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PPL theory exams confusion (thanks EASA!)

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PPL theory exams confusion (thanks EASA!)

Old 22nd Jun 2013, 10:30
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Leicester, UK
Age: 29
Posts: 25
PPL theory exams confusion (thanks EASA!)

Hi everyone, first post on here as I've usually found everything I need by using the handy search function but I'm in a right state of confusion at the minute.

I'm currently training for my PPL at East Mids having completed the law exam and, as of today, flight performance and planning exam.

I'm well aware of the changes coming in from 1st of September, 6 sittings now, each of 10 days blah blah. However in the Information Notice issued by the CAA (found here) it states: In the case of the two subjects 'Flight Performance and Planning' and 'Navigation', a student will need to pass both subjects prior to 1 September 2013 if examined to the old syllabus. No credit will be given for a pass in one subject only. Students who have not passed both subjects by 1 September 2013 will have to sit examinations to the new syllabus.

In simple terms, this translates to me as: Pass flight performance and planning and navigation before the end of August so you don't have to retake either of them to the new syllabus.

This is the approach I took and so today, about to sit the performance and planning exam (which I got 100% in, sorry, had to mention ), I mentioned to my examiner that I would hopefully pass this and then get Nav out of the way by the end of August. To which she explains that I actually have to pass ALL of the 7 theory exams by the end of August to avoid re-sitting the two exams to the new syllabus, not just the 2 exams themselves. This is contrary to the Information Notice issued by the CAA, and my examiner claims she has spoken to her boss and has gone over the wording a hundred times.

What the is going on?! Am I being a few sandwiches short of a picnic and mis-interpreted the Information Notice or is my examiner mis-informed?

Any examiners out there or anyone who knows exactly what the rules are regarding these two exams, could you please help a distressed trainee out?
James1809 is offline  
Old 22nd Jun 2013, 11:52
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Interesting, I was under the impression that if you start (take) any of the exams before September it would be under the old syllabus apart from 'Flight Performance and Planning' and 'Navigation'.
FirstOfficer is offline  
Old 22nd Jun 2013, 12:21
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: London
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The IN is as clear as it can be.

Candidates who have already commenced an examination series (sat one or more examinations) under the old syllabus, but have not completed all the required examinations for Licence issue before 1 September 2013, will have to complete any outstanding examinations to the new syllabus standard.
From 1 September, the candidate will continue with the new exams. The above mentioned exception is FPP&P and Nav, where you need to pass both for them to count.

Fighting an examiner on this, however, can be hard. I once had an examiner deny one of my students use of a calculator (simple one, no aviation functions, non-programmable) in the Nav exam, against the official CAA guidance which permits them, and he continues to do so. I now prepare my candidates for that, as he is the theory examiner of the school.
Cobalt is offline  
Old 22nd Jun 2013, 12:30
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Join Date: May 1999
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
Posts: 25,656
James1809, your examiner is wrong. If she won't accept that, tell her to call the CAA!

You are right. Basically all exams can be credited within the normal validity and exam time limits; however, you need to pass FP&P and navigation before 1 Sep or (in your case) you would need to take FP&P again.

The original IN was incorrect, so I persuaded the CAA to re-issue it in (slightly) clearer English.

It just goes to show what a desperate state the UK flying training industry is in, if students know the regulations better than some examiners....

Cobalt, ask that examiner if he's ever heard of Regulation 6 action....
BEagle is offline  
Old 22nd Jun 2013, 15:02
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: London
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Nah. It will only upset him, and in any case I would rather have a slightly old-fashioned examiner than no examiner with students having to go elsewhere.

I teach all my students how to use the calculation side of the CRP anyway [if only as some kind of reverse-novelty, but hey, I also make them buy a stopwatch], and we have a good chuckle about the examiner's attitude. So far nobody has failed...
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Old 23rd Jun 2013, 12:17
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Leicester, UK
Age: 29
Posts: 25
Thanks for the replies, I wasn't being a numpty after all. I'll fight my corner on this one then and get in touch with the CAA on Monday to hopefully hear it from the horses mouth that I only need to pass Nav and FPP before September to avoid re-sitting to the new syllabus. I'll post up what the CAA has to say. Cheers!
James1809 is offline  
Old 8th Jul 2013, 16:00
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Leicester, UK
Age: 29
Posts: 25

Finally, after two weeks, 2 e-mails, and 2 transferred calls I've got my answer from the CAA. My interpretation was correct.

Dear James,


Your interpretation of IN-2013/061 is correct, provided you pass both the Flight Performance & Planning and Navigation papers before 31 August 2013, you can sit all outstanding papers to the new syllabus from the 1 September 2013 to complete all nine subjects.


Kind regards,


Martin Davis
Senior Licensing Standards Inspector
UK Civil Aviation Authority
Gonna pass this on to my flying club and hope they have a discreet word with the examiner and any other students she may have mis-lead.
James1809 is offline  
Old 8th Jul 2013, 17:25
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 946
Glad you got a good outcome. It's amazing the number of people running flying clubs and supervising exams who can't understand basic English
Johnm is offline  

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