Aviation Interview Questions

Aviation Interview

Aviation Interview

Congratulations on getting an interview.  Review potential aviation interview questions and answers.

How did you get into flying?

Talk about what inspired you to become a pilot.

What is the crosswind limit on the Seneca?

17 kts demonstrated

Why are the fuel gauges read in KG, yet the fuel is delivered in litres?

A measure of mass, liters equals Kg divided by 0.8 (value of specific gravity).

If you have a fire from the engine in the warrior, what do you do?

Retain control, throttle close, mix ico, fuel pump off, electrical loads off.

What is the Vmca speed in the Seneca?

68kts. This is the speed at which directional control can be maintained in the event of an engine failure in the air.

What’s the radio frequency for an NDB?
200-1750kHz range (medium and low-frequency bands)

You are flying at FL350 and the temperature gauge reads -30°C. Is the aircraft flying at its optimum level?
ISA temp is -55 degrees C so as the temp is higher you are not at optimum level.

If turboprops are more efficient a/c why do they not climb that high?

Almost all energy is converted into driving the prop so as alt increases density decreases (need more dense air to drive prop), and lose effectiveness at high speeds.

Why do jet a/c fly as high as possible

Increased range and increased efficiency (cheaper). The air is less dense so there is a greater airflow through the engine. The engine is most efficient when operating at high RPM’s, which is only possible at high altitudes. Min cruise airframe drag as drag is proportional to TAS, and TAS reduces at altitude for a constant MN, which is limiting as you get higher. So less drag, and a higher SFC.

What is tyre creep and why should I be concerned about it?
Tt is when the tyre moves around the wheel hub. If left to occur, it could rip out the inflation valve and cause the tyre to explode. Creep marks are painted on to identify a problem.

Why can’t you feather the engine below that RPM?
Because the feather locks will take force, preventing the engine from being feathered.

If you had a engine loss on a twin, which way would you prefer the wind coming from, the live side or dead side? Why, explain?

Would prefer it coming from the dead side as this would help prevent the natural tendency for the aircraft to yaw towards the dead engine.

If you had a engine loss on a twin, which way would you prefer the wind coming from, the live side or dead side? Why, explain?
It would prefer it coming from the dead side as this would help prevent the natural tendency for the aircraft to yaw towards the dead engine.

What’s the purpose of the mirror looking at the nose-wheel on a Seneca?
To aid taxiing and to ensure nose wheel deployment when selected.

When would you use carburetor heat in a small aircraft?
During descents, or sustained periods of time at a low power setting. Should be switched off before applying throttle.

What is a high bypass ratio engine?
Basically, a turbo jet mounted behind a fan. Around one-fifth of the air goes through the combustion chamber.

You are on a flight from Stansted to Amsterdam and just after T/O are at your cleared level of 2000ft when you have complete radio failure. What are your actions?
Presuming on an IFR flight plan, I would maintain my current cleared level for a period of 6 minutes, then continue on flied flight plan, continuing to make position reports. I would commence my descent within 10 minutes from over the holding fix at the last acknowledged EAT or calculated ETA.

Take me through the V speeds on a Seneca?
Vmca=68, Vr=77, Vx=76, Vy=89, Vyse=89, Vso=66 Vs1=60 Vne=195 Vno=163 Va=121

Does the Seneca have a carb heat system?
No as the Seneca has fuel injectors and thus no carburetor.

What do you know about carb icing?
Acceleration of air in the venturi, and around the throttle valve produces a temperature drop which, combined with the heat absorbed as fuel evaporates, can cause icing even when no moisture present. This can disturb the flow of air and fuel into the engine manifold and cause it to run roughly or lose power. Throttle icing more likely at low power settings (descents). Carb icing can occur between -10 and

What’s the benefit of fuel injected engines?
Freedom from fuel ice, more uniformed delivery of fuel, improved control of fuel-air ratio, increased engine efficiency, instant response after engine idling, fewer maintenance problems.

What’s the benefit of turbo charged engines?
It produces a greater power output than a normally aspirated engine of the same cylinder size. The air is compressed which means more goes in, needing more fuel to be delivered to carburettor to maintain correct mixture which produces a greater power output.

What’s the purpose of the mirror looking at the nose-wheel on a Seneca?
To aid taxiing and to ensure nose wheel deployment when selected.

What is the sequence of actions to do following an engine failure?
Retain control of the aircraft, once under control – throttle idle, fuel off, fire handle pull, QRH drills.

At what approximate altitude is the speed indication changing from IAS to Mach?
Around 26,000ft.

What is density altitude?
The air density value represents that of the level under question – I.e. altitude measured against its air density value.

What is the maximum operating ceiling of a typical jet?
Around 41,000ft

What are the errors in an ADF?
• Interference from other NDB’s
• Static, especially during thunderstorms
• Night effect
• Coastal refraction
• Mountain effect
• Aircraft quandrantal error

How do the pneumatic de-icing devices on the Seneca work?
Positive pressure is taken from two engine driven pressure pumps, protected by pressure regulators on the firewall, which provide pressure between 4.5 and 5.2” Hg. When switched on, a system cycle timer is activated which energises the pressure control valves for 6 seconds. Air pressure is released to the boots, inflating them. When complete, solenoid valves permit the automatic overboard dumping of the pressurised air. Also there is wind screen de-ice which is a fluid in the front nose compartment.

What do airlines have to guard against reaching Mcrit?
Mach Trimmer senses the increasing speed, and move the CofG rearwards, and provide nose up trim to counter the possibility of Mach Tuck. Also, Overspeed warning informs the pilot and the barbers pole on the ASI.

What is the difference between angle of attack and angle of incidence?
Angle of attack is the angle between the chord line and the relative airflow, and thus can be varied. Angle of incidence is the angle between the chord line and the longitudinal axis, and so is fixed by the manufacturer.

How does a carb heat system work?
Warm unfiltered air is taken from the exhaust and fed straight back into the engine. This is unfiltered air, so should be used with caution.

How does a 2-stroke engine work?
Induction, compression, combustion, exhaust in two strokes.

What is so special about modern Jet Airliners?
Have swept wings which increases Mcrit. Allows faster cruise speeds.

What is a moment arm?
Moment arm is the distance from the pivot point to the point where the force acts.

What do MDA and DA mean?
Minimum Descent Altitude (NDB) and Decision Altitude (DA).

What would you do if you had a radio failure on take off?
You maintain assigned level, or flight plan level as files, and descend for the approach within 10minutes of the EAT.

Why does the 737 have a variable incidence tail plane?
It provides a balancing force for a large centre of gravity range, provides balancing force for a large speed range, cope with large configuration changes (flaps and slat deployment etc), and reduce elevator trim drag to a minimum.

Tell me about the 737-800 wings?
Swept wings with blended winglets.

How does a wing produce lift?
The wing acts like a Venturi tube, low-pressure air over the wing and high-pressure underneath. This causes lift to occur.

What is a Mach Trimmer?
Mach Trimmer is used to counter Mach Tuck by moving the CofG rearwards (redistributing fuel to the rear tanks), and also trimming the elevator. This allows speeds higher than Mcrit to be flown, but a reduced MMO comes into force if the Mach Trimmer is unserviceable.

Explain Mach tuck?
Mach Tuck occurs at and above Mach Crit. At this speed, the airflow starts to go supersonic on the airframe, and this causes a separation of the boundary layer. This occurs first at the inboard section of the wing which on a swept wing means that the inboard section loses lift first, so the Centre of Pressure (through which lift acts) moves rearwards. This will move behind the CofG, and so causing a nose down pitching moment. This is Mach Tuck.

What are the problems with using an NDB?
Dip error is a problem, also the fact that the needle can home into storms and static activity making it possibly unreliable. The NDB can only be used inside its published DOC although it may be possible to pick up a signal earlier.

What do you know about B737-800?
189 pax, medium-range jet airliner, CFM-56-7B engines (2 of them!), more efficient than its competitors and can cruise higher than its competitors. Launched in 1999.

How many seats has the 737 – 800?
189

What is the fuel capacity of the 737 – 800 ?
26,000l which is 20,000kg

What is the Vmca speed on the warrior?
None as it is a single engine aircraft.

What is Convergence?
It is the way in which the lines of longitude converge I.e. it is zero at the equator and maximum at the poles. The formula is chlong x sin mean lat.

What is a Great Circle?
It is the shortest distance between two points on a sphere such as the earth. Constantly changing track direction due to convergence.

What is the speed of sound?
340m/s

Why would someone fly a Rhumb Line Track?
It has a constant track direction therefore, will be easier to navigate than a great circle, although will take longer.

What is a Rhumb Line?
A straight line drawn between two points on a sphere.

Why are the fuel gauges read in KG, yet the fuel is delivered in litres?
The measure of mass, liters equals Kg divided by 0.8 (value of specific gravity).

How are contrails formed?
Water vapour is a product of combustion, therefore at cold temps at high altitudes, the water will condense to form contrails.

Explain the otto cycle?
Induction, compression, combustion, exhaust.

When does the speed change from IAS to MACH?
Around 26,000ft.

What’s an NDB?
Non-directional Beacon used for navigation purposes.

MSA figures on the chart refer to a radial distance of how many miles?
25nm

What does PAPI stand for?
Precision Approach Path Indicator.

What motivates you about flying?
This is a question that has to be answered from the heart. I am sure you have answer :)

Explain what coffin corner is and what happens to it?
Where the boundary for Low-Speed Buffet and High-Speed Buffet meet. Go slower and you stall, faster and you encounter Mach Tuck.

Tell me about adiabatic lapse rates?
ELR is 2 per 1000ft, SALR is 1.5 per 1000ft, DALR is 3 per 1000ft.

What is the LSS at sea level in ISA conditions?
340m/s

The ‘Fohn Wind’…Explain it?
Air rises on a hill and is cooled at the DALR until it reaches its dewpoint, at which point it rises at the SALR, forms a cloud, and then rain. The air then descends across the other side and has less water content so is dryer and warmer. This causes a hot dry wind on the leeward side of the hill.

What are the effects are on the human body in case of depressurisation?
Lack of oxygen can cause dizziness, nausea and eventual lack of consciousness. Hypoxia and Decompression sickness – nitrogen forming bubbles in the blood.
How do the pneumatic de-icing devices on the Seneca work?
Positive pressure is taken from two engine driven pressure pumps, protected by pressure regulators on the firewall, which provide pressure between 4.5 and 5.2” Hg. When switched on, a system cycle timer is activated which energises the pressure control valves for 6 seconds. Air pressure is released to the boots, inflating them. When complete, solenoid valves permit the automatic overboard dumping of the pressurised air. Also there is wind screen de-ice which is a fluid in the front nose compartment.

Explain the term ‘critical engine’
The critical engine is the engine which if it fails will generate the biggest yawing moment. The largest moment is generated by the engine with the down going blade furthest from the datum. I.e. if you were looking from the rear at engines rotating clockwise, the left hand engine will be critical as the moment arm is shorter so there will be a greater yawing moment to the left if that engine fails.

Does the Seneca have a critical engine?
No, as the Seneca has counter rotating propellers I.e. one rotates counter clockwise, and one rotates clockwise thus the thrust moment arm is the same on each side.

Does a jet have a critical engine?
No, as the jet thrust is diverted rearwards, so the failure of either engine will generate the same yawing moment. The engine casing ensures that no thrust is diverted to the side.

Explain Vmca and Vmcg?
Vmca is minimum control speed in the air in the event of the failure of the most critical engine. Vmcg is the equivalent for the ground. Vmcl is the other one which relates to the landing configuration I.e. minimum control permitting changes in power.

What is the range of a VOR?
Range is normally 1.25xsquare root of H1 + 1.25xsquare root of H2

What is the range of an NDB, on average?
10-25nm although can be up to 600nm over sea, and 300nm over land. 3xsquare root of power over land, 9x square root of power over sea.

How would you navigate if all the VOR’s and NDB’s on route fail?
Visual navigation if possible, if not you could use IRS or GPS depending on the systems fitted onboard.

Tell me about the recovery procedure for spin in the warrior?
Power, Opposite Aileron, Opposite Rudder, Elevator Neutral.

How can you tell the battery is charging?
Because there will be a value shown on the Ammeter I.e. the ammeter will be charging the battery.

Which is faster London to New York or New York to London?
New York to London because Jet Streams flow from West to East so you can get a huge tail wind and arrive quicker.

What is the difference between Volts and Amps?
Volts is a measure of potential difference and Amps is a measure of power.

What happens to V1 with a wet runway?
Decreases to compensate for the increased stopping distance.

What is Vmu?
The minimum unstuck speed all engines operating

Can Vmcg be lower than V1?
Vmcg must be less than or equal to V1 in order to maintain control if the most critical engine fails on the takeoff run. This would allow the pilot to maintain runway heading etc

What is V1, V2, Vr, Vmca, Vmcg and where do they stand to each other?
V1 is decision speed, V2 takeoff safety speed, Vr is rotation speed, Vmca is min control speed in air in event of failure of most critical engine, Vmcg is min speed at which control can be maintained on the ground with just rudder etc if critical engine fails.
V1 greater than or equal to Vmcg, V2 = 1.1xVmca and 1.2 VS

What affect does a wet runway have on V1 and V2 ?
V1 will decrease as requires larger stopping distance. V2 remains the same, although screen height decreases to 15ft for a jet as a proportion of the climb to screen height is accounted for in the ground run (is usually 35ft)

What are the advantages of an all moving tailplane?
A all moving tailplane provides a balancing force for a large centre of gravity range, provides balancing force for a large speed range, cope with large configuration changes (flaps and slat deployment etc), and reduce elevator trim drag to a minimum.

Why does it increase the Mcrit?
Wing only responsive to the velocity vector perpendicular to the leading edge, and the swept wing makes the velocity vector perpendicular to the leading edge shorter than the chord wise resultant – the wing thinks it is flying slower than it is, so the airspeed can be increased.

Give one disadvantage of swept wing aircraft and what we can do to overcome it?
Tendency to stall at the tip and lead to super stall – this is countered by washout which maintains the same angle of attack all along the wing, promoting root stall which stops the nose up pitching moment occurring.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a swept wing?
Advantages: increased Mcrit, increased lateral stability. Disadvantages: less efficient, requires a higher angle of attack, is liable to stall at the tip unless prevented by washout or wing fences etc, reduced efficiency of flying controls as not perpendicular to the airflow.

Is it an effective wing?
It is less efficient lift wise, but allows us to fly at higher speeds which far outweighs the disadvantages. The swept wing also increases lateral stability.

Why do we use swept wings on jet aircraft?
To increase Mcrit, allowing us to fly at higher speeds.

What are the lift qualities of a swept wing?
Not as good as a straight wing, although they do enable the aircraft to be flown at higher speeds as they increase Mcrit. The swept wing is less susceptible to changes in lift with turbulence as it is less efficient to start with. They also require a higher angle attack for a given value of lift, and CL max is less, and occurs at a higher angle of attack.

Why do aircraft have leading edge devices?
This is to increase the area of the wing or chord line, creating more lift. Slots reinvigorate the airflow by delaying the separation of the boundary layer.

How do high lift devices work?
These work by increasing the area of the wing, (S in the equation), thereby increasing the lift. This means that you can trade a slower speed for more wing area to maintain lift at low speeds. This is useful on final approach etc. Slots delay the separation of the boundary layer. Trailing edge flaps also provide extra lift up to about 25 degrees, when the drag produced becomes great.

Tell me about occluded front?
An occluded front is where a warm and cold front meet. Cold front moves faster than the warm front so catches it up. Can expect combination of both weather.

Tell me what you know about radiation fog?
Radiation fog occurs in-land, near valleys and low lying areas. The requirement is of a cloudless night, moist air requiring only slight cooling to reach its dewpoint, and a light wind of around 2-8kts. Earths surface loses heat by radiation, raising the temp of the air and causing it to condense and form fog.

What is the height of the tropopause?
36,000ft

Why should you avoid thunderstorms?
You should avoid thunderstorms because of all the hazards – firstly windshear can be experienced which can be severe. Heavy turbulence, caused by large up and down draughts. Icing conditions – air is moist and can cause icing on the airframe and in engines etc. Reduced visibility, and possible radio failure due to static interference.

What is wind sheer?
Wind sheer is a rapid change in wind speed/direction (velocity) over a short space of time.

One thought on “Aviation Interview Questions

  1. The question ”What is the height of tropopause” is wrong:
    Answer is : Depends about the temperature. But Poles:25,000ft & Equator:55,000ft.

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