Commercial Pilot Licence (Aeroplanes) - CPL (A)

So you’ve decided that you want to become a commercial pilot, however you are not quite sure what’s involved. It is indeed a bit of a mine field and this guide is intended to give you a little insight in to how to achieve your ultimate goal of sitting in the right hand seat of an airliner. Almat Flying Academy is not a commercial school, therefore we can give you a first class start up to Private Pilots Licence. After that we recommend a number of partners who can take you the rest of the way.

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This guide outlines the ‘modular’ route of training. This is essentially the ‘pay as you go’ method. There are a number of companies who offer ‘integrated’ courses where training is completed in one structured course. This is very expensive and requires a time commitment of up to two years full time which for many people is unrealistic. The modular route allows you to complete training at your own pace and also to work to the same time as completing your training.

There are stages to completing your commercial licence (actually known as a frozen ATPL) these are outlined individually below.

Private Pilots Licence
ATPL Written Exams
Hour Building
Commercial Pilots Licence
Multi Engine Instrument Rating
Multi Crew Co-operation Course

Private Pilots Licence

This is the initial licence that needs to be gained and alone a PPL allows you to operate an aircraft for none commercial gain. Almat Flying Academy specializes in training towards the private pilot’s licence and aim to provide students with skills that will assist them in their commercial careers. A PPL consists of a minimum of 45 hours training and follows a structured course. There are also nine written exams to be passed.

ATPL Written Exams

The next stage is the ATPL written exams, there are 14 of these to be completed and they must be done through an approved course. These can be completed as part of a full time course where it will take approximately 6 months. A distance learning course offers more flexibility as it allows the student to complete the studying at their own pace. This typically takes 9 – 12 months.

Hour Building

In order to gain a CPL you must have 200 hours of flying before taking the skills test, this includes 100 hours as pilot in command. This is to be done at the students leisure, it is recommended that the student tries different situations such as cross country flying or even overseas trips. This helps to build the students skills and knowledge which will be invaluable in a careers as a commercial pilot. Almat Flying Academy offers a number of course to help hour builders expand their skills. These include: Overseas, Short field, Aerobatic, Night and Instrument Rating (Restricted).

Commercial Pilots Licence

The Commercial Pilots Licence allows a pilot to fly for monetary reward. Once the minimum hours outlined above have been achieved you must then enroll on a CPL course which must be completed at an approved school. This consists of 25 hours of instruction and essentially refines skills that have already been gained through hour building. At the of this course the student is required to pass a skills test.

Multi Engine Instrument Rating

The Instrument Rating (IR) allows you to take-off and land in weather conditions that would be unsuitable for a PPL holder. The IR, therefore, is a fundamental requirement if you wish to pursue a career as a professional pilot with an airline. The course is completed on Multi-Engine Piston (MEP) aircraft. This is divided between simulator training and on-aircraft training and encompasses the technique of flying with sole reference to instruments.

This course is approximately 50 hours, the first 6 hours encompasses how to fly a multi engine aircraft. Much of this time is spent learning how to handle the aircraft should one of the engines fail. The remainder of the course teaches the art of instrument flying. Once this course has been completed and the skills test passed the student now holds an ATPL which is the licence needed to fly as a first officer in commercial operations.

Multi Crew Cooperation Course

Having successfully gained your Frozen ATPL your next step is to complete the Multi-Crew Cooperation (MCC) course. Designed specifically to prepare you to work as part of an effective flight crew, the MCC is a mandatory requirement on your journey to becoming a First Officer.

The Jet Orientation Course (JOC) builds on the MCC providing you with a much greater insight into how you operate modern airliners and the expectations that airlines have of you. The JOC will prepare you not only for the commercial world, but also the airline assessments! Therefore, while not mandatory, it is strongly recommended that you complete a combined MCC/JOC to give you the best chance of getting your first airline role.

There are a number of companies within the UK who offer this course which normally takes up to 14 days full time.