27th Aug 2010, 17:20
We are looking at sponsoring our son from zero hours through to a Frozen A.T.P.L. We have seen many adverts and web sites, all of them very confusing, but have finally got a good idea of what it's going to cost at Aero's in the U.K. Does anyone have any experience of training and costs in the the U.S?
Any feedback good or bad would be appreciated as we need to be sure that the money is going to used efficiently. :ok:
28th Aug 2010, 02:41
From Zero hours to fATPL. I would say first before worrying to much about the CPL/IR part, get him to do his PPL, at least you will find out if this is for him. This you can do some place locally. Hour building afterwards he could do both in the UK and USA, with his PPL, need some paperwork with the CAA and the FAA, but it is normally a formality.
Regardless of what route, FAA or JAA, I assume the goal is to get his JAA license, so that would mean doing the 14 ATPL exams. If attend full time class this can be done in 6 months, if distance learning, I think you need at least 12 months, most I know spend around 12 to 18 months when doing distance learning.
For training in the UK, timing is an important factor because of the weather. Flying in the US has the advantage that you might have more "good" weather, but end of the day you will be flying mostly in UK conditions, so is good experience to fly in the UK.
Factor ALL the costs of going to the USA, travel, housing, transport + add some money on prices quoted, as they are always for minimum hours, assume that will most likely NOT happen. As the school wants to make money.
Conversion to JAA upon return can also be expensive, that would be a 2 stage process. FAA CPL/IR / ME, then return have ATPL theory exams done and then convert.
Honestly I do not see much savings going to the USA at the moment. Having an FAA license will give very little extra advantages, and it is now more or less impossible to work in the USA, even as an instructor.
My experience shows me timing of the year is important here in the UK, do not start flight training in winter, PPL & CPL, do it around March /April onwards - because of the weather.
I ended my ATPL theory in April, and did CPL in 4.5 weeks, had good weather all the time. For PPL the weather is even more important, you can end up spending much more time if you get start time wrong.
Ideal suggestion would be, year 1, do your PPL, start PPL theory during winter, October/November, start March/April flight training - hour build during the summer. Then around September/August start a full time ATPL theory course, you will be finish in April with all 14 exams. During that summer you can easly take CPL/IR/ME - around 16 to 20 weeks for all of that.
Rough guides for this is £40.000 if all done in the UK. With regards to CPL /IR training - avoid looking for the cheapest price, but rather schools with good reputation. (Modular route)
Mind you, you will get some people coming in defending FAA route first and conversion, but remember these forums are actively used by different training organizations to market themselves.
Going to the USA, buy block of hours, and hour build is great - might not really end up cheaper when all in all is calculated.
My school here in UK was very good, most done within reason of minimal hours. For conversion there are stories of experienced FAA pilots needing 30 hours, (minimum required is 15 hours) - so it is not straight forward conversion, there are different procedures in the UK (JAA) than in the USA.
Each hour can be £350, so it is not a cheap conversion.
I suggest do the maths, for USA school, remember all the extras and prices given are only minimum required, not what actually might be required. I would say add at least 5% - 10% to be sure to the quoted prices.
Also UK schools, students go over time, on my CPL I went around £1000 over quote, mostly because of delay from 170 to actual skill test, on ME I was bang on minimum, on night rating the same, and also for PPL.
All in all from zero to CPL/ME/IR should cost around £40.000 in total.
Whatever price you get from the USA, remember to add travel, ATPL theory + conversion costs. I doubt you will get away with less than £15.000 for the conversion.
3rd Sep 2010, 16:53
Hi Boeing Dreamer,
Many thanks for your in depth reply, it has cleared up a lot of confusion. We have looked at a lot of web sites and without exception they all seem quite vague. I understand that none of them can give a definitive price for this training but they could, perhaps, give a minimum price. We have also visited one training organisation in the U.K. (Aero's) and found that to be really usefull as we were given a full tour not only of the class room and briefing facilities but the aircraft and simulator as well, I guess we should go and visit some more and see how they compare. :)
3rd Sep 2010, 22:51
Minimum price would be around £40.000 for all UK modular. Some might quote you less, but how long is a piece of string? All depends, heard of people needing 100 hours for their PPL, and then doing another 50 hours for their CPL.
So one never knows. Myself I would recommend Stapelford, they have a good reputation, and from my personal experience they seem to run a clean and fair business. But sure there are many others too.
Problem with USA, it is hard to see between the glossy adverts and who offers the real deal. Good luck.