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

Moderator: AndyR

By daibrown2003
Hi all,
Monday morning I’m going to have a look around a flight school and have a 1hr trial lesson. My ambition is to gain my ATPL. What questions should I be asking and what should I be looking for in a flight school?

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By Flyin'Dutch'
Not a question for a school but super important.

Have you got your Class 1 Medical certificate?
By CapnM
Few random ones which I can think of right now...

How many aircraft on fleet? <- If one goes in for maintenance, or develops a problem, you'll want to ensure you can carry on your training

How many instructors do they have in total? <- If one goes on holiday, you may want to carry on your training with another instructor temporarily

Landing fees? <- Some schools "include" them in the price hourly price, ask if they are or if you'll be paying a trip to the tower after each lesson, but the school I learnt at didn't

Pre-flight/lesson briefs included in the hourly price? <- I know of at least one local school which charges extra for the pre-flight/lesson brief on top of the flying hour

What ratings do they offer? <- This will tell you whether you'll be able to do everything "in house", or whether you'll be needing to switch schools post-PPL issue to continue with things like CPL/ME/IR/Night Rating/etc. This will come down to cost anyway.

Classroom time for the exams? <- I did all but a quick "pre-exam brief" studying at home for the PPL exams, other people may perfer actually being sat down and taught

Availability going forward for your schedule <- If you can only fly on the weekends, ask how far ahead other students book in as you might need to be quick

I'll report back if I can think of anything else for you.

One super important point, and hopefully no-one disagrees: don't be lured in by an all-in-one payment package. Many schools offer this, and it may look like a cheaper way of doing it, but if that school closes it's doors when you're 5 hours through training, you'll lose every penny - I saw this happen twice during the 2 year period to get my PPL at my local airfield and know students who lost out. Pay on a per-lesson basis. ( Note: If you did do this but paid on a credit card, I do believe you would have some protection, but that would require your own research :thumright: )
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By Flyin'Dutch'
daibrown2003 wrote:Not yet

Before spending a penny om ground school or flying make sure you get it.

Too many people have forked out money only to find out there was a hitch or could not hold a Class 1 medical.
By cockney steve
^^^^^ from sailing ;-

On the vast majority of conventionally-rigged boats, you have a mainmast with a stay from the extreme front of the boat to the upper part of the mast (masthead or Fractional ) The jib is the sail set on this stay, it has a loose foot and the back "edge" can overlap the mast, which has a second sail, fixed to the mast and a horizontal spar, attached to the lower part of the mast with a swivelling-joint (gooseneck) the movement is controlled by ropes and vertically restrained by a "Vang" or "kicking-strap " this allows the Mainsail to be "set " to adopt an aerofoil shape that pulls the boat along except when the wind is from the rear.
The jib is nominally triangular, it's "free" bottom corner is held by ropes, only one of which is normally tensioned. That shapes the sail, depending on it's angle between sail and deck-point where the Sheet is anchored round a fairlead or pulley which can be moved along a track.

The Jib has two jobs. firstly, it has to "set to an aerofoil-shape to pull the boat along.
secondly, it "funnels" the air on the inside of it's curve, over the outside curve of the Main.....thus increasing the power of the Main.

As you can see, the Jib is very important in a rig...a well-cut jib performs better than a poorly-cut one.

Here endeth the lesson (well, it's now Sunday :lol: )