Sunday, October 17, 2010

Airline Pilot

Sorry for the delay. Apparently I haven't posted since March. Between then and now a lot has happened. I've officially ended my career as a flight instructor and began the adventure as an airline pilot. As a look back, nothing really pushed me to pursue this particular airline (or a life as an airline pilot). I have a friend who I flew with during my training at ATP that works here and has always encouraged me to apply. I think I did apply back when I had a merely 400 hours. I was never very pursuant towards this airline before, but now I figured I'd give it a shot since I was now a veteran of flight instructing.

I got a call only 2 days after I had submitted my resume. I received an interview that was to be at the La Guardia airport in New York. I wasn't nervous until the day I was to travel to New York. What really gets me nervous is when there is so much complexity in something, that there has to be a failure in the execution. Here's the situation: drive 3 hours from my house to an international airport in California, catch a 2-leg flight to arrive in La Guardia, arrive to have time to accomplish apart of the 2-day interview, find somewhere to stay for the second day.

I had to wake up at 2 A.M. to make my flight at an airport that was 3 hours drive from my house. I said goodbye to my wife and 3-month old son and began my trek. The drive was eerie, but I arrived to the airport in time and flew across the country to finally make it to my destination. I figured no one would be at the interview location at the time I had arrived, but decided to make sure nonetheless. Luckily, there were still people there and I was eventually asked if I wanted to take the written examination right then. I figured I'd get it out the way and agreed to take it. A failure on the written would get you a ticket back home without an interview, but I missed only two questions, and I stayed. That night I got a much expected 4 hours of sleep. I had an original room that had poorly sealed windows right next to a freeway that ended up waking me up mid-sleep. I got a new room, consequently, where I finally was able to sleep for the 4 hours I was destined.

The interview consisted of a human resources portion, a logbook examination and a full-motion simulator evaluation, the latter being the most crucial. Despite my nervousness, I breezed through the first two portions and focused on the simulator. It was a Beech 1900D full motion simulator and we were required to takeoff, fly a published IFR hold and then fly an ILS back to La Guardia. I flew first since my sim partner was too nervous to accept it. God was with me because my flight was almost perfect except for a few expected little mistakes (I flew almost too calm). I had made it through the interview.

My flight home compared to my flight there was like 'night and day'. I felt very accomplished. It was now time to wait and see if this was the direction I would go.