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

Moderator: AndyR

Hi all,

I'm quite stuck on which aerodrome to choose from.

The cost below for PPL

Northweald cost - £7125 50% upfront and 50% half way through the course.
Stapleford cost - £7652.00 or pay full price up front to get 5% discount which comes down to £7269.40

Stapleford is closer to me by 10 mins drive and NW is 20 min drive.

Can anyone help with what experiences you had In choosing either one.

Thank you.
T6Harvard liked this
[not commenting on either operation] but:

Never pay up front. And never pay up front. But whatever you do, don’t pay up front.

£500 is actually no difference in real terms. There are so many variables in a PPL course a difference like that is not noticeable to be honest.

@buzzman has good advice, but more than anything you have to ‘feel’ which one is the right fit for you as a person. No matter what the cost, you have to be happy and confident to make a success of training.

Good luck!
T6Harvard, evanscm3 liked this
I would be very careful paying that amount up front. If you do, pay on a credit card just in case the worst happened especially due to the current circumstances.

Also, don’t plan on doing it in the minimum 45 hours vary few do. I think the average is 55ish.

If you are going to plan to do it very quickly 5-6 hours a week then it wouldn’t be too bad however, if not it could take 6-12 months to get your ppl.

Personally, I would pay by the hour as you go. (This is what I did)

Good luck and enjoy it! I loved learning to fly!
T6Harvard liked this
From personal experience...I would probably reccomend North Weald. The runway at Stapleford is in bad shape and a weird half paved half grass monstrosity. I would go to North Weald for the runway alone.

You can also probably expect the Stapleford prices to be higher once you start training. I would highly advise against paying up front. I dont know if the quoted number includes their fuel surcharge, but I know people who paid up front who kept having to pay more and more due to increasing costs over the duration of their training. Don't let the people in the front office pressure you into putting money into an account. Your training will cost what its going to cost. Pay per flight if you ask me.

Im happy to give a more detailed and personalized account of my experience at Stapleford via PM. Send me a message if you would like to chat.
T6Harvard liked this
oldbiggincfi wrote:Firstly, I think you should ask yourself what type of flying you are aiming to do in the future.
It may well be a NPPL will suit your purpose .
Very true, the LAPL licence is probably more licence than you'll ever need for a bit of good weather leisure flying with a few mates.

For reference, I passed my LAPL(a) in 34 hours and once all ground exams, the radio exam, medical costs, flight tests, flight test hire and physical licence issue costs, I ended up paying around £7k.

The headline cost is not the important part, it's flying after all, it's the quality of the aircraft, the airfield and runway acceasability and the relationship with your instructor(s).

Make sure you get on with the instructor, you're going to be spending a lot of time in each others pockets in often stressful scenarios. The last thing you want is to hate the process because you don't get on with the instructor.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
T6Harvard liked this
Which has nicer aeroplanes? And which has continuation training that suits your inclinations (Stapleford does a lot of commercial training, NW is more "sporty").

Don't even consider cost. You're not buying a product, you're buying into a new world. It doesn't get any cheaper when you've got your licence! You have to get into the mindset that it is an ongoing outgoing, like food, mortgage and council tax, but more important. You can afford £200 a month. £500. £2,000. Whatever. Eventually your £500 a month will acquire you a licence, and you can move on to spending it in different ways - but those ways won't be magically more fun than the earlier ones. Just expanding skills, expanding horizons. Don't think of the PPL as a package or you'll end up rushing it through in three weeks in the US. And then get back to the UK, find it's all different and wonder why you bothered.

And never pay upfront.
JAFO, Morten, Flying badger  liked this
AndyR wrote:Go and get a lesson at both. That will more than likely make your mind up.

Having first bought yourself a logbook so those flights are recorded and signed off. Never let an hour go to waste

AndyR wrote: And NEVER EVER pay up front.

I understand paying by credit card upfront gives you some measure of protection, but that may possibly not be correct, I have no example to quote

Rob P
TractorBoy liked this
You've got to visit both and see where you fit.

One school I visited, ignored me for nearly an hour after I arrived and introduced myself, then just stuffed a leaflet in my hand and said call back if you are really interested. I didn't.

The next one, I asked about tailwheel endorsement at the same time, I had an aeroplane available. The duty instructor laughed at me and then announced that he only had 20minutes tailwheel time himself. I already had more than him!

Neither took me seriously, neither got my business, neither were NW or Stapleford.

Don't choose on money alone.

"Cheap, good and quick, you can never have all three"
JAFO liked this
I think it's massively disingenuous of schools to give people a price to get a licence, if that's what they're doing.

£x per hour and the minimum's this and the average is that plus exams, landing fees and whatever else but to suggest to someone who is possibly not going to know any better that a PPL costs £7269.40 is just plain wrong.

Of course, I don't know if either of the clubs in the OP did that or if @zie is just paraphrasing.