Friday 13 December 2013 07:00 UTC
If you're learning to fly, or thinking of learning, then here's the place to post your questions, comments and experiences
I'm just started to sort the stuff to start my PPL at the end of march. At the moment still doing research about the school (prices, location, etc....). I live in south London area (Twickenham) and i would like to take advantage about any close airfield, so i noted a few schools around that could serve well to my purpose:
- Stapleford (not west london, but looks good)
My idea is use public transport, but i'm keen to buy a motorbike (125cc - will serve me also to commute). Initially will take lessons only on the weekends, but as soon as the days are longer, i will try to take classes after work (even thinking in have a week of in July).
I've readed and researched about the schools, and at the moment Denham is the first on the list (good location, convenient access from my workplace)-. Also good words for Fairoaks, but the airport closes at 6PM and then i think it will delay my goals. Stapleford is good in terms of opening times, and also good prices, but a bit far.
I've noted all advices given here about payments (NEVER pay the full training in advance) and everything else.
What else can you add to the list of things i've added here?
Welcome. Two bits of advise from me, firstly be aware of the extras that are often not mentioned in headline prices when comparing schools/clubs from a cost standpoint, i.e landing fees mount up when you're doing circuit work if paying them is down to you. Secondly, start putting money aside for lessons as soon as you can and have some sort of flying account that you can put the money in if, or more likely when, you have cancellations. That way you build up a float that means you have funds available if you have the the opportunity to do more frequent lessons. It will also help when you get further into the training and lessons take longer than an hour.
Lastly, have fun.
Pilot plans, Weather laughs.
I also live in Twickenham. I do almost all of my flying in the UK (infrequent as that may be) from Blackbushe. It's very simple to arrive at by traveling down the M3. It takes almost exactly 30 minutes for me to drive or ride my motorcycle from Twickenham to Blackbushe. I'm not sure how comfortable the journey would be on a 125cc though. Public transport isn't really an option.
At the time I specifically chose Blackbushe over Fairoaks due to the hard runway. That may or may not be something which makes a difference to you.
Consider White Waltham as well.
I also live in Twickenham (starting to think maybe getting a group share based at fairoaks might be doable!), I trained at Denham, it is 40mins from my door, at a nice 60mph cruise.
If you learn with the pilot centre there are no landing fees, plus when I checked last they were also probably the cheapest, for learning on a 152 at least.
Fairoaks is slightly closer, but for some reason I missed it when looking for schools. I did look at Blackbusche, at cabair, but it was far too stuffy for me at the time, plus I wanted to fly 152s.
If you have any specific questions about TPC feel free to pm me.
Also, Phill, do you rent or own or own a share now, out of interest? I will be looking to share I think, once I have done my IMC this summer.
Anonymous shanonymous - the name is Mark...
I usually rent a C152 from Blackbushe Aviation/Redair.
I must admit to doing most of my flying in Australia, where I have access to a wider range of aircraft at very good rates. My flying in the UK has usually been about keeping current.
I keep meaning to do more, and really should obtain a JAR/EASA licence, but each year something else jumps in the way (wedding in 2011, new business in 2012). Maybe this will be the year....
Blackbushe. It's a no brainer. Three fixed wing schools ( inc a micro light and excl Aerobility) ensure competitive rates, fab instructors - ahem - and just off the M3. I too live(d) in Twickers and its a straight line to drive to the Bushe.
CPL IMC FI (A) and registering 9 on the bolometer.
Wow! Thanks to everyone who replied
To be honest, never thought in Blackbushe because the transport issue, but with the motorbike it's also in my radius, and without complications (as you said, almost straight line).
I've noted the advices. Will pop over here as soon as i took the firm decision. In the meantime if someone wants to add something.... here i am
Public transport links to non international airfields are usually dodgy but Blackbushe is better than most.
London Waterloo to Farnborough West is a pretty fast service and a 10 minute taxi ride.
Blackwater is closer and there's a regular service from Reading to Gatwick if you live anywhere around there. Not much in the way of buses though.
CPL IMC FI (A) and registering 9 on the bolometer.
I finished my JAA ppl at Fairoaks (Synergy). No additional landing fees, hard runway, great instructors and the best kept aircraft I have seen at a school. Despite it not being a real club, the staff are very personable and in the relatively short time I was there, I got to know most of the staff on a first name basis. It is not the cheapest school, but I experienced cheaper schools and Synergy are good value for money. There is also the London Transport Flying club, but I haven't experienced them. they are cheaper but i discounted them on nbr of aircraft and instructors (few years ago).
Fairoaks is easier to get to than the bushe from twickenham (I ride my mbike or drive the car there from Richmond and except on rugby days, it takes about 25 minutes and you can get a train to either Woking or Virginia water and a short cab ride. If your on a 125cc bike and on a CBT (L plates) going down the M3 is not an option - makes Other airfields become a bit further away.
Also, the airfield allows movements after closing time in the summer - and I often had lessons after work (after training was allowed at unlicensed airfields). Airfield closing time at end of March probably won't be an issue because of night time anyway.
WLAC is also great but in winter it can have issues as a grass strip. I am sure bushe, Denham and even Redhill are also great - so do a tif at each (loggable as hours) and decide based on personal preference
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