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Exams: CPL only (13) versus ATPL (14, now 13)

@JayBee

Interesting nobody has any input on this, but perhaps nobody here right now is doing these exams. The ground school must be on zoom?

I know only of CATS who people found to be OK, in years past. 1 week to do the CPL exams.

For an FI you don’t need the CPL, BTW. A European CPL is basically useless. Lots of previous threads – example.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Many of the CPLs I know if they haven’t moved onto airlines are working either as instructors and/or work such as parachute launching.
Until recently there was a big shortage of instructors in ATO’s, ie being paid to instruct as opposed to the “benevolent” usually found on the club scene.

France

@JayBee
Being EASA PPL/IR (IR theory 4 years ago) and having just finished ATPL exams 9 days ago with 93% over all score I´d suggest the following:
- get the most cost effective and preferably long distance theory course. The content of these courses is introductory at best. Go for ATPL course, you can do CPL or ATPL exams when finished – more time to decide which one you want to do. Few to none CPL-only theory courses as there´s low demand.
- get Aviation Exam, go through all the questions studying the explanations and student comments where you sometimes find more straightforward explanations and links
- prepare for 4-6 months of hard study
- why not go for ATPL as it´s about the same pain to do one or the other. Looking back I should have done it when doing the IR.

Last Edited by Destinatus at 27 Jan 10:15
Prague
Czech Republic

Destinatus wrote:

Looking back I should have done it when doing the IR.

I thought the same when did IR but I didn’t have any interest for professional flying career.

LDZA LDVA, Croatia

I did only the 7 JAA/EASA IR exams (in 2011) but based on talking to loads of people, I would say that if the full 14 (now 13) CPL/IR (called “ATPL”, but Europe has no ATPL; it is something you get after 500hrs RHS in a multi pilot aircraft) exams are x amount of work, then the CPL-only exams (was 13, now 12?) are 0.7x, the 7 EASA IR exams (which almost nobody is doing now) are 0.5x, and the 7 CB IR exams are 0.45x

One needs to take a hard look at one’s realistic objectives. If you are say 50+ and want to be a full FI (not just an LAPL FI, which needs no CPL exams), then doing the -CPL/IR “ATPL” exams is dumb because you will never get an airline job, and the only benefit of the full load is the HPA credit (for a bizjet, TBM, PC12…, Jetprop?). If you have no commercial flying objectives, doing more than the 7 IR exams is also daft, because the exam material is 90% irrelevant to any sort of flying, and the time would be better spent learning how to use windy.com

Some people like exams but I have always done the minimum required because I have better things to do

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

CPL-only exams (was 13, now 12?) are 0.7x, the 7 EASA IR exams (which almost nobody is doing now) are 0.5x, and the 7 CB IR exams are 0.45x

According to some:
ATPL – 650hrs of theory self-study
CPL – 250hrs
IR – 160hrs
CBIR – 80hrs

EGTR

I think that includes mandatory classroom time. I was referring to revision time for the written exams. So yes my factors are misleading because so many weeks of mandatory classroom time is a lot for somebody with a “life”.

Thanks for posting that – it should be read by all those saying they may as well do the ATPL exams

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

Some people like exams but I have always done the minimum required because I have better things to do

Fully agree, this is why I chose IR the first time around.

@JayBee
Currently there are 14866 ATPL vs. 12650 CPL questions, i.e. CPL is about 0.85x ATPL
Going for CPL having done IR, subtract 3450 questions (HPL and Meteo) ending up with 9200 questions and attractive 0.62x ATPL.

Last Edited by Destinatus at 27 Jan 21:48
Prague
Czech Republic

As a side note to this topic: I´ve just decided to take the FAA CPL knowledge test on my next trip to the US. I´ll have about two weeks to prepare and I´m pretty confident to pass. The EASA CPL took more than three months of very intense preparation. The amount of questions I have to deal with for the FAA must be about 90% less than the EASA QB.

@Destinatus: Having gone through the CB-IR route I was not credited anything but VFR communication, as per the FCLs. Only the original IR-route would give credits, but virtually nobody takes this way nowadays.

EDFZ, Germany

Peter wrote:

I think that includes mandatory classroom time. I was referring to revision time for the written exams. So yes my factors are misleading because so many weeks of mandatory classroom time is a lot for somebody with a “life”.

Thanks for posting that – it should be read by all those saying they may as well do the ATPL exams

No, these are excluding the classroom time. Some of these number are from CAPT website, others – from my text file only (where did I get them from?!).
But the challenge is that this is about theory hours “in theory”, pardon the pun – the reality is that you have to read all the things around the normal CPL topics as there is some “leakage” from the ATPL ones. So if you want to actually pass CPL exams, you will read a lot more.
650 hours, 3 hrs per day. If it is every day, then it is seven months?! That is a lot!!!

EGTR
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