The Pacific: General Aviation & Questions The place for students, instructors and charter guys in Oz, NZ and the rest of Oceania.

ATPL Flight Planning

Old 22nd Mar 2021, 11:12
  #21 (permalink)  
Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: various places .....
Posts: 6,935
Likes: 0
Received 7 Likes on 6 Posts
If I may stir the pot, just a little.

Background - did my SCPL/ATPL stuff back in the late 60s/early 70s. Taught the various subjects during the late 70s/early 80s and, for my sins and perverse interests, am back doing likewise these days. Some of us are just gluttons for punishment, I guess.

I suggest that

(a) the aircraft Type used in the exams matters not one iota - so long as it is a heavy jet or prop-jet and the exam requires the candidate to do the work, as opposed to airline flight planning where spoon-feeding is the go. It wouldn't really matter if the exam used an L188 or a B777 or, indeed, the old gentleman's aircraft as is the current flavour. The important thing is general understanding, knowledge and technical ability to figure out the answers.

(b) the theory exam ought not to be driven by practicality - that's for sim and line training/checking. The theory stuff provides an opportunity for the system to satisfy itself that the candidate does, indeed, have some sort of idea about what is what in running the sums sensibly. Ideally, it would be nice if the exams actually established a level of technical understanding. I make no comment as to whether I concur with the style and accuracy requirements of the exams these days - but that's just the path which the student/candidate has to follow and the phrase which readily comes to mind is "toughen up, sunshine".

(c) re comment in the thread about whether Brand A is preferable to Brand B or Brand C is fine - we all learn differently and we all respond better to different training techniques - if you get on better with Brand A, then use Brand A. Likewise Brand B, Brand C or whatever.

(d) learn the stuff and then practice, practice, practice. The exam material is not all that hard but, to get the pass, one has to handle the combination of a restrictive time limit and a high pass mark - that makes the exercise rather hard, no matter how one might look at it. Speed and accuracy is the buzz phrase here, I suggest.

(e) The issue these days is having the attitude of “I don’t need to know that, so I won’t learn it.” I have to admit that students with such an attitude do create more than a few problems for themselves.

As an afterthought, be aware that some of the various course notes around the place do have their errors although these don't appear to prevent folks gaining a pass along the road. For the aero engineer in me, though, it would be nice to think that those who purport to teach this stuff actually do have the requisite technical competence behind them to do so appropriately.
john_tullamarine is offline  
Old 22nd Mar 2021, 15:34
  #22 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Mexico City
Posts: 629
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
John tullamarine,

You need to be satisfied the student has an understanding? Is that why we need to do a 1inop gear down off track PNR and get the answer right to within 20kg of fuel? That is a ridiculous level of understanding not required to fly a modern jet transport aircraft. Or a DC9 etc.

That's just CASA thinking that the harder it makes exams the less blame it will get if there is an an accident. I can see the court case now.

Judge, So Mr CASA any idea why the plane crashed?

Casa, no your honour we gave a comprehensive test covering every possible scenario from floods to meteor strikes. It's not our fault we couldn't think of anymore outrageous things to test the pilots on.
Climb150 is offline  
Old 23rd Mar 2021, 00:48
  #23 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Australia the Awesome
Posts: 398
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Checkboard View Post
+1

It's sad when you tell a story to a cockpit colleague to pass the time, and that evolves into a tip or trick about, say, calculating the Last Point of Safe Diversion by map folding ... and you get a blank stare and "but this isn't in the manuals" as a reply... *sigh*
It is even sadder when you say “Talk to me Goose” and you get a blank look and a reply “What does that mean? Lots of you old blokes say it!” 😩😩
Roj approved is offline  
Old 23rd Mar 2021, 03:58
  #24 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 253
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
John Tullamarine,

Got to agree with most of that. The subject is not about type/class training - it's about "is this person up to understanding and commanding an airliner"?

Having said that - the traditional lack of clarity around the requirements and results is disgusting. Parts of CASA do know better, but those managing this subject and the questions genuinely do not understand training or evaluation Until those people retire (can't be far away) we're stuck with incomplete guidance (SOPs) and terrible use of unspecified methods ("the only correct answer is the one I get") rather than specific tolerances.
drpixie is offline  
Old 23rd Mar 2021, 11:05
  #25 (permalink)  
Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: various places .....
Posts: 6,935
Likes: 0
Received 7 Likes on 6 Posts
Stir the pot and get some discussion.

You need to be satisfied the student has an understanding? Indeed, otherwise the instructor is taking the money under false pretenses, I suggest. Unfortunately, it is a matter of regret that some instructors struggle to get up even to the level of the blind leading the blind.

Is that why we need to do a 1inop gear down off track PNR and get the answer right to within 20kg of fuel? That is a ridiculous level of understanding not required to fly a modern jet transport aircraft. Or a DC9 etc. Of course I concur with you - that's why I observed in my previous post - "I make no comment as to whether I concur with the style and accuracy requirements of the exams these days". However, the Regulator calls the shots and the candidate has to run the gauntlet, regardless.

you get a blank look and a reply “What does that mean? Lots of you old blokes say it! One can only observe that struggling to achieve a performance goal below the lowest common denominator is rather sad.

we're stuck with incomplete guidance (SOPs) and terrible use of unspecified methods ("the only correct answer is the one I get") rather than specific tolerances. Perhaps the examiner isn't able to call the shots in isolation and is subject to constraints outside his immediate domain ?






john_tullamarine is offline  
Old 23rd Mar 2021, 15:23
  #26 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Mexico City
Posts: 629
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
John I think the only people who can change CASAs mind are the ones who teach it.

I fear, maybe wrongly I hope that some peoples business models rely on the ATPL exams being overly complicated. This may cause them to influence CASA into not changing them.
Climb150 is offline  
Old 23rd Mar 2021, 22:00
  #27 (permalink)  
Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: various places .....
Posts: 6,935
Likes: 0
Received 7 Likes on 6 Posts
This may cause them to influence CASA into not changing them.

That may be the case although I suspect not.

In ancient times we used to have post exam review panel meetings between Industry theory trainers and the then DCA theory examiner. I can recall attending a few of these, I guess in the late 70s (?), when I was tied up with Noel Lamont's organisation at Essendon. Indeed, they also involved occasional reviews of the exam question banks with robust discussion along the lines of endeavouring to weed out silly questions. More usefully, for the students, the actual examinations were made available for study use. These would be worked by trainers and provided to the students as part of their practice workup for subsequent exams. The student could purchase various solutions to get a sound idea of the ways one might usefully approach the sorts of questions which might be posed. It certainly wasn't a case of learning how to answer a "standard" question as the examiners had enough nouse to tweak question styles so that a reasonable level of understanding was necessary to solve them. The main value lay in giving an idea of the sorts of question styles which the examiner might pose. I had students who were comparatively brilliant ranging to comparatively slow - the former, generally, had little problem, the latter just needed to knuckle down and hit the books until it eventually sunk in. Indeed, one of my favourite students was in the latter category - he struggled for quite a while to get his passes and had concurrent financial difficulties/pressures along the way. He eventually ended up, quite successfully, in senior airline training and checking appointments and had a very successful career.

By comparison, I think the present "secret exam business" approach is counterproductive although it may well simplify the Regulator's workload requirements.

As I recall, many of the present sorts of criticism leveled at the exam questions were common back then as well. The poor old examiner just can't win - make the questions a bit searching or pointed and the muppets react, make them too simple and the purists likewise.

Right or wrong, I have a simple approach -

(a) the trainer must teach the ins and outs of the topic so that the student can understand the story and have sufficient competence and confidence to figure out solutions to problems.

(b) the student has to be brought up to a standard relating to speed and accuracy from which the exam pass is feasibly achievable. That involves drilling in speed and accuracy. If there be anything I might complain about, it is the time limit and pass mark constraints. Comparing this to the old university days, we had what was fondly referred to as the "zero shifting theorem". The philosophy was that the student cohorts, from year to year, were more or less similar in typical capability so, if the raw results varied markedly from the norm then, just perhaps, the problem lay with the exam rather than the cohort; ergo, the pass mark was flexible and, consistent with reasonable consideration, might vary a little to accommodate the situation. Pass rate was seen to be more relevant than pass mark

It doesn't fuss me what the exam question standard is - that is the Regulator's province. If the trainer has done a sound job, the student ought not to have too torrid a time achieving a pass even should the questions be rather more searching than last time. I really think the problem lies with those folks who want an easy ride and, when they don't get one, are vocal in their complaining.

Perhaps I'm just getting to be an olde pharte who is saddened by the pressure seen to dumb things down. Sure, as time goes by, some stuff becomes of decreasing relevance overall and falls into the category of historical oddities - sextants might be an example ? However, dumbing stuff down for dumbing down's sake can only be a foolish goal, in my simple view of life.
john_tullamarine is offline  
Old 23rd Mar 2021, 23:32
  #28 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Mexico City
Posts: 629
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Perhaps I'm just getting to be an olde pharte who is saddened by the pressure seen to dumb things down.
I'm not asking for anything to be dumbed down. I guess unless you have held a licence other than CASA you can't understand how ridiculous the CASA exams are.
Climb150 is offline  
Old 24th Mar 2021, 03:02
  #29 (permalink)  
Man Bilong Balus long PNG
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Now officially on Life's scrap heap, now being an Age Pensioner and not liking it one little bit! I'd rather be flying but in the meantime still continuing the never ending search for a bad bottle of Red!
Age: 68
Posts: 2,829
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
how ridiculous the CASA exams are.
I did my CPL theory at Parafield TAFE back in the early 80's and had an absolutely brilliant lecturer (Bob S) who used to sit every exam on all subjects he taught, as he held the view that he could not lecture on the subject unless he could also pass the exam!

He once remarked that in one exam on a particular subject, he thought some of the questions were somewhat 'over the top...', and was subsequently unsurprised but somewhat amused to learn that at the bottom of the exam paper a candidate had boldly written the words...
"The Examiner is a pedantic Twit!!"

I believe the candidate still passed though.
Pinky the pilot is offline  
Old 24th Mar 2021, 10:05
  #30 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 1998
Location: Ex-pat Aussie in the UK
Posts: 5,526
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I spent an hour or so yesterday watching videos on aviation bubble sextants and celestial navigation.
Checkboard is online now  
Old 24th Mar 2021, 11:00
  #31 (permalink)  
Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: various places .....
Posts: 6,935
Likes: 0
Received 7 Likes on 6 Posts
how ridiculous the CASA exams are

Again, I don't hold much in the way of views on what the Regulator might/ought to examine - that's the province of the Regulator and we, in the Industry, have to run with it as presented. Your view, however, is respected.

I spent an hour or so yesterday watching videos on aviation bubble sextants and celestial navigation.

Well done, that man !


john_tullamarine is offline  
Old 24th Mar 2021, 15:32
  #32 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 375
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Climb150 View Post
John I think the only people who can change CASAs mind are the ones who teach it.

I fear, maybe wrongly I hope that some peoples business models rely on the ATPL exams being overly complicated. This may cause them to influence CASA into not changing them.
^^^^^ This. Why would theory schools want Casa to make things easier?
havick is offline  
Old 20th May 2022, 06:24
  #33 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Not sure if anyone is still here but I just passed doing the online course from aviation theory services. I tried studying with AFT but it just didn't make sense. At least this had videos I could go back and watch when I'd forgotten stuff. Does anyone have an extract for ATPL Air Law since it changed? TIA
toga121.5 is offline  
Old 23rd May 2022, 03:16
  #34 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Earth
Posts: 217
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Checkboard View Post
I've said this a couple of times, but...

The exam shouldn't be on an airline type. Airlines have heaps of support - especially in the computer age.

The exam should be on a Westwind medivac flight to Norfolk, or a Learjet flight to Darwin. Something that you'll actually have to fly without support....
That kind of practical application will draw deep suspicion from people who are well protected from any adverse outcomes of real life reality tests.
The Wawa Zone is offline  
Old 23rd May 2022, 04:05
  #35 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: N/A
Posts: 4,761
Likes: 0
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
If you want practical applications, for a helo ATPL you had to at one time study the 767 EFIS system and pressurisation, and that was some three or so decades ago. Where are all those pressurised helicopters?
megan is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2022 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.