Ryanair Pilot interview preparation


In this article, I will try to give you a clear image of the Ryanair selection process as well as tips on how to succeed. I have to warn you on one thing, everything I say or explain here is an exemple and a possibility of what you could have, it is not what you will have.

First of all, I would like to tell you that success is a consequence. This simply means that behind success you will find a series of different types of efforts to get what you want or where you want to be. It might seem quite logical, but unfortunately, most of the time, for many reasons including our way of thinking, emotions and sensations, we feel not able or disarmed to pursue a goal.

This is where we need motivation to keep up as well as a clear picture of what we want. The more it’s clear in your mind, the less you will doubt of the realisation of your project and no matter what will happen to you, you will persevere until you reached your goal.

This is a very important part in your preparation. What is your state of mind?

Those who know they can succeed are not sheltered from failure but as long as they don’t know they can succeed, they will fail.

Zen Precept

Ryanair selection process

So basically, the Ryanair pilot selection is a 2 steps process:

  1. Pre-selection
  2. Human ressources, Technical and simulator interview

1. Pre-selection

The pre-selection is made of 3 steps:

  • Aptitude test / Cut-E. To train for this, I recommend to use PilotAssessments.com. You will find on this website all the tests / Cut-E and will be able to prepare perfectly for it. Cut-E Spatial Orientation, Cut-E Sense of Direction, Cut-E Working Memory, Cut-E Monitoring, Cut-E Spot the Difference, Cut-E Reaction Speed, Cut-E The E with Dots, Cut-E Multitasking Capability, Cut-E Sonic Multitasking, Cut-E Hand-Eye Coordination, Cut-E Reasoning Tests.
  • 30 ATPL questions. Once again you can use PilotAssessments.com, it’s part of the pack which is really thorough. As I already said in a previous article, get also ACE, the technical pilot interview. This test is random so you can get any question. The more you read about ATPL questions, easier it will be, simple as that.
  • Video interview. It looks like they want to test your english here. So, it doesn’t really matter what you say, you just need to answer with a proper english. You will be in front of your computer with your webcam and will be recorded. When you start, you get the question and you have one minute to answer it. Here you can prepare doing it for real before. Questions will be basic like: Why do you want to work for Ryanair? What would you do in case of an emergency? What are your strengths and weaknesses?

If you pass the pre-selection, you will get an email that you successfully passed and will be placed in a holding pool.

When they have availability, you will get a ticket for the final stage in Dublin.

3. Human ressources, Technical and simulator interview

I already talked a lot about this part in a previous article: Ryanair Pilot Assessment Day (Feedback).

Here, I will add specific and useful information about the standard departure (SID), general handling and raw data ILS approach.

SID (Standard Instrument Departure)

The take-off, SID and initial climb will be flown manually (no autopilot) and flight directors ON which mean that you just follow the magenta bars on departure. The auto-throttles will be engaged as well just for the take-off.

WALLASEY 2T. That is the departure you could get. You can find all the charts on NATS UK. However, in Ryanair we use NAVBLUE charts (previously Navtech) but I am not sure what is used for the interview. It doesn’t really matter, just study all the charts you could have. Go regularly on the PPRuNe forum for the latest feedbacks.

The WAL2T departure indicates you to climb straight ahead and then to intercept the radial 117 from WAL VOR. So you will need to select 117 on your courses (both captain and FO side) and also to select the WAL VOR frequency 114.1 active on both side. You need to cross WAL at 4000′ so 4000 will be set on your MCP panel altitude.

Be careful with all your parameters (speed, altitude, vertical speed) specially when you level off, don’t let your speed go away. Reduce your thrust and maintain the speed you want or instructed.

General handling

Here are useful settings for handling.

Level at 220kts5-6° / 55-58%
30° turn
45° turn
Add 5% to N1 when established
Add 10% to N1, when passing 30°
pitch to 7.5°
(Pitch for rate/power for speed)
Approx 75% N1 / 7.5° = 1000 fpm
Approx 40% N1/ 2.5° = 1000 fpm

ILS RAW DATA approach runway 27

First, set your courses 267°, ILS frequency 111.75 and minimums DA 250. Then brief the plate to the pilot monitoring (PM), talk about freqs, courses, DA. In case of a go-around, you can follow the standard missed approach, straight ahead to 1500′, then right to LPL NDB and climb to 2000′. You can also mention the MSA, here the maximum is 3500′ so you can tell that in case of any problem you could climb to 4000′, it’s 500′ above the MSA and you are covered all sectors, 25NM from LPL NDB.

This will be a raw data so everything OFF autopilot, auto-throttles and flight directors. A good advice here is to not rush. Your goal is to pass the interview so take the time you need and reduce your speed. Lower speed equals more time to think. So there is no need to maintain a high speed for the approach.

As pilot flying (PF), ask your PM to reduce the speed to 210kts (should be your UP speed) no later than 15miles from the runway. At 210kts, call for flaps 1and ask for 190kts. At 190kts, call for flaps 5 and ask for 170kts. At FAF- 2NM or at glide-slope alive at latest, call for gear down, flaps 15 and ask for 150kts.
At glide-slope capture, ask for flaps 30 and ask for the VFly speed which should be 5kts above the VRef. Don’t forget to descend and follow the glide. When you feel well on the glide with the good settings, ask the PM to set the missed approach altitude, here 2000′.
At flaps 1, 5 and gear down flaps 15, you need to anticipate for ballooning effect. Basically, as you select the flaps you create more lift so you need to push forward to counteract this effect.

At 15Miles and 210kts5.5 – 6° / 55% N1
Flaps 1 reducing to190kts5.5 – 6° / 55 to 60% N1
Flaps 5 reducing to 170kts5.5 – 6° / 55 to 60% N1
GS alive, Gear down Flaps 15
and reducing to 150kts
5.5 – 6° / 70% N1
At glide-slope capture1° / 58% N1

When you are fully configured, you keep going on the ILS and check your LOC, Glide, speed, V/S to maintain a stable approach. Remember that when you get closer and closer to the runway, the ILS is more sensitive so small corrections needed. At your minimums or when you get visual, you can look outside and maintain your path with the PAPI.

Remember for the landing, you need to be on the runway centerline, wings level, within the touchdown zone, at the correct speed and your vertical speed under control. To make a perfect (smooth) landing is not a requirement.


If you are not stabilized or if you are not visual at the minimums, you will have to go-around.

The PF will press TOGA and push the thrust levers forward to full arms length, then will call for “Go-around flaps 15, set go-around thrust”. PM will set 90% N1. PF will pitch up to 15° initially with both hands on the control column. With a positive rate, PF calls for “Gear up”.
It’s a particular go-around here, so you have to level off with flaps 15. When you do so, the aircraft will accelerate and you will need to retract the flaps, the opposite sequence of the approach. At 150kts, PF calls “flaps 5”, PM retracts to flaps 5. At 170 kts, PF calls “flaps 1”. At 190kts, PF calls “flaps up”. From there, the PF is responsible for the thrust levers so don’t forget to reduce thrust to maintain up speed. You can ask the PM to set 220kts if you want and then set the appropriate thrust. What they want to see is that you are in control of the aircraft.

And that’s it, your are done!

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