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After some advice please (learning in the north east)

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After some advice please (learning in the north east)

Old 1st Oct 2009, 19:33
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 19
After some advice please (learning in the north east)

I have decided to have a go at learning to fly (going to book a trial lesson in the next few weeks). I live in Durham near Newcastle, has anybody here got any experience of the flying school's up here? I am thinking about the club based at Newcastle Northumbria Flying School - Home
Also, I guess at this time of the year it may not be a good idea to start for weather reasons, Should I leave it until next spring?

Also cost wise what is the best route? I posted in one of the other sections of the PPRuNe and someone said go to the USA as it would be cheaper, I guess that with it being cheaper there must be catch???

For me cost is a small factor that I have to bear in mind (baby on the way) but not a show stopper, So if I could save a few hundred by taking good advice then that would be an advantage.

One day I am hoping that this may be a route into a job within the aviation world, however that would be nice if it worked out that way and I understand that it's only a small chance. For the time being it is only a hobby.

Any thoughts/advice very welcome.


d747 is offline  
Old 1st Oct 2009, 19:42
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: East Anglia
Posts: 832
Surprisingly, this time of year may not be a bad time to start learning.

Much of your initial flying is done in the circuit and with an instructor. THis can be done in moderate weather. Later on you do need good weather for solos and cross countries etc and also for flying after you have just got your licence.
Therefore if you start now, the weather will be getting better next year just when you need it to be good.
However, if you wait then you might find that you are just coming up to all the cross country stuff as the weather is turning at the end of the summer. It does depend on how much flying you plan each week.

Others can give you a better idea but I think solos are normally in the 10-15 hr timescale and cross countries in the 25 hr plus timeframe.

The US route can get you your licence in about 3 weeks but it is concentrated flying. I haven't looked at the cost differences, but the is not as strong against the $ as it was and you have to add on accommodation and airfares

Zulu Alpha is offline  
Old 2nd Oct 2009, 00:12
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 2,118
And then you have to learn to fly properly in UK airspace and UK weather....
flybymike is offline  
Old 2nd Oct 2009, 03:55
  #4 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Up in the clouds
Posts: 161
im currently in florida doing my ppl.
the actual cost of the course is about 2000 cheaper than in the uk. that is even with the poor exchange rate. when you factor in flights, visa costs etc, it will still be cheaper than the uk.
i practised circuits yesterday, we did 15 touch and gos. to do the same in the uk would have cost me a fortune! (you dont pay landing fees in the states!)
as always, factor in atleast an extra 15-20% extra cost just in case things dont go too well for you.
as for the time frame, i am here for 3.5 weeks. im feeling the pressure and i wish i did more studying at home! even still, im now ready to go solo and its only taken a week.
when i get back to the uk, i plan on booking atleast 5 hours with an instructor to "polish" my skills. there are a few differences ie the R/T is different and you join the circuit in a different manner. even with this extra cost, atleast i will be logging P1 time and would still have saved a fortune on the uk course price!
oh last thing is the weather. i have often heard people say there is no weather in the states but sunshine. rubbish! on a cloudy day here, you can watch the localised rain storms form, move across the sky and dissipate. this will be happening on your left, behind you, to the right and all around! makes you more aware of storm clouds and how quickly things can turn nasty if you dont learn your met!
whatever you choose, do your research and enjoy it!
destinationsky is offline  
Old 2nd Oct 2009, 08:54
  #5 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 19
Thanks everyone. Out of intrest (and assuming I will be the perfect student and pass everyting first time) What should it cost me to get my ppl? According to northubmria flying school it can be done for "about"4500 Northumbria Flying School | Total Licence Cost

Is this about right?

Also on a side note is learing in a helicopter a good idea in terms of job prospects (bearing in mind everyone wants to fly jets)?
Again this is just a hobby for the time being BUT with the industry I work in jobs wont be around for ever. My thoughts are if I am goint to invest time and money it might as well be worth thinking of the future.

Once again thanks for your input.
d747 is offline  
Old 2nd Oct 2009, 09:29
  #6 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 664
That 4500ish you're looking at is to obtain an NPPL licence, not a full PPL. I'm no expert on the limitations of the NPPL - there will be plenty on here who are - but essentially it's a restricted licence. The flying hours required appear to be 32, whereas the minimum for a PPL is 45, and an awful lot of people need more than the minimum.

I suggest you go visit a few schools and talk to them. There are a lot of things to decide upon, not least of which is the type of airfield you want to learn in (big vs small, controlled vs uncontrolled etc etc) - how fast you need your licence, what you intend to do with it afterwards etc etc.

Good luck !
FullyFlapped is offline  
Old 2nd Oct 2009, 09:31
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 267
The basic costs vary quite significantly across the UK with an instructed-hour varying from about 105 up to getting on for 200 and given that you need a minimum of 45 hours you can calculate the total. Add a few hundred pounds for medical, exams, training literature, whizz wheel and probably a headset and that's your minimum cost. Heli flying is roughly twice as much

A cheaper route (perhaps 2/3rd the cost) is to get the NPPL which is fine for flying in reasonable conditions in the UK, but can't readily be extended to cover more onerous flying.

As for the weather at this time of year, it's not as inhospitable as you'd think. Many days are flyable in the circuit around the airfield/port and whilst November does tend to be pretty dank up here, there are often extended periods of acceptable weather throughout the autumn and winter.

Your best bet is to find a few local flying schools and chat to the instructors. It can be quite intimidating walking in, but most of the schools are pretty friendly once you're past the front door!!

(Oh, and by the way, don't hurtle off to Florida just before the baby's born. My better half was far from impressed when I had to be abroad just a week before number 1 arrived. I think she spent the time with her fingers (and legs) firmly crossed!!)
worrab is offline  
Old 2nd Oct 2009, 10:12
  #8 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 19
Thanks, Im going upto newcastle hopefully today or monday to have a chat.

Dont worry I wont go off when baby is due... However for the sleep, piece and quiet that may not be a bad idea.

I will update this thread and let you all know how I get on.

Thanks for the pointers anout the different types of licence very useful for a beginner.


how do you quote a reply on PPRuNe i can't see a quote button on here.
d747 is offline  
Old 2nd Oct 2009, 12:40
  #9 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: E Anglia
Posts: 1,102
Don't part with any significant money 'up front'.

And any money you do stump up pay by Credit Card not Debit Card or cheque.

Cusco is offline  
Old 2nd Oct 2009, 13:38
  #10 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Posts: 79

I'm based in Newcastle and learned at Northumbria Flying School. I still regularly hire from them and have just started my night rating.

You couldn't meet a nicer bunch of people, I'd recommend them every time.

PM me if you want any more info.

Rishy is offline  
Old 2nd Oct 2009, 16:53
  #11 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 19
Big big thanks everyone.
point noted about payments .

I will PM you over the weekend or monday (other half shouting at the mo).


d747 is offline  
Old 2nd Oct 2009, 22:04
  #12 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Scotland
Age: 80
Posts: 1,436
You could go for the NPPL to start & upgrade later.
PPL------------------------------- NPPL
40hrs----------------------------- 35hrs
QXC is 150nm---------------------- QXC is 100nm
medical 100+ ---------------------Your GP autograph ~15
other ratings may be added ----No ratings except seaplane may be added
Recognised worldwide ---------------UK airspace only, in daylight VFR.

There may be other differences that I can't remember but basically they are the bits that matter.
All this could be upgraded as required to standard PPL if you want to go further.
Crash one is offline  
Old 3rd Oct 2009, 07:33
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 585
I completed my PPL at NFS and agree its a very good school.
L'aviateur is offline  

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