Learning to fly an aeroplane leading to a Private Pilots Licence

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Geege, Apr 23, 2007.

  1. Geege

    Geege
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    I am considering learning to fly an aeroplane and perhaps work towards a Private Pilots Licence. Is there anyone who holds a PPL or is currently learning to fly, that could give me some pointers/experience and advice. I understand you also need to hold a class 2 medical. I live in Sussex and from what I've read the best local place to learn seems to be Shoreham airport. I've also read about distance learning courses where you can learn further theory. What are these like? Is achieving a PPL difficult? and what are the post-PPL course like? (Instrument rating etc.., CPL). I understand you need to put in 45 hours in total of flying time. I would also consider how much spare time I have as I have a full time job and a family.

    I did a basic flying course at school (theory and just a 1 hour flight) when I was 15 years and loved it.

    Any advice or commens would be apprieciated.:thumbsup:
     
  2. Kieron

    Kieron
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    I looked into it.

    Apart from the cost of the license, you have to maintain a yearly amount of hours in the sky every year.

    Which means that to keep your license current and valid you need to factor in the cost of renting an aircraft for a certain amount of hours *every* year.

    The cost of the PPL won't include night flying, ILM flying or even flying through clouds.

    Very expensive business....

    I decided on a bike licence instead.
     
  3. TheUltraNick

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    I started learning myself a few years ago and ended up not finishing due to the cost, time involved and pressures of having a family - it's not easy!

    There are multiple written examinations that are needed (such as Radio, Navigation, Meteorology, Aviation Law etc), and these can be done remotely, but you'd be better booking onto courses at your local flying school. The school I used (Barton Aerodrome in Manchester) did weekend long intensive courses followed by the exam at the end of it for a lot of the exams, but there is obviously an extra cost for this.

    The 45 hours flying time is the legal minimum that have to be completed before you can submit for your PPL, but from speaking to people when I was learning almost nobody is capable of taking the test after 45 hours. Pratically speaking you should be budgeting to need to get in at least 60 hours to get your PPL, possibly more.

    Your best bet is to arrange a trial flight with your local flying school. This is the kind of thing people get for birthday/xmas gifts, but if you mention to the instructor that you're interested in learning then they will (usually) get a lot more into the details and are usually willing to have a chat afterwards about the practicalities of learning.
     
  4. udsf

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    my neighbour has a fixed wing PPL and has now gone over to microlights inc teaching

    until recently he had his own fixed wing aircraft

    all i can say is you need a decent bank balance as it is very expensive both to learn and keep the required number of hours etc

    if you pm me your contact details i'm sure he'll talk to you

    hope this helps
     
  5. njp

    njp
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    I don't fly any more, having realised that I was getting more excitment for less money by white-water kayaking and mountain biking... It galled me having to pay ludicrous amounts per minute while I was sitting on the ground waiting for taxi and then takeoff clearance.

    The medical is not that onerous, although I think you also need an annual chest x-ray once you are past a certain age.

    Basic VFR flying is not particularly difficult, being largely a function of the size of your wallet. There is a certain amount of theory to cover (aviation meteorology, principles of flight, route planning and so on), but that isn't very hard either (well, I didn't think it was). Instrument flying is a lot more taxing. The basic PPL includes a tiny amount to allow you to appreciate the fallibility of your senses, in the hope that you won't blunder into situations you will be unable to handle. A full instrument rating is quite hard and rather expensive to obtain!

    To maintain your licence, you will need to fly a certain number of hours as P1 each year. 13, IIRC.

    Edit: I should qualify my comments about VFR flying not being particularly difficult. There is the navigation problem. That was never my strong point! You can't just park in a layby and study your map, and it's easy to convince yourself that what you are seeing on the ground matches the map, when in fact it does not. At least now you could carry a portable GPS with you to verify your position, even if the avionics does not include it. I assume that's frowned upon for the purposes of doing your qualifying cross-country flight, but I haven't checked the syllabus recently!
     
  6. Geege

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    Thanks everyone for your input. The main thing I was concerned about was the cost involved and the amount of time I would need to put into it. I also didn't really think about the cost involved in maintaining (re-classification) the licence. I guess it isn't like driving a car.

    I guess the medical doesn't concern me that much and I've looked at the JAA website. I could do with an eyesight check up though before I consider learning to fly.

    This would have to be long term committment something I will need to think hard about. :lesson:
     
  7. meega

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    Iv'e had trial flights and i'm on the edge of deciding on a remortgage to fund a full 45 hour block booking to reduce overall cost, alternative methods such as an overseas school have been mentioned by people but you need a contact who can guarantee their worth. Whatever, its a very expensive hobby Paul but the fulfillment can be out of this world, to say a CPL can increase the costs tenfold and is the only way to have half a chance of dreaming of an income then it makes it all something out of the grasp of us commoners, you could always try an email to alan Sugar and his exec air travel enterprise? he says "money is not an object only time" in the monthly "loop aero" mag, try it on 250 a week alan:nono:
     
  8. Geege

    Geege
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    A remortage ! :eek: That is committment. :D I understand what you mean though, cost may be prohibitive. I've got to be realistic. With a baby on its way, I could do with a new car!
     
  9. njp

    njp
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    I had to get glasses before I could do my first solo (you don't actually need the medical until then). If you do need to wear glasses, you also have to carry a spare pair with you in case the first pair falls out of the window. Or something.
     
  10. Geege

    Geege
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    Thanks good point :rotfl: :rotfl: :D
     
  11. Mr.D

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    I spent a fair amount of time looking into aviation when I was attempting to become an air traffic controller. Far from a sense of freedom I was struck by how regimented and controlled it was even if you are flying in uncontrolled airspace.

    I have a mate with a PPL and he reckons that apart from when something goes wrong ( miscalculating fuel for example) driving around central London is a more "challenging" endeavour.

    I ended up doing sailing instead , similar levels of discipline ,arguably more exciting and greater sense of freedom once you get the boat out of the harbour. In a plane you can't just heave to for lunch for example.

    My sailing instructor also held a PPL and generally speaking he found flying a little "dry" compared with sailing.
     
  12. Mr_Wistles

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    Everyone is saying that it is expensive, how much are we talking?
     
  13. Achy

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    I had a one hour trial flight a few years ago and would have loved to progressed, but I also found the costs hard to justify for a 'hobby'.

    I spoke to people about the MUCH cheaper (especially now with the £/$ exchange rate :clap: ) learn to fly in the US.

    I would think that it's probably a LOT harder now than pre 9/11 to get flight tuition !

    One big thing I was told about learning to fly in the US is that the weather conditions can be very stable which is fine for learning, but you come back to the UK and can't handle the various unpredictable weather conditions :eek:
     
  14. Achy

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    I think I remember the average cost to obtain your PPL licence was approx £7000, but then it's an annual fee of about £1500 to keep it.

    The PPL doesn't allow you to fly in poor weather conditions or at night etc....
     
  15. lisa burrell

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    Hi i have a cousin who when 16 flew her dads Cessna to Germany she was accompanied and she is very accomplished pilot. She now fly's solo. Taken me up twice. great place to take photos. Expensive hobby.

    Read this

    There is no minimum age to start learning, but you must be at least 16 before you can fly solo and 17 to obtain a Private Pilot's Certificate. There is no maximum age limit - our oldest flying member is 83!

    You must have some photo ID and meet some relatively simple governmental requirements.

    You must be able to read, speak, and understand English.

    You must be able to pass a simple medical exam.

    Contrary to popular belief, pilots can wear glasses or contact lenses to correct vision. And other physical limitations don't automatically keep you from learning to fly either. There are many physically challenged pilots who regularly enjoy the freedom of the sky.

    CW/ thanks from http://www.flymona.com/requirements.html


    [email protected]~~
     
  16. njp

    njp
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    This thread is bringing back memories. Try not to get a nervous instructor. I once had to wrestle mine for the controls shortly after take-off. He thought our angle-of-attack was too high, that the aircraft was about to stall, and that I was trying to kill us both.

    In reality, his seat had slipped on its rails, and he'd disappeared into the back of the aircraft...
     
  17. momehcaw

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    I've not heard of an annual fee. I've had my licence over two years and never had to pay any 'fee'. You have to renew your licence it every 5 years and the fee is approx £150 max, or it may be less than £100 - I haven't had to do it yet.

    You need to do 12 hours' flying in the second year of a two-year period to keep your licence current, but if I flew 12 hours in that year my aircraft would cost approx £62 per hour to operate so I haven't had to consider a remortgage just yet. If I flew more than 12 hours a year the cost per hour would reduce.

    Flying can be as cheap or as expensive as you make it, depending which aircraft you fly and where from.

    Flying only gets boring if you don't know what do do with your licence. I've never looked back since gaining mine and I'm doing more exciting things all the time, although activites such as air racing and instrument training can get a bit pricey. Please email me for more information if you really are serious about doing your PPL. It might not be for everybody but the pleasure gained from flying is unbeatable, in my experience. As suggested previously, perhaps go for a trial lesson, or hang around at your local airfield, meet some pilots, and go for a ride with a PPL and pay your share of the fuel - although you won't get many offers on these forums as non-commerical types are not allowed to 'advertise' seats on private flights in public. On the whole, we're a very friendly bunch too and there is a great social side to general aviation.

    You could also ask on some of the GA forums for some advice and you're more likely to meet folks offering to take you up for the cost of the landing fee or lunch. Try www.ukga.com/forum - they are friendly on there.
     

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