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Schools for PPL in London or Hatfield

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Schools for PPL in London or Hatfield

Old 3rd Dec 2011, 19:52
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: London
Age: 28
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Schools for PPL in London or Hatfield

Can anyone recommend some schools for me to learn how to fly and eventually obtain a PPL? Obviously price comes into play, as I'm a student it can't be TOO much. Based around either London or Hatfield would be great.

Thanks a lot.
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Old 3rd Dec 2011, 21:20
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Join Date: Sep 2006
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Heh there
I would recommend a day travelling to the schools close to you and get a feel of them. You will be spending a great deal of time, money and effort to do your PPL and so it needs to be in a place you feel comfortable and confident. A couple of key questions to ask:

1.) Is there a tower here or is it air/ground only (a tower is generally better because you'll get used to talking to air traffic control faster but some people like air/ground because it is more laid back)

2.) Will you get to stay with the same instructor or 2 instructors throughout your training (this is better for continuity and saving you money in the long-term)

3.) Does the "package price" they offer include landing fees, VAT, instructor charge, test fees, ground school, books, - what are the extra costs that you can reasonably expect to pay

4.) After you get a PPL is there a way of getting involved in trips with other members. Are there any social aspects to the club?

5.) Will you be given the option of pre-payment or paying on the day? (this can be important if you don't know the financial viability of the club or if you would prefer to know its paid for!)

6.) Can you see the type of aircraft you will be training on - can you see around the building, hangars etc?

Near your area to try:
West London Aero Club (at White Waltham which is just off the A404 between the M40 and M4 near Maidenhead)
Pilot Flight Centre at Denham
Airways Aero at Wycombe Air Park (just off M40 jcn 4)
Wycombe Air Centre at Wycombe Air Park

My advice - Wycombe Air Centre but only because that's where I trained and I think the place has a good vibe, the instructors are very friendly, the reception staff are top-notch, full tower, well-kept planes, tarmac runway (important in the winter!), etc etc.

Good luck and have fun!
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Old 4th Dec 2011, 01:01
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Join Date: Apr 2010
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In addition to the fantastic points raised above, you should also examine the FBO's facilities and runway - e.g. have they got de-icing systems? This will be critical during the winter when several inches of snow fall onto land and will disrupt what may otherwise be a perfect flying day in CAVOK weather. You may also want to consider whether the runway has an ILS and navigation aids (e.g. PAPIs) - both of which will be useful to aid more advanced training such as obtaining an IMC or night rating.
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Old 4th Dec 2011, 05:37
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Some points well made above. However, learning at a 'field with "tower" ie Air Traffic Control will inevitably be more expensive than at a field with Air to Ground radio, or Airfield Information Service. (You will get used to radio work with either of these.) Further, airfields with an ILS (Instrument Landing System) will also be more expensive as they have to charge more to maintain the infrastructure, and until you have a licence you won't be going anywhere near instrument approaches. (There are none in the area you specify anyway) In addition, Instrument traffic always takes preference over visual flight rules and student traffic so you are much more likely to be delayed before departure or landing, leading to a cost increase.

If you are based at or near Hatfield you should certainly investigate Panshangar at Welwyn. (I had my first lesson there in 1958!) It's friendly and with perfectly good student facilities. Elstree - about six miles from Hatfield - is another option with two schools, hard runway and facilities which are improving rapidly under new management. And Stapleford is also a strong contender, but further east and more difficult to get to.

Visit Elstree and talk to people in the cafe (not the Three Greens Restaurant) the lady proprietor is a fully qualified instructor, and Panshangar before making any decisions....

PM me if you want more Elstree details....
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Old 5th Dec 2011, 07:07
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Join Date: May 2008
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Speak to Vicky at Elstree as mentioned by rgsaero, the school is called Falcon.

Falcon Flying School: Learn to Fly in London!

They have some good experienced instructors there and a range of aircraft.

If you're in Hatfield then Panshanger is probably the closest to you, however I think it's a grass runway, I'm not too sure.
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Old 5th Dec 2011, 09:20
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I am based a little firther north near Aylesbury. I have some experience with Wycombe and it tells me that Wycombe is horrifically expensive.

Could you get out as far as Halton or Henlow?
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Old 5th Dec 2011, 15:08
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There are currently at least six RTFs at Elstree.

Much competition.............
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Old 6th Dec 2011, 11:23
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I trained at Panshanger Aerodrome (North London Flying School) about 7 years ago and still fly there as an aircraft (group share) owner. Their website has lots of pictures and prices etc....

Panshanger was the WWII decoy for the old Hatfield aerodrome De Havilland facility, so thats close to the area you are enquiring about. For PPL training, They have about 7 Piper Cherokee and Archers to choose from, and a Grob. It has a nice long grass runway (about 875m) and a well resourced club house. I found the training to be very thorough and the instructors, staff and other pilots are extremely helpful.
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Old 24th Dec 2011, 13:52
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learning to fly at elstree

My recommendation would be to look at Firecrest Aviation at Elstree. They have been going a long time and have a good collection of aircraft and experienced instructors. Book a trial lesson for under 100 and then have a good look at the costs for getting a PPL - the website quotes 45 hours for around 7000.
I would definitely advise that you choose somewhere which runs an active flying club and the best way to find the right club is, as other people have said, to go and visit them and chat to the instructors. Wherever you decide to learn - enjoy, it's the best thing you'll ever do !!
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Old 24th Dec 2011, 16:55
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Join Date: Dec 2004
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Flying schools around London

Hi give the guys at Air First at Blackbushe a ring or Redair or Clearprop if you fancy flying a C-42 Microlight.

Happy Christmas
regards

Jamie.
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Old 24th Dec 2011, 17:11
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... you should certainly investigate Panshangar at Welwyn. (I had my first lesson there in 1958!) It's friendly and...
Cough, cough... Not so friendly any more!

Seriously, check out the school very carefully and look very hard at the instructor who will teach you. The relationship you develop with your FI is a very important part of your training.

How will you be getting to the aerodrome? Some are much easier than others if you're using public transport. Another important consideration.

I shall refrain from giving a specific recommendation as I am slightly biased!
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Old 25th Dec 2011, 07:55
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Time for a second look ?

Quote:-I am based a little firther north near Aylesbury. I have some experience with Wycombe and it tells me that Wycombe is horrifically expensive.

On first inspection this might seem to be true, the Airways Flying Club looks expensive however a more in depth inspection of the club policys will find a total lack of "add on " fees & surcharges. As with all these things the devil is in the detail and I am guessing that by the time some of the other operators have extracted all the minor fees & surcharges you wont save a lot of money.

The up side to Airways Flying club is that the instruction is first rate and the standard of the fleet of the higest order.

Last edited by A and C; 25th Dec 2011 at 23:16.
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Old 26th Dec 2011, 10:38
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You should defintely check The Pilot Centre at Denham. It's a great place, with very friendly staff and good pricing!
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Old 26th Dec 2011, 12:30
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Originally Posted by A and C View Post
Quote:-I am based a little firther north near Aylesbury. I have some experience with Wycombe and it tells me that Wycombe is horrifically expensive.

On first inspection this might seem to be true, the Airways Flying Club looks expensive however a more in depth inspection of the club policys will find a total lack of "add on " fees & surcharges. As with all these things the devil is in the detail and I am guessing that by the time some of the other operators have extracted all the minor fees & surcharges you wont save a lot of money.

The up side to Airways Flying club is that the instruction is first rate and the standard of the fleet of the higest order.
Ditto Wycombe Air Centre - although how separate the two companies now are is less than clear to me.

Based around Aylesbury, the other place to look might be Cranfield - although as somebody who flies from both I think on net I'd regard Wycombe as a bit cheaper and more user friendly. That said, Billins at Cranfield is worth a glance.

G
Genghis the Engineer is online now  
Old 26th Dec 2011, 15:36
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Wycombe Air Centre went into administration a week or so back and the Airways Flying Club holding conpany perchased WAC from the administrators. at the moment it is a bit soon to say exactly what is going to happen with the WAC but the general buzz is that the WAC will continue with its CPL/ATPL business and the AFC will do the PPL side of the business.

I cant help thinking that this is the best posable outcome for all............................but the Airways engineering staff will have their work cut out bringing the cash starved WAC fleet up to the high standard that is the AFC trademark.
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Old 26th Dec 2011, 15:53
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Join Date: Jul 2011
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Wycombe Air Center

I could not agree more with your comments concerning W.A.C.,I started to fly there in February,and from the signing on to the thirty hours that I have towards my NPPL,it has been so enjoyable,all the staff are very friendly,helpful,and have a great sense of humour which put my mind at rest after a couple of hours,all the instructors are brilliant and above all very proffesional and nothing is too much trouble for them,my instructor has an especially tough job as I am 70 years young-takes a bit longer for things to sink in,the eleven months that I have been flying with them has been a real joy,I would recommend W.A.C.to folk of all ages to learn to fly with them.
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Old 26th Dec 2011, 16:29
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but the Airways engineering staff will have their work cut out bringing the cash starved WAC fleet up to the high standard that is the AFC trademark.
I suspect that any of the WAC engineering staff, some of whom read this forum, are likely to be quite upset by that comment. Certainly when I've flown WAC fleet aircraft, I've always found the standards perfectly acceptable and I think that you are a bit out of order there.

I'm sure that AFC's engineering standards are high, but I've never seen any evidence that WAC's are not.

G
Genghis the Engineer is online now  
Old 26th Dec 2011, 17:09
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I did not for one moment say that thw WAC aircraft wre not fit to fly however a quick look at a WAC C152 and an AFC PA28 will tell the story of how much money & time has been spent on the respective aircraft.

I think to decide if I am a bit out of order one just needs to take a look at the evidence and that is sitting on the ramp for all to see.

Having flown WAC aircraft myself I would rate them in the upper 50% of the UK industry and AFC in the Upper 95% when it comes to the way the aircraft are maintaned.

Last edited by A and C; 26th Dec 2011 at 17:21.
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Old 27th Dec 2011, 15:29
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Join Date: Jul 2011
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Wycombe Air Center.

After knocking the engineers over the WAC fleet,compered with the Airways fleet,one must remember that WAC's C152's have done a darn sight more flying than Airways PA28's have,also the very reliable C152's are a lot older as well,I know most of the engineers on both sides and they are dedicated to chaps who take a lot of pride in the work that they do,I fly WAC's C152's and find them a very responsive,delightful little aeroplane to fly,it's earley days yet,but I am sure the 'getting together' of both clubs will be a good move when 'the dust has settled',also I will be able to try out the pa28,Tecnam 2002,and a 'Chippy in future. May I wish all you flyers out there A very Happy New Year with some decent weather to fly in.
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Old 27th Dec 2011, 17:57
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Just how little do you lot read and understand. ? I have not been Knocking the engineers at the WAC.

It all depends on the amount of money that a company is willing to let the engineers spend on the aircraft and it has nothing to do with aircraft age, I could show you C152s that are the same age as those at WAC that work hard and are in far better condition.

The bottom line is that a lot of work will be required to get the WAC fleet looking as good as the AFC fleet, this is not Knocking anyone, a quick inspection of what is parked on the ramp will show that this is fact.
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