Compliance Isn't Competency
Imagine a candidate for your TRTO who starts type-rating ground school with almost no knowledge of electrical and flight control systems, or who doesn’t really understand what an FMS is, or perhaps can’t fathom the relationship between the MCP and the FMA.
Imagine an F/O trained to enter the appropriate Cost Index before flight, but doesn’t know what it is, or what it does, or how it can be manipulated. Or an F/O who doesn’t understand the significance and implications of entering accurate winds into the FMC.
Imagine an F/O who has no basic grasp of aircraft systems, trying to prioritise the response to a complex abnormal condition when multiple actions are being demanded by the ECAM.
Failings like these are all too common with the current EASA syllabus and examination system.
Exams: a poor indicator of competence
Students who are given poor learning materials, poor instruction and badly worded exam questions, turn to online exam databases to pass their EASA ATPL exams. Some don’t bother at all with the education process.
Some recently qualified pilots even boast that they attended no ATO classes, passing all their ATPL exams using question databases.
This is the current state of the ATPL qualification system. Some, like Padpilot are doing their best to counter these dangerous trends. Others take advantage of the laxity to push as many students as possible through the ATPL training pipeline.
ATPL ‘Theory’ Has Changed
Despite its failings, much of EASA’s new syllabus is practical, operationally relevant and focussed on commercial air operations. But some is out of date and some study areas are still incomplete.
Created by pilots for pilots, Padpilot’s materials focus and build on the important stuff, fill in the gaps and de-emphasise the irrelevant. As a result we’ve created a body of professional knowledge that supports new pilots well beyond first licence issue. Most importantly our material engages and interests student pilots who might otherwise be tempted to cram for exams. Case studies and operational insights from current captains and F/Os add context and relevance. Interactive touch 3D models help them to learn, understand and assimilate more effectively.
Schools Have Changed
If you qualified more than ten years ago, then you probably aren’t aware of the huge changes in ground school that have occurred since then.
Good ground schools now focus very much on producing well-rounded ATPL holders. Learn and dump is out, professionalism is in.
But not all schools are like this, some still game the system with heavy reliance on exam databases to make up for deficiencies in their teaching and materials.
Don’t assume that the school you graduated from 10 or more years ago is in the first category.