The information contained herein applies to my own experience of post-selection between March 2016 and my start date of August 2016. Airline MPL programs may well have additional steps in between for which I can pass no comment, however, I imagine most of the L3 Airline Academy / CTC Aviation side of things will remain fairly similar and many of the aspects of this post, i.e. Insurance, should still apply. Foreign nationals may have additional steps not referenced, i.e. English language proof.
If you have been offered a place on the L3 Airline Academy / CTC Aviation Integrated ATPL (Whitetail) course or have passed the selection process for an MPL program then the first thing I'll say to you is congratulations!! It wasn't too long ago that I was in your very position and I can remember my reaction very well. In fact, I think I scared half of my housemates to death as I jumped out of my chair yelling "YES!!!!", especially having failed first time around.
I never intended to create a Part Three post to my selection series, but it seems that following every major selection event CTC Aviation run I receive a common set of questions by email from a lot of readers. With that in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to address the common ones here and link existing blog content for you dig your teeth in to. As always, I hope you find it helpful.
This post is intended for people who fall in to one of the following categories:
It'll soon to be time for you to receive your L3 Airline Academy uniform and get started on your own training journey, but before you can do that there is likely to be a fair bit of administration work for you to take care of. I've broken this down into separate headings for ease of consumption and have linked previous blog posts where appropriate.
Have you been offered a Whitetail place and are unsure whether to accept?
I've written a post on this very specific topic. Go and read the "I've been offered a Whitetail place, should I take it?" post.
A few days after the conclusion of the selection process I received an email from the Pilot Administration team asking me a few questions about my current commitments and notice periods etc. After replying, the admin team then responded with a selection of available course dates and locations. I chose the only date suited to my final year of university / graduation and received an enrollment pack later that day. It included:
Interestingly, some of my course mates didn't receive the choice of start date. However, I was successful in the March of 2016 whereas others were later in the year. So, with that in mind I wouldn't rely on receiving a selection of dates it just happened to work out that way for me.
This step will vary from program to program due to each airline's involvement yet one thing I wouldn't change was my 'fine-tooth comb' approach to reading it. Now, i'm not saying there's anything in there to trick you as it's far from it, but it's an incredible amount of money to be investing and I thus wanted to make sure I fully understood what I was getting myself in to. In knowing what i'd signed for, I was able to start training knowing exactly what to expect from day one, including equipment, accommodation, training, etc. I made sure to read them myself before asking a family member to also check over them before then returning them to the school to seal the deal.
A deposit of £5,000 had to be paid alongside the returned contracts. This £5,000 forms part of your overall course fee and is not in addition to it. As I planned to use BBVA to fund the majority of the course I first wanted to make sure BBVA would accept an application from me before I parted with a non-refundable amount of money. After discussing the situation, it was agreed the deposit could be paid up no later than one month prior to the start date in order to allow an application to BBVA to process.
Funding the course (BBVA in my case)
Almost certainly something that will vary from program to program, selected applicants may well have unique funding agreements in place with their airline or their airlines' banking partners, for which I can provide no comment. In my case however, I planned to fund the full course cost using a BBVA pilot loan. Sadly, I was only eligible to lend £70,000. The generosity of my family amazes me to this day as they agreed to support me with the rest. On hearing from BBVA and completing their paperwork I paid the deposit to L3 Airline Academy / CTC Aviation.
As the topic of pilot loans is a lengthy one and is an area I'm asked about quite a bit, it may help you to read my dedicated post on applying for a pilot loan from BBVA Bank to find out more about what they offer and how to go about applying.
One month prior to starting I had to apply for a police check. Instructions were provided on how to go about applying. This check was at my own cost and from memory was around about £25+VAT. UK citizens use the Disclosure Scotland service and checks from nations referenced within the enrollment pack may vary in price and/or complexity.
CAA Class One Medical
I had to prove to the pilot administration team that I satisfied the requirements to hold a Class One Medical. I happened to already have one so simply forwarded on my certificate. If you want to know more about what's involved in the Class One medical, read my medical post.
I took out a variety of insurance policies for the purposes of training. I believe L3 Airline Academy / CTC Aviation only required life insurance and loss of training expenses cover, the former of which was also required BBVA bank. I've written separate posts on the insurance policies themselves and the provider(s) typically use and you can read about these in the Insurance section of my blog.
This is the name I've given to the payment, but in a nutshell it's the first course payment you are expected to make after your deposit. The value may vary from program to program and will be outlined within your Enrollment packs payment schedule. In my case I was requested to pay £5000 the month prior to starting. This could therefore mean that cadets who start very soon after their selection date may need to be this payment alongside their deposit so it's worth planning for. Following this payment I was not required to pay anything else until month five of my training when the next bond payment and foundation fees were due.
Accommodation & First Flight Event
Whilst the date of the First Flight Event is set well in advance which eases the booking of holiday for parents or family attending, the schedule for such was issued a week before alongside our accommodation details. The First Flight Event is the chance for cadets to meet each other for the first time, although with thanks to Facebook most of us had already been introduced in a group chat formed by one of the CP members. For more details on the accommodation specifically, please visit the accomodation section of my blog.
Budgeting for Living Expenses
Having lived at university for the past four years I had some idea about living on a budget. One thing's for sure, ALDI & Lidl are your friends. Household bills aren't payable by trainees, which is a plus, but with that said I still had no idea how much to expect to spend during training. With that in mind, and for the benefit for future cadets such as you, I've decided to log exactly what I spend in an expenses tracker. I'm challenging myself to do it on as small a budget as possible. Why not give it a read if you're interested!
Other posts worth a read
Having completed my ATPLs in February 2017 I wrote the following three posts as a round-up to Groundschool. You may find them useful!