FTA Global switches to nine month ATPL theory training

ATPL training FTA

FTA is to change to delivering ATPL Theory over nine months from next year instead of the more usual six months, following feedback from instructors and students.

The new course programme will include an additional computer-based (CBT) learning package, which will support students with self-study.

The school day will be shorter so students can retain higher levels of concentration during lessons. They will then spend two hours taking advantage of the CBT modules before revising and consolidating for the following day’s lessons. The material is highly, visual and adds an additional dimension to the modular and integrated programmes.

Head of Training, Phil Jones said, “Our team of experienced instructors have identified what they believe is the best structure and stimuli our students need to get the most out of their training.

“This move to ‘blended learning’ with additional content and time for self-study ensures that there is a style of tuition to suit a range of learners.”

The change is part of a suite of improvements and investments the school is making to its facilities, resources and fleet. FTA recently acquired the use of additional Piper PA28 aircraft and is looking forward to the arrival of a new DA42 Simulator.

FTA instructor Phil Jones

FTA’s Head of Training, Phil Jones, left, believes the change will benefit student pilots


FTA also offers ATPL theory as a residential course which it believes has a number of benefits over distance learning. Training in a classroom allows students to ask specific questions of the instructor whilst learning at the same pace of their classmates.

There is also the benefit of periodic one-to-one reviews with an instructor throughout the training – an opportunity to reflect on performance and concerns about upcoming subjects or exams.

A high level of competency in Maths and Science will make a difference to a student’s learning experience and FTA asks all their students to brush up on these subjects prior to the start of their course. Padpilot, the provider of FTA’s online ATPL content is accessible to students three months before they commence their classroom-based studies.

Chief Theoretical Knowledge Instructor (CTKI), Dave Mortimer, said, ”It can be overwhelming for students to launch straight into ATPL theory so we like to give everyone plenty of opportunity to access the material and get familiarised with the content.“

FTA has also re-structured the first few weeks of its Flight Deck Programme. Instead of using the first three weeks of the integrated course for a brief overview of ATPL theory, students will instead have a much broader induction with the opportunity to experience what it is like to fly in training aircraft.

The newly appointed Deputy Chief Theoretical Knowledge Instructor (DCTKI), Guy Evans, was instrumental in introducing the changes to the programme. He said, “The first few weeks are the ideal opportunity for a detailed introduction to airport operations and flight planning.

“Our integrated course starts with ATPL theory and so giving all new starters the opportunity backseat a student who has already progressed quite far with their training will offer motivation and inspiration for what they have ahead.”

FTA Global

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