View Full Version : CPL or ATPL - how do I decide?

26th May 2002, 20:27
I am a PPL holder with 100 hours and a Class 1 medical. My ambitions in commercial aviation are initially to instruct for which I need at least a CPL and FI rating. I may ultimately want to move into other types of commercial flying such as cargo, air-taxi, regional turboprops etc., although because I am now 39 I realise the opportunity may not arise and I may have to be content to remain in instructing. Should I aim for the CPL possibly with an IR first, and then do the ATPL later if I ever need to - or would I be better studying for the ATPLs now.

Has any one else in ppruneland had to make this choice and what factors influenced your final decision?

All advice/comments will be gratefullyreceived.

26th May 2002, 20:34
Most people would advise you to do the ATPL. I think the only difference is the writtens and you may find nobody does a groundschool course for the CPL.

Send Clowns
26th May 2002, 20:52
Definitely ATPL, if only to save you time! To achieve a CPL/IR you need passes in either the 14 ATPL exams or the 9 CPL exams and the 9 IR exams. You get no concessions, even on Human Performance which is the same exam in both sets of 9!

Your ATPL exams will only be valid as such for 5 years (from the final pass), but if you intend to do an IR in this time this is the way to go. Then if you can complete the right breakdown of 1500 hours you will have an ATPL, if not you keep the CPL/IR saving 4 exams.

I have taught students older than you for the ATPL exams!

Flaps Down Gear Up
27th May 2002, 10:32

Send Clowns is (nearly) right - unless you love CAA examinations, you are probably better off going for the ATPLs straight off. The alternative is having to sit the 9 CPL and 9 IR theory examinations, and then the 14 ATPLs at a later date.

However, the ATPL exams are only valid for 3 years (from the final pass) in which time you must obtain a CPL and IR. If you don't get the IR in this time, your ATPL theory lapses and you will have to sit the ATPLs again! (or sit the 9 IR exams and settle for a CPL/IR)

Wibbly P
27th May 2002, 11:52
Flaps Down Gear Up is spot on, Definitely do the ATPL theory..... once you have the IR the exams are banked indefinitely for ATPL upgrade, as long as you don't the IR lapse for a period greater than than 7 years.

You forgot that gem of info Flappy!!