An ambition of mine since learning to fly a couple of decades ago is to qualify as a Flight Instructor to put something back into the hobby which has given me so much pleasure and one which I dearly love so much. The idea of teaching someone the art of flying and seeing them flourish and succeed in whatever path he or she may choose really does drive me towards this ultimate goal.
As the saying goes, it is now or never!
In terms of pre-requisites in order to start a Flight Instruct or Course you need to hold either an EASA CPL(A) or PPL(A) and if the latter at least 200 Hours of Flight Time including 150 Hours of Pilot in Command. I meet the latter requirements including the other requirements, i.e. 20 hours cross-country time including 300nm Cross-Country flight landing at two airfields other than the initial point of departure.
However, one would be limited to teach people without a licence towards the issue of an LAPL(A) only unless an EASA CPL(A) or CPL Knowledge is also held. EASA deem “CPL Knowledge” as CPL Theoretical Exams passed and I decided the best course of action would be to enrol in a CPL knowledge course which will also help in re-familiarisation of the theory required for the instructor course.
So with the decision made to sit the examinations, I had another decision to make. CPL or ATPL theory? There are numerous schools providing ATPL Distance Learning courses but only a relatively small number of schools providing dedicated CPL courses, primarily because most students will opt to go straight for the ATPL exams which are required for an Airline career and there is no reason not to go straight for these.
I have a career outside of Aviation and if I ever wish to obtain a full EASA Instrument Rating I do not need to sit the IR Theory Exams as I can convert my FAA IR via the EASA CB-IR route. Therefore, the decision in the end was quite an easy one. for me. CPL(A) Distance Learning Course.
Unfortunately, whereas there are plentiful ATPL theory schools, there are limited numbers providing dedicated CPL(A) Distance Learning Courses are a little thin on the ground, at least in the UK, options are 50/50 between:
What has swayed the choice in favour of Caledonian for me was their compulsory classroom elements were a commutable distance from where I live in Scotland and required only one day for each of the three modules as opposed to CATS who require attendance at their HQ in Luton for four days for each of their three modules.
Caledonian Advanced Pilot Training it is then and I enrolled this morning.
Upon payment (via Pay Pal) I was promptly sent a Student Application Form which requires the standard information as well as scanned copies of my EASA PPL(A) and Passport for their records. These are required as they need to ensure I am meet the elegibility requirements to undertake the course (at least an ICAO PPL is required) and they need to also to make sure I am who I say I am!
By return I was sent a link to the PDF materials for Module 1 which is broken down into the following subjects:
Airframes, Systems and Engines
Principles of Flight
Spread across ~800 pages.
Er… what have I gone and done?
From the quick glances I have made to the course notes, they seem to be well written and laid out. We have progress tests to pass each week with thirteen weeks work for module one based upon ~20 hours studying a week. They also provide six months free access to Aviation Exam which is enabled approximately a month before your first set of exams to ensure the fullest benefit to their students.
I will keep you all updated as to my perceptions, experiences and progress during the theory course and exams but for now the hard work starts!