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Old 25th Mar 2010, 14:36   #1 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Shitney, Australia
Posts: 4
Good flight training at Bankstown

G'day gentlemen

Long time reader, first time poster. Please bear with me!

I'm 22 and currently working full-time in another field. I'm wanting to have a go at starting from scratch and going for a GFPT and would like to seek some second opinions on good flight training providers around Bankstown Airport. As I essentially live up the road from the airport, I've done the rounds there to various places and made enquiries, and still yet undecided.

Basically, I'm preferrably after a small and experienced outfit with dedicated instructors. Something about big flying schools and casual instructors I don't feel would provide me the quality I'm after. I've stopped by at Basair and Proflite and I just got that impression, but have also stopped at other joints like Schofields and Whitworth on the otherside of the airport, and the latter seemed to suit me, though I'm not sure what to choose between, Schofields had a pretty friendly social atmosphere to it.


Also, I'm well aware of how much this will hurt the bank balance, but I've waited since high school to do this so now's my chance. Would anyone be able to give me a decent ballpark figure on how much I'm looking at to get to the GFPT level? I wouldn't mind over the next few weeks just building up on things I need like the Theory Books, and headsets and stuff before I actually jump into a plane.

Finally, what's the best BAK/SPL theory books you blokes can recommend? Stopping by Concept Supplies, I noted the red student pilot kits going for $150, and wondered if they were worth it, compared to other 'complete' student kits on sale going for $95.


I want to make the most of this, and have desires in future to one day a career out of it, if I become disenchanted with my current career path


Thanks fellas!
Flying Kites is offline   Reply
Old 25th Mar 2010, 17:52   #2 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 106
I have a PPL, not a CPL. Here are my opinions -

There are a few good small schools at BK. Pacific Flight Services (Crane Air), and Clamback & Hennessy spring to mind - they regularly get good feedback on this forum. They both have a decent fleet of aircraft and decent rates. I did my training at Crane Air.

I think you will find that most will agree with you - my brief experience with Basair 10 years back left me unimpressed, it's much the same situation with most of the big pilot-factories - unless you are cashed up and enrolled in a course (and even then...), they don't want to know you .

Allow about $5000 for GFPT:
Allow about 20 hours at 200 an hour (probably out of date...), plus an extra 1000 for the various test fees, documents, odds and ends.
You don't need to buy a headset straight away. As they say, time is money - invest the spare cash and buy a nice one later when you go commercial - you can usually borrow them for free from the school.

Don't get too carried away with all the gear, you wont need much gear until after the GFPT anyway (e.g. fuel testers are rather expensive for what they are, mine broke after a couple of years of intermittent use. I never bothered buying a new one since most school aircraft have one in the glove compartment... ). Until then a BAK text and logbook should suffice.

I have used a couple of Trevor Thom's books (BAK, Nav/Met) and one of Bob Tait's books (PPL Theory).
Bob Tait's book seemed a bit better.
There are a lot good (free) educational websites too.

Try to go once a week, or once a fortnight minimum. That way you will make progress.

Above all: enjoy it.
nick2007 is offline   Reply
Old 26th Mar 2010, 00:49   #3 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 442
Schoies, PFS & Whitworth are my tips. Clamback & Hennessey depends on how well you get on with Aminta.
Cynical Pilot is offline   Reply
Old 26th Mar 2010, 01:22   #4 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 35
I echo the thoughts of the previous posters. Schofields, PFS and Whitworth are worth the look. Stay away from the sausage factory (only 1 left).

My suggestion would be, look into the instructors rather than the schools. The girls/guys at Concept Aviation will usually point you in the right direction in terms of instructors as will other students of course.

Good luck with your training.
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Old 26th Mar 2010, 02:07   #5 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Sydney
Age: 43
Posts: 60
Quote:
G'day gentlemen
Ahem!

I'd suggest Clamback and Henessy - they're a real mom and pop outfit, with a garden centre attached to their school. Cynical Pilot's right about Aminta - she IS scary, but she means well - just don't fly with her! Dan McGowan and Lyn Gray are both lovely. And the school has a barbie every Sunday which is great for meeting other students.

If you can, use the Bob Tait books. I used the ATC books for BAK and PPL, then discovered the Bob books, which I think are more user friendly - although a quick poke around this site will come up with plenty of other opinions. I'd be quite happy to loan you mine.

Best tip I can give to you is talk to everyone: the folks at Concept, Eddie and Aspa at the coffee shop, the students you meet. Take a trial at each school - it may seem like an unnecessary expense, but (take it from me having been through five schools and twelve instructors) it'll save grief down the line.

Make sure you fly every week, and if you can get any block time, go for it!

And enjoy!

Blue skies,

GWAS
girl with a stick is offline   Reply
Old 26th Mar 2010, 06:25   #6 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 150
Flying schools at YSBK

I've flown with just about all of 'em over the years - mainly hiring - including quite a few that are no more.

Agree with comments about C&H. Lyn checked me out on the aircraft and was a pleasure to fly with. But, as a pilot with 30 years' experience, I was a bit annoyed when the boss told me off for putting a litre of oil in an aircraft I'd hired - I was away at another aerodrome with a 2 hour plus flight to get back (a good portion of it in IMC) - because they like to use their own brand (but don't keep a spare litre of it in the aircraft)! Maybe my ego is too fragile.

I reckon Schoies are worth a go for PPL training. Do your instrument rating (if you keep going) with Bill Whitworth .

Ted
Ted D Bear is offline   Reply
Old 26th Mar 2010, 07:08   #7 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Australia
Posts: 2,406
Folks,
I concur with all the recommendation ----- but suggest Bankstown is a seriously lousy place to learn to fly, the GAAP circuit restrictions have only made it even worse.

You don't want to be paying big $$$ to sit at holding points or "outside the zone".

The best way to learn to fly is in big bites, not dribs and drabs, a country flying school for a two/three week stretch of annual holidays produces a better result as a significantly reduced price.

One weekend, visit RNAC at West Maitland/Rutherford, but there are quite a few others. The savings and your rate of progress will be very real.

Tootle pip!!
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Old 27th Mar 2010, 01:14   #8 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Shitney, Australia
Posts: 4
Thumbs up

Hi all

Firstly, many thanks to all of you for your responses, and please pardon me girl with a stick for my assumption of the genders on this forum!

Did the rounds again at the airport, spoke to a few people and schools, got some great advice and opinions, and have decided to go with Whitworth Aviation on Tower Rd, as I was pretty comfortable with the small outfit they operate, their instructors, and I have a soft spot for Pipers.

I've also been put onto the Student Pilot Kit books, the ones in the red boxes, so that shall occupy me at work during the slow periods. Nick2007, could you recommend any websites out there for learner pilots that could supplement my learning?


LeadShed, having lived in the bush for the past few years, I wish I had the opportunity to spend a block period of a fortnight for my GFPT, however the time and the funds just wasn't there, unlike now. As well, I'm only down the road from Bankstown, so might take the opportunity while it's still there (Dare I say it!). I do appreciate the suggestion nonetheless.


Thanks all!
Flying Kites is offline   Reply
Old 27th Mar 2010, 12:11   #9 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Shitney, Australia
Posts: 4
Also, following up from my previous enquiry, would you folks suggest if any DVDs for flight training are worth getting to supplement the textbook study? It doesn't seem many are avaliable locally, but over in the US, ones like the Sportys one seem alright.


Thanks!
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Old 28th Mar 2010, 02:50   #10 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sydney
Posts: 606
can we just sticky one of these bi weekly threads and be done with it?
das Uber Soldat is offline   Reply
Old 28th Mar 2010, 23:57   #11 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Hiding
Posts: 883
Quote:
can we just sticky one of these bi weekly threads and be done with it?


And the Morrabbin one;
And the SE QLD one;
And the "whats the best head set fecking thread";
And the "I'm off up north again" thread;
And the "I have a CPL now what" thread;
And the...............................
Atlas Shrugged is offline   Reply
Old 29th Mar 2010, 01:01   #12 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Sydney
Age: 24
Posts: 65
+1 for Whitworth and Bob Tait
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Old 29th Mar 2010, 02:24   #13 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Australia
Posts: 2,406
Flying Kites,

I have known Bill W since he was a brand new C grade at RACNSW. He has a very long list of loyal customers over a very long period ---- that's the best recommendation.

I would also endorse your choice of a Bob Tait course, as good as they come, and better than most --- he keeps things updated.

Tootle pip!!
LeadSled is offline   Reply
Old 29th Mar 2010, 04:02   #14 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Sydney
Posts: 14
+1 your choice of Whitworth - you will be trained to be a safe, competent pilot. Bill won't let you get away with sloppy flying and standards, and that is a great thing in aviation.
Crescent is offline   Reply
Old 29th Mar 2010, 21:39   #15 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Sydney
Posts: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeadSled
but suggest Bankstown is a seriously lousy place to learn to fly, the GAAP circuit restrictions have only made it even worse.

You don't want to be paying big $$$ to sit at holding points or "outside the zone".
Don't be so quick to talk YSBK down. In the last 12 months the volume of traffic has dramatically declined with the departure of a few of the larger flying schools and much of the overseas flight training. Listening to ground you will hear that people are being approved for circuits immediately and I have not heard someone denied start for circuits since last year. Furthermore things have been rather empty of late even on the weekends. Where once the training area was a target rich environment it is easy to stay out there for an hour and not see another aircraft.

Regardless, Flying Kites I would suggest that you try and fly as early as possible in the morning. The skies are usually at their nicest and YSBK is deserted so you can do whatever lesson you need without being pestered or being compromised by someone else and their flying.
Polymer Fox is offline   Reply
Old 29th Mar 2010, 23:22   #16 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Hiding
Posts: 883
....and today's one on the Gold Coast Flying Schools......

And....probably the one that will start tomorrow on "What's the Best GPS for GA" thread. Sheeeeeesh!
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Old 31st Mar 2010, 05:32   #17 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
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Posts: 883
And todays one on Morrabbin......................................boing!....... ..............plonk!
Atlas Shrugged is offline   Reply
Old 31st Mar 2010, 06:12   #18 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Ozone
Posts: 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crescent
+1 your choice of Whitworth - you will be trained to be a safe, competent pilot. Bill won't let you get away with sloppy flying and standards, and that is a great thing in aviation.
Yea...agree, friend flown with them and said Bill's pretty cool.

Clamback is also not a bad option too~~been flying with them for a bit now, it's much better than those big "factory" out there. HAHA...Aminta can be quite scary, but it's of good cause I believe.....
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Old 31st Mar 2010, 12:41   #19 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 503
Whitworth Aviation
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Old 1st Apr 2010, 01:00   #20 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Australia
Posts: 64
You could always go gliding on the weekends-GFPT should be a piece of p*ss for you once you are solo in gliders and get your BAK done....you could then put the $$$ you saved into starting navs for your PPL...just a thought!
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