EASA Pilot Training Frequently Asked Questions
Is FIT Aviation (FITA) an approved ATO for EASA training?
Yes, FITA was granted EASA approval in September 2013 certificate number EASA.ATO.0017. FITA was the first non-European ATO certified directly by EASA.
What courses are offered by FITA’s EASA ATO?
FITA is certified to provide full time and distance learning Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) Theoretical Knowledge training, full time and flexible combined modular Commercial Pilot training (CPL/SEP or CPL/MEP) and Flight instructor courses as well as class and instrument rating refresher courses and aerobatic training.
How long has FITA been in business?
FIT Aviation LLC was officially started in 1972, but the aviation department of Florida Institute of Technology (Florida Tech) was established in 1968. FITA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Florida Tech and provides flight training support to the College of Aeronautics. Florida Tech was established in 1958 to offer continuing education for the workers at nearby NASA Cape Canaveral. Florida Tech offers bachelor, masters, and doctoral degrees.
Does FITA offer an EASA PPL? Why not?
FITA does not offer an EASA PPL course. We do offer FAA Part 141 (in-house examining) and Part 61 (external examining) PPL courses. These are well established courses that will train you for an ICAO PPL through the FAA system. The Part 141 course requires the student to complete a rigid course outline in full, but allows for an in-house examiner to administer the final skill test. The Part 61 course is best utilized for students who may have already started PPL training. The prior experience will be credited, and there is not a rigid course to follow. Because of this, an external FAA examiner is used for the final skill test.
In the end, FIT Aviation bases our training on the overall professional pilot program. The PPL is just the first block laid as a foundation of your total flight training program. Since EASA does not require an EASA specific PPL for ATPL theory, it is unnecessary for FITA to develop an already established PPL program.
Do I require an EASA medical before I start training?
While an EASA first class medical is not required prior or during your CPL training, it is highly recommended you have this before starting the EASA course, before traveling to the US, and prior to committing yourself to substantial expense and training. While training in the US, a FAA third class medical is required.
What are my requirements to start ATPL theory classes? How long will it take to complete this course?
EASA requirements dictate you must hold an ICAO PPL. Before being admitted to a modular theoretical knowledge course, the student should have a sufficient knowledge of both Mathematics and Physics to facilitate an understanding of the content of the course. Focus areas should be on trigonometry, algebra, understanding of equations, being able to read formulas, aerodynamics, how forces work and (of course) basic multiplication, subtraction, etc. All students must pass a Maths and Physics exam before acceptance into the program.
The ATPL course breaks down the 14 subjects into 3 modules. Each module is 8 weeks in length including the Authority testing. Successful completion of the ATPL course can be done in as little as 6 months. ATPL lessons are based on the Apple iBook platform. A compatible device is required to complete the 3 modules.
Is there a maximum timeframe to complete all 14 ATPL subjects?
A student may attend a maximum of 6 exam sittings within an 18 month period and is allowed to make 4 exam attempts at any one individual subject. This 18 month period starts from the date of the first sitting. Failure to meet these regulations will require the student to start from the beginning and re-take any exams that had previously been passed.
Does FITA offer ATPL Authority testing? What is your first time pass rate?
FITA has an in house, computer based ATPL testing center through the Irish Aviation Authority. Testing is done 6 times through the year.
The current first time pass rate stands at 99.3%.
What are my requirements to start CPL flying?
Before commencing a modular CPL (A) and IR (A) Training Course an applicant shall:
- Be the holder of a PPL (A), to include a night rating, issued in accordance with ICAO Annex 1.
- Have completed 150 hours flight time as a pilot of which 100 hours must be as PIC.
- Have completed 300NM qualifying cross country flight.
- Have completed the 5 hours night flying requirement including the 5 solo night take offs and landings (this can be completed at FITA).
- Have passed the EASA theoretical knowledge examinations for CPL (A), or ATPL (A).
- FAA Class 3 Medical certificate and EASA Class 1 (highly recommended).
I am currently flying in the FAA system. Can I easily transition to EASA licensing?
FITA offers a dual track career course that includes FAA licensing through CPL and EASA conversions for CPL and IR. If you already have your FAA licenses, you are required to pass the 14 ATPL exams and accumulate 100 hour PIC time before starting the EASA CPL conversion course. Once your ATPLs and CPL conversion are completed, you will transition to a European partner school for the IR conversion course.
I want to have all my licenses required to work for the airlines. Can FITA provide the required training? How long will it take?
The ultimate goal for aviation student is to work for an airline. FITA courses are geared to a professional pilot EASA course: FAA PPL, FAA IR (option), ATPL theory, structured timebuilding program, MEP/CPL, and IR (conversion or full course). This is the famous “zero to hero” program that many school talk about. It is possible the full course can be accomplished in 13 months, but this is based on excellent performance through all phases of the training.
I currently hold a European PPL and would like to continue my ratings at FITA. How is this possible?
Students that arrive at FITA having already obtained their EASA PPL can easily transition flying in the US. An FAA PPL license based on your EASA PPL can be issues through the Orlando FSDO (Flight Standards District Office) based on the EASA license. This application process takes several weeks and requires an FAA DPE (designated examiner) to complete the process. Once you have obtained your FAA “piggy back” license, you are free to continue flying on either the FAA or EASA courses. NOTE: the FAA license is only valid if your EASA license and medical are also valid.
What type of aircraft and simulators will I be training on?
The FITA fleet consists of Piper Warriors (Avidyne, Aspen, and G1000 avionics), Piper Archers, Citabria, and multi-engine Piper Seminoles (glass and round dial).
I want to work exclusively on glass cockpit aircraft. Is this possible?
While it is possible to work exclusively in glass cockpit aircraft, this option may not be practical. Other than aircraft availability, it is recommended to start PPL training in round dial aircraft. This will allow you to ease your way into learning to fly the aircraft without the distractions of the glass instrumentation. It will also provide for overall cost savings of your training.
Are instructors fully EASA FCL qualified?
Yes. All FITA instructors teaching EASA courses are FCL qualified. There are several instructors who have FAA qualifications as well. The Head of Training and Chief Flight Instructor are both EASA examiners.
Will I get the same licenses that I would obtain at a European school?
Simply…YES. FITA is an EASA certified ATO. Your license will be issued through which ever National Authority you would like. Your license will be based on the country which issued your EASA medical. While we have established relationships with schools in the UK and Belgium, we have the ability to work with other Authorities.
Is FITA able to issue a visa? Are housing options through FITA?
Yes. FITA’s Pilot Services Department is able to assist obtaining an M1 Visa. They are available Monday through Friday to answer any questions regarding visas or the SEVIS program.
As an FITA student you are eligible for on-campus student housing. There are also many non-FIT housing options. Several apartment complexes, condominiums, and houses are available for rent on short and longer term leases. Transportation is available from campus housing to the Florida Tech campus, and the airport buildings.
Aviation students are also granted access to the Florida Tech campus services. Swimming pools, work out room, tennis courts, library and dining facility are all open for student use. We are minutes away from the Atlantic Ocean with miles of beautiful beaches, Kennedy Space Center, and Orlando is just a 45 minute drive.