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Harvard Aviation (Redhill/EGKR)

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Harvard Aviation (Redhill/EGKR)

Old 15th May 2011, 20:35
  #1 (permalink)  

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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Surrey, UK
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Post Harvard Aviation (Redhill/EGKR)

Dear All,

I am im the process of chosing a school where I can re-start my PPL, my local aerodrome is Redhill and I believe there are a couple of schools there offering PPL training, Harvard, Cubair(visited) and Redhill Aviation. I plan to visit them all.

Has anyone here had any experiences they would like to share with regards to Harvard aviation, would you recommend them? How is their instruction? I believe their fleet consists of a C172, C152 and a PA28.

Thanking you all in advance.
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Old 16th May 2011, 07:00
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Join Date: Jan 1999
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Harvard Aviation

They seem nice enough people, I was asked if I would lease one of my aircraft to them but the deal did not go ahead, I suspect that I was more expensive than the other aircraft supplyer.

Having had a brief look at the aircraft supplied by the other company I could see why they could offer a better price than me.
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Old 16th May 2011, 09:50
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: purley
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Having been based there from 1978 to 1998 and I don't think it has changed much in respect of the fact that a lot of the winter it is waterlogged. So I suggest you take time off and do an intensive PPL course before the winter.
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Old 16th May 2011, 11:47
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 315
I did some private hire with Redhill Aviation over early summer 2010 while I was working down that way and they seemed a decent bunch. The aeroplanes look tatty becuase they live outside but when I did my walk aorunds, they all had comfortingly new and clean looking bits where it mattered. The ones I flew did lack comprehensive navaid fits but that's not too relevant early on. During my brief membership I also had at least one email newsletter from Redhill Aviation promoting social fly-outs and the like so they do seem to operate as a club rather than just a school.

I did also rent from Harvard Aviation. Also friendly and with similar condition aeroplanes. For me wanting evening hire without instructor, they were less well organised so I went to Redhill Aviation.

Choosing a club / school close to home is a good idea. Five minutes away, you might go up there if the weather is marginal and either get a flight you would miss if you gave-up more readily for a long drive or you might just learn lots from chatting in the briefing room, I certainly did and still do.

I started to learn in a November and, flying from a similarly water vulnerable airfield, only managed about six hours in my first three months but even if you re equally unlucky, you are starting to absorb things, and can use the time for ground school and exams.

These threads on the other place might help:


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Old 16th May 2011, 18:24
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Thanking you all for the comments.
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Old 17th May 2011, 15:52
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Near EGKK
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I fly out of Redhill, renting Cubair aircraft. I haven't had any experience with Harvard so can't comment there, but would happily recommend Cubair to anyone - I don't have any connection with them other than being a happy customer. I did some PPL training with them a few years back to get a JAA PPL (I had an Australian one) and got on fine with all the instructors.

Training fleet there is DA20 Katanas which are nice to fly and will glide for miles when you do your PFLs! They also have their own maintenance facility so it is rare that an aircraft goes tech for long before it is fixed.

Redhill's runways do suffer in the wet but they have spent a lot of time and effort improving drainage which has helped a lot - and there is the hard unlicensed runway / taxiway although I don't know school policies about using that during training. Right now, the runways are spectacularly hard!

Airspace around KR can look a bit challenging, but it isn't too bad at all, and you'll get very good at knowing exactly where you are at any given time.

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Old 17th May 2011, 17:54
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Thank you Paul.

I visited Cubair not long ago, was well impressed with their warmth and simpathy, I had a trial on their C172 and enjoyed it thoroughly, although I felt slightly unwell, too early (9am) and to excited about going flying I guess.
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Old 17th May 2011, 18:49
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Another vote for Cubair
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Old 18th May 2011, 01:13
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Join Date: Nov 2008
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...and another one.
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Old 18th May 2011, 16:14
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Join Date: Jun 2010
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I'm currently doing my PPL with harvard, and only have positive things to say about them! With it being the 1st FTO i have attended for a course I cant really give a comparison to other schools.

For me cubair was too expensive, but then if money is no problem flying the katana is fantastic!! Redair seemed good also, but i found harvard to be more professional ( also had a friend at harvard).

As for availability it tends to be very good, as long as you book a few days before you sure to get a slot. Only thing i would say is that if you prefer having the same instructor all the way some work part time so you may have to choose the week or weekend to fly.

Fleet is well maintained, 3 c152's 1 c172 and pa-28 available on request. I have found the club to be very friendly, and i have no complaints about the airfield. As for the comment about being waterlogged before, we use 07-25 as a runway ( is usually a concrete taxiway) if this is the case.

Be sure to PM me if you have anything else to ask!
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Old 10th Jun 2011, 13:51
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Redhill Aerodrome
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I went to Harvard and I payed for 1 hour flying, and only got 50mins, and I had to pay for the time it took them to refeul. They told me to arrive an hour before my lesson, so they could give me a breifing. I turned up an hour before and then they told me I only needed to be there 10mins before my lesson. Go figure!? For the remaining 50mins, I had to sit on the sofa with a few Harvard staff looking at me like I didn't belong there.
The plane was ok, but nothing to special. The instructor was good but felt he didn't want me flying the plane, he wanted to. (If that makes any sense.)

I then went to Cubair and booked a lesson there, and it was so much better. The instructor actually let me taxi and fly until final approach. I felt I learnt more from him. I flew the katana DA-20 which was superb and in great condition. They are more friendly there than Harvard and its a great atmosphere.

(Sorry that this is more of an essay then a post!)
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Old 10th Jun 2011, 15:41
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I learned at Cubair - they were terrific.

Is Ed there still ??

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Old 11th Jun 2011, 13:52
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After some visits, trials, lots of considerations, thoughts I will be doing a mixture, PPL practical flying with London Helicopter Centres (they are also a fixed wing registered training facility) on their Robin DR400 with a great lady pilot who loves GA and who also does air shows around the UK and abroad, and the PPL exams with Harvard Aviation.
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Old 13th Jun 2011, 11:35
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As an instructor at Cubair, I would like to thank you for the positive feedback.

I am not sure if I was your instructor or if it was one of my colleagues, but we all feel that the student should be on the controls for as much as the flight as possible - that is what you are paying for after all!

We charge airborne time plus 10 mins taxi time. This seems to be a good way of doing it as it does not put the student or instructor under pressure to taxy as fast as possible or to take off without a proper warm up. You should never be charged for the taxy to or from the fuel bowser as this is not flight time.
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Old 13th Jun 2011, 12:10
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Redhill Aerodrome
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Exaclty what I thought!

Anyone else trying to decide between Harvard and Cubair, go to Cubair it so much better!
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Old 26th Jul 2017, 19:54
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: UK
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i dont think things havent improved, much better instruction at Redhill Aviation.

Last edited by memories of px; 27th Jul 2017 at 13:37.
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Old 27th Jul 2017, 08:51
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Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Newick
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+1 for Cubair 👍
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Old 18th Feb 2018, 16:34
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Usa
Posts: 133
Have some hours to spend near LGW on March 22

Anyone want to show me around Redhill Aerodrome and maybe take me for a short flight

Am retired airline pilot in US and did my initial PPL at Denham

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Old 18th Feb 2018, 17:57
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Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: London
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I recently rented from Redhill Aviation Flight Centre, after they re-arranged their schedule to accommodate a trip I had planned that couldn't go ahead due to (unexpected) maintenance on my plane.

I had a checkout with one of their examiners who was really nice, the rest of the team was so lovely, I felt part of the family from the moment I walked through the door, despite it being my first visit. (although aviation is a very small world, and it is likely that you'll find ties on some level with most people)

I'd definitely recommend going to all the schools, taking a trial flight with each one of them so that you can make sure that the prices (surcharges/memberships/other), instructors, type of tuition, vibe etc.. suits your learning. Everyone learns differently, and people strive in different environments, so make sure you pick the one that is best for you!
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Old 19th Feb 2018, 07:06
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Join Date: Jan 2008
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Dobbin1 !

Never say never. Some owners tie their maintenance time and payment to the tacho, in which case taxying to the fuel is a cost.
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