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This interview question

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Well-known member
Jan 6, 2002
I'm sure you have all heard it before.....

It New Year's Eve. Everyone has gone home, the Capt. wants to fly home, the FAs want to get home, and a NAV light is out. What do you do?

I know what I would do but what do you say?

You'll need more info to answer this question. Does the particular nav light down the plane? No...then PIC call, taking into account wx at the airports and enroute. Yes...easy call, MX has to fix the plane before it goes flying.

Shootr is right. Before answering the question, ask for more information, such as; is the nav light able to be MEL'd? Are you at an out station? How far away are you from your destination? If you're only 40-50 miles, you could bus the passengers and crew back, should the aircraft become grounded, etc. Just be sure to explore all options. The interviewer is just making sure you would not break the FAR's and are using all of your available resources to help solve the problem. This in return shows good decision making skills.

Hope this helps. I wonder if this kind of scenario has ever happened in real life to anyone!?
This one's a no brainer!!!

Let's see... No one's around, but you (the f/o), the captain and the flight attendant, and the NAV lights are out on New Years Eve.

Solution: Tell the captain to write up the the lights, split the scene with the F/A (female, of course), stop by a liquor store and get some booze, head back to the hotel and bring in the New Year's with a bang along with the F/A.

Problem solved, did I get the job!?!?

more info on that question

hey 72Longhorn, great answer! haha But, I think I have the additional info for the original question. You and your crew are stuck in Dirthole, Arkansas, its 30 miles from the nearest liquor store that closes in 20 minutes, your captain is about as exciting as a tree, and your flight attendant is 65yrs old.

Now.....would your answer be the same? Remember, as previously posted, ASK FOR MORE INFO!!! HAHAHAAHAH.
Nav light - or CRM dilemma in disguise

Maybe the interviewer is working around the edges to see if you would get on the airplane if the Captain took responsibility. A variation on the old "go below mins-would you take the controls from the captain" and/or "smell alcohol on captain's breath" themes. You are being pressured into something you feel or know isn't right, but you want to be a team player and cooperative while doing the right and legal thing by everyone. Thinking of it in those terms might help you construct an answer.

You have lots of sources. Look at the MEL. Discuss with maintenance. If you're at an outstation, you can call Ops, Dispatch, maintenance at your domicile. Maybe your company has some maintenance arrangement with someone on the field.

Having an A & P gives you even more options. I had a friend who was a captain for a commuter several years ago. He also was an A & P. Something happened to his airplane at an outstation which needed attention. He took off his Captain's cap, put on his A & P hat, and solved problem (legally, I'm sure) so his flight could continue. Just food for thought on this important credential.

Hope that helps.
I like the booze and FA line of thinking myself but the answer is simple. Tell the Captain the light is out and he should contact maintenance because you are obviously still at the gate and that is what is required. The New Years eve thing is just a distractor, all they want to know is if you follow rules as a habit or just when it's convenient.

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