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MPL experiences from students

Old 30th Nov 2020, 08:04
  #41 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: West Midlands
Posts: 5

120 hours? 10 years ago when I did it the difference was about 40 hours from an integrated CPL/IR. 30 SEP 10 MEP. With an extra 100+ Sim hours on what is done in a traditional MCC.

Saving for the training school? Fail to see how when they’re running training on a high end sim and the MPL was a bit cheaper.

Saving for the airline? How? The only element of input they have is the type rating. Which costs the same for anyone. MPL students require more base and line training sectors, so if anything it costs more?

Think there is a poor understanding of the actual content of any integrated course, MPL or CPL. I had a PPL with about 80 hours total when I started the MPL and finished with more hours than students on a fresh CPL/IR course so those numbers don’t quite add up. For what it’s worth, I have an ATPL now, 5500 hours, 3 type ratings from different airlines, and have still gone in and out of GA over the years. I’ve seen some superb guys and girls from both training mechanisms. Some people struggle a bit regardless of their route, you can’t cater for individual weaknesses that don’t show until the student is well into whatever course they choose. Such a flawed argument to say you’ve flown with a low houred MPL who struggled in a crosswind. Great, I’ve flown with ATPL’s who’ve struggled with hand flying a descending turn. I’ve jumpseated CPL’s who can’t nail a rotation rate for love nor money. Regurgitating hot air from people who (like we all do) are proud of their training journey decades ago doesn’t really give much value. I have a friend who’s doing his ATPL theory at the moment and I sit there in my ivory tower talking about NDB’s and my disbelief they don’t have to use a CRP-5 now. Aren’t I a hero.

The problem isn’t the course, it’s the current climate. You can’t get an MPL without completing a type rating, which has to be attached to an ATO at an airline. Which obviously isn’t happening at the moment. Follow all the advice out there and unless you have money to burn, do it the modular route and save yourself some stress and anxiety down the line.

Last edited by MachBrum; 30th Nov 2020 at 08:08. Reason: Grammar
MachBrum is offline  
Old 30th Nov 2020, 08:38
  #42 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: NO
Posts: 1
Have you attended a MPL program or attending one now? Otherwise I don't think you should comment "Which obviously isn't happening" as the type rating just requires TGL's from the airlines side, which most MPL schools pay the airlines to conduct, especially in these times. I've seen it happen.
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Old 30th Nov 2020, 08:51
  #43 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Bristol, England
Age: 62
Posts: 1,613
HMRC didn’t “take a dim view of it.” HMRC agreed it.
I am told that the local HMRC office agreed to the bond scheme in the distant past, but the continuing agreement was contingent on there being a reasonable take-up from airlines 'buying' the bond and then discharging it through an element of pay. When that ceased to be the case, but the bond scheme continued anyway, it raised questions from different sections of HMRC about VAT avoidance, as the primary benefit to the ATO seems to have been that no VAT was paid on a large element of the training costs.
Alex Whittingham is offline  
Old 30th Nov 2020, 11:25
  #44 (permalink)  

de minimus non curat lex
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: sunny troon
Posts: 1,353
Originally Posted by dns View Post're saying that modular students should give up now?
If you have that necessary burning ambition to fly, then crack on with obtaining your Class One Medical, then complete your PPL,
then “head in the books”.
Asking all these Qs might possibly indicate that you lack the focused determination necessary for the modular route.
Decision time matey........
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Old 30th Nov 2020, 11:28
  #45 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: everywhere
Posts: 166
Originally Posted by Bealzebub View Post
HMRC didn’t “take a dim view of it.” HMRC agreed it.
Do reference Alex's post, it is pretty much what I have been told previously and it is the reason it is no longer offered.

Shafting the cadets but making them feel as though they have been given a bargain deal, there is a special place for the people responsible for the scheme and it's in jail.
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Old 30th Nov 2020, 12:13
  #46 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: South East
Age: 39
Posts: 20

Sorry, I'm confused by how you come to that conclusion!

I've been desperate to do it my whole life although I've only recently found out that I have a chance of getting the medical.

I was initially looking at taking the integrated route, but was advised not to by people on here, so focussed on going down the modular route, but now it seems I'm hearing many discouraging noises about that as well!

As I say, I'm really not sure how you've decided that I lack the determination... Surely the fact that I'm asking constant questions shows that I'm absolutely determined (and determined to get it right!)
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Old 30th Nov 2020, 12:18
  #47 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Great Britain
Posts: 7

I couldn’t have put it better myself.

It is also worth noting that nearly every hour of flying, be it in an aircraft or a simulator, is structured on the MPL. There are far more hours observed by instructors in which to have poor technique corrected.

The simulator also allowed training at max crosswind limits. I consider crosswind landings to be a strength of mine so I just don’t accept that MPL students are somehow defective in this area. If anything, they are likely to have had more practice; and all of it under the scrutiny of an instructor.

UPRT was a headline focus of the course. We were given aerobatics training to build recovery skills in a real aircraft. In the simulator these techniques were repeatedly honed for the jet.

I have no experience of a traditional course, so you won’t find me criticising those who hold an ATPL.
flypaddy is offline  
Old 30th Nov 2020, 13:04
  #48 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: sYDNEY
Posts: 68
In my time as an A320 trainer with both CPL and MPL cadets, my opinion is that the MPL cadets were most definately lacking in not only their manual flying ability, but their confidence to fly manually. Some other curious observations was the lack of basic ability to taxi the aircraft. A rather candid confession from one student on the way to the aircraft led to him telling of how limited the sim time was, necessitating the aircraft being positioned at the holding point ready to fly. The little things we take for granted like braking and overshooting the nosewheel on tight turns was left out. This was easily trained but it, and other areas led me to believe that the MPL was not a complete package. (the process, NOT the students).
As good as modern sims are, I don't believe that they were ever designed for "learn to fly" type of use. There is more to learn in light aircraft than just flying around. Many of the MPL cadets didn't quite have a firm grasp on the realities of some situations. The rain repellent button doesn't freeze real life, it just squirts stuff on the screen.
The old fashioned CPL has served generations of pilots well and while there obviously are outliers at either end of the curve, a solid consolidation of the basics is essential. Is the MPL the way of the future? In my opinion NO, but there must be a better way to find a middle ground. The good parts of the MPL could be used as a faster step to full ATPL rather than bypassing so much of the old fashioned CPL flying.
Of course, every course is only as good as the individual on it. And indeed the company employing it. If it is used as a tool to get the shiny jet job and wear cool sunnies and take selfies in the cockpit at an airline that is using to fast-track cadets as it's too cheap to employ experience, then it's doomed to fail. If it is seen as a different pathway with it's own limitations and failings and a supplimentary method to crew the airline, then there could be a future. But I do think it needs work. You cant build a house from the roof down.
Dashtrash is offline  
Old 30th Nov 2020, 13:19
  #49 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Augusta, Georgia, USA (back from Germany again)
Posts: 194
An addition/correction to the 1500/250 FAA comment(s) above.

Until a few years ago, the minimum certificate required for the FO was "just" a commercial certificate with SIC type rating. ATP typically came with upgrade to Captain. Congress raised the minimum to ATP and 1500 hours, to "solve" a problem that had nothing to do with lack of an ATP.

The minimum flight time to get hired, however, was much higher. About 20 years ago it was possible to get a regional job with 500 hours. Not super likely, but it was happening. The reality: in the mid 80s I worked with a Navy pilot who was leaving active duty and looking for a job. He had 1800 hours - all of it turbine time (T-34C, King Air, P-3). Delta told him, "go get 200 more hours in anything. Without 2000 hours we can't touch you."

There was a comment above "how do you get to 1500 hours" when "there's only so much instructing one can do." (Paraphrasing.) In the US there is a very robust General Aviation world. There enough people learning to fly that most new 250-hour instructors can find a place to instruct and build 4-500 hours a year. Along the way they often get right seat opportunities in someone's charter twin.

"1500 hours and ATP" is new, but the reality is that with few exceptions no one was getting airline jobs with less than 1,000 hours. With 1,500 hours a competent pilot will quite likely get hired and the actual ATP training and type rating will be paid for by the hiring airline.

As hinted at above, waiting for an instructor to accumulate 1,500 hours in the European/UK market would not work. So, the entire airline, hiring, training, etc, industry has developed around the European/UK model of flying - essentially parallel paths of hobby and professional.

The USAF puts a 250-hour new pilot in training for a C-17. the Navy does the same with P-8s. So why not the same for an A320 or B737? I don't see that the European model has safety stats any better/worse than the US model. (There is a difference, the military training has a couple hundred hours of flying around in King Airs before moving into the jets...)

I can see that an MPL graduate is certainly better at reading checklists and following SOPs as that's what they did for many hours. Likewise I can see that an fATPL graduate is better at weather decisions and steep turns in a Pa-28 as that's what they did for many hours. After a couple hundred hours in the right seat their "history" has begun to average out.

As an American riding around in LoCos around Europe/UK for many years I never wondered "is there a 250-hour-wonder in the right seat? Should I be scared?" or thought "I'm crossing 'the pond' on Delta so I'm safe with a skilled crew up front."

I was in the jump seat of a C-17 leaving Baghdad at the end of my tour. Flying into Kuwait. We're cleared to land on 12R. The wind is perpendicular to us, 12-24kts. There's an Air Force Captain in the left seat (so more than four years service) and a 1st Lieutenant in the right seat actually flying (less that four years). Boom. We're suddenly left of 12L! Yes. It happened that quickly. The Lieutenant said, "What do I do?" That's not the question you want to hear. "Lower the upwind wing and use top rudder" was the answer - the same thing I did in hundreds or hours of Pa-28/C172 time...
LTCTerry is offline  
Old 30th Nov 2020, 13:29
  #50 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Mexico City
Posts: 453

Saying that an airline uses a particular school because they can monitor quality is only slightly true. Most schools with ties to airlines use that link to charge top dollar for their product and in my experience the airline and school have a financial arrangement.

If integrated was so good why is L3 now advertising modular as the best thing now days? Because no airline is hiring but they need people to buy their product.

I worked at an airline that had a feeder school but also hired modular students from other schools. The training failure rate between the feeder school and modular students was identical.
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Old 30th Nov 2020, 14:23
  #51 (permalink)  

de minimus non curat lex
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: sunny troon
Posts: 1,353
Originally Posted by dns View Post
......... I'm absolutely determined (and determined to get it right!)
Start the Modular route once issued with a Class One. Aim to complete 2023/24. Keep the day job up to the point you are offered employment in aviation. Avoid going into debt. Simple.
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Old 30th Nov 2020, 14:37
  #52 (permalink)  

de minimus non curat lex
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: sunny troon
Posts: 1,353
Originally Posted by Climb150 View Post
.......The training failure rate between the feeder school and modular students was identical.
An experienced FI will know by 20 hours or so flying whether the student is likely to succeed without undue difficulty: struggle (training risk):
or wasting their time.
This would be the time to cut your losses, and bail out.
Terribly difficult decisions are sometimes necessary in marginal cases and save the trainee tens of thousand of dollars/euros etc.

The ‘no hopers’ ( although some would say: ‘never say never’ ) are clear cut and probably easier to deal with.

A decisive decision at this point would reduce the failure rate by a significant amount.

It might not however please the beancounters at the feeder school. Depends how the contract is written.
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Old 1st Dec 2020, 00:43
  #53 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Tropics
Posts: 329

If airlines in Europe are open and unbiased towards students that went the modular way, that would be a good reason to go the modular way. In my part of the world, students getting their licences from accredited schools are vital to their job prospects, mainly because the integrated programmes are audited by the aviation authorities and are tailored to prepare students for the airline environment. If a candidate who did his training in a “non-approved” school is hired by an airline, he would to go through training again in a accredited school with a reduced syllabus just to get his standards in line with the rest.

With the increasing number of cadet pilot schemes run by airlines here and in EU, it could be difficult if one’s training background is not similar to those cadet pilots especially if supply exceeds demand.

As for the MPL programme, it is similar here whereby one needs to a type rating attached to it in order for this licence to be of any use. We can only hope that the airlines do the right thing by resuming the training of those guys who have their course interrupted by this crappy pandemic.
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Old 1st Dec 2020, 05:24
  #54 (permalink)  
The Cooler King
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: In the Desert
Posts: 1,691
I've always been a proponent of modular over integrated as I am of the opinion that it gives the student more control and the option to bail out at any point.

The MPL was pushed into place by airlines that have jets and the focus, advantage and get out clauses are all airline, not student focused.
You'd do well to remember that.

With a modular route you can take all the time you need in a more manageable financial outlay over whatever period is required.
It will provide you with some more protection against market up, market down, illness, funding etc

Have heard of far too many MPL students not finish over the past few years for me to believe it is a prudent investment for any young student pilot to get involved with.

My advice is to keep it old school. It gives you more options.

Modular at best.
Integrated if you have the money available to pony up if you run out of time / hours etc
MPL - to be avoided.

Farrell is offline  
Old 1st Dec 2020, 09:18
  #55 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 984
The days of airlines preferring Integrated over modular died with L3. You can also do modular faster than you can Integrated for half the price.
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Old 1st Dec 2020, 09:52
  #56 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: at the edge of the alps
Posts: 394
I have line trained new copilots from MPL as well as non-MPL ab-initio courses as well as "self-sponsored" pilots. Due to different selection/aptitude criteria applied over time it is not possible to attribute differences to the method of training alone. I couldn't say that I found any obvious differences between MPL and non-MPL trainees but some correlation between a higher number of simulator sessions and subsequent performance on the line. Most of my trainees had close to minimum hours (around 200, MPL even less) and I don't consider that a problem. The US 1500 hour requirement is great from an industrial point of view as it raises the bar for joining but there's nothing in it that grades the quality of those hours between training and employment. They can give you great experience but do not necessarily. I had more than minimum hours when joining myself and would not miss those hours, although I consider the VFR cross-country hours more instructive than most of the towing. While not the best way to learn, narrowly avoiding killing yourself when flying alone does have a training effect.

When MPL was "invented" I always thought that the general idea of a mission-tailored training is good, but that I'd only recommend it if offered by a large, respectable airline. Having seen hundreds of Lufthansa MPL students "stranded" somewhere along their MPL path I would not recommend it at all unless accompanied by a "convert to ATPL" guarantee by a training Organization "too large to fail" or structured in a manner that would allow you to convert to conventional with minimal cost (some ATOs seem to offer that).

You need to understand that converting your MPL to another operator's MPL is a major effort for the new recipient's training department which only makes sense if they need a lot of pilots. There's no sense in establishing a conversion syllabus/programme with the authority for just one or two cadets.
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Old 1st Dec 2020, 11:19
  #57 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: The World
Posts: 1,286
Originally Posted by Alpine Flyer View Post
The US 1500 hour requirement is great from an industrial point of view as it raises the bar for joining but there's nothing in it that grades the quality of those hours between training and employment. They can give you great experience but do not necessarily.
The whole mentality behind that rule is warped.

I always thought that the first years of a pilot’s career were the most critical to establishing their long term attitudes and discipline, and they would be the most crucial for oversight and mentoring from someone more experienced sitting next to them on the flight deck. So have an MPL program, to be second in command for several years to learn those crucial lessons in a structured environment.

Instead they’re sent off on their own for a while, and then can learn whatever they choose, some good perhaps, but also potential for bad habits and attitudes to both develop and become ingrained. Harder to knock out bad attitudes in an airline after a long period of single pilot ops, and then if it’s a quick time to command those bad habits can resurface quickly.
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Old 1st Dec 2020, 12:21
  #58 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Mexico City
Posts: 453
1500 hours in the USA is really to stop low time people working for poor wages on the way to that Legacy airline. US regional airlines had to dramaticallyimprove pay and conditions once the 1500 rule came in.
What bad habits are people learning between 200 and 1500 hours? Getting better at cross wind landing? Getting to fly more complex aircraft? This bad habits tripe was peddled by the integrated schools trying to tell that if you go any other way the airlines won't hire you.
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Old 1st Dec 2020, 12:42
  #59 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 984

I wholeheartedly agree. I lean't more flying single pilot IFR after my CPL/IR training than I ever did elsewhere. It made me engage my brain like I hadn't needed to do before. Completing flight training is only the start of the journey.
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Old 1st Dec 2020, 14:23
  #60 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Goodwood
Posts: 186
Originally Posted by flypaddy View Post

UPRT was a headline focus of the course. We were given aerobatics training to build recovery skills in a real aircraft. In the simulator these techniques were repeatedly honed for the jet.
It's great that UPRT was a 'headline focus' of your course. However, I would humbly suggest that anybody giving you aerobatics training didn't really understand what real world challenges are presented by Flight Upsets resulting from LOC-I, nor how to train for them effectively.
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