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Yet More Exam Results

When sitting the final round of ATPL exams at the beginning of October, I came away from most of the six feeling confident about my performance, and was convinced that I passed the majority of them. Of the three ATPL modules, this last one had more exams than any other, so it was quite a hectic couple of months, with lots of hard work and study. Even with my parents visiting in September, I worked hard, desperate to get some half-decent marks. Having failed two exams in previous modules, I wanted to be able to contact my parents when the results came out and to tell them that I had passed all of the things!

The first day of exams was to be the biggest challenge for me, with Performance in the morning followed by Mass & Balance in the afternoon. Performance was not a subject I found easy to understand and it wasn’t until the weekend before that I suddenly grasped some of the trickier aspects of Mass & Balance. Day two was the dreaded Flight Planning & Monitoring (a 3-hour exam) and Operational Procedures, with Radio Navigation on day three and finally, Human Performance & Limitations on day four.

After the module one and two exams, I nervously awaited the results, and hoped that they would be delayed, just so I didn’t have to find exactly how I had done. This time around, however, I was quite looking forward to getting my hands on the results sheet. I knew that two exams had not gone brilliantly; Radio Navigation and Performance, so I spent a few days mentally working out my score. Whilst a number of questions I had answered incorrectly – I knew that much for sure – I was still fairly certain that I had achieved the required 75% or more.

Going into the school on Wednesday 21 October to collect the results was slightly nerve-racking, and I insisted that an instructor tell me how I had done instead of me looking at the sheet for myself. He told me I had “done well”, which was reassuring, so I asked, “how well?”. I was relieved when he said, “very well” and then handed me the sheet. All six subjects had the word ‘PASS’ next to them. When you see that, you can’t help but check that it is your results sheet that you have in your hand! I would have hated it if I had been celebrating somebody else’s success! My grades ranged from 80% to 100% (only my second full mark score of the ATPL), which was really pleasing. The news was just as good for Will and Ian, who also did well, but even more exciting for Conal and Igor, who both completed the ATPL upon receiving their results.

I have now passed 12 of the fourteen exams due to having failed Instrumentation in June and Meteorology in August. Both of these re-sits are scheduled for 3 and 4 November respectively, and, fingers crossed, these will be the last two exams that I am required to take before finally completing the ATPL myself! This course has been very tough so I will be relieved when I eventually finish it!

After finishing the exams, I took some time out to recover, enjoying the usual Florida attractions; Seaworld (twice), Busch Gardens, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and even a visit to the beach at Clearwater. I also had to squeeze in some study in preparation for the upcoming exams. My friend, Marc, was due to visit in early October but had to cancel at the last minute. His friend, Ben, went ahead with the trip and spent a week in sunny Orlando, enjoying the attractions mentioned above.

The flying has once again started and I am now undergoing training for my FAA Instrument Rating, which will be converted to JAA when I return to the UK next year. The first day of flying gave me a real buzz as it had been well over six months since I had last been taught anything in an aircraft. Rather disappointingly, my flying hours totalled a miserable 20 hours between April and October!

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