I want to be an airline pilot!
This is undoubtedly the aim of most of the students who enrol at 43 Air School and this is also why most enrol for the Integrated Airline Transport Pilot’s License (IATPL). We are the only School in South Africa offering this course and have gained lots of experience with it. It entails a great deal of work; both theoretical and practical. It also costs a lot of money... It does not necessarily guarantee you a job, although it sets you on the front foot on your career path. It means that you have a ‘frozen ATPL’ as well as the theoretical subjects for the ATPL which you may attain when you have the required experience.
It is not a legal requirement, but it is advisable for the student to have maths and science as subjects on their school leaving certificates, especially for the IATPL. It is also advisable to do a psychometric test. We use the internationally recognised COMPASS assessment for this purpose. It has proved most useful; it gives students and sponsors an idea as to their suitability for this career and identifies areas for improvement during their training. The licensed pilot is expected to be mature enough to carry passengers at the end of their training; their future employer is going to rigorously vet applicants and choose only the best!
So why does 43 Air School practise ‘streaming’? Why are some students moved from the IATPL to the Integrated Commercial Pilot’s License (ICPL)? It is a tough ask to attempt the ATPL subjects with very limited flying and life experience; not all students are able to make the grade. The student has 18 months from the start of their examinations in which to complete them all; if he/she does not, then they have to start again! They forfeit those they have managed to pass and begin again! The SA CAA has just released new regulations that are going to make the examinations even more difficult in 2016! To allow a student to keep failing over and over again at the ATPL level when they could realistically pass at the CPL level is simply not responsible. The licence attained for both courses is the same, the Commercial Pilot’s License with Instrument and Multi-Engine Ratings. If the ICPL candidate wishes to attempt the ATP subjects after completion of the CPL, they are welcome to do so. It may, however, benefit them to go out into industry and complete the subjects later, once they have gained more operational and life experience.
Streaming is done in the interests of the student; to facilitate the development of self-confidence, and to ensure that all students are ready for a career in aviation. Even though some may get there along the IATPL route and others along the ICPL route.