The Modular Course
The Modular Course is broken down into various ‘modules’ enabling you to complete them at a time to convenient to you and as funds allow. Set out below is a breakdown of the various stages, and recommendations as to who we think is the best provider for each stage. The various elements are explained on the previous Become a Pilot page.
Medical – this is compulsory. The initial medical needs to be completed by a CAA approved centre. Below is a link to contact details of providers and associated costs. If you need additional tests then they will cost more.
CAA medicals. Cost £595. Link to CAA medicals.
PPL – find your local club, go and visit them, see what the aircraft look like, how many they have and what the cost is. I would go to at least three different clubs so you are able to compare.
Another great option is to complete your PPL in the USA. The advertised PPL course will be roughly the same price as in the UK (once you've factored in flights to get there and the current exchange rate) but it is a great experience and the weather is so much better than in many areas of Europe. The really big advantage is due to good weather you can complete the training quickly with good continuity, this means fewer hours required, which in turn means less cost. Trying to complete your PPL in the UK can be time consuming and very frustrating if the weather isn't right for the conditions you need. We recommend American Aviation Academy and Pilots Paradise for the PPL. Approximate cost for the PPL flying course and test £9500.
Hours building (including Night Rating and 300nm cross-country) –the quickest and cheapest option is to go abroad. There are plenty of flying schools in the USA who offer hours building packages. Hours building in the UK can be tricky due to the weather and the congested airspace. We recommend American Aviation Academy and Pilots Paradise for the PPL. Click here for a previous students guide to flying in the US. Approximate cost for the Night Rating, cross-country and hours building £14,500.
ATPL theory –this depends on how you like to study. There are companies with full-time classroom courses or you can buy a Computer Based Training (CBT) package allowing you to self-study. The CBT package has various modules, once you complete the module you attend a revision session at the centre, followed by the exams. We recommend Bristol Ground School and Path2Pilot for this training. You must compete the course within 18 months from the first exam to the last exam. There are fourteen exams in total, split into modules. You are allowed to take as many exams in each sitting as you want, but there is a maximum of six sittings and you can only take each test a maximum of four times. You should aim to complete them within four sittings, keeping two spare. Approximately £3000.
CPL MEIR providers – This is the expensive part! Gaining the Commercial Pilots Licence, the Multi-Engine Piston Rating and the Multi-Engine Instrument Rating is the most expensive part of your training and you need to choose the right provider for you. There will be many factors to consider including; cost, aircraft types, facilities, location of the school, student feedback, average course duration's, pass rates and links to airlines. Here at UKFlying we can help you make the right choice and discuss the best options for you based on your individual circumstances. Please use the contact form at the bottom of the page and we'll get in touch to assist. Prices vary considerably here, costs with reputable providers start at £33,000.
UKFlying recommends various companies for each phase of your training. These companies are chosen based on student feedback, facilities, aircraft, cost, etc. For more info, visit the COMPANIES page where we have detailed the best options for each stage of gaining employment as a commercial pilot.
Multi-Crew Cooperation Course (MCC) - You will need a provider with a good simulator and one that has reliable links to airlines, not to mention one that provides the course at competitive rates! There are a few options here based on your funds:
1) Multi-Crew Cooperation Course
This course covers Crew Resource Management (CRM) on large multi-pilot aircraft and is the minimum required by the regulations to gain employment with an airline. Approximate cost £1995.
2) Multi-Crew Cooperation Jet Orientation Course (MCC JOC).
This course covers the MCC requirements along with teaching you about jet aircraft operations. Approximate cost £2695.
3) Airline Pilots Standards (APS) MCC
This course is a more detailed MCC which is completed in a modern simulator, for example, a Boeing 737. Although a more expensive option, it will provide you with better preparation for airline simulator assessments and is preferred by some airlines. Approximate cost £7200.
We recommend CRM Aviation for the MCC and MCC JOC. They are one of the best value for money companies we have found and offer both courses. If you want the APS MCC then we recommend Jet Masterclass at Gatwick. They have new and modern facilities along with a Boeing 737-800 simulator.
CV and Interview Prep – Having spent a lot of money and time on gaining a licence, you now need to get a job! I would strongly recommend you contact Flightdeckwingman. They have links to the airlines and will be able to prepare you for interview with one of their courses. Definitely money well spent. Approximate costs £400.
Airline Simulator Prep - 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. Skyborne have a new B737-MAX simulator you can hire with an instructor to practice the profiles in a multi-pilot CRM cockpit.
By picking the best providers for each phase of the training has meant the total cost for gaining your EASA ATPL is approximately £62,500. This is considerably cheaper than the major flying schools who charge on average £95,000 to £120,000 for the training once you factor in accommodation and the extra 'hidden' fees. This is a whopping saving of £27,000 - £52,000 for the same licence (same piece of paper!).
We recommend you view the Pilot-Network website which has hundreds of reviews from most of the European flight schools. This will give you real student feedback on each of the training establishments and will help you to make an informed decision.