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Importance of first time Pass ATPL Exams

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Importance of first time Pass ATPL Exams

Old 20th Apr 2013, 13:21
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Importance of first time Pass ATPL Exams

Hi All
I have recently started my ATPL Distance Learning and have to admit
as I am slightly older I am finding the volume of stuff you need to
remember is overwhelming
Just wondered how important first time passes are as I realise I might
not pass them all first time !
Has anyone got a job having had to retake some exams ? Do airlines
take a interest in first time passes ?
Also anyone got any pointers on how to get through it all as I
sometimes find I am only remembering about half the material and
getting about 50 % in some progress tests
ATIS31 is offline  
Old 20th Apr 2013, 13:36
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There will be a load of folk tell you that they care.

There will be a load of folk that will tell you that they don't even ask about it.

Personally I have never been asked about mine and I have never asked anyone about there's.

And to be honest with the kids today it really doesn't show anything to do with knowledge retained. They hammer the question banks with very little grasp of the core material. You get folk putting 98-99% on there CV's as averages that haven't a clue when you ask them even stuff from the PPL syllabus.
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Old 20th Apr 2013, 13:47
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Importance of first time Pass ATPL Exams

Very true Mad Jock! Very true!!
michaelmedley is offline  
Old 20th Apr 2013, 14:53
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completely agree with madjock.

I think the trick is to understand the subject and get a 90%+ average - it can be done, just takes hard work, and a lot of hard work.

Remember youtube is your friend ..

Also, the question banks are becoming less useful, as the CAA are rewriting a lot of questions, especially the ones where you need the scariest bit of kit in flying - a calculator! LOL

Last edited by cumbrianboy; 20th Apr 2013 at 14:54.
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Old 20th Apr 2013, 14:59
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Personally I was a lot more conscious of the cost of having to re-sit any of the exams!

I found the brush-ups really helped me slot things into place, I suppose thats down to how each individual learns best though.
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Old 20th Apr 2013, 15:39
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I agree, these exams have very little relevance to actual airline flying, yes some of the stuff is important, but stuff like what wind blows over the northeastern part of africa in summer etc etc etc is just useless. Airlaw, Human Factors are good. My italian students barely spoke english when they took them they just studied the crap out of the question banks.


Now my fiance had to redo her entire exams (she didnt complete them in the allotted sittings) and even though it was somewhere around 8 years ago she was recently asked by Ryan Air about it and she didnt get offered the position. Now whether that was the determining factor I don't know. I would say most people for get most of it shortly after writing it.
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Old 20th Apr 2013, 15:54
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but stuff like what wind blows over the northeastern part of africa in summer etc etc etc is just useless
It is until some sod announces that your going there. And its not the name of it that counts it what season it is, what direction its going to be blowing in and how strong. Which can make a difference to how many tech stops you are planning and what you can expect for wx and also the routing which may mean that you have to get a HF radio fitted.
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Old 20th Apr 2013, 16:18
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....which is usually years down the line and can all be brushed up on closer to the time. Learning them all by rote and keeping them refreshed throughout PPL/CPL training is rather pointless.
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Old 20th Apr 2013, 16:31
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well you don't have your books with you when years down the line you get asked to do a trip.

At least you know there are winds that you have to take into account.

I to thought most of it was a pile of poo.

Then over the years I have used more and more of it. Just hoping I never have to do polar grid nav, as I suspect I still won't have a clue what I am doing with it.

You are studying for a world wide Instrument rating with a license which allows you to operate world wide.

You might think hey we will get trained in ETOPS if we need it. Why bother mentioning it. Then ops wants you to fly straight across the Bay of Biscay and you only have a 160NM single engine for 1 hour. And the furthest out you get is 240 NM from a diversion airport. Which of course requires a 120 ETOPS approval.

Most of the stuff is to give you a heads up that should go and find out more. If you have never touched the subject before you won't have a clue your about to screw up.

And it might not be years down the line my FO on that trip was a 220 hour zero to hero who had payed for his own type rating and knew the boss.

Last edited by mad_jock; 20th Apr 2013 at 16:33.
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Old 20th Apr 2013, 16:39
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How many loud hailers required on a double deck airliner?

How do supersonic air inlets work?

Use of LORANC?

Somniloquism?

All theory I have found so useful on the line!

I was asked about first time passes during the interview for my current job. Not sure how much of a deal clincher saying "all first time passes", but I was asked.
Artie Fufkin is offline  
Old 20th Apr 2013, 16:57
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Not saying all of it is of use to everyone all of the time.

If one of your loudhailers is knackard how many pax can you take? Artie?

Oh we realise that the number of loud hailers is linked to max number of pax that can be on-board. H'mm that might be useful.

Loranc is just a bit of history with no questions about its operation.

And talking in your sleep if its not normal for you, shows signs of high stress and Fatigue does it not? That might be handy to know as well.

Also the having a hot bath or shower before going to bed to aid falling asleep I have used as well with success.
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Old 20th Apr 2013, 17:09
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Originally Posted by mad_jock View Post
And to be honest with the kids today it really doesn't show anything to do with knowledge retained. They hammer the question banks with very little grasp of the core material. You get folk putting 98-99% on there CV's as averages that haven't a clue when you ask them even stuff from the PPL syllabus.
Well, simple fact of the matter is hammering the question banks will give you a better result on the tests than actually learning the stuff.

I am formally trained with a college degree on one of the subjects being tested, and incidentally it is the one where I get the lowest scores.. probably because I got lazy and refused to 'hammer the question bank' on a subject I felt I already mastered well above the syllabus requirements.

Multiple choice answers tests are: a) cheap to test en-masse, b) extremely error-prone both with false-positives and false-negatives. Why JAA/EASA chose this system for an important test such as ATPL is beyond me.

I guess any potential employer that will be concerned about the first-time passes or average grades needs to be informed of the actual low-quality level of the tests, and the 'randomness' of the results with regards to the performance of the student.

I have my grades on these tests as a proof of "I can learn any crap you throw at me and get a good score regardless of your stupid test system" more than a proof of "I actually learned and know a lot of stuff about flying/airline operations"
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Old 20th Apr 2013, 17:16
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The company would expect me to check the MEL for U/S loudhailers.

Why put a "a piece of history" in the syllabus?

If I experienced any abnormal sleep issues I would consult a doctor.

Maybe they should have added questions on how to breathe, the systems of a Wrightflyer and what a bear does in the woods?
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Old 20th Apr 2013, 17:33
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Well its work hasn't it you know that you have to look at the MEL.

And you also know that talking in your sleep is abnormal so you go see a doctor.

The loranC was only turned off in 2010 in the Atlantic. And when the first JAR exams came out there were still a few aircraft fitted with it.

And also Loran data channel is used to provide Differential GPS.

If you fly some old Middle east machines they have a funny Loran type radio box in them.

And they have been taught the systems of the wright flyer.

And breathing is in the Human performance syllabus.

And shitting in the woods would be of use as well for some, as its proberly the first time they will have to make the choice between some mozzy infested brick hut with a hole in the floor and no bog paper or finding a quite spot to drop one without loosing half a pint of blood while you at it.


Found this which might be of interest. So its not dead yet in the marine world.

United Kingdom eLORAN implementation

On 31 May 2007, the UK Department for Transport (DfT), via the General Lighthouse Authorities (GLA), awarded a 15-year contract to provide a state-of-the-art enhanced LORAN (eLORAN) service to improve the safety of mariners in the UK and Western Europe. The service contract will operate in two phases, with development work and further focus for European agreement on eLORAN service provision from 2007 through 2010, and full operation of the eLORAN service from 2010 through 2022. The first eLORAN transmitter is situated at Anthorn radio station Cumbria, UK, and operated by Babcock Comms, which is part of the Babcock Group PLC.[25]

Last edited by mad_jock; 20th Apr 2013 at 17:44.
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Old 20th Apr 2013, 17:51
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The knowledge that there are different requirements for loud hailers on single / double deck airliners was not what taught me that the first port of call for a defect is the MEL.

It was an excellent example of the esoteric information in the JAR exams that I sat. And there in lies the rub. Students might actually get more out of the exams if the basics were examined more practically and highly specialised knowledge was left to be taught when required.

Editted; What has maritime use of a navigation aid have to do with flying a aircraft?

Last edited by Artie Fufkin; 20th Apr 2013 at 17:53.
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Old 20th Apr 2013, 18:09
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There is a loran receiver used for Differential GPS which maybe used to get 200ft mins for GPS approaches. They pump it out at 100's of watts so its hard to jam.

The fact you know there is different requirements for loud hailers depending on the size and type of aircraft is enough. Lets face it that particular topic was what one page if that.
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Old 20th Apr 2013, 19:00
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ATIS31,
It's probably not THAT important and I'm sure it wont prevent you getting a job completely.

However!

Your CV is in a pile of thousands at the start, the last thing you need is anything jumping out at a prospective employer to give them an excuse to bin your paper and move on to the guy next to you, who hammered the question bank and can demonstrate a 90% + average with first time passes.

The good news is that, it's totally normal to feel that way during the distance study part, the 2 week brush-up course will get you fit for the exam and hammering the database, in spite of the rightness/wrongness of it all, is essential and will get you the results you need.

It is daunting, I was in a very similar situation to you. Like they say at the start of the brush-up. If you put in the work, you will succeed. Slog it out, you'll be fine.
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Old 20th Apr 2013, 20:11
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Thanks for your reply and words of encouragement Dan the Weegie
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Old 20th Apr 2013, 20:27
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In fact Mad Jock, your post 14 says it all about the requirements to learn the JAR syllabus.

For example, my instructors said Loran C was largely obsolete in practice and would not feature in the JAR question bank, so I ignored it and moved on.

If I wanted access to the information that you have learned and churned onto post 14, all I would have to do would do is a quick google search and follow the very first link, and just about all of the knowledge of Loran C you have shared with us is sitting there, near word for word in Wikipedia!

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Old 21st Apr 2013, 06:34
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Well you now know.

The majority of the other stuff comes in useful at some point.

Yes there are topics that some crusty auld git thinks are important but in this day and age they don't have much relevance.

There are also topics which aren't really touched but we could do with either in more detail or actually a full section on.

But that doesn't mean

these exams have very little relevance to actual airline flying
Is correct.
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