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Trans States Airlines Pilot Interview Profiles

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

I got a call from Trans States Airline within two weeks of faxing my resume. My interview was scheduled for the next month. I think they interview two
full weeks every month.

The interview took two days. The first day began with an in depth application
(bring school and employer addresses and phone numbers with you). Then we
were welcomed by a line pilot who discussed the company for about one hour.
Then we were given a 50 question multiple choice test. Study the ATP written
and you should do well. You must get at least an 80% on the test to move on.
We lost 5 out of about 15 applicants on the written test.

Next comes the simulator evaluation. I paid $135 for the prep course at the
Outer Marker the day before the interview. It is money well spent! The prep
uses the same sim that TSA uses on the interviews. A TSA Captain conducted
my prep (Tom C.) and he gave me a lot of tips on the simulator and interview
in general. The prep pairs you up with another applicant. You spend 1/2 hour
discussing the process, and two hours in the sim. One hour you will fly and
the other you observe. You will each run through the TSA profile twice. Both
myself and my sim partner passed the simulator evaluation. The sim evaluation
is very straight forward. Steep turns, NDB holding and an ILS. No failures
at all.

Once you pass the written and the sim, you are scheduled a personal interview
for the next day. My personal was with a line Captain who seemed most
concerned with my ability to complete their training and to fit in with the
other pilots. He was very laid back and made the interview stress free.
After about 1/2 hour of talking, I was told that I should hear something
within three weeks. Ten days later I received a letter asking me to call and
set up a class date.

After much gnashing of teeth, I boarded TWA flight 2 from HNL to STL for my interview with Trans States Airlines. When I departed HNL it was a balmy 82 degrees, upon arrival at STL it was a balmy 19 degrees. What a welcome that was!
I found the shuttle to the hotel (remodeled Howard Johnson's (I would not be receiving on of the better-remodeled rooms I was told)) and the check in went smoothly. After flying all night, I found the congenital breakfast a welcomed sight. Typical pilots breakfast, with donuts, coffee, and cereal. It appeared to look more like a breakfast for some of the younger generation that lived / worked at the hotel. I found my room, and crashed for a couple of hours.

Up and off to Outer Marker for the sim prep. Did I really sleep 6 hours? Anyway, I met Chaz a FO with TSA. He told us (2 in my prep class) that he would put us through the sim prep portion. Chaz was a pleasant fellow who understood our apprehensions. He tried his best to calm our fears. The Frasca 142 is all you have heard of and more. Go do a prep course, if you expect to keep the thing upright, and go somewhere.

Profile was standard stuff. Takeoff, climb, standard rate turns, steep turns, NDB hold, and ILS. We did not have the exact profile that TSA used on the sim ride, but what else could one do. After 2 sessions and the obligatory $135.00 charged to my card, I was off to more studying.

Day 1 of interview at TSA. Started off the same fine pilot's breakfast. Arrive at TSA offices at 0850. Picked up app. and approach plate (they did not use that one). Started fill out app., and in walked a Line Captain. He told us the standard stuff. You submit a dream sheet of the aircraft and pilot base you want. They award these by age of people in the class, and of course, needs of the airline. ATR's, J31 / 41 in STL, J31 in CA, and J41's in NY. You do get paid while in training, the rate was for 60 hours, at current contract rate. And they need pilots. In fact they have some guys stuck in the right seat, because if the company upgrades them to the left seat they have no one to replace them in the right seat.

1st a written exam, those who pass, will go on to the sim. I was told that TSA looses about 50% of the candidates during the interview process. This day would be no exception. It would be appreciated if we would finish filling out the application before we left the room. The coordinator (Ms. Tammy Connley) couldn't leave for the day until the applications were completed.

The written was administered to the 8 of us. Most of the questions were on weather. Fronts, weather systems, and on Jep. Charts. MDA's, FAF, altitude restrictions etc. True to their word 4 of us failed 2 of us by 1 question. As they said there is nothing they can do.

They came in and gave a new approach plate, and scheduled sim ride times. I was told by the remaining 4 guys (yes, there were only men in my group) that the sim ride was similar to the prep. The main difference was the NDB hold was an actual hold. How many of you have done that in the past 6 months?

At 4:00 p.m. the personal interview times were listed on a door outside TSA offices. All 4 who went to the sim were given a personal interview.

One problem crept up at dinner. 5 of us were sitting around telling of the day's events and we were joined by a FO with TSA. One of the guys in our group knew him. The FO said the company was great, but the training department was lacking. The training department did not have enough personnel to handle everyone at TSA. The initial folks took a back seat to the upgrade or recurrent guys. This meant that you could be in training for as little as 1 to max of 6 months before your checkride. You get a (1) training flight every now and again, but of course your skills have fallen way off. Most had problems with the NDB approach on one engine, while keeping the fuel balanced. They give you two chances on the ride, if you bust you go home! One fellow was on his was to STL airport because he spent 3 months in STL (you pay for the hotel, while you're in training) training, and waiting, and busted his rides, due to lack of recency in the airplane. Food for thought.

At 1215 I boarded TWA flight 1 form STL to HNL. When I left STL it was a balmy 38 degrees, when I landed back home at HNL it was a balmy 78 degrees.

All in all I was thankful for the experience. I expect the others who were in my group were offered positions.

TSA appears to be a straightforward company, who likes to fly, and needs pilots.

There is a web sight HYPERLINK http://www.flytsa.com www.flytsa.com . There are some good people on there that can offer additional insight.

As for me I just keep plugging away, papering the airways, faxways, and mailways. One day I'll even figure out what else makes St.Elmo's fire.

Date Interviewed: August 1998
Summary of Qualifications: NA
Were you offered the job? Don't Know
Pilot Interview Profile:
Faxed a resume and eventually received a letter that said to call to schedule an interview. They do it M-Th out of two weeks of the month. The
interview is a two day affair.

Called Tammy Connelly to schedule the interview. She gave me a record locator number. Standby pass was $50 on TWA or NWA.

Arrived in STL a day early to run through the prep at the OuterMarker. They say they are not affiliated with the airline, but it is in the same

building at the Howard Johnson as the TSA offices and run by TSA pilots. The sim (Frasca 142) is the same one used in the interview. I

thought it was very helpful since I had not flown a sim in a while and never a Frasca. They give you a very similar profile to that used in the

interview. The approach plate was different, but everything else was pretty much the same. The prep was $135.

Day 1. At 0845 went to the 5th floor ( I think), signed in and took an application. There were about 7 other guys in the room. One of the

interview captains came in and told us all about the company. Following this he handed out the written tests. It contained 50 multiple-choice

questions. They were mostly ATP written type questions but some were home-grown questions. Some of the types of questions I remember

include: Wake turbulence, St. Elmo's Fire (all of the above), Pressurization (cabin outflow), 4 or 5 questions from an approach plate, turbine

engine stages (inlet,compressor,burner can,turbine,exhaust), a few weather questions - dissipating stage of a thunderstorm (heard it was

formation of anvil?), substitute for the OM.

Required score to move on is an 80%. They grade the test as soon as you turn it in. If succesful they give you an approach plate with a time

to be at the sim along with the power settings. (Again, same as the prep). If you want to do the sim later in the day, turn in your test last.

Showed up for sim at the OM around 1230. Had to wait a little while as they were a little behind. My evaluator (another captain) was waiting

also. He was very nice and laid back. Once we got in the sim, it was just like the prep. Got a clearance, took off and did a steep turn once I was

leveled off and reconfigured. They give you plenty of time to get ready. Following the turn was given a vector for a VOR hold. I think it was a

teardrop entry. (Make sure and get an EFC time). They also use NDB's for the holds as well, but not today. After a turn in the hold the

evaluator moved the aircraft (in space) in order to speed things up for the approach. He gave me a vector for the IND ILS Rwy 5L. Shot the

approach to about 100ft above DA and then was told I was done. He said I did fine, but gave me the standard brief that said if I was sucessful,

my name would be posted on the 5th floor after 1700 with a time for my personal interview the next day.

Day 2 -Found my that afternoon and showed up the next morning for my interview. They were running a little behind again, so I waited in

Tammy's office. The captain from the day before that did the intro. eventually came in and took me to another room. He was looking at my

application while we walked there. Once we got settled, the questions began: Why do you want to work here, tell me about the airplanes

you've been flying, etc. Only a few types like that, no situation question or tough HR type questions. Then he pulled out some Jepps and

asked some questions from a STAR and and approach plate. I really took my time (maybe to long) looking over the plates because I figured

there was some little note that I would miss. I figured they were going to be trick questions, but I think they were pretty straightforward. One

was what does the -V- symbol mean (VDP). After those questions, he asked me if I had any for him. I asked about the contract negotiations I

heard were coming on October. All in all it was a very quick interview. I think they were trying to get back on schedule.

I was told that I would hear something within two weeks. Ten days later I got a letter. I figured it was a rejection letter, but it turned out to be

an offer letter and said to call Tammy for a class date. Great!
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