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British Airways DEP Selection - THE lowdown Part 1

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British Airways DEP Selection - THE lowdown Part 1

Old 9th Dec 2004, 18:49
  #21 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 1999
Posts: 94
Just an update.
The first guys have been called forward from the hold pool to start on a B777 course in February.
Very few pilots in the hold pool, even less with experience.
People with Airbus ratings and some hours are being offered B777.
Less Airbuses arriving now, and going to be merged with the rest of the fleet.
Mr Benn is offline  
Old 10th Dec 2004, 15:35
  #22 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: The Land Downunder
Posts: 766
What does the medical consist of? Do I have a medical with a company doctor or does my GP fill out the form??

If there is anyone who has been through the process I would appreciate your feedback on this.
Artificial Horizon is offline  
Old 10th Dec 2004, 15:52
  #23 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: UK
Age: 46
Posts: 194

AH, the medical consists of a questionnaire with some basic questions about your health and if you've ever had a medical refused/suspended. You only have to visit the BA doctor if anything is out of the ordinary.
Jelly Doughnut is offline  
Old 12th Dec 2004, 12:09
  #24 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: London
Posts: 32
Smile More on the BA DEP selection procedure

A long-time ‘lurker’ joins the fold…..

As someone who went through BA DEP Day One and the BAC1-11 a month ago, I’ll make a few observations - these should not be taken as a comprehensive brief but just some additions, from another person’s perspective, to Localiser’s excellent post “BA DEP Selection – THE Lowdown”, posted 5th Oct 2004. (Great info LOC, thanks for going to the time and trouble). If you haven’t read it, I suggest you do so first before reading this – (s)he speaks the truth! That post has since gone off in a bit of a different direction, so I’ll start a new one here.



I had the same scenario as Loc, ie deciding on the strategy for a particular BA route. Talking to others, there’s another one which involves choosing what to put in a publication about what makes a good captain.

The big point: As Loc says there’s a LOT of information available on the table. There are also LOTs of variables you can change – aircraft type, how often its going to operate, how much you’re going to charge for a 1st/Club/Economy ticket, how much cargo capacity etc etc. Given the chance, you could easily spend the whole day debating – but you’ve only got half an hour! I think the test has been deliberately designed in this way, so you have to work quickly and focus on the main facts and figures, not the niceties. You each have a card which is the same for everyone and another one that’s specific to you – some of the latter contain crucial information, others aren’t much more than trivia. Granted, as Loc says its the way you interact with others that’s important, not what decisions you finally make (Personally, I thought our decision was quite ridiculous but more than one of us got through to the next day!). But you MUST make a decision by then end - if you’ve gone nowhere at the end, then you will look very silly when the tester asks you what group decision you’ve made and there is still clearly no consensus. On my day, only one person started a stopwatch at the beginning and seemed to be paying any attention to the time factor and driving the group towards a decision – while some others were discoursing at length on very minor details, using up precious minutes.


‘Fly an Approach’ The easy way:

Immediately dive down to ~80 feet. Be careful not to overshoot because if you reach to 50ft, the autoland will ‘capture’ far too early. At the same time bank to align with the centreline. You’re now still going flat out (400kt) at ~80ft. Your aim is to reach at point where the centreline is level with the plane’s ‘wheels’ at 100kts but get there as quickly as you can. Therefore you need to decelerate as late as possible so that the speed is just reaching 100kts as you get there. Slow down all in one go, (reduce throttle from full power to idle at once). Experiment to work out exactly when to do this but I found when the centreline reached the top of the planes twin ‘rudders’ works about right. Once the speed’s at 100kt and you’re in the correct position mentioned above, dive off the remaining height. As WWW mentioned many moons ago its basically testing your ability to monitor three variables (height, alignment and speed) all at once. Make it easy by dealing with all of the alignment and 95% of the height first, then you can concentrate totally on the speed.

‘Orientation on the radar screen’

I found this the hardest test by far! You basically have to remember four vectors e.g

1. North 25 miles
2. West 20 miles
3. South 10 miles
4. West 10 miles

These describe where our aircraft has flown from base. But the radar screen is on board out aircraft, showing where the airfield is relative to us. So for a start you have to ‘reverse’ them all ie North ---> South, East---> West etc. This test would be simple if you could sketch it out on a piece of paper. But you can’t! Also as LOC said they’re only displayed one and a time AND once only, so you have to keep them all ticking over in your short term memory (Forget one vector and its as good as over). How you achieve this I’ll leave up to you but options include using the numerical keypad as a ‘grid’, moving the joystick according to the vectors, or keeping ' x' and 'y' values ticking over in your head and adjusting them as you read each vector. Just when you think you’ve got it cracked, you move up a level and start getting ‘diagonal’ vectors too, e.g North-East 25 miles, at which point your brain really starts to melt!


- Nothing much to add here really, Loc is spot on. My interview qus were practically identical. Just make sure you can think of examples of absolutely everything (s)he mentions. It doesn’t matter how obscure, I went back to playing in sports teams at school, aged 12! If you need to ‘exaggerate’ the truth a little then make sure its nothing that you could easily be rumbled on afterwards and get your, ahem, narrative straight beforehand rather than bluffing and fumbling in the hot seat!

Whereas you can just about finish the written ex in the time allowed, there’s no way you can complete the 25 maths qus in 12 minutes. Most people (myself included) seem to answer something between 15-20. Make sure your arithmetic is up to scratch (they do provide scrap paper – it doesn’t all have to be done in your head). The only other thing I’ll say is some qus take significantly longer to calculate than others. Have a quick scan of the qu first and if it looks protracted, move straight on to the next one. I wouldn’t mind betting these longer qus have been deliberately engineered in to slow you down. As for guessing the rest (its multiple choice) – there may be negative marking (who knows for sure?) so I personally didn’t and still found myself back at Cranebank the next day. Which leads me nicely into….


You’ll be in BAC 1-11 sim with another hopeful who’s got through day one. The captain running the assessment will firstly give you a comprehensive brief on the sim along with the opportunity to ask any qus. My general thoughts:

1. The Sim. Its totally analogue. Not even an electric stab trim, only the old manual wheel. It seems quite underpowered compared to a more modern jet (e.g. 757) though I found this helpful as it gives you more time to anticipate level offs etc. Obviously, study the profile they give you on day one. Also I recommend putting your favourite anorak on, then downloading a good BAC 1-11 flight deck picture off Airliners.net | Airplanes - Aviation - Aircraft- Aircraft Photos & News to help you get an idea of where everything is (Finding one which isn’t growing dust and cobwebs with half the instruments missing in a museum is another matter though!). The assessor will get you comfortable in the sim and answer any final qus. Before the actual assessment, you’ll have a chance to take off and climb straight ahead, then maybe reposition for an ILS to get the feel of the thing. Then its for real. You’ll be repositioned to the departure runway and given a ‘slot’, giving you just ~5 mins to set up your aids and give a brief etc. Flight instruments are the normal ‘basic six’, an RMI and a RadAlt. For navigation you have two VOR/DMEs and two ADFs. As with many a/c, the off-side VOR can only be displayed as a single needle on your RMI. DMEs are only displayed as an analogue wheel, like on your car’s mileage odometer. Thus if you need to turn at e.g 2.6 DME, you just have to interpolate as best you can between the 2 and 3! To change frequencies, there is no ‘standby’ selection as on a Boeing/Airbus – PNF will have be very quick when changing freqs and course selectors etc - have a practice before you get airborne if you get a sec. Don’t forget to ident too. You cannot use Flight Directors or A/Thr. You CAN use the autopilot: It’s a little, erm, basic and personally I would recommend only using it only in level flight. It holds altitude and follows hdgs fine – but you only have a very simple ‘UP/DOWN’ attitude wheel and making the thing level off at a desired FL was beyond me, at least in the very limited time available to get to grips with it!

2. Profile. More than one person had asked what routes get flown. My best response is to quote an assessor there who said in doing xx of these assessments he’d never run the same scenario twice. They provide a laminated card with weather and notams for all the major UK airports – Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, East Mids, Birmingham, Manch, Newcastle, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. This is just from memory – there were more. I know several people who’ve been in the sim and between them have been to all of the above! So short of practicing the SIDs/STARs/Apps for all the ones you’re unfamiliar with there isn’t too much you can do to prepare. The assessor will assign you your pair of routes - GENERALLY (and I stress generally), the scenario seems to be one person flies from A to B then the other from B to C. At some point a non-technical problem (e.g bomb scare) closing B or C will force a diversion – this is where I reckon they’ll be watching your CRM and decision making process very closely. At some stage you MAY have to fly a non-precision approach or perform a go around but I know people that haven’t had to do either.

3. It’s a normal scheduled flight - That means ATC, Cabin Crew and Passengers. Try not to forget them in the heat of a diversion etc!

4. Assessment. Obviously, you’re not expected to put in a perfect performance (I know people who’ve passed having practically crashed the thing!). I’d say what they’re looking for is an overall improvement in your handling and most importantly of course, CRM! You may find you’re in with someone who has thousands of hours on jets or maybe just a few hundred on turboprops (no disrespect intended), who of course is probably familiar with completely different SOPS to you. Its all about overcoming these differences and working together effectively - This isn’t the place for a dissertation on what makes good CRM but you know what I’m getting at! How you go about this is entirely up to you – as PF you can conduct your brief, delegate tasks to the PNF (including handing over control temporarily), and run the whole operation in whatever manner you see fit.

That’s it really. Over the years I’ve found PPRuNe a fantastic resource and I doubt I’d have the job that beats working for a living now without it, so I’m happy to finally be able to put something back in. I’ll do my best to answer specific questions, which haven’t been answered 10 times before , on the above.

Good luck to all attending!

Last edited by Von Smallhausen; 12th Dec 2004 at 13:20.
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Old 13th Dec 2004, 20:08
  #25 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Around
Posts: 32
Excellent post Von, Thanks!!
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Old 16th Dec 2004, 16:54
  #26 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 227
When is the medical questionaire sent out? and if you pass day 2 are you in (medical excepted) the holding pool?
Wanabee,Gunnabee,Am is offline  
Old 2nd Jan 2005, 07:57
  #27 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Europe
Posts: 25
Localizer and Von thank you for those kind and friendly efforts. just what the aviation industry needs today.

It seems that BA are recruiting on a monthly basis and are not fussed with flight time or experience. Does anybody know figures. How many pilots are being interviewed and how many are needed to replace retired pilots? etc...

Happy New Year.
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Old 2nd Jan 2005, 08:03
  #28 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Europe
Posts: 25
Hi Von thanks for the rundown.

Was there any part of the interview or testing where you thought...(hey man that was impossible, didnt prepare for that!!!!) you know what I mean? If so can you please elaborate on this.

Thanks Von....Happy New Year.
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Old 2nd Jan 2005, 20:42
  #29 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: London
Posts: 32
Thanks. I had a fairly good idea of what to expect, having been there several years back for the sponsorship selection. Also, as I say, Loc’s post really hasn’t left much out as far as Day One’s concerned. To be honest, I probably found the ‘Orientation on a Radar Screen’ and ‘Capacity Test’ on the MicroPat the hardest bits. But no, I didn’t go away thinking I could have done more to prepare, as I don’t think there’s too much you can do to prepare for the Micropat. The bits you CAN prepare for, IMHO are researching the company and thinking of all the ‘times when you…’ in respect of the interview. Other than that make sure your arithmetic is up to scratch for the maths. For the group ex, micropat and verbal reasoning test there really isn’t too much in the way of short term preparation you can do – you’ve either got enough of the necessary qualities (human interaction, hand-eye coordination, grasp of the English language, etc) or you don’t. Sorry if this sounds harsh, but I think its true.

As far as the interview’s concerned, I really wasn’t kidding when I said I had exactly the same questions as Loc - In fact I’m pretty certain they’ve got a set list of areas to cover (if not specific questions), which everyone gets asked. Just rehearse all your answers beforehand and it’ll make it much easier to e.g recall/invent ‘a time when I overcame cultural diversity in the workplace’ than trying to do so spontaneously!

Good luck if you’re going and Happy New Year
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Old 11th Jan 2005, 14:03
  #30 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: UK
Posts: 306

Well, I guess by the response, the amount of viewings and PMs I've had, the write-upI've done of the BA DEP selection has proven most useful to many people. Thats great!

One common query I get refers to the Management and Graduate Item Bank 2004. Just to confirm; this is sent to you directly from British Airways! Once you have accepted a date for the assessment centre, a pack will arrive in the post containing a few forms, joining instructions etc. you'll also get some practice questions such as the above. Hope this clears it up!

I would also point people towards the great post Von Smallhausen has written which deals with day two of the selection process. It is a fine addition to this post imho.

Could I ask a favour please? The post I wrote obviously took me a considerable amount of time to write for which I received no payment or reward. Really, there was nothing in it for me whatsoever. If you have read my write-up and found it useful please, please donate some money to DEC Tsunami Earthquake Appeal. This is a genuine request, and the site you are directed to the is the genuine DEC website. I just thought it would be a very nice gesture given the useful information you have received.

Happy New Year to all and thanks again....
Localiser is online now  
Old 12th Jan 2005, 12:06
  #31 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 41
Hey everyone,
Can i start off by saying im not in ba regardless of my screen name....long story, but i have managed to pass the first day of selection.
Just hopeing someone who has done the sim check can help, i heard on the grape vine, that someone was in the middle of the sim check and handed over control to the other guy to give his approach brief. Pretty standard where i work. But as the rumour mill rotates and spits out info he was apparently pulled apart in the debrief for doing this.
A) is this really such a bad thing to do??
B) do ba debrief you afterwards?? I did'nt think they did which makes me think its not true.
Does n e body have n e opinions??
thanks a lot
and good luck to everybody
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Old 12th Jan 2005, 12:10
  #32 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 133
No debrief as far as I am aware.

From a couple of colleagues who did it - they can not do a debrief.
AH64 APACHE is offline  
Old 21st Jan 2005, 10:59
  #33 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 14
Does anyone have any idea how approx long you will have to wait in the holding pool, and is the order of the holding pool being used on date of assesment/experience etc?
concorde cadet is offline  
Old 23rd Jan 2005, 12:03
  #34 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: London
Posts: 137
About two weeks to be told you are in the pool and about two weeks in the pool before getting a start date seems about average. Then 3 months notice. Seniority is based on the actual job offer I assume.
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Old 23rd Jan 2005, 13:15
  #35 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 1998
Location: err, *******, we have a problem
Age: 54
Posts: 1,335
Seniority is based on the start-date at British Airways, and if more than one pilot has the same start-date then it is date of birth that determines the number within that day.
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Old 3rd Feb 2005, 18:54
  #36 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: london
Posts: 52
So come on LOC I'm sure BA recruitment want to know if you got in .
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Old 4th Feb 2005, 13:27
  #37 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Right Here.
Posts: 497
No debrief. After a last minute procedure change I asked the other guy to brief me on it while I was hand flying. Didnt affect the result. Its a CRM exercise remember.
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Old 5th Feb 2005, 00:12
  #38 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: London
Posts: 32
Was told in the brief that handing over control temporarily is fine, and we did it. After all, its meant to be as close to real life as possible. No debrief.

kfw, LOC has so far clearly given up a lot of time & gone to a lot of trouble, and not to any self-advantage. What (s)he chooses to futher divulge is up to him/her.

Last edited by Von Smallhausen; 5th Feb 2005 at 01:16.
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Old 8th Feb 2005, 18:14
  #39 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: london
Posts: 52
Keep your lederhosen on VSH I heartily agree Loc is free to divulge or not .

It would be interesting to know if he /she made it and I for one hope he/ she did .

Nothing wrong with curiosity ( unless you're a cat ) .

Now whilst we're being curious VMH did you make it ? Come on it'll be our secret just between you me and the rest of the airline .

And as you can tell from the previous post KFW is dyslexic so cannot possibly pass the selection to be a polit for AB
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Old 9th Feb 2005, 11:19
  #40 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: UK
Posts: 306
If it really is that important to you, yes I did get through the selection. However, I did turn BA down at the last minute just prior to contract signing as I decided to stay at the airline I worked for. This was because of lifestyle reasons etc.

Hope you can now sleep soundly at night...
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