View Full Version : Bournemouth residential ATPL g/school

5th Dec 2003, 02:38
Hi I'm looking to do my ATPL groundschool fairly soon and was looking at residential courses at BOH.

I visited both BCFT and EPTA recently and was impressed with both. Are there any current or recent students at either of these places that could give me your opinions on these schools, i.e.

- Quality of manuals
- What the instructors are like
- General student morale
- Why you chose the school you did
- etc.

My view was that BCFT seems to have a very friendly feel about it and class sizes are max of 15 whereas EPTA seems more business-orientated and has a max class size of 25! Smaller class sizes are better I would have thought?

Any comments or advice you could give would be most appreciated.

Cheers, Tri

5th Dec 2003, 17:51
Check your PM's.


Send Clowns
7th Dec 2003, 04:22
If you have not been here before it is worth using the search facility (above, right). Type the name (use initials only) of one of the schools as a keyword and select "Search Titles Only" in the bottom left. I would do so for you and post the links, but as I work for one of the FTOs in question I could be accused of bias!

Best of luck, wherever you end up training.

9th Dec 2003, 01:38

I am nearly though my groundschool at EPTA and can give you the low down on what I think of the place. I also know someone at BCFT.
So EPTA, there are 2 groundschool modules running at the same time and the tutors are pretty dam good. However, it did take a bit of time to settle in and a few days of head banging to start
But once you have got the basics it's fine.

The manuals are average but you get the most from the tutors who are happy to talk about any problems you might be having.

Morale is great we all try and get together for the odd beer or two. Even the mention of 10-a-side football last week. Dry slope ski-ing after Xmas.

Why did I choose the school?
Reasonable class sizes and plenty help.

I did look at BCFT and the class sizes at the time were smaller but I felt it better to be in a slightly bigger class to bounce ideas off.
I think there are pro's and con's for small class sizes.
But it has turned out to my benefit because I failed a few subjects and it mean't that there was a course that I could jump on to straight way. I don't think BCFT can offer that. (correct me if I am wrong!!!!)

They also offered free re-trainning. I know that may sound strange (or even negative) but I was not that clever at exams(earlier years), so thought it best to give me that little bit of extra security:}

All in all I am happy with my choice and would recommend it to others.

Bad points:
Bloody freezing at the moment as they are extending the building and there is a f***king great hole in the place.
Bloody hot in the summer no air conditioning.

They say air con will be installed next year so bonus if they do!!!

Drop me a line if you want anything else or drop in the school.


11th Dec 2003, 00:25
If you are after feedback then in the Majority the stuff BCFT themselves had was out of date and whilst OK, did not represent the actual exam material. It's not hard to get hold of the Oxford stuff though which is what I used and is first rate.

In terms of retraining as far as I am aware they dont charge for it and certainly when they were starting out (when I started) they promised you pay a one off fee and that was it till the day you get the white slip with Passes all down the right. Most people just use the spare classrooms when/if they fail after attending the minimum number of instructional hours.

The instruction was good, especially from Send Clowns et al and they were always helpful and attentive to any quarms we had.

I hear Dave Hinks (and his Open Head!) have just left which was a shame as he rationalised Electrics, Systems, HPL and M&B for most including me. So that will be a loss for them.

My only minor quarm was that I did have to source a lot of outside material myself as I did not think the manuals where that good. A lot of the pictures were unreadable. The progress tests did little for your confidence, but then I hear they are supposed to give you a kick in the A$$.

I did screw up my first module and that was entirely down to me, not them. Second set of modules was fine, but as I say I was always trying to get hold of Oxford stuff.

Would I reccomend them? I never looked round EPTA as I personally didnt want anything to do with a certain mr.green, Oxford did not have a course for three months and BCFT could fit me in 2 weeks.

In hindsight, I met some great guys and had fun and passed. Bournemouth town is a great place to study and some interesting stuff goes in and out of the airport. If I was starting again all things being equal I would go to Oxford only due to their superior course material, on-line groundschool with the flash animations explaining key elements and their first time pass rate.

Send Clowns
11th Dec 2003, 01:01

If you print misinformation about my employer I will correct it, especially if you invite such correction, which I did appreciate.

I did not mean to say you did not do enough work. What I intended to convey was the fact that there will always be students who will not pass first time with a standard course. I myself did not pass all first time (I was certainly not able to fly through Air Law at any great pace, fortunately I am not expected to go near this area when I teach).

I was explaining that programming here allows some time before the exams, usually a week depending on how bank holidays fall, in which help is available for students above the normal, approved course if they know before the exams they will struggle, in an effort to minimise failure first time rather than recover those students for the second attempt. I believe some other schools operate a similar policy.


The manuals are now printed by a completely different method (software issue, not sure of the difference myself). Most of the diagrams were corrected by that change, the rest are being addressed. I have also rewritten the Flight Planning manual, as it was the only one that had not been rewritten significantly since it was first used.

Yes, I'm afraid Dave Hinks has left, leaving me without a mnemonic for the PET formula. However we have recruited your friend Lionel and a Britannia Captain, both part-time, to keep staff up. bit of a rejig of subjects (I now teach Electrics, and Lionel will be taking Flight Planning), but we think the new team will work well.

12th Dec 2003, 03:01

Fair enough I hold my hand up and apologize for my slight out burst to Send Clowns.

Yes, maybe a little out of line but you really did get my back up with the statement regarding my failure of exams. So perhaps my agressive stand on Tank tops and beaten up was a little out of line.

But I still stand by my points regarding both schools. I did not say the BCFT was bad or good in away. Your comment regarding the holes in the wall was uncalled for. I felt you used it as a mode of transport for your own company.

With regard to class size I agree that 12 is good. I also agree that a larger class is good too.

Thank you for holding you hand up and acknowledged your failures to. :ok:

Tron gave a very balanced view on manuals etc.

Can we leave it at that?:ouch:

Send Clowns
12th Dec 2003, 07:46
Fair enough :D Note I did acknowledge that we may have holes in the wall soon too! Have the builders in at the moment, currently only external but talk of deeper alterations if required.

Best of luck with the remainder of your course. If we meet in the pub (have seen some of your guys in the Curlew, for example) remind me to buy you a pint!

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