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ATPL, how hard is hard

Old 20th Oct 2019, 22:32
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ATPL, how hard is hard

Hi all

At the grand age of 35 and working hard in a demanding career, I think I may be in a position to fund a modular ATPL.

my question isnít am I too old or can I do it with family in tow but how does modular distance learning compare in terms of work load and complexity to a day release (ie working full time) engineering degree?

any thoughts would be welcome. Iím a 170 hr ppl but havenít flown for 3 years

mattd_C152 is offline  
Old 21st Oct 2019, 03:43
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It all depends how much of a sacrifice you and your family are willing to make. The theory is learning, learning, learning, with QBs, QBs, QBs. I would suggest that you sit down and make a timeplan when you want to finish, take into account how many hours the theory is (650?) and divide by the number of days you want to be fininshed. Can you study the needed amount per day after working all day, taking care of your family, and nevertheless, learn successfully? Your partner and children will be as much a part of your success as you are since they will sacrifice the same amount of time as you invest. Be prepared to give up most of your social life in this period, too. The theory is not that tough, just time consuming. I have a HBSc in Geology, and found the ATPL theory not that difficult, just hard work.
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Old 21st Oct 2019, 07:20
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From one of our students...

In my case, I started the course in November 2013 and completed in July 2014, passing all 14 exams on the first try over three sittings whilst being a 49 year old father of two and working full time."

It's doable - but it's motivation that counts. Neil Sedaka once said that there were plenty of other better singers than him, but he had the motivation. So true.

Phil
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Old 22nd Oct 2019, 16:29
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Originally Posted by Manny Man View Post
You need to be very motivated indeed. I started mine at the age of 35 years old. I was working full time at the beginning. It was touch don't get me wrong. Be prepared to spend at leat 2/3 hours per day, for at least 9 months. I'm sure you are motivated but my advice is to make sure your friends and your family know what we will undertake as it will required you to spend a lot of time studying.

30% Theory
70% Question bank

Question bank on iPad
Textbook next to it

also plenty of material online

Thats how I did it!
James Ken McIntosh is offline  
Old 22nd Oct 2019, 18:43
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To answer your question: it is certainly doable. Especially as you have a PPL and some experience.

However, the real question you should be asking: ďAm I willing to relocate my complete family across borders for a job or am I willing to spend valuable time commuting?Ē

no trying to putt you off but getting the ATPL is the easy bit. Good luck whatever you decide!

SaulGoodman is offline  
Old 22nd Oct 2019, 20:27
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To add to the above, I did the 14 exams over 5 months in 3 sittings working full time with 3 kids at the age of 43 (my age, not the kids!). Most important thing is a supportive spouse. She needs to be ready to give up her social life for the next six plus months and to be prepared to receive much reduced help with the kids and domestic work from yourself.

Regarding the 'hardness' of the subject matter, it is not as hard as an engineering degree. My suggested method of learning is hit the question banks first, use text books / YouTube for reference and clarification, and be prepared to answer 200 to 400 questions from the bank every single day without exception. Its nothing but a pure slog, but with very interesting material which will make the learning easier as you obviously have a passion for aviation.

Best of luck!
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Old 24th Oct 2019, 12:37
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Originally Posted by James Ken McIntosh View Post



30% Theory
70% Question bank

Question bank on iPad
Textbook next to it

also plenty of material online

Thats how I did it!
I assume/hope you passed!

I agree with the above. I'm right in the middle of them and about to book my first set of 5 or 6 exams. For me the main battle was working out how best to study for my style and I'm currently doing about 2 hours per day using a combination of question banks, ATPL manuals and independent study research. Started in April. I am satisfied my next set of exams will come round quicker as I covered the entire syllabus prior to forensically digesting each subject.

good luck

Beet
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Old 24th Oct 2019, 12:44
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I've already passed them

Originally Posted by Beethoven View Post


I assume/hope you passed!

I agree with the above. I'm right in the middle of them and about to book my first set of 5 or 6 exams. For me the main battle was working out how best to study for my style and I'm currently doing about 2 hours per day using a combination of question banks, ATPL manuals and independent study research. Started in April. I am satisfied my next set of exams will come round quicker as I covered the entire syllabus prior to forensically digesting each subject.

good luck

Beet
T/R exam - 80% Bank 10% reading

yep that was 3 years ago
James Ken McIntosh is offline  
Old 25th Oct 2019, 10:20
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There is very little material in the ATPL exams which is "difficult"; there's just a hell of a lot of it, and a lot of irrelevant rubbish with no practical application.
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Old 17th Nov 2019, 14:01
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Bit late to thread

Hi

Was in a similar boat and similar age to. I started and have fallen off the wagon. Personally I think it is hard. Make sure you fully understand how you best study and learn things before you start. Ensure you have a good understanding of Maths and Physics as these are key areas in the ATPLs. Most people will tell you its nothing more then GCSE level but that all depends on what level you were at when you did your GCSE's. Me I was bottom classes and never really grasped things Maths wise so struggeld and therefore find most of the concepts in the ATPLs alien and very hard to learn. Compounded by the fact its been 20 years since touched any of that sort of maths or physics makes for it been very big struggle.

If you did ok at school you should be fine but there is a ton of information to get through then the QB to so it is alot of time and effort required. Bristol do offer and Maths and physics refresher thats worth doing that covers and refresh people on those type of things.

Who you doing it with school wise?

Just my 2 pennys worth might not be of much value but wanted to give you perpective of someone who doesnt seem to grasp things as easy.

Cheers

kev
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Old 17th Nov 2019, 18:26
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Originally Posted by paco View Post
From one of our students...

In my case, I started the course in November 2013 and completed in July 2014, passing all 14 exams on the first try over three sittings whilst being a 49 year old father of two and working full time."

It's doable - but it's motivation that counts. Neil Sedaka once said that there were plenty of other better singers than him, but he had the motivation. So true.

Phil
Hi Phil 49 seems late to take on the ATPL ? What would you intend doing with it ?

Mark (48)
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Old 18th Nov 2019, 08:33
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It's quite easy, the difficult thing is the quantity of (rather useless) information to memorize.
I also have to say that without a (or even more than one) question bank is almost impossible to pass any exam.
heading070 is offline  
Old 18th Nov 2019, 17:10
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It's not me - I already have mine

Got people older than that studying - a couple of instructors are doing it purely as an intellectual exercise

Phil
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Old 20th Nov 2019, 12:23
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As the other say it is doable if you are motivated and if you like exams so much the better.

What I hadn't quite thought through is what you have to do once you have passed the exams. After the initial huge sigh of relief when you pass you then have limited time before you have to potentially do them all again (...never ... I said). So think through the timing of your plan afterwards. You need to hang a CPL on them within 3 years and an IR in 5 or 7 years...(Someone will correct me) otherwise they are all null and you start again...I've seen lots of people do this...

For me without realising it it forced me down the modular route and I don't regret it. If I hadn't had the ticking clocks I doubt I would have completed the CPL/IR.

Good luck!
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Old 20th Nov 2019, 13:05
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For aeroplanes you need the IR within 36 months to preserve the 7 year expiry (after the expiry of the IR)

It is the same for helicopters except that you can also keep most of the exams current with a type rating. You will still have to refresh the IR subjects after 3 years.
paco is offline  
Old 20th Nov 2019, 17:19
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It all depends on the time someone got to spend on learning for the exams, if someone is working 100 % doing the exams can take a long time and be hard.

I would suggest if someone have an another job to take 4 months unpaid leave do 100 % study learning the practical & assessment important stuff and question banking the rest.

Of course it requires self discipline to sit down and work with what you shall do.... I did my ATPL exams from March 2019 to early July 2019 (4 sessions skipped the one in May). It was not especially hard when having good time to work with the exams. Of course everyone is different and learn at a different pace.
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Old 26th Nov 2019, 19:00
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Originally Posted by paco View Post
For aeroplanes you need the IR within 36 months to preserve the 7 year expiry (after the expiry of the IR)

It is the same for helicopters except that you can also keep most of the exams current with a type rating. You will still have to refresh the IR subjects after 3 years.
sorry what is it you mean to preserve the 7 year expiry? thanks
heli87 is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2019, 22:53
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Originally Posted by heli87 View Post

sorry what is it you mean to preserve the 7 year expiry? thanks
If you gain an IR within 3 years from your last ATPL exam, you have 7 years to gain enough experience to pass an ATPL flight test , if not you go back to a CPL
ersa is offline  
Old 27th Nov 2019, 06:26
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Originally Posted by KT1988 View Post
I would suggest if someone have an another job to take 4 months unpaid leave do 100 % study learning the practical & assessment important stuff and question banking the rest.
Getting unpaid leave is not that easy if you have a good job, nevermind four months...
To me it's just an unnecessary loss of money: keep working and take nine months to complete the exams, it's totally doable.
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Old 27th Nov 2019, 10:47
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Originally Posted by ersa View Post
If you gain an IR within 3 years from your last ATPL exam, you have 7 years to gain enough experience to pass an ATPL flight test , if not you go back to a CPL
Almost, it's 7 years from your last IR. So as long as you keep revalidating your IR they'll never run out.

As for the best study technique, there are two: Study/Test or Test/Study.

Study/Test is old school in-depth studying of books etc, with no idea what's relevant and what's not. Usually while muttering the phrase "I want to properly understand the subject, not just pass a test.." and usually followed by failure.

Test/Study is taking a test purely to find out the answers, then hitting the books to find out WHY those are the answers: Actively going looking for answers while building a mental framework of the subject, making use of question banks, Google, YouTube and course books. There are a finite number of learning objectives and a limited number of ways to test them, so this is the most effective way to study.
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