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

Moderator: AndyR

Hi, I have been training to obtain my PPL with a flight school in Croatia. I have paid this school up front for flights and training, completed 45 hours flying time including solos, and sat and passed all 9 exams.

When I started the training I flew the DA20 Katana. As I am a big man, the school told me that I need to fly a bigger plane and was given the Cirrus SR20 and remained with this plane until I completed my training.

Now, I am there for night flights and to collect my license, and the school have approached me and surprised me with an additional invoice for the Cirrus. I wasn't informed of the additional costs beforehand and no new contract was given for me to sign. They have told me that if I don't pay they will not give me my license. :(

Can someone please advise what my rights are or what I can do.

Thank you in advance.
herbertvwright liked this
What he said.

Congrats on getting your PPL, sorry to read about your issue with the school-

For them not to discuss the price increase was wrong.

For you not to think that there would be a price difference and to sort that out at the time was very naive.

If they got you through the syllabus and test in 45 hours they have done a good job and you will have saved money over using a less good school.

The only question you have to ask if you would have stopped the training if they had told you the price increase at the time.
Not sure what your aim is?

I think it would be difficult to justify not paying any more since you did voluntarily change to the Cirrus.

Providing the difference asked for reflects the difference in operating costs I think you'll struggle to avoid payment and you'll run the risk of costing yourself more in the long run. Not to mention the inconvenience.

If the difference is reasonable I suggest paying it is your best option.
herbertvwright liked this
If the invoice accurately reflects the uplift in hourly rates from the moment of the change to the Cirrus then I don't see that you've got much choice but to pay up.

However if the invoice appears grossly inflated, then sit down with the school and go through the invoice item by item.

If they still won't budge you have the choice of paying up, collecting your licence and getting on with your life, or,

Seeking Croatian legal advice with inevitably more expense.

But if, as somebody above has pointed out, they've made you a competent pilot in minimum hours then both they and you have done an exceptional job: Pay the money and run,,,,

Good luck

As others have said......proper, qualified legal advice is needed.
If you really were being ripped- off in the first place (paying Cirrus rates, but getting a Katana ) you may have a moral case , if not a legal one.
Have you tried contacting the Regulatory body that issues licences?

I'm pretty sure it would be illegal in UK, for a training organisation to hold a licence which belongs to a pupil.........they would have to pursue the debt through a Civil Court, whereas the "theft" of a licence is likely to be a Criminal Court matter........You are not in UK....get a Solicitor, preferably find one who flies themselves.

Possibly, you could apply to the Authority for a duplicate/ re-issue.
herbertvwright liked this
You don't specify whether you've passed the skills test or not.

You say that you've flown 45 hours, covered all the syllabus and passed the 9 exams.

Have you done the skills test? Because if not, there's no licence to 'withhold'

In any case I'd be very surprised if the actual licence issue is a matter for the school - would have thought it would be the national CAA. The school could probably make your life difficult by withholding paperwork.

As others have said, it's rather naiive to assume that an SR20 would cost the same as a DA20.