I worked for COPA from October of 2011 to June of 2012. I had enough of their operation, it was a big mistake to go there. It is my opinion that COPA is a very unsafe operation.
The Panamanianís will treat you ok while you are within an earshot, but they hate gringos and will do everything in their power to screw you over. Their standards are very low. The Panamanian Pilot totally lack basic aviation knowledge such performance calculation, fuel planning, weather planning, the importance of knowing their own Manuals and Ops Specs. During my time at Copa I saw Panamanian Captain's disregard airspace limitation, controller instruction, fuel andperformance limitation. COPA is an accident waiting to happen.
The training is substandard and cheating on tests is openly encouraged. One of the requirements is a written demonstration that you read, understandand speak Spanish, you will take a regulations test in Spanish, COPA will send a translator with you during the test and she will actually do the test for you.
During the training you will be required to take a Medical and Psychological tests. You are required to pay for each test yourself, COPA will reimburse a small portion. You are required to pay for your own uniform, including epaulets and wings, this will cost you around $450.
During IOE/OEwhich is min 100 hours you will have 3 line checks, you must pass every one or face termination. I heard of pilots that failed their IOE for not turning on the lights at 18000 ft. MSL exactly, according to their statements they were off with 200 ft.
The Panamanianís are in general very rude and lack common courteousy. This is just how they are; very disrespectful to others, you will notice this the first time you take a taxi in Panama. This is strictly due to their poor education, they just donít know better and lack common sense, their flying abilities are a direct reflection of their behavior.
There has been several close calls, however COPA has been very lucky so far, a Spanish First Officer and a Panamanian Captain got into a physical altercation on final approach at the time the airport closed down, the Captain wanted to landregardless, the airspeed was bleeding down to 93 kts, before the First Officer took over the controls and saved the situation. This was swept under the carpet by the Dir Ops and Chief Pilot. This is just part of their daily occurrences.
Since you left the company,do you have any info from inside what is the situation relating to captain's,I mean, are there any others leaving the company or Copa still recruiting more or atleast looking for?
First time I hear that non-US Citizens need to pass a Lie Detector test to fly to US. Do you know if it is just for COPA? because I know for sure at least 3 major Airlines in South America are not required.
It is also obvious to me that the dont hire experienced NG Captains because they wont stick around even if they speak native Spanish. They prefer to go with Comair RJ Captains. My question is why they even bother calling NG Captains for interviews.
It is also obvious to me they dont care about having a high Pilot turn and overspending on training.
Bwahahahahaha. Why would you give a baby hot sauce when he isnt a mexican? And petoria, you are 100 percent right! I didnt agree with how you tried to **** over your instructor who is probably the best thing COPA has, and from what i heard did everything he could just to get you through the sim when you were losing 3 to 500 feet in steep turns from two witnesses. Absolutely not cool and god bless that man for he is an angel. but you just cant shit on a clean floor when you have a whole functional toilet next to you. leave that to the putas in habanos. but you are frekkin absolutely correct about everything else... applaud. hey, perhaps this is new aviation or its latin american culture. i dont know which but perhaps its about time for a career change? if this is what my beautiful career is turning into, i will gladly go home and fly for fun. and those applying, if you dont hear anything just give it up. i recommended two people with more qualification than me, and very capable pilots who never got an interview. walked that shit in myself and handed letters in. there is no rhyme or reason here, everything is just completely random like it is in most airlines. if you dont hear anything from copa, than give up, go home, and look for another job. best advice i can give you. lots of companies hiring its not the end of the world.
I can only speak as to my personal experience. I sent my stuff for direct entry captain via the internet. They emailed me about 6 weeks later. I don't speak spanish and have no inside recommendations. Was successful on the interview and start class in a couple weeks. If you are a US citizen, you do not have to take the polygraph. They can obtain what they are looking for from the FBI background check. Good luck.