Use this forum to flag up examples of red tape and gold plate
By riverrock
I believe EASA sets the content and the subjects, but it doesn't say how many exams they must be taken over. Ireland has 4 exams vs our 9...

The extra exams are used by schools almost to print money (they can charge 9 times instead of 4). The only people that this helps is are flight schools.
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By Sir Morley Steven
Just for balance we have bought 3 brand new Cirruses since the new exams came in. (Sorry Ian, bit personal but FFS!)
By riverrock
Fair enough - but it would also help in managing "sittings".
I do recognise that making money isn't the reason that most flight schools exist!
By Bathman
The current 9 exams in 6 sittings is a bit of a joke as is the current content.

It needs completely revising.

I would suggest we look at the FAA model.
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By leiafee
Cross posted from the students forum where the "sittings" malarkey has come up again.

leiafee wrote:
Hmmnnn wrote:
but at my club, its up to the student to decide when they are ready for the ground exams.... as no one else knows what level they are at!

No, not any more. The school must recommend that you are ready for an exam, therefore they need to have a system in place for confirming this.

In an ideal world this shouldn't be necessary but, unfortunately, too many people are not using the available on-line question banks as a means of checking, or revision - but are simply learning how to answer specific questions which have become more and more similar, if not identical, to the actual exam questions.

Therefore another method has to be used to try and ensure future pilots do, in fact, have, at least, a good basic knowledge.

But isn't that method going to be, at almost all schools, "What sort of marks are you getting on the sample papers?

Not sure I see the difference.

A student, on test, is asked by the Examiner what type of ailerons are fitted to the aircraft the flight test has just been completed in. "Differential" says the student - but cannot then say, when asked, what 'differential' (a word they have just used) means, let alone the reason why some ailerons have this feature.

Is there evidence that this is a) happening and b) causing accidents?

Seems to be it's another example of rule making based on worst case scenarios that on the whole have been entirely made up rather than based on problems we have right now.

This is a discussion for another thread really, but what you're looking for there is a different assessment method entirely.

Having a human being confirm understanding through discussion is unquestionably more 'real' than multiple guess exams. But it's more time consuming, expensive and harder to standardise. So they won't do it and instead tinker around the edge of the current multiple guess system with sittings and extra hoops.

Any educator could tell you it's the current system is a poor one for genuinely assessing underpinning knowledge that you want to be retained. It's a poor syllabus, a poor assessment assessment.

We're still having performance related accidents, every most AAIB monthly release have at least two or more runway overruns or fuel errors - the performance and planning syllabus and assessment isn't working. We're still having airspace infringements every month - the nav syllabus and assessment isn't working. We're still having air misses through failure of see and avoid and and accidents caused by bad decision making - the human factors syllabus and assessment isn't working. We're still hearing poor r/t and misunderstanding the services provided - the communications syllabus and assessment isn't working.

And it's not the timeframe of the exams or how many you did in one go that's making it not work...
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By Keef
I can't see what earthly point there is in a "sittings" limit, except that probably one of the EASA member countries had that in their rulebook and it was carried over to EASA to ensure "proportionality". It's daft, it should go.

The FAA model is ONE written exam and a VERY stiff oral exam before the flight test. I felt that was a much better measure of what I knew and could do.
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By nickwilcock
The CAA is abundantly aware of industry's rightful criticism of the current PPL exams and the whole 'sittings' nonsense. Originally, a 'sitting' would have been only one day; the CAA soon amended that to 3 days and subsequently to 10 days after being challenged by AOPA (me) to justify their gold plating in excess of EASA requirements.

We have also proposed 6 exams rather than 9; 3 combined exams with 24 questions each (Alr Law & Op. Procs, Navigation & FP&P, a/c general & PofF) and 3 single subject exams of 16 questions each (HP&L, Met, Comms) - so that assessing 75% is simple. A total of 120 questions (in accordance with the actual EASA requirement rather than the gold-plated CAA requirement of 43% more than even EASA requires...) and the 6 exams would at least sit reasonably well within the '6 sittings' requirement.
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The French have two exams…

By Jon Mercer
G-BLEW wrote:The French have two exams…



Now you're just taunting us. I thought you were against inflaming emotions on here? :lol:
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By Cookie
Information Notice 2014/147

In keeping with our commitment to remove unnecessary gold plating of European regulation we have reduced the number of Theoretical Knowledge (TK) examination questions for Part- FCL Private Pilot Licence (PPL) (Aeroplane) and (Helicopter), Part-FCL Light Aircraft Pilot Licence (LAPL) (A) and (H), and UK National PPL (A) to a total of 120 multiple-choice questions covering all subjects. ... 014147.pdf

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By Morten
That's still 9 exams?

Each presumably with fewer questions - but that does not really help anyone, does it?

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By Edward Hawkins
I have to admit that I am disappointed with this.
We still have nine exams and the six sittings nonsense.
By Bathman
Oh Dear.

Nine exams and all this sittings rubbish.

Lets hope the content is at least relevant.
Last edited by Bathman on Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.