ATPL Theory Month 16: Gnav, Flight Planning, Operational Procedures & IFR Communications.

Another month down so this is my recap of ATPL Theory Month 16: Gnav, Flight Planning, Operational Procedures & IFR Communications.
I am planning to sit these exams in December 2017.
atp digital complete
So I have been reunited with the subject I  love to hate Gnav along with Flight Planning, Ops and IFR Comms. I have decided to leave the POF resist of this bunch due to the fact that I think four is more than enough and this is my fourth sitting, so I still have two more left after this.
Gnav seems to be making a lot more sense this time round and slowly but surely I am starting to understand what is going on and getting up to speed.
Flight planning has quite a bit of cross over with Gnav so I am glad that I decided to sit the both together.
I am hearing that Operational Procedures has been hit hard again with new questions so I am glad I have two months or so for the dust to settle on that one.
I am hoping IFR communications won’t have changed much, but I sat VFR communications on the Quadrant system this month and it was mainly new questions but I guess we will wait and see.
As things stand I am getting more confident with these subjects and I hope with two months to go that by the time I actually sit them I should be ready.
It does feel like there is light at the end of this very long tunnel finally however.
Anyways back to studying!

ATPL Theory Module 3 Results

A whirlwind week for me as I tried to get 4 exams done here are my ATPL Module 3 results.
en route gamston

I tried to sit these exams in quite a short period after my last set due to the upcoming uncertainty with the new quadrant system and the CAA’s track record of badly implementing new changes.
I had a lack of holiday so I sat every exam at 11.30 then went back to work till 4.30 every day.

Performance – 80%
Quite annoyed with myself on this as one of the graphs I hadn’t seen the variation on the style of question they asked before so it threw me and cost me 3 points.
However, it seems like I must have got the other graphs right which is good as I didn’t spend a huge amount of time studying graphs. I just used the examples on the graphs we was given to get to what I believe must have been the correct answers.
I got one graph I hadn’t seen before.
After knowing that I got a 3 point question wrong after I came out and looked it up I was worried about this but I am glad that I passed.
I didn’t really get any “matter of fact” questions in fact I only recall getting one.

VFR Communications – 79%
I am a little frustrated as I tried to sit these communications exams ages ago well before quadrant and was told that I couldn’t until after the revision week. On the revision week we spent a grand total of 0 minutes on communications but that meant that I now had to sit them on Quadrant.
I am not sure if this is a CAA rule or a Bristol rule however.
There was a lot of new questions I would say 60% or more and at least 2-3 questions that I thought were more suited to the Radio Navigation exam rather than VFR communications.

Mass and Balance – 75%
Borderline pass here! But to be honest I am just glad that I don’t have a resist in this subject because I have to work very hard at maths.
The test was similar question styles to what we have seen before with different numbers.
I had next to no theory questions in my exam and it was basically a pure maths tests. To be honest, I thought I did better than this but it is what it is.

Principles of Flight – 70%
My first fail! I walked out of this with a bad feeling and that proved to be correct. I found doing 4 exams in a week quite difficult and that coupled with the shorter study time probably led to this.
I am not going to rush into a resist on this, I am going to leave it till my 5th sitting as I still have 3 left.

In my next sitting I am going to sit General Navigation, Flight planning and monitoring, Operational procedures and IFR communications. I have a lot of things coming up and I know I struggle with Gnav so it is going to require a lot of practice. I am going to aim to sit this next set in December.
I do still have till July next year to finish the remaining exams so there is no rush.
Also I predict that maps will be banned from Gnav at some point as they are now being printed in the workbook.

9 down 5 to go.

ATPL Theory Month 15: Mass and Balance, POF, Performance and VFR Communications

Another month down so a quick recap of ATPL Theory Month 15: Mass and Balance, POF, Performance and VFR Comms.
atp digital complete
So it’s already exam time again, next week I will be sitting the above four subjects. The reason for this is to try to avoid some of the new changes that are coming in the Quadrant system. I mean even if I pass all of these I still have 4 exams left that will be on that system but I didn’t see the point of sitting exams in their first month on the new system, especially as we all know how the CAA tend to mess things up.
Note – VFR Communications will be on the Quadrant system.
So it has really been a month of trying to cram as much knowledge as possible in my head and try to get up to speed on these exams.
Quite frankly, I am not sure how these exams will go. I am doing my best to be as ready as I possibly can and will give them by best effort of course.
I have heard VFR communications is nothing like what we are used to so that is a bit worrying to say the least.
I have Mass and Balance on Monday, Principles of flight (POF) on Tuesday, Performance on Wednesday and VFR communications to round things of on Thursday.
If every thing goes ok then I hope to sit the final exams of General Navigation, Flight Planning, Operational Procedures and IFR communications in December.
Finger crossed and all that 🙂

Module 3 revision week at Bristol Ground School

So I have just returned from my module 3 revision week at Bristol Ground School.
Bristol Ground School
Being a good 5.5-6 hour round trip I must say I am glad the this is the 3rd and final revision week that I have to attend.
Normally when I have attended modules 1,2 & 3 have been run at the same time, however this time we were the only ones in the school.
First thing I want to say is that there was a guy who was 51 on this course. I point this out as I get a lot of mail from people asking if they are too old, some are only in their mid 20’s!
This course was a 5 day assault on the brain, with non stop facts, figures and graphs being presented in Priciples of Flight, Performance and Mass and Balance.
There is no revision of communications done on this course, which I find weird as I tried to book VFR communications as part of my mod 2 exams but was told to move it till after this revision week, where we did nothing on it?
We had a good mix of people with military, PPL’s and conversion. 1 of the guys converting was flying the A320 in Brazil and another had worked for Boeing for years and was now the technical pilot for an airline.
Day 1 was all Operational Procedures, then day 2 was Mass and Balance and performance. Day 3 was all performance, day 4 was all Principles of Flight and day 5 was Principles of Flight and Mass and Balance.
My the end of the week my brain was bogged down.
My exams are booked for the first week of September and I have Mass and Balance on Monday, POF on Tuesday, Perf on weds and VFR communications on Thurs.
These exams will be the last ones on the currently multiple choice system as at the end of September they will be moving to the quadrant system.
This weekend will be spent doing Mass and Balance as it’s gotten neglected this week. Going forward till the exams I will get up at 5am to do Mass and Balance and then alternate Performance and Principles of Flight daily up until the exams. I will do 1-2 VFR communications practice tests a day as they don’t take too much time.
If this weather ever changes, I might actually get to build some hours too!

ATPL Theory Month 14: Mass & Balance, Performance, POF and VFR Comms

Another month down so this post is just a quick recap of ATPL theory month 14: Mass & Balance, Performance, POF and VFR Comms.
atp digital complete

As you can see I have completed the theory requirements in the app, however I still have 8 exams to sit 🙁
This month I finished the material in the ATP digital app which is a prerequisite of attending the brush up courses at Bristol. I am actually heading down to Bristol tomorrow as the mod 3 course starts on Monday.
This month has been full of question practice and googling things trying to get my head around some concepts.
Maths  is not my strong point so mass and balance is taking a lot of my time but thankfully my exams are not until early September so I still have over a month to get my head around what I need to.
In regards to POF and Performance I am getting better and it just seems to be a case of keep working on questions, looking things up and googling till the concept comes into my head.
VFR communications is going well so far, I am still making the odd silly mistake but this would be the exam I am feeling the most confident about at the moment.
I have more time than usual to study this month due to the poor weather. Hour building is proving to be a real slow process in the UK this year. As I sit looking out the window it’s grey skies, overcast and raining, useless for VFR flight.
I am hoping the school has some tips and tricks to share with me next week to make processing this easier, time will tell.

ATPL Theory Month 13

After sitting my last set of exams early in June I got cracking with ATPL theory month 13.

mod 3 progress

I had originally intended to sit this next set of exams in October, however due to the fact the CAA decided to make a load of changes to the exams I have moved these forward to September and will now be going to the module three revision week at the end of July.
I am now working hard to get through the material in the software before the course as it is a pre requirement to attend the revision week. I have also departed from my usual material first then question bank method and I am now doing the question banks at the same time as the material due to having less time before I need to sit the exams.
The exams I will be sitting next are Mass and Balance, Performance, Principles of flight and VFR communications.
I am not find it too bad so far apart from Mass and Balance where it seems every time I learn a new formula I see to forget the previous one I learnt. I still have 2 months before the exams, so I hope this will be resolved by then.
I will basically do the same throughout July and put in lots of practice to do my best to get up to scratch. It would be nice if EASA and the CAA could stop moving the goal posts while I am doing the exams, but that is unlikely to happen.
Also on an unrelated note, this weather this year sucks. It is July and I am looking out the window at low grey clouds, this makes hour building impossible and if things don’t change soon I may have to look into going abroad as I still have 80 hours to build.

More changes to the ATPL exams

Well it looks like there will be even more changes to the ATPL exams as apparently 1500 new questions and 2000 reviewed questions a year wasnt enough, they have decided to change the exams from multiple choice to now having four different types of questions.

Navigation planning

  1. Multiple-choice – This is the style we have at the moment.
  2. Multi-select – Where you have to select options from a list to correctly answer the question.
  3. Inline – In this one you have to complete sentences using a drop down menu containing words, numbers, or a combination of both.
  4. Text – In these questions you will have to type in answers or numbers, so an input field.

The dates that the changes will come in for each exam is detailed below. Quite frankly from my time doing these ATPL’s, I have no interest in being a guinea pig for any of their changes, so I will now try to move my ATPL exams from the start of October to September. The reason for this is October would be the first week for Mass & Balance and POF changes and in September the only exam affected should be VFR communications.

Subject Date
010 Air Law 14-Aug-17
062 Radio Navigation 14-Aug-17
091 VFR Communications 21-Aug-17
092 IFR Communications 21-Aug-17
040 Human Performance and Limitations 28-Aug-17
061 General Navigation 04-Sep-17
033 Flight Planning and Flight Monitoring 04-Sep-17
050 Meteorology 11-Sep-17
071 Operational Procedures 11-Sep-17
021 Airframe and Systems, Electrics, Powerplant, Emergency Equipment 18-Sep-17
022 Aircraft General Knowledge – Instrumentation 18-Sep-17
031 Mass and Balance – Aeroplane & Helicopters 02-Oct-17
081 Principles of Flight – Aeroplane 02-Oct-17
082 Principles of Flight – Helicopter 02-Oct-17
032 Performance – Aeroplanes 09-Oct-17
034 Performance – Helicopters 23-Oct-17

 

ATPL Module 2 Results

In what feels like a whirlwind week with my eyes and brain taking a pounding, I have finally got my ATPL Module 2 results back from the CAA.

en route to kemble

As you may know, I sat my module 1 exams back in January and passed the 3 I took. This time round I took another 3 at CATS in Luton which were Air Law, AGK and Rnav. It has been a long slog with these exams with many hours put in at evenings and weekends to try to get above the 75% pass mark that is required for these exams.
Before sitting the exams my scores were between 80 and 90% in the question banks. Anyways these are my results for mod 2!

Air Law – 88%
No real surprises in this exam. There were a few new and reworded questions but nothing that threw me or that I wasn’t expecting. No nasty surprises to be had here but remember you can get hit with new questions at any time…. as I found out in AGK.

Rnav – 80%
I would say that Rnav was on the whole what I was expecting. However there were quite a few reworded or new questions in it. One question that I do remember from the bank was something along the lines of “What is Kalman filtering used in?” and the answer given in the bank was “Navigation display”. I got this question however Navigation display was no longer and answer and seems to have been replaced with Electronic Flight Information System.
Now if you didn’t know that the navigation display was part of the EFIS you would have been in some difficulty. This is why you need to do your best to try to learn more than just the question bank.

AGK – 77%
Brutal, absolutely brutal. Lots of new questions and lots of reworded questions. I remember on my first pass through thinking a more colourful version of “Good heavens, this is quite a difficult exam”. However on second pass I did my best to really think about the question and do my best to solve them. I remember changing quite a few answers on this second pass through and it looks like it just did the trick.
Another guy who sat the exam said the same thing about it, it’s my opinion that a lot of questions have been released for this exam. Some did seem like they were translated from elsewhere as they didn’t read properly. I came out of this exam unsure as to which way it would go. Needless to say when I got that email this morning I was relieved! This sums up my reaction –

Anyways no re sits which I’m ecstatic about! Next up it’s Mass and Balance, Principles of Flight, Performance & VFR Communications.

ATPL Theory Month 12

Wow, it’s been a year already as this was now ATPL theory month 12.
atpl month 9
I can’t believe a year has passed since I started the ATPL journey and with sitting 3 more exams next week if I pass them I will be around the half way ish point with 6 exams done and 8 to go.
I had my revision week a couple of a months back so that is done and dusted and I did pick up a few bits of information on the course that I found useful.
I will be sitting my exams at CATS Luton as this is the closest exam center to my house. This is very convenient as a lot of people have to travel quite long distances to sit their exams where as it is literally a 5 min drive for me.
In this sitting I will be doing Air Law, Aircraft General Knowledge and Radio Navigation. I have pushed flight planning to my “module 4” so that will be sat early next year.
I haven’t found the exams that bad so far but maths subjects have always been more difficult for me than the pure theory type subjects. Radio Navigation seems to bring in some maths and the subjects I am sitting in module 3 are heavy with the maths so that should be interesting.
It has mainly been a month of using the question bank, Google and YouTube to try to fill in the gaps in my knowledge before sitting the exams. I would say the exam that is giving me the most worries at the moment is radio navigation but we will see what happens next week, hopefully all will be fine.
I have already booked my revision week for module 3 in September and I will be aiming to sit the exams in November of this year if things are going well with sitting the final set around April of next year.
With the course at Bartolini being booked for August 2018 I have a hard goal of when I need to pass these exams which is the end of July 2018 (the official date from the CAA) but if things go to track I hope to pass them all a few months before that.

ATPL Theory Month 11

Another month down, so this is my recap of ATPL Theory month 11.
Navigation planning

So this month two things happened really. First I went to the module two revision week down in Bristol and secondly I pushed my exams from the start of May to the start of June. I got quite lucky as my local test centre (Luton) doesn’t have much availability but someone must have cancelled as randomly one day I was able to transfer my exams.
I have Air Law on the Monday, Radio Navigation on the Wednesday and AGK on the Thursday. I have moved Flight Planning to my “Mod 4”. I did try to book a communications exams for this mod but apparently I am not allowed until I have sat the module 3 brush up which is a bit frustrating but it is what it is.
I have spent the majority of this month just going through the question banks and trying to get my head around the areas that I am still struggling with. My scores are going up slowly which is a good and I hope by the time the exams come round that I will be ready for them.
We were told that from August some subjects are going to be going to an input field rather than multiple choice so I will be affected by that (asif there isn’t enough changes at the moment).
So far I think I am doing well, I still need some more work in Radio Navigation hence why I pushed the exams back a bit but I think I will get there.
There is not really a lot more to say apart from that as from now till the exams it will be similar in terms of what I am doing.
Oh yeah, I have booked my CPL ME IR for next year but I will talk about that in an upcoming post.
I also turned 32 yesterday, getting old!