- Full time – Poland and UK
- Outstanding value – £63,000 bond
- Duration typically 20 months
- Leading to employment
Who is it for?
If you are able to commit full-time, are able to re-locate to our training centres, are looking for a fully comprehensive high-quality programme leading to employment and want the benefit of a sponsored cadet programme, this is the programme for you.
The Wings Alliance Full-time Programme offers the best of two worlds: the career boost of a high quality cadet programme with the value of the modular route. The training draws on the expertise of two Wings Alliance member schools; Bartolini Air in Lodz, Poland, who provide the flight training and theory specialist Bristol Groundschool in Clevedon, UK, who provide the ATPL theory.
Like all Wings Alliance programmes, it is preceded by selection, and finishes with the Wings Alliance APS-MCC course, immediately before your airline type rating and subsequent employment. The aim of the programme is to prepare you for employment as a First Officer.
The first step in all our programmes is selection. For more information about our selection process, click here.
After successful selection, we will arrange a for you to visit Bartolini Air. The visit involves an overnight stay and is your chance to meet current students, the Bartolini staff and have a brief look around the area before committing to a lengthy period living and training in a country you may not have visited before.
Bartolini Air’s own flight training programmes are so popular that the waiting lists can exceed 12 months, so we will arrange this visit as soon as possible. We make reservations for places with Bartolini Air well in advance, so as to reduce waiting list times for our students as much as possible. Nevertheless, it pays to plan ahead for this programme!
If you confirm that you wish to go ahead, we will explain to you the financial arrangements and then you will be invited to enter a training agreement with the sponsor organisation, Airline Pilot Sponsorship Ltd (APS). With that agreement in place we will be able to confirm your training dates.
The programme consists of 5 stages:
(1) Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL) theory and flight training
The first phase of training takes place in Poland: your PPL course. PPL theory training is relatively straightforward. It is delivered as a combination of lectures and directed self-study and the exams are internal exams administered by Bartolini Air. The training will be concurrent with your PPL flight training. The flight training involves 35 hours dual and 10 hours solo flying in Tecnam P2008 aircraft before your PPL flight test. You should have completed your PPL in about 13 weeks.
(2) Airline Transport Pilot’s Licence (ATPL) theory training
Although the training will lead ultimately to a Commercial Pilot’s Licence (CPL), you will be ‘pre qualified’ for an ATPL by skipping the CPL theory and going straight onto ATPL theory . You will be enrolled with Bristol Groundschool to start ATPL theory training as soon as you pass your PPL. The 13 subjects (Communications is taught as one subject but there are two exams) are separated into 3 ‘modules’, each of which will take approximately 4 months. You will be given a detailed timetable, breaking each module into weekly activity, both flying and theory training. You are given a degree of freedom during this phase, to learn in a style that suits you. Some students prefer to do their theory studies in short sessions, others prefer whole days; you’ll work out what suits you.
Each subject is split into several topics. A topic consists of one or more lessons and each topic ends with a progress test. You’ll be programmed with a week’s activity to work through several lessons and progress tests. There will be tutor support available to you. The timetable will have you working through all the material in the module before the end of the time allocated, to allow a period of revision before you fly to the UK for a week in the classroom with Bristol Groundschool and then sit the examinations.
The examinations are European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) ATPL exams set by Austro Control. Bristol Groundschool will guide you through the exam booking process.
For the flying, you can book slots with Bartolini Air, subject to availability, to suit you. This means that you can manage for yourself the split between flying and theory studies to suit your ideal learning style.
We will monitor your theoretical knowledge training progress and performance remotely and will get regular progress and performance feedback from Bartolini Air on your flying. If everything is going to plan, we will not intervene, but we are always here to help if you run into any difficulties.
(3) Hour building
By the time you complete this phase, having passed all 14 theory ATPL examinations, you will need to have logged no less than 157 hours flight time including 100 hours pilot-in-command. You will need to have flown a ‘qualifying cross country’ which is a three-sector flight involving 2 stops and 300 nautical miles between destinations, hold a night rating and have done an advanced ‘Upset Prevention and Recovery Training’ (UPRT) course. You will be given a structured syllabus to follow, which involves increasingly stretching tasks, preparing you for the final phase of flight training after your theory exams.
We will allow you a degree of freedom though this three-part phase, so you can study the theory in a style that suits you. There will be an upper and lower limit on the rate you are able to fly, but within that you’ll be able to book slots to suit you. The exceptions will be the night phase and advanced UPRT course which will need to be planned in to fit Bartolini’s resource availability.
During the final phase, the routes become more complex and involve international and unfamiliar destinations that you will probably next visit when flying an airliner.
(4) CPL, MEP and IR
When you have completed your ATPL exams and gained enough flight time, you’ll be ready for your combined CPL, multi-engine class rating and instrument rating course. Training includes a week-long IR theory course, 30 hours on the Garmin 950 equipped Tecnam P2006T, 35 hours of FNPTII simulator training, 15 hours CPL training on the Tecnam P2008, all instruction, briefings, landing and approach fees and aircraft rental for the combined flight test. This phase takes approximately 12 weeks.
The final stage of your training is the Wings Alliance Airline Pilot Standards Multi-Crew Cooperation course (APS-MCC) in the UK, currently split between Clevedon and Gloucester. This is our last and only chance to assure the quality of our training output, and that quality assurance is an essential ingredient in the integrity of the promise we offer to employers: our graduates are of the highest quality and, not only are they great pilots but excellent employees too.
The course starts with four days technical and Crew Resource Management (CRM) training in the classroom, then 10 sessions in a brand-new Boeing 737 Max simulator (4 hours each for a crew of 2 or 6 hours for crews of 3). Finally, there are three days back in the classroom covering airline operations, advanced CRM and airline interview preparation.
The dates for each course vary a little to accommodate public holidays, exam dates and so on, and we also build-in some leave, but this is a typical training plan:
You should log at least the following hours during training:
This programme benefits from the Wings Alliance bond arrangements. Successful candidates will be sponsored by Airline Pilot Sponsorship Ltd (APS). The sponsorship represents a significant investment in you by APS. To mitigate APS’s risk, you will be required deposit a bond of £63,000 with APS. There is an opportunity to for the bond to be repaid to you during the first years of your employment by an airline .
APS will pay for:
- all training in the syllabus;
- first attempts at all exams and flight tests;
- all training equipment;
- approach and landing fees
- other training related costs;
- accommodation in Poland;
- Wings Alliance student membership;
- licence fees, etc. up to the total of £63,000. Accommodation in the UK is not automatically included, but, subject to the £63,000 sponsorship limit, may be added to the sponsorship.
The APS sponsorship is capped at £63,000. There are some items excluded from standard package. Subject to the upper bond limit these may be paid for by APS but be prepared to pay them yourself if you have reached the upper limit. The items not automatically covered by APS are:
- travel to Lodz for the start of the course and between the UK and Poland (we will send you a detailed induction pack which will recommend the best travel options, will tell you where and when to
- report and will offer you packing guidance);.
- living costs (food, etc);
- local transport in Poland (there are several low-cost or free options for travel between the accommodation and training centre);
- UK accommodation;
- additional training and test fees; or
- medical certificates.
The package that Wings Alliance has arranged in Poland includes excellent self-catering student accommodation at ‘Basecamp’:
Wi-Fi, utilities and use of the gym are included in the package. There are also monthly social evenings and security 24 hours a day.
The Bristol Groundschool induction pack will give you links to an accommodation list. Most students stay at B&Bs or group together to get short term lets (e.g. AirBnB).
For the APS-MCC, there is an optional accommodation package.
The first step in any of our training programmes is to apply for selection. You are not committed to this or any other course until you finally sign-up, which can only happen after successful selection and a planning meeting. If you’d like to discuss things first, please contact us, or you may apply now.
Frequently asked questions
I have already done some training; can I be credited for my experience?
There is the option to join the programme a) with PPL theory complete, or b) after phase 1 (PPL) with an EASA PPL issued. However, if you don’t have an EASA PPL issued, previous flight experience may not be credited towards the PPL; however, you may count previous hours towards the total required for licence issue and so reduce the hour building phase. If you do join with a PPL, there is always a word of caution: if you have flown in a very different environment to Poland and/or have had a long break in your training, you may need some refresher training; be prepared to budget for this.
If I join after my PPL is the bond less?
The bond is a standard £63,000. APS will pay training related costs up to the cap. If APS’s training costs are reduced due to training credits, you may ask APS to pay other training costs such as accommodation, flights between training centres and, if there is any bond left, a living allowance during the latter stages of your training. This way the total bond will always be spent.
Do I need to do a Class 1 Medical before training?
As you may realise, you need a Class 2 medical for PPL flying and a Class 1 for the CPL. The danger of getting a (cheaper) class 2 for training them the Class 1 just before your CPL course is if you pass the Class 2 but fail the Class 1. This is uncommon but would be a disaster. Therefore, we always recommend that you get a Class 1 before committing to the time and expense of commercial training. If it lapses during your training, it will revert to a class 2 automatically and then you could renew just before your CPL course.
Do I need to be a Wings Alliance student member?
You need to be a student member of Wings Alliance while training on our flight training programmes. Membership covers things like the general overheads, the cost of training advice, mentoring, etc. There is a joining fee of £375 then monthly membership of £35/month, payable annually in April (pro rata for part years). This will be paid for by APS.
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