centennial with radar vectors for the ILS 35R. During this process your engine is failed and you shoot SE ILS appch. Then you go missed and get your engine back, but don't get too happy, because next you're given vectors for the NDB to 35R. Then they fail your vacuum system. I think I missed, came back for a normal NDB and landed. I wouldn't have had issues with the flying had it not been for the failures, vacuum system in particular, I did fine on the SE ILS. However, the failures seemed a little excessive to me, considering this is an interview.

I'm glad I didn't get hired at Keylime, although at the time I wasn't. I found out later about FAA having it in for them. I also found out about many violations and shotty maintenance. They were hiring for DEN base, with a run to Rock Springs or something. They fly a UPS contract out of DEN. Pay seemed decent and they told me you show for work at 0400, fly to out station and sit all day, in apartment that company provides with available crew car, then back to DEN by 2000, Mon-Sat.
Date Interviewed: February 2010
Summary of Qualifications: 3000TT all ATP mins, CFI CFII MEI Gold Seal etc.
Were you offered the job? Don't Know
Pilot Interview Profile:
The interview really was a non event, I am more posting here so that people can see how the company really operates so that you can decide whether you even want to bother showing up for an interview. And because there hasn't been an update for a couple of years...

A few interesting HR questions:

-Describe your flying career from start up until now.
-How would you rate yourself as a pilot, 1-10?
-What did you like the least about instructing, the most?
-Problem area on your resume, why hire you vs. someone without this problem (lack of time in a certain area)?
-Any reason why you shouldn't give two weeks notice if leaving a job? I said no, but really in the aviation industry if safety is an issue the answer is absolutley yes!
-Failed any checkrides?
-Been violated?

-If you know your NOS plates and charts you'll be fine for the oral portion, and all you need to know about the sim ride will be provided (piece of cake).

Their Schedule:

Generally you will fly one route, the one they said they were hiring for was DEN-McCook, NE. Be careful, they advertise their positions as Denver based- they are not! Monday afternoon you take a load back to DEN and get in late (8-10pm). Tuesday morning, start around 4am and take a load back to an out station. Get your crew rest during the day and fly back to DEN that afternoon, sleep in DEN. You end your week on Saturday morning in an out station, and then start the next week in that out station. So you only have one day a week totally off, and it is your responsibility to travel home for the weekend and back to the out station Monday. However, they would prefer that you lived at an out station.

So basically, you'd live in two places with limited free time. They pay for an apartment in one of those places.

Their equipment:

All, the Navajos the Cessnas and Metros: No autopilots, and you'll be lucky to get a plane with DME.

Their MX:

There have been a lot of posts concerning shotty MX. I only found one accident that was MX related and it was survivable without injury. All the other accidents over the last ten years were pilot error, or stupidity.

I talked to someone who did work there. What you need to watch out for is the company's willingness to make you fly an aircraft with broken equipment. This is ok, but you must do MELs. The FAA is all over Key Lime and pilots get violated there a lot for flying with broken items without MELs. In fact, some pilots have been violated there so many times they can't work anywhere else (this is what I heard at least). The FAA is out to get this company, (the FSDO is adjacent to Key Lime hangar at KDEN) plus there is the additional issue of the borderline legality of the crew rest period... Ultimately, as long as you obey the rules you will be just fine.

Pay etc:


You must sign an 18 month, $7500 training contract. At some point they will upgrade you from the Navajo to a Metro and the contract renues at $10,000 for another 18 months. Found this odd. Basically they are eventually hoping that you'll break the contract so they can make some more money off of you.


Pay is $100/day for the Navajo, plus they offer Health/dental after a period (I think 3 months). And then an additional $30 per flight hour ONLY for flights in addition to the route you are assigned. However, a big question I had, since they have a training contract can they guarentee a number of days that you'll work? They cannot! So in otherwords, you have no clue how much you will exactly make doing this. But from what I have heard you will fly your pants off.

Overall, this is something I have decided that there is no way I will ever do. If you have a wife, plan on a divorce. Plus, you can make more money doing flight instruction, and work a small fraction of the time required by Key Lime. However, this could be a good deal for someone out there who single, knows their 135 regs really well, and doesn't mind being run ragged for a while. The flight experience would be very valuable. All PIC twin IFR time, often in bad weather, and with the bare minimum nav equipment. It's make you a really food stick and rudder guy/gal and you'd look very good for the next job you're trying for.

Hope this help you decide, good luck!
Date Interviewed: January 2008
Summary of Qualifications: 3000TT, CFII, MEI, Embry-Riddle Graduate.
Were you offered the job? Yes
Pilot Interview Profile:
Had to pay my own Air & Hotel. Met with who I think was the HR/Office Manager and Cheif Pilot/Owner. Neither had much of a personality. Very vauge with their answers to my questions. Did well on the sim check. Took a tour of the facilities. Small operation. Talked to a pilot hanging out in the break room. Told me to be careful before I commit to working there.

Apparently, the job consist of flying UPS cargo. Up at 3:00am, fly to destination (small towns in the rockies), spend the day in a small dirty crew apartment, leave around 7:00pm back to Denver. Get back around 9:00pm, head home so you can get a few hours sleep to start all over again. The contract has a $10k penalty for early outs.

Offered job, but after careful research (and I suggest you do your research) turn down the job. But had a buddy accept the job after hear more from him, I am SO glad I turned it down.

Make sure you have NO questions not answered to your full satisfaction and read contract before signing.
Date Interviewed: November 2006
Summary of Qualifications: Comm.,inst.,multi. 1200TT 1000PIC 100multi BA Economics
Were you offered the job? No
Pilot Interview Profile:

Paid my own way out to and put myself up in Denver and took the sim prep in an AST300. Good practice for anyone and the staff at the sim location were friendly and helpful. The good stuff ends here. I arrived at Key Lime HQ @ 4:00pm for a 4:30 interview time and wasn't seen by anyone until almost 5:00pm. The people I finally got to speak with were a HR person and, supposedly, the chief pilot. I spent the next 20 minutes answering very bland, ubiquitous, "tell me about a time when" questions. When time rolled around for me to ask a few questions, I was unable to nail them down on pay, bases, and equipment. I would also be required to buy my own uniforms and also provide my own cell phone without even knowing for sure what I was going to be paid! Needless to say, this left me with a VERY uneasy feeling about this place and I made my mind up right then and there that I didn't want to be a part of it. You make your own mind up if/when you do decide to interview here, but I recommend you really grill them on the phone before you spend the time/money to come all the way out here and find out that they aren't what they claim to be.

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