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UK PPL for £6,000

Old 30th Dec 2019, 11:53
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UK PPL for £6,000

I'm considering to start my own flying school in the UK, focusing solely on PPLs. I want to streamline the operation to the extent that I can offer students a PPL for far less than any other school in the UK.

I want to achieve this by:

1) Picking a location which has better than average VFR flying conditions, so our planes spend less time on the ground. The location also needs to have cheaper than average fees. If it is in the middle of nowhere, no problem.

2) Pick a cheap, yet highly fuel efficient aircraft, such as a PA28 diesel. All aircraft will be the exact same type/variant, so that we can stockpile parts. We'll have a dedicated engineering team on site, so that our planes spend less time on the ground for maintenance.

3) Create a highly standardised elearning ground school, with just a few group lessons, to minimise labour costs.

Is it feasible to offer a PPL for just £6000, everything included except equipment, accommodation and food, whilst delivering an excellent standard of training and a half decent salary for instructors and staff?

Do you know of any other school in the UK which offers a similar price?
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Old 30th Dec 2019, 12:19
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Are you talking about a PPL regardless of the time taken, for £6k or
£6k for 45 hours plus the test or would the test be extra?
There are so many variables in the equation that I doubt anyone can give a meaningful answer.
Many flying clubs and schools scratch a living but survive. There have been many with new ideas on how to beat the system, but most have disappeared without trace inside 18 months.
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Old 30th Dec 2019, 12:24
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Originally Posted by Whopity View Post
Are you talking about a PPL regardless of the time taken, for £6k or
£6k for 45 hours plus the test or would the test be extra?
There are so many variables in the equation that I doubt anyone can give a meaningful answer.
Many flying clubs and schools scratch a living but survive. There have been many with new ideas on how to beat the system, but most have disappeared without trace inside 18 months.
6k all inclusive. 45 hours including test. Examiner will be in house.

I'm not expecting anyone to get their calculators out here. What I'm asking for is more of a gross error check. Is 6k possible, if we benefit from economies of scale, or am I well off the mark?
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Old 30th Dec 2019, 12:34
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You cannot include the test within the 45 hours under EASA it is additional.
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Old 30th Dec 2019, 12:55
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Is that £6000 including VAT?

If so, you are offering 45 hours for £5000. Unless you have a shed load of cash, I doubt anybody would fund you. If you have that capital, invest it in something safer than aviation! You'll lose the lot.

How much are you planning on paying an engineer? Instructor pay? Fuel for each hour? An office? Phones? Website?

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Old 30th Dec 2019, 13:00
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6k is quite a big ask. You'll certainly not make any kind of profit. There are too many variable costs and you'd need to hit the ground running with a full set set of students eager to learn and perfect weather. Why do you want to start a school and why 6k - a marketing device to get more students?
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Old 30th Dec 2019, 13:09
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With no profit, it is hard to last for 18 months. 7500 may be more reasonable.
With 6000 if something goes unplanned or get broken, you do not have a sufficient income as back up.
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Old 30th Dec 2019, 14:20
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6000 for 45 hours is 133 per hour. That includes the payment to the instructor (who also needs to be paid for briefing time etc), fuel, maintaince etc.

And even then you still haven’t factored in the ground school infrastructure, overhead and your profit margin.

I don’t think the math adds up.
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Old 30th Dec 2019, 15:01
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That looks horribly light to me - when a plumber is charging £ 50 - £ 70 an hour you can see the issue. I'd look around, see what other long term survivors charge and look again at your spreadsheet
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Old 30th Dec 2019, 15:02
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Thumbs up

Dream on..
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Old 30th Dec 2019, 15:36
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Middle of nowhere. Where will the students come from? A decent salary structure for your FI? Fixed price PPL at the very bottom of the market. I don’t think it is feasible.

It really is time we placed the right value on what is an important stage of learning.
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Old 30th Dec 2019, 16:16
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Originally Posted by rarelyathome View Post
Middle of nowhere. Where will the students come from? A decent salary structure for your FI? Fixed price PPL at the very bottom of the market. I donít think it is feasible.

It really is time we placed the right value on what is an important stage of learning.
Well if it's the middle of nowhere, accommodation is going to be fairly cheap, no?
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Old 30th Dec 2019, 17:15
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I'm not sure where this "better than average VFR" UK weather is but when you find that place ship in some Portacabins for cheap accommodation...that'll be likely to lose less money than a "cheap" flying school.
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Old 30th Dec 2019, 17:22
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Disregard my previous post. I've just found another school in the UK doing the whole thing for £5900!

Someone beat me to it. But at least my question was answered.

Despite the doubts of some of you, yes, a £6,000 PPL is indeed possible! 😲😲
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Old 30th Dec 2019, 17:31
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Originally Posted by Alister View Post
I've just found another school in the UK doing the whole thing for £5900!
Go on, put us out of our misery, where is this place? I want to take a close look at the ifs and buts and footnotes!

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Old 30th Dec 2019, 17:39
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It is an unreal price, a "come on price", unless it is a charity that is being subsidised heavily. It probably requires pay up front in full as well.

The old maxim of "if it looks too good to be true then it probably is too good to be true". Avoid!
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Old 30th Dec 2019, 18:02
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I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post the link here. However it is on a website called "PPL cruiser", and appears to be based in Durham Tees Valley airport.

I don't know anything about this company, and have no idea if it's legit. But if it is, I take my hat off to them.
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Old 30th Dec 2019, 18:30
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Good luck finding instructors, let alone good ones.
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Old 30th Dec 2019, 20:05
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What the price includes:

  • 45 Hours of dual instruction with one of our Flight Instructors
  • A Pooleys PPL Starter Pack (normally £230)
  • Ground School, including the 9 exams (normally £590)
  • Pre-flight and post flight briefings
  • Extra ground tuition if required
  • Your very own Flight Instructor, you will remain with the same instructor throughout the course.
  • All training is done at our fully approved ATO based at Durham Tees Valley Airport.
45 dual! 1 instructor dedicated! Ground school and all the exams! Extra tuition! Sounds too good to be true ...........
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Old 30th Dec 2019, 20:57
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Eden Flight Training then. Check out the financials on Companies House, not exactly rolling in cash if anything were to go slightly wrong and only 1 employee shown.
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