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How to become a pilot with Modular Flight Training

Updated: Jul 22, 2021

Is it your dream to fly but you’re not sure where to start or what would be best for you? Have you ever considered completing a Modular flight training course?

We know how daunting and difficult it can be researching different flight schools and different flight training courses. You want something easy to read and simple, and luckily enough for you, we’ve made that.

In this article we'll cover what Modular flight training is, the stages of Modular flight training (broken down in to ten stages), what you get after graduating, as well as the many advantages to completing your flight training the Modular way. So, if you’re interested in flying and you feel that Modular flight training may be the right training course for you, then stay with us to find out more.



Let's start off with covering the basics of what Modular flight training is like. Firstly, what appeals to many students is that it is, in essence, a part-time course. This means that you are able to work life around the individual modules to better suit you and your lifestyle. You also have flexibility in choosing where you complete your training as well as when. If one month you need to work more, you can take a short break from training and then start up again next month. With this high degree of flexibility you can complete your flight training as slowly or as quickly as you like. Modular flight training can also be less intense compared to Integrated flight training, which for many is a more appealing factor too.

Let’s move on to cost. Modular flight training is much more cost-effective when compared to integrated courses, with savings between £25,000 to £45,000 depending on your choices. Pricing for Modular flight training courses can vary significantly depending on the modules you choose and the route you take. Modular courses for hour-building abroad, the type of ATPL theory you undertake, and your overall flight training route all affect price. Financially, going Modular is much more manageable, owing to the pay-as-you-fly nature of training overall, meaning no large upfront cost and no large regular bills. You pay when you train.

Aeros Academies

Aeros Academies

When looking into where to complete your Modular Flight Training there are a wide range of flight schools to choose from. At Aeros, we offer multiple locations across the UK, as well as options to fly abroad in Florida. We want you to focus and study hard to get to the place you belong. Your future is as important to us as it is to you and that’s why we offer the flexibility in training and location unmatched by others here in the UK.

Many past students have said that attending a larger flight school can make things more difficult and lack the bespoke personalised support smaller Modular academies offer, like our Aeros base in Cardiff, Coventry, Gloucester, Doncaster and Wellesbourne do. We pride ourselves on building a close connection with our cadets, students and instructors.


Course Stages:

Stage 1: Prerequisites

Before you start Modular Flight Training there are a few things that you need to have obtained and considered before hand. Firstly, to even start flight training there are two very important factors that are minimum requirement, and these are:

  • 5 GCSE’s, including Maths and Physics

  • You must be at least 18 years old to hold a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) and 21 years old to hold an Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL).

It is a challenging but rewarding process to go from being an inexperienced pilot to a qualified professional pilot. There is a lot of work and effort to put in. One recommendation is to have qualifications or skills in another similar industry, either as a back-up plan or as something that will make you standout and offer transferable skills to the role of a pilot. This could be in engineering, oil and gas industry or aerospace, for example. This shouldn’t be an issue if you are in your late 20’s or older as you will already have years of experience in other industries before you start training. However, if you are in your early 20’s and want to undertake Modular flight training, it would be a good idea to diversify your knowledge so that you stand out form the crowd or just incase anything was to happen during your aviation career, such as the loss of your medical.

Trail flight at Aeros

Stage 2: Flight Trial

This short experience flight is to determine that becoming a pilot is something you are definitely interested in and want to go forward with before you put a vast amount of money into the training. The easiest way to do this is to book a trial lesson or experience with us. These lessons are between 30 minutes to an 1 hour. If you have a particular Aeros Academy in mind that you want to complete your Modular Flight Training with, you can book with them.

This gives you an opportunity to see the flight school before hand, as well as speak to the instructors and cadets. It will also give you an insight into the academy’s ‘customer service’ and decide if it’s somewhere you would like to progress to your PPL.

Stage 3: Medical Certification

This is one of the last stages that you should complete before you start your Modular flight training. To fly professionally, you must obtain an EASA Class 1 medial. Without this medical certificate you won’t be able to fly as a professional, so this is a must have before you start any flying course. To find your closest Medical Centre and Medical Examiner, check with your local CAA authority. If you are only wanting to fly for fun and not professionally, then you need to obtain an EASA Class 2 medical.

Stage 4: Private Pilot Licence (PPL)

Once you have completed stages 1, 2 and 3, and are sure the Modular flight raining is what you want to do, then you can commence training. The Private Pilot Licence is the first course you must complete and this allows you to fly recreationally. There are some ground school theoretical knowledge exams that you must complete for this licence and these are:

  • Air law

  • Human performance

  • Meteorology

  • Communications

  • Navigation

  • Principles of flight

  • Operational procedures

  • Flight performance and planning

  • Aircraft general knowledge

As well as the theoretical knowledge exams, the PPL combines with practical flight training. These requirements are:

  • 45 hours flight instruction minimum

  • 10 hours solo

  • Skills test

Modular Flight Training at Aeros

Stage 5: Hour Building

Hour building is the next stage in completing your Modular Pilot Training. As well as this time being great to push yourself in developing your PPL skills further and getting yourself ready for your more advanced CPL course, it is also an amazing opportunity to enjoy yourself whilst up in the air. There will never be a time where you can head to the airfield and fly somewhere random and different for absolutely no reason other than to build your flying hours. There are however some requirements that you must complete for this stage of Modular flight training and these are:

  • 100 hours Pilot in Command (PIC)

  • 50 hours cross country (this is for your Multi-engine Instrument Rating (ME/IR))

  • 20 hours cross country (This is for your Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL))

Stage 6: Night Rating

When you have completed your PPL, and before you start your CPL, you must have completed your night rating course. As well as this course being a requirement commencing your CPL, it also allows you to be able to fly at night in the future. This course consists of:

  • Theoretical knowledge instruction (No exam)

  • 5 hour instruction at night (3 of these hours are dual instruction and 1 hour of cross country)

  • Complete 5 solo full-stop landings

Stage 7: ATPL Exam (Theory)

The next stage is your ATPL exams which are all theoretical based. There are 14 exams in total and this can be one of the most challenging parts of your any flight training journey. Depending on your weekly schedule and what else you have going on, you can be studying for these exams whilst completing your hour building. However, this can be different for everyone, so it would be good to figure out what will work best for you and your lifestyle. Once you do sit your first ATPL theory exam, you will have 18 months to complete all 14 exams, so make sure you are focused during this period.

The 14 exam subjects are:

  • Air Law

  • Operation Procedures

  • Human Performance and Limitations

  • Meteorology

  • VFR Communications

  • IFR Communications

  • Principles of Flight

  • General Navigation

  • Mass and Balance

  • Performance

  • Flight Planning and Monitoring

  • Radio Navigation

  • Aircraft General Knowledge – Airframes/ Systems/ Power Plant/ Electrics

  • Aircraft General Knowledge – Instrumentation

modular flight training at Aeros

Stage 8: Multi-engine or Competency Based Instrument Rating (ME/IR or CB/IR)

The standard hours for the Multi-engine or Competency Based Instrument Rating course is 55.

The requirements for an ME/IR course are:

  • 25 hours completed in a simulator

  • 20 hours competed in a aircraft

The requirements for a CB/IR course are:

  • Minimum of 10 hours of instrument flight time

  • Minimum of 25 hours of dual instrument instruction (15 hours of which must be in a multi-engine airplane)

Stage 9: Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL)

After having completed your PPL, hour building, night rating and ATPL exams, you are then able to start your CPL. There is a choice between whether you do your ME/IR first or your CPL when it comes to your Modular flight training journey. However, the major factor that can effect this is that you need a minimum of 200 hours in total for your CPL skills test. This can be quite difficult to achieve (and more costly) if you complete your CPL too early, and that is why many aspiring pilots complete there ME/IR or CB/IR before their CPL. Your CPL course is usually 25 hours completed over a 3 week period and concludes with a CPL skills test. The pre-entry requirements for this course are:

  • Passed the 14 EASA ATPL exams

  • Hold a PPL with 175 flight hours

  • 100 hours PIC

  • Completed a 300nm cross country

  • Hold a valid Class 1 Medical certificate

  • Hold a Night Rating

Stage 10: Multi Crew Cooperation (MCC) & Advanced Upset Prevention and Recovery (UPRT)

Once you have completed your CPL you are then introduced to the multi-crew environment with the Multi Crew Cooperation Course. Since the beginning of your Modular flight training you have been flying aircraft as a single pilot, but as aircraft complexity increases, multi-crew skills become much more important. MCC courses prepare you for life as an airline pilot and for working as part of a flight crew. There are a number of variations you can undertake at different price points, such as MCC only, MCC/JOC and APS MCC.

Also, to prepare you for unusual flight situations you will need to undertake an Upset Prevention and Recovery Training course. This course consists of:

  • 5 hours instruction (theory)

  • 3 hours flying

With this course, you will look at dynamic upset recovery from different altitudes, experience different G loadings as well as how that can feel on your body. This stage can be very informative regarding safety situations that could happen in the future, but it is also great fun.

Become a pilot with Modular Training

After Graduation

After around 18 months of completing all the necessary stages/courses for your Modular flight training course, you will then obtain different qualifications and certificates. These qualifications and certificates are going to help you when applying to airlines after you have graduated, and consist of:

  • Private Pilot Licence (PPL)

  • Night Rating

  • ATPL Theoretical Knowledge Training

  • Commercial Pilots License with Instrument Rating (CPL/IR/MEP)

  • Multi-Crew Cooperation (MCC) completion certificate

  • Upset Prevention & Recovery Training (UPRT)

All of these courses and qualifications culminate in you obtaining an fATPL (Frozen Airline Transport Pilot Licence) which you can then use to apply for jobs an a commercial pilot.


Advantages & Disadvantages

When it comes to thinking about any sort of flight training or school, there are always going to be a multitude of advantages and disadvantages. However, when you are thinking about these, different things can be seen as an advantage or disadvantage when compared to someone else. For example, someone might think a course that is less intensive is an advantage, however, someone might prefer a course that will push them a lot harder, so they then might see this as a disadvantage. This is why it is good to consider all pros and cons for a course and what works better to you and your lifestyle. On the other hand, we have split up what we would see as advantages and disadvantages of the Modular flight training course.

Starting off with some advantages of the course, and the foremost important thing is that it is a lot cheaper than integrated courses,, and you can ‘pay-as-you-fly’ rather than having to pay a large sum upfront. This course can also be stated as a less intense course because of the flexibility around it. This then means that you are able to work alongside training, so you can be earning whilst learning. Whether you have a full-time job, part-time job or other commitments, you can work your flight training around all of these. Also, because of this flexibility, you are able to stop training when you need to, for whatever reason that may be. The other thing that some may see as a pro, but others can see as a con, is that from the Modular flight training course there is no airline that you are committed to going to after graduation. This then gives you the freedom to apply wherever you want to after training.

There are some disadvantages too. Firstly, because of the flexibility of this course, it does mean it can take you a few years to complete, and for some it came take longer to complete when compared to structured integrated courses. This does however completely depend on you and your lifestyle. Yes you may have things going on and you may have a part time job, but if you are able to focus enough of your time, you may be able to get it done quicker than others. If you aren’t in a rush to complete your training then this may not affect you. Another issue partly due to the flexibility and the fact you can complete different parts of the course at different flight schools means that it can be difficult to maintain consistency throughout training. This might be due to having many different flight instructors and different flight schools. This can easily be rectified by sticking to a single Modular flight school however.



As we all now know, Modular flight training has amazing flexibility and allows you to train around your own lifestyle. You are able to complete this course as quickly or as slowly as you like, depending on your financial situation as well. It isn’t a set course that you have to do by a specific time or at a specific flight school. This course is completely down to you, and that’s what makes it so useful and appealing to future student pilots. Maybe you can’t afford to pay it all upfront, or you still need to work along side the course to be able to pay for it. That’s all completely fine. Just take some time when researching courses and finding which flight schools offer it as well as how much it is with everything included. It’s all up to you.

If you’d like to find out more about Aeros Modular training courses and Fastrack programme then get in touch via email at or contact one of our academies via phone directly.

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