Tuesday, April 18, 2017

It's over

I did it, I survived.

I don't know why I fall so completely apart in situations under pressure like interviews and sims.  I do pretty well under actual pressure at work, when something happens that I need to deal with, I just get on with it.  Then I'm presented with a job interview and my heart starts going pitter patter, my hands get clammy, I feel sick and feel like I can hardly breathe.

Once I get into the interview, or sim, or whatever, I am fine.  Yesterday's interview was a bit scary at first because there were three of them and one of me, and I felt somewhat in awe and somewhat outnumbered, and then they turned out to be really friendly, chill and kind, so that was great.  It was a bit weird because it seemed more like they were trying to convince me that I wanted to join their company rather than the other way round!  I got a tour of the small office building where everything happens, and got lots of "welcome on board!"s from the various staff, which isn't true because I haven't even decided!

Today wasn't like that at all.  The company building is faceless, and I waited in the lobby alone, with various company staff passing me by as they went about their days, immune to what was going on around them.

Just before 8, one of the HR staff asked for my logbooks and then disappeared back into the ether.  At 8, he returned to usher me in.  I'm not sure what they did to my logbooks.  They were waiting for me in the interview room, and weren't mentioned again.  The questions were definitely more intense than the previous day's, questions like "what attributes have you learnt over the last five years in Australia that you can bring to the jet operation?" unlike yesterday's "so what do you love about flying?"  Questions like "tell me about a time when you had worst case scenario were you had to make a decision, which one you made, and why?" instead of "so what got you in to aviation?"

Finally that was over, and I returned to my lobby couch, now joined by a few more hopefuls, both internal and external applicants.  There we waited for our sim brief - all four of us together.  After the brief, in which I asked two of the only three questions asked, I was first in for slaughter, thankfully as I was all done with waiting around.

The sim instructor was deathly serious.  I swear his facial expression hardly changed the entire time, except to look disapproving when three of the four of us admitted we only had electronic copies of the charts.  I volunteered to find a computer and print them all out, to great relief from the other two. 

The sim was partly from memory and partly under instruction from the check captain.  He told me he was ready to get going, I then had to do all of my duties up to straight and level at 3000' where he would give me further instructions.  This involved control checks, calling for a checklist, memorising the three responses, releasing the park brake, powering up to climb out at 15 degrees, reducing power by 5% at 1500' and then levelling off at 3000', maintaining 180kts and calling for the after take off checklist. 

Then it was turns, left, right, up, down, steep turns, descents, left, right, etc. until he instructed me to intercept the 210 radial to Darwin VOR.  That took a moment.  Feeling fairly overwhelmed with simply trying to keep the airplane from going where it wanted to go rather from where I wanted it to go, I managed to work out where I was (and muttering the mantra "push the head, pull the tail") intercepted the correct radial.  Hurrah.  Overhead the VOR I was instructed to turn right 130' and intercept the localiser (back course) to LAPAR, for a hold entry.  We were right on the join so given the choice between parallel and offset I chose offset as it gives you more time inbound before intercepting the ILS.  I remembered to call "set minimums" after the check captain cleared me for the approach, but once inbound (or should I say, once having re-intercepted the inbound as the EMJ doesn't seem to have such a tight turn radius as the ATR, ha ha)  I completely forgot what was supposed to come next.  I thought there were two items but I wasn't sure, so I called "Flap 3" anyway and then shortly afterwards remembered it was supposed to be "Gear down, flap 3" so I called "gear down" alone.  I remembered to finish the configuration and ask for the landing checklist at 2000' but I also called it "Before Landing Checklist" instead of "Landing Checklist" oh well.  Then it was to land (unassessed), and then apply full reverse, moderate braking, release reverse at 60kts and bring the aircraft to a stop.  Unfortunately I didn't notice when we touched down as the sim didn't feel any different so I had to ask "are we on the ground?" and then applied reverse.  (all raw data)

Once again no reaction from the check captain as I said thanks very much and left to brief the next poor victims of what it would be like!

Now it's over I can relax - and I just wait to see which jobs I am offered... and then decide which I actually want to take!!!

1 comment:

  1. All sounds very intense, and impressive, but I think I'll stay with electronic design and riding bicycles, thank you. Please keep us posted as I'm sure you will.