All CAT III courses follow a structured programme of mentored classroom study, guided with highly experienced instructors, working through the training material at a steady pace, and supplemented with a range of progress tests and practice examinations.
From a regulatory point of view, the CAT III course is a distance-learning course, but it is a distance-learning course which (a) is supplemented by an additional 95+ days of classroom tuition (in addition to the 20 days mandatory classroom brush-up phases) and (b) provides as much as, and in several subjects far more, classroom contact time that most integrated and full-time modular courses.
The course is designed to last eight months, and this has been purposefully designed in response to numerous comments from integrated and full-time modular students that a six-month course is too demanding and forces them into learning answers by rote from the commercial question banks.
We want to turn out a high quality of student who actually understands the theoretical knowledge and is able to answer verbal questioning during interviews and not merely remember answers to question banks. Add to this the apparent mission of the regulators to change exam questions on a regular basis, such that question banks become ineffective and you can understand why it is important to know your subjects.
The EASA syllabus has been created so that each subject can be studied in isolation of the other subjects, but of course, there are times when a basic knowledge of one subject may benefit understanding of another subject. To cater for this, we have prepared an introductory Core Topics element, whereby you will study those topics which appear in numerous subjects, as well as some areas of basic maths and physics.
Cat3C’s sub-modules have been compiled with subjects having complementary content, so that greater understanding of each subject is gained.
Each subject in each sub-module is covered in whole, and where relevant, reference may be made to another subject to aid understanding of the subject presently being studied, e.g. when explaining navigation to and from VORs it is useful to have an understanding how VORs work.
The Training Cycle
CAT III courses follow a repetitive pattern of Sub-module 1A, Sub-module 1B, Sub-module 2A, Sub-module 2B, over an eight-month period, and then starts again.
You can join the course at any point in the cycle, so if you miss the start of Mod 1A, you can simply start at Mod 1B. The longest you would have to wait to start a course is two months.
You first attend a Core Topics element, followed by the main study phase, after which you attend the regulated classroom brush-up, and then attend the examinations. After this you repeat the process for each sub-module but without having to attend the Core Topics element. In fact, those students joining the next sub-module will be attending the Core Topics element when you are taking the exams for the previous sub-module.
A simple diagram explaining the process is shown below.
Self Study Days
The purpose behind self-study days is for you to do them in the classroom. There is no obligation on you to do this – you are free to study at home – but we would prefer it if you stayed in the classroom.
Why? So you can work with your fellow students, and solve problems together. This has been found to be a very effective method of learning – by sharing knowledge with your other students and have them share their knowledge with you. Everybody has their strong points and their weak points, so the idea is to figure them out together.
That doesn’t mean we will abandon you. On the contrary, wherever possible, there will be an instructor on hand, to steer you in the right direction with tricky problems and to assist you with those problems that you just cannot solve.