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Cheapest way to a ATPL?

Old 3rd Nov 2009, 11:23
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Jun 2008
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Cheapest way to a ATPL?

Just planning my future this week and have been thinking and reading hard about how to fund my studies to a ATPL. I, and parents, have no savings to use and only one works in the family so its quite difficult. I have been currently looking for a job at anywhere I can find but had no luck so far

Just wondering, what route should I take to either get sponsorship, or if that fails how I would fund it myself? I have been thinking about going the PPL route and paying per hour to build hours, but before I commit myself I need to know what other options there are. I am determined to become a airline pilot whatever it takes costwise and timewise, but would rather have the cheapest way in, but with a good quality.

Any help will be appreciated, thanks.
iranair777 is offline  
Old 3rd Nov 2009, 11:48
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You will need to think around the £100k mark to join the unemployment queue right now so WHY?
Join the RAF. That is the only way to get flying without breaking the bank!
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Old 3rd Nov 2009, 12:03
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Im not being funny but there always seems to be a comment like "Join the RAF" and get flying for free. You make it sound like you just turn up at Cranwell and you'll be on the Grob-Tucano-Hawk-Tornado route without breaking a sweat.

Intial advice is to get to Gatwick with £300 in your pocket to make sure there is nothing inherently wrong with you. This has to be the very first investment.

Second investment is the GAPAN test to see if you have what it takes. At £100 or so, its worthwhile.

It will take a few weeks to get the above two sorted out. Which gives you ample time to go through PPRuNe Stickies and archives and you will know absolutely everything about the routes to becoming a pilot.

Then come back and ask specifics for clarification.

In short you have asked for the cheapest route. Cheapest would be to apply for Cathay who seem to be recruiting like they will face a shortfall of 300 pilots by 2011. November sees the second round of London interviews, just 2 months after the first. You are too late for that by the way but could be lucky for next year if you apply now.

I would add though that you should at least enrol on a PPL course asap to show that you have started the process of achieving your dream. Eitherway, you will be going via the mod-route which is the cheapest. You will find hundreds of threads on this susbject.
Triplespool123 is offline  
Old 3rd Nov 2009, 15:07
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Wow, wasn't expecting a detailed answer like that! I would go head on towards the medical if I had the money. I'll have to find a job but the GAPAN tests and the medical were on my list in order, but I was thinking after that.

from your post I take Cathay Pacific to be the best option for me after hour building. Talking about PPL, should I enroll onto a PPL course or just pay as you go hourly?

I'm confused a bit about the modular and integrated. I have studied this forum a lot and searched, but the amount of meanings of what modular and integrated is goes on and on. Does modular and integrated go towards a CPL? and how long does a modular take compared to a integrated and how much are we looking at for each? (average)

thanks for your patience

adding onto this, what airlines around the world apart from CX and BE are sponsoring pilots?

I'm also deciding on going and doing aviation engineering with commercial pilot studies at brunel but not sure if that is the route I should take

Last edited by iranair777; 3rd Nov 2009 at 15:28.
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Old 3rd Nov 2009, 16:33
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As mentioned before, you should be able to find out all this kind of information within other numerous posts on PPRuNe but given I was once like you (and it's easy enough to misunderstand the finer points and almost endless acronyms), hopefully I can help.

Simply put, a CPL is a license.

In order to achieve one, you would undertake a Modular or Integrated path. Either (you would never do both, itís completely illogical) of these paths would typically result in obtaining a ďfrozenĒ ATPL (unfrozen when further specific criteria are met).

Because an ATPL is comprised of various licenses, ratings and qualifications, it gets neatly wrapped up, contextually, by means of one of the two.

If you elect a modular path, itís up to you to establish and maintain training schedules, locations and financial agreements with a number of providers. Itís cheaper, arguably faster and leaves you in control of the individual components (PPL, CPL, ME, IR and MCC etc.).

If you elect an integrated path, itíll all be done for you. Turn up, pay the man at the door and simply work your socks off. Thatís all that should be required whilst a dedicated team line you up for the next phase of training. Whilst you will pay more, there are a number of benefits to this approach.

You mentioned a sponsorship scheme Ė this would be a good example of an Integrated path.

Just thinkÖ ďAll roads lead to RomeĒ and you should be fine.

Good luck.

Last edited by FlyBoyFryer; 3rd Nov 2009 at 16:44.
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Old 3rd Nov 2009, 17:47
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£100k, Happyjack???? Someone saw you coming! You could do it for less than half that if you set your mind to it. As for the unemployment queue, everyone I know who stuck with it eventually reached the front, and most of them trained in the last downturn. For an eighteen-year-old who will then see relatively good earnings over a whole career and not have to sit looking at an office wall 9 to 5 over that time it is probably worth it. Having to actually work for a living is soul destroying. Aviation might have its dull times, but it has great compensation for that!

Integrated is more expensive and leaves you with less experience than modular, iranair. It is also very much directed to you being an airline FO, so tends to shut off other aviation careers which can be far more interesting if less remunerative. You can then earn the money in a big jet when you have family and responsibilities.
12Watt Tim is offline  
Old 3rd Nov 2009, 18:05
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Really Tim? I think you will find that is not far off the mark these days. Think of the lost earnings whilst studying? The days of only having to pay for a licence are sadly long gone. You will get no-where without a type rating so factor in that. And now we have the pay to fly schemes too. Factor in a couple of exam retakes and more lost earnings and if you are being realistic you will get precious little change out of your 100k.
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Old 3rd Nov 2009, 19:39
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Errrm, he doesn't have a job, and I doubt he will be earning £50,000 a year after tax any time soon! In any case I know many people who worked throughout training. I also know plenty of people who have gone far without paying for their own type rating up-front, and without committing to it until they have a job offer, probably 80-90% of the people I know who have trained in the last 10 years. So we are back below the £50k mark.
12Watt Tim is offline  
Old 3rd Nov 2009, 20:03
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is there a way of taking out a loan for the entire course and paying it back once you have a job with an airline? That would really sound great as I can at least raise a little amount of money (10k) as a deposit
iranair777 is offline  
Old 3rd Nov 2009, 20:31
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If you can find yourself in a paid job flying from scratch for 50k all I can say is damn good luck chum.
happyjack is offline  
Old 3rd Nov 2009, 21:03
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Where did that come from, Happy? Iranair asked a reasonable question, and your reply bears no relation to it, and could be seen as somewhat rude!

Iranair,

Used to be possible, but I am not sure it is now. Someone who has looked into it more recently might know.
12Watt Tim is offline  
Old 4th Nov 2009, 12:06
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Sorry Tim I didn't mean any offence and wasn't aware my comments would be taken as such. I'm just trying to say things as they are. £50k is not realistic and if you need proof just look elsewhere on this forum and see someone £65k spent already and another £75k plus o/d and neither in that airline yet.
It's like renovating a house. Work out exactly what it will cost you and then double it.
My only agenda is saying it how it is. If you disagree that is your perogative.
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Old 4th Nov 2009, 17:33
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50k is entirely realistic for the all the courses. If you take minimum hours and cheapest options (distance learning, PPL and hour building in the US etc) it could probably be done for significantly less.

I never disputed that it is possible to pay more, even £100k, and that is all that is proven by someone spending £75k. However the title of the thread is not "Most expensive way to a ATPL".

The way you have decided to acquire a frozen ATPL might be that expensive, and this might be "how it is" for you, but it isn't for most of the people I know - in fact I don't know anyone who did spend anything close to £100k, unless you factor in leaving a well-paid job which is not realistic for iranair's case. They all got jobs. Iranair wants to do it the cheap way, which can be more of a slog but I for one found it very rewarding (much more so than I think the integrated course would have been) and when I was recruiting pilots I would not even look at the guys straight out of integrated courses, as they had no real captaincy experience at all.
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