EASA ATPL Exams

I finally decided where I am going to take my EASA ATPL exams. I am going to Prague, Czech Republic. I’ve chosen Prague mainly because of the following reasons: they have a great online booking system, I already have my PPL there, and I am going to get my CPL there.

The application was easy, and I got access to the booking system very quickly. There are not so many available slots though, but I managed to book Air Law, Operational Procedures, General Navigation, Mass & Balance, IFR Communications and VFR communications in the beginning of June.

Performance, Human Performance, Aircraft General Knowledge, Radio Navigation and Principles of Flight were available in the beginning of July.

Meteorology, Instrumentation, Flight Planning and Monitoring were available only in the beginning of August, but that’s probably even an advantage since I will have more time for preparation, these subjects are not so easy.

So, if everything goes well, I would be able to obtain a frozen EASA ATPL by the end of the summer.

My EASA SEP rating (Single Engine Piston) was about to expire too, so I flew 1 hour with the EASA FI. I met the flight time criteria as well, so I just asked for administrative revalidation and got a new rating for the next 2 years.

I still was not able to get my night rating (which is required for the EASA CPL with IR), but it is not critical for now.

For different jurisdictions license holder it’s critical to keep all papers in order, and the main problem is a pilot’s logbook. EASA and FAA count PIC hours differently. Now I have a separate columns for FAA and EASA PIC hours, but instrument time, amount of approaches and some other specific stuff should be logged too. I use the ‘remarks’ section for as much additional info as possible, and fill both electronic and paper logbook versions. Electronic logbook greatly helps to count different kind of flights, and the paper one contains all primary info and signatures.

At the Controls Again

It’s been quite a long time I did not fly: my previous flight was in Warsaw in October. I was studying ATPL subjects since then and did not practise at all.

Today I made a flight to renew my SEP (Single Engine Piston) VFR rating. We used Cessna 152, and I remembered the feeling of acceleration with 2 people on board on a grass runway – it seemed way too slow.

The weather was not perfect, but nothing critical, so we performed all required maneuvers. It’s so good to feel the flight controls again!

The bird
The weather does not look so good

ATPL Theory is done

Finally the EASA ATPL theoretical course is done and I got a certificate of completion. I can take exams in the CAA with this document.

The course was really tough. 4 months is definitely not enough without any prior knowledge, but even with some preparation it’s challenging. I took tests every day except Mondays, and I was studying about 7-8 hours per day. It was a nightmare.

From the other hand, I completed everything in less than 5 months: 4 months of online studies and 2 weeks in class. But, again, I already had some prior knowledge.

I was making some notes (actually I am still doing that), sort of condensed knowledge for each subject. Basically it’s some numbers and facts for a quick checkup before the exams. I have no more than 3-4 A4 pages for each subject, so it’s not a big deal to go through them in some minutes. I am adding some info to this website too, but I don’t have enough time for that.

ATPL Theory

It’s been a while I did not make an update, but I am still on the way to my first pilot job.

From January 2019 I am studying EASA ATPL theory subjects in a Polish flight school. Actually the online part is already finished (in April 2019), and it was very tough: you really need to study for about 7-8 hours per day to make it happen. I still did not quit my main job, so it was even worse for me. I was sleeping for about 6 hours per day on weekdays.

I had a test every day except Monday and an exam every 2 days. They are very similar, but the exam covers more topics than a test. They are all multiple choice questions.

I had a sort of day-off on Monday (the only day in a week without tests), but actually I used it to study.

Each test contains 30 questions, and the time limit is 50 minutes. It’s barely enough for General Navigation and Performance, but for other subjects it’s OK. Sometimes I needed only about 10 minutes (for example, most of Air Law questions require only knowledge).

Sometimes I submitted my result literally within the last minute (fortunately only a few times). Bu finally I made it! I made it all, and I succeeded! I can’t believe it!

Now the offline part is going on. That part lasts 2 weeks (70 hours). Every day I have offline classes in Poland.

EASA theory exams can be taken in any EASA member state. With some preparations it’s true for practical exams as well. I have 2 obvious options: Poland and Czech Republic. I prefer Czech Republic – there is less bureaucracy there, and it’s just better to fly. There are much more schools and instructors, more aerodromes, more English-speaking ATS, more aircrafts available. Czech aeronautical online services are also much better than Polish ones.

What’s next? I am going to obtain the EASA IR and CPL. And now I need to obtain a medical, renew my SEP (Single Engine Piston) rating and pass theoretical ATPL exams. Then probably MCC (Multi-Crew Cooperation) and JOC (Jet Orientation Course) – they are required for airlines. If I have some free time and money, it would be fun to get an EASA SES (Single Engine Sea).

As a result I will have standalone FAA and EASA commercial licenses. Hopefully it increase my value as a potential candidate.

And what’s now? I am going to fly, of course! It’s the greatest part of all this stuff!