How would you answer these interview questions?

Michael95U

Well-Known Member
These questions were asked of someone close to me in a recent interview with a Fixed Wing Air Ambulance Company. How would you guys answer these questions:

1) You preflight the aircraft and notice that one nav light is inop. The nav lights are not on the MEL and are required for the flight. Would you still take the flight to move the critical patient?

2) You arrive to pull the aircraft out of the hangar and there has just been a heavy snow fall. The tug (which is the only approved vehicle to move the aircraft) cannot operate in such heavy snow. But you do have access to a 4x4 truck. Do you go against company policy and use the 4x4 or do your scrub the mission to move the critically ill patient?

3) You are 20 minutes from your destination when the chip detector detects a chip in the left engine which causes you to shut down the engine. Do you continue to your destination with the patient, or do you divert immediately to the airport with 10 miles that can handle your aircraft?

I know how I would answer these (which was similar to how the person answered them in the interview; the person did not come away with a good feeling from the interview). How would you answer these questions?
 

amorris311

Well-Known Member
1)yes. i would still make the flight. a burnt out nave light is not going to put the aircraft in immediate danger.
2)no if there is that much snow in front of the hangar and it is still snowing then that means i need deice which can take a long time. i also need to have a clean runway. wait you said heavy snowfall so the answer is def no.
3)yea i would still continue as long as the weather was acceptable.
 

jhugz

#lighttwin Mafia
1) You preflight the aircraft and notice that one nav light is inop. The nav lights are not on the MEL and are required for the flight. Would you still take the flight to move the critical patient?

Absolutely not, it is not going to do any good for you or your patient when your climbing through 3-6 feet and your involved in a mid-air killing 6 because the other traffic didn't see your nav light. Also if a fed is around the airport and some how notices it grounding you and the airplane the pax still is not going anywhere.

2) You arrive to pull the aircraft out of the hangar and there has just been a heavy snow fall. The tug (which is the only approved vehicle to move the aircraft) cannot operate in such heavy snow. But you do have access to a 4x4 truck. Do you go against company policy and use the 4x4 or do your scrub the mission to move the critically ill patient?

Follow company guidelines they are usually there for a reason. I don't think they will be to happy if you rip the front landing gear off the airplane causing millions of dollars worth of damage. Again scrub the flight.

3) You are 20 minutes from your destination when the chip detector detects a chip in the left engine which causes you to shut down the engine. Do you continue to your destination with the patient, or do you divert immediately to the airport with 10 miles that can handle your aircraft?

Divert immediately to the nearest airport. Again it is not going to matter if the patient is in critical condition if something happens to the airplane and everybody dies.

I would also pretty my answers up for the interview but I just don't feel like doing it right now.:)

I would tell them in conclusion that I am up there to safely and efficiently operate the airplane. I need to make decisions that do not only affect my patients life but also the life of my crew.
 

jhugz

#lighttwin Mafia
1)yes. i would still make the flight. a burnt out nave light is not going to put the aircraft in immediate danger.

Bust a reg?


3)yea i would still continue as long as the weather was acceptable.

Really?
 

amorris311

Well-Known Member
1) yes, i would. there are many variables to questions like this. if i have a nav light burnt out and im in the middle of nowhere to pick someone up then yes im going to take off.

3) once again many variables. he said 20 min out from original destination. or 10 miles. we are talking about 10 min difference in planes that i have flown. if the plane has the performance and there is no immediate danger then yes i would continue.

we can play the what if game all night. i know i would be busting regulations if i took off with an inop nav light but it poses no immediate danger since i would most likely have strobes a beacon and a tail light. these are my opinions and that is why they ask questions like this. weed people out like me :)
 

fly8slep

New Member
These questions were asked of someone close to me in a recent interview with a Fixed Wing Air Ambulance Company. How would you guys answer these questions:

1) You preflight the aircraft and notice that one nav light is inop. The nav lights are not on the MEL and are required for the flight. Would you still take the flight to move the critical patient?

YES, how would they know if the light wasn't burned out in flight, I won't tell if you wont.

2) You arrive to pull the aircraft out of the hangar and there has just been a heavy snow fall. The tug (which is the only approved vehicle to move the aircraft) cannot operate in such heavy snow. But you do have access to a 4x4 truck. Do you go against company policy and use the 4x4 or do your scrub the mission to move the critically ill patient?

Scrub the Mission

3) You are 20 minutes from your destination when the chip detector detects a chip in the left engine which causes you to shut down the engine. Do you continue to your destination with the patient, or do you divert immediately to the airport with 10 miles that can handle your aircraft?

Divert

I know how I would answer these (which was similar to how the person answered them in the interview; the person did not come away with a good feeling from the interview). How would you answer these questions?
 

Nick

Well-Known Member
1) You preflight the aircraft and notice that one nav light is inop. The nav lights are not on the MEL and are required for the flight. Would you still take the flight to move the critical patient?
No.

I can't waive the rule so I can't fly the plane.

2) You arrive to pull the aircraft out of the hangar and there has just been a heavy snow fall. The tug (which is the only approved vehicle to move the aircraft) cannot operate in such heavy snow. But you do have access to a 4x4 truck. Do you go against company policy and use the 4x4 or do your scrub the mission to move the critically ill patient?
I don't see anywhere here where it says it is currently snowing. So far then, I'm going flying once the runway and taxiways are in good shape and the plane is coming out of the hangar so it is already prepared and just waiting for the airport.

Since it is company policy to only use the tug and nothing else, I'd call the company.

"Hi -- I'm here with the plane and the taxiway is plowed enough to use and the runway should be plowed enough for me to takeoff in a few minutes. I can't get the tug to work in the snow here at the hangar. We can't do this mission unless I can use the 4x4, but that's against the rule of using the tug and nothing else. Would you like me to cancel this flight, or try using the 4x4?"

If they want to waive their own rule then that is their prerogative. If they say no to changing the rule, then there is no decision to even be made -- the plane is stuck.

3) You are 20 minutes from your destination when the chip detector detects a chip in the left engine which causes you to shut down the engine. Do you continue to your destination with the patient, or do you divert immediately to the airport with 10 miles that can handle your aircraft?
Shutting down the engine would typically call for landing at the nearest suitable airport.

Not the nearest convenient airport, not the nearest maintenance airport, not the airport where the cargo or customer wants to end up, but the nearest suitable airport.

If that is the procedure in the airplane in this sceneario, then I would land at the airport ten miles away since it is the nearest suitable airport.



In all these examples, the critically ill patient on board is no different than the "christmas eve at the outstation" scenario. It is a distraction to see if a pilot will consider things that they ought to not be giving any attention to when the real answer is right in front of them: don't break the rules.
 

fly8slep

New Member
No.



In all these examples, the critically ill patient on board is no different than the "christmas eve at the outstation" scenario. It is a distraction to see if a pilot will consider things that they ought to not be giving any attention to when the real answer is right in front of them: don't break the rules.
Not really the same, the grandpa and grandma aren't going to die if they miss the Christmas dinner. The patient might die. While you're right most of these questions want to see what kind of pilot you are, these specific questions might have different answers than an airline interviewer might be looking for. If you had traumatic life threatening injury, would you be ok with the pilots decision for not taking off because of a burned light? I guess if you die, it won't matter.
 

KLB

Well-Known Member
As far as question 3 goes, I'd declare an emergency and divert to the nearest suitable and usable airport. I'd get ATC to contact the airport authourities to let them know that I have a critical patient on board who needs medical assistance. Most larger airports have EMT/paramedic trained staff in their fire fighting units I believe. If there is no such unit at said airport, I would see if I could get ATC to get an EMT/paramedics unit out to the airport.
 

KLB

Well-Known Member
Once you see an LOI with your name on it, your answers may be a bit different.
You're allowed to deviate from any reg in cases of emergency. I wonder if you can justify as patient in critical condition as an emergency? :confused:

I wouldn't want to have to answer to the FAA about it. I'm just wondering.
 

Ralgha

Well-Known Member
Not really the same, the grandpa and grandma aren't going to die if they miss the Christmas dinner. The patient might die. While you're right most of these questions want to see what kind of pilot you are, these specific questions might have different answers than an airline interviewer might be looking for. If you had traumatic life threatening injury, would you be ok with the pilots decision for not taking off because of a burned light? I guess if you die, it won't matter.
The FAA doesn't care who's depending on you. If they find out, you're history. You might get away with it for awhile, but it will eventually catch up to you. I wouldn't do it.

A prudent company would have airplanes with multiple lights and an MEL that allowed it to go.
 

fly8slep

New Member
The FAA doesn't care who's depending on you. If they find out, you're history. You might get away with it for awhile, but it will eventually catch up to you. I wouldn't do it.

A prudent company would have airplanes with multiple lights and an MEL that allowed it to go.
If the FAA actually found out that you took off with inop nav lights then you deserve to be violated, there is no way.
 

Goonie

Never say die
1). Yes!! I dont care about busting regs if it means someones life is in danger. If a pilot didnt take my loved one because of a nav light, I would personally kick their ass!!
 
1). Yes!! I dont care about busting regs if it means someones life is in danger. If a pilot didnt take my loved one because of a nav light, I would personally kick their ass!!
even if that means completely annihilating your career?

I'm sure you could get the nav light changed real quick like if you told the mechanics the situation
 

Nick

Well-Known Member
A prudent company would have airplanes with multiple lights and an MEL that allowed it to go.
Exactly.

What kind of medical ambulance company lets a patient die because a light bulb filament goes to pot.
 

fly8slep

New Member
Exactly.

What kind of medical ambulance company lets a patient die because a light bulb filament goes to pot.
That's the whole point, they want to get you out of your bubble. They will have an MEL for nav lights and they sure as hell will have a snow plower to move airplanes out of the hangar, that's not the point. It's about theory, there is no right or wrong answer, just the answer that they like. They are in the business of saving lives. It's a little cold to say I'm not going to save that life because of a burnt light that will violate regs, eventough it's a correct answer in an airline interview, it may not be for them. The next question they will ask you is; so you're ok with the person dying because of a burnt light?
 

Realms09

Well-Known Member
2) Use the 4X4 to clear the snow, then use the tug.

All three questions are asking you to balance customer service against protecting company assets. I'm guessing the company is more interested in its assets. Otherwise company policy would read "Do what you need to do to get er done."
 
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