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American Airlines Pilot Interview Profiles

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

American Study Guide


1. After you graduated from college, tell us about yourself and what have you flown.

2. What items are you concerned with and what do you think about when taking off in icing conditions starting from planning in base operations through climb out?

3. How does a contaminated runway affect your V1 speed?

4. Give us a scenario where you had to deal with icing and tell us what you did.

5. The FO is on the aircraft and the captain shows up late for preflight and when he does, he smells of alcohol. You are the FE, what do you do?

6. Have you ever had to deal with another pilot who was difficult to deal with, had a personality conflict? How would you handle that?

7. You are on an ILS approach in IMC, you are at DH (200 ft), runway
environment/lighting not in sight, and the captain is not responding to your
minimums? What do you do?
8. What is the worst thing you have done in a airplane?

9. Your VOR is acting up, it’s off by a few degrees, are you going to write it up?

10. Have you ever resigned from or turned down a leadership position?

11. Who was the instructor on your last checkride? If I called him and asked him the three best things you did on your flight, what would he say? How about the worst things/or things you could have done better?

12. Have you ever had a mentor?

13. Have you ever been a mentor and to whom?

14. What was the worst emergency you ever had to deal with?

15. Would the crew whom you experienced this emergency with describe you as a good CRM guy?

16. If you lost your medical, what would you do?

17. How would you brief an approach?(I was told to brief a DOD vs a JEPPs approach without an approach plate)

18. Characteristics of a good captain?
19. What assets do I bring to American?
20. Why do I want to fly for American?
21. Tell about my driving record.
22. Tell about the time I went beyond the call of duty.
23. What do I think of my chief pilot?

24. What would be my attitude if brought into the chief pilot's office to answer questions about sick leave?
25. Tell us about your flying career.
26. Favorite and least favorite crew member types.

27. Things I think about when taking off/enroute/approach to landing in icing conditions.

28. Explain any gaps in employment.

29. In my own fantasy, where do I see myself in ten years.

30. How do you feel about being an FE for four to five years.

31. What would I do if I got a call NWA when I got home and told me I was hired?

32. Scenarios involving captains who are slow/low/etc. on approach. Different weather scenarios.

33. What would be the best thing about working for American?

34. Scale of one to ten, how would I rate myself?

35. Who is the worst guy I ever flew with, how would I rate him?

36. Do I have fun flying?

37.What qualities do I look for in a co-pilot (someone I would enjoy flying with)?
38. How would I brief an instrument approach?
39. How would I determine destination weather while enroute?
40. How would I brief for departure under icing conditions?

49. You are the FE. You work on the AC and two of the flight attendants are arguing loudly in the galley where all the first class passengers can hear them about a problem with the meal service. What do you do? What do you do if they don’t listen to you?

50. You are twenty minutes from your destination and you get an engine fire warning. You determine that the nearest suitable airport is going to be your destination airport. Would you prepare for an evacuation and would you do so? How would you determine the need for such?

51. What are the best/worst things about working for American?
52. How did you become interested in flying?
53. If the GPWS goes off, what do you do?
54. What is the best thing about the air force? What is the worst thing?
55. What do you bring to the table and how do you contribute to American?
56. How did you prepare for this interview?

57. Who else have you interviewed with and tell us about it?

58. Tell us about an abnormal situation in your aircraft.

59. Tell us about a major emergency in your aircraft.

60. Tell us the best and worst things about your job and what the best and worst things will be about American.

61. Tell us a work situation or policy that you didn't agree with and how you resolved it.

62. What qualities do you look for in a captain?

63. Would you rather work for a captain who is a nice guy or one that is technically proficient?

64. What would you do if the captain was performing nonstandard maneuvers, but not unsafe?

65. How would you handle family separation that comes with the job?

66. Tell us about a conflict you had with a captain and how you resolved it?

67. Tell us three of you best qualities and three of your worst.

68. What would you consider when taking off on a cluttered runway?

69. List five things that make you fulfilled in life(non-flying related stuff is good).

70. What factors would you consider when taking off on a short runway?

71. When would you take the airplane away from the captain?

72. Tell us the worst thing you’ve done in an aircraft and what you’ve learned from it.

73. Have you ever had to divert to a nearest suitable alternate.

74. Name the qualities of a good leader/captain.

75. Have you ever flown with someone you did not like or get along with? What did you do about it?

76. Procedure or policy you disagreed with? What did you do about it?

77. What would you do with a weak co-pilot/student?

78. If you had one hour to teach a class of flight attendants, what would you teach?

79. Captain looks sick. What do you do?

80. Have you ever flown in icing or bad weather? Name some considerations.

81. You got furloughed from American and get a non-flying job paying 500,000 per year, then you get called back. What would you do?

82. You are a 727 captain and your FE is on his first trip after his initial check ride. As you approach the hold short line with a long line of AC behind you, he has still not completed the final weight and balance/FE check list. It is obvious he will not be ready for take off when it is your turn and you will have to go to the end of the line, what do you do?

83. According to the FAR's, is the captain responsible for training his crew?

84. What is the hardest decision you have ever had to make in your life.

85. You are an MD-80 FO and the captain is gruff, short and to the point. Cross the hold short cleared for TO and the #2 engine is just getting started. There are three incomplete items on the check list and he says we're going. You say we're not ready, we need to complete the check list, now he pushes the throttles forward and engages the auto throttles and begins TO roll. What do you do?

86. Who is the best/worst leader in your career and why?

87. When are you established on the final portions of an ILS approach? If you are cleared the approach, but are not established on the final portion and the weather goes below minimums, can you legally shoot the approach? What about when established on the final portion?

88. Describe some considerations of bad weather (didn’t specify what bad weather was) on your TO, V1, Vr, and V2.

89. You are the FE on a 727 and during your preflight inspection you notice ice on the AC. What are some considerations?

90. You are the FE on a 727 with no other cockpit crew on board yet. Flight
attendant tells you that a million mile Passenger is being verbally abusive.
Now the passenger is abusive to you. What do you do?

91. You are the captain, weather is at minimums, how would you brief the approach?

92. You get hired by us or any other airline, you will most likely start out as a FE. Talk to me about that.

93. Explain a situation where you got off on the wrong foot with a co-worker.

94. Tell us about a time you disagreed with a squadron policy/decision.

95. Tell us about a situation when you were on a committee/group, planning an exercise or similar event where there was a disagreement on cause of action.

96. Tell us about a time you had a mechanical/weather difficulty and had to divert.

97. What do you do if you hear a weird noise during a trans Atlantic flight?

98. What do you do if you get caught by the chief pilot calling in sick too often?

99. Have you ever failed as a leader?

100. What is your dream position with American?

101.Project you took to your chief pilot and what did he think about it?

102.What would you do if you were half way to Port-a-Prince, Haiti and the flight attendant smelled of gasoline and people were getting sick from the odor.

103. What would you think about when flying into Salt Lake City Airport?

104. Taking off into a snow storm during frontal passage, what do you think?

105. Name three of your personal characteristics that will help you get along in the cockpit with other crew members.

106. Good captain, what are his characteristics? How does he differ in responsibility from his co-pilot?

107. Did you ever not go fly for some reason even though dispatch said go?


This is a compilation from many dudes that have already been through the process. There stories did not scan into the computer, so here is just an overview. The basics are pretty much all the same. About the only things that are different are the names and the questions that each were asked.

The official day starts at 0815, but if you are there early (which you are going to be), you will have time to get acquainted with the other folks in your class. There is no rhyme or reason who is in your class except that those invited right now are available or have an in. Find your American buds now. When you get there, Barbara will ask for all of your information so they can start looking at it. Karen takes you down for the dreaded psych test. No gouge for it. It is 240 questions of getting to know you and your ideas about different areas. The big hint from all the previous dudes is to be middle of the road. Also, Karen tells you not to lie because they will be able to tell and then you would have to take the test over. It is a no brainer and it is not timed.

When all are finished you will meet as a group and Karen will introduce herself and start going around the room with who you are, where you come from, and flying background. There are a couple of papers to fill out, info about the first couple of months, and an American magazine to read. Another square in the day filled.

More time to mingle. You now individually must meet with one of the ladies to go over your packet that you are to bring, more later in this packet. It is more no brainer stuff. There are flight times to go over, confirming addresses/phone numbers, and ensuring that everything told to bring is now in their hot little hands.

This takes until about 1030. It is time to start the simulator. During your time waiting for the information review, they tell you who you will be paired with for the rest of the day. They will not pair you with someone that you have flown with.

A simulator instructor will meet you for the sim in-brief. He has a little blurb, introduces you to the sim operator and then shows a video. The video talks about where instruments are and other things. The instructor goes over the instruments again and asks for any questions. All the while he is trying to put you at ease. The split up now happens.

The rest of the day depends on your itinerary. There are 3 periods, lunch, simulator, and interview. Your pair will start with one and make your way through each one before the day is over. Some get little lunch as they go from interview directly into the sim, but then you are done which is kind of nice. The lunch first is good to talk with the sim with your partner, but there is lots of down time in between the sim and interview. Here is the rest of the day starting with the interview.

The differences in the simulators are the profiles flown. They are all the LOFT profile, a line operational flight test. They go from different places: Vegas to Salt Lake, Vegas to Phoenix, Vegas to El Paso, and Detroit to Chicago. The big emphasis items are the ability to work together or CRM (Crew Resource Management), your ability to fly and your instrument work. Those routes that have mountains need to be aware of the MEA, MOCA, and MORA. Don’t let them vector you into a mountain either. Do you need to go get simulator time? That is up to you. Some guys did, some guy didn’t. They know it is not going to be a perfect sim. If you know you are off and are correcting, that is what they are looking for. Also, when you aren’t flying, telling your buddy what is off so he can tell you to fix it. It seems to be low threat for military guys. They are worried about the guy who has flown his whole life in the Bahamas and has never seen an instrument. Amazing, but true, they said they are out there. Again, relax, be yourself and you will do fine.

(This is taken from another’s interview, but is the same basis for all)
The Simulator Brief consisted of a videotape (10-15 minutes) followed by the instructor(former Navy pilot) explaining gage locations, simulator anomalies, and what they're looking for with a heavy emphasis on CRM. The entire process lasted approximately 30 minutes. We then broke into the 3 groups (2 pilots per group). I was in Group 1, and we began our 30 minute preparation for the simulator session. Simulator type was a B707. We were furnished with:

a. 2 JEPPS Approach Plates - LOC 34R Salt Lake City (no GS)
b. 1 JEPPS Low Chart - US Low 9/1 0
c. Clearance - Depart RW 28 Las Vegas, RH climb to 8000 expect 10k ten minutes after, expect radar vectors to intercept V394 Route of Flight - V394 MMM V21 FFU

Arrival Weather - Salt Lake City - RVR 5000, Vis 2 miles, 32 degrees F, blowing snow

d. Takeoff and landing data (VI, Vr, V2, Vref, and various flap speeds)

Recommendation: Review MORA (grid and route), MOCA, MEA, and discuss your plan should you experience either a communications failure or a loss of pressurization.

Note: The type of approach plate that we used was the new type with the briefing strip across the top.

Your approach plates and charts will be the ones for your route. If you have questions whatsoever, ask the sim guys. They are more than willing to help. They want you to get hired.

The Simulator Session was 90 minutes. Seat selection is up to the two pilots. My partner was a Cathay 747 FO who said that he felt more comfortable in the Right Seat. I responded that I would be equally dangerous in either seat, so he took the Right and I the Left,

- The instructor was extremely helpful and answered questions prior to and throughout the simulator session.

- CRM is the name of the game. Continuously talk to and back one another up.
- We experienced a Loss of Pressurization after leveling at 15,000 feet.
· We swapped duties en route Salt Lake. My partner shot the first approach.
- I received radar vectors after his right seat takeoff for my approach.
- There were no Emergency Procedures or RTOS.
- We each executed one Localizer 34R approach.
- The evaluation is over at the MDA (though you may continue to land with no foul)
- Each of us broke out just prior to MDA and landed (full Stop).
- The auto-pilot was inop so be prepared to hand fly the entire flight.
- The instructor gave recommended power settings throughout the flight

Simulator time can be purchased. The price depends on the number of folks using the sim. Standard, the more people, the less the cost.

(Wedge’s sim profile)
I was paired with an F-16 driver from Carswell. He had flown the sim a while back so he took the left seat. Again, you can pick your seat and you do not have to stay in it the whole time. If you want to swap just tell the sim guys. If they offer to let you take off your coat, I would accept. The sim gets a little warm, especially under pressure. Dave took the takeoff and initial portion of the route. The sim had problems at the beginning which started to time compress us. They put us on 2X or 3X speed trying to make up lost ground. The sim guy had me look over the VOR approach into Chicago. When I was comfortable with the approach I was given the controls. We were now at the IAF, 2k high and 50 knots fast. How we doing? Keeping on course was pretty easy. The hard part was getting slowed down and descended while trying to stay below 250 kts. Gotta remember the FARs. The big learning point is to dirty up the plane as soon as possible. We did not and I felt behind the whole approach. Finally got on speed just prior to the VDP and actually went below the MDA. The sim instructor directed a go around so I did. Dave was told to look over his approach, a LOC. When comfortable he took the sim. We did a better job of staying ahead of the jet and keeping it on speed for this approach. He broke out and landed. Both the sim guys congratulated us on the completion of the sim. They told us to keep relaxed and we would do fine in the interview.

(One dudes rendition)
The interview followed our 30 minute lunch break (Groups 2 and 3 get one hour for lunch). I was interviewed by three pilots - two Captains and one F0 who acted as an observer, Their backgrounds were-

a. Chief Pilot LAX - formerly a Navy S-3 and DC-9 pilot
b. Super 80 Captain - currently a C-130 ANG pilot
c. DC-1O FO-currently a C-130 ANG pilot.

The interviewers were very professional, very friendly, and they made me feel very comfortable prior to and throughout the evolution. The interview was conducted in a large room with an oval table separating the interviewers and me- I was offered the opportunity to remove my jacket prior to the interview (in the interview room), and I accepted. A pitcher of water and 4 cups were on the table - and we all had a drink or two during the interview. Each of the three interviewers had a multi-page document from which their questions were extracted and on which they took notes following my responses. I was asked the following 17 questions,

a. After you graduated from college, tell us about yourself and what you've flown,
b. What items are you concerned with and what do you think about when taking off in icing conditions -.starting from planning in Base Operations through climb out?
c How does a contaminated runway affect your VI speed?
d. Give us a scenario where you had to deal with icing and tell us what you did.
e. The FO is on the aircraft and the Captain shows up late for preflight-and when he does show he smells of alcohol, You're the FE, what do you do?
f. Have you ever had to deal with another pilot who was difficult to deal with/personality conflicts? How did you handle it?
g. You're on an ILS approach in IMC, you're at DH (200 feet), runway environment/lighting not in sight, and the Captain is not responding to your "minimums" call. What do you do?
h. What's the worst thing you've ever done in an airplane? Hint -~"I'm a great pilot who has never done anything bad in an airplane" is not the correct answer - be honest.
i. Your VOR is acting up, it's off by a few degrees, are you going to write it up?
j. Have you ever resigned from or turned down a leadership position!
k. Who was the Instructor on your last check ride? If I called him and asked him what the 3 best things you did on that flight were, what would he say? How about the 3 worst things/ or things you could have done better?
1. Have you ever had a mentor? Who was it?
m. Have you ever been a mentor? To whom?
n. What's the worst emergency with which you've had to deal in your aircraft?
o. Would the crew with whom you experienced this emergency describe you as a good CRM guy?
P If You lost your medical(due to a sickness or illness - you can no longer fly what would you do?
q. How would you brief an approach? (I was told to brief a DOD vice a JEPPS approach, and I was not given an approach plate to look at)

Interview Recommendations:

a. Have a name, story, or personal experience to supplement every response.
b. Stick with what you know - I was encouraged by the interviewers to tailor my responses to, the plane that I fly (C-130) or did fly (P-3) and to describe restrictions delineated in SOPS OPNAV 3710, and Performance and NATOPS Manuals.
C. Although I was not asked any technical "lead in" or primary questions, the interviewers Sometimes followed up with a technical question Anticipate this during the icing scenario,

The paperwork review with Renee was a painless process that lasted about 15 minutes. Be prepared to answer questions about any of your required documents. I was told that the Captain's Board would meet within the next 10 to 14 days to select applicants for employment (contingent upon successful physical completion )- The process was finished at 1515,

I was contacted on Friday May 2nd with a conditional job offer based upon passing the physical,

I can't overemphasize the staff and pilots' professionalism and the effort which they devoted to making us feel welcome and relaxed, The entire process was extremely positive, and I wish you the best of luck during your interview.

(Wedge’s Interview)
We had over an hour between our sim and interview. That was the unlucky/down side to having lunch first. Also learned that you must have all of the required documents. Dave, my interview partner, did not have “multi-“ on his ticket. Long story short, it cost him $1,700 to get that done. Make sure the squares are filled.

My interview was with 2 727 Captains. Both were fairly new, only about 1 year as a Capt. Bart was an ex-Navy heavy guy who is flying C-9s in the Reserve at Carswell. Tom had all civilian experience. Both guys were really nice. I walked in and Bart told me to take my jacket off and relax. I did. He offered me a beverage and then proceeded to pour it for me before I could do anything. Tom saw where I place my jacket (on the back of my chair) and told me he was moving it so as not to get any creases in it. They tried there best to put me at ease. They were two great guys trying to find out if they would like to go on a trip with you. Here are the questions they asked:

Are your flight times correct
Answered truthfully to all questions
Data correct
Have you ever been fired from a flying job
Who are you, where are you from, and how did you get interested in flying
The next questions reference the questions at the beginning.
2/27 icing starting at Base Ops continuing to level off to include on board systems
8 Tom explained his first. Be honest.
12 dealing with flying
17/91 know that you will be shooting to a low vis situation
20 why should American hire you
32/71 Vref+5 instead of Vref+10 i.e. you are 5 kts slow
54 current job and why
66/95 non-flying related. How do you work with other people/agencies who don’t fly
103 any high altitude place. I chose Las Vegas
105 not specific #, but change to read “Name your …
How do I prep for a mission starting from the night prior?
Lots of instructor time, how are you going to be a good student
What makes a good instructor?
As a student you are having a problem grasping a concept, what do you do?
How would peers rate you?
Are there female pilots? Any problems flying with?

This process took over 1 ½ hours. I couldn’t believe that it lasted that long. Seemed like we just got started. I cannot say it enough to just relax and be yourself. Going in there with canned answers is not the way to impress them. Do the standard, think before you speak, but I would definitely not try to memorize answers to all the Intel questions. Have a general gameplan and some specific thoughts, but them just roll with the flow of the interview. My day was the longest of the six, 0815-1650. Four guys left at around 1500. Don’t know when Dave left, but it was probably around 1630.

I was initially notified in late Jul for my 19 Aug interview. I was called on 25 Aug with the good news. Go now this week, 2 Sep, for the physical/ background check. More to follow later when I know it. Feel free to e-mail me (wedgef15@aol.com) or call (904) 992-9399 with any questions. Here is to getting all of you who want to get hired, hired. Good Luck

PHYSICAL - The long form from HELL 0715 until 1530 - OUCH!
1.Standard long form with the following exceptions: blood pressure is checked in each arm twice for a total of 4 times,
The flexibility of your ear drum is checked?????
The DOC sticks his wart infested hand up your ass (Leekster asked for
- Median vision is checked along with near and far.
- Cognitive test, computerized and no prep or concern necessary.
- Chest and pelvic X-rays
- Very extensive blood workup

For those with high cholesterol I'm not sure what their limit Is but mine was high and they sent me the results so that I would stop the 4 cheese dog breakfast. My, results were TOTAL-214, LDL=159, CHOL/HDL=5.9 and LDL/HDL=3.3 which were all above normal parameters. I guess that a little above normal is acceptable?

if anything miner IS failed like eyes not up to par or blood pressure a little high American will give you a form to bring back to your Doc to complete and fax back stating that you are really 100%.

Well that’s about it. If anyone wants to talk more, shoot me your phone number or email any questions and I will be glad to help!!!!

Possible nice to know info!!

Cecil Ewell Chief Pilot, VP Flight
Donald Carty - Chairman and CEO AA (President of AMR)
Capt Richard Lavoy - APA President
Captain Nicholas O'Connell - APA founding President (1963)
Brian Mayhew - APA VP
Jay Courtney - DFW Domicile Chairman
Roby Baker - Executive VP OPS AA
Gerard Arpey - Senior VP and CFO AA
Donald O'Hare - Senior VP Domestic Field Services AA
Anne McNamara - Senior VP and General Counsel AA
Earnest Dryer - DCA Domicile Chairman
Bob Brown - Chairman of National Safety Committee
Jim Kaiser - Accident investigation

Airline Operations

1997 Passenger yield/mile - 13.37 cents

AMR Employees - 113,900
Airline Employees 90,600
Pilots - 9428
Destinations served 165+

Domestic operations - 69% of passenger revenues
international operations - 31% of passenger revenues

Pilot Bases - 9 Total
1. DFW
2. Chicago
3. Miami
4. NY
5. Los Angeles
6 San Francisco
7. DC
8. Boston
9, Seattle

Bring all log books, flight records, etc. In addition to civilian log books, AF pilots need to bring ENTIRE FORM 5, Army pilots need to bring the ENTIRE FORM 759 folder and Navy/Marine pilots need to furnish all military log books.

Bring your original and one copy of:
a. FAA Commercial License or ATP (Multi-engine required, more later)
b. Current FEB and FEJ or FEX written results or FE certificate
c. FAA First Class Medical (taken within one year)
d. FCC Restricted Radio Telephone Operators Permit
e. Valid Passport (copy of photo page only)
f. College transcripts to cover all Colleges/Universities attended
g. Bring an original, notarized copy and one photocopy of your drivers license report covering the past 5 years. You will need to contact your state’s Motor Vehicle Department to obtain this report
h. Military personnel only. DD 214 (including members copy 4) to cover all periods of service or verification
i. Photocopies of the last two pages of most recent log book (Air Force pilots should copy Summary Page from your Form 5)

Answers to some of the questions that guys have given

4. Why do you want to work for American?
Best airline
brightest future
youngest fleet of aircraft
most professional group of pilots
best service on any airline on which I’ve flown
Aircraft are always in great condition
best pay scale
best benefits and retirement package
new pilot contract
best pilot bases

5. Qualities of a Good Captain
Confident in his or her flying ability
Knowledgeable about the aircraft
Standardized in terms of procedural execution and checklist responses
Communicates well

6. Qualities of a Good FO
Knows his or her responsibilities
Good preflight
Assist in Cockpit setup
Takes direction and instruction well
Communicates well...tactfully discuss issues With the Captain

Boeing 707 power Settings

Fuel Flow Settings

Level Flight 250 KIAS Clean 3000 pph/side 4 deg nose high

Level Flight On speed Flaps 25 Gear down 4500 pph 1 deg nose high

On glide slope On speed Flaps 50 Gear down 4500 pph

Level Flight Flaps 40 Gear down (at MDA) 6000 pph

Precision Approach

At 200 KIAS Flaps 14

When glideslope starts moving down - Flaps 25, Gear Down, Before land check, Set fuel flow at 4500 pph
One dot below glideslope - Call Flaps 40
At glideslope intercept - Call Flaps 50

Non-Precision Approach

3 miles to FAF Flaps 25, Gear Down, Before land check, 4500 pph
1 mile to FAF - Flaps 40
At FAF - Descend at 2500 - 3000 pph fuel flow
At MDA - 6000 pph
1/2 mile to VDP - Flaps 50
VDP - Descend with 4500 pph

Note - When flaps extend to 14, watch the pitch up of nose due to increased lift.

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