Taking the Modular Training RouteModular training is a course that taken at the pace of the student rather than to a set timetable. Students can stop and start different periods of training as funding and lifestyle allows.
Some students complete modular training in around 18 months, but most take an average of 24 months to qualify.
One of the main reasons trainee pilots take the modular route is to maintain a part-time (or sometimes full-time) job whilst training. It also allows for spreading the cost of the course and the opportunity for learning in more than one country in order to fit budget. Having a family or family commitments is another common reason to take this route.
As modular training is financed as you go, there is also less risk involved in this type of training should your circumstances change or if you change your mind.
When you become a modular student, research is constant. Talking to fellow students and reading articles is the best way to navigate the journey to your first airline job.
The traditional path for partaking in Modular training is:
Gain a PPL- takes from three to 12 months to complete, possibly more. The duration depends on the funding available, weather, availability and more. The minimum required flight time is 45 hours, of which 10 must be solo.
Build up flying hours- complete 100 solo flying hours as pilot in command. The 100 hours must include 20 hours of cross-country navigation, of which one flight must be 300 nautical miles with 2 full stops at aerodromes other than that of departure.
Sit ATPL exams- consists of 14 subjects: Air law, OPS, meteorology, general navigation, radio navigation, VFR communications, IFR communications, aircraft general knowledge, instrumentation, human performance, mass and balance, flight planning, performance and principles of flight.
Once you start taking exams, you have 18 months to complete them with a maximum of six exam sittings (up to four per subject).
Gain CPL, IR and MCC- The CPL must be completed in a complex aircraft (retractable landing gear and variable pitch propeller). The course consists of 25 hours flight training, ground classes and is completed with a flight test.
Instrument rating is a qualification that pilots must hold to be able to to fly under instrument flight rules.
The Multi-Crew Co-operation (MCC) course teaches how to operate effectively and efficiently as a crew member.
There are both advantages and disadvantages to modular training. One of the main disadvantages is that many airlines prefer hiring pilots who have completed integrated training. Airlines tend to have connections to integrated training schools so they have more say in the schooling and the subsequent hiring. Therefore competition for jobs can be higher than if taking the integrated route.
However, modular training does mean that you could have more control over the airlines you apply for jobs with. It also means having more choice of flight school and the ability to change throughout your course.
To become a pilot via the modular training route, you must maintain discipline and have the ability to motivate your own learning. It is advantageous to do some of your own research and reading throughout the modular course in order to keep the end goal of becoming a pilot in mind, familiarising yourself with what airlines are looking for when hiring a newly qualified pilot.