Good evening folks,
After finishing my ATPL, I visited several flying schools to decide where to go.
I never booked any appointment to visit the schools, I wanted to see how busy and friendly they were.
Bristol was the first I visited and made a really good impression. They have enough planes and well maintained; an ILS and they dont charge more than 15 minutes on the ground if its busy.
I read later on on the internet that we can wait a while in the air doing holds to let some commercial traffic land. Does it happen a lot ? I don't know...
Then I went to Multi flight in Leeds. I can't remember the exact figure but they seemed to be more expensive than the other schools. The CPL is on a twin also if a recall correctly. I didnt feel really welcome
My next school was Aeros in Gloucester and Coventry. I went first to Gloucester and loved their hospitality.
The main problem in my opinion was their fleet. Even though they have a nice Tecnam, if it comes to fail.... you have to wait for it to be fixed.
They offered good price
Stapleford was professionnal and honest. They were the only one to tell me how much a CPL/IR would cost.
They printed their package and also the hidden fees (170A, Test,...)
All the schools were between 18000 and 20000 pounds but you can add 5 000 for the hidden charges...
The last one I visited was shoreham. They have DA40 and DA42. The building is small but it doesnt change anything.
The atmosphere is relaxed and they are friendly.
I hesitated between Bristol and Shoreham.
-Bristol seem to offer the more professionnal training but on old aircraft. They have an ILS !
-Shoreham has NDB approach and Rnav approach. They have G1000 aircraft and it makes sense to do the whole training on the same Avionic.
I picked Shoreham for the Aircraft.
Having done my CPL there and now finishing my IR, I have more feedback to give you.
It is based on my opinion, I will try to remain objective.
+Good prices for package CPL/IR (you end up with a bit more hours on a twin aircraft for the same price as others schools)
+Nice accomodation in the area and living in shoreham/Brighton is great !
+Aicraft in good conditions and available
-Prices: You pay a standard rate and are refunded with the discount upon completion of your package.... Was never mentioned in any documents...
-Atmosphere too relaxed ? I was expecting more for my training. We rarely have a briefing before the flight and most of the time the debrief is really quickly done. I was told that there is no need for a briefing before each flight as once we have done an ILS, there is no need to come back to it... I let this to your appreciation !
For my CPL, when I moved on the Da42, I was expecting to have a walk around with the instructor to show me the new features. I had to wait my 4th or 5th flight for that !
-Scheduled is a mess. As a full time student, I am supposed to be on site the whole day. You have your planning the night before at 8pm. It is hard to plan sometimes...
--CAA fees are horrible ! 700 or 780 pounds, cant remember exactly for the Initial test. If you have to do a partial, it is 535 pounds... This is the same for every schools.
The package includes a specific amount of approaches and landings. Be aware of the expensive fees if you go beyond.
Single aicraft landing fee: 20 pounds.
It increases to 40 pounds when flying the DA42.
I am really pleased with the aircraft and the atmosphere. If you want to fly the diamonds G1000, this is the place to go.
If you dont care about the aircraft, consider visiting other places.
If you have any questions or if you have a different experience with them, feel free to share