I have just finished my PPL, and now I am thinking about the next steps. The US seem very attractive, but it is too far. During my PPL from April to June I had to return to Moscow at least twice. It is not so easy to do that if I was in the US, especially if we are not talking about NY or LA. The other problem is transportation, because in Europe I can go by car, and easily commute to the airport by myself. 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, written tests there are much easier. I do not know exactly, but I heard and read a lot about it.
As usual, while I am thinking, nothing happens. That’s why I decided to take a distance 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 found the school in Czech or Poland, because I am going to take 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 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 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 🙂