When I was 12 I read my dads old private, pilot, ground school books, and multi-engine time building books cover to cover even the one how to get your multi engine rating. I dreamed as a child of becoming an airline pilot. Why, Because my father was an airline pilot and I looked up to him and what he did for work. My dad flew for Airborne Express, now DHL, for as long as I can remember. He was captain of the Boeing 767. As an aside, let me tell you that once I was approved to fly in the jump seat as an airline pilot. The very first thing I did was ride in the jump seat of one of my dad’s flights. It was one of the proudest moments of both our lives when I sat behind and watch him work the flight from Ohio to Tampa, but that’s another story. So I did exactly what you are going to do. I went online and started filling out a few applications for pilot jobs at the regional carries that had bases where I was interested in flying from. It was only a few days before I heard from a recruiter as Mesa Airlines. She talked to me for a few minutes and asked if I would come to Phoenix for an interview. Obviously I said yes. The next day I received an email saying that I was to be at the Tampa airport on such and such day and such and such time. IT was about 3 weeks away and one of the requirements of interviewing was that you had to have already passed the ATP written exam, plus you had to have a lot of twin engine time. Plus you had to pass a mini ATP written exam during the interview. I arrived at the hotel where they were apparently renting a mid sized conference room to conduct interviews. There had to be about 50 guys and a few girls there to interview. Everyone but a few duds were in suits….Don’t be one of those duds. They expect you to show up looking professional. After all, no one’s gonna want to ride behind you in a jet if you look like you would rather be on a skate board. Se we each got a quick interview with the HR people then came the talk with the Chief pilot, who if you are flying for a big operation like I did you will never see again. Another aside, if you always been a person that works hard, you are a decent stick in a plane and you always hate your boss..this is going to be a great carreer for you. You will never see a BOSS. Unless you screw up badly. Being a pilot is kind of cold. You are a number and get a schedule. It’s pretty much a matter of showing up when you are supposed to and flying the flight then going home. Any way my turn came up to speak with the chief pilot. Keep in mind here. This is like the pinnacle moment of your career, and its hard not to be scared out of your mind. However, they are desperate for guys to sit in that right seat and with the shortage of applicants you would probably have to tell him something pretty stupid not to get hired. So he asks me a few questions. Mike, if you were a first officer for Mesa airlines and your flight attendant tells you that she thinks she smells alcohol on the captain’s breath what would you do? He asks me a bunch of questions, kind of like aeronautical questions and such and thanks me for taking the time to come to phoenix to interview. I shake his had and wait for the bus ride back to Skyharbor to go home. They told me it would take up to a week and that if they made me a job offer at all; they would tell me which base I was going to get and which plane I was going to be flying. It was either a Dash 8 or a ERJ Jet. You probably can guess which one I was hoping for. I had some people to see while I was in phoenix so I had made arrangements with Mesa to fly me back home a couple days later. Two days later I was standing in Charlotte, NC waiting to my second flight home and got the call. I was standing at the window watching CRJ 900’s painted for US airways taxi by. A lady told me that I was being offered a job flying ERJ140 Jets painted for Delta out of JFK Airport. I thanked her and hung up. Can you imagine after flying all those countless hours in little prop planes flying holes in the sky trying to build enough multi engine time, what I was like to look out the window in Charlotte NC and know I was going to be flying a jet full of passengers out of NEW York City. about8 “Looking out the window on my first flight ever as an airline pilot.”