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Now official: JAA/EASA ATPL theory is largely garbage

Just read the front page of FTN; a UK training industry rag.

An academic did some research and found out what everybody else already knew: about half of the material is of no use to pilots.

A selection of questions were given to 94 airline pilots and they got an average of 44.5%. Also the more experienced pilots got a lower score.

Reportedly, one of the reasons the FTO industry likes this is because some give a partial money-back guarantee to those who fail the course, and getting everyone to grind through the ground school and sit the 14 exams even before they have seen the inside of any aircraft is an effective way to wash out those “less committed” and this reduces the cost of the guarantee to the FTO.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Memorizing thousands of multiple choice questions – what a waste of energy and resources. And no transfer of knowledge.

has a Beagle...
LOWG Graz Austria

Recently, FAA FO who’s planning conversion to EASA told me that he had on average less than 60% and that was in perfect conditions (sitting at home relaxed and checking QB).

LDZA LDVA, Croatia

Peter wrote:

an effective way to wash out those “less committed” and this reduces the cost of the guarantee to the FTO

Doubtless this is a nice little extra for them, but I always thought the main reason they liked ground school and theory exams so much was that as a product it is very high margin. Nice revenue (£2,350, Bristol Ground School, as of today) and actual cost of delivery when spread across many students is very low.

Like delivering infringement awareness courses, it’s nice work if you can get it!.

EGLM & EGTN

ECQB is getting better. Questions about insignificant details are removed and things are brought up to date. This is my impression after taking same exams in 2015 and 2019. Still, there’s many things they could skip. Wonder how many airline captains could solve this.

Last Edited by loco at 05 Nov 14:46
EPPO, EPPK

Whoever thought that Q was useful obviously doesn’t fly a plane.

How would one solve it?

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

loco wrote:

Wonder how many airline captains could solve this.

So this is a multiple choice question? What are the alternatives? Exact figures or approximate? One approximate answer could be “between northerly and easterly” and being able to figure that out could actually be useful.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

Peter wrote:

Whoever thought that Q was useful obviously doesn’t fly a plane.
How would one solve it?

That smells quantum fields and string theories to me:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AdS/CFT_correspondence

Only useful if you believe what it feels like 3D flying really happens in 2D

ESSEX, United Kingdom

It’s even worse than that.
The subject levels are so poorly constructed that for CBIR and BIR you are expected to do Jet performance calcs and Jet commercial ops fuel calculations.
EASA refuses to release the questions bank so the best you can do is use a third party QB which is mostly made up, of the best attempt at remembering the question after the exam and sending it in by somone having just taken the test. This leads to confusion and errors.
Some of the fuel calcs are full of ‘Trick-gotchas’
Where almost identical questions have different values to calculate, but then differ, due to the ‘oh in this one’ we ignore ‘Alternate’ fuel. Without a good explanation why.
Just reading the feedback comments gives a headache.

Private strip, Essex (not mine), United Kingdom

Airborne_Again wrote:

One approximate answer could be “between northerly and easterly”

Yes, that’s good enough. There is however another variant, requiring exact calculation with two answers 2,5 degree apart and in the same general direction.

Last Edited by loco at 05 Nov 15:48
EPPO, EPPK
66 Posts
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