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Trans States Airlines Pilot Interview Profiles

Date Interviewed: January 2001
Summary of Qualifications: NA
Were you offered the job? Don't Know
Pilot Interview Profile:

I recieved my invite for an interview in the mail from Trans States Airlines on
01-16-2001 at 14:00 and was on the phone with their Human Resources gal named
Tammy Connelly minutes later. She is married come to find out so don't even!
By 17:00 I was inbound for STL to take a sim prep with the Outer Marker at
20:00. It was terrific training and a great overview. If I had some pointers
I probably wouldn't have gone to it though, saving some valuable coin- $135-!
Big buckaroos for me. At any rate took the course and was more than ready for
the interview combined with the above comments from a previous entry. In fact
the questions noted on the written are identical!
We started out at 0900 with the 50 question written. Following that was
personal interview one-on-one with an ERJ Capt. Relatively laid back
questions with a review of logbooks asking questions about flying background
and Jep approach plate symbology, altitudes......as well as a Low Enroute
Chart."What is this?" What does that Mean?".................. An approach
plate for MKC downtowns ILS9 was given to review for 15 minutes and then the
sim. Below is all you really need to know for the sim:
(1). Call out for ATIS and the instructor will give it to you. Write it
down!!!! Remember the take-off minimums: 1SM/5000RVR otherwise call out for
T/O alt.
(2). Call out for CLEARANCE. This again will be given to you by the
instructor. Write it down.
(3). "Taxi Checklist"
(4). Take-off brief: "We will abort for any fire,loss of engine or direc-
tional control below V1 by bringing power to idle and stopping straight
ahead. Above V1 we will continue the take-off roll,
declare an emer-
gency and come back around on a left downwind for 9 to then land." Stnd TSA
callouts. Any questions? "
(5). "Take-off Checklist please."
(1). Mixture, props forward and slowly add full power. Hold the brakes for a
bit to assure directional control. Let go of brakes and confirm the parking
brake if in.
(2). Rotate at 80 KIAS and pitch up your usual 10 degrees.
(3). "Positive rate, gear up."
(4)Climb 120 KIAS
(1). Climb power back to 25/25
(2). Start your turn above 500' --------they will get you on this one.
(3)."After take-off checklist."
(1). Reduce power slowly to 23/2500
(1). Keep power at 23/2500.
(2)."Clearing turns." Check airman will call for it being clear
(3). 0-30 degrees pitch same pitch/power. Do not pitch up in other words.
(4). 30-45 degrees pitch up 4 degrees and add 3 " on the power
(5). They only had me do 2 180 degree either way rolling into the other right
after without delay.
(2). Below 140 KIAS flaps 30 degrees. You must bring up the flap switch once
you get to 30 degrees otherwise it will continue to extend.
(3). Call for ATIS when you are ready to write it down. Each time you take
your eyes of fthe attittude indicator the a/c will tend to lose altitude.
(4). Tune your radios which should already be tuned. Just call for it.
(5)Approach briefing: "This is gonna be the ILS Runway 9 at ..........read
downthe approach
(6)"Approach checklist"
(7). At the glide-slope intercept call for "GEAR DOWN. LANDING FINAL ITEMS
.............................................Remember to call the following
altitudes above DA:

Date Interviewed: December 2000
Summary of Qualifications: NA
Were you offered the job? Don't Know
Pilot Interview Profile:

The best advice I can give is to do the Sim Prep at the outer marker if you do not have access to a Frasca sim. Everything listed below is right on. However, I did receive some information that the written test changed the day after I took the test. The outermarker provides you with the gouge if you do the sim prep with them. They were supposed to get the information for the new test.

As far as the future of TSA? It is up in the air, they do not have any definite information either. They do have their east coast operation with US Air but the TWA buy-out could effect their St Louis operation. They are currently hiring for their Richmond VA domicile. The optimistic side of me says they will work something out with AA. The routes they fly out of St Louis provide a lot of connecting service for the St Louis hub. AA would profit by code sharing with them.

They are currently flying under a new contract that pays $20 per hour based on 72 Hrs a month after IOE. $20 hr based on 60 hrs a month during training and IOE with $600 to offset housing expense. There is no contract for training. Big Plus! The technical interview consisted of Jepesen approach plates and en route charts. Nothing out of the ordinary. Malad, a ATR captain conducted my interview. He is a very funny, Super nice guy who want to hire you. The paper work is a pain like any other flight application. Just be prepared to fill it out. I hope TSA sticks around for a while. I was really impressed with the people who work for them. They all had nothing but nice things to say about the company they work for. Moral is good!!

Got a letter 5 days later............HIRED!!!!
Waiting on a class date.

Date Interviewed: November 2000
Summary of Qualifications: NA
Were you offered the job? Don't Know
Pilot Interview Profile:

Just got back from St. Louis and the TSA interview. The previous gouges were just about dead-on, but let me just add a couple things:

DO schedule an appointment on a day that gives you enough time to study a
little before you go. Just having experience is no guarantee of passing.
The one guy in our group that didn't get past the written had previous
time flying jet airliners, but had been out of flying for a while and
hadn't studied up before he came. Hit Part 121 , weather theory, and
*especially* Jep plates. There aren't any trick questions, but you have
to know your way around one. I used the Gleim ATP book to study, and did
some prep with my chief instructor (thanks, Kevin!) before I went and I
was pretty well-prepared.

DO arrive a day early (in other words, in the afternoon or evening two
days before your interview). This will give you a day to relax, study and
do the Outer Marker sim prep. Let me be as clear as possible in this:


It's as simple as that. Unless you come down prepared to spend the money
on the prep, don't bother coming at all, because you won't pass the sim
or get the job. Call the Outer Marker before you leave (1-888-SIM-WORK)
and set up a time. And no, I don't own stock in them.

DO have dinner at the excellent Indian restaurant on the 11th floor of
the HoJo's. Avoid Skooner's, the place on the ground floor. The burger I
had there tasted like a hockey puck on a bun.

DO relax the night before. Getting wound up won't help, and staying up
late cramming the night before will just make you tired.

DO show up a little early for your interview. The application is *very*
lengthy and in-depth. Among other things not previously listed, bring
school addresses and phone numbers (including high school and even
grammar school) and three personal references (non-related). If you do
happen to forget anything, don't fudge. If you ask Tammy nice, she'll
probably let you fax it in within a week.

The written test was still 50-question multiple choice. They say they've
changed it around a little since the gouge that listed all the questions
appeared, and though there were some different questions in the written I
got, a lot of the ones listed here were still in it too. I printed out
the questions from the gouge here, found the answers, and made up a study
sheet before I left. It served me well.

The sim was more or less exactly what I got from the Outer Marker. The
only difference were that I got a Kansas City plate at the Outer Marker
and a Memphis plate in the sim, and that the real sim is even a little
easier than the prep. BTW, Trans States leases sim space at the Outer
Marker, so the sim you sit in for the interview is exactly the same
machine you sat in for your prep.

The personal interview was pretty much what others have said it was. A
TSA captain sat in on my interview and observed the pilot that gave me
the interview, so that kept it a little on the formal/businesslike side.
I didn't get too many personal questions. The only thing I can reiterate
is that you should study your Jep. plates and enroute charts and know
what to do in a lost comm. situation.

The whole thing was over before noon. I had lunch at the Indian place (an
excellent buffet) and was on an airplane back to Boston by 1PM.

I'll know if I got hired within a couple weeks, and am really optomistic.

Date Interviewed: October 1999
Summary of Qualifications: NA
Were you offered the job? Don't Know
Pilot Interview Profile:

The gouge on TSA was right on. 1 day scenario involving the test, sim, and interview. The questions were dead on also. If you study the Jeppeson appr
plates, some metro, and instrument stuff, you'll be briefed up. Do the Outer
Marker sim prep and you can't go wrong. In fact, I flew the exact same
approach in the interview as I flew in the prep. Interview was very fast.
Said because I was military he was'nt even going to bother with my logbooks.
No technical questions at all. Just why did I want to work for them, have I
had any other interviews, what did I see my biggest problem would be
transitioning from the military to civilian world, would I consider it
beneath my skill level to fly for the commuters, how would I utilize CRM to
handle another crewmember who was difficult. About 6 or 7 questions in all.
Total interview time was 15 minutes. The day started at 9 and ended at
11:45. Went great and everyone was friendly. They are hiring into the
right seat of their RJ's. They pay during training($17.50hrx60hr month).
Any way, everyone there seemed very friendly and positive. Hope to hear
from them in about 1 week.

I arrived at the Trans States Training Center located adjacent to the Howard Johnson Hotel at 0830. I found my way to room 540 on the 5th floor as previously directed, and signed in. I was the first to arrive, and began to fill out the LENGTHLY application. I would suggest you allow some extra time to fill this out, and come prepared. IE> go back and reconstruct your employment history for the last 10 years prior to coming for your interview. Include dates of employment, addresses, current phone numbers, and supervisors.
The other applicants began to arrive and we chatted until about 0945 before any of the Flight Managers arrived. A J41 Captain named Marty greeted us and gave us a readers digest version of the company. We were allowed to ask as many questions as we liked, and he was VERY honest about the status of the company. Marty was very pleasant and put all of us at ease. After the briefing session, we were issued the 50 question written test. Marty told us we were required to score at least 80%. Out of seven applicants, six passed the test. The one person who failed was called out of the room immediately after grading was completed and we never saw him again. The following are as many of the questions as I could remember:

When are wingtip vortices the strongest?
After encountering windshear, what should you expect to see after an increase in A/S?
What can be assumed if you encounter ice pellets at your altitude on an IFR flight?
What significant change will occur upon frontal passage?
What is the most significant difference between two different airmasses?
What conditions occur during a temperature inversion?
What is the standard temperature at 10,000 MSL?
What should you do after receiving a windshear alert?
What should you do after passing through a windshear condition?
What is the average width of a thunderstorm?
What is the sign that a T-storm is dissipating?
When do you go missed approach on an ILS?
When can you descend below the DH on an ILS?
What information is included in an abbreviated clearance?
How would you treat/correct hyperventilation?
What is the visibility equivalent of 1600 RVR?
True or False? Only a pilot can request a contact approach.
Define Vs1?
What does RA FZ mean in a SA report?
What does it mean to be at minimum fuel status?
What is the maximum airspeed one can fly in Class B airspace?
At what altitude should a large turbine aircraft descend to in Class D airspace?
At what altitude is DME required?
What is the maximum holding speed? (Answer is "depends on altitude")
When can you deviate from a FAR?
When cleared for an approach, what altitude should you maintain?
When do you execute a missed approach on an ILS?
What is the definition of MVA?
When you set your altimeter local altimeter setting on an airport, what does it indicate?
What is flight visibility?
When is Pressure altitude and Density altitude the same?
How will high-density altitude effect your aircraft?
What aircraft do SIGMETS apply to?
Who is responsible for the proper preflight of an aircraft?
Why do we pressurize the cabin?
How is cabin pressurization controlled? (Regulating the flow of air out of the cabin)
What purpose does the prop governor serve?
What is lift?
Know how to define the transition arrows from an IAF to the FAF or IF.
Know how to define the MAP on an approach plate.
Know what a race track pattern depicted on an approach plate indicates.
For the most part, St. Louis or Kansas City approach plates are what is used for the test,
Sim, and personal interview. You might want to review them all and become
Familiar with any special notes ect..

We were then issued an approach plate, ILS 9 at Kansas City Int., and given a Sim time. The Sim isn't necessarily difficult, but the Frasca 142 is very squirly about the Lateral Axis. This made holding your altitude and heading very difficult. If you want to pass the Sim, do the Sim prep at the Outer Marker located in the TSA Training Center on the 3rd floor. They are officially a separate company, but run you through nearly the exact profile of the interview. IT'S WORTH THE $135!!!!
You are told that the Sim is essentially a light twin engine aircraft and you aren't responsible for Comms or checklists. Although I would recommend you call out the appropriate check lists whereupon your instructor will reply "XXX checklist complete." The profile consists of a normal IFR departure (watch for less than T/O mins on ATIS). You will be issued a clearance on the ground for a round robin practice approach flight to the destination airport on your approach plate. After the cruise checklist, you will be instructed to do one or two steep power turns 360 degrees each. Watch your airspeed and keep it at 160. Then you will get a holding clearance, usually at an NDB. You will be asked what type of entry; take your time and answer after giving much thought. After one turn in the hold, you'll be given an approach clearance for the ILS. Be prepared for little prep time. Ensure you get the ATIS and brief the approach. You will do the FULL ILS approach. Just fly the profile given to you by the Outer Marker folks, and you'll do fine.
After the Sim, you may receive some feedback as to your performance, but don't expect a thumbs up or down. You will be instructed to return to the 5th floor to await the personal interview.
There may be one or two interviewers in the oral portion. I had one Flight Manager who is a TSA Captain now working in Recruiting. He asked to see my certificates and licenses. Then he asked me the following questions:

"What would you be bring to TSA if you were hired here?"
" Why have you chosen TSA?"
" Have you interviewed at any other airline?"
" Have you had any accidents or incidents during your flying career?"
" Have you had any enforcement actions on your pilot's license?"
" Where do you wish to be based if you are hired by us?"
" What is most of my twin time in?"
- "What kind of engines are on it?"
- "What is the rated horse power?"
- "What is the total amount of fuel aboard the A/C?"
- "What is the max gross weight?"
Then he asked me many questions on the Jeppesen Approach Plates.
- What does the MSA give you?
- What is the highest obstacle on the plate?
- What does a race track pattern depicted as the PT indicate? Can you perform any other type of coarse reversal?
- What is your MAP on the full ILS?
- ATIS indicates sky obscured with ½ mile visibility.can you shoot the approach.I was told to assume we were flying part 91.
- If I arrived at the DA on the ILS and did not see the runway environment or approach lights, would I attempt to descend?
- A few more, but I don't remember..

Then I was told to return to room 540 where I was given a few Pilot Records Improvement Act papers to fill out and sign.
They said they are hiring right into the EMB 145 and the minimum upgrade time has now dropped as low as 18 months. They have plans to expand their Delta service to include 18 new 145s out of BOS. This will also be their new crew base and are looking to fill 50 pilot positions in BOS between now and 2000.
This pretty much covers everything. The entire process is done in one day instead of two days as in the past. I finished the entire process by 1300. The best advice I can give is to study your AIM, review WX theory and services, and do the Sim prep at the Outer Marker the day before.

Date Interviewed: May 1999
Summary of Qualifications: NA
Were you offered the job? Don't Know
Pilot Interview Profile:
I sent my resume in may and got my reply promptly to schedule the interview.
I didn't call them immediately due to my scheduling so I waited till July to

schedule the interview for end of july. The interview schedule change to one

day interview not two days was previously done. I had call a few friends that

has passed the interview and now working at Trans States Airlines. They all

suggested me to go to outermarker for my flight sims prep.

I suggest to call the Howard Jhonson early enough the same day you schedule

the interview because the hotel always full. Another alternative will be the

Holiday Inn North which across the street from the Howard Jhonson but the

price little bit more expensive.

Arrive there in the afternoon and took shuttle to the hotel and I schedule

the sim prep at 3:00 P.M at the outer marker. The price for the sim prep is

$135.00 this include the sim and the two hrs with the instructor. When I

arrived at the outer marker I met another pilot from florida. We were brief

by a pilot from TWA and we were given a Indianapolis approach plate. They

gave us the profile to be flown similar to the one that is given for the next

day. We took turn at the sim to get used to the frasca 142, When the

instructor feel that you perform to their satisfaction then he gave you the

final profile to fly less than 15 minutes . In the profile mostly concern

about holding at NDB and ILS approach and make sure watch your altitude

because frasca 142 is very sensitve.

The next day I arrived early for the interview but all the candidate seems to

be there before me. They gave us a paper to fill up and waited for the

Captain to arrive to brief us what we are going to do that day. He spent

about 45 minutes to go over all the necessary talk about the company and

what to expect. There is three part of the process , one is to pass your

writen test by the score of 80 %, I suggest to study from ATP written test

and the Jeppesen approach plate and read your weather book. St Elmo Fire

answer is all of the above, questions about front, weather system, V1,

airspeed in various airspace, Dme requirement. about 5 questions from

jeppesen approach plate.

Once you pass the written exam you move on to either the sim ride on the

interview. If you want to go for the sim check turn your test early if you

want to go last then turn your test last. I chose the last one so my

interview first then my sim ride. Unfortunately we do not know what score we

have , either you passed or you fail. My sim partner did not pass the writen

test and he was called to another room and I guess he was sent home.

I was called for my interview to the next room and there were two captain

interview me, but one was observing the interview process. The pilot

interview last about half an hour mostly about the jeppesen plate, so I

suggest to study the jeppesen plate. He also have read the Metar and Taf.

Some questions about what would you do if the captain smell like an alcohol

in his breath ( suggestion answer confront the captain maybe persuading him

not to fly the schedule, if not taken then suggest to talk to the chief).

After the interview I went to the sim ride which is the same where the sim

prep place. I was given St louis iLs approach plate and my sim ride lasted

only ten minutes to the captain time constraint. He asked me to take off then

ask me to do some turn then shoot the iLs approach and finish. Some other

people was given a holding at NDB and also some people was given the VOR


Well that was the end of my journey to the interview, I was told to wait two

weeks for the letter to let me know if I pass the interview. If you are

interested to become airlines pilot this place is worth to sent your resume,

they need pilot and the interivew seems to be straight forward.

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