Your questions answered

One of the things that the admin section of my blog shows is what people have searched on Google to find my blog. As the same sort of things frequently come up, I thought that I’d go and answer them for you.

Do you get Fridays off at CTC ground school

No. You usually get one day a week off to catch up on CBT (computer based training) and some of these may fall on a Friday, but there’s no guarantee.

What happens if you fail ATPL mocks

CTC will make you resit them, but I can’t give a general answer as it’s usually handled on a case by case basis. Just get your head down and work hard so that, hopefully, you won’t fail them!

Can I finish ground school first

CTC’s European courses do all the ground school in Nursling first and then you come out to New Zealand to do the flying. I’m not 100% sure on the process for one of their NZ course, I’m sure there will be an answer on their website (link is at the bottom)

Ground school

Hmm, where to start! To begin with – this is only for the European courses, not the NZ ones. The ground school is completed in the UK over 6 months and will see you sit all 14 of the ATPL exams. These are done in two separate modules, each containing 7 exams and done in 3 months. Providing you pass these exams, you’ll be coming out to New Zealand with your course.

CTC accommodation review

From what I’ve seen of CTC’s accommodation in Southampton and Hamilton, it’s very good! In Southampton you share houses with fellow coursemates whilst in New Zealand you will be placed in one of three locations – Clearways, Lorne Street Apartments or Knox Street Apartments. Each one of the NZ locations has it’s advantages and disadvantages and I’m not going to be drawn into debating which one is better.

Day in the life of a CTC pilot

Okay, I’ll admit this isn’t a popular one, but I thought it’d be a good one to answer for you. Firstly, I’m assuming it’s a day that I’m going flying and not on standby, assuming that I’ve got a flight in the morning and it’s a solo flight.

The first thing I do once I’ve found out that I’m flying is start planning the night before.
If it’s a nav flight, I would be planning the route that I’m going to be flying in the morning. This would begin with me looking at the charts (maps) and choosing where I want to go to. After the first couple of nav flights, it is our choice as to where we go. Once the destinations have been decided, time to consider what heights to fly at. It’s always a compromise between getting height for the best views and conforming with airspace limitations. With this done and my flight log made, my work for the night is usually over. The rest of the planning is done in the morning.
Roughly 2 hours before the flight, I’ll be looking at the weather information and finalising my plan and working out my final headings and times. The final stage before flying to to sit down with an instructor for them to check through my planning.

If I’m on a general handling flight, the preparation is less intense. This night before would involved reading through the training manual at the exercises that I’m going to be practising. Then, a couple of hours before the flight, I would check the weather info and make a decision on where I was going to go to conduct the exercises and then talk to an instructor about my choices and what I’m going to be doing on that flight.

With the sign out brief completed, it’s out to the aircraft and time to go flying. When back on the ground, some instructors like to have a quick chat to see if all went all whereas some are happy for you to call it a day there and head back to your accommodation. Once you’ve left the airport, you have to write up a report on how the flight went and then you’re done for the day (providing you don’t have two flights in a day!)

Just to let you know, dual flights operate in a similar fashion except you’d have a full briefing on what you were about to do with your instructor instead of a brief that covers your planning/route choice.

CTC Wings Blogs

Finally, lots of people search Google for blogs of current cadets. You’ve obviously found mine, but why not have a look at the blogs of some other cadets.

Thanks for reading through and if you have any other questions, have a look at the CTC website as they have lots of info about the course on there

4 thoughts on “Your questions answered

  1. Pingback: Fog, fog and more fog | Captain Matt

  2. Hi Matt, I’m a couple of years behind you and in the process of making that difficult financial decision of whether to start flight training at CTC. I was wondering if you could help me with a couple of things…

    1) I’m guessing you are in the hold pool now? What’s the approx wait time at the moment? Does it seem to be moving?

    2) Other than EZY / flex where do the white tails end up going? (If anywhere!)

    3) Does any part of you regret not going through as an airline tagged cadet from the start? Would you recommend doing that?

    4) MPL vs ATPL

    5) Hamilton vs Phoenix

    Thanks so much for any help/pointers you can give.

    • Hi Alex, thanks for getting in touch. I’ll try to answer as much as I can.
      1) I don’t have an actual figure for hold pool time. I know that when I finished I went in as number 76 but quite a few ahead of me have recently left. It is definitely moving!
      2) Over the past few years, Monarch have been taking cadets and the odd one or two end up with other airlines that come along every so often. The main opportunity is EasyJet but other chances are out there – it just all depends on timing!
      3) There is always the thought of not getting a job, especially as I started when the hold pool was huge and airlines weren’t taking people on. But now, I don’t really regret not going through one of the airline schemes. If one is open, I’d definitely advise going for it.
      4) Haha, a hard one! Personally I prefer the ATPL as it gives you more flexibility and means you can actually take your family up when you’ve qualified! Whilst MPL gives you the peace of mind of knowing you have a job at the end, it also comes with the risk that if the airline goes under, you’ve got big problems. I can’t give a definitive answer on this unfortunately
      5) I’m extremely biased having gone to New Zealand and met so many great people! I couldn’t say anything else! By the sounds of it, when you’ll be making the decision as to which one to go to, Phoenix will have been open for a while and fully set up and I doubt they’ll be much of a difference apart from the weather – if you like it hot, go to the USA, if you like fog and a British climate, go to NZ!

      I hope I’ve managed to answer your questions, let me know if you have any more

  3. Hi there
    I’m looking to start at ctc, however my girlfriend and I have been together for three years and have been living together for two of those years. At Southampton is she allowed to stay with me? And once I’m in New Zealand if she pays for her own flight can you stay with Me there also?

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