PPRuNe Forums - View Single Post - Hello! Central Scotland PPL - where to go?
Old 18th Feb 2014, 09:38
  #22 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Scotia
Posts: 12

I think I might be able to offer a (hopefully) helpful opinion. Your motivation will be key here, as you start what will be a fairly big commitment in terms of finance and time.

I had my first 6 hours of PPL training in, wait for it, 1984! Cash (ie the lack of it) and family then got in the way until retirement late last year when, bingo, time and money become available to scratch an itch that never, ever went away. So if your motivation is high, you'll get there in the end!

I'm about 7 miles from you, so I've looked at all the centrally located schools over a period of time. Each is staffed by dedicated, professional and friendly folk. So, my choice was based on a number of technical factors and is no reflection on the capabilities of the FTOs that I passed by when making my decision of where to spend the best part of 8k on a PPL.

You could do worse than Tayside Aviation for a number of good, solid reasons. Firstly, I'm door to door in 50 mins. Further, I know, than handy Cumbernauld or even Perth but my perception of Dundee's professionalism, the 'feel' of the clubhouse (more a work environment than golf club, if you get my drift?) and the availability of aircraft/instructors was all very positive. I've got around 15 hours logged at Dundee now with only this bloody weather getting in the road!

My instructor is relatively young and I'm relatively old! He was hardly born when I had my first lessons, but he's very good and I have never had to fly with another instructor due to him being unavailable (and I've 3 lessons booked this week alone).

Never had an issue with aircraft availability; the fleet is very large (I'm in a PA28).

Formal RT: It's an absolute must in my opinion, as you can always tone down your comms at airfields where no/limited ATC is in place. Spinning up to correct and concise RT at short notice, when it's mandatory, is going to be very difficult. Dundee airport ATC are very good, strict when they need to be, understanding of my limitations mostly!

A poster, rightly, pointed out it's a fair way to go to get cancelled by the weather etc. That has never happened to me. A combination of my instructor on the phone, ATIS and the BBC weather site has ensured the go/no go to leave home has always been 100% correct.

I could go on, but that's my tuppenceworth. I have no axe to grind other than I consider I did my homework on the schools and made a decision based on solid logic.

I'll finish by saying my experience of organisations like FTOs is fairly extensive (another discipline), and their ethos and capability always comes from the man or woman at the top. The Boss at Tayside is an enthusiast. It shows in his school.

Best of luck. Stay focused and determined and you'll have a ball. Chocks away!

walkindude is offline