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PPL training in Cumbernauld

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PPL training in Cumbernauld

Old 21st Oct 2009, 20:30
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Join Date: Sep 2009
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PPL training in Cumbernauld

Can anyone provide any info on cumbernauld flying centre or leading edge at cumbernauld? If you've trained here I would be interested in what you have to say. Could you also provide any details with regards to instructors and availability of aircraft.

Thanks

Monkey
turbulentmonkey is offline  
Old 21st Oct 2009, 22:02
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Join Date: Jul 2009
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I'm with Cumbernauld Flying Centre, and find them very good. I do only have around 20-25 hours, but so far I've been satisfied.

The frequency of my lessons really don't warrant a comment on a/c availability - I book a month in advance, and they are always available.

I have had a mixture of instructors, can't fault any of them, largely consistent.

I'm on 2 aircraft at the moment, with most of my time on the Katana, but trying out the Robin. I prefer the Robin, so I'm hoping to move onto that fulltime, but as they only have one, I suspect availability on that particular A/C will be limited.

Give them a try.
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Old 21st Oct 2009, 22:10
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Rather unhelpful post

Strangely the Various Lanarkshire Councils' Marketing Teams think that the VX220 brigade are still operating......

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Old 21st Oct 2009, 22:32
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Monkey,

I did my PPL with Leading Edge just over 3 years ago now and I couldn't recommend a better place to train. Very professional instructors!

With regards to availability, there are always plenty of instructors and aircraft to fly even at short notice. Obviously there are the usual problems with aircraft maintenance etc. They have an online booking system so you book an aircraft when you want with who you want.

I think it's very important that you try and stay with the same instructor throughout your entire training and Leading Edge will do all that they can to ensure that this is the case.

The Ops staff are very accommodating. You should give them a call or pop up to the club for a chat, everyone is very friendly! Hope you've had a look at their website.

Al
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Old 21st Oct 2009, 22:54
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Thanks for the info guys!

CraigJL: you say you have had a mixture of instructors - is this out of choice or the centre's preference?

I plan on doing a fast paced course from zero to hero (well 45 hours or so). This would mean completing in, say, under 2 months. Including the study for the exams, would this be achievable at both schools?

Thanks again
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Old 22nd Oct 2009, 09:14
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Check aircraft availability - I heard that one of the operators has several aircraft on the ground at the moment due to maintenance issues and at least one student has jumped ship to the other operator.

No axe to grind, I fly helicopters.
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Old 22nd Oct 2009, 09:15
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I talk to both schools on a daily basis ( I provide an Air traffic service in the area's they operate ) Both clubs without fail seem to have aircraft airborne every day so that said things with both look very healthy. I cannot comment about about the Cumbernauld Flight Centre as I have never visited them but I have recently visited the Leading edge club after one of their members organised a visit to the ATC centre at Prestwick. From what I saw the club has a good selection of instructors and aircraft available, a good age mix of clubmembers whom all seem very friendly, a nice club room and good web site. Also dont forget Cumbernauld airfield itself seems a great place to fly from with a runway that will not spoil you ( not huge like Prestwick ) and friendly voices in the ATC tower that do not have the same ATC restrictions that operating from a busier airfield would have.
Good luck with your training with whom ever you choose, I look forward to speaking to you soon as you take to the air........
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Old 22nd Oct 2009, 10:57
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I've just finished a PPL at Cumbernauld Flying Centre (waiting on the CAA sending everything back).

I flew their DA20 Katanas and the Robin HR200, mostly with the same instructor.
I think it's easier to keep the same instructor if you book well in advance; they also have more people available at the weekend than on weekdays.

No complaints with the organisation, no lessons were cancelled due to aircraft trouble, although plenty due to the Cumbernauld weather.

Last I heard, there were a couple of Katanas waiting on new engines being sent from the manufacturer; again, booking in advance meant I was also still able to fly regularly.
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Old 22nd Oct 2009, 12:42
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Hi TurbulentMonkey, before I get accused of any bias I'll hold my hands up and say I am biased. My name is Paul and I have been flying with Leading Edge for about five years. I also work operations occasionally at the weekends.

Leading Edge has a fleet of Cessna 152 2 seat trainers (high wing) which they use for PPL training. They also operate a Piper Tomahawk 2 seat trainer (low wing) which may suit you better. But it's horses for courses as long as it flies then personally i'll fly it! At the larger end of the scale they also have a 4 seat PA28 Archer III for four seat hire. Either for post PPL hire or PPL training if you happen to be happier flying the bigger aircraft (obviously this is a more expensive way to do it). Finally for advanced training after the PPL we operate a one year old Super Decathlon aircraft. This is used for Aerobatics if anyone fancies it, also taildragger conversions and variable pitch propeller sign offs.

All our aircraft are leased from ACS aviation at Perth airport, the maintenance is also carried out there which effectively means that any technical issues can be resolved quickly or by a replacement aircraft of the same type.

Both Leading Edge and ACS are run by the same person, Allan Falconer. This works out well as having dealt with independent lease companies can be quite frustrating and certainly can have an impact on aircraft availability. Not an issue now.

Instructor wise, we have a very stable base of staff. There are 3 full time instructors and one semi-full time instructor who does all the aero/taildragger stuff. There are always at least two full time instructors during the week and a three or four at the weekend. They are all different characters of course but all easy going and very professional at what they do.

Ground exam-wise we have the facility to conduct these on site at fairly short notice.

For the flight exams we have access to a number of CAA approved examiners so even if you are looking to complete the course in a short space of time we will be able to sort out a test for you.

With regards to doing the course in such a short space of time this would be possible at Cumbernauld Airport, however you will have to put the work in. There will be days where the weather doesn't play ball so use these days well and get the head in the books and the exams out of the way. You will have to be at the airport almost full time. I know from our current excellent availability that we could start you immediately. We have one student who is doing just this flying a couple of times a day and he is (no pun) flying through the course.

A few nuggets of advice.

1) Whoever you fly with try to pay as you go. If you choose to pay up front beware, just search these forums for all the tales of woe from monies lost. If you pay up front you might save some cash but some places this is a contract that if you start and decide to change schools you will not get your money back! Flying off your credit will be the only way to get you monies worth.

2) Try and make sure you get one instructor and stick with them. This will make the whole process smoother and save you pennies in the end. But if you find your instructor doesn't suit your learning style then don't be afraid to ask for a change. Remember you are paying a lot of money to learn. The instructor will not (should not) take this as a personal affront. Sometimes teaching/learning styles just don't match.

3) If you are going on to do commercial training get your Class 1 medical out of the way at Gatwick first. No point spending a fortune if you're not fit to fly! This is just a worst case scenario, but a prudent move if you are looking to do this as a career.

4) Go and talk to both the schools. Meet the instructors meet the people involved.

Leading Edge is primarily a flight training organisation; however we are also a fairly social bunch. We have evening talks every winter from lots of different aviation people about lots of interesting topics. If you fancy it there is one next Tuesday by one of our members who is a BA long haul first officer about flying across the North Atlantic. This is as good a time as any to meet everyone I suppose. PM me for more info.

Sorry for the short novel but it's not easy to explain it all in a few sentences.

Good luck wherever you choose.

Paul.
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Old 22nd Oct 2009, 13:36
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I'm also as biased as anything as I used to be CFI at Leading Edge.

I won't get into a who's better slanging match, but I would say that from an instructing point of view having the same FI and using the same type is critical to you doing as well as possible.

The odd change of FI to keep a check on your progress is fine, but to constantly have different FI's just doesn't work.

Oh yeah, don't pay upfront to anyone! Ever...No matter what terms they offer you.
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Old 22nd Oct 2009, 13:49
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Nice one Ifor, managed in 4 sentences to sum it up. Only took me an hour, oh well that's experience for you!!

Paul.
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Old 22nd Oct 2009, 13:56
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Well done by the way Paul!
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Old 22nd Oct 2009, 14:19
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Cheers Ifor, Start the CPL next week at Perth! Any news on the CAA front for you?

Paul.
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Old 22nd Oct 2009, 16:23
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Still waiting....
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Old 22nd Oct 2009, 16:28
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Ifor...we'll get that beer one day!!
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Old 22nd Oct 2009, 18:50
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Thanks for all the replies!

I didn't expect this much interest in the post. It's good to hear nice things about both schools and no negatives yet either

If anyone has any more info to share then please do, it's all appreciated. I'll drop by both schools to get a good picture of them both.

And as for paying up-front - I was actually planning to do that to save some cash so this was worthwhile!
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Old 22nd Oct 2009, 21:58
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I hope they get their finger out soon Ifor! A year is starting to take the pee a bit. Good luck.
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Old 22nd Oct 2009, 22:41
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I wish it was just one year, it's now over 2....Booo!!
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