any pilots here?

private or commercial

1 to 20 of 35 messages
19/08/2008 at 09:35

just wondering i anyone could give me some advice, i'd like to start a few flying lessons with a view to getting a ppl, whats the best way to go about it, save up all the money and do it in one go or take a lesson a week/month etc..


19/08/2008 at 09:46
no PPL here but depends on how desparate you are to get it!!

I know many people do it over a time period to ease the financial burden but you can do all in one courses (US is good for this as the weather is better usually).

but put it this way - it's gonna cost you either way!! good luck

an old friend from schooldays - with family money - did a PPL and eventually went on to get his commercial pilot's licence and was able to mix running a business with moonlighting from time to time flying commercial craft (Far East mainly). not a bad life eh?
19/08/2008 at 09:50

 There is a bloke on the 3:45 thread who is a pilot, but he doesn't post very often, because he is away a lot, allegedly working.  I will put a link there  for his mate to see.

I got mrs puffy a flying lesson for her birthday one year and she threw up in the pilot's hat.

19/08/2008 at 09:55

I managed 35 hours towards my PPL before packing it in. My enthusiasm wasn't quite what it could have been as I was just doing a couple off lessons a month (if that)..

It's worth having a few lessons initially at your own pace to get a feel for it before committing too much money. Any club will support you in that decision, as ultimately they want you to be happy with them and be keen to progress at your own pace. My club allowed me to pay in installments without having to commit to paying for the complete course.

I quit having only managed to fly solo on 3 occasions. Looking back I do wish that I'd had the opportunity to be able to take a couple of weeks off work and  just blitz the remaining hours. Because I wasn't getting the hours in on a regular basis, I could see the cost of the PPL spiralling upwards.

I got such a buzz from the landings!!!
(I'll gloss over the fact that I managed to cause some damage on my first solo)

19/08/2008 at 10:14
[waits for Scotty to fess up....]
19/08/2008 at 10:24

erm.....I crashed it....slightly.

It was a perfect takeoff, circuit and landing at Biggin Hill and all was going well until I parked it back at the club house.

Those Cessna'a might be little but it IS a bit tricky judging the distance to the wing tip when trying to squeeze between 2 other aircraft. Anyway £600 worth of damage to the other aircraft wing and mine was OK. I have to admit that did dent my confidence somewhat for subsequent lessons and I did get some stick for it.

19/08/2008 at 10:25
nice one.....

at least you managed to get it up and back without incident
19/08/2008 at 10:40
Sadly, Scotty, you had a witness...
19/08/2008 at 11:40

Quite a few of my friends are commercial pilots .... but none are also runners so don't post on here!

You could try for advice.

Edited: 19/08/2008 at 11:40
19/08/2008 at 15:00
scotty you aren't the only one who can't judge wing tip distance. I was sat in a Sri Lankan Airways plane at Heathrow and as we were Taxting out for take off we ran into the wing of a BA jumbo. I expect that was more than £600 quids worth
19/08/2008 at 15:32

Mr Raich is a commercial pilot and also instructs PPL students. His tips are: check out Pilot magazine for info on PPLs, be wary of paying for a complete PPL course upfront as flying schools are prone to going bust, and courses abroad can be a false economy once you factor in accommodation costs, airfares to get there and the fact that you'll have to do your air law exam in the UK anyway. Also flying in the UK is quite different to eg the US because weather systems are different. Lots of people just buy one lesson at a time when they can scrape enough money together.

Edited: 19/08/2008 at 15:33
19/08/2008 at 17:38

I've got my PPL. Did it all as an intensive course but it was a bit different for me.

I got sponsorship from the Royal Navy when I was 17 and thinking of joing them as a pilot. After a load of tests I was awarded 40 hrs flying tuition. The condition of it was you had to reach PPL standard by the time you had done 30 hours. It was a two week intensive course but It worked really well for me.

Expensive now though to keep it up.

Dark Vader    pirate
19/08/2008 at 20:33

ok.. fair enough, but after all the hours of training and £££'s, what do you do with your licence....?

20/08/2008 at 00:10

thanks for the advice, would have replied earlier but just in from another long day at work, didn't even manage to get half an hour in the gym.

 raich, could i pm you please with a couple of questions?

20/08/2008 at 02:12
Hi fattmatt

think i might be able to chip in a few things..

my brother did his PPL on an intensive course in Texas, USA

it worked out alot cheaper than trying to do it over several years in the UK

the main issue was weather - the UK just doesn't have reliable enough weather to mean you can always go up as planned and you can end up getting frustrated

also if you remember back to learning to drive, if you're not getting lessons regularly imho you forget half of what you learned previously

if you go an intensive course somewhere with fine weather then you get a good run of lessons and build up skills more quickly

the other issue i suspect is that fuel is much cheaper in the USA
- i am assuming this i don't know it for sure - but there road fuel is the equivalent of £2 a gallon and i wouldn't be surprised if that translates to aircraft fuel too
most of ours is tax - who wants to pay extra tax?

my brother took all his exams in the USA and then
on his return to the UK he only had to do a very minor thing to get his USA PPL approved by the UK authorities
- this was some years back however, so you may want to check that out

20/08/2008 at 02:18
my own experience
- not sure you're age or work situation but if you're at uni then check out the RAF university air squadron if they have one at yours

this can be a cost free way of learning to fly

I belonged to one and learned alot
unfortunately we had cr*ppy weather and eventually the cancelled lessons and more annoyingly the fairly intense misogyny of the officers at this particular place got the better of me and i packed it in after a few months, but the bits that were good were great

again that was 20 years ago, and i imagine it's alot better now and the old attitude towards women as pilots in the services won't be relevant to you as a bloke anyhow even if it persists (hopefully it doesn't)

You might also want to checkout glider flying - it might be a less expensive way of getting into flying?

(I was lucky enough to learn to fly a glider as part of the RAF Cadet scheme at school)

20/08/2008 at 02:23
my teenage nephew is currently learning to fly

he seems to have had lessons dotted around in various places in the UK and his feedback is that (as well as the weather issue ..again) the instructor is all important

it helps if you can find someone you really get on with and they vary quite a bit

of course, over and above the time in the air, there is also quite a substantial "ground school " ie written/study element to the whole thing too

my nephew has got some great CD's that have everything on and helps you learn - they are quite expensive but i think alot better than the books we used to have

he got them new as a present (Several hundred quid) but i saw them on ebay for less than half the price

20/08/2008 at 02:24
hi five to Scotty...

i also managed to damage a plane on my first solo landing!

mind you i was a teenager then so that's my excuse!
20/08/2008 at 02:31
Dark Vader

Not sure if you were kidding around but basically i agree

I think there just isn't the opportunity to fly that much in the UK because of our poor weather for most of the year, unless you're really experienced or at least have the additional (200??) hours to get the licence that means you can cope with flying on instruments only ie Instrument rating

20/08/2008 at 02:35
just had a nose around on web and found some useful links

very friendly looking UK site

with good advice for getting started

brief summary of what is involved in US qualification
1 to 20 of 35 messages
Previously bookmarked threads are now visible in "Followed Threads". You can also manage notifications on these threads from the "Forum Settings" section of your profile settings page to prevent being sent an email when a reply is made.
Forum Jump