ATPL(A) Theory


ATPL(A) Theory With Nathan Higgins

There are not many people that know ATPL(A) theory, like Nathan Higgins. Nathan has been teaching ATPL theory since co-founding Advanced Flight Theory (AFT) in 1993. 30 years, and 1000’s of students from around the World later, Nathan’s passion for teaching ATPL(A) theory is unwavering. The majority of airline pilots in Australia (and many flying overseas) today have either attended a class at AFT or used AFT’s distance learning course material supported by Nathan, to prepare for the CASA ATPL theory exams. Nathan and his support team at AFT have been able to help thousands of pilots follow their dreams and complete what can be a very challenging part of the road to becoming an airline pilot – conquering the summit of Mt ATPL!

Advanced Flight Theory is the only complete ‘ATPL Theory Centre’ in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific Region offering both Full-Time Ground School and Distance Learning Courses for Aeroplane and Helicopter Pilots. Our Full-time Ground School courses are run at our Classroom facility at Sunshine Coast Airport.

Some students choose to do the easier subjects by a Distance Learning Course and then attend our Full-Time Ground School for the more difficult subjects. The choice is always yours!

Advanced Flight Theory is proud to have Australia’s best ATPL pass rate. Our past and present students are our best advertisement!

Passing the ATPL(A) examination is an important step in your aviation career. As specialist ATPL theory instructors, we are well aware of the difficulty most pilots have studying the Part 61 Manual of Standards Aeronautical Knowledge Standards (Syllabus). Not only do many pilots require assistance to revise their Commercial Pilot theory, they also need to have the new concepts in ATPL(A) presented in an easy to understand format.

Advanced Flight Theory offers both Full-Time Ground School course and Distance Learning Courses. We believe that Full-Time Ground School is the best way to complete your ATPL study. For some pilots however, the only alternative is to complete the course via Distance Learning.

We are well aware that many students would like to study the easier course material on their own, and concentrate on the more difficult subjects in class. Our full-time course format takes this into account. One of the most limiting factors when doing ATPL study is your time. With this in mind we have taken every possible step to minimise the course duration and related costs.

It is with confidence that we can say our courses are comprehensive in content, but as short in duration as possible. We are often asked how we achieve such good results in this short time frame. The answer is simple – we make you work hard! You must be totally committed to your study for the duration of the course.

Distance Learning study can be a challenge and success requires personal discipline, motivation and dedication on your part and comprehensive backup and constant support on our part. Our freecall phone and email support ensures that you are never left on your own.

It should be very encouraging for you to know that with the right approach and commitment, success at first attempt is definitely achievable. Our entire course has been written specifically for the Part 61 Manual of Standards Aeronautical Knowledge Standards (Syllabus).

At Advanced Flight Theory, we are proud of our great reputation for providing the best service possible to all of our students. We are constantly updating our course notes, revision tests and Practice CyberExams so we can guarantee you will receive the most practical and comprehensive theory instruction possible.

Our Guarantee To You

A very important feature of our school’s policy is that if, after attending our full time course, you are not totally prepared to sit the CASA PEXO Exams, or you are having difficulty with any aspect of the course, you are welcome to return and resit all or any part of the course you have paid for once, with no additional course fee within a two year timeframe*. If necessary, you may also resit all or any part of the course more than once, subject to some simple conditions.

* The resit policy applies on the basis that the course fee when you resit the first time, is the same as the course fee you originally paid. Should increased course fees apply at the time of the resit, you will need to pay the difference between the original fee paid and the current fee to resit for that subject. Should you need to resit a subject more than once, you will be required to pay a resit fee of $100 per subject for each additional time you wish to attend the subject. Resit positions are subject to availability and must be taken within 2 years of initial attendance. After the 2 year period expires, normal course fees apply once again.

We guarantee to stick with you until you achieve your goal of an ATPL(A) examination credit.

Airservices Supply Shop

Advanced Flight Theory operates an Airservices Supply Shop and can provide the complete range of CASA documents, maps and charts. Flight computers, protractors,  WAC rulers and a full range of basic stationery items are also available. Supplies can be purchased on arrival if you are attending the Full-time Ground School course or online through AFT’s own online Pilot Supply Shop.

CASA/PEXO Exam Information

There is a considerable amount of information regarding the CASA PEXO Exam system available on CASA’s ATPL Exams Page

7 Subject ATPL Examination

The ATPL examination is made up of seven separate examinations. These are:

  • Flight Planning (AFPA)
  • Navigation (ANAV)
  • Performance and Loading (APLA)
  • Aerodynamics and Aircraft Systems (AASA)
  • Human Factors (AHUF)
  • Meteorology (AMET)
  • Air Law (AALW)

It is highly recommended that you complete the Performance and Loading course before completing Flight Planning as many of the concepts in Flight Planning are first introduced in Performance and Loading.

Individual Subject Credits

All ATPL exams are individual examinations. Candidates may choose to sit any number of papers at any particular sitting and be credited with a pass in each examination separately. When all subjects have been passed, a candidate is awarded a pass in the ATPL examination.

Examination Pre-Requisites

The pre-qualification requirements for the ATPL is a pass in the Australian CPL(A) theory examination or a CPL(A) Licence. You will be unable to book an examination unless you meet this requirement.

In particular, overseas students should note that they must hold a CASA CPL(A) or have a pass in all seven parts of the CASA CPL(A) theory exam to meet pre requisite qualifications for sitting CASA ATPL(A) PEXO Exams. It is essential for overseas students to contact the CASA Flight Crew Examination and/or Licencing Sections to confirm they meet this requirement prior to booking their CASA ATPL examinations.

Perpetual Validity Period

The ATPL credit once issued, will remain valid indefinitely. This may be reviewed at a later date.

Two Year Time Frame

As of 1 September, 2014 a candidate has two years to pass all seven ATPL examinations to be awarded an ATPL theory pass.

Pass Mark Required

The pass mark for each CASA examination is 70%, except for the Air Law where the pass mark is 80%.

Exam Fees

ASPEQ has a contract for the nationwide delivery of Flight Crew licensing examinations for the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). ASPEQ is responsible for the booking and delivery of the examinations through a network of examination sites, while CASA is responsible for the provisions of the examinations through their PEXO Exam System.

The fees for the examination service is split into two parts –

  • CASA Examination Fee
  • ASPEQ Examination Delivery Fee

Examination Venues

CASA PEXO Exams can be sat a many CASA authorised exam centres Australia wide.

Booking your CASA/ASPEQ PEXO Exams

All CASA Flight Crew Licencing Exams are to be booked through ASPEQ’s website.

There are two parts to the ATPL Examination fees – a CASA fee and an ASPEQ fee.

The CASA examination fees are for the PEXO Exam service provided by CASA via their web-based delivery system. The ASPEQ exam delivery fees are charged for each examination subject required. The fee structure is based around the length of the examination subject as this determines the amount of computer time used to deliver the subject. Please see CASA’s website for current exam fee information for AASA, APLA and AFPA or AALW, AHUF, ANAV and AMET.

IMPORTANT NOTE: CASA and ASPEQ PEXO fees are NOT included in our course fees for Full Time Ground School or Distance Learning Courses. If you are attending our Full Time Ground School Classes we have pre-booked CASA PEXO Exam sessions for our students at the end of each subject. If requested, we can book your exam in one of these sessions for you on your first day in class and charge the exams fees to your account. Our pre booked sessions mean you do not need to book your own CASA PEXO Exams for subjects you do in class with us. You must book your own CASA PEXO Exams for any Distance Learning subjects you study.

Before booking any CASA PEXO Exams candidates need to be sure of their eligibility and timing before making a booking.

ATPL Aeroplane – Things You Need

To complete our ATPL(A) Course, you will need to ensure you have all the material needed to complete your study and most importantly, sit your CASA examinations. For a full list of what you need to complete the ATPL exams, please see CASA’s  Permitted Material allowed to be taken into Examinations under Part 61.

You need to have the current edition of the following documents to complete the ATPL(A) CASA PEXO Exams: 

  • AIP Complete
  • ERSA with RDS
  • All ERC High Charts
  • All ERC Low Charts
  • PCA Chart
  • CAR 1988*
  • Part 61 of CASR*
  • Part 91 of CASR*
  • Part 91 MOS*
  • Part 121 of CASR*
  • Part 121 MOS*
  • Part 135 of CASR*
  • Part 135 MOS*
  • CAO 48.1 Instrument 2019*
  • B727 Performance and Operating Handbook (included in the Flight Planning and Performance and Loading course)
  • Navigation equipment
  • A basic calculator

The CASA Regulatory Documents are not included in your Full Time Ground School or Distance Learning Course fee and can be purchased separately through our online Pilot Supply Shop.

* These documents can be purchased in our AALW Air Law Document Package includes the following printed CASA Documents Permitted Material which has been extracted specifically for the ATPL Air Law Examination by Nathan Higgins. Printed in 2 Binders.

    If you are attending a Full Time Ground School course, all of these items can be purchased from our pilot supply shop on the first day of your course, so you do not need to worry about obtaining them before you arrive.

    To see the current pricelist and place your order, please visit our online Pilot Supply Shop.

    Important Note: Departure and Approach Procedures (DAP) East and West is a permitted reference for the CASA Air Law PEXO Exam, however the main topic covered by the Air Law syllabus that requires reference to DAP East and West is noise curfew procedures and requirements. If you do not already have DAP East and West and wish to avoid the considerable cost of purchasing these documents, you should familiarise yourself with noise curfew procedures before sitting the CASA Air Law PEXO Exam.

    Excellent Service

    At Advanced Flight Theory, we are very proud of our great reputation for providing the very best service possible to all of our students. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding enrolment or would like to arrange a personalised study program. We can also provide assistance with your accommodation and administrative arrangements. You can contact us on 1800 000 767 and we will be very happy to assist. You can be assured that no problem is too big or too small for us to handle with expertise.

    For specific questions regarding course content and format, our ATPL(A) course instructor Nathan Higgins, will be very pleased to assist. We continue to make every effort to ensure our course is the most practical and comprehensive available. You can call Nathan at any time – even after hours on 0419 774 136.