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Trans States Airlines Pilot Interview Profiles

Date Interviewed: August 2013
Summary of Qualifications: CFI, CFII, MEI 1330TT 80MEL
Were you offered the job? Yes
Pilot Interview Profile:
This was my first airline interview, so I really didn’t know what to expect. Arrived the evening before and stayed at the Best Western, as recommended by the airline for the reduced rate (~$50). Took the hotel shuttle to show at 7:30 at Flight Safety, right by the airport. Ultimately, there were three of us interviewed, but the third guy showed up late since he got bad directions. One was a CFI from the area and the other a furloughed corporate pilot. A little after 7:30, we were greeted by an HR guy (he was a former captain at the company, though) and an intern. From there, we sat down in the lobby and he gave a 5 minute presentation on the company and then fielded questions. When I expressed my concern that TSA only operates 50 seat jets, he countered by saying that there is still a viable market for 50 seat jets and the airline will continue to exhibit controlled, measured growth. Make of that what you will. He also said you’re likely to get either the STL or IAD base, it’s really your preference. Pilots are going to the line almost right away and upgrade time is anywhere from 16-18 months. I have no facts to back this up, only what he said.

After the Q&A, we were taken one-by-one for the sim eval. It was very laid back. No briefings, no checklists, no kneeboard. It was a Sabre80 sim. It has poor graphics, it doesn’t move, and it feels like you’re stepping into a piece of history. Put all of that aside though, because it’s extremely pitch sensitive. They will caution you before the session to use the trim judiciously, and in my case, will remind you during the flight. Remembering this, I was within 100ft of my altitude at all times. Really not so bad. You take off with the instruction to climb to 4000ft. During the climb you get a 90 degree turn to the right. After level off, another 90 degree right turn. They do want to see you manage the thrust appropriately so your speed stays below 250k. From there you get maybe a 150degree right turn for a LOC intercept to start an ILS back to the original runway. The intern sat in the right seat and did flows and checklists. As they told me before the sim, they just want to evaluate your basic flying skill. In addition to getting your gear and flaps, the intern gives you a EPR setting that works well for coming down on the approach. Overall, the airplane seemed pretty stable by that point and I was as comfortable as I could be during an interview on a Jurassic jet. You “break out” before minimums and land. My landing wasn’t pretty, but they didn’t seem to care. I talked throughout the entire flight, describing what I was doing and why, and that I was correcting altitude and heading deviations. They seemed to really like that- they brought it up after the sim and later during the HR/tech interview.

A lot of waiting while the other sims went on (about 20 minutes each) and then more waiting for the HR/tech interview. When it was finally my turn, they briefly went over my airline apps application and my resume. We made some small talk about school and then went on to the technical portion. They gave me a descent planning problem. Something like, “you’re this many miles from ABC traveling at 420k and you want to descent at 200fpm. You need to cross ABC at 10,000 and you’re at 28,000 now, so how far out do you need to start descending?” Then they asked me to describe a system of my choice from an airplane of my choice. I picked the engine from a 172. No questions on that. Maybe one or two HR scenario type questions (CA descends below minimums on an approach) and that was it. Was offered the job on the spot and done by 11:30. Despite what I have heard about this company, everyone was extremely friendly. They also acknowledged that they have not had the best reputation of a regional and are working in elements of the contract and at the management level to fix that. Whether or not that is true, it was an extremely positive experience overall. Good luck!
Date Interviewed: August 2013
Summary of Qualifications: .025 hrs above the maximum minimum needed for whatever is required
Were you offered the job? Yes
Pilot Interview Profile:
Previous gouge is spot on. Very laid back and straight forward. A very pleasant experience for being interviewed. Sim is in a Saberliner Series 80 which was almost as cool as the Starship Enterprise.
Date Interviewed: July 2013
Summary of Qualifications: 4550 Total
3950 PIC
2700 Single engine turbine
746 Multi Engine
Were you offered the job? Yes
Pilot Interview Profile:
Interview started at 7:30am at Flight Safety in St. Louis.

Their were four of us for that days interview. Started with a sit down with Mike, a recuiter for TSA. Did a Q&A for about 20 minutes. Made us feel real comfortable and relaxed. Their were basically four steps. Here was my process.

1. First went over all paper work with Kathy.

2. Took a 50 quetion ATP written.

3. Sim evalution(FAA requirement for the interview process)in a Saberliner Sim. Takeoff, climb to 4000ft, right turn traffic pattern, and finish wth ILS to landing. You will have a person in the right seat to do all of the set up and assist you with call outs.

4. Last, but not least a group interview with Mike, Kathy, Steve (a sit in line captain), and an intern. They asked me quetions about my employmnet history, current employment, knowledge about airpalne I was flying, and made sure that all of your information has been disclosed and correct.

Was offer the postion after the interview and will start September 9th.
Date Interviewed: March 2013
Summary of Qualifications: 1700TT, 170ME, 110Inst. CFI, CFII, MEI
Were you offered the job? Yes
Pilot Interview Profile:
Overall simple interview. After arriving they go through your paperwork and then you take an ATP written (50 questions. Aerodynamics, FAR's, Weather). Mike and Kathy then come in and sit down for an informal Q&A with everyone. Once that is done they pull you in one by one for the interview. Questions asked are about accidents/incidents/failed checkrides, why TSA, previous job experience, and some questions based on your flying background. Offered a class date on the spot.
Date Interviewed: November 2012
Summary of Qualifications: CFI/CFII, ATP Mins + ATP Written Test Done
Were you offered the job? Yes
Pilot Interview Profile:
Company positive spaces you out to KSTL, and stay at Best Western hotel. Woke up at 6am for an 8:30am interview. When you check-in the night prior there is a sign-up sheet for a van to take you to the Trans States facility, just ask the receptionist. Arrived at the TSA building around 7:45am, definitely early. At 7:55am one of the other 2 applicants showed up, and third person no call no showed. 8:10am and Cindy collected our paperwork, made sure our copies were in order, and we both took the 50 question ATP style test. Lots of questions from the AIM, and a few on swept wing aerodynamics, high altitude weather, and "what would you do if given this clearance" type questions. After we finished, back out to the holding tank, and I was first up for the 2-on-1 interview portion. It was Kathy the lead HR lady who is very nice, and Mike, the Chief of recruiting who flew the line for quite a while. Once we introduced each other they dug through my AirlineApps form in good detail, asked about previous driving record infractions, failed checkrides, arrests, if any (0 for me). They also checked my logbook for all of 5-10 seconds (which mine was an e-logbook, and they didn't seem to care if it was hand written or computerized). After that, it was 4 laminated sheets in a purple folder, and 2 were Jeppesen charts to brief. 1.)Minneapolis Departure Procedure, 2.) Approach Plate, 3.)Descent Time/Distance to start planning problem, and 4.) Fuel remaining while in a hold after EFC planning question. Very basic if your math is somewhat up-to-date. For the holding question here's a tip without the answer, but how to solve for it mentally. ATC teaches their trainees that a 90 knot groundspeed aircraft does 1.5nm per minute, and for each 30 knots above, add or subtract .5nm/minute. So an aircraft doing 120knots across the ground will travel at 2nm/minute. An aircraft at 480nm is doing 4nm/minute (Factor of 4), etc... The rest is self explanatory in the question. After that, the other guy went, only difference was he go asked some questions on his charter flying experience in a Cherokee 6, and some other planes. I think Mike picks questions based on your background, which is good. Other friends of mine who went through the interview prior to me got asked CFI type questions on aerodynamics of a stall, how to change stall speeds, what do you know about straight wing vs. swept wing pros/cons, etc... Lastly was the other guy and I in a 20 minute discussion with Mike the Chief of recruiting asking questions, and him showing us a video of the company. Come with LOTS of questions. Quite a few are covered in the video, but ask a lot that aren't. Growth, route contracts, etc... Lastly, Mike drove us to Subway, then dropped us off at the airport. Done, and back at KSTL by 1:15pm. Good luck!
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