Lately I have been asking a few of the new co-pilots to help me out in forming a database of commonly asked questions at the interview. Over the coming weeks I will add more and more on the blog, but for now, here are a few common topics that always seem to spring up:
1) Explain why a plane stalls? What happens to the airflow over the wing? Explain the movement of the centre of pressure up to and after an aerofoil has stalled. Why is there a nose dipping tendency? On top of this they also ask you to write out the lift formula L=CL ½ Þ V2 S and explain the stall using the formula.
2) Engine failure after take off. What are the immediate actions (idle, feather, cut off) and what is the best glide speed? What is the minimum height you need to be at in order to commence a 180* turn and make it back to the field? What factors does a pilot need to bear in mind when doing this (wind, stall speed increases in the turn etc)? If you take off at max weight and you have engine problems (read not failure), are you allowed to come back and land straight away?
3) Meteorology. They ask you to define a host of met terminology. Make sure you know your isobars from your isoclinals and your DALR from your SALR. They also might ask you about thunderstorms and weather associated with a big developing CB, i.e. downdraughts, micro bursts, hail etc.
I hope this can be of some help. I will add more questions as I get more information. Happy job hunting!