Real Answers from Real Pilots

CPL vs. ATPL theory, need preparation guidance

Hi everyone,

I have a bachelor’s degree in engineering and I am about to join a flying school in December. The schools here specialize in CPL.

So I visited a friend (who has been in training for a few months now) and started reading the recommended Oxford’s ATPL books he had.

I didn’t find the study material (including the unsolved numericals) particularly difficult but I admit when I was skimming the first unit of Air Navigation it felt like the book was written for pilots who are well versed with aviation jargon and have some experience.

Now I am not aiming for a PPL and Oxford’s aviation books are on either PPL or ATPL.

So my question is- given that I am an engineer, what basic level books should I read so I can get up to speed with subjects like Air Navigation & Air Law at ATPL level?


To be honest the majority of us on this forum are in the US and from what I understand the training is somewhat different here. Here in the US it’s a process that starts with your PPL, goes to your CPL and finishes with your ATP. You can’t progress without having the others and the knowledge required obviously builds from license to license. If in fact you can just jump in to ATP training in the UK I don’t know? I think you may have better luck asking your question on or some of the other International forums.



This website is run by pilots who are based in the US, as such our advice is tailored towards US prospective pilots. FAA training criteria is quite different than it is in other countries, you really need to seek advice from those that are based in your country as our advice might not be accurate.


I appreciate the logical progression of licenses but I just wanted to study as much as I can ahead of time.

So can you tell me what were the recommended books for Navigation and others when you guys were at CPL level?


Adam and I have both tried to tell you very clearly that we cannot give advice to you as you are studying for licenses in another country. You really need to seek out advice in your country, we cannot be of help to you.


Yeah, thanks for the very clearly

And not every non-american asking for advice is antisocial. Remember FAA and others come under ICAO, and that 1 meter here is same as 1 meter there


Nobody accused you of being anti-social. We have simply told you that this is not the best place for you to seek out information. Would you rather that we guessed and potentially gave you very inaccurate information?

ICAO does not really concern itself with basic pilot training. Furthermore, ICAO sets standards, but does not enforce them, hence the vast difference in training standards between the US and European countries.

While a meter might be a meter in the UK, we do not use meters in any official capacity in the US, which is case in point why you need to seek advice from somebody in the UK.