Flying Training

 

Learning to Fly                     

 For further Courses see below

If you fancy taking up this fun hobby, or wish to make it a career, try some of the following:-

  • Under 19, consider joining Scouts (Air or Land) or Air Cadets - they will give you opportunities to fly, glide, and maybe parascend and other more esoteric forms of flying.   The discipline may help if you are going into a career as a pilot, and either looks good on your CV.

  •  Contact the Light Aircraft Association (LAA) who have local groups (Local Struts) of aircraft owners, some aircraft have been home-built and others are factory made.  You will usually find some of the Strut members are happy to take fellow enthusiasts for a flight - it's appreciated if you offer something toward fuel costs.

  • Contact the British Microlight Aircraft Association (BMAA) who specialise in the smaller class of powered light aircraft, both flex-wing (like a hang-glider) and more conventional 3-axis control aircraft. 

  • Read the magazines - they usually have supplements or articles annually in Spring to inform budding pilots of the options and advertise the flying schools and clubs.

  • Approach several local Flying Schools, and compare what you get on a flying course - remember, the cheapest may not be the best to choose; you want well-maintained aircraft and competent instructors, which tend to cost!

You have a choice of two licences to aim for :- 

  • JAR-PPL, a licence that allows you to fly world-wide, which can be extended with various ratings, some which allow flight in less good weather conditions, and leads onto commercial licences if you fancy a career flying.

  • NPPL, a national licence (which may be superceded by a European licence in the next few years), which has a less rigorous medical (just see your GP) and omits a few lessons on radio nav and instrument flying.  See NPPL website for details for SEP (single-engined piston) aeroplanes and Microlights.   The syllabus and flying is least for microlights, so it's a good place to start, and modern microlights have a good performance and are economical, and you can build on it later with more instruction. 


How much does it cost to learn?

        It depends on aptitude and age, the licence being sought and whether you can do it in a few months or need a year or two to spread the cost and fun.  The following are typical for 2010:-

  • NPPL Microlight:-   3000 - 4000 

  • NPPL SEP Aeroplane:-   4,000 - 6,000

  • JAR-PPL Aeroplane:-   6,000 - 9,000

        Some people save a bit going abroad - they are usually very intensive courses, and there's not much you can do if aircraft or instructors go 'tech' for a few days.    It's best to do the theory exams before you go. 

        If you buy your own aircraft first, you might save some money on the tuition, but it won't make up for the wear and tear and costs  of ownership!     Learn on someone else's plane.

        If you consider owning a plane at some point, consider sharing one with others - a 'shareoplane'!  It lets you get a better plane for the same money, saves paying all the overheads, keeps the plane flying regularly, gives a cushion if something major goes 'tech', and gives someone to fly with (apart from single-seat planes). 

 

Some further courses after gaining your PPL

LAA Coaching also offers a range of training for members

PPL+   A course to develop further flying skills at Stapleford Flight Centre    www.flysfc.com
Advanced PPL Offered by Old Sarum Flying Club  www.oldsarumflyingclub.co.uk
Advanced Training, includes aerobatics, VP prop Ultimate High, Kemble, Glos.   www.ultimatehigh.co.uk
Air racing  Courses arise from time to time - keep an eye on Diary Dates in flying magazines  eg Skysport UK
Type Conversion, Farm-strip Flying, Display Flying, Refresher Course Generally arranged with a local LAA Assistant coach www.laa.uk.com/PCS/coach_details.html

 

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