ATPL Theory Month 21: Gnav, Pof, Flight Planning

Just a quick recap of ATPL Theory Month 21: Gnav, Pof, Flight Planning.
C150 in flight

After plodding along these exams for what is now the 21st month, I must admit I am losing all enthusiasm for them. However at the same time I am so close to finishing them, that I am doing my best to work hard before what I hope is the final sitting in April.
So far my scores seem to be going up across the 3 subjects and even the dreaded Gnav is starting to make some sense.
The weather across the next week or two is supposed to be awful which means that I can spend more time on the exams and hopefully get the scores where they need to be before April.
Two of the subjects are maths based so they are taking me a bit longer than normal to get up to speed on them but hopefully I will crack them when the time comes. The formula is starting to stick so that’s a promising sign.
I have some accelerator days left with Bristol but to be honest I don’t think I will use them. If necessary I will use them if I have to do another siting but I really hope that it doesn’t come to that.
The exam week is the 2nd week of April so that leaves me with another 6 weeks of hard study left.
Fingers crossed and all that.

ATPL Theory Month 20: Gnav, Pof, Flight Planning

Just a quick recap of ATPL Theory Month 20: Gnav, Pof, Flight Planning.en route gamston

It’s been pretty quiet from me simply because there hasn’t really been anything to say. As per usual the weather at this time of year has been shocking with low clouds, high winds, rain and snow. For this reason I haven’t actually managed to fly since the 9th December.
The shareoplane is away on annual until at least the middle of next month, and I haven’t managed to get down to Blackbushe to finish my flying down there due to the weather conditions.
In regards to ATPL’s I feel I have made alright progress on Gnav with things starting to make sense. Flight planning & POF I am still putting the work in and I feel things are progressing well on those fronts.
I moved my exams back to April. I was working hard to meet this March deadline I had set myself and then it dawned on me, why? I have until July to complete my ATPL exams and I still have 2 sittings to pass these final 3 exams so it makes sense to take time on them rather than rush myself to make a self imposed deadline.
I still have 65 hours to fly before August so I really need the weather to change soon. I am glad I have managed to get a plane closer to home so I can dash to the airfield when a flying opportunity arrives. I also still need to do my CPL qualifier after having radio failure on my first attempt last year.
All in all I would say that things are going alright and with about 10 weeks till I sit the exams I still have some time.

ATPL Theory Month 19: Gnav, Pof, Flight Planning

With the Christmas period done this is a recap of ATPL Theory Month 19: Gnav, Pof, Flight Planning.
mod 3 progress

To be honest there’s not that much to say really. I sat 3 exams at the start of the month which were Operational Procedures, General Navigation and IFR comms. I passed IFR and Ops and failed Gnav.
After this I initially went back to study but I was so tired and burned out I decided to have a rest for the first time. I did no study until the 27th December and may I say it felt great and was needed to be honest. My performance and retention of knowledge had started to fall of a cliff.
This means that the 3 exams I have left are Gnav (resit) Pof (resit) & flight planning.
I am going to do my best to try to be ready to sit these in March which gives me just over 9 weeks to get exam ready. If needed ill push them to April but really I want to try and get these done in March.
I am going to try to study 5-6 days a week and cut out as many distractions as I can aka (tv, youtube, whatsapp, twitter, etc) however I can’t study in complete silence so some music on quietly in the background is essential for me.
I have only done one flight this month due to the weather so hopefully if I can pass these exams in March I can focus on actually doing some flying. As much as learning what convention deals with lost baggage is, I much prefer the flying side of things.
Hopefully the light at the end of tunnel is now getting pretty close.

ATPL Theory Module 4 results

As I sat more exams this week here are my ATPL Theory Module 4 results.

I must admit I am now at the point where I am pretty worn out, these exams seem to have been going on forever.Ā  Anyways, I sat OPS, IFR comms and Gnav this week here.

Operational Procedures – 84%
I was worried about this exam before sititng it as I know people had been struggling with it recently and two people I know had failed it in the previous month or so.
On getting in there it actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, I seemed to be progressing through the test at a good speed which is normally a good indication that you are doing ok.
I would say I had finished in 40 mins and thought that I had passed when I got up so happy to see that I did.

IFR Communications – 83%
I sat VFR communications in my last module and there was a lot of new questions and some questions I thought would have been more suited in Rnav so I was a little apprehensive.
I sat this exam on the 3rd day of exams and by this point I was a bit worn out and made some silly mistakes on a few questions and defo through away a few marks. However I passed it so thats the important thing.

Gnav – 55%
Not only did I have a horrible feeling before going in, but I failed and failed quite badly. I knew as soon as I got up from the exam that there was no chance of a pass. I used every second of the 2 hours that was given to me. I seemed to get a lot of 2 mark questions (at least 10) little on the CRP 5 (maybe 5 in total) and 1 plotting type question.
I found the exam very hard.
I am not a fan of Gnav and this sums up my feelings on the subject.

So this leaves me with 2 resits (POF and Gnav) and Flight Planning left to pass and 2 sittings left to do it in. I have till July 2018 to pass them so I see no reason to rush and I will take my time (on top of this I need a break from these exams). I am going to take a week of studying before kicking of the final push.
I have booked these subjects for April 2018 this gives me a lot of time to try to really get to terms with these remaining exams.

11 down, 3 to go.

ATPL Theory Month 18: Gnav, Ops, IFR Communications

Another month done so here is a quick recap of ATPL Theory Month 18: Gnav, Ops, IFR Communications.
mod 3 progress

To be honest I am reaching the point where these exams have been going on way to long and are becoming very draining.
I have spent the month working on all three exams but mainly Gnav and to be honest I am not totally sure how that one will go. However I am going to be sitting it anyways next Monday.
Operational procedures seems to be going through a lot of changes and two people I know have failed it in the last month alone. For this reason I am a bit nervous about what I am going to be faced with in the exam on Wednesday but we shall see.
Last up is IFR communications on Thursday, this is an exam which I would hope would be alright but these days who knows whats going on. I remember sitting VFR communications on quadrant and it was a load of new questions including some that should have been in Rnav in my opinion.
As usual I only have half days to sit the exams so to help things I also have half a day of work thrown in between, the joys.
I will spend the weekend revising Gnav and trying to get up to speed before kicking of the exams on Monday morning.

ATPL Theory Month 17: Gnav, Operational Procedures & IFR Communications.

A bit late on this one but a quick recap of ATPL Theory Month 17: Gnav, Operational Procedures & IFR Communications.
atp digital complete

I’m a bit late on this one but in the last week I have decided to drop flight planning from the subjects I am taking in December. I was finding that having four subjects around my full time job was just too much work. This allows me more time to focus on Gnav which tbh, I don’t really like that much but hopefully by exam date it will all click in place.
I am now spending my time going over the practice questions and looking up things in the material to try to get it all in my head before I sit the exams.
I am hearing operational procedures has changed a lot since quadrant so I am trying my best to get up to date on that. Quadrant really has made a lot of unknown in the exams as it seems many unused LO’s have had a load of questions chucked at them.
IFR comms I expect to be like VFR with a load of new questions in it but hopefully that will be alright.
The 4 weeks I will be doing more of the same and we will see where I am come exam week. Hopefully all will be fine.


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 IĀ  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 šŸ™‚

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!