Commercial Pilot Questions / Scenarios

1.On the descent, your captain drops below the glide slope. As FO. You bring it to his attention. He doesn’t respond to you or take corrective action. What should you do? >>>>>>>Call for a go-around (key the mike so it’s official with tower). If the CA still does not respond, take the controls.>>>>>>>>>Depends on how far out we are. IF outside the marker, probably nothing. Inside the marker, I’d insist on a missed approach if unstable and more than about a dot off. At 500 to mins if we are not stabilized and the Captain is unresponsive, I’m taking over and executing a missed approach.

2.You’re the FO. Your Captain shows up with what seems to be the smell of liquor on his breath. What would you do? Why? Other options?>>>>>>>>First, be very certain that it is liquor. Then tell the guy that he needs to call in sick immediately. I would tell him that he needs to first contact the union for substance-abuse intervention, then have the union contact me to confirm he did that. If he doesn’t comply, I call the CP.>>>>>>>>>>Bottom line is this. You need to be damn sure the guy has been drinking inside of the 8 hours or is impaired. Its possible the guy next to him spilled their beer on the Capt’s uniform shirt during the commute in. If I am really sure the guy has been drinking I’m going to encourage him to call in sick. If that fails, he has what is coming to him. I’d call my chief pilot and airport security as a last step.

3.A thunderstorm is moving in and approaching the end of the runway. Your captain is continuing on the approach to the same runway. What would say/do? Why?>>>>>>>>Point it out to the CA. If he takes no action, call approach and inquire about the storm cell. Request vectors if necessary.>>>>>>>>>How far is the T-storm? If close, I’d suggest we don’t land and wait for it to pass. Also, I’d have scoped out a reasonable alternate and suggest that. If we go missed into an T-storm we are done! Bottom line, I’m not going to let the Captain put me and the pax in a risky situation.

4.You’re at the hotel bar with your flight crew having drinks and its getting close to the 8 hour mark. Someone says lets have one more drink. What do you do?>>>>>>>>>Point out that time’s up, then go to my room. That way I dropped the hint, did not break the 8 hour rule, and did not witness anyone else breaking the rule. I don’t think I would play hall monitor. If they show up drunk in the AM, see #2.>>>>>>>>>. I’ve been here. I chose to leave prior to the 8 hour point and stopped drinking around 10 hours prior. Personally, I did not want to be witness to someone violating the 8 hours. When I left, everyone else left too…

5.How would you handle a situation where your captain didn’t seem to like you?>>>>>>>>Try to do your job and be polite. If the CA’s behavior is bad enough to affect your emotional state, you could either discuss it with him or ask company to pull you off the trip.>>>>>>>>I’ve seen this. Sometimes people don’t like you or you don’t like them. Who cares. I would run the checklists and required items, ensure safety of flight, and not let it bother me.

6.What would you do if your captain was performing nonstandard but not unsafe maneuvers?>>>>>>>Remind him of the SOP. If he continues to do it, maybe call union pro-standards…that will provide some intervention without getting him in trouble.>>>>>>If what the Captain is doing is not unsafe, I don’t feel it is necessary to correct them or inform them of company policy. My job isn’t check FO, it’s just FO. Anytime safety is compromised, I have a moral imperative to step in and stop the situation from escalating.

7.There are heavy thunderstorms ahead and your captain wants to fly through them. What should you say to the captain?>>>>>See #3>>>>>>>>>>>. This falls in a safety issue and I just tell the Capt. I’m not comfortable flying through T-storms. Perhaps give them a little lesson on WX radar.

8.You notice that your captain is not following the checklist. You bring it to his attention. He tells you he doesn’t need to follow it he knows it. What would you do? While in cruise, he starts reading a flight magazine. Should you say anything?>>>>>>>>If the CA refuses to use the checklist after being reminded, I would pull the checklist and run it myself to make sure it’s all done…out loud. If I think it’s a real issue, call pro-standards. If the CA takes a magazine out in cruise flight that means it’s time to read the paper, or whatever literature you brought.>>>>>>>>>Checklists are important. I would make sure the checklist is read by me. I occasionally see Capts who don’t do checklists or call for them online. Seriously, everyone reads magazines – I likely wouldn’t admit to reading in an interview, but I would not do anything about a captain who is reading. ALSO, this is a company issue , not an FAA issue. If your OPSPEC doesn’t prevent reading non-company material then it is okay.

9.Under what circumstances do you feel an FO would be justified in taking control of the aircraft (in flight) away from the captain?>>>>>>>>If the captain (a) is non-responsive or (b) flying the airplane into a dangerous situation, or (c) has lost attitude control and seems unable to correct it (stall, unusual attitude, etc). >>>>>>>>Impending doom.

10.The manifest shows you’re 55 pounds overweight. You inform your captain. He tells you it’s okay to fly. What should you do?>>>>>>Insist that the weight issue be corrected. If he refuses, threaten to walk off the job. He then has the choice of mellowing out, calling in sick, or explaining to the CP why his FO jumped ship. If he gives you a hard time about this, contact pro-standards.>>>>>Maybe there was a kid in the back that the FA miscounted as an adult? That should save some weight. If that fails, I’d Change the manifest to indicate less fuel and run the APU longer than required or take a 2 minute delay before takeoff to burn the 55LBS off so we are not overweight for takeoff.

11.If your captain showed up for your flight in a very bad mood, what would you do? Why?>>>>>>>>>>Suggest that maybe he should call in sick, express concern that he has a lot on his mind. If he is really out of control, threaten to walk off the job. He then has the choice of mellowing out, calling in sick, or explaining to the CP why his FO jumped ship.>>>>>>>>Who cares? Do the required checklists and flows, try to be friendly, and not worry about his problems.

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