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HeliTorque :: View topic - ATPL/CPL: Full Time vs Self Study
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HeliTorque Forum Index » Ground School

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WhirlyGirl
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 8:20 pm    Post subject: ATPL/CPL: Full Time vs Self Study Reply with quote

A question for those of you who have been there...

I am trying to work out the best options for studying for the ground exams of the commercial licence. The alternatives at the moment seem to be Oxford full time (26 weeks) or Bristol self study with a 4 week classroom course, however I don't know if I'd be able to get through all those exams without regular classroom instruction. Could anybody give their experiences of either route?

I'd be very interested to hear your opinions...

Thanks,

WhirlyGirl Cool
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2005 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anybody?

WG Crying or Very sad
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weekend warrior
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2005 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

.

Last edited by weekend warrior on Mon Jun 05, 2006 4:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2005 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I phoned Bristol - they said they only do Distance Learning...
I am starting to think I need full time classroom training, after reading a few of the notes.

WhirlyGirl Cool
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Whirlygirl,
I did the distance learning with Bristol and got thru the 13 ATPL(H) exams in about 18 months.

The entire course is split into 2 modules:
Module 1 is 8 exams:

Gen Nav
Met
Instruments
HP&L
IFR Comms
VFR Comms
Flight Planning
Mass & Balance

Module 2 the remaining 5:

Principles of Flight(H)
Air Law
Ops Procedures
AGK
Radio Nav

It is very much a case of being strict with yourself when it comes to the studying but the beauty of distance learning is you can take a break whenever you want.
I started Mod 1 then found i had to stop for a while to get married/move house/change jobs! but it was no problem going back once i'd rearranged my life!

I found the study materials from Bristol were excellent and I'm pretty sure they'll send you examples if you ask.
The 2 week crammer before the exams is also excellent and the feedback is usually enough to get you thru the exams.

An alternative to the ATPL exams is the CPLs and I'm pretty sure Atlantic Flight Training at Coventry do a residential course. The other one I know of is Dragon Helicopters at Sheffield but I think that's distance learning.

With the CPL exams you only do 9 then if you want to upgrade later to ATPL or get an IR you just do the extra exams.

All the advice I've seen and heard recommend the ATPLs if you intend to take things further

Any other questions I'll try my best to help Smile
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi dftch!

Thanks for your advice. I have heard some excellent reports about Bristol, and I am sure I am capable of distance learning. However, the fact that it takes 3 times longer to complete worries me slightly becuase if I start it, other commitments, distractions, life/family stuff etc. could end up getting in the way, whereas if I did it over six months at least I would be getting it done quickly.

If I can save enough money to support myself I think i would actually prefer to go to school. On the other hand I could try distance learning, but then if it doesn't work out I will probably end up going to school anyway!

WhirlyGirl Cool
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed,
I can understand your dilemma and only you can decide what's best for you.

One thing I realised when I did the crammer was that if I had done it full time I would have found it easier.
Subjects I'd had to revise again and again were made clear by the instructor's explanation.
It was like a shroud had been lifted Laughing

Seriously though, whatever you decide good luck, it's a great feeling when you've finished

Frank
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess it really helps to have someone explain it to you! I will play it by ear for now. I have a year to decide while I hour build and I am going to prepare by reading and gaining as much knowledge as possible from people, books and personal experience. I will be visiting some of the schools in the summer to have a look, and will probably go to one of the Oxford/Bristol seminars.

Thanks for your help, and if anybody else would like to share their opinions I would love to hear them.

Regards,

WhirlyGirl Cool
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi WG

I am in a similar postion; in that i wont be good at distance learning - I am going to Oxford starting on Aug 8th - see you there!

Rich
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2005 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For my tuppence worth, as someone who would love to be in your position.....

Even if I absolutely worship something like this, which I do, I would certainly not be able to prevent distractions from getting in the way, and would be annoyed with myself near the end if I was struggling to get in done in the time I had envisaged.

If I thought it was going to take 18 months, as one member did, as opposed to 26 weeks, I would certainly opt for the 26 weeks.

I think the classroom study would also help to discipline me very much, and give me true goals and deadlines. And I would want to do it quicker rather than slower.

That said, i would be asking myself....if I struggled with a particular subject of aspect, would the school time scale pressure me to feel oppressed at times, where the home learning would allow me to spend more time on a specific part that I was finding diffifcult. That said, I still believe, for me, that the classroom option would be best overall.

The other advantage of the residential course is that you have a LOT of people around you to study and revise with, and a lot of people around you with a vast knowledge of what you're doing, to help you when you need it. This wouldn't be so easy at home.

Being with others on a course would also help to motivate me during the more difficult times.

I would also relish the opportunity to make friends with people in similar circumstances, as you can make good friends this way. that said, you need to remember that these people may be competing for the same jobs as you in the future, as the heli industry is very small!!!

I'm not sure how many CPL people are on this forum, but I know there are a few heli CPL pilots on www.pilotportal.net who may be able to answer your questions. That wasn't really a plug for their site though, as they're nearly all plank flyers, with only one or two heli guys!! Smile

As I'll never be able to do this, I can't say how jealous I am......so you'd better to well, or I'll be there to kick you Smile Oxford's not that far from me.

Adam.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2005 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I did my Ground School with Bristol, but this was 10 years ago. They were excellent.
I prefer sitting in the classroom.
A friend of mine did it long distance and he passed first time jammy *****.
I had all the time in the world, but I preferred to do it in one fell swoop.
The important thing is to write as many practice exams as possible, Bristol gave us a whole bucket full and former students gave me some more.With those practice exams, one learns how the questions are asked, which is rather important.

Good luck! And don't dispear stay with it.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Whirlygirl,

Here it is, my first post!

I've just started studying, but for the CPL(H) course run by Dragon Helicopters at Sheffield. The course is based at day/VFR CPL stuff, all helicopter-relevent (so no flight-planning for a TriStar at 36000') and has been written by Bristol Ground School. Not sure what your future plans are, but mine won't involve anything multi-crew that will need an ATPL(H) - I have no plans to drive round the North Sea. May be worth looking into...

DBChopper
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks DBChopper!!

And a very warm welcome to the forum! Very Happy
I will consider that, and will probably go and visit all the schools this summer before I decide.

Look forward to talking to you in the future!

WhirlyGirl Cool
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's all very friendly here, isn't it - thanks for your kind words of welcome Very Happy

Whirly Girl, if you (or anyone else for that matter) like any more info about the course, feel free to pm or e-mail me and I'll try to help.

Right - back to reading about gyros... Crying or Very sad

DBChopper
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome DBChopper! It's very friendly here! Very Happy SO much better than certain other forums, where you don't seem to be able to ask a simple question without being shot down in flames. Wink

In fact, why don't you come along to Barnsdale Hall on 18th/19th June?
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