View Full Version : Question about Initial IR Test Pass Rates

26th Nov 2003, 18:40
Hello all,

Yesterday I was given a free retest to complete the General Handling section of my IR Test. I managed to pass everything else in some quite rotten weather around the Cranfield area. It has just got me wondering, what sort of percentage of applicants do pass their tests first-time. Apologies if this topic has been mentioned before, I did do a search to look for such information but nothing really came up. So does anybody know any reasonably accurate figures, or where to find statistics/figures about this??


High Wing Drifter
26th Nov 2003, 18:52
Can't answer your question but congrats anyway :)

27th Nov 2003, 01:28
Out of those polled in my house 100% of those who replied to the poll answered that they had indeed passed the IR first time. :8

oxford blue
27th Nov 2003, 02:13
There is not much hard information on this subject, apart from that published by the CAA, of course. Most FTOs are, understandably, coy about their results.

<<edit: link and comments removed (possibly temporarily) - which makes Send Clowns comments (below) sound strange. [Just work with me for a while]>>

27th Nov 2003, 20:40
my sample may be statistically invalid, but out of everyone I know personally who's taken it, (6) none acheived a first time pass. One failed outright then passed on the retake the other partial passes then full after retake.

Not looking forward to it myself!

Alex Whittingham
27th Nov 2003, 20:46
Anecdotal evidence suggests a first time pass rate of about 50% on the IR with most candidates passing the first series on the re-sit. Many flight schools display lists of names and test results which are the nearest thing to verifiable stats you will find.

I would treat anything a marketing man tells you with a large pinch of salt.

Send Clowns
28th Nov 2003, 07:42
When I was looking at starting the course (2000) I heard 45%, which fits with Alex's comment. However it varies by school, and of course somewhat over time by random fluctuation and due to changes at the school - variation I have heard of is from around 25% to over 80% (obviously I can neither libel nor advertise schools here, especially as some of the data is only estimated by students from straw polls of their colleagues).

<edited due to changes to make sense!>

Advocatus diaboli
28th Nov 2003, 08:15
You work hard, you have a good chance of passing first time. You spend too much time down the pub when you should be sat in your digs studying the procedures, you fail.

It's mainly down to you, a bit down to your instructor, and very little down to your flight school.

Don't get too worried about statistics.

28th Nov 2003, 09:03
There is only 1 company in the UK which boasts about its pass rate.

They are also famous for over training and charging a fortune for a IR or CPL.

Unfortunatly wannbies don't findout about this until they get fleeced.

If a school has a very high pass rate its got to be payed for by someone, ie you the consumer. Must admit the compnay dosn't try and hide this. But niether do the explain the full details either.


Alex Whittingham
28th Nov 2003, 15:34
....and not only that, but when challenged can not prove their claims.

Actually, 45% might be closer to the mark than 50%. The only flight school I have looked at really closely gets almost exactly this on first attempt with about 95% second attempt.

Send Clowns
28th Nov 2003, 17:40
Partly true, Mad_Jock, I also have heard of that case. However you could also ask for the average hours the students are passing with.

There are schools with high pass rates on normal hours. The only one I can mention without advertising is the one I went to, SFT. They have now gone bust, but although it was not always the case (hence my comment on changing over time) when I first went there as a student, they were getting over 70% first-time pass rates - yet I had no pressure to fly extra hours (in fact I had to pick up an extra couple of hours after my test before I could have my licence issued). There are still schools that do!

Asdvocatus also has a fine point.

29th Nov 2003, 03:01
Thanks for the replies people. Looks like I'm in the minority then, having just completed my test this afternoon, and getting that 1st time pass in the bag! I was well pleased, particulary since I completed my IR course in 50 hours and 20 mins tuition! Doubt I would have achieved that at one of the "big" flying schools........

1st Dec 2003, 04:26
Just my .02 cents worth.

I think normal or minimum hours are just something written on a piece of paper and should get the salt treatment. As an FAA instructor, when I send someone on a checkride and they pass they are trained to a standard that satisfies the FAA and more importantly me. You need to know weather, how to use ATC, flying a ****** smasher in an airline environement, good radio useage, to name just a few things. I am trying to get them through in the best time of course but it probably won't be in the mins. required. I noticed in FAA land that whatever you put in to your PPL you will into your IR with a good instructor. Personally I couldn't give a squat about pass rates, just MY PASS RATE when doing my training. This dosen't mean you ask around or be cautious but it's up to you, nobody can do it for ya. The tougher the instuctor is the easier the check ride. I've taken about 12 of them and none are easy but the times when the instruction was tough and felt very prepared the better I felt I did. Again just some thoughts, not starting a flame. Good luck!

ILS Capture
1st Dec 2003, 16:56
Mr Baxter,

Surely if you are so good, you would have done it any any flight school? ;)

1st Dec 2003, 21:27
Hello ILS Capture,

To answer your point, I believe that it is the personal touch of a smaller training establishment that got me through in the minimum hours and with the first time pass. My experience on test-day at busy busy Cranfield lead me to conclude that an awful lot of Cabair students must waste a great deal of time holding in mid-air and on the ground waiting to get clearances!! So to get the same amount of actual flying time and number of approaches that I did during my training at Stapleford, a Cabair student would probably have to be in the air twice as much!

Believe me, it's not a slurr on the "big" flying schools, and I'm not doubting the quality of flight instruction, I'm just examining the logistics of training at such a busy airfield.

PS.....do i know you??

1st Dec 2003, 21:39
If the answer to the question is "around 45%" (which seems to be the case from what I'm reading here), then I have a follow-up question:

Why are instructors allowing over half of their students to take a test which they are not ready for??? Especially when it seems, from anecdotal evidence, to be the one where a first-time pass is most important. :confused:


1st Dec 2003, 22:33
I think a lot of nails have been hit on the head with this one.

FFF i dont think that instructors just send you out for your testbecause they are hoping you will pass, you met a required standard on the day of your 170A, however for whatever reason, on the day of test it did not go so well, and there are many reasons for that, delays, the nerves creeping in being the main one.

I have been with the same flight school for 7 years and recently tried CPL training at another facility, and after 15 hours, decided that i did not get the commitment, effort, atmosphere, and as somebody has put on here not a demanding enough instructor.

I returned to my school and undertook some extra training and a few hours extra to meet the standard and got first time pass.

I have put comments on this site before and can only reitorate them, find a school you like, one that fits yourself, this is probably what gets you through on first time or good partial passes. Its not reputation,facts or figures but how you interact with them and they with you, tough and demanding dont always mean being aggresive.

The school i fly from also puts its figures on the wall, FI, CPL and IR, they are quite honest about there results.

P.S. there are people that pass first time and in minimums, i know a few, very gifted pilots, so it does happen, but probably there ability to organise and work well under pressure was the main reason they passed i suspect , as well as meeting the standard

Good luck in the flying :ok:

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