Professional Pilot Training (includes ground studies) A forum for those on the steep path to that coveted professional licence. Whether studying for the written exams, training for the flight tests or building experience here's where you can hang out.

PPL study on a budget

Old 4th Sep 2023, 01:06
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2023
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 24
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Smile PPL study on a budget

I hope this message finds you all in good health and high spirits. I hope to complete my Class 1 medical examination in the near future, the first point in becoming a commercial pilot.

As a 17-year-old, I'm facing financial constraints that limit my ability to purchase the recommended study materials and books for my PPL exams. While I understand the importance of proper study materials, I'm exploring alternative resources that might help me prepare adequately without straining my wallet.

I'm reaching out to this experienced group to inquire if anyone can suggest reliable online platforms or resources that provide the necessary information to prepare for the PPL written exams. I'm aware that comprehensive, well-structured study materials are essential for success (and hard to come by granted you don't want to spend money), and I want to ensure that I am as well-prepared as possible, even with limited financial means.

I greatly appreciate any insights, recommendations, or tips you can provide to guide me on this journey. I'm committed to putting in the effort and dedication required to excel. Thank you all in advance for your support and assistance. Your wisdom and knowledge are invaluable to a young person like me, and I look forward to contributing to this wonderful community as I progress in my aviation endeavors. Stay safe all.

Last edited by bakerin; 7th Nov 2023 at 18:12. Reason: Typo
bakerin is offline  
Old 4th Sep 2023, 06:53
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: White Waltham, Prestwick & Calgary
Age: 71
Posts: 4,099
Likes: 0
Received 15 Likes on 9 Posts
If I may be allowed to mention it, the PDF version of this is just $29.99, but the printed version is available on Amazon at £49:

EASA Private Pilot Studies

You can also download stuff from the FAA website for free, such as the Handbook Of Aeronautical Knowledge

Phil
paco is offline  
Old 4th Sep 2023, 07:24
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: UK
Posts: 58
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Without doubt for PPL exams in the UK use EasyPPL - every student and instructor will recommend it
Arena_33 is offline  
Old 4th Sep 2023, 20:03
  #4 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2023
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 24
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hey Phil, thanks for the response. As I am so stubborn I failed to mention I am doing the UK CAA license, if you had any knowledge on that I'd be happy to hear it, apologies and thank you again.
bakerin is offline  
Old 4th Sep 2023, 20:08
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 979
Received 50 Likes on 29 Posts
Not CAA but FAA but well done:
https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/16-687-p...uary-iap-2019/
Less Hair is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2023, 07:28
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: White Waltham, Prestwick & Calgary
Age: 71
Posts: 4,099
Likes: 0
Received 15 Likes on 9 Posts
bekerin - it covers the UK CAA requirements as well, as they still closely follow EASA. At PPL level, things are pretty standard anyway.

There is a free database at www.rtfq.org which covers the PPL

Phil
paco is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2023, 15:15
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Wherever I lay my hat
Posts: 3,834
Likes: 0
Received 9 Likes on 7 Posts
Originally Posted by bakerin
Hey Phil, thanks for the response. As I am so stubborn I failed to mention I am doing the UK CAA license, if you had any knowledge on that I'd be happy to hear it, apologies and thank you again.
Well done on taking the first step - the Class one medical. A lot of people get that one wrong.
No how far down the PPL route are you? The reason I ask that is the title of the thread "...on a budget".
The cheapest way to becoming a commercial pilot (anywhere) is to do most of your training in the US, including Private, then become a flight instructor and convert to UK/EASA later.
rudestuff is online now  
Old 6th Sep 2023, 03:11
  #8 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2023
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 24
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the response rudestuff, I'm intrigued to why you suggested becoming an instructor, I am failing to understand how it could be cheaper that way, and how to go about it. Additionally, how much longer would this take as opposed to going modular and potentially getting my license within 2-3 years. I eagerly await your response.
bakerin is offline  
Old 6th Sep 2023, 07:32
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Wherever I lay my hat
Posts: 3,834
Likes: 0
Received 9 Likes on 7 Posts
How much longer?! Firstly try to get away from thinking that modular takes longer, it is often the case but isn't a rule. Flight training takes as long a it takes. If you want to do things quickly then modular is quicker and if you want to do things slowly then modular is slower - because you have the flexibility to train at your own speed.

You asked so I'll answer.

In Europe a CPL/IR requires 200 hours in aeroplanes (with a few credits for other licences held). Aeroplanes are pretty expensive in Europe and the weather is often unreliable meaning training is often long and expensive.

In the US, a Commercial/instrument pilot certificate (part 61 ~ modular) requires 250 hours as a pilot with 100 hours in powered aircraft and 50 hours in airplanes.
In the popular flight training places, the weather is more reliable, meaning you can get a PPL in 4 weeks, IR in 4 weeks, hour build 25 hours per week etc..

Straight away you can see the loophole: in the US you can credit far more flight time as long as its got an N-number [part 61.51(j)]. This includes helicopters, gliders, hot air balloons and powered parachutes.
Also, simulated instrument flight time with a safety pilot is considered a two pilot operation, meaning that two pilots can log the same flight under certain circumstances. Flight training for flight instructor can be done concurrently with commercial - meaning that if you structure your training effectively you can take your commercial flight test in the morning and your CFI test in the afternoon. In the US (on the right visa) you can work as a flight instructor until you have the 1500 hours necessary for an ATP certificate, whilst concurrently studying for the European exams. A good school could have you at CFI in 6-9 months, meaning in 2 years you can go from zero to 1500 hours. At that point you could convert to a European licence in 10-15 hours or possibly stay in the US as try for a regional FO position, subject to immigration rules. Plenty of people do to the US as a flight instructor, get married and stay to fly jets!

Last edited by rudestuff; 6th Sep 2023 at 09:43.
rudestuff is online now  
Old 6th Sep 2023, 08:13
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: White Waltham, Prestwick & Calgary
Age: 71
Posts: 4,099
Likes: 0
Received 15 Likes on 9 Posts
Listen to Rudestuff - he knows his stuff! You might want to look at Canada as well, but they are not so flexible on logging hours.
paco is offline  
Old 6th Sep 2023, 09:34
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Bedfordshire
Age: 26
Posts: 45
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by rudestuff
How much longer?! Firstly try to get away from thinking that modular takes longer, it is often the case but isn't a rule. Flight training takes as long a it takes. If you want to do things quickly then modular is quicker and if you want to do things slowly then modular is slower - because you have the flexibility to train at your own speed.

You asked so I'll answer.

In Europe a CPL/IR requires 200 hours in aeroplanes (with a few credits for other licences held). Aeroplanes are pretty expensive in Europe and the weather is often unreliable meaning training is often long and expensive.

In the US, a Commercial/instrument pilot certificate (part 61 ~ modular) requires 250 hours as a pilot with 100 hours in powered aircraft and 50 hours in airplanes.
In the popular flight training places, the weather is more reliable, meaning you can get a PPL in 4 weeks, IR in 4 weeks, hour build 25 hours per week etc..

Straight away you can see the loophole: in the US you can credit far more flight time as long as its got an N-number [part 61.51(j)]. This includes helicopters, gliders, hot air balloons and powered parachutes.
Also, simulated instrument flight time with a safety pilot is considered a two pilot operation, meaning that two pilots can log the same flight under certain circumstances. Flight training for flight instructor can be done concurrently with commercial - meaning that if you structure your training effectively you can take your commercial flight test in thy morning and your CFI test in the afternoon. In the US (on the right visa) you can work as a flight instructor until you have the 1500 hours necessary for an ATP certificate, whilst concurrently studying for the European exams. A good school could have you at CFI in 6-9 months, meaning in 2 years you can go from zero to 1500 hours. At that point you could convert to a European licence in 10-15 hours or possibly stay in the US as try for a regional FO position, subject to immigration rules. Plenty of people do to the US as a flight instructor, get married and stay to fly jets!
Do you have any advice for a CAA PPL(A) holder on the cheapest method to obtain CPL-ME-IR.

My plan was IMC rating - CBIR - Hour build outside the UK/cost share - CPL - ME - ME/IR conversion.

Iíve no idea if I want to work in the USA need a visa), or EU (no visa required) or stay in UK. I feel staying on a CAA licence is too limiting.
CAP A330 is offline  
Old 6th Sep 2023, 09:53
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Wherever I lay my hat
Posts: 3,834
Likes: 0
Received 9 Likes on 7 Posts
Originally Posted by CAP A330
Do you have any advice for a CAA PPL(A) holder on the cheapest method to obtain CPL-ME-IR.

My plan was IMC rating - CBIR - Hour build outside the UK/cost share - CPL - ME - ME/IR conversion.

Iíve no idea if I want to work in the USA need a visa), or EU (no visa required) or stay in UK. I feel staying on a CAA licence is too limiting.
The US is a great option for someone free and single with a sense of adventure who's starting from scratch, but obviously there's a law of diminishing returns so there comes a point where it's easier to do stuff at home. Personally I think you've got the right idea - IMC the CBIR is the cheapest way into the IR club and also to stop those ATPL exams expiring. The SEIR to MEIR only needs a few flights in a multi vs 15 hours if you do the MEIR as your initial IR so that saves a lot. If you've got the budget, aim to get the MEP and MEIR upgrade done so that you can finish with a 15 hour CPL SE course at 200 hours. If the clock is ticking on exams or the budget is limited, then go straight to the CPL. You won't have everything done by 200 hours but it's not a bad position to be in: 7 years left on the ATPLs about a month from the finish line with only the MEIR and MCC remaining. A very good position in fact because you can judge the market and jump in when you choose with nothing to keep current and brand new qualifications when you do.
rudestuff is online now  
Old 6th Sep 2023, 12:40
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Bedfordshire
Age: 26
Posts: 45
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by rudestuff
The US is a great option for someone free and single with a sense of adventure who's starting from scratch, but obviously there's a law of diminishing returns so there comes a point where it's easier to do stuff at home. Personally I think you've got the right idea - IMC the CBIR is the cheapest way into the IR club and also to stop those ATPL exams expiring. The SEIR to MEIR only needs a few flights in a multi vs 15 hours if you do the MEIR as your initial IR so that saves a lot. If you've got the budget, aim to get the MEP and MEIR upgrade done so that you can finish with a 15 hour CPL SE course at 200 hours. If the clock is ticking on exams or the budget is limited, then go straight to the CPL. You won't have everything done by 200 hours but it's not a bad position to be in: 7 years left on the ATPLs about a month from the finish line with only the MEIR and MCC remaining. A very good position in fact because you can judge the market and jump in when you choose with nothing to keep current and brand new qualifications when you do.
Thank you.

I canít find much detail on the CBIR exams, are they particularly short and easy? Itís 7 exams but I donít know the duration or number of questions.

How have people managed to get visas to work in the US?

Is it worth me attempting a switch to a FAA PPL to continue onto a FAA CPL-ME-IR (if thatís how they do it there), then convert back to a CAA CPL-ME-IR?


Or even the same route but using EASA? Is it a nightmare to convert licenses?
CAP A330 is offline  
Old 6th Sep 2023, 13:12
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Wherever I lay my hat
Posts: 3,834
Likes: 0
Received 9 Likes on 7 Posts
I wouldn't bother with the CBIR exams, just take the ATPL exams and use those. You don't even need to do all of them. If you do the relevant IR subjects first, there is nothing stopping you using those instead of the IR or CBIR exams. A good idea would be:
1. PPL + Night
2. Get your IR ATPL subjects while building 50 hours XC PIC
3. CBIR (try not to use a simulator*)
4. Remaining ATPL subjects while hour building
5a. CPL SE (if tight on time or money)
5b. MEP, MEIR, CPL SE (if not)

*You dont want to avoid simulators necessarily, in some circumstances they can be very useful, but any IR training in the aircraft also counts as flight time for the CPL while simulator time does not. That's why you want to avoid anywhere that tells you to get the CPL first - you're doing 45 hours on top of your 200 rather than included in it.

Last edited by rudestuff; 11th Sep 2023 at 04:37.
rudestuff is online now  
Old 6th Sep 2023, 13:15
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Wherever I lay my hat
Posts: 3,834
Likes: 0
Received 9 Likes on 7 Posts
Originally Posted by CAP A330
How have people managed to get visas to work in the US?
If you apply to a part 141 school they can usually sponsor you for an M1/F1/J1 visa (J1 in my day) which gives you between 2 and 4 years to study and build time as a flight instructor.
rudestuff is online now  
Old 6th Sep 2023, 13:18
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: White Waltham, Prestwick & Calgary
Age: 71
Posts: 4,099
Likes: 0
Received 15 Likes on 9 Posts
The CBIR is a cutdown version of the normal IR studies, with a total of 80 hours' study, but given the tendency to ask questions from the full IR you may as well do that anyway, as Rudestuff says. Not only that, with the CBIR you must do an advanced aeroplane performance course if you want to fly anything bigger than a light twin. Again, do the full thing, you are then covered.

And remember you can do as much flying training as you want while you are studying for the exams - you just can't take the skill test until you've passed them. A lot of schools don't seem to grasp this.
paco is offline  
Old 6th Sep 2023, 16:03
  #17 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2023
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 24
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by rudestuff
How much longer?! Firstly try to get away from thinking that modular takes longer, it is often the case but isn't a rule. Flight training takes as long a it takes. If you want to do things quickly then modular is quicker and if you want to do things slowly then modular is slower - because you have the flexibility to train at your own speed.

You asked so I'll answer.

In Europe a CPL/IR requires 200 hours in aeroplanes (with a few credits for other licences held). Aeroplanes are pretty expensive in Europe and the weather is often unreliable meaning training is often long and expensive.

In the US, a Commercial/instrument pilot certificate (part 61 ~ modular) requires 250 hours as a pilot with 100 hours in powered aircraft and 50 hours in airplanes.
In the popular flight training places, the weather is more reliable, meaning you can get a PPL in 4 weeks, IR in 4 weeks, hour build 25 hours per week etc..

Straight away you can see the loophole: in the US you can credit far more flight time as long as its got an N-number [part 61.51(j)]. This includes helicopters, gliders, hot air balloons and powered parachutes.
Also, simulated instrument flight time with a safety pilot is considered a two pilot operation, meaning that two pilots can log the same flight under certain circumstances. Flight training for flight instructor can be done concurrently with commercial - meaning that if you structure your training effectively you can take your commercial flight test in the morning and your CFI test in the afternoon. In the US (on the right visa) you can work as a flight instructor until you have the 1500 hours necessary for an ATP certificate, whilst concurrently studying for the European exams. A good school could have you at CFI in 6-9 months, meaning in 2 years you can go from zero to 1500 hours. At that point you could convert to a European licence in 10-15 hours or possibly stay in the US as try for a regional FO position, subject to immigration rules. Plenty of people do to the US as a flight instructor, get married and stay to fly jets!
Thank you for sharing this valuable information. I have a few questions based on your insights:

1. Could you clarify if you believe that obtaining a Private Pilot License (PPL) would still be the first step regardless of the training path chosen?

2. When you mention being "on the right visa" to work as a flight instructor in the US, could you explain what specific visa category you are referring to? How difficult is it to obtain such a visa for an extended duration of stay in the US, especially considering potential challenges like requiring a job offer?

3. You mentioned the possibility of concurrently pursuing flight instructor training along with commercial training. Could you elaborate on this approach? Are you referring to hour building as an instructor instead of immediately applying for a job as a first officer?

Assuming you meant getting married to obtain a visa, I wouldn't really want to incorporate that into my plan, for obvious reasons. However, I am open to staying in the US if there are other ways about obtaining a permanent visa.

Apologies if some of this doesn't make sense, I'm still very early on into my journey and am figuring things out day by day. Your insights are greatly appreciated once again.

Last edited by bakerin; 6th Sep 2023 at 16:06. Reason: Spelling mistake
bakerin is offline  
Old 6th Sep 2023, 18:39
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: White Waltham, Prestwick & Calgary
Age: 71
Posts: 4,099
Likes: 0
Received 15 Likes on 9 Posts
With reference to your point 1, you need a PPL to start a modular course.
paco is offline  
Old 6th Sep 2023, 22:35
  #19 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2023
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 24
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you, Phil
bakerin is offline  
Old 7th Sep 2023, 04:44
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Wherever I lay my hat
Posts: 3,834
Likes: 0
Received 9 Likes on 7 Posts
The first step should always be a class one medical. Second step is a PPL which can be from anywhere as long as its ICAO compliant.
M1 and F1 are the main visa types. Just Google "US flight training visa" - typically up to 2 years.
Because certificates issued under part 61 are basically training as required, the flight training portion of a CFI course is basically learning to fly from the other seat and talk through maneuvers as you demonstrate them. Generally people do their commercial in the left seat, then spend a month or so doing the classroom and knowledge portion on the CFI course, then learn to fly from the right seat and finally learn how to demonstrate maneuvers. If you get the CFI theory training done first, then do all your commercial training from the right seat from day one and learn to talk through every maneuver you're killing two birds with one stone. Like most aspects of flight training, organisation is key: if you turn up to day one of flight training with all exams passed, all checklists and flight manuals memorised before you ever see an airplane you're going to learn a lot quicker and save a lot of money. 95% of people are capable of a 45 hour PPL. Not many get one.

Last edited by rudestuff; 7th Sep 2023 at 05:00.
rudestuff is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.