18 November 2020

Should I Get PPL Flying Experience Before Doing My ATPL Modular or Integrated Flying Training? Your question is answered

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WARNING: Apologies!!!! I received a call midway through that interrupted my flow. Hopefully, everything still makes sense!


Hey I’m Aaron Henriques, a British night rated aeroplane private pilot, doing my professional flight training and learning for my helicopter PPL. You can find me on Instagram @AaronHenray. I’m also a british business person and here to share an honest account of my flying journey with you! 


I record this on my iPhone and there will be very little (or no) editing, so be prepared for the odd slip-up or swear! If you’re easily offended… find another podcast. Thanks!


In This Episode…


» Should you get PPL flying experience before doing your ATPL’s Integrated or Modular training.

» The difference between Integrated and modular flight training.

» How some students lose thousands of pounds £££’s by making this devastating decision & more. 

Want to know more?

Follow me on Instagram @AaronHenray and see my latest aviation videos and pictures.

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Podcast Episode Transcript

  [00:00:00] Aaron Henriques: Hello everyone. And welcome to the British pilot podcast. I'm Aaron Henriques and I've just finished a zoom workout. It's mid lockdown. And yeah, looking forward to being able to get back to some normality, although to be honest with you the only thing that's really different is I'm not going to. [00:00:21] The physical gym that I always go to. And also I'm not going to the coffee shop around the corner where coffee lab that I always attend you know, throughout the week with my laptop. Anyway, so today I really wanted to just come on and speak about a question that. Being asked. And I think because I keep being asked it and the source is people coming from the podcast that I thought I should probably actually just maybe just do an episode on that is very sure is a very quick answer to a very simple question. [00:00:58] But yeah. You know, something that a lot of people want to know and they want to know my opinion and it is my opinion, just like everything else on this podcast, that's just my opinion. Go away and do your own research. Feel free. Other people may have different opinions, but here's the question. So the thing I keep getting asked, and in various ways, you very similar sort of ways it's should I start studying for my ATPL's before doing my PPL? [00:01:26] Or some people are asking questions around the lines of, should I go on an integrated course before doing my PPL? So if you're in either of those questions, then it's pretty much the same answer I'm going to give you. And the answer is no. There you go. Simple, simple, very short. So what I could probably do is maybe go through a bit around why I think no. [00:01:51] And tell you a bit more about. The ATPL's modular versus integrated and PPL versus not PPL, et cetera. So first things first you cannot do your ATPL's as a modular student without your PPL. Okay. So that's the first thing you cannot go and say. For your ATPL lessons for as I'm aware, unless it's changed, but throw them away. [00:02:14] You cannot do your HDLs without having a PPL prior to it. If you're a modular student. Now, the only way to get around that as B is by being an integrated student. And to be honest with you, I've never quite understood why the integrated course even exists because there's no benefit to it. It's more expensive. [00:02:33] It's yeah, it's more expensive. You do less. Certainly early on you, you know, you're all ground school at the start. And I noticed with one of the students in my class, I was a modular ATPL of course, but we did have an integrator student in my class who had a few flying hours and there were some things when we talk about he didn't get it because he hasn't been flying. [00:02:59] And the rest of the class all had pilot's license. So that that's, that that can be a problem unless the whole class is like that. Then maybe it's not such a, such an issue. And there's no real advantage to integrate it from my can see. I've never been able to see an advantage from it unless you actually on a sponsored program, but even then it doesn't really mean much. [00:03:18] Think of EasyJet very recently. It was air Lingus before it, before COVID I can't remember if it was before. I think it might not even be adding because I'm not going to start slating their name, just cause it wasn't them. But I'm pressing that there was another, when I was on my ETPL course, there was a. [00:03:32] Airline that decided to just drop their sponsored program for these cadets that were partway through. I'm pretty sure they would be going through Alfre who seemed to be the company who seemed to have no issues in taking our money. And then yeah, dumping you putting you in a really bad place. [00:03:52] Lots of people on NPL courses and stuff, which, yeah, pointless. But anyway, let me get back to it. So. The reasons why I would say no blanket, regardless if you're, if you're going to go into grade two, that's still say, go and get some hours in flying because. The, the, the issue is you may not like flying. [00:04:12] Okay. That's, that's the first thing you may have seen, you know, all these movies and, you know, you think, oh yeah, it looks so cool to be a pilot. Let me go and do that. And do you know what I can tell you? I've seen so many people who joined the police before. I've seen lots of, you know, my background is in policing and they've seen the. [00:04:29] These TD programs and they've they've, they've seen it and they've been like, yes, I want to drive fast cars and start chasing these rubbers and burglars and stuff like that. And then reality hits on day one. When they actually land on a borrower and they're just sat there at a desk with piles of paperwork and that's them for the next two years, or they're sat watching some prisoner in custody, or they're sat watching some prisoner in a hospital, or they're stood in the freezing rain on a crime scene. [00:04:59] That's the reality of the job for them. It's none of the other stuff that they fought and it's, I'm not gonna say it's no different to. To becoming a professional product. Cause I'm not one, I'm not an airline pilot. I do know many of them. I know many airline pilots for like outside of, outside of my HPL course. [00:05:20] And we'd also met several throughout the ATL course. Instructors and stuff like that. Lots of them come from that sort of background. And one of the things I'd say is it does seem to become very much like a job. Just like any other job you'll get used to it. Although an enjoyable job, you feel, you know, your office is in the sky. [00:05:39] But you are a computer operator if you are going to an airline anyway rather than pilot as such, but anyway, so you may not like flying. First of all, you may run into people that just get added. You may just realize that it's not for you. You may realize that when you're going through the PPL study, that you can't be asked with it, or maybe it's just too much work or maybe it's more complicated than you thought it was. [00:06:05] And if you like that, your PPR level, it's going to be a really hard slog at ETPL for sure. Because the volume of work is many, many, many, many times greater than for people. All right. The next thing is I would always recommend before you go off and give any money to a school, cause they'd be willing to take it, trust me, they will take your money so that, you know, school won't, you know, they're a business and they will, if you're willing to go and give up 70 grand, but for some integrated course or put down, you know, 25 grand on a on a modular course, cause you're really excited. [00:06:45] And you, you want to secure your place on this next call. For your ATPL hours and the next [00:06:51] alright, sorry about that. I received a phone call midway through era. Yes, I do record this on my phone and it's sort of interrupted. So I've actually forgotten what I was ranting on about that. You're probably pleased anyway, to know that I've forgotten and stop. So I'll just try and recap on a couple of. [00:07:08] I think that you should get some flying experience. First of all you may not like it. There may be physiological issues that you have with throwing up, which does happen. Also you need to go and get your class for medical. I would definitely say get your class one medical before you start any any sort of course, because. [00:07:28] Lots of these find schools in their terms, they will have a clause where when you've paid, it is non-refundable and if you've gone and paid 25 grand up front, which some people did, there was one of my modular course, you know, he went and paid a lump of money up front. You know, because I think it got some sort of discount. [00:07:47] Some of the I'm part of the flying training part that he would have been doing afterwards. But then that leaves an issue because one, if you fail your ATPL ATPL's, that's a problem. You may decide that you don't want to do them anymore. You may just decide it's not for you. As a career, you may change your mind. [00:08:01] Lots of things could happen. And the worst thing that could probably happen for you is if you got for your ATPL hours and you were then ready to go and start your actual training, and you've you then go for your plus one minute. Just to find that actually there's something underlying that you didn't know about that has prevented you from now being, you know, being able to go any further and the schools will not give your money back. [00:08:23] The vast majority of them, I would say will not give you money back. Because as soon as you've handed that over, that's then eaten up. They've got such high overheads. They're not going to be in a position to do that quite often. So yeah. Now then you've got to consider, once you have got your, you know, you've got your PPS. [00:08:42] Oh, in the case of, if you're doing integrated, at least you've done, you know, at least get to solo, please guys. Like the amount of people I see literally with zero flying hours, what they've done, like one, one trial lesson, and then, you know, bank of mum and dad has then gone and paid like 80 grand for some course that this kid doesn't even know if not even just kids. [00:09:03] Sorry, if that's patronizing. You know, they don't even know if they like flying or anything like that. That's such a terrible, terrible place to be. So go in at least go get, go to solo or something before you do an integrated course. And of course, if you've done a mod, if you're doing a modular, you have to have your PPL anyway, but then you've got the if you're modular, you've got the question of, is it going to be a full time ATPL course versus a distance learning course? [00:09:34] Or so full-time distance learning, whichever now that there are two options for you, but what you need to consider is your time. And one thing that you need to really bear in mind is that from the date of your first ATPL exam, you've now got 18 months to complete them. So you need to make sure that you've got enough time to be able to study for the ATPL hours or 14 or 14 X. [00:10:02] Within those 18 months and also take the exam and pass them. Okay. And on top of that, you've got a maximum of six sittings and a sitting loss for four days, I believe where you can take a set of exams, but you have to do that in a maximum of six or 14 across a maximum of six, including your retakes. [00:10:23] All right. So that's something to really bear in mind because people do get caught out there. We'll leave it to the last. They'll take the last few exams that I had and then bang, they realize they get a fail. One of them is filed because they've left the hard ones. You know, the things they thought were really hard, right. [00:10:37] To the end. And then they've got no more time to now be able to take the exams and that invalidates everything for them. So that's my opinion on. Go and get some flying experience before you even think about becoming a professional pilot and on top of that as well, do you know what go and speak to some professional pilots, go out and find out what a day in the life of them is actually like. [00:11:01] And is that something that you're going to like okay. Because you know, it's not definitely not going to be like top gun. You know, you want to, if you want something like that, go and join the military. You know, some of these nineties, crazy plain movies where they're dealing with these disasters and it's all really exciting, you know, it's not going to be like that. [00:11:19] You know, it's going to be pretty mundane. Sat in the cockpit now, you know, you take off autopilot, takes control, and then you land. I'd say that's it. You're, you're a systems operator. Aren't you? That's, that's what you are. If you are going down that route. Obviously there are business jets routes that you could go down. [00:11:40] There's all sorts of other routes. As well. Like for example, the police in the UK have a fixed wing element I think is a Doncaster that they have fixed wing, but you're, you're gonna have to probably go and work for an airline first or something cause they need 1500 hours and there's all sorts of other places all around the world that need commercial plans. [00:11:58] As well. Anyway, that was it. It was a very short one, like I said, compared to the others and I will leave it there. Of course, if you want to get in touch with me I don't think any more people would be asking me, should I do my PPL or get some flying experience before starting my CPLs or an integrated course anymore, hopefully. [00:12:17] And if they do, I'll be pointing them to this episode. If you did like. Definitely, you know, let me know. I'm on Instagram at AaronHenray, AaronHenray. Give me a follow say hello, happy to have a chat. See where you're at. And yeah, if there's anything I can do to help, I'll let you know. [00:12:36] But obviously I don't know everything, but maybe I can point you to the right right direction. And also if you do like the podcast, let me know, give a. Apple, you'll be able to leave a review. So if you can click on those reviews, those five star review things. So click on the five stars and, you know, give me a thumbs up or something like that. [00:12:58] Let me know what you want to hear. And I will endeavor to put something out that you actually want to listen to. Anyway, I get back to my dad. I need a shower recover from that gym session now and get on with my day.


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