Piston Engine

I am working on the ATPL theory. Currently I am studying Aircraft General Knowledge just because it is the first on the alphabetical list after Air Law in alphanumeric order, and I don’t want to learn EASA Air Law now. I am still thinking about studying in the US, and regulations differs there more than any other subject.

I have found a great explanation of Piston Engine work principle: suck, squeeze, bang, blow 🙂

Actually I am pretty good in school-level physics, and I like vehicles, therefore I know how Piston Engine works. But I love that explanation 🙂

ATPL Theory

I still did not choose a school for my theory, and my license is still pending, but I am planning a next trip to Europe. I hope that my docs will be ready in one-two weeks, and I’d like to get a first-class medical. It is a requirement for ATPL, and I’d like to be sure that I fit. Additionally I’d like to visit the school, and probably fly some more hours.

I have to stay in the Russian countryside for some weeks, and I miss airplanes. I don’t see any reason to study in Russia now because the flight hour prices are the same, but there are only a few authorized schools, and nobody allows me to fly solo. I am not talking about large institutions, because they require at least three years just for about 200 flight hours, which is not affordable for me. I already have a higher education in Math, and I can easily obtain a Commercial License in some months, therefore 3 years are too long, and 200 hours are too low. I suppose that about 5-7 years ago I could consider that path, but not now.

The time is passing, and while I cannot fly, I still can study. I ordered some books from Oxford Aviation Academy, and signed up for Bristol Ground School question banks. I am going to take at least one test per day, and, of course, read the books. I’d like to pass the exams before winter, but not sure that it is real.

I study a lot. At least 4 hours per day for books and questions. I am still working full-time, that’s why it is not easy at all. I also continue to listen liveATC, and I still not so good in listening, especially in a busy environment.

Apart from airplanes, I study Spanish. It allows to keep my mind in shape.

Now I feel like a student again: lots of information, lots of tasks, a few time for sleeping. Now it’s OK because I am not flying, and I try to use my time efficiently.

ATPL

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 🙂