View Full Version : FI Course Recommendations

9th Jun 2009, 12:43

After trailing through and emailing various organisations from the CAAs approved FI providers list, (thank you to those who posted the link), I'm really unsure of where I'd like to go - they all sound good on paper!

I will probably need to do the course on a part-time basis, (work commitments, etc), and looking to <hopefully> start in around 4 - 6 weeks.

Does anybody have any good recommendations on where to go, from personal experience?


Ex Oggie
9th Jun 2009, 13:26
I know that On-Track Aviation at Wellesbourne specialise in part-time FI courses. They also have a good reputation, both in the industry and from ex-students (myself included)

ONTRACK AVIATION LIMITED (http://www.ontrackaviation.com/)


9th Jun 2009, 14:31
Carol Cooper at Andrewsfield Aviation, I keep my cub on the field and she seems to have a steady flow of satisfied customers on a part time basis.

9th Jun 2009, 16:43
Problem with 4-6 weeks is you are seriously limiting your options . At the moment most Fi courses are over subscribed and there is a waiting list at most.
I would try Mike Wood at Aviation South west at Exeter very good did mine in 5 weeks , busy course , hard but good well recommended

9th Jun 2009, 17:42
I did the FIC part-time at Andrewsfield last year, they're always very busy with FIC's so try and give them as much notice as possible.

will fly for food 06
9th Jun 2009, 17:48
Have you tried Goodwood Flying School?

9th Jun 2009, 21:16
If traveling distances are reasonable, I would definitely suggest Captain Lance Plews at BCFT, Bournemouth. Now that I started instructing I can see the thought behind every word he said. Also, once he's done with you, you will be able to pass any exam!

Ian the Aviator
10th Jun 2009, 14:43
If you want a course tailored to fit around your other commitments and could get to Cranfield, I would recommend you get in touch with David Coulson (Tel: 01234 752272) at Cranfield Flight Training.

Hope this helps,

10th Jun 2009, 20:00
Blackbushe Aviation 01252 877727 are very flexible in allowing you to balance other committments.

When I was enquiring the the offerings from many schools were either full time, Mon - Friday or part time Tues - Thursday.

Blackbushe offered me better flexibility but then it only took me 20 mins to get there.

10th Jun 2009, 20:28
Almost certainly the one nearest you will be the best bet, given you want to do it part-time. I have a strong suspicion most FI courses will be full-time or nearly so and given the nature of flying training (weather, tech cancellations etc.) you will be on a hiding to nothing trying to do it part-time any distance from home.

11th Jun 2009, 09:43
Thanks very much for all your replies, have given me something to think about!

Pistondriver - sounds interesting regarding Lance Plews from BCFT. Can you elaborate a bit more on how he operates?


11th Jun 2009, 09:50
Before you consider plews , go and meet him and speak to students there, myself and others included went elsewhere for training due to his unprofessional and downright arrogant persona, but then some people think he's great ,

Matthew Adams
11th Jun 2009, 12:49
Have you considered flyeft.com - they do it full time, but if you could get 3-4 weeks off work - rather than drawing it out?

12th Jun 2009, 10:17
Hi guys, sorry to hijack a good thread.

Just been muscling in on the input. How much do these courses cost, ballpark?

What would a free lance flight instructor earn? Talking hourly rate here.

13th Jun 2009, 14:10
Costs ballpark 6-7K UK depending on who/where.

Another suggestion, The Pilot Centre - Denham Aerodrome (http://www.pilotcentre.co.uk)

Beware - a restricted FI needs to be supervised - so being 'freelance' (working for many schools) isn't always a good choice. Being freelance (one school calls you when they need you) isn't probably going to work too well at the moment either.

Earnings.....how long is a piece of string?

13th Jun 2009, 15:21
Hi Duchess

Thanks for that and will look into it.

Was an instructor full and part time up until 33 years ago but seriously thinking of going back to it when, or if I retire from my present line of work. Obviously have to start at the bottom again, if I become qualified again and manage to get a job.

Most enjoyable flying I ever did in my respects, in fact I loved it. Unfortunately there was no money in it!. Am aware also, it is a "calling".

Funny old world is it not? Here I was teaching (trying) people to begin to learn to fly and sending them solo etc., but knew damn all about flying myself then and still don't. :)

16th Jun 2009, 18:38
DEFTS at Barkston Heath do a good course.

16th Jun 2009, 18:54
Carol Cooper at Andrewsfield would be happy to take you on a part time FIC course and she is as good an instructor as you can get. Just talk to anyone who has been trained by her and they will say the same.

17th Jun 2009, 11:56
According to FTN this month, there are now a surplus of CPL qualified instructors for the first time in a long time, this means very poor job prospects for new instructors. Best advice is don't spent the 7k as you won't get a return.

22nd Jun 2009, 09:31
Thanks for all replies.

Does anybody have any personal experience of Bonus Aviation at Cranfield?

22nd Jun 2009, 09:39
Bonus are a first class outfit. I did my CPL/IR training with them many years ago and they were flexible and friendly. The downside is Cranfield is expensive and Bonus have to pass on the costs for landing etc to you and it starts to get expensive on courses where you are doing a lot of flights like the FI.

I have done all of my Instructor and Examiner courses over the years with Ontrack Aviation at Wellesbourne. They are incredibly flexible, staffed with some of the most knowledgeable guys in the industry and a pleasure to work with. Wellesbourne is also cheap to operate from and this keeps the costs of the whole job down.

However, I would suggest you take heed of comments from people liek tropical fridge. There is no work for FI's at the moment as there is a glut of them kicking around. We are getting dozens of CV's from hopefuls every week at our place.

7k is a lot of money to spend without a return at the moment......

1st Jul 2009, 21:07
I'd suggest that you think very carefully before starting an FI course.

With a glut of FIs already looking for work, there won't be many posts available for newcomers - and it'll be an employers' market.

I question the morality of FI schools touting for trade when there's already a surplus of FIs out there....

I think that I'll retire from instructing for a while (except as a GR Examiner); it's just too expensive to maintain my qualifications and Class 1 with so little work out there. And it's time us old farts stood down to let the youngsters have a go!

2nd Jul 2009, 09:30
So, I have a dilemma. I've always wanted to be be a flight instructor. I've been completing my FI(R) over the last year (I completed course, partialled and for a number of reasons I've not been able to resit yet).

Just wondering if there is much point right now? It will cost be the best part of 1000 to do some pre-test flying and the actual test. I've an interview to be cabin crew on a 12 month contract, but I have to pay for the cabin crew course (which the FI(R) money could go towards) and don't want to get into any more debt.

My intentions would be to fly as cabin crew for the year and hopefully once the market picks up (whenever that will be) there will be full time FI jobs once the currently employed ones move into/back to the airlines at a later date.

So my question is really, although I have my course completed (with the paperwork to go with it), is there a limit between completing the course, and doing the test? Just getting a bit down at the fact that it's four years next week since I began training, and still stuck in dead end IT helpdesk work and not involved in aviation at all :-(

Mickey Kaye
2nd Jul 2009, 18:20
I would get it done. The longer the break the more training you will need in the future.

9th Jul 2009, 10:16

Thanks for all your replies, made some interesting reading.

Have finally agreed on H'Green for course; will let you know what I think about it!

Ian the Aviator
14th Jul 2009, 10:19
Just to add my tuppence worth....

I was an instructor at Bonus for a short time a few years ago..... A great place for the students with some good instructors...

Most instruction is on PA38 Tommahawks - a good machine - but they also have C152's, PA28,s and a pair of PA44's.

The only problems with Bonus are:

1) - They are expensive compared to most at Cranfield (maybe all except cabair)

2) - They can get very booked up - especially at weekends

Apart from that, they are pretty good...

15th Jul 2009, 08:50
:ugh:Yet another example of a new pilot not listening to the advice. There is gross national surplus of CPL qualified instructors, there are no jobs, every decent FI course in the country is backed up with bookings for months, flying schools receive loads of CV + enquiries every day from unemployed FIs (some now offering to work for free)

And you still go ahead and book yourself on a 7k course? There is no helping some people.