Happiness is a Thorough Preflight


by Clint White

It still amazes me when I get the airport, how many pilots still fail to conduct a through preflight on their airplane. They seemingly just do a quick walk around, hop in and go. This “kick the tires and light the fires” mentality can have some deadly consequences and it can be easy to overlook little things that can lead to big issues in the air.

I currently manage a turboprop aircraft and one of the things we like do is have the airplane in the “ready” position at all times should it be needed at short notice. Sometimes, things get a little slow and the airplane can sit in the hangar for a week or more. It may be tempting for wait to preflight the plane the day of the flight, but  for both safety and aircraft utilization I like to come out a few days before, just to make sure everything is ok in addition to the preflight right before you depart. You might be amazed at what you find.

The use of your preflight checklist is a no brainer, but when your airplane sits for a bit you may need to probe deeper. I recently came out to our airplane and found the pitot tubes in the condition below: (Keep in mind both pilot tubes had been covered the whole time).

always do your preflight 

The right pilot tube had been almost complete clogged by a spider while the left pilot tube was full of sand!

Imagine if the airplane had just been pulled out, checked quickly and departed in this condition, especially in IFR. Could have made for a VERY bad day!

It may sound simple, but a thorough pre and POST flight each and every time needs to be done no matter if you are a student in a Cessna 172 or a Large Cabin jet pilot. In addition, this is an easily fixed problem but in some cases finding an issue a day or two before can mean the difference between fixing the issue and still departing for that all important trip or having to cancel because you didn’t catch it until the last minute or worse yet finding out you have a problem in the air.

The conclusion is to check your airplane and check it often. There are few better feelings than to know that you have completed a thorough and safe preflight check of your airplane. Your life depends on it.

Im sure a few pilots out there have found some interesting items during their preflight. We would love to see your pictures/captions. Please submit below!


The Accident That Didn't Happen (Breaking the accident chain through experience and knowing your limits.)

FindaPilot guest post by:

Clint White

Clint White

CEO Jet Right Aviation Services/Jet Sales Representative- SkyWater Group
FindaPilot Member since 2008

As any good pilot knows, flying can be a stressful job. Some days the skies are sunny, the winds light and everything goes according to plan. Then, there are the days almost nothing goes you way. Lousy, weather and late schedules can put a stress on even the best of pilots. Wether those days are good or bad, it is the responsibility of each and every pilot to maintain the highest levels of safety and of these, the most important is recognizing when risk factors occur and the accident chain begins to build. It is imperative that you recognize the building of that chain and to make sure you break it BEFORE that accident happens.

Case in point.... I was flying a trip the other day for my client. The weather was good with scattered thunderstorms, but the departure would be later in the day. I estimated there would still be more than enough daylight to get to the destination before sundown (the field was day VFR only) and I always take time to plan my fuel and flight for any contingency, but sometimes the best laid plans go awry…

The trip was international, so we had to make a stop at customs. The process was slow and took much longer than planned. When we departed for the destination the sun was already going down, but it still looked like we could make the airport before sunset, but you cant say the pressure wasn’t on to complete the mission.

About 20 miles from the destination things were getting dark quickly then I noticed a pretty good line of weather between us and the destination. It was tempting to try to make it before it was dark, in the weather, and with your own personal need to keep the client happy to get to the airport, but this is where experience kicks in.

As a pilot you need to see the risk factors quickly building, the links in the chain being forged by the second. That’s when your training, your experience, and frankly that little voice in your head starts to say that “This is not legal, not safe and too close to the edge of your limits” and that is exactly what mine was telling me.

Fortunately I already had by “plan B” in mind and knew of an instrument airport nearby that we could land safely at night. I told my client that due to the multiple factors we were dealing with we would be diverting to that airport, spend the night and head to the destination airport in the morning. He's  a great client and had no problem with that idea. So instead of trying for force the airplane to the destination we “broke the chain”, diverted to the other airport, and had a nice dinner with a good rest. Early the next morning we proceeded under daylight and good weather to the destination airport.

In your current or new position keep looking for the building of those links in the chain. Recognize the risk factors, learn to break the chain and make sure that your flight becomes “the accident that didn’t happen”``

Have you had a similar experience in your flight career? Please feel free to submit your story in the comments section below.


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Ferry Fuel Calculator

7 Pilot Job Hunting Hacks That You Should Be Using

In today’s Internet driven world it is easy to take the lazy way out and find a job passively using job boards and aviation application services. Here at we want to help pilots get a job whether they are using our service or not. We believe the pilot job search is an active process and if you aren’t doing all these methods than you probably should be.

1. Hit the tarmac with a resume in hand

Back before the Internet, fax machines, and email, to get a job you sometimes had to put yourself out there, literally. If you truly want a job in aviation you should shine your shoes, put on some business casual attire and hit the pavement at your local airports. Bring some resumes with the intent to give out as many as you can.

This step may not get you an interview on the spot but it is a great way to network and show your dedication to the industry. If the flight departments and flight schools at your local airport don’t know you yet this is a great way to build a network and maybe even land a job.

2. Use the FAA database to locate aircraft owners by type

You have experience in many different aircraft types and you even have a few favorites that you prefer to fly. How do you go about finding out where those aircraft are based?

Using the FAA database takes a bit of time and trouble but since so many pilots simply don’t do it you will have an edge on the competition. You will need Excel or Google Sheets to sort the data downloaded from the FAA.

             Step One: go to

Step Two: click on Licenses & Certification and select Aircraft Certification

Step Three: Click on Search Aircraft Registration Information then click on Aircraft Inquiry

Step Four: Click on State and County, pick youe state and county and click submit

Step Five: On the results page, click on the green Excel icon to download as a .xls file

Step Six: Open the file in Excel or Google Sheets to sort and search

Step Seven: Use the data on your narrowed list to start sending resumes or to get in touch with the individual or corporate flight department you are interested in

3. Use CharterHub to find charter operators in your area

If you are a pilot then you know that many charter companies are always in need of pilots. Many charter companies operate multiple aircraft types and can offer you a job based on your aircraft experience.

Similar to the FAA database, we can use to help find companies flying our preferred aircraft type.

Step One: Go to

             Step Two: Look for the Find Charter Companies search box on the left side of the page

             Step Three: enter your zip code and a range

Step Four: Sort through the results to get information on charter companies who operate in your area or who operate your aircraft type

Step Five: Use the data on your narrowed list to start sending resumes or to get in touch with the charter department you are interested in working for

4. Find flight schools using a flight school directory

If you are a CFI you can find flight schools in your area and target them in your job search. There are several resources online to help find flight schools. One of the best is on the AOPA website here:

5. Network on LinkedIn

Networking offline is very important in any job search but don’t leave out opportunities to network online too. If you aren’t a member of LinkedIn then signup and complete your free profile. After you have filled out a profile start linking up with friends and colleagues to expand your network. It is also important to join some groups and introduce yourself. Here are some recommendedgroups on LinkedIn          

            Pilot Recruitment and Contract Pilots

            Aviation Contract Pilot Pool

            Professional Pilot Employment Search

6. Network on the FindaPilot private forum and on ProPilotWorld now offers a private members only forum for its pilot subscribers. You can use the forum to ask career advice, find job leads, and network with other professional pilots!

And be sure to check out ProPilotWorld as well. It is an active forum of pilots who love to network and help other pilots. When it comes to finding a job or getting help in your career, “PPW” is an invaluable resource. To join click here.

7. Send your resume in creative ways

If you want to get the attention of a pilot hiring manager or HR department then you may have to get creative. Folding your resume into a white envelope and mailing it to HR is sure to put you in a stack of hundreds of other resumes.

Do your research and find the full name and address of the hiring manager and you are ready to apply then send your resume via FedEx. Sending via FedEx should get your resume past any gatekeepers and directly in the hands of the hiring manager. Be careful though as this tactic can get expensive.

Another cheaper yet creative way to send in a resume is to use a small shipping tube rather than an envelope. Everyone loves getting packages in the mail and a tube will certainly set your resume apart from the crowd.

While you are spending your time productively using the tips above, don’t forget to continue to use the power of the Internet to bring employers to you too. With you can publish your online profile in our pilot directory. Employers find pilots by aircraft type, type ratings, airport location flight time and more using our advanced search features. Click Here to Join FindaPilot today!

Common Pilot Interview Mistake #6

FindaPilot guest post by:

Angie Marshall

Angie Marshall

President of Cage Consulting offering Pilot Career Services
including; Airline Interview Preparation & Pilot Resumes

ubstituting professional experiences and stories with personal ones!

When searching for your stories, the primary field of investigation should be your aviation experiences.

Because of the incredible "gouge" available within the pilot community, interviewers are constantly reviewing better ways to gauge an applicants history. A result of this fact is that many interviewers are now interested in how you not only handle flying situations, but also how you handle yourself on the ground as a team member.

It is not unusual for an interviewer to ask a question such as, "Tell me about a time you failed as a leader outside the cockpit." or "Tell me about a time when you had to apologize to a coworker." These types of questions require self-evaluation in other areas besides the cockpit.

A civilian pilot might discuss a situation that occurred when he managed the aircraft scheduling for a flight school, or perhaps when he was the Chief Pilot. A military pilot might look to his experience as the Standards and Evaluation Officer, or a Safety Officer for an applicable story.

However, it is never recommended that you replace sound aviation stories with personal situations. While the interviewers understand that you are a human being with family commitments, the reality is that airline is trying to hire a pilot and an employee for their company. Whether we want to believe it or not, we do handle ourselves differently at home and with family than we do at work with supervisors and subordinates.

For example: I asked an applicant to tell me a time when he felt others lost credibility in him. He said "I promised the kids that I would take them to the zoo on Saturday. But when I returned home from a trip my wife stated that I needed to mow the yard for a family function that I had forgotten about. I had to tell my kids that I couldn't take them to the zoo. So I lost credibility in their eyes." Really?

I asked this client why he would offer such a story during a PILOT INTERVIEW! He stated that he was advised to use personal stories when discussing negatives and aviation stories when discussing positives. As an interviewer, I felt as though he was arrogant and unable to self reflect or recognize his faults.

This applicant completely short changed himself by not showing me how he handles himself at work.

Please don't get confused. Unless specifically requested to discuss a personal situation, your stories should encompass your professional aviation career. But, In order to have a well-rounded understanding of your communication skills you must spend as much time reviewing all of your professional aviation experiences in order to be ready for those "on the ground" as well as "flying" questions.

Common Pilot Interview Mistake #5

FindaPilot guest post by:

Angie Marshall

Angie Marshall

President of Cage Consulting offering Pilot Career Services
including; Airline Interview Preparation & Pilot Resumes


It is your responsibility to help the interviewer to get to know you. It is not necessarily the interviewer's responsibility to drag information out of you.

How do you become a good information giver?

It is quite straightforward. You must provide specific examples which clearly show how you handle yourself in various situations. The mistake many applicants make is they tend to philosophize their answers instead of being specific.

For example, a pilot interviewee was asked:

"Tell me about a work problem you had and explain how you handled it."

The philosophical answer:"Well, I feel the best way to work a problem is to approach it with a sense of humor and a sense of urgency. Then I like to make sure everyone is on the same page about how to proceed. But I work with a great group of pilots and we really have never had any problems."

Versus the "information giver" answer:

"I remember a trip I flew when I was a corporate pilot. I was responsible for flying two businessmen around the country to a series of business meetings. Unfortunately, on our next to the last leg home, we had to make an unscheduled stop at a small FBO in Iowa due to a mechanical problem. I immediately told the first officer to speak to the passengers regarding the unexpected stop and then had him call the company....." You would then go on to describe how you got the airplane fixed, or how you arranged to get those businessmen home in time for their next meeting. Remember to provide your communication and problem solving skills.

By describing a specific, personal situation, something that happened to you, you will help the interviewer gain insight into how you approach problems and handle conflicts. This is how interviewers get to know the real you.

Information from "Checklist by Success-A Pilots Guide to a Successful Airline Interview" by Cheryl Cage

For more information contact our office at or 720.222.1432

Common Pilot Interview Mistake #4

FindaPilot guest post by:

Angie Marshall

Angie Marshall

President of Cage Consulting offering Pilot Career Services
including; Airline Interview Preparation & Pilot Resumes

Trying to justify your actions, argue the unarguable or getting defensive!

If you have made a mistake, admit it! Show that you do accept responsibility for your actions. Don't try to argue your way of it in the interview by saying such things as you didn't know the rules, there were extenuating circumstances, everyone else was doing it, the FAA examiner was trying to get more money out of me, the instructor had it in for me, it was a speed trap, the dog ate my certificate, etc.

Yes, I have heard it all over the years!

Here are a few "bad examples" that will turn an interviewers stomach inside out.

Interviewers Question: Have you ever had a letter of warning or correction:

Applicants Answer: "Sure! Hasn't everyone with more than 6000 hours of flight time? My guess is that if someone says otherwise then they are hiding something. I mean, it is was no big deal and has since been removed."

IQ: Tell me about your ticket?

AA: "I received a speeding ticket last year because their was a speed trap. I was the only one pulled over!"

IQ: Have your ever failed a checkride and why?

AA: "The instructor failed me on an engine out procedure. I know I did everything right but I had a strong suspicion that he had it in for me regardless of how well I performed."

IQ: Have your ever been involved in any accidents or incidents?

AA: "The Captain is the one who was at the at the controls when our wing hit the fuel truck. I was doing the paperwork and he obviously wasn't paying attention. BUT, because I was the First Officer, they had to blame me too."

IQ: Have you had any written or verbal reprimands?

AA: "The new uniforms were so ugly! I hated the tie. I went to the store and found one that was in the same color family but looked so much more professional. I can't believe that my Chief Pilot wrote me a letter of reprimand for something so petty!"

The impression left on an interviewer would be of a person who is argumentative, plays the role of the victim in order to avoid critique, unwilling to accept responsibility, unwilling to improve, and only follows the rules when it fits his/her needs.

By Cheryl Cage (Checklist for Success-A Pilots Guide to a Successful Airline Interview) and Angie Marshall-Owners of Cage Marshall Consulting

For more information contact our office at or 720.222.1432

Common Pilot Interview Mistake #3

FindaPilot guest post by:

Angie Marshall

Angie Marshall

President of Cage Consulting offering Pilot Career Services
including; Airline Interview Preparation & Pilot Resumes

Using ACTUAL names during your interview! I know, I know! There are a lot of well meaning people out there who claim that by using the actual person's name when giving interview responses, will make the story more warm and fuzzy or personal. The problem with using names however, is that you are making the story PERSONAL. In other words, you are potentially setting yourself or the other person up for failure by specifically identifying them.

Example: I do a lot of interviews and have over 20 years of experience. Which means I hear a lot of stories and meet a lot of pilots! One day, I had this pilot, "Bob" tell me a story about a time when he worked with "Jim". Bob went on to tell me how Jim was weak and not the greatest pilot that Bob had ever flown. Bob stated that Jim had a hard time taking advice from anyone and would twist events to make himself look better. Bob then went on to tell me how Jim proceeded to move the aircraft incorrectly and hit the tip of the wing on a fuel truck. Bob insisted that he was assertive with Jim and used good communication skills to stop Jim from doing any further damage or from becoming irate at the unfortunate chain of events.

Fortunately, there was no damage to the wing or to the truck. The Chief Pilot came out to investigate the situation and asked both pilots to write a statement of events. No further action was taken by the company and the matter was dropped.

On the surface, the story sounded pretty good. However, unbeknownst to Bob, I had worked with Jim the week before. Jim's account of the situation on that day were completely different from Bob's. Jim stated that he was not managing the controls and was not the PIC. In fact, Jim had made mention of this event in his logbook just in case the situation went any further with the company or the FAA.

The difference in the two stories; when Jim told the story he took complete responsibility for his role in the events. Jim was on the radio with company requesting wheelchair assistance for two passengers and lost situation awareness. Additionally, Jim never placed blame on anyone but himself nor did he specify the person's name with whom he had worked.

By the time Bob finished telling his story, I had lost all faith in his ability to be forthcoming. Quite frankly, I actually found it quite sad that Bob was willing to throw one of his crew members under the bus in an effort to make himself look good.

I immediately asked Bob what he felt his strengths were. He said, "Honesty and Integrity". Needless to say, all efforts that Bob used to "woe" me from that point on during the interview were lost.

Bob and Jim's story is not uncommon for an interviewer. The best way for an applicant to prove teamwork, tactfulness, decorum, and discretion, is by leaving actual names of co-workers and employers out of the interview!

For more information or assistance with you airline interview, please visit us at or call 720.222.1432

Common Pilot Interview Mistake Tip #2

FindaPilot guest post by:

Angie Marshall

Angie Marshall

President of Cage Consulting offering Pilot Career Services
including; Airline Interview Preparation & Pilot Resumes

To be completely prepared you should have many stories to share with the interviewer that will clearly show how you handle yourself in various situations. However, it is human nature to have a couple of "really good" stories that you want to tell!

Surprise! The interviewer just isn't cooperating. The questions being asked just don't lend themselves to telling these "really good" stories.

Do not become so fixated on wanting to tell these stories that you decide, "Oh, well, this doesn't really answer the question-but, I'm going to tell it anyway!"

In addition, if you tell stories that are not applicable to the questions, the impression might be that you are trying to lead the interview.

It is much more to your advantage to answer the questions with applicable responses. This way the interviewer will feel that you are working with them, not just trying to complete your own agenda.

For more information or assistance with you airline interview, please visit us at or call 720.222.1432

Nine Steps to a Successful Airline Interview

FindaPilot guest post by:

Angie Marshall

Angie Marshall

President of Cage Consulting offering Pilot Career Services
including; Airline Interview Preparation & Pilot Resumes

Prior to and during an interview there are all kinds of unknowns facing an applicant. What exact questions will be asked? Will the interviewer be friendly or aggressive? What am I going to do if a question is asked and I don't know the answer? Add to these concerns the intense competition and the fact that, no matter how structured the process appears, the human element is always involved and there is no doubt-interviewing is stressful.

Every applicant wants to know what to expect when they sit down in an interview chair. Every applicant wants to understand how to avoid the most common mistakes. Every applicant wants to feel comfortable discussing weaknesses while at the same time stressing individual strengths. Every applicant wants to walk out of the interview saying, "I did my very best."

These are attainable goals! But, as with flight training, the learning process must be approached in a logical manner.

This logical process consists of nine basics steps. To be fully prepared for a pilot interview you must:

1. Understand the reasoning behind the pilot interviewing process.

2. Become familiar with the roles of the people involved in the process.

3. Gain an awareness of the most common mistakes.

4. Determine what life experiences (both positive and negative) best describe your individual personality.

5. Learn how to discuss your life experiences in a complete yet concise manner.

6. Practice your verbal delivery.

7. Study for the technical/written/simulator side of the interview.

8. Prepare your physical appearance to ensure a professional impression.

9. Make sure all your paperwork is complete and accurate.

Notice that nowhere have I listed "memorize the answers to the questions." This statement obviously does not apply to the technical portion.

Common Mistake #1: There is a great deal of airline interviewing advice that suggests the best way to prepare for a pilot interview is the collect a list of all possible interview questions and memorize the answers that have received the most positive responses from interviewers. I suppose that might work if you were the first person to present these answers, but you won't be.

It is important to remember that although there are thousands of pilot applicants, there are a limited number of pilot interviewers. This limited number of interviewers talk to the thousands of pilot applicants. And, never forget that interviewers talk among themselves. It is only a matter of hearing the same answer to a specific question two or three times before interviewers tag the answer as rote. It becomes obvious that the applicant is parroting an answer that someone else told them would work. No matter how good the answer is the applicant is given negative marks for using it. This parroting can sneak its way into your thinking even if you have made a sincere effort not to prepare in the manner. More mistakes to follow.....

Authors: Cheryl Cage (Checklist for Success-A Pilot's Guide to a Successful Airline Interview) and Angie Marshall. Owners of Cage Marshall Consulting

For more information or assistance with you airline interview, please visit us at or call 720.222.1432