Professional Pilot Training (includes ground studies)A forum for those on the steep path to that coveted professional licence. Whether studying for the written exams, training for the flight tests or building experience here's where you can hang out.
CTC Wings - Has anyone discussed the actual course?
I have been *religiously* following the three main threads on CTC wings, and it seems that there is such hype over the opportunity of the selections procedure, getting the loan, going to NZ and having a (very) high chance of employment upon completion, discussion on the actual course & content has been limited.
I know it must be to a high standard due to their associations with BA, Monarch, and Pacific Airlines amongst others, and their very high employment rates, however I would like some opinions and experiences from the 'inside' (having submitted my application recently). If you are on the course or have recently finished, could you please give me (and other aspiring CTC Cadets!) an insight into the day to day workings, training schedules, instructors, accommodation, learning recourses, availability of aircraft, or anything else you feel would be useful to potential applicants?
I imagine the reason that you don't hear too much about people while in their training is 1) they are probably rather busy and 2) I think that there is a forum for successful applicants supplied by CTC
I've read the above thread but it's not asking the same question. I wouldn't turn down a CTC offer (unless it came out it was absolutely appalling, very unlikely), I'd just like to get a better view on what it's like.
Compared to FTE, Cabair, OAT, OBA etc info is a bit thin on the ground, and I'd feel much better about signing away £60k if I knew more!
i disagree. Yes the paperwork element between courses may be largely similiar, but as we should know by now, there is a wide variety between training providers as to how they go about getting you to that standard. Variable factors include aircraft fleet, maintenance, availability, instructors, accommodation, transport, exams, fees; these are all important when picking a school, as a quick review of some threads on this forum should have highlighted. CTC is a great option, yes - but that doesn't mean you shouldn't examine its package just as carefully as one would with other schools.
If you need another reason why such thought is so important, think about cost. Taking an ATPL Integrated course at around £65000 ish, and say it lasts around about 13 months, that works out at around £1250 being spent a week. For that sort of outlay, I would want to know pretty damn well what my money was doing, and how it was working for me.
Kerosine - keep asking questions, and don't sign for anything until you're well genned up on what it involves. Common sense for all financial matters, especially when it involves so much cash.
I can understand where you're both coming from. I wouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, and definitely wouldn't think twice about accepting an offer! As eoincarey said though, for £60,000 who wouldn't want to know more?
The main purpose of the post was to help me answer "What do you like/know about our course and what it has to offer?" that I may get asked at stage 3.
For example, I heard something about them switching to an integrated structure recently? Information like that can be useful!
Stage 2 includes an hour or so talk in which the aspects of the course are explained, how long you'll be in NZ, the fleet, what is expected of you etc.. make sure you take a notepad and take as much information down as possible.
There is some info around on the course itself on the threads but I'd probably agree that there are not too many specifics around. I fear I should probably be doing study for my ATPLs at the minute but I'm going to take a bit of time to try to give a bit of information (completely omitting selection as it is covered more than thoroughly in other threads) as these forums have helped me a great deal up until now.
There are many out there who are further down the line in training than myself at Bournemouth so I will not go into any details about that phase of training, but I am coming towards the end of the Multi IFR phase in NZ at the minute so have a decent idea of what goes on.
The training centre itself is based at Hamilton airport, about 70 miles south of Aukland, and is an excellent environment for the kind of training we do. The airport is fully controlled from about 6am until about 8pm and there is a fairly regular stream of Air NZ regional traffic (ATRs, Dash-8s, Beech 1900s and A320s), which means that there is generally a greater awareness of expediency and this makes the whole operation slightly more professional. With CTC on top of normal traffic, things can get busy quickly which again is conducive to the environment cadets will end up in. The zone has a large instrument sector and then four different visual sectors for VFR traffic which means from the outset cadets are being exposed to standard departures and arrivals. Although the airport is not equipped with an ILS, it has a VOR and an NDB so when instrument flying, VOR/ NDB DME approaches can be done on-site.
CTC have two decent sized aprons (one has been duped 'The Graveyard' as this is where the grounded DA20s and other aircraft in need of some TLC tend to be left) which can accommodate in the region of 40 aircraft right outside the training centre, which itself is conveniently close to the main runways. When the new classroom block is completed in the next few weeks, there will be 6 rooms for lectures with access to the CBT software. The planning facilities offer cadets access to all relevant weather briefings, NOTAMS and all other relevant operational and planning data.
The fleet is a bit mixed – I believe the intention was to standardise but problems with the manufacturer of the Alpha 160s has meant that CTC never actually got all the aircraft they ordered, and therefore the fleet has been supplemented with a few Cessna 172s. From a cadet’s perspective, there is not a great deal of difference as you are type rated on either the Alpha or the Cessna and complete all training on that type. Currently, I think there are about 7 172s and 10 Alphas. Although CTC have 3 Seminoles, all multi training is done on the DA42s (there are currently 6 on line plus two in maintenance) which is an excellent aircraft for aspiring airline pilots with its ‘glass’ cockpit.
CTC are now doing a fully recognised integrated course which basically involves about 220 hrs total flight time, approximately 100 hrs of which is single engine, the remainder being multi engine and simulator time. This takes you from ab initio effectively to a single engine CPL standard. You then move onto the DA42 and spend about 30hrs training which culminates in your multi engine CPL skills test and the end of VFR flying. Cadets then work through the instrument rating syllabus, leaving NZ with most of the techniques up to an IR level. The NZ phase now also includes about 20 hours of airways flight time which is new to the integrated syllabus which involves conducting airline-style IFR routes. Once at Bournemouth, cadets go through differences training in order to better understand IFR in busier UK airspace and complete a number of simulator sorties before going through mock IR skills test profiles in the aircraft. The ‘Basic’ training is complete once the Instrument Rating Skills Test is passed. Cadets then move onto the AQC course which is basically an MCC course along with a number of hours in the sim getting to grips with jet handling and aerodynamics etc. From there, it’s on to the type rating with the partner airline that you are selected by.
Along with the flight training, whilst in NZ, integrated cadets have lectures on each of the 14 ATPL subjects. Based around the CBT we use for home study, the groundschool gives you more exposure to the subjects and ensures that you are keeping up with the workload, as well as giving you a forum where you can ask questions. CTC are linked with Bristol Ground School, so after 7 (ish!) months in NZ, you head back to the UK for a couple of weeks leave, a two week brush-up course with BGS and then sit the first 8 ATPL exams. You then complete lectures for the second ATPL module during your second stint in NZ and then when you return to the UK for good, you repeat the same process of having a brush-up with BGS and then sitting the remaining 6 exams. It is after the exams are all complete that you head to Bournemouth. If I’m honest, some lectures are more useful than others, and there are a few people who don’t believe they are necessary as CTC cadets have always maintained excellent ATPL averages in the past, but they need to be done to fulfil the requirements of the course and I have definitely got plenty of useful stuff from them.
Aside from the ground lectures towards the ATPLs, we have to spend time on the ground talking through the lessons we fly so as to ensure the knowledge and procedures are all in place so that the lesson can be conducted to standard effectively without wasting too much time in the air explaining things. This is an excellent system as it means you have a good idea of what the lesson will entail and the standards which are expected of you. You also get the theory thrown in which is a good practical and relevant application of the groundschool theory.
From the outset, CTC want to train airline pilots, so everything that can be is geared towards this. We do all our aircraft performance calculations to JAR OPS requirements (even though they are more restrictive than the NZ calculations), we have to show consideration for passenger comfort and safety, commercial expediency, ability to deal with emergencies in a professional manner and a high level of situational awareness. The training is built around the CTC Operations Manual (much like those that are found in any airline) which gives cadets and instructors set standards and operating procedures to comply with.
As with any training organisation, there are some issues now and then – aircraft will always need an engineer to keep them flying and no matter how big your balls are, NZ can throw some pretty ‘interesting’ weather at you but that’s the nature of the beast. CTC is not for everyone though – it is very hard work, and being away from home for over half a year at a time does not make things any easier. A high standard is expected from you throughout training, and it is a “we’ll show you once, you have a go, and from then you should be able to do it right” sort of attitude. But the facilities are excellent, the fleet is fairly young, the first time pass rate and ATPL results are pretty much some of the best out there and it’s focused training to get you into that right hand seat.
I hope that insight helps a bit. Right, back to those ATPLs…..
Ive just been invited for assessment to the iCP integrated course, i did not think my DDE at a level in media, psychology and art would get me very far through the selection process.
I am just wondering whether iCP students are still classed as "cadets" or whether they are run on a completely seperate course to the Cadets? And also if they have any chance of being selected for employment by the partner airlines at the end of it?!