6 December 2020

Switching ATPL Full-Time Training to Bristol Ground School BGS Distance Learning

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I’ve been speaking with Bristol Ground School about making the switch to them after leaving the ATPL full-time ground school.

It’s not 100% clear on the future of ATPL exams taken in the UK and I have a few questions.

I’ve shared the process and cost of changing from full-time to BGS ATPL training courses which is more expensive than you may think.


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!


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 today I really just wanted to go over something that I think going through my mind, and I know there's other people out there who are. The thinking about similar things. And I just thought I would bring it up sort of share my thoughts and also see if there's any of you out there. [00:00:22] Cause I've got some questions where I don't know the answers and at all, and I don't know anyone who does know the answers and it'd be really helpful if perhaps you yourself could, you know, let me know if you do know the answer or know someone in a similar situation, who'd be able to sort of help me out. [00:00:39] But before I start, I just wanted to say congratulations to a 96% average, Amy. I'm flying with Amy on Instagram. She's the one who recently, lots of people inbox me about bizarrely. I don't know why. But they put up a picture and a video Amy came flying with me, went up to collector and and back, and then, yeah. [00:01:01] We've messaged about it, but in any case she just done a ATPL's or first set of ATPL's and has absolutely smashed it so well done to Amy and yeah, good luck to everyone else taking their exams now. So I haven't actually told you the thing that I was thinking about. Have I, so the thing that I was thinking about was in relation to. [00:01:26] The ATPL's and cause as you, some of, you know, if you've listened to this before, if you know me, you spoken to me, you already know that I was on a full time ATPL courses, Stapleford in London and you know, for our COVID obviously we switched to webinar sort of based, and it's definitely not my strong point, no learning through webinars and stuff like that. [00:01:47] But ultimately what happened was, is. Left that course. And I have done half the exams and done the studying for another six exams. I think it was six. Yeah. Think it was six more or five more which should have left free at the end that I haven't studied for yet. So. I left in July and I was giving a bit of a bit of a gap because the HPLC is intense when you tick here, if you're doing it full time you know, Monday to Friday, nine to five, then you're doing it on your weekends. [00:02:23] Got a bit of a gap, worked on regrowing. Some of my businesses, well, one of my businesses that come massive hit during COVID, I'm pleased to say I've actually got it back up now. You know, we lost 90% of customers literally over. And it's taken a while to get it back, but it's back. And that, that makes me a bit happier. [00:02:44] It makes me sleep a bit easier at night. So I've been thinking about getting back into gates pills with Bristol ground school. And I did contact them prior to leaving. Bristol sort of advise that basically what they would do is they would look at my training record, then they would make a bespoke course for me on four so that I can finish off the rest of the exams, which is what they have done. [00:03:09] I've spoke to their CTK guy who was very helpful and, you know, he's, he sort of taught me through. Really the steps that I need to be taking to be able to finish off with them and told me about how, how it would all work. So I'm, I'm fine with that, but I wanted to see, you know, I know how difficult it was. [00:03:32] Full-time we've, you know, instructors all the time. And I do know some people who've used BGS before, but I'm just wondering if anyone has done that transition, you know, have you done that transition or do you know anyone yourself who's made that transition from full time? You know, in classroom course to a distance learning course where it's. [00:03:55] You know, and something like BGS, I mean, I know there's others out there, you know, it, is that something that's going to be challenging to do because I hate, I hate, I hate it. I hate reading full-stop I hate studying and I hate reading. Like it's, you know, I'd rather watch paint dry on the wall. I read about, I don't know anything, you know, I don't care what it is. [00:04:19] I hate, I just hate reading and it's a real struggle. It's something I'm really start reading this while I love audio books because audio books and podcasts and stuff like that. They're fantastic. I can just listen and I get it, but when I've got to read it, I'm just like, oh, it's just loads of words. So I'm just wondering if anyone else has experienced as experienced that and if you've experienced it and could possibly, you know, sort of give a heads up. [00:04:41] And for those of you, I've actually spoken to a couple of people. Recently actually, who is who we're looking at, you know, they were on a full-time course, which has now gone to distance because of COVID and at they're looking well for a more structured distance learning course, such as BGS. Obviously BGS, they that's how that's, what they specialize in is what they've done for years. [00:05:01] Is that whole distance learning they're completely set up for it. Whereas other schools like they preferred, for example, where I was at, they, they specialize in teaching face to face. In-person you know, we've props and all sorts of stuff that they can show you. If that's where they're, they're strong, not so strong on the other side of things. [00:05:22] I obviously have made that transition. And I'm at the point now probably tomorrow where I'm going to be ending up paying for the course with BGS, which is around 2000 pounds still. Despite the fact that I have done the vast majority of the studying for, for the course it's still 2000 around 2000 pounds that I I'll be paying them for the. [00:05:47] And they're full course at the time of this recording anyways, only two and a half thousand. So you sort of see that, you know, there isn't, you know, if you're looking at sort of getting out and you know, sort of getting a, you know, a discount that looks relative to what the work you've actually done, the studying, you've done the exams you already taken. [00:06:05] I probably wouldn't expect that if you're going to BGS, because it doesn't seem to be that that's what they want to do. And in many respects, I guess, why should they, because they know that you can't actually go back on another full-time course. Did you know that you probably didn't? Not that I would anyway. [00:06:22] I haven't got time to do that. I'd have to fit it around my own time, but then there's other things that I've been hearing about. And it's not just about the cost. It's not just about the time, but also how worthwhile these ATPL's are going to be. post-Brexit. That's what I'm not sure about. And I've been hearing so many rumors right. [00:06:44] About you know, doing ATPL's I'm I started the CAA TPLs, there's obviously the Astro control, which is what BGS recommend you do, but that's not why I started with, and I have no intention whatsoever of redoing the exams I've already done. You know, there's no hope in hell. I'd rather it. Not do that. [00:07:04] I'll go and work in, I don't know, Tesco or something instead, but there's IASA exams versus not, you know, have you heard, have you heard that, have you heard whether the exams for people taking their 80 pills already? Are they going to be, or are they not, are they going to just be CIA? I don't know. You know, I see when I started, everything was still on the ER. [00:07:30] As he, you know, the, the, the body is the CAA, but it was still under EOS. I don't know if at the end of that, if I get any answer AC power or not, I don't know the benefits of having one versus not. So this is something that I'm, I've been struggling to find any real information from. I'm just hearing rumors, even from instructors and stuff like that. [00:07:50] I'm just. Different rumors, you know, different instructors, different heads of training from different schools, they're saying completely different things. So I don't know if there's any definitive answer or if people are literally just making their, you know, sort of guessing, you know, their best guess based on how they know that people work so far in the different organizations, how they work. [00:08:12] I don't know, but, you know, have, I've also heard that people have to reset everything now. I don't want to start spreading fear factors. And I don't think that's probably going to be correct. I feel like it's unlikely, extremely unlikely that just because we leave the EU that suddenly the exams you've done are suddenly not gonna be valid. [00:08:33] You have to reset them. I think that it's going to load a nonsense and for the people spreading nos, I don't know where they've got it from, but it'd be good. If you could give a source where you've got it from before you start spreading them. And then I've also heard that. The exams that they will be to CAA only, and they won't be recognized anywhere. [00:08:51] Which I've heard people saying that you'd have to take a few extra exams to convert to a different 40 or some people saying you'd have to reset everything. Some people say. You know, it's only the British airlines you could work for. I don't know. I literally have no idea. And I'm wondering if you know, every heard any thing. [00:09:09] Have you heard anything from a very reliable source, like someone from the CIA or ER sir itself or got, got a link or anything like that because I've not been able to find one. And if any of you. Are aware and I've ever looked at the CAA website, you'll know that it's near impossible to navigate on that. [00:09:27] It's just the worst website ever. I don't know what's wrong with agencies like the CIA, they just, you know, they, they have it, they have such big budgets and they can pick from all the best developers around the world. But no, they go with some crappy company that charges a fortune to deliver them crap. [00:09:45] And then that's what they get a crappy website that you can't say. So anyway, I'm enough about CAA enough about that. That was really just a really quick thing I wanted to know when it's a short of show you where I'm at and what I'm thinking and see if that might be something that you've also been facing yourself, or if you know anyone who has been. [00:10:07] So if you. If you think, you know, if you think that you may have something that could be useful for me, for anyone else please let me know. You can get me on Instagram. It's R in Henray, that's AaronHenray on Instagram. Just send me a message. I get them every now and then from people from the podcast and, you know, introduce yourself, let me know what you're doing and what you've been up to and sort of where you're at with your training and yeah. [00:10:36] You know, it's it's actually, do you know what? Let me just continue. There was one more thing. I was literally just talking someone about was about the do I even want to do it? That's the thing, you know, do I, with the current market, that's something to consider, you know, is it worthwhile doing the 80 pills still? [00:10:54] I don't know. There's a little, I don't know. I keep saying, I don't know today. So, you know, my normal surety about things is sort of diminished and I'm like, actually, there's no real facts out there. So yeah. On another note for the future. I've seen that lots of people were back flying now that obviously locked downs over. [00:11:15] And it's something that, you know, I I'm going back up next week. I've messaged one of the guys from my HPL class. He puts it, he put a message in a group the other day. So we've been talking and yeah, we're going to go up on Wednesday. If the weather is okay, we can go up, just do a little bit flying, bit circuit work and stuff handling. [00:11:34] Cause you haven't done that for a while. Yeah, and have a catch up and a coffee and whatever which would be quite nice to do. And I haven't seen them for a while and seen them since July. So it'd be good to sort of have or catch up and yeah, but I, you know, there's plenty of people I see that are out flying, you know, people doing the night ratings. [00:11:54] If you haven't heard. I think I did an episode about nitrates. In my head, I feel like I did an episode about nitrate thing anyway, go and find it because it's really, I think there's, it's important for you to to consider right now if you, if you're thinking of doing it because you haven't got much time, the schools that do it, usually book up very, very quickly for their night rating. [00:12:17] And they only get a very short window for lots of the airfields where they can do it. So. Consider that look for the episode on the night rating. I'm sure it's there. If it isn't there someone messaged me and I will do because it, it was, it's something to consider. Yeah. And yeah, for anyone else, who's doing our 80 pills right now, or any form of training. [00:12:38] Good luck. You know it's been tough times. It's been tough mentally for lots of people and you know, I, I know it has for a few months. I wasn't, I, there was no point I wouldn't have been studying the BGS anyway. It would have been completely pointless, a lot more comfortable now that you know, businesses back. [00:12:56] Cause I see, that's what I rely on. I don't have an, you know, have a normal job. I left a years, three years ago now. And so. I rely on my businesses to be able to fund me. And it was at a point where I was constantly pumping money in and, and to keep it afloat and to keep the, you know, 30, 45 or so staff that I have working across that business in. [00:13:22] You know? So that was a bit of a, a bit of a headache, but we've got there now and it's looking like it's gonna be positive for next year. You know, good start 2020 was a bit crap for a lot of people. 2021 should be a hell of a lot better. So I'm going to go have a good day, whatever it is you're doing and we'll catch up soon.


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