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

Moderator: AndyR

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By KeithM
#1671771
Thomas L-T wrote:what is the best aircraft for a flight school regardless of price to purchase? Something modern and with a glass panel? that could do it all the ir, commercial and the basic ppl. any ideas!


Why, are you in the market? :)
#1671780
Thomas L-T wrote:what is the best aircraft for a flight school regardless of price to purchase? Something modern and with a glass panel? that could do it all the ir, commercial and the basic ppl. any ideas!


Regardless of price to purchase? Don't be silly...
KeithM liked this
By SimFlyer
#1671811
@Harry Brown:
Thank you for that checklist!

Durham Tees seems to be ideal as I'm told it has all the toys (ex bomber base?) but not the traffic. This is why I'm hesitant to fly out of Newcastle International as that is obviously a more busy airport! However, is there a difference between training at something like Durham Tees airport vs. a grassy strip somewhere? Even assuming both sites are controlled?

I did not think of companies house, thank you for that suggestion! I've never done this before so a lot of it isn't making much sense. For example, one school only shows accounts as of 22017, nothing for 2018 and this school was started 2015. The other one started 2017 and has "micro company accounts" for 2018. Based on the documents available, both seem in the black.

With regards to the checklist for dubious flying schools, it seems like a lot of it would entail the person to be actually enrolled in the school for some time before these come to light. Kind of like How do I know it's time to leave this flight school? rather than my original question. However, I will make a note of this and once I've decided on a school, I will still be on the lookout for these danger signs!


@Paul_Sengupta:
Thanks for that! However, I'm a bit confused! I thought electronic devices weren't allowed (or were actively discouraged) in the cockpit? I was reading a thread on PPRUNE about putting GoPros in the cockpit and other members were talking about mounts having to withstand certain G forces in the event of a crash, loose items in the cockpit, and suction mounts not being a good thing, and this is talking about an action camera! How would I secure a phone or tablet that's much bigger and less resilient than a GoPro?


Thomas L-T wrote:what is the best aircraft for a flight school regardless of price to purchase? Something modern and with a glass panel? that could do it all the ir, commercial and the basic ppl. any ideas!

Not a pilot nor in the business of flight schools but I would wager that buying something that does it all would cost more to run than a dedicated trainer for basics then another for advanced stuff. Why put a new pilot in a trainer with all the bells and whistles when he can't use 98% of that as he's practicing level turns and climbs and descents? Get a C150 or C172 and it will be more than enough for that type of student, plus the aircraft would probably be cheaper to run and less on your capital/overhead!

That's like buying a gaming computer with SLI graphics card and 4K monitor for someone who is learning Microsoft Word and Excel! :mrgreen:
#1671812
SimFlyer wrote:Thanks for that! However, I'm a bit confused! I thought electronic devices weren't allowed (or were actively discouraged) in the cockpit?


There are a couple of issues here.

1) During flight training you're generally not going to be able to use a tablet with all the bells and whistles on it. That doesn't mean you can't leave one on the back seat (or on top of your flight bag in the back) switched on and receiving, so you can a) reach for it if you get lost, b) record your flight for playing back the track later and storing times and so on.

2) Post PPL a good majority of people use GPS navigation of some sort. Many these days use a tablet based system. These can be secured in a number of ways including a dedicated mount on the panel, a yoke mount, a mount secured on a metal tube, and yes, a suction mount, but if you go down the suction mount route, I'd advise going with one by RAM which can be very secure indeed.

A good flight school will tutor you in the art of GPS navigation as well as the stopwatch and compass method, and VOR/NDB navigation.
By KeithM
#1671834
Are students allowed to use GPS or apps during training?

I would have thought not but maybe things have changed over the years.

Is one not also still required to carry a chart, anyway?

I am a Luddite and only have Aware on an I-pad for position back up and have discovered, as others have, that on warm days I-pads have a tendency to shut down!
#1671841
AIUI, the Microlight training curriculum has been altered and now includes flight-computer use, alongside the parchment/flint/tinderbox method of nav. I'm not sure if it applies to PPL ,as yet, but a recant communique from Belgrano * suggests that news of these amazing elecktrickery- powered inventions has been approved by them and they may be carried in the cockpit, alongside the parchment, etc.

* Belgrano is HQ of the CAA,a fetching shade of battleship -grey,I hear.

@SimFlyer Good luck on prune, they can be pretty aggressive and hostile. it is a good survival course, though :twisted:

Looking at Companies house is, of course, only any good if the place you're investigating, is actually a Limited Company. I suspect the smaller schools are busy teaching and keeping everything moving , rather than pushing around all the extra heaps of paperwork associated with a Ltd. Co.
#1671842
I was actually looking forward to learning how to fly old-school.

I find PPRUNE a bit odd, seems like people who hate flying are on there; a couple of times I've read posts by airline pilots saying they will discourage their children from following that type of profession! Maybe when it's a job it becomes different? The gopro thread was sad too, it was as if people take offense that someone would do such a thing yet YouTube is full of people with gopros in cockpits, both amateurs and professionals! The one thing I do like about that site is learning about which flight schools to avoid!
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By KeithM
#1671880
SimFlyer wrote:I was actually looking forward to learning how to fly old-school.

I find PPRUNE a bit odd, seems like people who hate flying are on there; a couple of times I've read posts by airline pilots saying they will discourage their children from following that type of profession! Maybe when it's a job it becomes different?


Flying “old school” is a useful skill to have up your sleeve. For me, as a recreational pilot, it’s part of the enjoyment.That said, I’ve also flown glass cockpit and auto pilot equipped 172s and 182 in the US and I must admit that was pretty impressive! My one and only portable GPS was also impressive until it packed up after a couple of years use! Might explain why it suddenly disappeared from the market!

As a kid I, too, dreamed of being an airline pilot but, yes, a number of those in the business have told me that it ain’t necessarily as glamorous as one might think, even if you are young and single! Paying back five or six figure loans can’t be much fun either!
#1672007
We certainly do not do any GPS training on the PPL. You need to be fully conversant with DR Navigation before you go onto GPS which can be done after PPL.

You should however be trained in the use of Radio Navigation during the PPL

Here is an accident to think about, a non understanding of basic navigation principles and the limitations of the ADF and its use killed this pilot who was 210 miles off course!
https://www.gov.uk/aaib-reports/14-1974 ... ember-1972

Here is an accident that shows what happens when you solely rely on GPS and also do not understand you aircraft's electrical system.
https://www.gov.uk/aaib-reports/piper-p ... ember-2011

By the way Ive yet to come across a flying school that isnt a limited company. I can think of many flying school owners that certainly need to "Limit their Liability"
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User avatar
By lobstaboy
#1672023
Harry Brown wrote:We certainly do not do any GPS training on the PPL. You need to be fully conversant with DR Navigation before you go onto GPS which can be done after PPL.


The microlight chaps are ahead of the game here. As Cockney Steve mentioned, the NPPL (M) syllabus was updated at the beginning of 2019 to include the use of GPS as a navigation and airspace awareness tool as part of the toolkit to be used for navigation. The emphasis is on integration, not replacing traditional techniques (which are still taught).
By Bathman
#1672033
Are you sure I 've got a copy right in front of me and it states page 43 " The prime purpose of the navigation training is to teach the student to navigate without the use of GPS"

The bit of page 68 amuses me under the heading of potential operational limitations (of GPS) is “Out dated information”

I better check up the radio frequencies on my map then.

I do feel its yet another missed opportunity.
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