If you were to ask a few people studying for the ATPLs which topics they find the most challenging then you might find that a pattern emerges with many people finding the same topics that much more difficult that the others. In my case I found General Navigation, Principles of Flight and Meteorology the toughest and scored 77%, 79% and 82% respectively and as quite a visual learner I can honestly say that if it wasn't for discovering CAE's Computer Based Training (CBT) software when I did then I would have failed them.
In this post I aim to explain exactly what CAE's CBT offering is and how it may well help you in your own ATPL studies. Some people question why I used this software when I was a CTC Aviation student and my response to this would simply be you must use what works best for you. PadPilot text books provided by CTC Aviation are very helpful and also include videos and interactive elements but as a very visual person I found this CBT allowed me to go back and virtually sit in a lesson again. They're very helpful!
CAE Oxford CBTs are developed by a subsidiary of CAE and are incredibly detailed and interactive lessons. They really help you to visualise exactly what's going on in certain situations through the use of videos and well-explained concepts. A clear example here is Principles of Flight in respect of control surfaces. As a very visual person, I'd much sooner walk up to an aircraft and play around with the control surfaces to see them work in real life as opposed to simply trying to visualise it in my head. Now, as I don't have an aircraft in my back garden to do this, the CAE Oxford CBT on Principles of Flight helped to bridge this gap. The same can be said for other topics too, such as Electrics where the CBT animations help you visualise the flow of energy through a motor / generator.
I used the CBT software quite extensively throughout Module 3 at CTC Aviation for AGK & Meteorology as they're such HUGE topics!!
Pretty much all of the 14 topics of the ATPL syllabus have content. You can find sample/demo videos here!
This depends on whether you purchased the CD-ROM version or web-version. The CD-rom edition will only run on a Windows PC whereas the web-version will run on pretty much any device that supports web browsing and HTML5 so that includes your PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android etc.
This is the only negative about the CAE Oxford CBT. It's very pricey but perhaps that's understandable given the quality of the lessons. Luckily I managed to get hold of the CBT package on a CD-rom from a former cadet at Oxford Aviation and sometimes you can pick these up on eBay so if you can grab one of those I'd definitely recommend it. However, if you're looking to buy a CBT package directly from CAE or you wish to run it on an iPad etc you can do so at the link below.
The prices start from £15 for your smaller packs up to £45 for packages such as Meteorology and Principles of Flight. Access is available for 90 days. If you weigh it up though, if spending £45 is the difference between you passing and failing your weakest subject I'd say it's certainly worth it. I wouldn't necessarily recommend you go out and spent the full whack on all 14 topics as that's somewhat extreme.