View Full Version : PPL Training Providers in Hampshire?????
5th Oct 2007, 16:13
Hi folks, you normally only see me on ATC Issues subforum but I thought I'd come in here and ask you learned guys and gals a question.......
I've recently moved to the sunny south coast near Southampton and am in the process of looking for a training provider whith which to renew my out-of-date PPL(A).
Doing some research I found that the only local providers seem to be:-
Carill Aviation at Lee-On-Solent
Lee Flying Services at Lee-On-Solent
Western Air at Thruxton
Higherplane Aviation at Popham
Can anyone give me some feedback on the above providers as I AM new to the area and have not had any time to 'get a feel' for who's got a good rep and who has not.
I would appreciate any honest first-hand comments good or bad but PLEASE refrain from any unashamed bashing or "my mate said...." type stuff.
5th Oct 2007, 17:03
Observations on Thruxton (they got me through PPL and IMC, and I have no personal or financial interest)
Well maintained field, Excellent approach to safety
Grass and concrete (always serviceable even after extended wetness), lights and papis
Are free of controlled airspace, but are under Boscombe MATZ (this is more of a help than a hindrance - experience of mil atc, plus if you can't find r/w 25 at Tx, there's always the Boscombe ILS a little further on)
Nice people in the tower - always professional and always helpful
Well maintained fleet - PA28s at the moment
Over the years they have also had interesting aircraft - T67M, Cub, Condor
They have the strong and consistent support of the airfield owner, and have been financially stable for as long as I've been a member (>15 years:eek:)
Lots of other fun things going on on the airfield, circuit is usually fairly quiet. The motor racing has never been a handicap for me - it's actually an added interest.
Proximity to the Salisbury Plain danger areas means that getting to the Northwest is not a straight line.
Reasonable restaurant and bar
Not a huge amount of clubbiness after hours - but that is always down to who's going to do the leg work.
Seem to have overcome the very sad loss of their outstanding CFI (to cancer)
Can't comment on the others - no in depth experience - I'm sure there'll be many positive comments on Popham
5th Oct 2007, 17:11
I can only speak for Thruxton, it is nice place and they do have good instructors. I would agree with everything said above. Popham is a great airfield but I don't know about the club...my impression is that it's more microlights that they specialise in. You could also add Old Sarum Flying Club near Salisbury...not in Hampshire but not too far away.
5th Oct 2007, 17:14
Another thumbs up for Old Sarum :ok: - after all.... they're trying to train me :O
5th Oct 2007, 17:17
It's a no-brainer: go to Old Sarum.
The standard of instruction is excellent :O , there's a good club atmosphere, an interesting fleet and open airspace. Also, it's a licensed airfield so (although it MAY not be relevant in your case) there's no pseudo-legal ferrying before a lesson can start.
Visit all the airfields before you decide. Chat to the members and staff, ask to be shown the aircraft, discuss what training they think you are likely to need - then make up your mind. Don't pre-pay because it'll then be harder to move if you find you've made a mistake.
Edited to add: another consideration is the type of aircraft you want to learn in, or migrate to. OS has a large number of PA28s, a couple of Arrows, a couple of Bulldogs, a couple of C152s (one tailwheel), a Cub, a Seneca and a few C42s. Shadow and flex-wing instruction is also available on the field.
6th Oct 2007, 14:11
I have to agree Old Sarum definitely gets the thumbs up from me! I used to live in Portsmouth and Old Sarum is well worth the drive up the A36!!!!
High Wing Drifter
6th Oct 2007, 15:24
I'm now an Old Sarum regular, the place is highly recommended.
6th Oct 2007, 21:40
Depends what you're comfortable with.
Old Sarum's a great place but then again so is Popham.
OS is likely to be pricier than doing it at Popham but then OS is licensed and has conventional approaches. Popham has interesting approaches and two runways rather than one.
Membership costs at both are similar but Popham's includes all landings while OS now includes landings only in club aircraft.
I'd suggest a visit to both and make up your own mind.
Oh and OS sits inside the Boscombe/Wallop CMATZ, which also incorporates the Porton Down restricted area so your options for entry/exit are more restricted.
7th Oct 2007, 11:39
FYI the Boscombe CMATZ is normally only open during the week. When it's active you approach via the Alderbury VRP (unless you sweet-talk BD); when it's inactive (most evenings and weekends) overhead or downwind joins are the default.
Other relevant bits and pieces:
The Porton Down danger area is permanently active. The Salisbury Plain areas can usually be crossed at the weekend at 3001ft (but check activity by listening to the tape on 122.75 and check NOTAMS). The BD ATZ is permanently active.
7th Oct 2007, 16:17
Another vote for Old Sarum - highly recommended :ok:
7th Oct 2007, 16:48
What about Solent Flight LTD
7th Oct 2007, 17:50
Been hearing a lot of good things about Lee-on-solent from bods at work. Despite the airfield/owner politics it seems to get good press amongst my flying colleagues.
After consideration it seems that Old Sarum/Popham/Thruxton might just be a bit too far away to be cost-effective once i've factored in fuel costs to get there and back plus flight training costs.
With that in mind can anyone give me ANY feedback at all regarding LOS airfield and Carill Aviation????
Thanks for all your previous suggestions folks, much appreciated.
7th Oct 2007, 17:57
I can thoroughly recommend Carill: extremely professional with very pleasant and friendly folk, giving training of the highest standard. The instructors are very experienced, way beyond the PPL syllabus. The emphasis is on the sort of flying that will lead to further ratings and licences: PA28s with 'by the book' navigation in controlled airspace etc, rather than seat-of-the-pants tail-dragger flying and strip operations - but you still get plenty of trips round the island or out into Hampshire, Wiltshire and Sussex. Very efficiently organized and maintained, with no cancellations during my PPL training other than through poor weather. They also have an active 'PPL Club' which regularly flies out to all corners of the UK, Ireland and across the Channel.
7th Oct 2007, 21:30
SolentFlight for me.
8th Oct 2007, 14:00
Can also report than Carill are fine - I am perfectly happy with Caroline Rabson, her other instructors and their professionalism but they are currently suffering crippling restrictions.
The current problems at Lee-on Solent are due to local politics /Hampshire Constabulary and the M&CA and not the making of the various GA users who are being seriously inconvenienced.
A Lee flying assocaition has been formed to try and challenge the restrictions and set matters on a better footing.
Current restrictions mean that the gliding club have priority so NO powered aeroplanes are alowed to fly between 10.00 and 17.00 at weekends or on Wednesdays.
8th Oct 2007, 14:11
I recently got my PPL at Thruxton and have nothing but good words to say about the team and the facilities..
I managed it in exactly 45 hours too, so it gives you a good indication of the level of instruction.
I have a full spreadsheet of the costs from 0 to PPL including everything - I am happy to send it to you via PM if it would be useful.
8th Oct 2007, 19:04
Many thanks again folks. Went to Carill today for a recce and had a quick chat with one of their instructors.
He was a very nice chap, very enthusiastic and gave me a brief insight into what there plans were for the immediate future. He also talked about the politics surrounding the operation and told me of the (IMHO quite draconian) restrictions placed on them.
After the brief chat I was very keen to do my revalidation with Carill and the proximity to the continent was also very appealing.
Went away with a positive attitude towards the company and hope to start on the road to revalitation ASAP.
8th Oct 2007, 21:20
Try Derick Davidson at Bournemouth. You'll get one to one, all exams and straight forward approach