Fast Jet to CPL MEIR
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 we believe is the easiest and cheapest route.
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) or Path2Pilot. They supply the books, exam materials and online material. As a military 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. More details here: Path2Pilot or BGS
Once you've passed the exams you need a few more bits, a Multi-engine rating, CPL skills test and an Instrument Rating. You also need a Class 1 medical and a MCC certificate.
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. This training also covers the items required for the CPL test and you can fly a combined CPL MEP test,this will save you a lot of money on examiners and aircraft hire.
CPL Skills test - You will need at least a pre-ride and a test. The test costs £826 (to the CAA) plus the cost of the aircraft. This can be combined with the MEP test if appropriate training was conducted during the MEP course, 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. Deposits are refundable, which is an essential requirement of a UKFlying recommended company. This means that you don't have to worry about your plans changing and being out of pocket. 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 probably the cheapest option for military conversions. The cost is around £7534 for the MEP, CPL and IR depending on experience and they have a DA-42 sim. The prices include the CAA test fees which are approximately £1546 for the two tests. You can use SLC and IRTC against this course along with ELCAS once they are approved (estimate Aug 20). More details here: Skyborne
CPL + MEIR - Airways Aviation Academy (Oxford) - Airways Aviation operate DA-42 aircraft from Oxford airport along with their FNPT2 DA-42 simulator. They are ELCAS approved and have a long history of running military conversions. The course costs £8499 including all fees. More details here: Airways.
CPL+MEIR - ACS (Perth, Scotland) - ACS have modern DA-42 aircraft at their Perth airfield. They are very busy in 2019 and only have limited spaces which will be offered to military pilots local to the airfield. Once they have more availability then the slots will be opened to all military pilots. They are ELCAS registered. Courses prices and more details can be found here.
CPL + MEIR - Booker Aviation (Wycombe Air Park) - Details on Booker courses can be found here: Booker
Once you have achieved the items above, take all of the paperwork to the CAA, wait for a bit, give them lots of money and receive your CPL MEIR.
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. Jet Masterclass are a new company with a new B737 sim at Gatwick airport and they offer the Airline Pilots Standards MCC (APS MCC). It is a more detailed pre-type rating course with the aim of making the type rating easier as the general procedures have already been taught. Jet Masterclass have agreed to offer reduced cost courses to military pilots and they also have links to major UK airlines. Slightly more expensive than the standard MCC, but money well spent if it secures you a job.
UPRT - There will a requirement to complete an Advanced UPRT-Aeroplane course before starting an initial multi-crew Type Rating (Airliner) for all TRs that start on or after 20th Dec 19. There is currently no military waiver against this requirement, but a military credit request is in with 22Gp and the CAA for all military pilots. We hope to have an answer soon (Jan - Feb 2020).
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 addition, especially later in life (training Capt). 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 also practice the airline simulator profiles, usually conducted in B747, B737 or A320 sims. Practicing the profile first and being taught how the companies expect you to fly the aircraft as multi-crew can be very beneficial. We currently recommend Flight Simulators Midlands for B747, B737 and A320 airline sim profiles. We have had great feedback from military pilots who have used FSM and they offer very competitive prices. View their details here: Flight Simulators Midlands.