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Military Pilot FAQs

What is the difference between a CPL and an ATPL and what will I initially get?

You will initially get a CPL IR which is a Frozen ATPL until you have 2000hrs, including 500hrs multi-pilot aircraft and a type rating. You can still get a job with a CPL IR but it means the employer will need to give you a base trainer sortie (costs them a bit more). If you have an ATPL then your type rating can be sim based. Once you have the hours and rating then you can convert your licence.​

Are there military credits for night ratings?

No, there used to be but under EASA that privelage has been removed. Section O (military credits) does say that there are no exemptions to the credits listed, BUT you can still get the night rating without flying. First you need an EASA PPL to add it onto. You need to go to a “Head of Training” at a “Air Training Organisation” (ATO, flying school) and ask them to complete the night rating form detailing your military night hours and state no extra training is required. Send this to the CAA, pay £88 and it’s on your licence. Tried and tested. This saves flying at night in a single engine piston aicraft, which is both scary and costly. 

Do I need to complete the ground school course for the ATPL exams?

No, just pass the CAA exams (this changed with EASA). Easiest way is to use a question bank which explains the answers when you get them wrong. Bristol Ground School is probably best for this. The revision weeks are useful but not essential, all depends on how much study time you have. Make sure your ELCAS course is at least £2500, so you can claim the full £2000 back. Training schools will be able to advise you which course is best.

I’m currently in a ground tour and don’t hold a unrestricted military green rating, does that matter?

No, providing you held one at some point in your career. If you didn’t and held a restricted rating or lower than green IRT then you need a bit more training (according to the CAA). Check CAP 804, section O, military credits and read the section relevant to the IRT you hold/held.  CAA CAP 804

What’s the difference between military IF and civilian IFR?

Military IF is flying in clouds. Civilian IFR is flying with sole reference to instruments. You can count military logged IF and simulated hours.

Where is the rule that military IF can be multiplied by 4 to give IFR?

It has been removed, use the method given in the previous question's answer.

Do I add taxi time to my military hours?

Most of the military credits forms ask for military flight time, not including taxi time. If you need to add taxi time, say to a CV, then it is accepted that you can add 10mins pre-takeoff and 5mins after landing.

What does ground school consist of?

Aircraft type specific, CPL and IFR profiles, flight planning, VFR navigation, general handling profiles for each test, performance planning and mass and balance planning.

Are there credits for the IR(R) / IMC rating?

Firstly it is called an IR(R) on a EASA licence and a IMC rating on a UK licence, same thing. This does allow you to fly down to 500ft for a precision approach and 600ft for a non-precision approach and down to 1500m vis. If you hold a military unrestricted green instrument rating then you are fully credited the rating. It now becomes a paperwork exercise (plus CAA charges) to get it added to your PPL or CPL. Useful to have and allows you to fly in IMC, IFR (not class A). Valid for 25 months and you need to complete the CAA paperwork to revalidate the rating for a further 25 months if you still have a military unrestricted green rating.

Are you ELCAS approved?

Yes, we are. In fact, we have been ELCAS approved for the past 10 years, and we have successfully kept our approval every single year as ELCAS requirements grow more demanding, without ever loosing or having the approval suspended. Our ELCAS provider number is 1506.

What is the syllabus for CPL and ME/IR?- Generic CAA syllabus is defined in CAA standard Documents 1 and 3. Also can be found in our CPL and IR Approvals manuals on site (link can not be provided due to copyright). There is no syllabus for QMP conversion, as the instructor will follow the afro mentioned CAA documents to prepare the student for the test.

What are the estimated costs for the course?

Including landing fees, approaches, VAT, instruction, aircraft hire, exam fees etc.- Depends on the aircraft chosen and the training required. Commonly between £5300 (Ground-school, TWIN ONLY: 4 hrs training, 6-8 landings and 4-6 approach fees, 2 tests solo hire, Approaches/landings for test, 2 CAA test fees (£775 each) paid to the CAA) and £6700 (ground-school, TWIN ONLY: based on 8 hrs training, 10-12 landing fees and 8-10 approach fees, 2 test solo hire, approaches/landings for test and 2 CAA test fees).


The prices include VAT. CAA fees are non-VATable. Common training profile lasts between 1.5 and 2 hrs, test profile is commonly under 2 hrs for a QMP. The cost can be reduced considerably by using a MOD airfield for movements, as this saving will be passed directly to the student. The cost will be reduced by using Single engine a/c for CPL and twin simulator. Out of hours and weekend, QMP training/tests will receive 10% discount (this excludes CAA tests fees and full £775 will need to be paid for both tests). Full quote can be obtained through Aeros Gloucester. Training in the DA42 is £50 per hour more expensive.

How long do you plan for us to take to complete the course?

1-2 weeks. We have experience of completing QMP conversion within 3 days. We recommend to set aside 2 weeks for (inevitable) weather delay and CAA Examiner availability, also if the time limit was pressed to one week, we can book an examiner upfront before the course began and work towards the completion date.

What aircraft do you have for the training?

For QMP conversions we use: for single engine CPL PA28-201 Arrow, analogue cockpit; for multi engine CPL and IR: Seneca 2, analogue cockpit; Tecnam P2006T Glass cockpit G950 and Diamond DA42 Glass cockpit G1000. Tecnams and Diamonds are new aircrafts.

How far in advance can I book?

12 month in advance. ELCAS funding has to be applied for at least 30 days before the course start date. To guarantee the dates, instructor and a/c availability Aeros will request £250 deposit 2 month prior to the course start date, up until then the dates are flexible and can be moved. Operations will do their best to accommodate any changes in dates, but sometimes it might be not possible within the period of 2 month prior to the course.

Can I do renewals with you in the simulator?

Yes, every other re-validation can be done in the Simulator within the validity of the rating. If the rating has expired, the renewal will have to be done in the aircraft.

Can I fly at weekends?

Yes, Aeros operates 7 days a week, all year round including bank holidays, with a short closure for Christmas break. Main Commercial training hours 8:30-17:30 Monday to Friday. QMP conversion training carried out after 17:30 and during the weekend will be discounted at 10%

Are the examiner's ex military?

The examiners for initial CPL and IR tests are being allocated by the CAA Flight Test Bookings based in Gatwick, some of them are ex-military. The examiners accept the test booking based on their location geographically.

What is your pass rate?

Aeros pass rate across 5 sites is 100% on full time courses- I believe this pass rate does not account for ICAO conversions.

How long is my licence valid for?

CPL license is lifetime. IR rating is valid for 1 year.

Can two of us complete the course at the same time and back seat each other?

Yes, back-seating is highly recommended. Also, as we are running commercial courses based on 2 students per instructor (for the reason of back-seating), having dual QMP will be very practical and will possibly save on required training to achieve test standard due to wider exposure.

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