AviationExam: How to Save 50$

In my previous posts I already mentioned EviationExam, the great question bank for EASA exams. It is surprisingly good for FAA exams too: in spite of the fact that nobody heard about it, from my opinion it is the best tool after Sheppard Air.

The usual annual subscription price for all EASA subjects is 170 euros. I don’t know whether it is a lot or not, but the only competitor BGS Online charges almost the same amount.

I already mentioned a discount in case of purchasing 5+ copies. My blog is not so popular, and I did not want to specifically search for people interested in that product. Therefore, I have been already ready to buy it: yesterday my BGS Online subscription expired.

Today I was looking for free FAA books in AviationExam application for iPad (they are really great, and they are available in the application for download). Occasionally I checked EASA yearly subscription, and it was 150$! Was it magic? I don’t know, but for some reasons the subscription is cheaper from iOS app than from the website. One can save about 50$ by this small trick 🙂

AviationExam and BGS Online

My EASA ATPL written test preparation moves on very slowly. But I don care, because during this time I completed my FAA IR, and now I am working on my FAA CPL. Nevertheless, I am still interested in EASA ATPL, and I’d like to continue studying.

So, my yearly BGS Online subscription is close to ending, and I’d like to either renew it or purchase AviationExam product. Possibly anybody is interested in the EASA QB access? Group price is cheaper, and purchasing 5-10 subscriptions can save some $$$ =)

Question bank for FAA CPL written

I am in doubt. I feel that generally I am ready for FAA CPL written test, but I’d like to test myself with some question bank. I went through official FAA materials, and I am pretty confident in the subject. I need QB just for sure.

With EASA it was very simple: there are only 2 providers (bgsonline and aviationexam), and both are really cool.

So, after some research I found these services:

  • sheppard air. It seems that it is a leader in terms of materials quality, but they don’t have web-version, and work with a very limited number of platforms. I am also not sure about UI.
  • ASA. Users’ feedback is pretty good, slightly worse than sheppard but acceptable. But they have android verison, online version, offline version… Possibly it can be a better option.
  • Dauntless. I found some mentions, but nothing more. Not sure about it.
  • Gleim. It was great for my IR, but not sure about CPL.
  • Aviationexam. I mentioned it just because it is great in terms of UX/UI, and EASA QB is also perfect. But I am not sure that it is good for FAA test preparation: just 610 questions.

Possibly somebody has any experience with these providers? How good is sheppard? Is it worth to use my old forgotten win environment?

IFR English

Today I passed my practical IFR English exam. In Europe it is a requirement for Instrument Rating. I don’t plan to get European IR now, but my English is pretty good, so why not? It was nothing special even in spite of the fact that I don’t have any IR experience except one flight as a backseat passenger in Cessna C172. Of course I don’t consider my flights as an airline passenger because I don’t hear any communications 🙂

In the first (written) part I had to define some terms like “straight-in approach”, “jet stream” or “alternate current”. I did not find any unfamiliar terms, and it was harder to express it than understand. After that I had to unfold some abbreviations.

In the second (oral) part I described approach plates (RNAV and ILS) and answered some questions about them, and finally there was a simulated communication with ATC.

Everything was OK, and now I have one more important document 🙂

Meteorology

After some studying I am not so bad in Aircraft General Knowledge. My result is still not perfect, but I have more than 80%. I am going to continue, but now it’s time to start a new subject. I chose Meteorology as the most difficult one for me as it mostly requires knowledge compared to, for example, Navigation, where I can solve lots of questions by computation.

Meteorology looks like a nightmare for me now as it contains lots of information and bunch of new terms. I had to refresh my knowledge in Geography as well. Nevertheless, it is very interesting, and I am happy that I can understand what happens in our atmosphere much better. Now it is not just beautiful clouds there but logical physical processes. Some years ago I learned some of that information in my hanggliding course, but we did not consider high altitudes then.

I am going to dedicate about 2 weeks per subject. Some subjects will require a longer (for example, Air Law or Meteorology), and others will need a shorter time (for example, Communications). I suppose that I have to maintain my streak for getting closer to my goal. Some years ago I passed Quantum Mechanics exam (my personal nightmare in the institute), so I hope that I have no fear after that 🙂

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 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 🙂

EASA PPL Written Exam

Today I passed the rest of my written exam subjects. There is a nice point: retaking it is totally free. I supposed that I have to pay for all attempts, but I was wrong, in Czech you pay only once.

This time the exam was easy for me. I was better prepared, I knew what to expect, and I went through all of questions in aeroweb.cz. Nevertheless, I am happy that I read the books. I heard that every pilot should do that not just for passing an exam but for solid knowledge, and I am totally agree with that.

Today I saw some students from Hong Kong with graduation certificates from “Flying Academy”. As I know, they did not pass all subjects from the first attempt. Unfortunately I did not have enough time to ask about that school.

I am happy that now I can study in English! ATPL subjects are approximately the same in all EASA countries, but PPL varies significantly. The exam questions in Czech are perfect, but there is a lack of evaluation tools in English before the exam. British resources does not work: you can have average 95% result there and still fail that subject in Czech. British books help though. Nevertheless, now I am on the ATPL track in terms of theory. I believe that ATPL books and Question Banks match the questions in all EASA countries. Of course, I am not talking about FAA: English is native there. I still did not make a final decision about EASA vs FAA track.