I have just finished my PPL, and now I am thinking about the next steps. The US seem very attractive, but they are too far. During my PPL from April to June I had to return to Moscow at least twice. It would not be so easy to do that from the US, especially if we are not talking about NY or LA. The other problem is transportation, because I cannot drive to the US, but in Europe I used to easily commute to the airport by myself without renting a car or using public transportation. And, finally, I am not totally sure about the FAA license applicability somewhere outside of the US.
The US is an English-speaking country though, and it has a much more interesting airspace, there is a possibility of internship, and written tests are much easier there. I do not know exactly, but I am trying to gather as much information as I can.
As usual, while I am thinking, nothing happens. That’s why I decided to take a distance EASA ATPL theory course. It usually requires two weeks of on-site training, but it does not matter at all. At the end it can be useful even if I go to the US.
I made a small research, and found two large services: Bristol Ground School and CATS. I also found AviationExam, which is very impressive, but it is only a question bank.
I decided to buy ATPL books, QB from BGS and AE for practicing, and find a good school in Czech or Poland, because I am going to take my exams there.
I also found an interesting fact: the exam price is different in different countries! In spite of EASA (practically you have the same license regardless of a country where you passed your exam), for example, in UK it will be about 1000$, but in Poland it will be about 200$. Ground school prices also vary between countries. I am not sure that UK instructors are better than Polish or Czech, and I am not going to fly only in the UK, which is why my decision about Czech or Poland became even more solid.
I am looking for Bristol paper books, because I love old-school paper books. Of course I have electronic subscription, but it is not a dichotomy: I can have both. I also like AviationExam and BGS Online question banks.
I considered Lithuania as well, because it is closer to Moscow, but I did not find any good school for foreigners there. I considered Hungary, but I don’t see any significant advantages compared to Czech or Poland. They have attractive rates for time building though.
I chose a modular way, and I am going to try flying in different countries. I consider Germany, Greece, Spain, Hungary, Czech. It depends on weather, price and my free time 🙂
Now I am waiting for replies from different schools, reading Oxford books and looking for Bristol books. I am moving on 🙂