Just one pilot's attempt at taking an interesting picture every trip, often with a story to go with it. Come along for the ride.

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Friday, September 28, 2007

Christoph talks about getting hired by Lufthansa

I got an email from Christoph, who is currently going through Lufthansa's ab initio training program. He's also very much into photography and has his own site as well. I was fascinated to hear how the hiring process worked at Lufthansa, so I asked him if he would fill us all in. Let's let Christoph explain how he landed this highly sought after position as a Lufthansa pilot and the training that followed.

For me, everything started in April, 2006 when I finished my school and applied for the training. First of all, I had to send in all the necessary stuff as for example a curriculum vitae. [Resume] Pretty standard I guess but I also had to include details about my motivation and my intentions why I chose to apply for a pilot career - this would become important later on during the selection process.

After completing this first step, I was invited to the so called BU which stands for "Berufsgrunduntersuchung" and is done in Hamburg. During this phase, all the necessary skills are tested and evaluated. Computer based applications are mainly used to accomplish these tests which require abilities like for example math, physics, multitasking, reaction time and working capacity. English skills are of course tested as well. In general, this step is used to judge if the applicant is qualified for the challenges the job comes with.

When I finally received the letter about the results of this first test, my heart was beating and I started shouting when I read that I had completed it successfully. But actually, this was not the end. The "Firmenqualifikation" was waiting for me. Again, I had to spend two days in Hamburg where I was interviewed and set under pressure again. This time I had to prove that I fit into the Lufthansa company and this is definetely a hard challenge. Every time you say or do anything, you don't know whether it's right or wrong and this makes it the hardest part of the selection process. On the first day, teamwork played the most important role, the second day mainly consisted of flying a simulator and being interviewed by a Lufthansa captain and actually you can be kicked out at any time of these two days. I will never forget the final interview and the moment when "my captain" told me that they wanted me! Unbelievable!

The third and last step was the medical examination which I passed as well. My dream could become true!
The training

The training itself is devided into four parts. The first part is theory which takes place in Bremen, Germany. Pretty uneventful, with some tests, but actually the second part is the most exciting one: The flight training in Phoenix-Goodyear, Arizona. On a Beechcraft Bonanza F33A we learn to handle an airplane correctly and this is what everyone is aiming for. Now that I'm here in Phoenix, I have come to the best part of the training. Flying is just the best thing I can imagine!

But back to the next part: When having completed all the checks in Phoenix, we come back to Bremen where we have to absolve another six months of theory for multi-engine aeroplanes. After that the training is actually completed but to be able to fly the aircrafts in the Lufthansa fleet, flights on the Piper Cheyenne have to be absolved. The last step is the type rating and the line training for the Boeing 737 or the Airbus A320. So far... The whole training takes about 2 years with every phase lasting about 6 to 7 months. I hope to be ready by the middle of 2008... We'll see!

Thanks Christoph for the inside look at how Lufthansa hires and trains pilots. Good luck on the rest of your course.

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Exeter, New Hampshire, United States
Grew up in Alaska, went to high school and college in Washington State. Commercial pilot since 1990.

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