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The £40k frozen ATPL

As a result of the threads on the CBIR etc I was trying to work back how you might achieve a fATPL in Europe for around £40k.

Before you can sit ATPL exams you need a PPL, ideally with a night rating – this would be 50 hours plus CAA fees, exam fees, some books and Class 1 medical. At around £125 per hour am not getting change from £7-7.5k, and this is before commuting costs etc.

Then before commencing the CPL you need 175 or 185 hours with requirements on night, instruments, cross country, etc. Plus your ATPLs (ideally with a 90% average). Distance learning ATPL plus exam fees say £2.5k?

Assume you get a 30 hour credit for holding the silver cross country in sailplanes, this still means 105 hours of ‘hour building’, before presenting yourself for the CPL course (25 hours without an IR, 15 hours with). You need 70 hours P1 before your multi, and 50 hours cross country before your IR. You also need 100 hours P1 for the CPL.

So lets say 100 hours P1 hour building at a block rate of £80 or £8k.

The MEP/IR will set you back around £15k.

The CPL will be around £3k.

Books, exam fees, licence fees, and contingency might be £3k.

You just squeak in under £40k.

Glider tug work is another avenue to save on hour building.

You then need an MCC/Jet Orientation, and in many cases pay for your Type Rating – either on spec, or as part of a bonding programme.

Last Edited by RobertL18C at 02 Feb 16:36
Enstone (EGTN), Oxford (EGTK)

I guess there are many schemes for the modular route to the ATPL which are EASA compliant, because in our FTO it is slightly different.

You can do your PPL anywhere and there is no need to do the EASA exam. One of my current students works as a flight attendant and did his PPL and night ratings under FAA regulations during layovers in the States. No travel cost, American prices. I guess he spent less than 5kEuro for all of it, including some hours building (but not many – in the end you need around 200h total time but that includes all training missions).

The 14 subjects of the EASA ATPL theory (which cover IR and CPL) can be done by distance learning course with some weekends of classroom. Cost is maybe 5kEuro including traveling expenses to our LBA and fees.

40 hours of the IFR training can be flown on the FNPT which is a lot cheaper than the actual aircraft. Actually required flight training is 6 hours ME VFR, 15 hours ME IFR, 5 hours SE IR and 15 hours SE VFR in a complex single (retractable and variable prop) for the CPL. Plus a 2 hour final check ride.

At the current prices of our FTO all this training together costs 27000 Euros (+ landing and airport fees and parking – maybe 30000). Plus 5k for the theory and 5k for the PPL. There is your 40k also in our part of the world. Plus hours building…

EDDS - Stuttgart

To throw something else in the “how can this be done on the cheap” pot, when I was digging around this in 2011 I found you could do the 14 ATPL exams in Athens, Greece, for €5 each

Of course that involves the substantial hardship of living on Greek food and having to deal with Greek girls Hmmm… definitely beats the scene in the Lidl car park at Bournemouth!

But more seriously for the €5 you would have got the original JAA QB with all the original crap questions, which I guess would have had the advantage that the computer revision material would match exactly, since the QB was published (in 2007, two groups of students did a “Freedom of Information” legal challenges in Denmark and Belgium and got the real JAA QB, and later it was translated into English).

Sounds like Germany would accept an ICAO PPL for an FTO based modular CPL/IR course. That should be possible because – unlike in the USA – you don’t AFAIK need a PPL to go for the CPL.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

Sounds like Germany would accept an ICAO PPL for an FTO based modular CPL/IR course. That should be possible because – unlike in the USA – you don’t AFAIK need a PPL to go for the CPL.

Yes, exactly. And for an integrated ATPL course you don’t need the PPL at all. But the majority of students spend the extra money (maybe 500 Euros all included) to do the PPL exam so that they have at least something if for some reason they drop out of the course. And it will get them a SE class rating into their license. Because if you do the ATPL course without PPL exam you end up with a license that contains only an MEP class rating.

EDDS - Stuttgart

Bathman wrote:

… with me teaching him for free …

As quite a few frozen ATPL holders have to earn their living as flying instructors for a few years this may not be the best example to give
But really: I think that everybody should honor skilled labor (and a decent flying instructor does deliver skilled labor) and pay for it. I have never instructed a single lesson for free and I never will (that’s easy to say for me because nobody in my family is interested in flying).

Last Edited by what_next at 02 Feb 19:10
EDDS - Stuttgart

Couple of points if I may:

- a dodgy cheap overseas test centre may be a seriously false economy – Engineers who went through a Greek centre having their licences pulled:

http://publicapps.caa.co.uk/modalapplication.aspx?catid=1&pagetype=65&appid=11&mode=detail&id=7738

- the CB IR route to frozen ATPL works ok if you hit course minimum hours, the less structured nature of the route means there is a serious risk you could spend more time/money in a very expensive ATO training environment / aircraft if you need extra hours for test standard (compared to a well trodden longer course with integrated sim time)

- I’ve done instructional trips or tests for free or a bottle of wine when dealing with some young men and women who’ve been struggling to scrape together every penny for their flight training, biking miles to lessons, selling goods off etc.. I had a number of leg ups and lucky breaks during my training days so it doesn’t trouble me to repay the favour to the next generation on occasion (unprompted by the student).

Now retired from forums best wishes

I wonder what the real story is behind that Greek thing. Was it actual fake qualifications issued, or was it some paperwork irregularity? I have visited a certain Greek FTO and got the impression that while one would not want to buy a used Vespa from the owner(s) simply because of the yarns they needlessly spun and which only an idiot would buy into, their procedures were proper. Well, except that you had to say you lived in Greece for the time you were there, to get the Greek issued papers

After all, I read recently that the UK CAA is no longer accepting German AME medicals because the AME has no legal right to see the GP records… this came out after Germanwings and makes an almost complete mockery of any German AME medical.

There was a widely repeated story some years ago that you could purchase the 14 ATPL exams from a Spanish FTO for €10k. One interesting detail I was told was that somebody actually sat the exams for you – one of the FTO’s instructors. So he and the invigilator – just those two – had to be “in” on it. I know a Spanish pilot who reckons he knows that IF this rumour was true, which FTO it was. But nobody I know knows whether it is true, first-hand. I guess it would be explosive.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Here’s my own cost experience from 2012. No CBIR at this point so all done the ‘traditional’ way.

My own route was PPL, IMC rating and Night qual (as it was) plus distance learned ATPL theory in the UK. I then went to a European mainland FTO to complete hour building, SEIR, MEP, CPL and MEIR upgrade. I returned to the UK to do MCC and JOC. All costs are GBP or equivalent using the exchange rate from the time.

Element Cost
PPL, IMC & Night 9500
ATPL Theory 2100
Hour build, CPL MEIR 24300
MCC & JOC 2450
Total 38350

Exam, test and licencing fees are included, travel is not included, living costs are included for the hour building and CPL & MEIR stage but not for any others.

Last Edited by Pirho at 02 Feb 22:37

After all, I read recently that the UK CAA is no longer accepting German AME medicals because the AME has no legal right to see the GP records… this came out after Germanwings and makes an almost complete mockery of any German AME medical.

So far as I am aware, my AME has never seen (and has certainly never requested my permission to see) my GP notes.

Egnm, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

After all, I read recently that the UK CAA is no longer accepting German AME medicals because the AME has no legal right to see the GP records… this came out after Germanwings and makes an almost complete mockery of any German AME medical.

For my FAA medical, I report new doctor visits as required but the AME does not have the right of access to medical records from those reported visits, and he has no idea where pre-existing medical records may exist. The system works around me bringing forward a package of records that are supportive enough of my case, if I had one, not his unlimited access to forage around in my private data.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 03 Feb 03:33
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