View Full Version : Quoted versus Actual time

31st Mar 2006, 10:31
Might be interesting, and not sure if it's covered before, but I've noticed a huge disparity between the time quoted for completing a CPL and IR by schools and the time it usually takes to finish.

Often we have no income at all during this period and want to get finished very urgently. I wonder if some schools are more or less honest with their assessments...

I'll go first:

CPL - Stapleford - quoted 3 weeks, actually took 6.

IR - Airways - quoted 8 weeks, actually took 7 weeks 6 days!

I appreciate this isn't an exact science, just thought some might find it useful.

31st Mar 2006, 10:53
Wouldn't there be a number of variables not necessarily within the schools control that would affect the total time:

Aircraft going tech (mitigated by having multiple aircraft, but that will probably be reflected int he price)
individual pilot capability

Just my thoughts!


31st Mar 2006, 10:56
As I said, not an exact science...however from my experience it nearly always takes considerable longer than quoted and some schools are more apt to exaggerate than others...

31st Mar 2006, 11:48
Some schools talk about pass rates although these can often be achieved at the expense of time/money

There are no stats of course - although Pprune helps :p

As a FTO owner one could elect to market TIME (OK if you have the capacity could be expensive and result in failure), MONEY (cheap; failure maybe high) OR PASS RATES (expensive; maybe looks good on cv; not necc that good anyway)

31st Mar 2006, 14:51
My experiences don't match yours.

CPL - I took 3 weeks off work, and went to EFT in Florida. Told them I had to complete the course in 3 weeks, and despite some bad weather at the start of my visit, they pulled out all the stops to make sure I passed my test with a few days to spare.

IR - Told Multiflight in Leeds that I wanted to do the course in 4-5 weeks because I couldn't afford to take any longer than this off work. They advised me that this timescale was unlikely, and I should allow for 6 weeks. Completed the course in, I think, just over 6 weeks.

But other factors play such a big part, especially the weather when considering a CPL in the UK, that I can't blame any school for not getting the duration of their courses spot on.


31st Mar 2006, 15:11
Maybe we can get a statistic compiled of all students from last year and see what the 'average time' was for courses. It could perhaps also give an indication of pas/fail rates, etc.

I know that FTO couldn't resist cooking the figures especially when a competitor is doing a better job at than they are. It would no doubt prove most beneficial to the student otherwise all we have to go is an inadequate expectation based on what the salesman says and the odd 'past student or two'.

With so much potential money, time and resource to be invested by a customer why can't we get a better picture of what's likely.

There's no optimum or perfect scenario but lets try and move forward.

31st Mar 2006, 15:24

I don't think compiling an average would be particularly helpful.

If you want to complete a course in minimal amount of time, go somewhere the weather is typically good at the time of year you are doing your training. An "average" might not help you in this respect. For example, I had an absolute requirement to do my CPL in 3 weeks or less. I chose Florida because at the time of year I was doing my CPL, the weather suited my requirements. Had I done my CPL in hurricane season, Florida would have been a very bad choice for me.

Also, lots of people have requirements which are more important to them than the time it takes to complete the course. Examples would be quality of training, cost of training, ability to fit training around work or family commitments, and so on - but I'm sure there are others I've forgotten.


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31st Mar 2006, 15:46
The IR can be somewhat easier to estimate in terms of time (JAA). If you break down the required course hours, 50hrs if you have a CPL and 55 if you don't, then an easy rule of thumb will be 2hrs per day. Hence, at a guess, you are looking at 25ish days, which is five weeks.

2hrs doesn't seem very much, and if you have an IMC, you'll find the stuff at the start of the course easy. Later on in the course, particuarly when you are in the aircraft, 2hrs is enough per day. Given the amount of briefing you'll need (should be given) then this 2 hrs of flying will take an additional 3-4 hrs preparation and de-brief.

3 weeks sounds heavy. 7 days a week is doable, but you'll probably hate the course.

Icing is the one big problem for the IR. The next is availability of airfields to fly into out of the airway. In the summer, charter traffic can reduce, and even eliminate, the best-laid plans. Hence, you could end up with a few wasted days.

I noticed too that for some, the impending arrival of the IR test started to spook people into stopping or delaying the last part of their courses. For some, the final 10 hrs took more than 1 week. For some it seemed never ending, and they didn't have the confidence in their ability. If you fail the 170A, or partial it (this is the mock exam which you must pass) then this knocked peoples confidence, and they needed a little more 'thinking' time. Everyone's so worried about failing the IRT, that I think it causes people to fail.

I would plan for 8 weeks. I reckon you can do it in 6 (I did) if you don't have a confidence crisis or need additional training over and above the required hrs. Fortunately I didn't need any more hrs above the required course, but the average seemed to be between 2-5 hrs additional training.

The CPL should not be done in the UK, in my opinion, if you need it done in a specific, short time frame. Personally, it's such a micky-mouse course that I'd definitely do it in the US if I had my time again. I had a real bad run of weather and lost 4 weeks waiting around for the weather to change. I did my 15 hrs in about 8 days once the weather sorted itself out. But if you have a run of lows, cold & warm fronts day after day, then it's tea and biscuits, reading the paper and looking out of the window - i.e. back to how the PPL was.

31st Mar 2006, 16:14
I got my PPL in 44hrs
IR in 40
CPL took another 130 or so.