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Papillon Interview Process?


ChopperJ
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They usually interview 2 pilots a day. You will start with a written exam. Pretty easy basic knowledge stuff. After that a panel interview with probably the chief pilot and the head of training. They ask the usual questions. What can be disconcerting is that they actually grade your responses on a 5 point scale. Next you will be sent to the pilot lounge to wait for your flight. You could be in there for a while so get comfortable. The pilots are very friendly and will usually offer up some advice and insight from their interview flight. Listen carefully! The flight is pretty short (you won't do the start up or the radios). You will fly to an old airport near by and do the usual commercial maneuvers. No tricks, except the engine failure they try to surprise you with using distraction. It's not a robbie, so you don't sink like a rock and he will roll off the throttle so smoothly that you won't get a big yaw. It took me a second to realize what he did. When you get back, you might have to cool your heels for a little while back in the pilot lounge until the 2nd pilot has flown. If you did well they immediately send you for the drug test. Finally, the chief pilot will sit you down to discuss the day. You will get a job offer immediately if you did well. Sign the contract and go back to the hotel. Plan on being there until 4 or 5.

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The written exam is really basic stuff, like airspace. Sorry I don't remember anything more specific. I think it is about 25 questions. The interview is more like where do you see yourself in 5 years, mistakes you have learned over the past 1000 hours, have you ever been fired, etc. Definitely expect them to ask you if you will full fill your contract till the end of the season. They will be paying particular attention to how you will relate and fit in with the other pilots (especially on the South Rim) because it is a VERY small town and all you have is each other. The flight is like a checkride except more relaxed. Don't forget they already want to hire you, so he will be teaching and giving helpful advice on the aircraft while evaluating you. Normal and steep approach, turns around a point, definitely an auto, traffic patterns and a slope. I don't remember if there was a hover or 180 on the interview, but you will do a lot of them in training. They know you haven't flown a turbine before. They want to see you make good decisions and fly to commercial standard.

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"...the engine failure they try to surprise you with using distraction. It's not a robbie, so you don't sink like a rock and he will roll off the throttle so smoothly that you won't get a big yaw..."

 

A lot of us Robbie guys slam the collective down pretty quickly on surprise engine failures! I've heard that that's not a good idea on some other helicopters. How do they want it done?

 

Also, during the oral part of the interview, do they ask any trick questions (i.e. say you're wrong, when you're right, to see if you'll stand up for yourself, etc...)?

:huh:

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A lot of us Robbie guys slam the collective down pretty quickly on surprise engine failures! I've heard that that's not a good idea on some other helicopters. How do they want it done?

 

To the commercial standard as was said above. Lower the collective and enter the auto!

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Look they know you don't have any time in the Bell 206L-1's what they want to see is that you are trainable. As for autos its a piece of cake, lower the collective, and slow the machine to 60 IAS. About 50 feet above ground level, slow deceleration and collective to keep the RPM in limits, it will be either to a power recovery or to the ground. I don't think they will have you take it to the ground. The just want to see how you handle things. They like R-22 pilots, and you stay for the whole season, and see about getting an offer to come back. You should get around 300 hours turbine time and that will get you to the gulf if that is what you are looking for.

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Extremely unlikely (if not impossible) you will go to the ground on the interview. It will be a power recovery, as will most of your autos in training. As a matter of fact, I don't remember doing any full down autos at the south rim (since your practice all takes place at a dirt runway).

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At HeliExpo this year, I talked with several chief pilots for various tour operators. One of the questions I asked was what was the biggest problem you have with the new guys entering the job market. Lack of knowledge of the sectional chart was one of the answers. One operator gave an oral exam to 30 applicants on the sectional and only 4 could answer all the questions. One pilot had difficulty defining where Class E airspace ended. So know your sectional chart and the symbols.

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...Lack of knowledge of the sectional chart was one of the answers. One operator gave an oral exam to 30 applicants on the sectional and only 4 could answer all the questions. One pilot had difficulty defining where Class E airspace ended. So know your sectional chart and the symbols.

 

Come to think of it, I'd say around 99.999% of the time when I've gone up with a CFII, they haven't had a chart with them at all!

 

Although...did you know that whenever there is a thick blue band, on the side where the color is darkest Class E starts at 14,500' , but on the side where it fades it begins at 1,200'? I know,...it sounds basic, but I just learned that while reviewing things the other day! I feel like an idiot, but it just goes to show that if you don't use it (regularly),...you lose it!

 

 

A word of caution; When you fly around the same airspace all the time, you tend to take navigation for granted,...every so often, look at the chart!

:D

Edited by r22butters
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Thanks Rick, remember any of the other comments?

 

1. Work ethic

2. Not able to flight plan on the fly

3. taking too long to flight plan

4. lack of flexability

5. systems knowledge

 

Were the big ones. Some of the corporate/charter folks also had issues with manners.

 

butters, I could understand the chart issue especially when you have some people who learned in areas where there is very little of any Class G airspace. The guys out west deal with it a lot.

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2. Not able to flight plan on the fly

3. taking too long to flight plan

 

Could any of you give some examples of the types of "on the fly" flights you'd have to plan for a company like Papillion?

 

Also, how long is too long to flight plan?

:huh: :)

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Is everyone aware that Papillon South Rim and Papillon Southern Nevada are separate operations, in two different states, with entirely independent flight departments and personnel? That may make a difference in the style of interview you expect/experience. Incidentally, neither do full-down autos for interview or training.

 

As far as the vignettes go, I think I'd consider those private pilot material. Zipper lines might be a bit more complex to interpret/visualize but both are Class E/G delineations. When I was a CFII (still moonlight on occasion because I love it) I don't think I pulled out a chart or approach plate or AFD in flight by necessity for anything within 50nm of home base (students sure did!) for over a year, but that didn't mean I didn't have them... :D

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Although...did you know that whenever there is a thick blue band, on the side where the color is darkest Class E starts at 14,500' , but on the side where it fades it begins at 1,200'?

 

Not necessarily, Mr. Butters. Class E exists at 1200' AGL unless designated otherwise. Class G airspace within the United States extends up to 14,500' MSL. At and above this altitude (through 17,999') is Class E, excluding the airspace less than 1500' above the terrain and certain special use airspace areas. That 1,500' does matter in some places.

 

airclass.jpg

 

VFRHeliMins.jpg

Edited by 280fxColorado
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"Not necessarily, Mr. Butters. Unless otherwise depicted, Class G airspace within the United States extends up to 14,500' MSL..."

 

I was just quoting the picture on p.4-58 of the Jeppesen Private Pilot Manual. Although, on the back of my chart it says, "Class E airspace exists at 1,200' AGL unless otherwise designated as shown above" (referencing the various border designs, i.e. blue band, zigzag, etc...)

 

 

"It's amazing that guys are getting through private, commercial, instrument, cfi/ii, and 1000 plus hours without committing this stuff to memory!"

 

I don't think its an issue of not commiting it to memory, but an issue of just forgetting over the years through lack of exposure? For instance, the chart I have been using for the past nine years does not even have a blue band on it!

 

 

However, I would be more interested in knowing, how long is too long to flight plan?

:)

Edited by r22butters
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However, I would be more interested in knowing, how long is too long to flight plan?

 

Not my opinion but a true story…..

 

Years ago, an old colleague of mine had an interview with one of the GOM majors. During the oral, the person conducting the interview walked over to a sectional chart hanging on the wall and with his two index fingers, pointed out two points approximately 150mn apart. He asked; “how long will it take you to plan a cross country from point A to point B?”

 

He answered correctly………

Edited by Spike
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Could any of you give some examples of the types of "on the fly" flights you'd have to plan for a company like Papillion?

 

Also, how long is too long to flight plan? :huh: :)

 

You wouldn't see too much flight planning on the fly with tour companies as they generally have a set route(s). You would see it more with utility and patrol outfits, where due to customer needs or requirements you have to make a change on your planned routing.

 

The time it takes is relative to the trip. The longer the trip and more unfamiliar you are with the area, the longer it will take. And for international, there are even more concerns to deal with. But the example the operator I talked with gave, was that he sent a new pilot to Boise with is about a 2 hour flight away, Is along the same interstate highway as their airport and the pilot was still flight planning a hour later. And it was a good weather daylight flight. Over the years I have noticed that students tend to do only the minimum amount of flight planning practice they can get away with. The more you practice the better you get at it and the faster you become.

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Yes it does.

 

Just for you I took another look, and I still do not see a blue band (or vignette) anywhere,...and I was not refering to the "key" on the back!

 

 

 

Perhaps we should start our own thread, so as not to gunk up this one?

:)

Edited by r22butters
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My flight plan example (is this interview passable?):

 

Years ago while doing turbine transition/frost patrol training in Oregon, my CFI unexpectedly came up to me and said, "Plan a flight to here (pointing at an unfamiliar airtport on an already unfamiliar chart), we'll leave as soon as you're done!".

 

Not expecting to have to do this (probably since I hadn't done it in a couple of years, since my checkride) I had not brought my E6B or Plotter with me (I didn't even have a GPS at that time), so I decided to do it the old "Mickey Mouse" way!

 

I used the "2-fingers for 10nm" rule of thumb for distance, and the nearest VOR ring for a rough heading, then I tried to find some good landmarks for "on course" reference. Needless to say, we made it there just fine (although in retrospect it may have been easier just to use the VOR that was in the helicopter :wacko: ).

 

Then, using the calculator in my phone, I did the basic calculations and told him, "We'll take this heading, its this far, if we fly at this speed it'll take this long, and we'll need this much gas!".

 

So again I ask, is this an "interview passable" way of flight planning?,...it took me about 10-15min.

:huh:

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