View Full Version : ATPL(A) Skills Test v LPC

17th Apr 2024, 19:59

Hope you're all doing well. I have a couple of questions regarding the ATPL skills test.

Me being lazy, I didn't bother applying for the skills test during my last LPC which was a few months ago....but now I need to unfreeze my ATPL and can't wait until next year. What I'm thinking about doing is going to a 3rd party ATO to get the test done.

Here are my questions:

1. If for whatever reason I failed the test, would that invalidate my CPL/IR/type rating? Obviously I can't have that happen since I'm actively flying.
2. Would there be any issues with upgrading my license with a 3rd party ATO rather than my own airline?

My understanding is that since it's a new license issue, and not a revalidation, it wouldn't affect my current license/IR/type rating in any way if I failed...kinda like failing your CPL wouldn't invalidate your PPL...but that's just a theory made up in my own head.

Thanks in advance!

17th Apr 2024, 21:56
An ATPL skill test will replace your LPC and it will also revalidate your type rating, if you are successful.

1. Should you not pass all items of the test (i.e. partial pass or fail), you cannot exercise the privileges of the type rating, until you have passed all items - that means no flying. Have a look at FCL.1030(b)(1). It won’t affect other ratings, such as SEP, etc. The same would apply if you’d fail CPL skill test in a SEP; you wouldn’t be able to fly SEP aircraft on your PPL until you would have passed all items of the skill test.

2. Nothing, except that you will have to inform your airline about the new expiry date of the type rating, and (I think most airlines want this) send them a copy of the new licence when it is issued.

17th Apr 2024, 22:13
Bugger, I have applied to another airline that requires a full ATPL but obviously I can't take the risk of failing my ATPL skills test with a 3rd party whilst actively flying for an airline.

Thanks for the reply.

18th Apr 2024, 04:45
Not much if a risk though is it? If you think you might fail an LPC should you really be flying?

7th May 2024, 09:46
Not much if a risk though is it? If you think you might fail an LPC should you really be flying?

Did you miss the part where he said it would be an ATPL skills test, not an LPC. They are completely different things, with different requirements to pass. You could easily pass all LPC requirements, but fail the ATPL Skills test requirements, and he'd be left unable to use his rating for his day job until he sorts out a fresh LPC. It isn't worth the risk.

The recruitment industry has done pilots a great disservice coining the term frozen ATPL. You don't have a frozen anything, there is nothing to unfreeze. You have the ATPL written exams, and once you meet the pre-requisites you can complete a skills test to attain the licence. That skills test would invalidate any remaining time on the current rating if failed.

8th May 2024, 13:29
The difference between the two is small - essentially a raw data 2E ILS in addition

8th May 2024, 16:14
They are completely different things, with different requirements to pass. You could easily pass all LPC requirements, but fail the ATPL Skills test requirementsHardly! A raw data ILS would come around at least every 6 years anyway so an LPC could very well constitute an ATPL check. The one additional maneuver is usually done at the very end if not already covered. Maneuvers can even be repeated. I've never heard of anyone failing.

9th May 2024, 23:19
Yet more fundamental misunderstanding of what an ATPL skills test is.

A raw data ILS is a feature of any skills test, including for type rating issue, it is bread and butter and as stated shouldn't be an issue.

An ATPL skills test is far more a test of non technical skill to the required level to command a multi pilot aircraft. See Part-FCL Appendix 9 - 15

15. The following matters shall be specifically checked by the examiner for applicants for the ATPL or a type rating for multi-pilot aircraft or for multi-pilot operations in a single-pilot aeroplane extending to the duties of a PIC, irrespective of whether the applicants act as PF or PM:
(a) managing crew cooperation;
(b) maintaining a general survey of the aircraft operation by appropriate supervision; and
(c) setting priorities and making decisions in accordance with safety aspects and relevant rules and regulations appropriate to the operational situation, including emergencies.

Whilst within a supportive airline environment with robust SOPS, you may well expect to pass such an assessment, as a third party candidate with some random off the shelf examiner it will always be an unknown. My personal pass rate is in the region of 90-95%, candidates definitely fail by not taking the skills test for what is is and treating it as a recurrent LPC which is a very different beast. With a recurrent LPC there would be training between attempt 1 and 2, this would not be acceptable on a skills test.

OP is definitely right not to go for an ATPL skills test with a third party examiner, as if they do fail, even for a poorly conducted test on which they win an appeal, the affect on their rating affects their livelihood. Better to wait 6 months and do it in house with the support of your airline. Remember to complete the notification of skills test, this is not a recurrent check of ongoing proficiency, but the initial test, and a demonstration of skill.