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CPL... Nice to have?

Not from what I have seen. The flying is just an extra accurate map+stopwatch thing. A waste of time in the 20th century It is not like the FAA CPL which has significant additional aircraft control stuff. But it doesn’t matter that it is near-useless because the candidate eventually ends up RHS in a plane which is completely different, has de-ice, +5000fpm, radar, the lot, and has a training captain in the LHS who makes sure you don’t screw up And everybody is happy and the ball keeps rolling; the emperor sometimes has fewer clothes than at other times Well, except where both are muppets and then you get AF447 but that doesn’t happen much.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Does anyone has a link to a readable CPL practical syllabus ?
An CPL/FI offers me to do the CPL training in a club 152, to make it affordable. Does it make sense ?
I could do it in the US, but the trip, the visa and all this stuff make it a PITA for a nice to have.


Jujupilote wrote:

Does anyone has a link to a readable CPL practical syllabus ?

It’s in section E of the AMC1 to Appendix 3 of part-FCL. You can find it on pages 1152-1155 of the Easy Access version of part-FCL.

The important stuff is:

(i) Exercise 1: pre-flight operations: mass and balance determination, aeroplane inspection and servicing.
(ii) Exercise 2: take-off, traffic pattern, approach and landing, use of checklist, collision avoidance and checking procedures. (0:45 h)
(iii) Exercise 3: traffic patterns: simulated engine failure during and after take-off. (0:45 h)
(iv) Exercise 4: maximum performance (short field and obstacle clearance) take-offs and short-field landings. (1:00 h)
(v) Exercise 5: crosswind take-offs, landings and go-arounds. (1:00 h)
(vi) Exercise 6: flight at relatively critical high air speeds; recognition of and recovery from spiral dives. (0:45 h)
(vii) Exercise 7: flight at critically slow air speeds, spin avoidance, recognition of and recovery from incipient and full stalls. (0:45 h)
(viii) Exercise 8: cross-country flying using DR and radio navigation aids; flight planning by the applicant; filing of ATC flight plan; evaluation of weather briefing documentation, NOTAM, etc.; R/T procedures and phraseology; positioning by radio navigation aids; operation to, from and transiting controlled aerodromes, compliance with ATS procedures for VFR flights, simulated radio communication failure, weather deterioration, diversion procedures; simulated engine failure during cruise flight; selection of an emergency landing strip. (10:00 h)

At least 5 hours of the training must be carried out in an aircraft with at least 4 seats, constant-speed prop and retractable landing gear — so not everything can be done in a C152.

If you don’t have an IR, there is an additional 10 hours of basic instrument flying.
If you don’t have a night rating, there is an additional 5 hours of night flight instruction.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

Thank you very much Airborne.
I am disappointed in some way : it looks doing a more thorough PPL.
Let’s do some tailwheel and save for the IR then :)


Jujupilote wrote:

I am disappointed in some way : it looks doing a more thorough PPL.

Yes, I guess it is mostly about getting more precision to your flying — and more thorough emergency procedures.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

I got my CPL last month and it is what Airborne_again said.

More VFR precision flying, more rigourous SOP and emergency procedures.

Last Edited by Guillaume at 21 Aug 15:10

Thank you Guillaume !
Can you give some details / a report ?
Did you find it useful ?
Which school did you use ?
You can PM me if you don’t want to post.


Jujupilote wrote:

Can you give some details / a report ?
Did you find it useful ?
Which school did you use ?

My CPL course (15 hrs training as I already got the IR) was spread across 1 month. It ran from mid-june to mid-july as I was working in between.
The course is 25 hrs if you don’t have an IR (including 10 hrs of IMC training).

There was nothing really new from the PPL
Regarding the flying skills we trained on :
Traffic pattern, slow flight, stall recovery, turns with aircraft configuration change (flaps, gear), steep turn up to 45°, voluntary off airport landing, engine failure en-route and after take-off.

We also trained on various abnormal / emergency situation :
ASI failure, engine fire, gear or flaps extension failure.

For the navigation training part you usually plan a navigation A→B→C.
During the leg from A to B you fly normally using GPS, VOR, DME, ADF, autopilot. I could also use my iPad as an EFB.
During the B to C leg, the instructor / examiner diverts you to another D airport. So you divert to D airport using dead-recognition only, 600 ft AGL. No GPS iPad.

You also learn to be rigorous during your flight planning, briefings (before taxi, before take, approach) and checklists.

Overall, the flying tolerances are much tighter than PPL.

Now regarding your 2nd question “is it useful ?”
It depends on your current flying skills.
When I did the IR/SE course in 2012, I found the IR course much more difficult (although I achieved it with the minimum requirements 35 hrs sim / 15 hrs real aircraft). That’s because the IR the instructor / examiner expect you to be “CPL rigorous” (for flight planning; briefings, checklist).
During my IR course I had to learn the IR skills + the CPL rigour which was a lot back then.
So you can see the CPL as a preparation course prior to the IR.
But you might already be rigorous enough depending how you trained for the PPL.
Personally, having already the IR when I started the CPL, I found the course rather easy and I didn’t learn anything really new.

Regarding your third question, I used a small aeroclub east of France.
They only have 1 aircraft and 1 instructor for the CPL/IR courses but it was ok for me. Flying was also “cheap” for an ATO : about 250€ / hr.
I could crash at a friend’s place there and fly for few days in row and then go back to Paris to work.
You can PM me if you need some details about this ATO.

Last Edited by Guillaume at 22 Aug 09:54

Thank you very much Guillaume.
From what I read, it makes more sense to do the IR first and then the CPL.
So back to plan A :)


Jujupilote you’ll get so more more utility off your IR anyway that your plan A seems like a really obvious choice

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