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Era Aviation Pilot Interview Profiles

Date Interviewed: December 2000
Summary of Qualifications: NA
Were you offered the job? Don't Know
Pilot Interview Profile:

Just completed the process December 2000. Sorry, this does not apply to rotorheads, fixed wing only. ERA is a huge player in the helicopter game, but has a small fixed wing branch. ERA flys Twin Otters, Dash8's, Convair 580's, and two restored DC3's, mostly out of Anchorage Alaska. Talked to Chief Pilot face to face, nice guy but doesn't smile much or often. Jerry Kocer told me he gets from 5 to 50 resume's per day and cans any of them that he hasn't talked to face to face, or at least is a strong candidate over the phone. I interviewed twice, once in April 2000 and then again November 2000, because they hire late in the year unless it's an emergency. Informal setting, only Jerry and myself, in the front lobby of ERA in Anchorage Alaska. Jerry was cordial and intense at the same time. I wore career apparel, he was in jeans and pile vest. How many hours do you have? How did you build all those hours? Accidents/Incidents? What is your driving record like? Can you live with the pay? Can you start class Monday morning? No training contract, and no sim ride, although they used to do this and the fixed wing VP told me they weed a lot of them out with that sim. The class was 3 weeks long. First two weeks covered regs, policies, first aid, hazmat, dispatch, ops specs. Second week covered systems and operation of the Twin Otter. This lasted 3 days and ended with a competition written exam Thursday morning, the outcome of which determined who would start flight training right away and who would have to wait. I'm waiting for the next slot, which could come quickly or it could be months, depending on movement in the ranks, and up and outs, which have been accelerating due to hiring at Atlas, Fedex, UPS, Alaska, and elsewhere. Starting pay for Twin Otter F.O.'s is 20,000, slightly higher if one is selected to go to the bush and work in Bethel. The Bethel schedule is two weeks on and two weeks off. In Anchorage it is five days a week. Upgrade time seems to be reasonably in line with the industry, but you have to have the ATP to upgrade, I think, which means if you're low time it'll take a few years. The gaurantee is 55 or 65 hours a month depending on duty station. 3 people in the class had less than 300TT but all were commercial multi instrument rated. All in all a great place to build twin turbine time and get paid for it. The Twin Otter is an awsome airplane, safe and reliable, though a slow one for sure. The route to the left seat goes through the right seat and then the right seat of the Dash8, Convair, or DC3's, and then upgrade to Captain.

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