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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 4th Feb 2011, 05:24
  #1801 (permalink)  
 
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I think we all respect high standards, but the trouble is that at the moment selection at BA is going to be a very competive process...so the selection team can be really really picky.

Permafrost tell us he/she flew to IR standards, excellent, but what if everybody else that day flew to a higher standard? He/she went around after going high and getting four whites - good decision but what if nobody else that day drifted into the four whites? What if Permafrost was on the edge for selection for things such as "Notechs" - BA trainers are nowadays very hot on assessing and debriefing "Notech" skills ( or lack of them!!!) during recurrent training.

Maybe the four whites was a red herring, maybe the four whites just tipped the balance of the selectors thinking. Seemingly Permafrost will never know because feedback is not offered ( wrongly IMHO ).

BTW and as an aside for the benefit of future applicants lets not start any folklore such as "BA will fail you if you go around"....'cos the selectors sure as *** will not be impressed with a landing off an unstable approach ....

Last edited by wiggy; 4th Feb 2011 at 11:13.
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Old 4th Feb 2011, 08:06
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According to ppjn they are still looking for applicants for the DEP scheme however, I can't seem to find a place to apply via;BA Recruitment
I have searched and can't find an, "apply here" option, only a login option which you can only use if you've already applied for a vacancy....
Any help please...
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Old 4th Feb 2011, 08:32
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The application process has closed, whilst they wade through the all the assessments. (depending on who you believe, anywhere from 1500 to 3000 or more applied in the one week that the application was open).

Lets try and keep this thread pleasent and helpful shall we? I, and many others, have succeeded in passing the assessment with the invaluable help from many on this thread, everything you need is in here somewhere.

I don't know what they are looking for on the assessment day, but what i do know is that the assessment (both day 1 and sim) is not competative, so you are not assessed relative to everyone else that day / week / month. Its a fixed bar, you get over it, you pass. Some assessment days everyone could pass, others, nobody. What that bar is that you need to get over - your guess is as good as mine.
However with regard to the sim: There is alot of 'folklore' around, and quite a few comments on here going back over the years that the Notechs stuff is what they are looking at - CRM, Decision making, supporting the other pilot where needed etc etc. I believe that is 100% the case - They don't expect you to be able to pole around a 747 perfectly. I think it is primarily a capaicty excercise - can you handle flying a 747 raw data and still have some brain capacity left to make good decisions, still have good people skills and CRM, or do you fall apart and bark at your oppo.

The assessment also ends at DA / MDA - that is made very plain on the day. So personally I would make the sensible decision, 4 whites at DA/MDA - I'd go around. 2 reds / 2 whites at DA/MDA - decide to land - if it all goes to pot below that (which it may as the visual perspective from a 747 flight deck is quite different to what most are used to!) then that bit is unassessed, and your assessor may well help you out there anyway.
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Old 4th Feb 2011, 08:54
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Hi all, thanks for all the constructive advice on here. It really helped and I got in this week. I want to back up what 757 said. It is all about the crm, team work and decision making in the sim. Myself and my sim partner both made mistakes, I flew it pretty poorly, my localiser tracking was a particular highlight but throughout the two sectors both myself and my sim partner backed each other up, used good crm and muddled through.( Neither of us landed, I was way off the centre line he was not visual). We both got through. My advice, by all means practice flying a 747 or at least use flight sim but remember the flying is just one part of the assessment. Good luck.
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Old 4th Feb 2011, 10:47
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Apologies for the thread creep, I hope most of you would understand I couldn't quite let Blue Riband get away with that comment. Incidentally, all the pilots I met during the assessment and sim stages were incredibly friendly and professional. One of them did mention there are a still a few dinosaurs around though. QED Blue Riband. I am however glad that you keep statistics about A320 pilots going around the first time they sit in a 747

I have absolutely no right to demand a job from BA or any other airline based on my own impressions of a sim check. But I worked very hard to give BA my best shot. And this thread has been a wealth of information. I just feel disappointed that after all that hard work on my part, I have no way to know what BA did not like about me. If I made a mistake and didn't realise I did, then it's worth trying again next time around. If it's do with personality or raw flying skills, I'd probably end up with the same result next time around.

Congrats to all who got in!
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Old 4th Feb 2011, 11:19
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Time to command

Im posting this because it is really important to know how the seniority system works before you join ANY airline.

You need to take the average age of
leavers and minus the average age of joiners and divide that figure by two.

Without any of the many variables that is the basic time to command.

Eg if say BA are recruiting mainly SSPs ie in their early 20s and most retire at 60 then its approx 20 years to command 1 capt and 1 F/O per jet 40 year career.

Now for the variables that reduce that timescale,

Expansion, being a new company, bidding for a less popular fleet, joining at the beginning of a recruitment bulge ( now ), joining a company with a higher average age of pilot.

The converse will have the opposite effect but add an increase in retirement age to the mix.

Now specifics for BA.

Craggenmore said re 18 years to a LH command " wow the balance is swayed " , well I dont think it is. With most pilots in BA being over 30 in the late 80s this is lower than it would normally be.

A large number of cadets were recruited late 80s /early 90s so now there are a large number of LH captains with 15 to 25 years to go before retiring. BA in fairness did target 25 to 30 year olds with a specific entry criteria in late 87 ( IEP ).
Those 40 something ( age ) cadets ( Brit bus driver ) are actually highly experienced ,highly trained and capable forty something EX CADETS. The DFO is one of them.
When you consider any airline you must consider the whole package including time to command. Its no use moaning once you have joined that you will never get a LH command.
BA could offer reduced Ts and Cs to junior F/Os for a quick command onto the 787/380 when they arrive. That may well suit some but be prepared for it to happen again in 5 to 10 years time in the race to the bottom.

Decide whats important to you and go for it with the best info available.

Of course there's always promotion on merit if thats what you fancy your time to command could be significantly reduced but on the other hand you may never get it if you are only F/O average and are beaten at selection by others each time. Imagine being a decent hard working guy ( gal ) but younger less experienced aces simply perform better on the day. knackered but go into discretion / cant go sick because you have command selection next month? Hmmmn .

BAs selection system may not be perfect but its as objective as its possible to get IMHO.

Hope this helps someone.
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Old 4th Feb 2011, 11:24
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I'm in BA, and when a mate failed the selection process, I chatted to one of the Recuitment Managers, pointing out that IMO he was a better prospect in BA than me

The response was that, given in almost all instances the excess of suitable applicants over places, was to ensure that all who got in were "suitable". Not necessarily "the best". Ensure the unsuitable did not get in. The consequence of that is plenty who are suitable are rejected. Either through a "bad day", a personality clash between one of the interviewers and the applicant, or just bad luck. So for those who do not make it, there is not necessarily a "problem" with you... the numbers game is just against you. You are not competing against a fixed standard (e.g. that required for an IR pass), but just how do we select X from X times a lot

While we're at it
performed as per Instrument Rating standards
in BA Sims we are assessed on a 1-4 scale. 4 is a "fail", both in BA and IR terms. 3 is a "Basic" and although a "pass", will get you a phone call 2 is "BA Standard", and 1 means you a trainer or bribed the checker (and gets you a letter!). So just meeting IR standards is not really enough, and given the competition in applications, a 2 or even 1 equivalent is probably required


PS and the mate above got in at the next application
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Old 4th Feb 2011, 13:11
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Thanks NigelOnDraft. I guess a lot of those young bright chaps have a better scan than my 40+ brain

I've got better stories to share in front of a few pints in the hotel though
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Old 5th Feb 2011, 18:40
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Part Time

I know it is not directly related to the selection process. I am wondering how feasible it would be for someone who has recently joined, to apply for part time and be successful in their request.

Is 75/25 or 50/50 available, or is the whole process a bit more complicated?
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Old 5th Feb 2011, 22:13
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Twang - I may have mis-read, but at no point did I suggest that those EX CADET (your caps for some reason) 40-somethings (ie the same age as me) were anything but highly competent, capable and professional - I do fly with them!

Part-Time: As I understand it, if you have kids, you have a right to request part-time working; 75% seems to be the norm. Other permutations are available (72% = one month off, two on vice one week a month off for 75%) through the annual bid process.
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Old 6th Feb 2011, 16:41
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Brit bus you said ..... Those 40 something cadets. I reckon they've earned the right to be called something else.
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Old 6th Feb 2011, 18:16
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Part Time

if you have kids, you have a right to request part-time working
You don't have to have kids to apply for part time at BA anymore.

There are now two forms of part time available, Right to Request (RTR) which may be granted to those with childcare issues or similar commitments.

There's also Aspirational Part Time Working (APTW) which anyone can apply for, irrespective of domestic issues, and it's bid for and handled as part of the the annual bidding process for Fleet and Appointment changes. Since APTW'ing is not a legal right getting it is very much dependant on your seniority and the manning levels on your Fleet. APTW contracts are either 72% (?), which is two full time months followed by a third month containing a recency trip, or 58%, which is full time month alternating with a month with a recency trip..
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Old 7th Feb 2011, 09:38
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I understand that they are running around 3 a week, and pairing guys up where necessary from their request list.
That's the bit that winds me up. Fair enough if I don't meet a certain standard. But if I'm supposed to be as good on the day as guys who have paid for two hours in a 747 a sim...
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Old 7th Feb 2011, 10:04
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P ATPL,

Fully understand it feels like a kick in the nuts to make it to the final hurdle then fall by the wayside but you're running the risk of sounding like a sour puss.

The option of some sim practice is there for all - its not cheap, but big picture stuff; its 400 quid when youve spent 50k+ and are on the threshold of a lifetime career with a premier legacy carrier ?? Did it myself back in 06 for flybe, granted I used the 727 in Bournemouth and at the time flybes sim checks were on the 146.

That aside, when I went for the BA checkride in 08 I'd prepared by using MS Flightsim - far cheaper and you can do it in your pyjamas. My scan had slowed down operating the Dash 8 (autopilot or visual approaches dont bode well for a slick scan) and the MSFS was great at bringing it up to speed - in addition to knowing where to look for stuff when you needed it.

Also and I CANNOT SAY THIS LOUD ENOUGH - its about CRM in its purest form: distributing tasks effectively among you and your partner, helping your partner when you see gottchas brewing, verbalising your mental model, establishing bottom lines, being relaxed supportive and approachable, ensuring secondary tasks are prioritised to retain sufficient resources for primary duties etc etc.

P ATPL, you are now clogging the thread with a bit of a sob story and it is probably a good time to stop. Many many others have been in your boots but have chosen to lick their wounds privately - I personally find that 12 year old single malts are great listeners.

Good luck to those with check rides on the horizon - and always anticipate the pitch power couple.......

Last edited by Chief Brody; 7th Feb 2011 at 10:24.
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Old 7th Feb 2011, 10:42
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P ATPL, you are now clogging the thread with a bit of a sob story and it is probably a good time to stop. Many many others have been in your boots but had the dignity to lick their wounds privately - preferably with a 12 year old single malt.
Well hopefully it will be of use to others who are thinking "I have thousands of hours, a good training record and have spent the last three weeks flying raw data approaches. That should do it". It might not and therefore spending that extra money on a 747 sim might be wise. Lesson learned as far as I'm concerned.

And just to keep Chief Brody happy, here's a couple of things I learned in the process:

- "speedbird123, what is highest fligh level you can accept for this sector?" caught me off guard during the departure. It's not something you often think about during normal line flying. Might be worth thinking about it based on trip miles while you're in the briefing room

- practicing mostly raw data approaches on Flight Simulator was probably not the best use of my time. You can do that during your day job and let's face it's not so hard. What we never do on the line: raw data complex departure. I definitely found it hard work during the sim check. It's not something that's easy to practice on your own in Flight Sim though, which is were he full 747 sim might be a huge advantage (even for PNF). My departure involved four VORs and an NDB.

- the sim notes you get ahead of the event give you a nice calm speed/pitch/power profile based on intercepting the localiser well below glide slope with Flaps 10. Both myself and my sim partner were vectored to intercept the localiser exactly on glideslope and still descending from downwind leg. Even though we realised it on the intercept vector, it was hard work if you've never flown a 747 before. Watch out for that.

Everything else has been mentioned here before.
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Old 7th Feb 2011, 11:26
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Credit where its due P ATPL what you've written there is constructive and useful.

The 'what level' ATC query is a classic sim check distraction tactic during the high workload environment of the departure.

You could have said - "Dave just ask him to standby a minute or two" (Daves your sim partner BTW) after thats done "Thanks, just concentrating on the departure and configuring"

In doing so, youve mentioned your pals name thus adding to the cohesion of the team (Dale Carnigy - How To Win Friends And Influence People) as well as verbalising your prioritisation of the tasks at hand.

Secondly - a bit cruel of them to give you such a bitch of a SID, which one was it?

Thirdly re the continuous descent approach vectors, you could have said...

"ATC sound pretty quiet, there's a chance of them cutting us in short - lets be proactive and let them know this is a training sector and that we want a 10 mile final and clearance to 3000 ft by early base leg" "The period of level flight will allow us keep our energy in-check and configure, ready in time for the slope"

This would do several things. One demonstrate you sharing your mental model, two demonstrate you're awareness of the CDA threat, three show you taking charge of the fluid situation (even if ATC said no, you've demonstrated you tried to). All of which BA would label as operating at the 'think ahead' level of the NUTA acronym - Notice, Understand, Think Ahead.

So that everyones aware of NUTA, its not just another BA sickly sweet tool its actually quite useful. A simple example using a 20 knot tailwind component on base...

Nigel Notices (N) - "That winds been chasing us the whole way down" - good that he noticed but so what?

Nigel Understands (U) - "If this keeps up our groundspeed gonna be slick during base leg" - getting better, but.....ideally....

Nigel Thinks Ahead (TA) - "Dave I know I said lets be flap 1 and 180 knots in the briefing but in light of the wind lets be flap 2 and 170 with the option of the gear if we need it" - by jove I think hes got it - hes spotting those threats, sharing them with his mate and coming up with a gameplan to mitigate!

Again, I reiterate your comments were useful and the above is just my ramblings.
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Old 7th Feb 2011, 11:42
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Brody is spot on.

If you don't like how close ATC are vectoring you in, tell them you want a longer finals.

If the cruise level ATC have given you is too high to not give you enough time in the cruise to brief the descent and approach, tell them you want lower.

MAKE ATC WORK FOR YOU!

The sim is all about crew co-operation and flight and workload management. Everyone should stop getting so worked up about have practice sim time or not having practice sim time. The actual hand flying, in my view, counts for very little of the assessment.

If you know your hand flying is going to be ropey, which let's be honest, for most of us it will be, allow for this and MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF.

Fuel is never an issue, so what's the rush?
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Old 7th Feb 2011, 11:47
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Constructive stuff.

Does anyone else have any feedback on little things that weren't mentioned here on Pprune regarding the Sim?

I heard someone got asked to divide their age by a number - can't remember what that was, except it wasn't 1 or 2.

That sounds a bit of pain in the hoop when your hands are full of Jumbo....
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Old 7th Feb 2011, 12:06
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Sim Pimp,

That sounds a bit of pain in the hoop when your hands are full of Jumbo....
Errrr..... that's the point is it not? Assessment of spare mental capacity perhaps!
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Old 7th Feb 2011, 13:06
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Obviously. Anything else to add of any constructive value?

Thought not.
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