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UK based ATO comparisons

Old 25th Mar 2021, 21:10
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2021
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2
UK based ATO comparisons

Hello all,

I am very new to PPRuNe and this is my first post on here. Hoping to provide to and receive quality info from the community!

I'm currently training on an Integrated ATPL course with a provider based in the UK. Finished my theory exams in Autumn last year. At the moment, still waiting to start the flying phase with no given start date.

Just wanted to know if anyone who has completed their training or are towards the end of their training have any information regarding their ATO. Interested to see what the general situation is at ATOs such as L3, CAE, Leading Edge as I may consider a transfer.

Would highly appreciate information on:
- Delays
- Training Quality
- Airline Partnerships
- Cadet placement/Post course completion support
- Any important updates

Many thanks
fly.jr is offline  
Old 26th Mar 2021, 11:38
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2011
Location: UK
Posts: 8
I'd be doing everything I could to slow training down right now, making use of the 36 months you have after ATPL theory finishes to get your CPL ME IR licences issued.
clarkeysntfc is offline  
Old 26th Mar 2021, 20:15
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: London
Posts: 123
Avoid the first two like the plague.


- Delays - Should be the slogan at L3, longest I’ve heard is almost 4 years!
- Training Quality - hit and miss, depends on centre and instructors
- Airline Partnerships - won’t exist anywhere for a long time.
- Cadet placement/Post course completion support. lol

Rumour is it’s also for sale so how that will affect anything is anyone’s guess.


- Delays - potentially but they don’t have a reputation for it
- Training Quality - generally good
- Airline Partnerships - non existent in this climate
- Cadet placement/Post course completion support - None

Not much about leading edge but seem to have a good reputation within industry and students, very expensive training provider.

Seeing as you’ve only finished your theory i think you just need to obtain a PPL and can even switch to modular.

There is no benefit to being integrated or modular unless you’re tagged to an airline but any recent Easyjet MPL student will attest to the fact that there’s no guarantee.

Get the whole thing done for circa £50k as a modular. Slow your training down during this pandemic and have the flexibility to speed it up when you see signs of recruitment.

Last edited by FlyingGreek; 27th Mar 2021 at 00:04.
FlyingGreek is offline  
Old 27th Mar 2021, 10:01
  #4 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: s england
Posts: 196
What have been your experiences so far?
sudden twang is online now  
Old 27th Mar 2021, 10:15
  #5 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: uk
Posts: 583
I would avoid L3. Anecdotally a grim and toxic place (Bournemouth). Spectacularly overpriced. In fighting among instructor management although individual instructors can be very good. Minimal respect for the vast customer outlay. If you go modular and slow it down, ACS near Perth, Scotland is garnering a good rep. A c150 is a very good basic training aircraft, you don’t need. a DA 40 with a virtual FMS. Stick and rudder skills first and the airliner stuff later.
olster is offline  
Old 27th Mar 2021, 11:38
  #6 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Dubai
Posts: 148
Understand that Skyborne Airline Academy has a good reputation. They have been doing all training in the UK so probably some delays due weather but they have recently announced their fair weather base in Florida where the single engine training will be completed so I'd imagine that will enable on time completion compared with schools who do all training in the UK.
pilotatlast is offline  
Old 30th Mar 2021, 19:58
  #7 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2021
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2
Thanks for all the information!

I have been waiting to start my basic flight training for just over 6 months now and if I transfer ATO I will still have to wait for their next start date, which may still be in a few months time. Therefore, should I stay integrated, I may finish the course mid to end next year which is still quite a while away in my opinion.

I definitely see the benefits of changing to modular with respect to having control of the training duration as well as money saving.

A question though, do ATO's such as L3 and CAE who have built a reputation for themselves over the years, make it more likely for a student to get an interview? Assuming an integrated cadet and a modular cadet both achieve high ground school scores and good flying performances, do any of these cadets have an advantage over the other?

fly.jr is offline  
Old 3rd Apr 2021, 07:32
  #8 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Burgos, Spain
Posts: 41
There is no easy answer...
It is true that along the years, CAE and L3 have graduated many pilots and they could now be in key recruitment positions
On the other hand, my student graduates tell me that application forms don’t ask from where you got your licence

If you want to transfer to a different ATO, there are plenty where you will start flying immediately...

btw, it was publicly announced that L3 put his entire pilot training división for sale... and I believe he already sold it... except the basic pilot training part of it. Google it for confirmation
flybyschool is offline  
Old 3rd Apr 2021, 11:12
  #9 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: uk
Posts: 583
Fly.jr: L3 do not have any direct influence over airline placement. They may or maybe not these days say they have influence. They don’t. Airline recruiters are in general looking for a well rounded individual with possibly some extra life experience which lends itself to the modular route. As a former airline recruiter I got fed up with the endless “well, I left school then I went to L3 ( or whoever) and then I became a pilot”. The elephant in the room being how exactly did you find 100 grand for the funding? There was also no evidence of extra skill or knowledge overall from the graduates of the big schools. Their only selling point appeared to be ‘influence’, now no more. I must stress that many of the graduates were extremely able and talented but overall no more or less so than any other demographic.

My advice is apart from the oft repeated ‘go modular’. Do something interesting and different. A university degree perhaps? Find a job outside aviation. Possibly charity work. Stay fit through sport involvement. Read the papers and understand the business and political landscape. Do some research into the airline industry. What engines do Rolls Royce make? Where are the Airbus wings made? What fast jets do the RAF fly? Read the flying mags. Stay engaged. Be broad minded. Wherever you do your training, make sure that you enjoy it. Prepare for the flights / ground school. Good luck.
olster is offline  
Old 10th Apr 2021, 11:20
  #10 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Northwest
Posts: 4
ATO in the Northwest UK

Along similar lines, looking at funding my son through a modular course - anybody recomend anywhere in the North West UK?
Carcharodon is offline  
Old 10th Apr 2021, 15:16
  #11 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Timbuktu
Posts: 970
Carcharodon: Ravenair ("raven-urr") in Liverpool.

Fly.jr: is there any reason being given for lack of start date of flying phase?
Booglebox is offline  
Old 11th Apr 2021, 13:09
  #12 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Earth
Posts: 65
Originally Posted by flybyschool View Post

btw, it was publicly announced that L3 put his entire pilot training división for sale... and I believe he already sold it... except the basic pilot training part of it. Google it for confirmation
I couldn’t confirm this. Do you happen to have a link (already been sold part)?
Warlock1 is offline  
Old 19th Apr 2021, 16:08
  #13 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: s england
Posts: 196
At least one airline in the past accepted applications from integrated but not modular. That policy was relaxed but there were stipulations on the academic qualifications of the modular applicant if I recall correctly.
There is nothing wrong with going straight from school to an ATO to an airline. The funding should have no influence. It’s certain that a competency based interview will require you to give examples of situations. It’s inevitable that an older candidate with more life experiences will find this easier or so you’d think.
There is a certain irony that people on a course will compare notes and potential answers to interview Qs. They clearly have in the past sat around discussing it.
A military officer however will be busy perhaps as a flight commander whilst being a husband/wife and parent to young children. The answers the latter give are unlikely to be as prepared.
a well rounded recruiter won’t get fed up and will remain objective respectful and fair whilst recognising these idiosyncrasies.
sudden twang is online now  
Old 7th May 2021, 00:00
  #14 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Lahore
Posts: 10
Any reviews for Aeros Coventry? Looking to start with them this Fall (for a license conversion + FI course)
iTechno8 is offline  
Old 7th May 2021, 18:53
  #15 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Earth
Age: 30
Posts: 218
Agree with the above you should drag this out for as long as possible. I am bias and would recommend the modular route. I am seeing 3-4 posts on LinkedIn a week from who have just gained their frozen ATPL who will all be job hunting this year and next
Lew747 is offline  

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