Fast Jet to CPL MEIR (fATPL)
Difference between a CPL MEIR and a ATPL is explained here.
There are plenty of ways to achieve your licence but we have set out below what I believe is the easiest and most cost effective route. Due to Brexit and the UK leaving EASA, these credits are only available for UK CAA licences.
Medical - For a CPL (ATPL) you need a CLASS 1 medical. It is best to do this after your exams, unless you think you might encounter problems, in which case check you can pass your medical first before investing. Initial medical must be done by a CAA approved centre and there can be a long wait.
Exams - Now it's time to start ATPL groundschool. 14 exams in various subjects. You have 18 months from the first sitting to the last sitting to complete the exams. You have 6 sittings in total and can take any 1 exam up to 4 times before having to start again. You can use ELCAS for this if you're registered for them. I recommend Bristol Ground School (BGS), Path2Pilot or Skyborne. They supply the books, exam materials and online material. As a military FJ pilot you don't need to complete the course, just pass the exams. The best way is to use their courseware, crammer sessions and 14000 actual questions. Break this down into 3 or 4 exam sittings and it's easily manageable. BGS run a mix of online self-study and crammer sessions. Path2Pilot are a good option for pilots based in Scotland and want to attend their crammer sessions near Edinburgh. Skyborne offer a 100% online course with weekly online lessons, a useful option if you're posted overseas.
Once you've passed the exams you need a few more bits, a Class 1 medical, a Multi-engine rating, CPL skills test and an Instrument Rating. You also need a medical and a MCC and UPRT certificate if you're going onto multi-pilot commercial aviation.
MEP - My advice here is simple. Use a school with a modern training aircraft like the DA-42. It doesn't have cowl flaps, carb heating, mixture control, rpm settings, 6 levers, turbo charger boost limits. It just has 2 power levers (1 for each engine), forward for fast and backwards for slow, the computer does the rest. Passing your MEP is all that matters, especially if you're going onto the airlines. These aircraft also have full glass cockpits with GPS, this makes it all so much easier. Use another ELCAS amount for this. Course is a minimum of 6hrs of which 3:30hrs must be flown as asymmetric instruction, before taking the MEP test.
CPL Skills test - As a military FJ pilot you are exempt the CPL course, but need to pass the CPL test on a SE or ME aircraft. The test costs £826 (to the CAA) plus the cost of the aircraft. This can be combined with the MEP test, this is the cheapest and best option. You now have a CPL and you can receive money for flying.
IR - Training to a standard to pass an IR test, but must be at least 5hrs instruction in instrument flying in Multi-Engine aeroplanes, of which 3hrs may be in a sim. This test is also easier in an aircraft with a glass cockpit, GPS, self tuning nav aids and an autopilot.
The following companies run UKFlying military designed courses. These courses use all available CAA military credits and are designed to be as efficient as possible. UKFlying is a free to use service for military pilots. We'll ensure that you get the right course based on your military experience at the lowest price. You'll be linked to a Dropbox account with all of the pre-course reading material, including exam guides, DA-42 tech and examiners favourite test questions! This will make the conversion process much easier and reduces the time you need to be away from work. By booking through UKFlying you're enabling us to maintain the lowest course rates for military pilots.
Costs based on a FJ pilot with an unrestricted GREEN rating:
CPL + MEIR - Skyborne (Gloucester) - Skyborne operate DA-42s from modern facilities with good sims. They are one of the best options for military conversions. The cost is £6285 for the MEP, CPL and IR depending on experience and they have a DA-42 sim. The price include aircraft and sim hire, instruction, approach fees, landing fees and aircraft hire for the 2 tests. CAA examiner fees are not included which cost £827 for each of the 2 tests. You can use SLC and IRTC against this course along with ELCAS. Use the contact form below for more details.
CPL + MEIR - ACS (Perth, Scotland) - ACS have modern DA-42 aircraft at their Perth airfield. They are a great option for pilots based in Scotland or at the Northern bases. They are ELCAS registered and keen to assist military pilots. Their FJ conversion course is £9289, which includes all fees. Use the contact form below for more details.
CPL + MEIR - Booker Aviation (Wycombe Air Park) - Booker have limited availability to assist military pilots and their courses are not fixed price and they don't have ELCAS approval. The FJ conversion course is approximately £8600, depending on approaches, landings etc. Use the contact form below for more details.
WARNING - The civil aviation industry is currently fragile with companies opening and closing on a frequent basis. Protect your investment by using a credit card where possible, only pay the minimum deposit until you start the course, or use a ELC to secure a course slot.
Once you have achieved the items above, send all of the paperwork to the CAA, wait for a bit, give them lots of money and receive your CPL MEIR (fATPL).
APS MCC / MCC - Required for airline work, use your final ELCAS credit for this course. No flying, just ground school and sim training on CRM aspects on how large aircraft operate. CRM Aviation have a good reputation of helping military guys with the MCC and are ELCAS approved. Skyborne offer both the MCC and the APS MCC on a new B737-MAX sim at Gloucester.
UPRT - There will a requirement to complete an Advanced UPRT-Aeroplane course before starting an initial multi-crew Type Rating (Airliner) for all Type Ratings that start on or after 20th Dec 19. There is currently no military waiver against this requirement.
After researching UPRT-Aeroplane providers we believe CRM Aviation, ELCAS registered, is the best option for military pilots. They have been providing the course since 2013, the instructors are either ex-CFS military or airline pilots with significant aerobatic experience. More details can be found here: UPRT
Once you've completed a Type Rating (TR) course for an airline you will get a frozen ATPL, which will unfreeze once you have 1500hrs total with 500hrs on multi-pilot aircraft.
If you're a QFI or QPI then you can also use military credits for the issue of a FI. The Flying Instructor rating is a useful and fun addition. You need a few sorties at the discretion of a Head of Training at an ATO to get you to a standard to pass the FI check. It no longer matters what grade of QFI you are, just need to be a QFI (CtoI, B2, B1, A2). More details here.
After spending the time and money on all of the items above you want to make sure you get a job as quickly as possible. You will need to create a professional CV and you need to be prepared for the airline or job selection process. It really is worth spending a few extra pounds getting this right as you might only get one shot with a major UK airline.
You can practice the airline simulator profiles before an airline simulator assessment. Skyborne have a new B737-MAX simulator you can hire with an instructor to practice the profiles in a multi-pilot CRM cockpit.
If you want more details, quotes or advice on any of the courses or companies above, then please use the contact form below.