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ATPL help

Old 13th Sep 2012, 20:44
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: London
Age: 26
Posts: 7
Cool ATPL help

Hi everyone,
To explain my situation, I'm 20, got my PPL 2 1/2 years ago and currently have 145 hours. Having decided to do a degree that would not be related to aviation, with the idea that if things don't go my way I can have a back up in a different area, Geography (Bsc) but having not done the most technical of degrees I want to prepare myself to do the ATPL, both with the ground school and the flying itself. My question is how difficult is the move from PPL to ATPL, not to under estimate it but get a good idea of what its like and are there any particular courses or things anyone did to prepare themselves for the ATPL course that they found really helpful.

Thanks
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Old 13th Sep 2012, 21:49
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: UK
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The ATPL exams are multiple guess, so are very easy to prepare for.

The reality of instrument flying, a reasonable ability at mental maths will help, particularly speed/distance/time calcs and the fuel planning.

Also a very good understanding of the rules is essential, although hard work since air law and operational procedures are the most boring subject, but bust an approach ban or fly with too few cabin crew and you are in trouble!

What are you planning to do with your Geography degree? Can't imagine it having many direct applications.
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Old 13th Sep 2012, 22:57
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Join Date: Sep 2011
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only in the remote sensing side of flying. It does have extensive field but I have always felt that if piloting didn't work out for me then it gives me a back up. Did any one do any refresher courses in the Maths and Physics likely to be used in ATPL? Is the fact I have 145 hours likely to hinder my ability to get into flight schools or on to a ab-initio course? when it comes to the stage of the ATPL course does it fit around someone who already has experience flying and their qualifications. For example if I get a qualification for a twin on a PPL or a High performance type rating on a PPL how does this then effect an ATPL course?

Last edited by guythorold; 13th Sep 2012 at 23:05.
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Old 14th Sep 2012, 08:04
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Sunny Solihull
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PPL to ATPL is quiet a leap in both theory and flying standards. That said the ATPL exams leading to a CPL/IR (Frozen ATPL) are achievable by the majority of well motivated, financed and determined students.

Your degree shows learning and problem solving ability so this shall have an indirect but positive bearing. Also degrees open doors to other options should plan A not work out.

With a PPL and 145 hours, in my opinion you are wasting & duplicating effort going for an integrated course, unless you get "sponsored". Just get on with a modular course/route after getting your Class 1 medical at Gatwick.

Your next decision is either full-time or distance learning tuition. You need to check out all the potential providers, you normally get what you pay for. Visit the Flyer show at LHR in early November.

Both methods have their good and bad points. I have done both methods and in my opinion if you can take the financial hit of not working for 6 months I would go full-time every time. Easy and direct access to instructor, feed off other students. Of course everyone is different and you must do what is right for you. I suggest you keep your pre-course revision to the PPL books, Met underpins everything in aviation so start there. Your course provider should provide all the required training material. Make sure you are an EXPERT with the CRP-5 whiz wheel.

Please free to PM me if required.
RichardH is offline  
Old 14th Sep 2012, 08:28
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Join Date: Sep 2011
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Thanks your advice is noted. What I wonder is having spoken to a few commercial pilots about it they say that airlines really only look at the 3-4 main flying schools and to that extent, although I would be slowing down the process slightly by doing an ab-initio course at the end of it would I not seem more appealing to an potential employer than someone who has build hours in a out of club or school environment? That not to say not structured, my dad, PPL with a single IR puts me through my paces, but from an employers point of view which looks better, is what I wonder? also I did try for the Flybe scholarship but I think that I they wanted people able to start at a time which I couldn't, I hope to try for as many as I can.
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Old 14th Sep 2012, 20:18
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Join Date: Feb 2002
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Pleased to be of assistance. Remember everybody is different in terms of background, finance, ability and persistence.

Aviation and pilot jobs is all about supply and demand due world economics. Biggest & last pilot shortage was in 1940! If the airlines can keep flying by using already qualified pilots, means minimum training costs and little or no jobs. IF the airlines start to really ramp up recruitment, trust me they will take anyone with a licence doesn't matter where it/they came from. I have seen it happen several times, though rarely since 9/11.

Generally the major flag carriers are very selective and usually recruit from a qualified pool. A number of ex students have gone Easy to BA. This movement eventually seeps down to the lower end of the market and allows those with low hours a step on the ladder.

Though employers might not want to see several training providers doing different things on your CV. A modular student doing most of the training under the same QUALITY FTO banner is certainly as good a bet and with more hours as an integrated guy. Certainly seen EXCEPTIONAL modular students get jobs with the likes of BA, BMI(as was) straight out of FTO. Conversely seen integrated students having spent over 100k still not get jobs other than a PPL flying instructor.

I come back to the fact you already have a PPL and hours and this would not be reflected in terms of credit if you went down the integrated route.
Now go and get that Class 1 as this is Step 1 on a long path.
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Old 16th Sep 2012, 20:47
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Join Date: Sep 2011
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sound advice, I aim to get my medical after Christmas or after dissertation is handed in. Another question that has popped into my head is about financing, am I more likely to get a loan for a integrated course or modular or is it more about my credit history? When it comes to training itself, what is the shortest time if things went well for someone they could go from starting a course to into the airlines? hypothetically of course.
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Old 17th Sep 2012, 08:07
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Sunny Solihull
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I am a little out of touch with finance options and availability. However, some years ago there used to be a Career Development Loan up to 8K (I think).
Finance companies would consider such course as high risk as they have little or no security. I suspect difficult to get or at high interest rates, almost certainly require your parents to act as a guarantor.

WARNING - I have known student parents extend the mortgage on their property to cover the training. In my view this is very high risk as their are too many unknowns, other than the bank repossessing the house if they fail to make the payments.

An integrated course lasts around about 12/13 months, so it is possible with all things in your favour to be in R/H seat in about 15 months. As you already hold a PPL with hours this could be less if you did a full-time modular course.

Prior to starting any course get insurance to cover the training costs in the unlikely event of you being unable to complete due to loss of medical. Seen it happen after a student had a life changing RTA.
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Old 17th Sep 2012, 21:52
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: London
Age: 26
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Ok, with sounding too naive about this but if after doing an ATPL, at a FTO in england, could I fly for a US airline or does that require a conversion.

There seems only one Argentine bank that is lending 45k + I think I will have a think about the financing.
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Old 17th Sep 2012, 22:18
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Join Date: Mar 2012
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A bigger issue than converting the license would be getting a job! Unless you are a US citizen (or are married or very closely related to one), or have a green card, you have no chance of getting a job of any kind in the states.

I think you should ask yourself a few tough questions. Is borrowing 45k from a bank really the best way to start out? You should spend some time reading the threads on this site. The job opportunities out there for low time pilots are limited to say the least. Have you thought about how you will qualify for a 45k loan with no income? And how will you repay a 45k loan when you have an fATPL but no job?

You have a good number of hours already so how about knuckling down to the atpl exams, getting a job and then putting yourself through the cpl/Meir as you can afford it from your earnings. Then see where you are in two or three years time.
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Old 18th Sep 2012, 10:40
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Join Date: Sep 2011
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I've no doubt it is very difficult to get a job in the states, but was simply asking about the conversion. I hope to raise as much as I can to fund my license and have less of a financial burden after doing a license.
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