Pilot Training FAQ

This FAQ answers questions around the flight training that I will be completing in 2020 / 2021.

When are you starting training?

I am starting training on 6th April 2020.

Where is the training taking place?

Everything except the APS MCC course will be conducted at Stapleford Aerodrome in Essex, near Chigwell. The APS MCC course will take place at VA Aviation in Cambridge.

How long will the training take?

The length of the training is up to me and how frequently I fly. I am aiming to complete the training within 18 months. The only fixed schedule part of the course is the classroom-based theory course which runs from September 2020 to March 2021.

What licences are you getting?

As I am training through the "modular" route, I have to get the following licences:

Private Pilot License

This is the entry level license. This allows me to fly single engine light aircraft in visual conditions. It takes 9 theory exams, 45 hours of Experience and a cross country flight of 150 nautical miles.

Night Rating

A short 5 hour course that lets me fly at Night

Instrument License

This course lets me fly on instruments, thereby letting me fly in bad weather and in all controlled airspace

Multi Engine License

Lets me fly piston aircraft with more than 1 engine

Commercial License

This lets me work for an organisation that flies people or goods for profit

Frozen ATPL License

An ATPL or Airline Transportation Pilot License is the license you need to be an airline captain. It is "frozen" until you have 1500 hours of experience.


An Airline Pilot Standards Multi Crew Cooperation Course introduces you to flying multi-crew jet aircraft.

How does paying for it work?

Other than a £500 deposit to enrol in the course, I am paying for the flying on an hourly basis. The only exception is the classroom course which is £4,200 upfront in September 2020. For a full price breakdown, see the "how much will it cost? section

How much will it cost?

I am presently estimating a total cost of approximately £56,000.

I have produced a detailed cost breakdown below:


Private Pilot's License £8,055
Flight Experience (hours building) £10,234
Night Rating £1,015
ATPL Theory Course £4,200
Multi Engine Rating £2,700
Instrument Rating £13,110
Commercial Rating £3,120

Landing Fees

PPL £200
Flight Experience £100
CPL £350
Instrument Rating £650

Test Fees

PPL Exams £225
Radiotelephony Exam £60
PPL Skills Test £180
Multi Engine written paper £25
Multi Engine Class Rating Skills Test £125

CAA Fees

Instrument Rating Skills Test £826
Commercial Rating Skills Test £826
ATPL Theory Exams £1,022
PPL Exam £196
RT Exam £77
Multi Engine Exam £127
Commercial Rating Exam £256


Medical £650
APS MCC (VA Training) £7,900

Do you have a guaranteed job lined up?

It is very rare for airlines to get involved in the initial training of students nowadays. In order to apply for a first job in the airline industry I first have to have all of the necessary qualifications. As a result of this, I do not have a job offer lined up upon completion of this training. Once completed, I will begin applying for jobs.

You took flying lessons before. Does that still count?

The hours I gained in my logbook from any previous lessons counts towards the hours requirements for all of my licenses, therefore the previous lessons all help to count towards this.

Is the course full time?

The course is full time. For the practical flying parts, this will typically be a single lesson of 1-2 hours with an initial briefing and a review either side. During the theory course, it will be 08:00-16:00.

What types of aircraft will you be training in?

Initially, I will be flying either Piper Warriors or Cessna 152s. When I commence multi engine training I will be flying Piper Senecas or DA42 Diamonds. For my commercial training I will be flying Piper Arrows. During the APS MCC course I will be flying in fixed base (not motion) simulators of a jet aircraft, likely either a Boeing 737 or an Airbus A320.

What is modular training?

Modular training is where a student undertakes individual courses in order to achieve all of the required licenses to get a commercial aviation job. This is in contrast with Integrated training which is where a student enrolls in a single school course which provides all of the training. Traditionally, integrated courses have provided candidates with a slight edge. However, this is increasingly less the case.