I passed my skilltest for my ATPL today!
17 years after getting my CPL…!
For those of you not tuned to commercial aviation terms, ATPL is an acronym for Airline Transport Pilot License which is the ”highest” license for a commercial pilot. As a Copilot you just need the CPL, or Commercial Pilot License, but as a commander on heavy transport aircraft, you need the ATPL.
Now awaits some pattern work in the aircraft before I start linetraining, with a supervisor as a first officer.
Congratulations! I took my ATP ride with a whopping 1500 hours in my logbook, mainly because my boss told me he wanted all his Captains to hold an ATP License. I have a feeling your ATPL was a bit harder to achieve than the US FAA version though.
Awesome @Troll - that’s a great accomplishment. Like @PaulRix - I did my ATP at 1,500 hours in my logbook, simply because it was offered in conjunction with the Citation type rating I was doing. The ATP/Type ride was done in the actual airplane…and somehow I managed to complete it without screwing up to the point where the checkride needed to be stopped. Of course, my examiner (DPE) showed up in a Hawaii shirt and flip-flops, so I got a good vibe right off the bat anyway…it was like going flying with Nick Nolte…
The ATP in the United States has changed recently I think right? Now it has to be done in a certain weight type aircraft in the sim or something…like it got waaaay more expensive. I’m not up on all the changes that were made, but I do know it represented another significant barrier to aviation entry…
I had a friend who was scrambling a bit to get his ducks in a row so that he could get his ATP before those changes came into effect.
I’m all for making these ratings mean something, but the simulator requirement seems like an unnecessary barrier. Every ATP who is going to exercise the rights of their ATP is going to have to get type rated, which requires a full checkride to ATP standards. So really this is just a duplication of effort and increase of cost for no good reason.
Of course, being sat here with my ATP, it makes my qualification a little more valuable because it is now harder for the new guys to achieve. In my corner of the business aviation world, you pretty much have to be an ATP to get hired. Frankly it is more important than a 4 year degree. You just won’t get past the door without it.
Here in europe you usually do the ATPL theory and exams and get a CPL certificate. You then need 1500hrs to do the skilltest for the ATPL.
The idea, I think, is to get the CPL and then get some experience and mature as a pilot, before studying for the ATPL. But, the ATPL theory studies are the real hurdle. Nobody wants to hire someone as a first officer who don’t have an ATPL theory exam. You also need it to get a type rating on an aircraft.
So, you get the ATPL theory studies and exams, which then is ”frozen” until the day you do a ATPL skilltest.
And the CAA over here won’t approve a ATPL license unless you’re going to practise it, meaning if you’re hired as an FO, you only need a CPL; you only get a CPL. And you have to pass a partial theory exam at the ATPL skilltest, which means you have to brush up on your theoretical knowledge…
Yep - same for us. I don’t know when it became a requirement (I think maybe when Landmark bought us ten year ago?)…but once it was written in the “All Landmark Pilots have an ATP” in the company promo literature, it became a requirement.
And to your simulator requirement…I think it also has to be in an airplane weighing like 40,000 lbs. or more or something…so you can’t just rent a King Air sim for that period…it has to be something more substantial (and more $$$).
And you are right, the changes after the Buffalo crash made our certificates a bit more valuable.
From what I know it gives you the chance to sit for an EASA ATPL exam, but it’s not an easy conversion so expect to study for it. Although there’s no reason why you wouldn’t be able to get it.
From what I can tell FAA > EASA and visa versa transfers still require one to take written and/or practical tests. I do know the EASA license transfers to certain countries that have modelled their local aviation law on the EASA system.
There used to be a very popular flight school in South Carolina for that - North American Institute for Aviation. I think it was 90% Norwegians. We called them the “Conway Bombers”…great bunch of people that were always enjoyable to rub elbows with. The girls were not unattractive either…