View Full Version : Alternatives to Panshanger for PPL

Bob S
12th Jul 2014, 12:42

I have just returned from holiday to the news that Panshanger will be closing in September. Having just recently soloed there I will be having to find a new flying school to continue my PPL training. Any recommendations would be most welcome. I am based in Welwyn Garden City and I would prefer not to have to travel a long distance to get to a new school.

12th Jul 2014, 13:14
Elstree looks like your most accessible although I have no idea about the FTO's there. Nice caff though.

12th Jul 2014, 13:45
Elstree, useful thread for you


12th Jul 2014, 21:12
I'm based at Panshanger and need to base an aircraft. Locally I'd consider North Weald, Elstree or Stapleford. Stapleford probably has the best facilities and operation (night flying, lots of instructors around, plenty of aircraft) and the closest thing to a social setting that Panshanger had. Not sure if you can rent anything from North Weald though.

12th Jul 2014, 21:59
Maybe loads. Depends what you want. Rfc Bourne, little gransden, top farm etc etc etc.

12th Jul 2014, 23:38
Little Gransden has movement restrictions AFAIK, and depending how close you are to Panshanger, Bourne, Top Farm are a bit of a drive. Fowlmere is a great airfield, but if like me you just want a short drive to the airfield, its not so appealing. Arguably, Panshanger had a bigger club / social atmosphere than some of these airfield, but thats subjective I suppose.

13th Jul 2014, 10:29
I can recommend FLY ELSTREE.

Nice people and good availability....

Bob S
13th Jul 2014, 11:09
Thanks for the input. My main priority is to get my PPL and I currently have 5 exams out of the 9 completed and will be looking to build up my solo hours and start on the navigation work I need to do. I will try and do as much as I can within the next 2 months but I know I won't be able to cram it all in before Panshanger closes.

I was aware of Stapleford and Elstree, with Elstree being closer to me. Does anyone have any knowledge of Henlow? Fowlmere and Bourne will be worth researching. At least I have plenty of time to research what is out there.

13th Jul 2014, 12:32
Bob S

Please include www.FlyElstree.com (http://www.FlyElstree.com) in your research for Elstree.

13th Jul 2014, 13:00
I guess Bourne will be a bit of a drive. It is run down to be fair and no cafe. I think the school is fine though. It will be very quiet compared with panshanger (or anywhere else for that matter!!) but its clear of controlled airspace and you can do lovely and quite easy nav trips up to the norfolk coast, then down say southwold. This will build your confidence/skill level whilst being a pleasant way to spend a few hours.

There is also an extra 200 to rent there if you ever fancy finding out what serious aerobatics are like!

I would think though that Elstree makes the most sense.

13th Jul 2014, 13:20
I have flow with Ivan at Flight Training London (http://flighttraininglondon.co.uk/). He used to work at Panshanger as an instructor and I can vouch for his teaching style and expertise.

Does anyone have any knowledge of Henlow?

Henlow is also good. I have flown with Paul Tribble who was ex-Panshanger. The good thing with Henlow is 3 x runways, so less crosswind issues to deal with. The negative is RAF security, which is fine for you, but means a few extra steps to bring in family and friends - though not a major hassle.

Fowlmere is great, I have flown in and out of there to visit an old friend. They use Archer III's for training and I have heard the instruction is top notch.

Conclusion - there are lots of places, and a lot will have an ex-Panshanger instructor somewhere. Finishing your PPL depends on location and whether you get on with the people and planes at said places.

Bob S
13th Jul 2014, 18:57
I remember Ivan from when he was at Panshanger and had a couple of lessons with him when my regular instructor was on holiday, thanks for the link.

14th Jul 2014, 16:28
Fly Elstree is a friendly professional club. In my experience Ches who runs it is straight up - you'll get no hassle and good instruction.

Bob S
14th Jul 2014, 21:26

Elstree is looking favourite and with 2 schools which seem to have good recommendations that gives me some choice.

15th Jul 2014, 10:23
Another vote for Ches and FlyElstree :ok:

Bob S
15th Jul 2014, 14:23
Bourne is a 70 mile round trip for me and Fowlmere do not appear to carry out full PPL training from what I can see from their website so I think they are both ruled out.

Vlad the Imbiber
15th Jul 2014, 14:26
Indeed Fowlmere do not do ab initio PPL training.

A little further to travel, but The Pilot Centre at Denham is great.

Bob S
15th Jul 2014, 17:17
Thanks Vlad, about a 60 mile round trip, compared to 40 to Elstree or Henlow, but worth a look all the same.

16th Jul 2014, 07:11
There,s some nearby Airstrips.

Airfield Information for Benington Airfield in Hertfordshire (http://www.airfieldcards.com/index.php/airfields-a/benington)

Colemans Green
Coleman Green (http://www.airfieldcards.com/index.php/charlie/colemangreen)

High Cross
details unknown.

16th Jul 2014, 07:48
I'm a member of Flyer's Flying School, Vicky and co are a great team of instructors. +1 for them from me.

The café also serves decent food.