Learning to fly, or thinking of learning? Post your questions, comments and experiences here

Moderator: AndyR

By SimFlyer
#1682144
The £6900 offer does include a fair number of things and offers a good amount savings compared to paying for those individually, assuming that what I've been told is correct. The other school offered a 10-hour package wherein the savings was only about £30 or so (and only for the first 10-hour package!) compared to paying for what you'd get individually. That didn't sit quite right with me. If one school can confidently stick to it's prices while another offers such a big discount, something's not adding up.

I've seen a number of schools come and go from Durham Tees Valley that I wasn't comfortable paying up front even with the "huge savings" offered. The schools here opened in 2015 and 2017, so both quite recent, with the "older" school going bust when PTT went under.

You may be covered by a credit card, but do you really want to go through the hassle of getting your flight records and your money back from a school that goes bust? Even if they weren't to go under, what if you didn't like the school or the instructors after doing a number of flights? Can you get your money back with them just charging for the flights you've taken?



Just as I've been told recently --- do your own research, visit the schools, have a flight with them, and go with your gut instincts. My recent thread here showed me as being quite hesitant but as soon as I followed the advice, the path became clear.....
Dman liked this
By Dman
#1682146
This is the reason I asked the question
Some of these deals seem a good idea, but might not be in the long run
Think I will go and have lunch at Fishburn airfield and have a word with a few of the locals
Actually one of my neighbours has his own plane, he is a surgeon who still lives on the farm where he grew up ( his brother runs the farm)
Will go and have a word with him as well
By Dman
#1682147
I would like to thank everyone for there replies
Its all very helpful

Could I ask though
What are the restrictions with a fixed wing microlight licence compared to a full PPL?
Seems a lot easier licence to get
User avatar
By eltonioni
#1682168
Cheaper to get for sure but the actual flying skills need to be as proficient, so don't expect to need fewer hours to qualify. If you want to buy your own aeroplane to fly yourself and a friend in the daytime in nice weather it's ideal. There's not as much of a rental pool though so that will limit your options.
By johnm
#1682170
As someone who started learning at 52 I’d strongly recommend a full PPL unless you can’t make the class 2 medical.

You need to start with the attitude that the training is an integral part of flying, not just a means to an end. So all the learning is interesting and there’s no need to put yourself under pressure. It took me about 18 months and 60 hours to get my licence.

Over the years I added IMCR (Now IR(R) ) night qualifications and ultimately a full IR . I am constantly learning and that’s as much of a pleasure as flying itself (some days more so,!)
eltonioni liked this
User avatar
By PeteSpencer
#1682202
A propos of 'not paying it all up front' This is good advice but most schools that Ive used in UK (for PPL) and USA (For FAA/IR) liked me to keep my account in decent positive balance (IIRC £500 or a coupla hours flying-paid as a precaution by credit card) ) while with them.

The only other UK school (EASA PPL/IR) asked me to settle up after every flight.

But certainly don't pay the full amount and accept you might not get a massive discount:

Cautionary tale: A former forumite (who no longer posts on here) lost many thousands this way when his school went bust: He transferred to another (nationally reputed) school, paid up front and lost it all when that school went bust too.

I would urge you to do the PPL, so get along to an AME sooner rather than later and see if you can get a class 2 medical: If not a NPPL might be on the cards.

Like johnm above I got my PPL late in life (48) and went on to do the IR (66) and have never regretted it and am still going strong.

I lose weight and stop alcohol two months before my annual medical and its all been good so far.

I can't comment on Microlights except to say I don't fancy them.

Whatever you choose, good luck: enjoy the training and don't regard it as something to rush through to reach the end in minimum hours: training at a good school/club surrounded by like minded studes is one of the great pleasures in life.

Keep us posted: Ask away on here - you will get nothing but support and encouragement, far from the carping and abuse that occurs on other sections of this forum.

Peter :wink:
Dman liked this
By Crash one
#1682319
At that age you’re a young whipper snapper.
I started in 2006 at the age 66, finished NPPL a year later, bought a Permit aircraft and did the lot on a work pension and state pension.
If you rent after the licence it will cost both arms both legs and a kidney!
By SimFlyer
#1682371
Dman wrote:What are the restrictions with a fixed wing microlight licence compared to a full PPL?
Seems a lot easier licence to get

Might want to look into this a bit more; depending on what you want later on, might as well do PPL.

PeteSpencer wrote:A propos of 'not paying it all up front' This is good advice but most schools that Ive used in UK (for PPL) and USA (For FAA/IR) liked me to keep my account in decent positive balance (IIRC £500 or a coupla hours flying-paid as a precaution by credit card) ) while with them.

How long ago was this? Did they say why they wanted you to keep money in their account?
By SimFlyer
#1682375
Dman wrote:This is the reason I asked the question
Some of these deals seem a good idea, but might not be in the long run

It may well be a good deal *IF* the school is still around by the time you complete your PPL :mrgreen:
Do you want to risk it?

Plus I'd be a bit cautious with the offer...
"includes everything required from zero experience to walking away with a full pilot licence"
I don't think they'd cover you regardless of whether you take 45 hours to PPL or 80 hours. Make sure you know exactly what the deal is and what's included and your options should you decide to stop flying or move schools mid-programme.
By Spooky
#1682390
At your height I’d look at the microlight licence, the C42 is much more spacious than a Cessna! The Skyranger dealer is a similarly tall chap and fits in his aircraft ok!

Plus it’s cheaper, requires better control, and the SEP add-on will be much easier than trying the other way around.

Maybe try a couple of lessons in both a microlight and a GA to see what you think?
Dman liked this
By Cowshed
#1682511
I think it is generally accepted that as you get older it takes you longer to learn to fly. So getting your PPL is theoretically possible in 45 hours, but I think it is increasingly likely to take longer the older you are when you start (well that is the excuse I use to myself, I started at 47). Also protracted gaps in flying due to weather probably add a few hours to the overall time required as you have to go over ‘old ground’. So the total time required is more likely to be in the 50 to 70 hour band.

I paid as I went. It helped spread the cost as it ended up being over 21 months, with some months having several lessons and some zilch.

One thing that was never pointed out to me is that it gets more expensive as you go on! Not only are you now mentally and financially committed (beyond the point of no return!), but the nature of the lessons are longer when you start doing navigation exercises, your cross country, probably a mock test and then the real test (which is typically about 2 hours of self-hire aircraft rental plus the examiner’s fee). If you were to plot it on a graph it has a bit of a ski-slope shape to it with the last few weeks being the most expensive.

I really enjoyed the whole experience of learning to fly, and had a good rapport with my instructor (which is another important element to it). Physiologically I found it really refreshing ‘going back to school’ and being a novice (and I still am) in an area away from my work.

Go for it. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done (and s*d the fact the mortgage hasn’t gone down). And don’t be put off by setbacks and some things taking time to ‘click’.
Last edited by Cowshed on Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.