Learning to fly, or thinking of learning? Post your questions, comments and experiences here

Moderator: AndyR

By Flying badger
#1408879
I know i've read it here somewhere....but naturally now I can't find it.

After airlaw, what do people recommend as the next exam? I've heard both operational procedures or human factors.......but would be grateful for advice.
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By Morten
#1408883
(Maybe the mods can separate this out into a separate thread "Order to take exams in" or similar - so it's easier to find for the future...?)

Air Law and Operational Procedures are quite closely linked, combining them makes a lot of sense.

Most people apparently find Human factors easy so you can probably do it any time.

RT and Nav share a fair amount of syllabus and are probably best taken once you've done a bit of actual in-flight navigation, when it becomes clearer why things are done the way they are done.

Met is quite chunky and you may want to do it sooner rather than later.

The 3 technical subjects are all related and you may be well off doing them together.

I did mine in this order:
Sitting 1
- Air law
- Operational Procedures
- Human factors
- Meteorology (Second weekend)
Sitting 2:
- RT
- Principles of Flight
- Aircraft General
Sitting 3:
- Performance
- Navigation

Looking back, I probably should have done RT and Nav together and all the technical subjects together.
YMMV, though - you may find some subjects easier/more difficult and therefore wish to group them differently.

Morten
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By Dangerman
#1408910
Morten, as always, has it pretty much nailed there.

This is my suggested order from one of the earlier threads, together with a bit of information about sittings which might also be useful for others.

One thing I would add is I know a lot of people leave RT practical til the very end, but I did find getting it done helped a lot with reducing my workload during nav flights because I was much more comfortable with the RT afterwards.

Just to clarify how (I think!) the current system works for new students, as it seems to cause some confusion (certainly did for me!!):

1. All exams have got to be passed within 18 months of when you took the first one. So if you took your first paper on 1st April 2015 you have to pass the last one by the end of September 2016.

2. You have to have passed all your exams before you can take your skills test.

3. You have two years from when you passed the LAST paper to finish your PPL. So by all means do eight of your papers immediately, but leave the last one as late as you can or until you are ready to do the skills test. If it is taking you a while to progress with your flying using my example dates you could leave your last paper until September 2016: passing this then starts the 2 year “clock” running, leaving you til September 2018 to pass your skills test. So you can have 3½ years between taking your first paper and finishing your PPL if you time it correctly.

You have six "sittings" (blocks of ten days) in which to pass the exams, so obviously you HAVE to take more than one paper at each sitting to get the nine papers done. When you take an exam the "sitting" starts, and you can then take as many exams as you like (but no retakes) in that ten day period. IF YOU RESIT A PAPER THAT AUTOMATICALLY STARTS A NEW “SITTING”, so think carefully about that and only resit when you have other papers you are ready to take! In my opinion it is a stupid rule which just encourages you to to go for as many subjects as possible in the hope of scraping through while a sitting is open rather than studying properly, but that is what we have to work around.

Suggested order of study:

Airlaw is the paper which you HAVE to pass before you can go solo, so REALLY focus on it (you do not want to be forced to quickly retake it if you are getting close to going solo, because that will cost you a sitting!). The day you pass Airlaw get your head down into Ops Procedures (there is a LOT of crossover with Airlaw), and aim to have a go at that before the end of the ten day period. I would also suggest that before the end of the ten day "sitting" you also give Human Factors a go: it doesn’t really fit with any of the other papers, and is a paper you can probably pass mainly using your commonsense and general knowledge together with a bit of reading and some time working through a few Airquiz tests.

Then Aircraft General and Principles of Flight are two papers that really go together (they are even in the same Pooley's book) – I would suggest working towards them for your next sitting (together with any retakes from sitting one). These subjects start to make a bit more sense once you have spent a bit of time in an aircraft.

And then you are left with Meteorology, Navigation, Flight Planning, and Communications: real flying stuff that you will be doing in your later lessons. And you should be left with four sittings to do them in, which takes the pressure off a bit.
By Flying badger
#1409323
Thank you morten and dangerman. very useful info. Straight back into the books for me. (Morten, 3 sittings? that's just showing off !!)
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By Morten
#1409459
Flying badger  wrote:(Morten, 3 sittings? that's just showing off !!)

No, quite the opposite! Planning to use fewer sitting was my way of making sure I had some spare ones in case I failed :oops:

Also, don't forget that a sitting typically covers 2 weekends. (And having a Aero Eng degree some decades ago did help :wink: )

Morten
By Mike Currill
#1411422
I found that the human performance questions in the main were things that we all learned in secondary school. In my case that is more years ago than I care to think about. I've always been led to believe that air law is the hardest subject but in my experience if that's the hardest subject then the others must be a walk in the park.
By illigo
#1421590
Morten wrote:(Maybe the mods can separate this out into a separate thread "Order to take exams in" or similar - so it's easier to find for the future...?)

Air Law and Operational Procedures are quite closely linked, combining them makes a lot of sense.

Most people apparently find Human factors easy so you can probably do it any time paris shuttle.

RT and Nav share a fair amount of syllabus and are probably best taken once you've done a bit of actual in-flight navigation, when it becomes clearer why things are done the way they are done.

Met is quite chunky and you may want to do it sooner rather than later.

The 3 technical subjects are all related and you may be well off doing them together.

I did mine in this order:
Sitting 1
- Air law
- Operational Procedures
- Human factors
- Meteorology (Second weekend)
Sitting 2:
- RT
- Principles of Flight
- Aircraft General
Sitting 3:
- Performance
- Navigation

Looking back, I probably should have done RT and Nav together and all the technical subjects together.
YMMV, though - you may find some subjects easier/more difficult and therefore wish to group them differently.

Morten



thank you for details!
By jldtrigger
#1427445
I am looking for advice on when and in what order to sit the 9 PPL exams? Is it best to get them all out the way, or sit them progressively throughout your training?

During the bad weather I am keen to get them all done, but I don't want to hinder any flight training where fresh information might be useful at a particular stage.

To date I have passed Air Law and Communications, but don't know if I should leave it there for now.

What are the most difficult exams?

After chatting with my instructor, it was suggested to do one hard exam, followed by one easy one each sitting.

Thanks in advance
By kghjfg
#1427481
I did air law first, comms and comms practical.
I then did human factors with about 30 mins revising.

Meteorology next I've been advised.

Tbh, I'm expecting a mad rush of exams near the end, as I've been concentrating on the flying lately.
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By Reptile Smile
#1427484
This is Dangerman's take on it. I found it really useful.

I did Air Law, Op Proc and Human Factors in one weekend, then buried my nose in a book and did Principles of Flight the following weekend. I'm doing Communications and Aircraft General Knowledge together in 10 days time (my second sitting).

I'll then do the last three (Nav, Met and Planning) separately as part of Ground School, as they're the ones to pick up others' practical experience of, I think.

This isn't advice - just what worked for me. I also found a combination of Air Quiz and PPL Tutor (on the iPad) worked well to practice once I felt I'd learnt the content.

Good luck!
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By Paul_Sengupta
#1427493
Yes, meteorology - while there's lots of practical examples to look at! :clown:

Maybe do it coupled with the human thingie and aircraft general - if that's still an exam, I haven't looked at this for a while! :D

I have no idea what Principles of Flight is, they didn't have that in my day...
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By seanjd
#1427561
Get Operational Procedures done as I believe you need this before you can go solo.

I found Meteorology, Navigation and Flight Planning to be the hardest one's, but I really enjoyed learning the Met stuff. Would suggest you Leave the Nav & Flt Plan exams until you get closer to needing them as then the information you need will be still relatively fresh.

Human Factors is the easiest exam. I thought it made sense to do Principles of Flight and Aircraft Technical at the same time (sitting) as they are related.
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By Reptile Smile
#1427564
Paul - I believe Principles of Flight, and Aircraft General Knowledge, used to be the same exam, but then got split into two.

Also, I believe, SeanJD, (but am happy to be corrected!) that it is Air Law which is required to go solo (which also used to be one exam when combined before Op Proc - now they're two separate exams). In any event, lots of people do them both in the same sitting...
By riverrock
#1427962
Indeed - talk it through with your school / instructor. There are limits to how many sittings you can to the exams in, and a limit between your last exam and your flight test (if you are learning the slow way!).

The exams required before you go solo thing is school specific - there is no legal requirement for it, but certain exams do make sense before you go solo.