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Old 14th Mar 2019, 14:04
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My RYR assessment: step by step!

As others did in the past, I will post here my experience during the whole process. For your information, my application was successful and I'm booked on a TR starting in May. Also, I would like to apologise in advance for any grammar (or other) mistakes that, for sure, I'll make. As you can imagine, English is not my mother language.

I did an integrated course (in 2 years), with a mean mark over 90% in the theoretical exams (all of them passed on the first attempt). The SE+CPL and ME+IR were passed on the first attempt as well. My English ICAO level is 5.

That being said, let's start:

I set my application during the second week of January. For around 2 weeks, I didn't have any news from Ryanair nor CAE. Just the confirmation e-mail that my application was correctly received (everybody gets this). During these 2 weeks, one classmate applied as well (some days after me) and he got the invitation for the online assessment around 2 hours after his application. No, I didn't make any mistake: after 2 hours he got the email. What I want to say with this is that you should not worry too much if something similar happens to you. I really don't know the criteria they follow. Nobody knows I guess.

So after 2 weeks, I got the invitation for the online assessment. The mail was a little confusing, but basically, it was saying that I had 3 days for paying the fee to Cut-e and then, after receiving the link from this company to do the assessment, I would have another 3 days for doing it. Before this one, I was in other assessments, so I already knew about Cut-e exercises. Nonetheless, I paid for 1-month access to the Ryanair preparation in LatestPilotJobs website. I think it's worth the money. The more prepared and used to the exercises you are, the less "stressed" you'll be during that 1:45h that the online assessment lasts.

I can't remember the ATPL questions, but they were really straight. Don't expect strange things. Don't stop too much in any of them. You have 10 minutes for 30 questions. That means 30 seconds per question. If you don't know it, just skip it. I'm absolutely sure that I didn't get all of them right. So don't worry if you fail some of them. The subjects were a mix of Meteorology, Performance (no piston), Principles of Flight, Air Law, Human Performances and Operational Procedures.

Then, the 3 questions to be answered in front of the webcam were the 3 classics: Why Ryanair?; Strengths and Weaknesses; How would you act in an emergency?

After 3 days I got the email informing me that the assessment was successful. They would be calling me in the next 14 days but it could happen soon. That was on Friday. I got the call on Monday afternoon. Unfortunately, I was flying at that moment (as a passenger) so I saw the missed call after landing. I sent an email explaining what happened and the next morning I got the call again.

The call was made from CAE. A very friendly woman checking some info about my application. She also offered me 1 date for the sim assessment and interview in Dublin. Though it was just 6 days after the call, I accepted it. Don't doubt that. To the question "Are you able to attend this day?" the answer is YES. Then, in case it's a very close date (as it was in my case) you will have to search fast for tickets to Dublin, hotel (I recommend Travelodge), sim preparation (no doubts neither on this: uPilot is your best option), etc.

So next week I flew to Dublin and assisted to a 4 hours sim preparation in uPilot the same day that I arrived. John, the guy from uPilot, will help you with everything you can possibly need. I felt that he knew perfectly how to do the preparation. Progressively, he was demanding better performance in the sim and CRM. That, together with several tips he gave me and a very friendly environment, were key for my success in Ryanair headquarters the next day. By far, the best single investment that I have made since I've started my ATPL studies.

The assessment was starting the next morning at 8 am local time. It's obvious, but please, be sure that your alarm is switched to the local time. You don't want to be late this day. As soon as we arrived we were told to go to the cantine and wait there. For your information, we were 10 applicants that day. After some minutes an old guy came (I'm sorry, I can't remember the name) to guide us to a room next to the simulator. That would be our place to stay during all day. The simulator was just behind a transparent door and the interviews were done in a room next to ours.

After 30 minutes telling us what we were going to do that day and collecting all the documentation required, we were paired with our respective sim mates. We were also given the charts that we would be flying that day: Liverpool. Then we were left alone in that room so we could prepare the sim with our mate. From time to time, another guy was coming to the room to call one of us for the interview.

"What can I expect in the interview?" Well, mine was very friendly (like everything that day). They were asking me some aspects of my CV (I've studied a degree before the ATPL). Also, you can expect some questions about your last plane. What I've seen that day is that they were asking a different system to each applicant. In my case, it was about the deicing/anti-icing system. For sure, expect also some questions about Ryanair. Nothing complicated. Just a basic knowledge that almost any aviation fan would know. Just a piece of advice here: be honest. Don't try to lie. Don't try to invent things. If you don't know the answer to some questions just say "I'm sorry, I don't know". After saying that, if you are happy with it, you can add "but I would say... blah blah blah".

The simulator session, as you must already know, is with your sim partner. The instructor is just there as ATC, flight attendant... depending on the stage of the flight. What are they looking for? (My guessing). A safe, well instructed and friendly pilot. That's it. They aren't looking for a B737 master. They don't expect you to not deviate some ft from the assigned altitude. They are just looking, basically, for your CRM skills: the ability to share tasks, ask for things, help your mate, accept his help, etc. Long story short, what you should have learned in your MCC course.

So, don't forget any briefing, checklist, callouts, nor your smile, and you will be on the correct path to success. Again, let me remind you that you are not supposed to know anything about the Boeing. Just call for the checklists when you think it's the correct moment (uPilot training here is key again) and the assessor will complete them.

We performed the WAL2T SID. Flight director ON until established on R117 inbound to Wallasey. At that moment, already without Flight Director, we were told to make some turns, some climbs and descents, as well as some speed changes. After that we got a call from RYR ops informing us about an ATC strike, that would not allow us to land at our destination. It's time for showing your best CRM skills with the DODAR-NITS (or similar). By the way, as soon as I gave the controls to my first officer (remember that when you are acting as the pilot flying, you are supposed to be the captain) before proceeding with the decision-making process, the assessor froze the sim. Just keep an eye on the instruments from time to time when you are talking, even if you think it's frozen. At that moment we were also asked about our position in the chart. Just read your ADF.

After the DODAR-NITS and approach briefing, we got the aeroplane control again. We did not enter the holding pattern, but we were asked about which type of entry we should be making in case of getting that instruction. At this stage, it's supposed that you know how to do it.

Do your best when flying the approach, but remember, you are supposed to know what has to be done, but not to do it perfectly on this plane. In case of unstabilised approach or more than half-deflection on the ILS: Go-Around. Don't doubt it. It's what has to be done. Don't try to recover something that is not safe to recover. If you think that you should go-around: Go-around. If, at any moment, your first officer tells you to go-around: Go-around. Don't ask anything, don't doubt it: just Go-around. Then, once in a safe position, assess the reason for the go-around.
I guess I can't say it more clearly.

Probably you are now asking yourself "Did this guy make a go-around?". Yep, I did it. When I was already around 700 ft AGL the glideslope went down. "Go-around, flap 15". TOGA and leave the throttle to you first officer. Once we were climbing after the go-around, the assessor relocated us 3nm on final and, after telling me that was a very good decision, told me to try the landing again. This time I followed correctly the ILS and landed softly on runway 27. I'm joking, it was a pretty hard landing. But don't' worry, the landing is not part of the assessment. Just have fun at that moment and try your best with that 60 tons monster.

And that's it. You will repeat something similar but now as pilot monitoring. Try to help your mate as much as possible. What everybody says is that you should want your mate to get the job. That's the most straight and nice way for both getting the job. Don't be a passive pilot monitoring. Remember that you are also being assessed as pilot monitoring.

And that was the end of our adventure in Dublin. We finished before lunch, so my sim mate and I went back to the cantine to eat something. We both were happy with our performance in the sim. We both knew that we had made some mistakes but overall it was nice.

2 days after that, we both got the email telling that we were successful and were offered a place for the Boeing 737 Type Rating.

I hope this detailed story will help all future applicants to get an idea about what they can expect.
Best of luck guys!
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