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Fly in Spain Jerez - personal review PPL training

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Fly in Spain Jerez - personal review PPL training

Old 16th Oct 2013, 17:51
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Germany
Posts: 11
Fly in Spain Jerez - personal review PPL training


to everyone who is thinking about going for a PPL-licence at Fly-in-Spain (FIS) in Jerez, Spain I share my experience in a few words.

Having checked this forum for reviews on schools I decided to give it a try with FIS since this was the one where only one single negative review existed and which was also resolved in an open manner as far as I can tell. Also prices were reasonable.

So I (mid 30s, male) went to FIS between February and April this year to start the PPL from scratch. I haven`t had the time to read any books in advance and I had a time frame of max. two months to get everything done. I booked only one week in advance and it was no problem.

School rooms are not the newest but absolutely do serve their purpose for getting theoretical knowledge into the brains, for planning flights and having a chat with others. The staff at FIS always was friendly to me. There is one secretary who takes care of organisational stuff such as the student`s flight accounts or room booking for in of two shared apartments (if needed). There is one person taking care of booking instructors to the student`s schedules as needed. Sometimes the owner is there, also friendly and interesting to talk to.

Getting the medical was no problem, but because at FIS one is applying for the EASA PPL issued by the British CAA the initial medical had to be done by a British doctor in Gibraltar (1,5 hr trip by car).

Having mentioned the administrative part which is limited to a minimum in the background, there is the training staff at FIS who in my point of view contribute 95% to the whole thing being a success or not. I was flying with two different instructors and both gave me very valuable training and knowledge. Especially emergency situations (engine failure, emergency landings) were simulated and exercised intensively and down to the last meter before touching the ground. Yes, this is stress. But this is the way to learn to handle those situations and it gives a lot of important self-confidence.

All instructors I met at FIS at this time have a lot of experience and are CPL /ATPL holders. When I was there about 50% of the students at FIS trained for a commercial career. The chief instructor is a very kind person and experienced pilot.

A great advantage at Jerez is that one gets used to flying in CTRs and controlled airspace. Especially the CTR-experience is very valuable for me. I took around 60 hrs of flying before the final skills test. Im not sure whether I could have done the skills test a bit earlier. Maybe. However, I never regretted any extra hours. My advice is to rather not set the goal on finishing within the minimum of 45 hrs but to rather take advantage of having access to good training. This is for life and for survival in the worst case.

The aircraft for training (C-172s) were really not the newest but did their job and are IR equipped. I can`t remember having had to wait for an aircraft which would have delayed my schedule. As I was told by the owner he plans to buy two brand new two seat trainig aircraft soon.

I am now proud owner of a British EASA PPL and I think I have had really good training at Fly-in-Spain. I will definately come to FIS once in a while if I am around southern Spain, to refresh emergency skills with an instructor.

If was asked whether I can recommend this flight school:
Yes, I can, because I have had really good flight instructors there.

I am not frequently checking PPRuNe, but if anyone has questions I will try to answer them as directly as possible.
downsetgo is offline  
Old 17th Oct 2013, 12:12
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Here
Posts: 1,838
Hi, I did my CPL A there - very happy (though the Siai Marchetti they use for the complex section has got to have the noisiest cabin I've ever known!).

Fly safe, Sam.
Sam Rutherford is offline  
Old 22nd Oct 2013, 09:00
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Different
Age: 42
Posts: 14
Thank you for the review.

Are there many students at Fly in Spain?
How many instructors do they have?

Are the owner from Germany?

Kind regards
acefly123456 is offline  
Old 22nd Oct 2013, 11:24
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Orpington
Posts: 64
How much did it cost you end to end?
Emkay is offline  
Old 24th Oct 2013, 14:00
  #5 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Germany
Posts: 11

Number of students:
at the time when I was there (Feb-April 2013) there were 3 other PPL students in continous training. But we were all in different progress in training. I would say half of all (including me) were there for full time training from scratch, the other half took it a bit easier and as far as I know planned to come back another time to continue.
Another one was there for two weeks only to get done as much as possible (theory exams and some flying).

For CPL there were pilots coming and going, also some of them staying for a longer time.

Number of instructors:
I can remember at least 5 instructors, some of them get booked as required.

yes, he originally comes from Germany


I took 60 hours in total, alltogether with accomodation I would say I was 13.000 . Rental car was cheap, around 4 /day.

By far the highest cost factor is flying itself. Of course, flying less makes a difference to the wallet. But it also makes a difference in flying skills and practice.
I don`t regret the additional hours which I took extra to the 45 h which are mandatory. It`s just so much fun! On my first solos I was screaming loud and grinning from ear to ear because it`s the greatest feeling ever blasting through the sky by yourself! And then flying your calculated course, finding another airfield and just landing there to have a coffee. It`s so cool!
downsetgo is offline  
Old 24th Oct 2013, 20:20
  #6 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Different
Age: 42
Posts: 14
Thank you for the reply downsetgo

And congratulation to your PPL.
acefly123456 is offline  
Old 25th Oct 2013, 20:12
  #7 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2003
Location: uk
Posts: 713
It is fair to say that the real star behind FIS, Brian is no longer there having returned back to the UK. He will be a difficult act to follow as his past students will agree, so things are bound to be different going forward.

They have had problems with the Seneca for quite some time. It went off line last December for an engine overall and I am not sure whether it is back yet.

Last edited by chrisbl; 25th Oct 2013 at 20:17.
chrisbl is offline  
Old 26th Oct 2013, 07:57
  #8 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: UK,Twighlight Zone
Posts: 73
The Seneca is online.

I have been Head of Training for 2 years. Brian was CFI for us until a few weeks ago - I have had to take that role on as well while we find someone suitable to act in the capacity.

His RTF was used for PPL training, our ATO was used for training above that although we have now had to take over the PPL side as well.

None of his approvals are being used in Spain. He still holds training approvals for the UK which remain valid until such time as the forced conversion to ATO occurs then it remains to be seen what happens. However I think he is going to concentrate on RT and Ground stuff these days.

Brian will be much missed in Spain. His vast experience was a real asset to me and will be hard to replace. Fortunately being the gentlemen that he is he still provides help when I need it in the UK.

Punitz are still used for IR training as they do not require a CAA staff Examiner for initial skill test. Everything else is now done by us. It's been a transition that has taken a couple of years.
S-Works is offline  
Old 6th Dec 2013, 20:29
  #9 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Glens o' Angus by way of LA
Age: 57
Posts: 1,975
Well was down here in the Costa so thought I would give Fly in Spain in Jerez a crack, Showed up unannounced and got a plane and instructor with no bollocking about, had a great local flight, seems like a good school with nice folks, only thing that caught me unawares was upon walking up to the aircraft I was to fly I noticed it had a rather unfamiliar accessory , it had a small circular thing connected to what looked liked a enlarged nut cracker with some type of damper connecting the hinge, the whole thing was stuck out from the cowling near the front of the plane, it's primary purpose seemed to be to increase drag and weight and impede it's turning radius on the ground. Anyway it was a beautiful flight and Esther the FI originally from the Uk thankfully did not bollock my many airmanship deficiencies..
piperboy84 is offline  
Old 7th Jan 2014, 23:06
  #10 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: London
Posts: 3
Have really been considering this flight school for some time now. Have read quite a few reviews and they seem to be good.

downsetgo, did you complete a night rating as well as part of your course or was it all day flying? Also how was the accommodation and how far is it from the airport?
Yp12 is offline  
Old 12th Jan 2014, 21:18
  #11 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Germany
Posts: 11

I have not done a night rating yet. However I am thinking about it. And I will propably go for it at Fly In Spain. Reason is that I know there are really good professional instructors (no resignated hobby instructors as I have experienced in another school).
The only thing to keep in mind is, Jerez Airport closes at 2200 or 2300 local time as far as I remember. So during summer there`s not a lot of time to fly between sunset and airport closing for night flying. Propably better during winter time.

The owner of the school has 2 apartments he rents out. The apartment I was in the first week has 3 bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen and a living room, completely furnished and Wifi. I met cool people (CPL students and instructors) who also had a room in the apartment. It is not completely in the center of Jerez but also not far away (10-15 minutes walk to bars&clubs). It took me around 12 minutes with the car to get to the airport.

However, after one week or so I moved out and rented a whole flat in the center of Jerez for myself. Nicer location, nicer apartment (for myself), only 50 Euros more per month than the room in the shared apartment. I found the price for this one bedroom in the shared apartment from the school quite expensive in local comparison. On the other side it is uncomplicated and quickly available which is good for people who don`t speak spanish (spanish almost mandatory for finding a good & reasonably priced apartment in Spain) and don`t stay long anyway.
downsetgo is offline  
Old 13th Jan 2014, 18:16
  #12 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: lancs.UK
Age: 74
Posts: 1,196
Bose-x is one of the good guys on this forum and he's been here a long time..... I'd certainly trust him and any establishment he worked for.

Never met him, never been to Spain, no agenda, no axe to grind....just an observation,as a regular here.
cockney steve is offline  
Old 24th Jan 2014, 21:34
  #13 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Norway
Age: 42
Posts: 18
Vfr night

For night VFR, be aware that it is prohibited in Spain. For schools a special permit can be given, it takes about 2 weeks to get from application. When I did my PPL there a bit more than a year ago, they had forgotten that I booked to do the NIght rating so couldn't do it before I was leaving.

The school is perfect to speed things up, something between a club and full blood pro school, but like always, follow things up yourself and the success of course also depends on which instructor you have.
keenpilot is offline  
Old 26th Jan 2014, 08:05
  #14 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Hotels
Posts: 348
Bose-x is one of the good guys on this forum and he's been here a long time.....
Really? He comes across as argumentative and very judgemental in my opinion. I don't see the relevance of duration of board membership.
M-ONGO is offline  
Old 26th Jan 2014, 09:03
  #15 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: UK,Twighlight Zone
Posts: 73
I am neither. I am a Yorkshireman however and a spade is a spade.....

Don't expect me to sugarcoat or pussyfoot.

S-Works is offline  
Old 26th Jan 2014, 10:01
  #16 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Romsey
Posts: 7
I have flown with Fly In Spain on many occasions in the past. Brian was exactly the kind of professional tempering of occasionally over authoritative German ownership that was required. I am afraid to say that Bose-X will fit in with the German model perfectly and is not a combination that I will be choosing to use again in Southern Spain.
Mahogany Fighter is offline  
Old 26th Jan 2014, 16:06
  #17 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: UK,Twighlight Zone
Posts: 73
Wow, 3 posts in five years and coming out of the woodwork just to have a go at me. I am flattered.......
S-Works is offline  
Old 26th Jan 2014, 19:21
  #18 (permalink)  

'just another atco'
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: LTC Swanwick
Age: 57
Posts: 154
Steve. You reap the crop you plant. Years of bullying and aggressive behaviour on the GA forums results in people drawing the conclusion that they probably wouldn't choose to fly with you.

I flew several times from Jerez with Brian and Hans who couldn't have been more welcoming and accommodating. Nobody ever seemed to have a bad word to say about Brian on the forums and indeed you have perpetuated this. That is very reassuring when contemplating stretching yourself to fly outside the UK in a very different environment.

Reputation is everything and yours precedes you which is why I think many long term forumites including some apparent uber-lurkers come out of the shadows to acknowledge they would no longer be comfortable taking the risk at FlyInSpain.
TC_LTN is offline  
Old 26th Jan 2014, 19:59
  #19 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: UK,Twighlight Zone
Posts: 73
It's their choice. The team are still in place in Spain and doing a great job. You can take or leave me, I won't lose any sleep over it.

Judging someone by an anonymous Internet forum is pretty narrow minded in anyone's book. If you can find someone who has trained or flown with me and can actually back up your assertion I would be a little more interested.

My job in Spain is to ensure that everything is done in accordance with our company approvals and operations manuals. I am satisfied this is done and that's something I am very happy with. I may not be the touchy feely person that Brian was but then this is not my day job so it does not need to be. I would much rather I still had Brian down there but he has moved back to the UK and there is nothing I can do about it.

FIS provide a great service with a good team and good aircraft. All are welcome to come and visit and make there mind up in person.
S-Works is offline  
Old 28th Jan 2014, 15:16
  #20 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 1998
Location: south coast
Posts: 410
As they say in Yorkshire - barge pole wouldn't touch it with
Barcli is offline  

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