After getting a frozen ATPL, where can a pilot accumulate 1500 flying hours and how long will it take approximately to unfreeze the licence?
I will answer your question by elaborating a little on some basic information for the rest of the readers or aspiring pilots.
A student from a flying school will normally graduate with a CPL (Commercial Pilot Licence) and IR (Instrumental Rating) (CPL+IR). This Licence is known as the Frozen ATPL.
If a pilot is issued with only a CPL without the IR, he can fly under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) which means he is not permitted to fly in clouds (bad weather) and only navigate visually by looking out of the plane.
With an Instrumental Rating (IR), it allows him to fly in clouds and navigate with the assistance of the aircraft’s flight instruments.
Most flying schools will train their cadets up to Instrumental Rating and theoretically, up to Frozen ATPL level.
A Frozen ATPL holder refers to somebody who has passed all the required theoretical exams but does not qualify him to be issued with a full ATPL until he has logged a total of 1500 hours.
A basic CPL will not be unfrozen unless the following are met:-
The minimum flying experience required for grant of an ATPL (Airplanes) is 1500 hours. You must satisfy the following minimum requirements as well (depends on your country).
How can you build up the 1500 hours?
If you are with an airline, then that is not a problem because you can normally fly up to 1000 hours a year. So you can easily achieve this target within one and a half years.
If you are not with an airline, (example working as a Flight Instructor in a Flying Club or Flying Academy, with an Air Charter Company or General Aviation) then it may take a longer time to build up your hours.
For more details, you have to visit the Department of Civil Aviation in your country, fill up a special Form which spells out the detailed requirements of unfreezing your Frozen ATPL.
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