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Cathay Pacific Pilot Interview Profiles

Date Interviewed: January 2007
Summary of Qualifications: ATP, 2600hrs, 1400 Turbine PIC (mostly military w/ some 135), 1200ME, 150ME PIC
Were you offered the job? No
Pilot Interview Profile:

Initial Interview (1/2): Most previous interviews on here were smack on except there wasn't a Multiple Choice test on mine. I studied and was ready for it anyways and that helped with the technical portion of the interview. Mostly read "Preparing for your CX interview" (CAPT X Y & Z), with some "Aero for Naval Aviators" (mostly for getting better details). "Everything Explained" (Richie Lengel) was pretty good for basic Aero and Metro too. Interview focussed on Corporate basics (fleet, destinations, history) and Technical (Aero, Metro, NO FAR/ICAO stuff at all.) I got the distinct impression that it was up to you to bring your experience into the interview process as you could easily answer their questions with study but they seemed very interested when I could bring in a "sea-story" to help describe something. But there were no TMAAT type questions. I was invited for the 2nd interview in HKG which, I am told, is where they'll make their final decisions. More on that to follow...

Date Interviewed: October 2006
Summary of Qualifications: ATP,CFI,FEX 10,000hrs, Type Ratings: B757,A320,EMB120,BE1900
Were you offered the job? No
Pilot Interview Profile:

Met with the Chief Pilot of the B777 and a nice man from HR. They were very professional but virtually expressionless in their emotions which made it a bit difficult to build a rapport with them. Very similar demeanor to the United Airlines interview I did back in 1996. I understand this method for two reasons. First is to judge your ability to handle stress and the second is objectively view each candidate under the same conditions. My previous experience in airline interviews have only been with American carriers, (Northwest, United, ATA, Air Tran and JetBlue Airways) so this was my first interview with a foreign carrier. After reading many of the PPRuNe forums I knew it was going to be a difficult interview as many of the technical questions are quite different from the ones asked in the U.S. For example, at Northwest we don't ask in an oral "What is the Inter-tropical Convergence Zone?" or "Tell me what predictive wind shear is?". Our questions are more operationally oriented and situations are presented to you to determine your level of CRM ability. You are asked systems questions but they are more related to questions such as "What does that light indicate?" "What alternatives are available to you now?" and so forth. They are rarely black and white answers and rarely from your primary flight training days. That being said, I knew I had my work cut out for me and studied many of the books recommended on this forum. The HR questions did not consist of a single interpersonal relationship type question such as "Tell me a time when you had a conflict with xyz" or "Describe when you had a situation that could have developed into an emergency" which are the cornerstone of most U.S. carrier interviews. In the U.S. you are asked these kinds of questions because they want to know how you deal with other people and how you handle difficult situations plus the interviewers want to know if they can tolerate you in the cockpit for 12 hrs a day. My HR questions consisted of: 1. Tell me how Northwest arrived in the financial condition it is in today? (if I was a manager or an officer of the company, it would be illegal to answer this question so I told him based on what is known publicly). 2. How does Northwest operate the B757? 3. Describe your career progression up to this point today. 4. What will you do if you are not hired today? 5. How do you feel about the pay cut you will be taking? (weird because I told him I am being furloughed). 6. Why are you working on a Masters Degree? (they really pressed me on this as to question my motives for getting an advanced degree. I guess personal fulfillment doesn't count). 7. How does your wife feel about Hong Kong? 8. Do you know how long before Captain upgrade is on the Freighter? Passenger fleet? 9. Have you applied to other carriers? 10. What did you think of the written test? 11. How do you like Vancouver? 12. What resources did you use to prepare for the interview? I wasn't asked about company history or about Hong Kong. Too bad too because I prepared quite hard for those questions. That was it as far as HR is concerned. The B777 Captain was next and he had a hard time believing me that I had not applied to other carriers knowing I was going to be furloughed but I told him I was very lucky and that after I applied to Cathay, I was called for an interview 2 weeks later so I committed myself 100% to the interview because I knew how difficult it would be. I also had finals that I needed to complete. I still don't think he believed me but its true folks. Here are some of the other questions he asked me. 1. Why do you want to be a Captain at Cathay? 2. What makes a good Captain? 3. What makes a -400 freighter different than a -400 passenger aircraft? (I mentioned pax windows, side cargo doors, the convertible nose but forgot about the shorter supernumary area). 4. If you climb out at 300kts IAS to FL300 what happens to TAS? 5. If you then climb out at Mach .84 to FL350, what happens to the angle of attack? (this question does not apply to the B757 which climbs out at a constant 3 degree pitch all the way to FL410 so I stumbled a bit. I didn't feel too bright after he told me the angle of attack increases). 6. What is critical Mach? 7. What is predictive wind shear? 8. What happens to your flight director guidance when you encounter a wind shear warning? What if your on an ILS and have already captured the Localizer and Glide slope? (he was looking for the priority order of the EGPWS. A wind shear guidance overides everything including a stall on a B757 but not on a A320). 9. I would like you to speculate on the Southwest Airlines accident at Midway. What you do in that situation? (ok this one is incredibly unprofessional. It is inappropriate of me to speculate on an accident or on my colleagues in which I know none of the hard facts of the case. All I know is from what I read in the papers which could be grossly inaccurate. I told him this but he still told me to speculate anyway. I said I won't speculate on this accident but I will tell you my procedures for landing on a short, snow covered runway under low visibility conditions.) 10. Are spoilers or reverse thrust more important on landing? Why? 11. He drew HK and then drew 3 different hurricane locations. He asked me which location I would prefer in order to land on 07R in HK? There was no other detail such as what direction I was coming in from or what Category the hurricane was? (Not sure what he was looking for so I picked the one that had the most headwind for 07R. I fumbled a bit because I forgot that HK is still in the Northern Hemisphere so I am sure I looked pretty stupid on that one. Especially since I have flown to HK on number of occasions). The interview ended with any questions I had. I tried to build a little better rapport with the Captain but I could tell he was not pleased with my performance. Needless to say I did not receive an offer for Stage 2 but I will surely try again in 6 months. I am disappointed I will not be flying with Cathay but I did learn quite a bit how "the other side" operates. Perhaps I will be more successful the second time. I do have some recommendations on the books I used. The goods ones for me were: Beyond Lion Rock, by Gavin Young (tough to find in the U.S. used eBay) History of Hong Kong, the Swire Group and Cathay, wikipedia.org The Encyclopedia of Technical Aviation, by Bristow (the best one by far) Ace the Technical Pilot Interview, also by Bristow Preparing for your Cathay Pacific Interview, Capt xyz (also hard to find in U.S) Airline Pilot Career Magazine, August 2005 (profiled Cathay) Flying the Wing, third edition, by Jim Webb and Billy Walker Northwest Performance Manuals Northwest Meteorology Manuals Handling the Big Jets (found on Amazon.com. Expensive US$100)

Date Interviewed: January 2006
Summary of Qualifications: ATP, 5500 total, 3000 Turbine PIC (all military)
Were you offered the job? Yes
Pilot Interview Profile:

CATHAY PACIFIC PILOT INTERVIEW GOUGE INITIAL INTERVIEW – July 2006 I had about one month’s notice to the initial interview. It was to be held in Vancouver and was made up of a 30 minute written technical quiz and about a one hour interview consisting of oral HR questions and oral technical questions. The trip to Vancouver is on your own dime. They send you recommendations for a hotel and directions to the interview site and little else. I found that the 4 books which were most helpful were: 1. Gary Bristow’s Acing the Technical Pilot Interview 2. Captain X,Y, and Z’s A Pilot’s Guide: Preparing for the Cathay Pacific Interview 3. FAA’s Aviation Weather, and 4. D.P. Davies’ Handling the Big Jets Bristow’s and the FAA’s books were available through any common bookseller site such as Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Captain X, Y, and Z’s book is a bit more obscure but can be found if through various sources if you punch it in Google. Same with D.P. Davies (although it is old, used, and rare, and thus expensive). Another good one is Aerodynamics for Naval Aviators (found on common bookseller sites); this is excellent but very technical, and can be skipped unless you are an Aero major. Those books along with a very thorough review of Cathay’s website will prepare you well for the interview (both initial and final). I arrived in Vancouver the night before. My interview was in the afternoon the next day. It was held in a non-descript office building near downtown Vancouver. They ask you to bring certain basic materials (logbook, ATP license, proof of education, etc) so make sure you bring all of these. And definitely wear a suit, not a sport jacket or such. I was greeted by the friendly staff there and immediately ushered into a conference room where they had the written technical quiz laid out on the table. After the quiz, I waited a bit in the lobby and was greeted by a very friendly, but formal, HR man. He ushered me into a nice conference room with a nice view of the city, and introduced me to the pilot technical person, a Captain at Cathay. The HR man asked basic type personnel questions for about 30 minutes or so followed by the Captain who asked me technical questions for another 30 minutes or so. They were very friendly and tried to keep it relaxed, but nevertheless it was formal and their eyes were always on me. After that, the interview was over and they informed me that I could call the main office in Hong Kong the following Friday to find out if I had been invited for a final interview in Hong Kong. The following is as much as I could remember of the questions I had on the quiz and in the interview portion: Technical Quiz - Indications of a warm front approaching - If overcast cirrostratus, what type of icing would you expect? - IAS vs. TAS in a climb – get bigger, lesser, or same? - What do vortex generators do at low airspeeds? How do they help? - How does CG affect stalling speed? - Series vs. parallel yaw dampers - Can clearway be used for takeoff or stop portion of t/o calculations? - Timing on outbound leg in holding above 14,000 feet - Initially on wet runway, what is most effective means of slowing down? - As weight decreases, IMN for long-range cruise increases, decreases, stays the same? - HF waves bounce off what? - From stall to high speed, what is effect on total drag? - What type of drag involves “streamlining”? - What happens to Mach number if you climb at a constant IAS? - What is aspect ratio? - What is a katabatic wind caused by? - What can you do to reduce adverse yaw? - Why are spoilers used? - What helps control boundary layer flow? HR portion of interview - Tell us about your career - Why did you become a pilot? - How did you do in high school/university? - Did you fly before university? - Why are you getting out of military? - Could you have stayed in? Why or why not? - How did you feel about not being promoted further? - Why do you want to fly for Cathay? (3 reasons) - What are 3 things you think make a good IP? - Where does Cathay fly to in North America? - What recent cargo aircraft acquisitions has Cathay made? - Have you applied to other airlines? - Why or why not certain airlines? - Would you get bored flying with Cathay/airlines? - How do wife/children feel about moving to Hong Kong? - How did they feel previously about living overseas? - What would you do if Cathay rejected you? - Did Cathay make a profit last year? How much? - How did you do in pilot training? - Were you disappointed in the the assignments you got? - Who do you know at Cathay? - How did you prepare for this interview? - Any questions for us? Technical portion of interview - Why use winglets” - EGPWS vs. GPWS - Why set EPR early on t/o roll? - Balanced field length - Can clearway be used in t/o calculations? - Why 777 does not have winglets? - What is your aircraft’s wind shear recovery? - How would you brief your crew on upcoming wind shear? - Where do hurricanes/typhoons form – can they form over land? - ITCZ explanation (Intertropical Convergence Zone) - What causes wingtip vortices? - What do vortex generators do? - If wet runway, where do you set flaps? - What is Mach crit? - Relationship between V1 and Vmcg? - Why would you use a reduced thrust takeoff? - How would you design a high-speed wing? Final Interview – September 2006 After the first interview, they told me I could call on a certain day about 10 days later to find out if I had been selected for the final interview in Hong Kong. I called Hong Kong on the appointed day and they told me congratulations; that I had been selected for the final interview which would be in 2 months hence in Hong Kong and that I would receive a packet in the mail in a few weeks detailing what I needed to do and bring. So I did receive a packet with a lot of forms to fill out detailing specifically what I needed to bring. There were medical forms to fill out, various waiver forms, and forms for the Hong Kong CAD (their version of the FAA) for conversion to a Hong Kong ATP (which is required for the job). By far the most time consuming was the logbook extracts for the Hong Kong CAD for various requirements for their ATP. Since prior to this, I only had a sheaf of military flight log printouts detailing my flight time. I had been advised by my interviewers in Vancouver that I would need to convert all of these flight logs to a civilian flight logbook, which I did. Since mine covered about 20 years, this took me about 60 hours to complete! Then, I had to make a whole lot of copies for various required extracts. I ended up going through 2 print cartridges getting it all done. In addition I needed to make multiple copies of various items such as passports, ATP license, medical certificate, etc. A couple of tricky items for me were the flight log extracts and the Instrument/ATP check I had received. First, the flight log extracts: many of the CAD’s requirements were very detailed, such as proving that I had so many hours cross-country, as PIC or that I had done a flight over so many miles with so many intermediate stops. My military flight records were not so detailed, so I got my former military supervisor to sign endorsement statements in my new civilianized logbook. I also might need an official letter from my former squadron, on official letterhead, stating that all the CAD’s requirements were met (at the time of this writing, I have been selected for a job, but my paperwork has not yet been submitted to the CAD yet). This is important as all of the “round pegs in square holes’ stuff regarding my flight records were a source of anxiety for me; thinking I might be rejected at the interview if my logbook extracts were not sufficient. However, I learned at the final interview that the flight log paperwork does not even get submitted to the CAD until after the job offer is made. Had I known that prior that would have lessened some anxiety I had about it. The second tricky thing for me was proof of my Instrument rating. Since our (U.S.) ATP doesn’t state on our license anything about an Instrument rating, I went to my local FAA regional office and had them type up a short letter stating that a U.S. ATP automatically implies an Instrument rating as well. Also, I had the FAA Flight Examiner who did my ATP check a year prior write a letter detailing the check ride and what it implies. The bottom line is that you should follow their instructions as best as possible but realize that they don’t even submit it to the CAD until after the job offer is made and finally, the Cathay staff did not at all seem worried that there would be a problem. At worst, it sounded like I may, at the appropriate time, need to send over a few copies of something but that would be it. Also in the packet was a round trip ticket, for me only, to Hong Kong for the interview. Spouses are welcomed to stay at the hotel and are welcomed to the cocktail party, but they don’t pay for the trip (apparently they used to be paid for). In any case, I paid for my wife’s ticket and for various reasons, I’ m glad she came. As a side note, I can’t help but think it showed interest, alleviated concerns over family questions about living in HK, and she was also great to have at the cocktail party. That being said, there was certainly no need or pressure to bring your wife. In fact mine was only one of two (out of nine guys) that brought their wife/girlfriend. They don’t give you the itinerary of the interview until you actually arrive at the hotel in Hong Kong. They only tell you it will be 2 days, that there will be a medical, a simulator, and an interview. My itinerary actually went like this (others had slight variations): First day: 0845-0900 Welcome Briefing 0900-0945 Manager Basing Companies Briefing 1100-1200 Medical check 1345-1500 Math test and Psychological test 1700-1800 Freighter Briefing Second day: 0900-1000 Group Exercise 1000-1100 Simulator Briefing 1200-1300 Simulator Assessment 1315-1415 Final Interview 1500-1530 English Language Test 1730-1900 Cocktail Party In reality, it all went pretty much right on schedule too. I studied pretty hard for the interview. The previous gouge I had gotten was pretty much on target. So I studied, I think, pretty appropriately. I studied a lot for the technical part of the interview (which of course was only oral, unlike the first interview where you have the actual written quiz). As with the initial interview, the material I found most useful were: the gouge I found on the “I fly for food” website, in addition to gouge I had gotten from others (which I was asked not to share, but it’s not much different than what mine is); the book “Preparing for your Cathay Pacific Interview: The Pilot’s Guide (11th Edition) (this was very useful and fairly on target, even though a bit dated, hard to find: but their email is /agent/MobNewMsg?to=info@pilotcareersinternational.com); a book called “Handling the Big Jets” by D.P. Davies; “Ace the Technical Pilot Interview” by Gary Bristow (easily the most valuable book for me); Aviation Weather (an FAA handbook); and the Cathay Pacific website, as well as Wikipedia. com. Don’t waste your time learning AIM/FAR too much; they’re not too interested in U.S. regulations per se. Overall, they are really into Aero knowledge. For the HR part of the interview, I relied mostly on the “Preparing for your Cathay…” book, which was excellent in this regard. Also, on gouge I had gotten. As far as the Math test, I studied a couple of general math and algebra books I got at the bookstore (there are many to choose from) but frankly, I don’t think my 10-15 hours of study helped very much. I really don’t think it’s worth putting too much effort studying for this, unless you think you are extremely weak at elementary math reasoning. If I had to do it over, I would not have studied for this test. As for the Psychological test, you can’t study for this one, nor should you. Same goes for the Group Exercise. Same for the English Language Test (unless of course English is a second language for you). The final item is the Simulator Assessment. At the end of my first interview the interviewers advised me that this was a very important part of the final interview. In other gouge I saw, it was also emphasized how important it was (one said 75% of the grade, although I have no idea if that is accurate or not – I doubt it is that much or even quantified like that, but no doubt it is a show-stopper if you don’t do well). And at the final interview, they also emphasized that it was important. I had been out of flying for a few months, and I had never flown an airliner before, so I invested in two different 2 hour sessions in the 747-200 simulator (at the first interview they advised me that the assessment would be scheduled for that type, although they reserve the right to test in another if for some reason they want or need to). So I signed up for my first 2 hour session through Flight Training International located in Denver. It cost $1100 for the 2 hours with a 747 instructor. The instruction was okay; but what was really important was simply being able to operate this type of airplane myself, because the profile is quite basic (more about that below). I went in mid-August. Then in late September, about a week before going to Hong Kong, I flew out to Miami for another 2-hour session with Aero Services. This cost $750 for 2 hours. Again, the instruction was okay, but again that wasn’t important; just having the time in the sim was very important, hands-on. So altogether, with airfare and hotels and rental car, etc, I spent about $3000 on 4 total hours of simulator prep. And for me (a. not having flown something like a 747 before, and b. I had been out of flying for several months) the money spent was well worth it as it turned out. I think probably if you’ve either not been out of flying and have recent experience with a round dial crosscheck or you have flown a similar big-type airplane like a 747, maybe you only need to do one 2 hour session (both companies I went to require you pay for a minimum of 2 hours). But I would definitely recommend you go at least once. Going twice gave me some peace of mind, and my performance at the actual assessment proved, at least to me, that it was worth it. The last thing I’d say on this is that each of the sims (including Cathay’s) were all a little different from each other, such as in power settings and pitch; not too significant, but it’s a caution I guess from expecting certain power settings or pitch settings to be consistent from sim to sim. Cathay’s sim was far superior than the two practice sims I did (cleaner, smoother) so I would say if you can do fairly well in the practice than you will find the Cathay one easier to fly; I did. The trip over to Hong Kong My wife and I flew over arriving 48 hours prior to the interview. I’m glad I did as the time zone change took some adjusting to. That extra night helped me feel a lot more rested at the interview. We stayed on our own dime the first night down in Kowloon then the next day checked into the Cathay (Headland Hotel) accommodations next to their campus near the airport. We flew out of San Francisco non-stop to Hong Kong. Flying on Cathay further confirmed to me I was making a pretty good choice; the service was outstanding. Hong Kong itself was impressive – very much like any large North American or European city; dynamic and exciting (to us at least). The only drawback to us was the smog; it’s pretty bad, at least in the main part of the city. But overall, we loved it and could easily see us living in the area in a few years. The hotel at Cathay City was quite nice. Cathay pays for your round trip ticket along with hotel accommodations for 3 nights and even give you a per diem of a few hundred dollars or so. First interview day The hotel is sort of connected to the Cathay campus and comes complete with their own nice restaurant and bar and workout facility, so we took advantage of those facilities both the night before and in the morning of the first interview day. We started with a Welcome brief followed by a Basing Company manager’s briefing. These were conducted in a conference room in the Flight Crew Recruitment offices. There were 9 of us, but it was clear that they were conducting overlapping interviews all week with many others there as well. But my group had 9: 4 Americans (including me), 2 of which were Air Force; a Belge, 2 Germans, a Korean, and a Canadian. Ages ranged from about 28 to about 46 or so. Most everyone was an airliner type guy with loads of hours (probably everyone had at least 3000 total). The Medical The medical required me to give a urine and blood sample. Then the nurse gave me a series of standard checkups (hearing, eyesight, blood pressure, EKG, etc.) Pretty much like a standard FAA medical, plus a chest X-ray) Kind of low tech on the tests but really no different than standard in the U.S. Then the doctor checks you out and asks questions about your family history and lifestyle. Very nice people and didn’t act like they were trying to “get” you on anything. It lasted about an hour. The Math test The math test was on a computer terminal and we were given 30 minutes to complete a 33 question test. There were 11 sets of questions with 3 questions concerning each of the 11. They weren’t anything you could really study for, pretty much word reasoning questions that dealt with percentages and fractions and graphs. For example, it would give a graph on exchange rates and you were asked to compare one currency to another based on a third currency. Another example basically had you average out a group of people’s ages and figure out how many were under 21 for instance. Each of the 3 questions on each set got progressively harder to figure out, so I quickly discovered that if I answered at least the first two and moved on I was better off. The third question of each set was really difficult. In any case, I wouldn’t worry about or study for this. They were pretty basic for any college educated person. I think the important thing was to finish quickly as it was nearly impossible to finish the test. Everyone I talked to only answered about 20 or so. I guess if you have the time, you could study word reasoning math tests but if I had to do it over again, I would not have spent any time studying for this, and I’m hardly a math expert. The Psych test This was also on the computer and it was about 180 questions to finish in 30 minutes. So you really had to answer quickly to finish – they warned you that you would fail it if you didn’t finish. It was all multiple choice – 2 choices – on each question that had no right or wrong answer. Things like: do you like poetry or guns better? Would you rather be a carpenter or an accountant? Would you describe yourself boisterous or reserved? Etc. etc. The important thing is not to think too hard, just answer and complete it. Pace yourself accordingly in order to finish it. You really have to move fast to finish. Freighter Briefing Like the Basing Company briefing just a lot of general information that anyone looking into the company would probably already know prior to applying, such as where you would be based, pay scale, etc. The opportunity to ask questions is there too. Group exercise All of us were placed in a conference room with a dry erase board and handed out information sheets. Each of the sheets was slightly different from any of the others. We were told we need to select the ideal person from a list of candidates for a mission to destroy an asteroid that was coming towards Earth. Each of the candidates had certain qualifications that were to be measured against the ideal qualifications for such a person to lead the mission. The tricky thing was that each of our sheets contained different and sometimes contradictory information. The idea was to work together and find the best solution. The way that worked for us was for someone to get on the dry erase board and write out a matrix while taking inputs from everybody one at a time. This worked very well. There were 2 observers watching and jotting down notes on everybody’s participation. Obviously they were looking for everyone to help in solving the problem and in a constructive way. The solution was a bit convoluted but the exercise was straight-forward and easy if you simply focus on what they are looking for rather than worrying about the ideal solution. The important thing was to either take charge in a constructive way or to follow the lead of someone who takes charge and participate constructively, while obviously staying calm and professional. Simulator Briefing Then all of us as a group went to the simulator area where we were given a detailed briefing (for an hour and a half) from the retired Captain who was to administer the simulator. He was humorous and put us at ease, although he made it clear it was an important part of the interview. He went over step-by-step the entire profile including power settings and call outs you needed to make. Obviously, since this was conducted just prior to the sim eval, it was a review of what we already should have had memorized. In the packet they send you a month or so prior to the interview, they will give you a pretty good detail of the evaluation. I memorized this and used it at the two practice sims I did. Simulator Assessment At the appointed time, I showed up for the sim and they gave me the choice of sitting in the left or the right seat. I chose the left simply because that was what I had arbitrarily picked before my practice sims just to remain consistent. But they obviously don’t care which seat you pick. One of the retired Captains sits in the opposite seat to set the flaps and power settings and basically act as your copilot while the other retired Captain works the simulator panel behind us. The sim is set up on the runway, ready for takeoff on 25L just like their packet they send you. All he asks is what calls you would like him to call out (V1, rotate, etc.) There doesn’t appear to be a right or wrong answer, just that you are thinking about it. You don’t need to perform a takeoff briefing, per se. On the takeoff, the important thing is to rotate smoothly up to about 15 degrees and ask for the gear and flaps up according to their scheduled retraction. They also like you to call for the checklist (After takeoff/climb check, before landing check). They just want to hear you call for a standard checklist – they don’t expect you to know the exact name of the checklist as they will run it anyway. After following the retraction schedule, I leveled off at 2500 feet and then they put you on position freeze and ask you to perform a 30 degree turn to roll out on a heading, then the same thing with 45 degree bank, and then 60 degree bank. I got the stick shaker on the 60 degree bank turn and simply recovered until it went away – that’s all they appeared to want there. I got about 200 feet off max a couple of times. But most of the time I was pretty much on altitude and airspeed (280 KIAS). Then they turn you to a downwind where you setup for an ILS approach. They give you headings to base and dogleg then to intercept the localizer inbound (to runway 07R). Prior to this they ask you what calls to request from them (e.g. “one dot above,” “500 t0 go,” etc.) Again, there isn’t a right or wrong set of things to ask for; they’re just looking for some CRM. I intercepted the localizer and pretty much stayed within one dot on both the localizer and the glideslope all they way down, and also about 0 to +10 knots fast, which they seemed happy with. For me at least, the 747 was quite sensitive, particularly in roll. The smallest inputs are necessary, as there is a lot of inertia to overcome. I think limiting your bank angles to 10 degrees or less on final is more than enough. It’s important to be patient and work back any offsets slowly. You absolutely cannot muscle it back onto course. So obviously, it becomes very important to try and intercept and start down the glideslope at the right time, otherwise you will be playing catch-up the whole time. At about 200 feet (decision height) the runway was still not in sight, so I initiated the missed approach as planned and expected anyway. Again, it was important to call out the gear and flap retraction schedule exactly as published. As with the initial takeoff, I leveled off at 2500 feet and we went to downwind. On downwind, he gave me a #4 fire light. All they’re expecting from you here is to keep flying the airplane and calmly call for the checklist for the fire and confirm the right switches/throttle when he runs those parts of the checklist. Once you are on 3 engines, there is significant yaw, which can be taken out with foot power or rudder trim. This is your option. I chose to just use my foot (pretty much center the ball and leave it there). I tried the rudder trim option (about 2-3 units worked) during one of my practice sims but I found I had to work out some oscillations when I took it out (as required) about 500 feet above decision height. So, just keeping the foot in worked well for me as I could just keep it in all the way through landing and didn’t have to worry about taking the rudder trim out. It’s only about 5 minutes anyway, so this worked well for me. The approach was the same, another ILS, but of course just 3 engine. On the 4 engine approach it was app. 1.15 EPR on final, while with the 3 engines, it was a little higher (app. 1.25) obviously. Once I initially set the power, I didn’t crosscheck the EPRs very much; rather I just winged it with small adjustments to keep the speed; this worked well for me. The most important thing that took the most concentration was the glideslope and pitch. The pitch was critical. If all else fails, if you set the proper pitch, you will do fine. The airplane will immediately descend if your pitch is too low, not quite as much if your pitch is too high, so err on the high side if anything. The following pitch settings worked pretty well: Clean, 250: app. 5 degrees Clean, 280: app. 2 degrees Configured, level: app. 6-8 degrees Configured, glideslope: app. 1-2 degrees On this 3 engine approach, I broke out about 500 feet and landed it although I wasn’t quite lined up on centerline at decision height (200 feet); I was lined up more like with the edge of the runway. For this reason, I told him (as he had briefed prior) that I would go around; however, (again as he had briefed us to do) to make the best of it and continue to land. So I did, and it wasn’t real pretty but I landed in on centerline about 5000 feet down. He makes some call outs (60 feet, 30 feet etc.) to help with the landing, but I didn’t perceive this as something too critical to get down perfect, unlike the approach. Anyway, you bring it to a stop and that’s it. The whole thing took about 30 minutes. We shook hands and that was it. During the interview afterwards, one of the first questions I was asked was how I did on the sim, but they didn’t dwell on it. The whole time, the retired Captains were very friendly and professional. After the sim, which they had emphasized to be the most important part of the interview, I felt really good about my prospects. I suddenly felt really happy that I had spent all that cash on doing the 2 practice sims in August and September. That practice really paid off. After that, I headed to the interview. HR/Technical Interview: I was then welcomed into a conference room and introduced to an HR man and a Captain. Both were very polite and welcoming and tried to make me feel comfortable. The HR man got right to his questions: - (looking at notes from my first interview) he asked about the circumstances of why I did not get further promoted in the military. - Asked how I got interested in flying - Asked why I wanted to fly for Cathay - Said he saw (again from noted from my first interview) that I had applied to other airlines; gave me opportunity to explain why Cathay was my desired choice - Asked what my greatest weakness were - Asked how family would like Hong Kong - Asked, given my past career (military) would I be bored with Cathay job - Give some examples of times (flying) that really challenged you - Asked how I like Hong Kong so far - Asked where my preference of basing would be - Asked if I had any questions - Lastly, asked what kind of lasting impression would you like to leave with us at this interview. The HR man (I believe either a Canadian or American in his mid-fifties) was formal and nice. His portion took about 20 minutes. Then the Captain (an Australian in his mid-forties) who is one of the 777 Chief Pilots, began asking technical questions: - Asked me to rate my performance in the simulator (that I had just completed) - Asked me what kind of planes the models on the table were (there were 2 models sitting on the table when I came in (a 747-400 and an Airbus 330) and how I could tell - Asked what Mach Crit is - Asked where it occurs first on the 747 - Asked about winglets - Asked about typhoons and how they are formed - Asked what Predictive Wind Shear is - Asked what are Supercritical wings - Asked what are advantages of aft CG - Asked why 777 doesn’t have winglets - Asked how you would handle wind shear - Asked service ceiling/top speed of my latest aircraft - Gave a scenario whereby you are at 35,000 feet and the oxygen masks drop down for the passengers but there is oxygen in them, and cabin pressurization is fine; you are over Pacific, about 5 hours from arriving at Hong Kong. What would you do, if anything? - Asked how vortex generators work and what they are for - Asked to define relationship between Vmcg and V1 - Asked to explain Vmca - Asked what types of drag are there - Asked what causes induced drag - Asked which engine in a 747 would be critical in a crosswind - The HR man then asked what kind of engines the Cathay 747s had - Tell us about the RB-211 - Asked if I had any questions That was it. The Captain’s technical assessment also went about 20 minutes, so the total interview was about 40 minutes. They thanked me, wished me luck, and escorted me out, all in a friendly, professional manner. They mentioned they’d see me later at the cocktail party. English Language Test This test is obviously no problem if you are an English speaking native. If you are not, it could be quite difficult. I was surprised at how extensive this was. It lasted about 45 minutes and consisted of pretty sophisticated questions based on what you see in pictures and cards and what you hear on recordings. Again, not threatening or hard if you are a native English speaker. This test will soon be an ICAO requirement so they are rolling it out now. Nothing to worry about (if native English speaker). Cocktail/Drinks Party This was the last event for our group (there was another group at the cocktail party that, for them, was at the end of their first day) in the early evening of the second day. Typical layout for a reception up on the top floor of the hotel. Very nice, in a small setting with a nice view below of the airport with drinks and snacks brought to you on trays. At this point, I think everyone was just happy that the interview was over, so everyone was relaxed. I had thought that this was sort of a graded part of the interview, but I really don’t think it is. I think if you just engage in friendly conversation and don’t say anything offensive, you will “pass” this part. Several of their top flight management people are in attendance and they are far outnumbered by applicants (about 20 of us, since there were two groups, and about 4-5 of them). It really was just friendly, relaxed small talk and lasts about an hour and a half before most start to file out. I stayed about an hour longer simply because my wife and I were enjoying it so much (and at that point I was feeling pretty confident about the whole thing). Anyway, that was it. We headed into town for a night out since we were leaving the next afternoon (great nightlife down there in SoHO!). I called on the appointed day they said to call (about a week later) and received the good news. A few days later, I got a letter from them congratulating me and saying that they will contact me when a training date comes up for me. In the meantime, they just wanted to make sure you kept them abreast of any updates (medical, addresses, etc.). They also got my order of preference for my base in the U.S. I expect about a 6 month wait for a training date. Overall, the entire interview experience was a very pleasant one with Cathay. They exceeded my expectations in their courtesies and respect for people. They were always professional and friendly. An elegant company. I’m really looking forward to working with them. Good luck to you!

Date Interviewed: October 2005
Summary of Qualifications: ATP,3,700 hrs,2000 Turbine PIC, Part 121,Part135
Were you offered the job? No
Pilot Interview Profile:

Second officer position. Signed in at front went upstairs to be greeted by a secretary. Escorted into a glass room with a LOUD airconditioner humming while I was instructed to take a 30 question technical quiz which is timed for 30 minutes(finished in 14). Then was escorted into a board room with 2 Cathay employees. 1 Human resource,1 Captain for the technical. The HR was very informal, other gouge was different. They made me very relaxed and were very interested in my stories. Typical questions, tell me about Cathay...Why Cathay...name of first aircraft. 2 interesting things about myself. 2 best things about me. 1 thing I would like to change about me. Next was the technical...the process has changed. The first thing was they had me look on the wall at a line up of 15 photos. they were cut out copies blackened in of countries and continents. First was Australia next asked where the red dot on the picture was, it was Perth then what state is Perth in...and so on..they asked about 5 or six until they all looked like the same to me. Know the map of Asia and all surrounding regions. Then he went into a little about which aircraft Cathay flies. Why swept wings very brief on this though. He spent about 95% of my technical interview on a plane I haven't touched for 5 years. Make sure you brush up on every plane you have ever sat in. Overall, the process was non threatening just study hard and know details about evry plane they fly and you have flown no matter how long ago it may of been.

Date Interviewed: March 2005
Summary of Qualifications: ATP, HS-125, LRJET, 5200TT, 2700 JET PIC
Were you offered the job? No
Pilot Interview Profile:

Had Phase 1 interview in San Francisco. The location is a nondescript office in downtown SFO. Showed up a few minutes before official time and was immediately escorted to a private room to do a 30 question technical quiz.

The quiz was multiple choice on aerodynamics and some weather. Most of the questions were pretty easy and can be found on Handling the Big Jets or Preparing for the CX interview. I had no idea on 5 or so questions including: does EPR rise, fall, stay same during the takeoff roll, what wing design changes can reduce dutch roll (other than sweep), and what is the phenomenon called where temperature change between land and see cause a sea breeze... You are timed on the quiz, given 30 minutes to complete it. I finished it in 14 minutes.

After the quiz, I waited for about 45 minutes for my time to get interviewed. I was interviewed by two gentleman in their 60's of foreign descent, one was Australian, the other Canadian. Both flown in for the interviews from Hong Kong.

The HR person questioned me first. Most questions were particular to my background, but some were applicable to everyone such as: Tell me about Hong Kong, why do you want to work for CX, if you were in charge, would you require a college degree of all the pilot applicants, what do you think of the 49ers and the company's actions?

After 30 or so minutes, the pilot interviewer began. Asked performance and aerodynamics questions: Why do the tips stall first on swept wing, what engines are on our fleets, why those engines, why use carbon brakes, break down the fleets by number of aircraft, what kind of flaps on 747, which airplane do we use from JFK-HKG, which is a critical engine on 747 with left x-wind, why are full flaps needed on 747 since they are mostly drag, define service cieling, what are the climb gradients for 2nd,3rd,4th segments, what would cause a hot start, a hung start; tell me about your aircraft's engine, tell me about your start sequence, how far to start descent when at FL330 and 1500fpm ,which is better to descend earlier - a heavier or lighter aircraft and of course why.

After the interview ended we shook hands and parted. I was told that I would get an answer within a couple of weeks.

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