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

Moderator: AndyR

By Nero
#1685982
Hello!

I've always wanted to learn to fly and fortunately I am in a position now to make a start and plough through it at a decent rate.

Unfortunately, now that I'm set on and able to learn to fly, seems everything is against me!

I had a trial flight last month at one flying school which went very well but then, after booking a 5 hr intro package, a mixture of weather and poor admin at the school meant I never flew the first lesson.

I've now switched to EFG at Biggin Hill and booked another 5 hr package. First lesson was meant to be Saturday just gone but, even tho it ended up being quite a sunny day, the haze was really bad and it was cancelled.

Got another booked in for this Sunday. Fingers crossed it goes ahead!!

Look forward to getting to know you guys and hopefully meet in person at Biggin or another local aerodrome.

Many thanks
Scott

Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
By johnm
#1685994
Ah the joys of light aviation...…. If faced with that sort of thing and the opportunity is there, read books towards the exams, blag a passenger ride or just sit in a school aeroplane and get familiar with the kit and the walkround checklists.
JAFO liked this
By Nero
#1686003
johnm wrote:Ah the joys of light aviation...…. If faced with that sort of thing and the opportunity is there, read books towards the exams, blag a passenger ride or just sit in a school aeroplane and get familiar with the kit and the walkround checklists.
The studying part is definitely being covered but I hadn't thought of the other two :) thank you!

I'll speak to the school about that but if anyone here is Biggin or Redhill based and could help with Piper PA28-161 walkarounds, plane sitting and/or passenger stuff, I'd be very grateful!

Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
By Wicksay
#1686076
Hi Scott. I'm only 10 hours in and flying out of Headcorn in a Robin. I live near Tunbridge Wells and always happy to network over a pint on non flying days.

Cheers
Lee

Sent from my SNE-LX1 using Tapatalk
By Nero
#1686163
Wicksay wrote:Hi Scott. I'm only 10 hours in and flying out of Headcorn in a Robin. I live near Tunbridge Wells and always happy to network over a pint on non flying days.

Cheers
Lee

Sent from my SNE-LX1 using Tapatalk
Hi Lee

Nice to meet you

I believe that EFG use Lydd and Headcorn for circuits and T&Gs, so yes it'd definitely be good to network with someone local and in the same position

Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
By cockney steve
#1686185
You say your first school, you paid a 5 -lesson block. Did you get your money back?....If not, you have 5 hours 'credit.

Weather is highly unpredictable and schools are probably extremely cautious about very new students going out in less-than-perfect conditions.
"poor admin" now, I'm taking a guess. It seems they "roster" students -So, you have Saturday 10 AM as your "slot" but bad wind/rain/fog doesn't clear until midday. They can't very well bump the 12-1 PM student, can they? I'm just playing Devil's Advocate here, as I am not involved in that precarious way of making a living!

I'm really drawing a parallel with motoring -schools, which seemed to be a toss-up between car-availability and trainee- availability. (in my case, employer allowed unpaid time off work, suddenly squeezing a saturday/sunday or evening daylight lesson into the instructors' schedule, ceased to be a problem!

Anyway, welcome to the forum, it's mostly a friendly place and it's interesting to see how people take up the challenge of piloting, and progress. :)
By Nero
#1686187
cockney steve wrote:You say your first school, you paid a 5 -lesson block. Did you get your money back?....If not, you have 5 hours 'credit.

Weather is highly unpredictable and schools are probably extremely cautious about very new students going out in less-than-perfect conditions.
"poor admin" now, I'm taking a guess. It seems they "roster" students -So, you have Saturday 10 AM as your "slot" but bad wind/rain/fog doesn't clear until midday. They can't very well bump the 12-1 PM student, can they? I'm just playing Devil's Advocate here, as I am not involved in that precarious way of making a living!

I'm really drawing a parallel with motoring -schools, which seemed to be a toss-up between car-availability and trainee- availability. (in my case, employer allowed unpaid time off work, suddenly squeezing a saturday/sunday or evening daylight lesson into the instructors' schedule, ceased to be a problem!

Anyway, welcome to the forum, it's mostly a friendly place and it's interesting to see how people take up the challenge of piloting, and progress. :)
Hi Steve!

I got a refund on the first school so that's all square

And the poor admin had absolutely nothing to do with weather, I could absolutely forgive that. Nor to do with unforeseen availability issues etc. It was just poor admin... multiple times.

But anyway, water under the bridge and I move on with a positive mindset! Can't wait to get my first lesson done.

Should be Sunday but the weather is looking a bit iffy... Though the latest is that it'll be light cloud and wind. Fingers crossed!

Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
cockney steve liked this
User avatar
By PaulB
#1686216
I used to book more lessons knowing there’d be a substantial cancel rate. Seemed to work out ok.

Later on there may well be more flexibility - eg a hazy day that was originally going to be solo nav might be re-configured into flight in low visibility. Obvs that would be between you and the instructor.
By Nero
#1686217
PaulB wrote:I used to book more lessons knowing there’d be a substantial cancel rate. Seemed to work out ok.

Later on there may well be more flexibility - eg a hazy day that was originally going to be solo nav might be re-configured into flight in low visibility. Obvs that would be between you and the instructor.
Good ideas

Weather will always be a driving factor of British flying, of course. I'm already researching the IR(R) as the next step!


Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
User avatar
By PaulB
#1686222
Nero wrote:Weather will always be a driving factor of British flying, of course. I'm already researching the IR(R) as the next step!


It will remain so, even with an IR(R). There are also loads of other things that can make things go wrong. Aircraft going tech, FIs not being available, work or life in general getting in the way, etc.


At times it may feel like you’re going backwards, but in reality, you won’t be.


.... and don’t forget to space those 9 exams through your training (and don’t forget the RT practical either.)
#1686245
PaulB wrote:
Nero wrote:Weather will always be a driving factor of British flying, of course. I'm already researching the IR(R) as the next step!


It will remain so, even with an IR(R). There are also loads of other things that can make things go wrong. Aircraft going tech, FIs not being available, work or life in general getting in the way, etc.


At times it may feel like you’re going backwards, but in reality, you won’t be.


.... and don’t forget to space those 9 exams through your training (and don’t forget the RT practical either.)
Hmm yes you're right. It is a little frustrating when I've spent a good 15 years wanting to do it and, now that I'm in a position that I can, I can't crack on at full speed :) but hey, that's life

Where are you based?

Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
#1686253
Nero wrote:Where are you based?


Me? West Mids. Fly from Coventry... well I would be if I wasn’t having a temporary sabbatical from flying.
User avatar
By Morten
#1686255
I tracked my lessons booked /cancelled ratio for a while but soon grew tired of it... Weather, aircraft and instructor availability and even my own availability gave an initial hit rate well below 50%.

It did teach the (sadly? ) useful lesson that it is very difficult to make plans which depend on being able to fly, in the UK mostly driven by the weather and the fact that very few GA fields have any instrument facilities, even if you and your aircraft are fully instrument capable.

But, as Jennifer would say, it's worth it :)
By Nero
#1686259
Morten wrote:I tracked my lessons booked /cancelled ratio for a while but soon grew tired of it... Weather, aircraft and instructor availability and even my own availability gave an initial hit rate well below 50%.

It did teach the (sadly? ) useful lesson that it is very difficult to make plans which depend on being able to fly, in the UK mostly driven by the weather and the fact that very few GA fields have any instrument facilities, even if you and your aircraft are fully instrument capable.

But, as Jennifer would say, it's worth it :)
I bet that was a depressing tracker!

I do have questions about that longer term outlook. I have a lot of questions about a lot of areas actually.... But just on the weather unpredictability part, is there a rating and/or method of being able to take off, fly and land in any type of weather condition (barring physical limits of the aircraft like crosswinds, etc).

For example, this week is a mix across the country of rain, cloud, snow, sleet but relatively light winds in the bowl of the low pressure area. Can you plough through from London to Manchester?

Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
#1686274
Nero wrote:Can you plough through from London to Manchester?


Yes. FlyBe.

Oh, wait....

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-47797738

As well as a suitable aeroplane (de-iced probably) you'd need suitable airports, as mentioned. London could be Biggin Hill, or Southend or Southampton. Manchester would probably be Liverpool.

All in all, it would probably be quicker to drive. Time to spare, go by air.
Last edited by Paul_Sengupta on Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:34 am, edited 2 times in total.