ATR Type Rating
ATR 72-500 & 72-600 Courses
EASA and DGCA Compliant
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PETER D. SVENDSEN
My Name is Peter Svendsen, I’m 27 years old, and I received my ATR 72 rating through GAC last year, and have since been employed as a First Officer at Jet-Time on the ATR 72-500 and -600.
As so many other hopeful pilots, I had a real frustrating and hard time trying to find work after receiving my license in 2012.
After two years of futile job-hunting, I decided to purchase a Type Rating in January last year (2014).
Now all I had to do was decide which aircraft it should be on.
For me this decision was made up of two questions.
What type of aircraft gave me the best possible job opportunities?
What type of aircraft would I prefer to begin my aviation career in?
After a bit of researching I found out that the ATR could quite possible be the answer.
First of all it was obvious that the factory in Blagnac was producing more planes than ever before, and had just scored a massive new order. Somebody simply had to fly these planes.
I also thought that the ATR rating, was a little bit below the radar when it came to newly licensed commercial pilots, who often have a dream of flying the biggest jet, they can get their hands on, in the shortest possible amount of time.
I believed that this gave me as good an opportunity as possible to be successful on my future job-search.
On top if this, I thought the ATR would be a perfect plane on which to launch a career in aviation. It’s a very “hands-on” aircraft that mainly flies a lot of shorter regional routes. This means that you are able to fly a lot without the Autopilot and you get to do a bunch of take-off and landings, something that really provides you with an excellent opportunity to polish your skills.
A definite benefit, if you have a dream of flying a bigger and more automated aircraft in the future.
I became known of GAC through a former classmate and now colleague of mine, who had recently purchased his ATR rating through GAC and spoke very warmly about the company, and the people who ran it.
I called Kaj Thomsen, who was very helpful and accommodating in finding a day for a meeting, even though I realized later, how busy he was flying at the time.
Before the meeting I had made my mind up about a few things, mainly what I didn’t want to hear.
As a rookie in the industry, I had been filled from top to bottom with so many promises from people saying that the industry lacked people, and that there would be jobs waiting if only I did this or paid that.
So I decided that if I showed up, and Kaj would tell me that everything was settled and the jobs were waiting instantly, if only I hurried and bought a Rating through GAC, that would be it, and I would take my business elsewhere.
What I looked for the most before choosing which company I would prefer to purchase a rating through was trust and honesty.
After the meeting with Kaj, I had a sense of just that.
I was not promised anything, I was told that a lot of exiting this were happening, and that an ATR rating was not at all a bad hand to have been dealt, when looking for a job, but in no way was I told, that all my troubles would be through, if only I signed today.
From there on things really happened fast, and I’ll try summarize.
After I decided to use GAC, a simulator partner was found and we started ground school in Copenhagen.
We received our manuals as well as access to a CBT about a month before we were scheduled for our technical exam.
Before the exam we had a couple of days in an office with Kaj, just me and my sim-partner, where we had the chance for a thorough Q & A session just prior to the final test.
After a successful exam of the technical part of the ATR, we “dry-drilled” for about a week or so, before heading to Dublin for the Simulator part of the Course.
In Dublin we were met by Henryk, a former polish air force helicopter pilot, whom had been an instructor on the ATR for many years, and really knew what he was talking about.
We had a total of 10 days or so, of really intensive simulator training in Dublin.
I really liked that the Sim part was very compressed. We lived and breathed ATR at the time, which meant that when the time came for our Skill test, everything was crystal clear, and we had basically flown a Skill test the day before. Henryk was also an examiner, so he had a very good idea, as to what performance was needed to pass, which we both did in our first go.
After our visit to Dublin, we were scheduled for base-training, and on our way to Billund, where we would have a go at flying an actual ATR for the first time, we were both invited to a sim assessment at Jet-Time.
Luckily this went well, as well as the following interview, and I started as a First Officer at Jet-time about a month after the base training.
I’ve been very satisfied with my Type Rating Course at GAC, and I have strongly recommended it to other pilots I know, and will continue to do so in the future.
Best of luck with your future endeavours and happy landings
Peter D. Svendsen