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HeliTorque Forum Index » Student Pilots & Hour Builders

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MintedMav
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:05 am    Post subject: CPL exam difficulty compared to PPL exams Reply with quote

Hi All,

I am not considering going down the CPL route just yet and would only do it to further my own knowledge and to make myself a safer pilot rather than for career reasons.

However at this stage the question I have is.... How much more difficult are the CPL exams compared to the PPL exams?.

If you have been thorough in your PPL reading is it the case that stepping up to the CPL exams is relatively straightforward or is the sheer volume of stuff and the level expected that much greater?

Cheers

Geoff
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flip2
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The defined Learning Objectives may help answer your question.

I'm not sure if this is current, but this link may help.
I seem to recall there being some delays / problems with the implementation of the CPL(H) exams - hopefully one of the current instructors will be better placed to advise.
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Helisteve
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi there

I have only just started to study for the CPL(H) exams about 8 weeks in so I can not comment on the level of the exams as yet.

However the study material content is vastly more detailed. I am studying with CAPT and the material is Helicopter based more so than I believe alot of other courses.

I am intending to go for the career change myself but feel the additional study would be of equal benefit if I only intended to fly for pleasure.

Hope this helps
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LoachBoy
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Expect a significant step up in terms of depth & breadth of subjects.

Phil's material (CAPT) is good in that he does try to focus on helicopter-specific content...... and he is trying to educate the CAA that most helicopters struggle to utilise the jetstream, rarely frequent 39,000ft, etc, etc...... but the odd bizarre question does crop up! (I remember having two IR questions on my Nav exam).

Despite all that, I did find it a good learning experience (especially now its all over), and a benefit regardless of whether I was intending a career change.
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DBChopper
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LoachBoy wrote:
Expect a significant step up in terms of depth & breadth of subjects.


Massively so.

I'm not ashamed to admit I found them tough-going. That was partly the reason that they took me so long, having become despondent at a very early stage and struggling to acquire the depth of knowledge required. The sad fact is that for the majority of us the saving grace is the availability of online question banks, and that's partly because of the bizarre wording the CAA use in many of their questions.

I also found home-study a huge hurdle. Work circumstances prevented me from taking time off and doing them intensively, but I'd say to anybody that if you have that opportunity then grasp it with both hands as the best way to retain the knowledge between study and exam is to devote yourself entirely to it.

The problem is that there is a lot of irrelevent content as far as most of us (not all, I accept) are concerned, due to the type of machines we are, and will continue to be, flying and the location in which we are based. Like any skill, if you are not using it regularly then knowledge quickly lapses and I have found this to be the case with a lot of the subjects covered. It does give you a handy reference library though, so I will nose back into the books when training on my first turbine type, for example, or undertaking the FI course.

Sorry to be the voice of despair, but I'd rather be honest. I know not everybody's experiences are the same as mine and there are folk out there who are far better and more disciplined at studying than me.

My God though, what a nice feeling when they are over Cool
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uniformkilo
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Geoff

I'm with DB on this. Having done the CPL theory exams last year under the "interim" arrangements, I'm convinced that no normally adjusted helicopter pilot would make any useful progress through the sheer volume of the material of that syllabus, most of it irrelevant to flying helicopters, without the compelling motivation of needing the passes to get a CPL.

It sounds like the helicopter syllabus may be a little less tedious, and all credit to Phil for pushing that along, but even so I can't see that it would be your logical next step at this stage.

Personally I think the newly qualified helicopter pilot needs to acquire judgement and experience rather than more technical knowledge, so I'd suggest instead:

- re-visiting all the PPL study material, including in new formats eg http://www.helitutor.com and Youtube that give you different insights, to become really expert at the PPL level

- re-reading the POH, especially on performance and emergencies, with your P1 hat on

- talking to engineers about what they think you should know about the R22

- partnering with other pilots, especially more experienced ones, on initially quite modest and gradually more ambitious self fly hire missions

- regular further training, aimed specifically at making you a safer SFH pilot, such as off-airfield landings and so on.

HTH
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flip2
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I am not considering going down the CPL route just yet and would only do it to further my own knowledge and to make myself a safer pilot rather than for career reasons.

Something to bear in mind if you studied for them and later intended to use them is that there are time limits on the theory credits.
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MintedMav
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Uniform Kilo,

Some very good tips thank you which I will ensure I follow in the short term. In particular exposure to off airfield landings as that is an area that is fraught with dangers and I want to get quite a bit more tuition on that before attempting anything tricky myself (and much more importantly with passengers).

Cheers

Geoff
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LoachBoy
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those guys have raised some good points/advice.

Personally, I would look intially at a variety of books that are based on practical operations to give you more insight about helicopter specific roles (off-field landings being a good example, mountain flying and so on).

There are any number of titles, many mentioned on this forum, back of Transair catalogue, etc.

Probably a better place to start initially with more value to you - unless you really really wish to know the last detail of the inner workings of a gyro!!! Wink
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MintedMav
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LoachBoy wrote:
Personally, I would look intially at a variety of books that are based on practical operations to give you more insight about helicopter specific roles (off-field landings being a good example, mountain flying and so on).


Great stuff Loachboy... will do exactly that Smile
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Chickenhawk
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm with DB on this as well. There is a lot of material most of which IMHO is not relevant to whizzing around in an R22. I finished the exams in March after studying long and hard. Not something I would do for fun at all.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am currently studying the CPLH syllabus too but have not taken any exams as yet. As previously mentioned the volume of information to retain is huge, I am lucky in one respect that I can devote a good 5 hours per day to study. Even doing this for 7 days a week going back over so many different topics in such detail I find that I will not recall every detail.
It is recommended that new pilots should hour build first to help better understand the material required for the exams.
If you do want to take a peek at the kind of level required then I recommend you read Phil Crouchers " Professional Pilot Studies " I bought this just after I finished my PPLH but alot of it I did not completely understand.
It is only after building hours and flying with more experienced pilots and reading other books in conjunction with others and gaining information from professional pilots that I have started to piece together the jigsaw.
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Hughes500
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

step is probably O level to A level
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...or as I found it, "oh" level to "eh?" level. Head Banging
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DBChopper wrote:
...or as I found it, "oh" level to "eh?" level. Head Banging



Don't worry DB, it's not just you, I'm finding some of tricky too. Met my nemesis a couple of days ago ( LOGIC GATES! )

ANDS, NOTS, NANDS, IFS, BUTS & DON'T MIND IF I DONT'S where will it end

scratch

Just moved on to TAT, SAT and RAM rise and RAT temp, recovery factor etc: Rolling Eyes
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