Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Non-Airline Forums > Private Flying
Reload this Page >

Depth of Knowledge for Meterology

Private Flying LAA/BMAA/BGA/BPA The sheer pleasure of flight.

Depth of Knowledge for Meterology

Old 5th Apr 2017, 14:37
  #21 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: England
Posts: 15
I'm unwilling to comment on individual scenarios of which I have no experience.

I take on board your point, but by all accounts the ATPL theory is just as easy, simply more time consuming. I don't really see what this is proving. An ability to learn large chunks of fact and imagery? Like a 5 year old? It's starting to feel like all you need to fly a plane commercially is a wedge of cash and a decent working memory.

In your example all I can draw is similar to making a cake. I may have made it 500 times. I occasionally still need to check the recipe.......Everyone is still happy when they eat the cake.
jamesgrainge is offline  
Old 5th Apr 2017, 19:25
  #22 (permalink)  
Registered User *
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: EIR15
Posts: 88
I don't see what the problem is here. So there are a handful of symbols and another handful of metar/taf abbreviations to learn. Just learn them. There aren't that many. You'd have them learnt in the time you're spending on this thread. Don't you WANT to know as much as possible? Why settle only for the bare minimum to get you through the exam?

As I said before, if you really have that attitude then maybe flying a plane is not for you. Sorry but it has to be said.
Ber Nooly is offline  
Old 5th Apr 2017, 20:02
  #23 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Do I come here often?
Posts: 893
Originally Posted by jamesgrainge View Post
I'm unwilling to comment on individual scenarios of which I have no experience.

I take on board your point, but by all accounts the ATPL theory is just as easy, simply more time consuming. I don't really see what this is proving. An ability to learn large chunks of fact and imagery? Like a 5 year old? It's starting to feel like all you need to fly a plane commercially is a wedge of cash and a decent working memory.

In your example all I can draw is similar to making a cake. I may have made it 500 times. I occasionally still need to check the recipe.......Everyone is still happy when they eat the cake.
What a monumentally arrogant response. If you don't want to learn the trade spare us your company. The difference between PPL and ATPL is best described as GCSE to 2nd year degree.

So will you rely on the P1 knowing the de-code, or are you so great you'll be straight to LHS and the P2 can do it?

After 30 years with a professional license a stack of hours and now sitting in the CP's chair you come over as the worst type of new license holder I meet weekly.

If you don't know the ATPL basics when you walk through the door you will fail. Bye bye to the training costs. No-one will support or help you. A PPL may get away with what you suggest, a pro can't. You want to be a pro, then get with the pro programme. Learn what you have to, be prepared to learn a f###ing sight more, stop learning, stop working. A fail on your training record will stick like s##t to a blanket. It'll follow you everywhere. It's a smaller world than you think. I originally thought you wanted to just complete ppl so apologise for my earlier answer. You want to be a big jet pilot, grow up and think like one.

I treat a flight in my PA22 as seriously as a working day flight, most pros do. We've seen many of the snags and catches most ppl's will never see. I you want to go off half cocked you'll find a lot of those snags waiting to get you.

This is the Professional Pilots' Rumour Network. The clue is in Professional Pilots. Be one or just F### Off!

SND
Sir Niall Dementia is offline  
Old 6th Apr 2017, 07:03
  #24 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Do I come here often?
Posts: 893
FZRA;

The uniform, the nice places, the glamour, the 02:00 starts, the jet lag, the divorce rate, the fatigue of too many earlies or too many lates. Dear James has no idea. Fly somewhere nice and get a half hour turnaround. Fighting off the hosties? Most of them are just interested in a good nights kip after being on their feet all day, and all are well aware of the need to avoid relationships with pilots.

I respect your 10 years, that is a serious commitment. I hope you're still enjoying the job, getting the satisfaction that comes from doing really quite complex tasks and making them look easy. I can't help thinking that if the OP makes it to an jet he'll be very disappointed.

I still find PFM in some areas of the job, that's why I carry on. But those areas aren't the ones I expected 30 years ago.

SND
Sir Niall Dementia is offline  
Old 6th Apr 2017, 11:14
  #25 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: England
Posts: 15
Originally Posted by Sir Niall Dementia View Post
What a monumentally arrogant response. If you don't want to learn the trade spare us your company. The difference between PPL and ATPL is best described as GCSE to 2nd year degree.

So will you rely on the P1 knowing the de-code, or are you so great you'll be straight to LHS and the P2 can do it?

After 30 years with a professional license a stack of hours and now sitting in the CP's chair you come over as the worst type of new license holder I meet weekly.

If you don't know the ATPL basics when you walk through the door you will fail. Bye bye to the training costs. No-one will support or help you. A PPL may get away with what you suggest, a pro can't. You want to be a pro, then get with the pro programme. Learn what you have to, be prepared to learn a f###ing sight more, stop learning, stop working. A fail on your training record will stick like s##t to a blanket. It'll follow you everywhere. It's a smaller world than you think. I originally thought you wanted to just complete ppl so apologise for my earlier answer. You want to be a big jet pilot, grow up and think like one.

I treat a flight in my PA22 as seriously as a working day flight, most pros do. We've seen many of the snags and catches most ppl's will never see. I you want to go off half cocked you'll find a lot of those snags waiting to get you.

This is the Professional Pilots' Rumour Network. The clue is in Professional Pilots. Be one or just F### Off!

SND
Okay. Berating and shouting duly noted. I shall scuttle myself off and think about what I have done. My apologies, I'm just trying to ascertain exactly what is needed for me to progress at this stage. Many people have told me that ATPL is no harder than an A Level. So someone is wrong in their estimation. No offence meant nor detraction from your profession. The things mentioned such as potential life saving information should never be skimped on, it is this kind of organising I would appreciate from the CAA as oppose to simply reading 2100 pages with the view of "Learn this". Thanks for the response.
jamesgrainge is offline  
Old 6th Apr 2017, 14:31
  #26 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
Posts: 5,524
Many people have told me that ATPL is no harder than an A Level.
I'd say it's slightly harder, and certainly there's a heck of a lot to learn.

I think what perhaps didn't help your case (initially) was your idea was you could simply look up stuff as needed.

A pro will tell you he/she has to have at least a working knowledge of what probably totals up to a thousand pages or more of rules and regs in the various manuals - doesn't mean they need to know everything in each manual chapter and verse, but you do need to have recall of the really important stuff (e.g crosswind/airframe limits) and at least know enough about the books so that you can find out swiftly trivia like legit carriage of cats and dogs, or the symbols on high level met charts. (though I'd agree some of that's got easier these days with search functions on things like iPads).

So...I'd agree that knowing the details of station circles might seem trivial to someone heading for an ATPL but if nothing else it's a filter for the examiners to see to see who has the memory skills to retain info and who can't.
wiggy is online now  
Old 7th Apr 2017, 12:33
  #27 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: North England
Posts: 448
Last year I couldn't spell 'meteorologist', now I are one
SpannerInTheWerks is offline  
Old 7th Apr 2017, 13:58
  #28 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Mare Imbrium
Posts: 587
Interpreting station circles is in KS3 Geography.
Heston is offline  
Old 7th Apr 2017, 14:14
  #29 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Strathaven Airfield
Posts: 870
OK, here's a thought for the day, VFR flying:

Why bother learning some amateur hour weather forecasting when the real, professional stuff is almost universally available at the click of a button?

To me, the important thing in VFR flying is to be able to look out of the window and know what is going to happen in the next 60 minutes. It should take you no more than 30 minutes to divert to a safe landing place.

Yet that is the one thing that we are not really taught and examined on!

The rest of it... well, let me tell you a story!

Decades ago, I worked for one of the country's top selling newspapers. The synoptic chart was drawn up by someone in the met office at about 10am in the morning. Probably actually drawn!

It was then faxed to the newspaper. They then sent it off to get redrawn in the art dept to fit the allocated space in the paper.

About 2pm/3pm in the afternoon, we would get the drawing to put on Page 2. Page 2 was one of the early news pages, so had a off-stone time (ie ready to go to the plate makers) of about 6:30pm.

The first edition would then go to press (ie start printing) c 8:30/9pm.

Those papers would then go to the Scottish islands etc and you could buy the there from about 9am the following morning.

So if you camped on Bute, or Broadford, you would get a synoptic chart that was - literally - 24 hours out of date.

So you would really have to have a knowledge of weather systems, how they should develop and how they actually are developing. Then you would be able to look at a day-old chart and say: that front is not doing what it is meant to!

Back to today.

The most powerful computers in the country and a whole bunch of experience professional forecasters - many with 1st Class honours degrees - produce a forecast and 30 minutes later the world can access it on their smartphones.

Yet we have to go through the charade of producing amateur hour stuff - and are we then expected to discard the professional outlook in favour of our own!
xrayalpha is offline  
Old 8th Apr 2017, 10:25
  #30 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
Posts: 5,524
are we then expected to discard the professional outlook in favour of our own!
I certainly wouldn't assume because something is churned out by pro to an App using a super computer that it's bound to be accurate for where you are.

As is often mentioned in another sub forum the quality of local forecasting seems to have deteroriated since the demise of a local forecaster (e.g in the Vale of York), who knew his area, knew about the effects local topography had, and would produce a forecast based on the computer version coming out of Bracknell (as it was).

Even if you discard station circles from the PPL/ATPL there's still a need for an individual pilot to be have enough basic met knowledge in his her/head to "decode" what he see's out of the window and act accordingly...

Last edited by wiggy; 8th Apr 2017 at 10:36.
wiggy is online now  
Old 8th Apr 2017, 11:51
  #31 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Scotland
Age: 80
Posts: 1,436
At work one day years ago someone said " what's the weather going to do today? The kids want to go to the beach". I said "it's going to rain at two o'clock but only for half an hour".
It rained at five mins past two and stopped at two forty.
She couldn't believe it. I was the weather God from then onward.
Smug basturd!
Crash one is offline  
Old 8th Apr 2017, 13:24
  #32 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: UK
Posts: 34
Originally Posted by jamesgrainge View Post
My apologies, I'm just trying to ascertain exactly what is needed for me to progress at this stage.
If you don't need to learn it for the PPL, you'll probably need to know it for the ATPL. And if you don't need to know it for the ATPL, you may well want to know it for real life. So why try and scrape by at this early stage? It'll probably save you time in the long run to aim high from the beginning rather than cut corners by only learning what's going to be examined.

Last edited by FZRA; 16th Jan 2018 at 09:22.
FZRA is offline  
Old 8th Apr 2017, 13:27
  #33 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Oxford
Posts: 2,028
Can't believe no-one has told the OP to start by learning to spell 'meteorology’...

Crash one you have let my secret out! I have the same reputation - combination of reading local TAFs (BZN is good for our area) and using the radar on WeatherPro.
tmmorris is offline  
Old 8th Apr 2017, 14:46
  #34 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Wor Yerm
Age: 63
Posts: 0
Somebody has a little problem that is about to get a lot bigger. Learning chart symbols is simplicity itself. No interpretation required, no fancy language, just tick the correct box for each squiggle. But it's the price you pay to get licence. Simple learning a five year old could do. As to their relevance for PPL flying that is questionable, but you don't have the luxury of any choice. Aviation law is equally trivial to learn, but does matter. But these two subjects demonstrate your problem. As the professionals have pointed out, the ATPL subjects are a little bit harder but considerablly broader. Some may argue that they are parts that are irrelevant to many aspects of flying but the big thing is if you are struggling now you really shouldn't bother with commercial flying. You won't be able to cope with the exams because you have demonstrated beyond doubt this entry level is above you as you are finding these things difficult. But this does not mean you are stupid. It's just that this job has an entry requirement and you simply can't struggle at this level and expect to make it through.

I wish you the very best in your current career.

PM
Piltdown Man is offline  
Old 8th Apr 2017, 18:45
  #35 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Event Horizon
Posts: 61
A few points I would like to make.

Firstly, I would argue that the ATPL syllabus is not as hard as A-Level in terms of difficulty, it certainly isn't 2nd year degree difficult. However it's the work load that kills you (significantly higher workload than a dgree). If you're not willing to put in upto 10-12 hours per day then you're going to struggle. That comment is obviously subjective and varies greatly depending on your own ability.

Secondly, I was a full time ATPL theory instructor for 3 years. In that time I saw many hundreds of students pass through my classrom. Although it sounds obvious, there was a clear correlation between those students who didn't put the effort in and those who couldn't pass exams. You name the excuse, I've heard it.

Slightly more on topic, the one thing that I noticed more than anything, were the modular students who came to our school who already had a PPL but clearly paid no attention to the theory whilst flying.
If I had a pound for every PPL student that came to me claiming they had never heard of the Lift equation, or Bernoulli, or a great circle track, or how to read a TAF, or what specific gravity is, or what TODA/TORA mean, or what Hypoxia is (the list is endless) I would be able to recoup the cost for my PPL.
I had students with A-levels in Maths that couldn't do trigonometry, and students with A-levels in Geography who had never heard of Lat and Long.

Students who relied on SkyDemon for their hours building, having taken the easy way out of using a map and a stopwatch usually struggled like crazy whilst doing their CPL.
It was clear which students read and understood the material, and those that used question banks. Those that memorised answers, or concepts but never really understood them were the ones that couldn't pass exams. And ultimately dropped out of ground school costing them thousands of pounds for nothing.

I always told my students, "It's easier to learn one concept that can answer a hundred questions, then memorise one hundred answers". You'd be surprised how many students ignored that advice because they couldn't be bothered to learn a single difficult concept.

To the OP. The background knowledge you learn for the PPL (if learnt correctly) will make your ATPLs 70% easier. The ATPL syllabus is simply an extension of the PPL syllabus, in far greater detail. The background knowledge you will have will allow you to sail through the ATPL exams whilst still having the understanding that you will require for a technical interview at a later date.

I won't deny that a large percentage of the ATPL syllabus is out of date and not relevant to the 21st century. However, the basics required for PPL will not only make the rest of your training easier, but they'll save your life too. Don't ever take the short cut, learn everything you can.
TryingToAvoidCBs is offline  
Old 8th Apr 2017, 22:24
  #36 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: England
Posts: 15
Originally Posted by Piltdown Man View Post
Somebody has a little problem that is about to get a lot bigger. Learning chart symbols is simplicity itself. No interpretation required, no fancy language, just tick the correct box for each squiggle. But it's the price you pay to get licence. Simple learning a five year old could do. As to their relevance for PPL flying that is questionable, but you don't have the luxury of any choice. Aviation law is equally trivial to learn, but does matter. But these two subjects demonstrate your problem. As the professionals have pointed out, the ATPL subjects are a little bit harder but considerablly broader. Some may argue that they are parts that are irrelevant to many aspects of flying but the big thing is if you are struggling now you really shouldn't bother with commercial flying. You won't be able to cope with the exams because you have demonstrated beyond doubt this entry level is above you as you are finding these things difficult. But this does not mean you are stupid. It's just that this job has an entry requirement and you simply can't struggle at this level and expect to make it through.

I wish you the very best in your current career.

PM
Haha, what a fantastic answer. At no point did I mention "struggling" to learn the information. I simply wanted to understand the relevance to give me some structure to my revision. I actually attended a selective grammar school and have a high level of attainment, the concepts are probably simple enough, there has been nothing I haven't been able to comprehend, however I am the type of person who needs an underlying reason to learn, not just simply because I have to.

The answer provided to me by less arrogant members of the forum has cleared it up nicely. Especially the response directly above, what a fantastic and informative piece of instruction that shows me why to learn in depth subjects at this early stage.
jamesgrainge is offline  
Old 9th Apr 2017, 07:57
  #37 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Wor Yerm
Age: 63
Posts: 0
Flying is full of random meaningless rubbish and the further up the tree you get, the greater the pile rubbish you have to deal with. If commercial flying exams consisted of writing in small boxes in a darken cupboard, flower arranging and home decorating you would actually learn something useful. But they don't. So you just get on with it. There's loads more where that came from and it NEVER STOPS! So you have to ask yourself, is this an industry a gifted intellectual such as yourself wants to join?

PM
Piltdown Man is offline  
Old 9th Apr 2017, 08:36
  #38 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: England
Posts: 15
Originally Posted by Piltdown Man View Post
Flying is full of random meaningless rubbish and the further up the tree you get, the greater the pile rubbish you have to deal with. If commercial flying exams consisted of writing in small boxes in a darken cupboard, flower arranging and home decorating you would actually learn something useful. But they don't. So you just get on with it. There's loads more where that came from and it NEVER STOPS! So you have to ask yourself, is this an industry a gifted intellectual such as yourself wants to join?

PM
And you highlight exactly why I asked the initial question. The process is archaic and out of touch. As numerous people have pointed out, the integration of technology makes aspects of the theory irrelevant. As a younger person I am much more used to being able to efficiently locate and apply the appropriate information provided to me.

From the outside there is no chance of change.
jamesgrainge is offline  
Old 9th Apr 2017, 09:01
  #39 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
Posts: 5,524
You know you may be thinking otherwise but you are not the only "high attaining" person on this thread.

You've had some extremely thorough and valid answers from the likes of PM, Tryingto...and others, people who like you no doubt use apps, iPads, smartphones, etc, some of whom are graduates of scientific disciplines, many of them also pro pilots with thousands if not tens of thousands of hours under there belt....do you not think they might have just perhaps a clearer and more comprehensive view of what is actually required for the likes of the PPL/ATPL, further training and even routine line operations? I only ask because even though it seems you have yet to gain your PPL you seem somewhat convinced that everybody replying here is wrong and/or over the hill and out of date and you are the only one marching in step.

Look, you can rail against the system as long as you want but believe me it changes very very slowly and if you are waiting for the CAA or EASA to change the syllabus you are in for a long wait.

TBH in the time you've spent here arguing you could probably have learnt all you needed to know about station circles and a chunk more of the syllabus. I wish you luck in the training, I really do, but if you only take one thing away from this thread could I seriously suggest you really reconsider the "why should I learn this, I know better" approach...

(Written on an iPad).
wiggy is online now  
Old 9th Apr 2017, 09:28
  #40 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: North England
Posts: 448
Unfortunately learning and being tested on irrelevant information and knowledge is not unique to aviation.

Other professions have similar problems.

The issue that seems to be missed is that those who test and examine seem unaware of those subjects and knowledge that is important to the student.

I remember having to learn about Decca Navigation Systems at a time when glass cockpits were first being introduced. I've never seen a Decca system, not even in a museum. There is a lag behind the needs of industry.

It never fails to amaze me that the more sophisticated the human condition becomes in technical and professional matters, the lower the standards that seem to prevail.

Why can't ALL examinations and testing strive to become 100% relevant?

It might mean less theoretical examinations and a simpler syllabus - or a move towards more vocational training.

There was a time when the mechanical and technical knowledge of aircraft and their systems was quite advanced for pilots. Now with CBT training a pilot learns what s/he needs to know that is relevant to flying and operating, not engineering, the aircraft.

Why not the same with the other navigation and technical subjects?

Having said that, aviation training and testing is a lot more relevant than the knowledge expected of students in other professions where there seems to be a move away from 'bread and butter' to irrelevant learning - with a consequential drop in the level of competence of the individuals concerned.

Pilots are only trained to fly. Obvious you might say, but who trains them to manage and become management pilots within the airline 'business' ... ? No one unless they undertake a MSc or similar course in airline management. In later life this can be just as important as the flying, but management is not examined in any way and only really touched on during command training and by experience gained carrying out the job of flying a modern aircraft.

Maybe time to re-think the strategy for training pilots and look at the longer term, rather than just the operating of a complex machine?
SpannerInTheWerks is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

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

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.