View Full Version : Use of a non-IR CPL

24th Mar 2006, 19:53

Thought was about time to come out of "snoop" mode & interact with my fellow wing-junkies...

So, here's a question I've never seen posed in all the ramblings on PPRUNE...

What does a CPL by itself (ie. without a full IR) enable you to realistically do?? As I see it, it would allow you to do the following:

1. Opens the door to working as an instructor (after the FI course of course...)
2. Would allow you to fly pleasure flights (which would only occur in VMC anyway, right?!)
3. Humanitarian flights (have spoken to several people recently proposing to do this...). Surely an IR would be sensible for this, right?
4. Would allow paradropping / glider or ad towing / ag flying type jobs (even if the pay were practically non-existent...)
5. Would permit you do ferrying (although would you want to traverse e.g. Atlantic without a full IR?!?!)

Anyone out there doing these activities on a non-IR CPL?? Or is the CPL truly only a keystone to the ATPL-IR route only?? Oh, & what of a FAA/SA/Canadian CPL vs a JAA one for any of these activities?? The word on the flightline is that the JAA CPL is the one that does the talking.

Should point out I've got a good day-job in the oil industry (yes, those gits :E ) & haven't got the least intention of going ATPL:eek: .

Idea would be more:

- To take my flying up to a safer, more professional level.
- Open the door for part-time instructing in the future, or even full-time when oil hits $10/barrel again:sad: .
- Maybe occasional other work that would give an edge to my flying & get someone else to pay for it for once!!

Anyway, be interested to hear what you guys think!

PS. Anyone else out there live near Paris & fancy some flight-sharing? If so, let me know.

24th Mar 2006, 20:29
While these jobs may open up without an IR I can't really see the point in not doing one. You'll need the hours in the logbook to obtain the CPL regardless of the IR or not and frankly I believe that the IR makes one a better, more precise pilot. Say what you will, but a a better, more precise pilot is a safer pilot and a safer pilot isn't a dead pilot; which is my favourite type of pilot!

24th Mar 2006, 20:53
I'm not sure about your suggestion of ferrying - I would think an IR would be essential for that.

One you've missed is aerial photography.

I think it's probably fair to say that the vast majority of people who have CPLs without IRs are part-time instructors - at least, that's been my experience from people I've known.


24th Mar 2006, 22:59
betterfromabove, I went through the same thought process a year ago. Whilst I was sure I would improve as a pilot by doing the training, I could see little benefit in actually holding the higher licence. The IR, on the other hand, promised to both improve my instrument flying and give valuable IMC privileges abroad. If I only had the funds to do one, I decided it would be the IR. The PPL/IR seemed more immensely more useful to me than CPL/IMC.
My view hasn't changed, except I've no desire to go through the study process ever again, and I now fully intend to do both before I lose my exam credits.

I think though, that unless going pro is a goal, you could gain as much (if not more) by adding additional ratings or sign-offs to a PPL than by doing a CPL. Seaplane, taildragger, aeros, formation, or even PPL/FI might offer more satisfaction?

29th Mar 2006, 19:51
Lots of sensible advice... the idea of part-time instruction certainly attracts me medium-term. That's why I've zoomed in on the non-IR CPL.

Essentially wondering about the add-on benefits of the "commercial" aspect to the licence & whether a 200-300hr non-IR CPL would get a look-in at any of this kind of (probably) part-time aerial work. Other option is set up your aerial work operation yourself I suppose. Anyway, as I said, interesting way to increase your experience while getting someone else to pay for your flying.

bfato: Absolutely agree on the post-PPL continual learning curve. How many times do we get fed up with the hassles of WX/cost/club politics/aircraft availability/tetchy instructors & still we come back for more?!?! A Licence to Learn it certainly is!

D'Vay: Why not the full IR? Well, like most PPL's, I can't justify the expense in time or money. I would love the qualification but can't see ever using it unless someone buys me a new Twin Star for Xmas! Know too many IR's (including many instructors...) who never use it in anger. As a "safety shield", the IMCR does as good (in the UK at least).

Saying that, the CAA's method of setting the exams of course does nothing to encourage people outside the profession from joining it.... why can't the exams be sat in a reputable FTO or in regional centres... even online?!?? Dream on.

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