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Let ATPL Theoreticals Laps?

Old 8th Feb 2013, 08:42
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Let ATPL Theoreticals Laps?

I'm sat here with CPL in the bag, ATPL Theoretical time limit approaching though some regular GA flying to keep my hand in and a good non-flying career job so all's well. The airlines aren't my ultimate ambition though I appreciate are pretty much the only way to fly full time and support yourself financially (if times were good again I'd still go for it). It's most likely I'll just hang around on the fringes of GA where I consider the most interesting flying is though pretty much no pay so will only ever be a hobby/pastime. I'm considering letting the ATPL's lapse as I'm thinking if strong employment opportunities ever do arise again I'd be better to have more current IR skills and I should be able to retake the ATPL's with 2-3 months of revision which I'd need for professional job's in any case. I consider this approach also cheaper than keeping the IR current. What do others think?
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Old 8th Feb 2013, 09:37
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I'm in more or less exactly the same position. It just doesn't seem worth getting an IR at the moment.

I seriously considering converting to microlights and getting qualified as an instructor. The pay is better than group A as you don't have all the wannabes doing it for the hours and I think it could be quite good fun.

I wont get many hours in and it will never be a full time job as like you, I have a well paid career outside aviation but it will keep me in the air.

I used to be attracted to the most complex machines but I have started to go in the opposite direction now and have noticed that the LAA and Microlight guys get much more fun for a lot less money.
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Old 8th Feb 2013, 11:32
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If you keep your IR current the ATPL theory credit will never expire anyway. So I can't see your point right now. Do you consider to let your IR lapse? Why? All it takes to keep it alive is one checkride once a year. If you have a well paid outside aviation job it shouldn't be such a challenge to afford at least that one flight. And if you intend to do freelance GA jobs a current IR would also clearly be an advantage, don't you think?
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Old 8th Feb 2013, 13:04
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If you keep your IR current the ATPL theory credit will never expire anyway. So I can't see your point right now.
His point is that he doesn't have an IR. Not at all. Never had one. Get it?

Why spend 15k+ to get the IR now if you have no intention of using it? If you really feel that way, fine, but be prepared to spend another 1000+ retaking the exams, plus the time and effort, if you ever change your mind. When i was in the same boat I bit the bullet and did the IR, turned out to be the best thing I ever did.
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Old 8th Feb 2013, 13:41
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You mean he has a frozen ATPL without IR? What is that good for? If this is the case I would go for the IR as long as the ATPL theory credit is still valid. Without IR you won't have a chance on any serious GA job. If you start training for the IR and re-doing your ATPL exams after you got that long-awaited job offer, well, I'm afraid most employers won't wait that long...
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Old 8th Feb 2013, 13:59
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I'm considering letting the ATPL's lapse as I'm thinking if strong employment opportunities ever do arise again I'd be better to have more current IR skills and I should be able to retake the ATPL's with 2-3 months of revision which I'd need for professional job's in any case. I consider this approach also cheaper than keeping the IR current.
Oh yea of little faith.
Its easier to make a lapsed IR current again then going through all that exam BS again.
You're flying GA now? Why woudl taht cahnge if you have an IR?
Instead of your usual noodle around the block fly an instrument approach.
It is really not that hard to keep an IR current.
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Old 8th Feb 2013, 14:45
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You mean he has a frozen ATPL without IR?
He has ATPL groundschool, and a CPL. I hate the phrase frozen ATPL, since noone seems to know what they actually mean by it.

If he lets the exams go, he wouldn't have to do a full registered course again, he would have to do "training as required" and then retake all the exams at a cost of 1000+.

If you go ahead and get your IR, a full renewal could be 700, or even less if you know where to go, so it would make more sense to just get the IR now if you have any plan to use it in the future.

If you are more confident that you will not need the IR at all, let the ground school go and be prepared to take the hit in the future. Perhaps better to take the risk of having to spend an extra 1000 or so in the future, rather than spend 15,000+ now and then realise it was a waste.

Last edited by RTN11; 8th Feb 2013 at 15:16.
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Old 8th Feb 2013, 15:13
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I hate the phrase frozen ATPL, since noone seems to know what they actually mean
my it.
That's because it doesn't exist!
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Old 8th Feb 2013, 15:26
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You mean he has a frozen ATPL without IR?
Who ever said the OP had a frozen IR in the first place?
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Old 8th Feb 2013, 15:57
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Thanks RTN11, that final note of yours sums it up "If you are more confident that you will not need the IR at all, let the ground school go and be prepared to take the hit in the future. Perhaps better to take the risk of having to spend an extra 1000 or so in the future, rather than spend 15,000+ now and then realise it was a waste."

That as well as being more current if recruiting eventually changed. Feels to me like the economy isn't going to do much for the next 3-5 yrs so I have to accept it's probably not going to happen for me (I'd given as much chance as possible by holding back the VFR/IR ATPL exams to the max 18 months as well prior to the subsequent 3yr window for flight training elements). Unfortunately the bankers did a proper job on the economy!!

Like I say, I fly for free now and it's good flying so maybe I'm where I ultimately want to be.

You know - all this post creep discussing the fATPL has actually made me realise what it now actually is and it's possibly a valid term!! If I lapse then decide to get an IR like a PPL might, presumeably I'd still be able to use it for say parachute dropping work which tends to require it. However, without repeating all the non IR exams as well I'd have all the ratings but would be unable to subsequently get an ATPL (or airline employment in the first place!), hence I wouldn't have a frozen ATPL?

Last edited by Okavango; 8th Feb 2013 at 16:05.
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Old 8th Feb 2013, 18:47
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Hey B2N2,

I notice from your location that you're in Florida. I assume you've got an FAA I/R.

Oh yea of little faith.
Its easier to make a lapsed IR current again then going through all that exam BS again.
You're flying GA now? Why woudl taht cahnge if you have an IR?
Instead of your usual noodle around the block fly an instrument approach.
It is really not that hard to keep an IR current.
If you look into what you have to do to keep a JAA I/R current you'll see its abit more complicated (and expensive) than an FAA one unfortunately.

Last edited by Victor_Vector; 8th Feb 2013 at 18:48.
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Old 8th Feb 2013, 18:48
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I'm used to the Ipad with the auto spellcheck so bear with me......

It sounds like you are about ready to give up.
I would highly suggest you finish everything now.
It is always easier to 're-activate' then to gain.
I had a FAA CPL-IR and didnt fly for 5 years.
Took a lot less work to get it recurrent then to try and get all of it done on short notice.
As mentioned earlier, you will NOT get a job not having the licenses and ratings.
You MAY get a job if you hold them.
So one is an absolute and one is a maybe.
As I said earlier you can continue using your IR during your GA flying.
It will only make you a safer pilot.
Good luck whatever you choose.
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