Private Flying LAA/BMAA/BGA/BPA The sheer pleasure of flight.

FINALLY :D

Old 13th Apr 2015, 13:54
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Question FINALLY :D

So, It's been a VERY long time since I was last on here. Those of you who recall me, will know that I have been asking numerous questions about PPL training and going commercial etc etc. Well, the time has finally come. I have taken out a loan and will be completing my PPL (part-time) over the coming months.

So, this leads me to a few questions:
1) Anybody had any experience with Anglian Flight Centres at Earls colne airfield?
2) Robin HR200 - a good aircraft?
3) If not AFC, anybody had experience at Clacton?

Thank you

T
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Old 13th Apr 2015, 14:15
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First of all welcome to the world of poverty that is the lot of the PPL. I haven't any experience of either of those two places but if you have taken a loan out and have the readies to splash out may I advise that you go at it with gusto. The more you fly the quicker you learn.

No doubt others will be along with the polar opposite but being as I got here first...
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Old 13th Apr 2015, 16:44
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what made you think that a loan for a PPL is a good idea? Don't get me wrong, I'm not criticizing, just generally want to understand your mindset and decision making process.. do you think you will be better off in a year and will be able to pay for your hour building + interest + loan without any worries?

I can see that last year you thought that you will have the money by February this year, yet it didn't happen, why was that?

Have you thought about consequences of not being able to repay the debt and damaging your credit history?
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Old 13th Apr 2015, 16:53
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@thing - Absolutely, I'll be flying and learning on every day off I have - currently 4 in every 14...

@Martin_123 - The loan wasn't just for the PPL, but it was something I was getting to pay off my car finance (and costs the same as I'm paying monthly at the moment anyway). It is quite a lengthy loan, but I now have a new job which will, on some months, be able to pay me quadruple (at least) what I was earning previously, and other months where it's just double, though I now have a few more expenses.

Last year (in February), I started my first proper job, and calculated that if I saved every single penny, I would be able to get my PPL. Unfortunately, I was unable to save.

I have indeed thought about the consequences, and as with anything anyone does, I may well regret it. However, I believe that IF it turns out to be a mistake, I do have family and friends that will help me pay it off until I get back on my feet, and I am also keeping about 1k of the loan free to use to pay off the loan for a few months if it comes to it, as a kind of contingency plan.

I think it's better to do these things when you're young, as I don't have my own family or house to worry about, so in the grand scheme of things, it is better to make the mistake now than in 10 years when I have dependents etc, though I fully see where you're coming from.

Thank you
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Old 13th Apr 2015, 19:52
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Do not under any circumstance give a lot of your money up front for a reduced rate. History on here is littered with tales of woe. And that's general advice with no implications on any organisations you may have mentioned.

Robin HR100 - flew one once. Thats it, just the once.

Try to fly as often as possible. I took too long due finances and so spent time de-rustyfying at the start of each lesson.

Apart from that - enjoy.

SGC
 
Old 13th Apr 2015, 20:02
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Go for it, Tobster. I did my ppl at a time when my full time job paid 25 per week and an hour in the cheapest possible aircraft cost 28.
I had two jobs.....
I sometimes had to renew by test in the next ten years, but I always managed to keep flying.
That was in 1981, and if I had listened to the doom and gloom merchants I would have had a pretty boring life. I paid no attention to them, worked at my flying, PPL all done in 39 hours and over two years, including the test, plus an hour after to get the then legal minimum.

I now own an aircraft, and right now am flying my socks off. Power, gliders, and balloons. It's supposed to be fun!
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Old 13th Apr 2015, 20:39
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Er guys&girls, give the OP a break, 6 replies and not one addresses his questions.

Oh B**/+*s thats 7 then, sorry, but interested in the answer myself.

PM
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Old 13th Apr 2015, 20:59
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Nice one tobster, if you can afford the repayments what's the problem? I did similar after retiring just for the fun flying, far to old and decrepit for commercials, bought an aircraft and like Piper Classique fly the socks off.
Don't know a thing about your questions sorry, go taildragger once you can, you won't regret that either. Good luck.
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Old 13th Apr 2015, 21:02
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Er guys&girls, give the OP a break, 6 replies and not one addresses his questions.
If I may quote Wander00 who posts on a different part of this forum and summed up PPRuNe beautifully

As an aside, there is no such thing a "quick question" on Prune. One could ask what time of day it is, and shortly have six pages of posts, seeking to define "day", "time" etc, indeed even the existence of either, and several posts asking how to post a picture. Part of the charm of the site really.
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Old 13th Apr 2015, 21:39
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No experience of the Robin or AFC, however thought Clacton was good value when I trained there (tail wheel conversion).
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Old 14th Apr 2015, 08:16
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Thank you for all this. Loving the quote about the simplicity of PPRuNe

but seriously, HR200? Flown once before, and it was a nice handling aircraft, but some of the instruments were, how do you say?... faulty...
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Old 14th Apr 2015, 11:52
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I did a renewal a couple of years ago at AFC Earles Colne flying their Robin 200.

It's a good professional set up and the aircraft are good. Outside controlled airspace and I think it's either their airfield or they lease it. There's no lengthy taxiing to worry about and the instructors are all very friendly (though I only flew with one).

The Robin HR200 is a nice aeroplane IMHO, with a stick rather than a yoke. I prefer that but it doesn't really matter.

Where are you actually from?

SS

PS - I forgot to add that I finished my PPL at Clacton in the late 80's flying their Supercubs. It was a good flying school and probably still is, but it's a long time ago so my experiences my be outdated. And being a long TIME ago I have to wonder if time is relevant? Does time exist? If time is split between day and night, and as I only fly in daylight hours, are the years since I flew there halved? .... Hmmmm?

Last edited by shortstripper; 14th Apr 2015 at 12:01. Reason: to add the PS
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Old 14th Apr 2015, 14:56
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It looks a good place. Going in tomorrow at 3 to have my first flight with them. I flew an HR200 in France nearly 4 years ago for a couple of hours, and loved its handling. Only problem with it was virtually none of the instruments were, how you say... operational?

I am from the South Lakes (South Cumbria), but have moved down to Colchester in Essex due to a career move and life change, and am loving the weather

Your last sentence has got me questioning physics... No one ever gets me to question physics hahaha
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Old 14th Apr 2015, 18:41
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T

No experience of AFC but landed at E/C a couple of times, nice place (does it still have a dip in the runway??)

Robin HR200 - done about 25hrs in the last few years in them. A nice aircraft, some criticise it for being a bit 'Twitchy' but this might be because they are pretty light. I don't find that myself despite my experience being largely in 152/172/PA28's. Has a stick not a yoke (I like) and a bubble canopy means better vis than most (like a glider if you've any experience in them). Overall, I like them alot.

Clacton Aero Club is great IMO, didn't do my PPL there but I've been going there for years to do various things from IMC and tailwheel to renewals despite the fact I live counties away! Was last there at the end of last year to renew my SEP & fly the Supercub and it hasn't changed, it's a proper flying club where prices are cheaper than most and the grass strip is basic and short (500m) but you will learn lots about proper flying (watch out for the footpath crossing the runway). Plus being a small strip you don't waste a bunch of time waiting for ATC or other traffic faffing about & circuit work becomes alot easier because of this.

OK, Clacton itself is a dump but hey, over the top it looks fine!!
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Old 14th Apr 2015, 21:00
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Not sure on the dip in the runway, but will tell you after my flight tomorrow. I have had a fair bit of gliding experience, so looking forward to tomorrow's flight

I like a stick controlled aircraft, but also like the yoke, so will be interesting to see which I end up preferring after some proper flying time.

I may go to Clacton at some point, but Earls Colne is a nicer place... you're right, Clacton is a bit of a dump indeed. Only lived in the South East for two months, and am already aware
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Old 14th Apr 2015, 21:18
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Hey Tobster, pleased to see you have started at the right end of the spectrum by flying GLIDERS! That's the basics out of the way then, no need ever to worry about the engine going silent! (glide ratio of power plane with no engine? about 12 to one?)

I hope you have a medical certificate of some sort before spending a lot of money on power flying/

And the advice given above to never never pay large sums up front is spot on.
Lots of times flying schools go bust and vanish, with your money.

Learning to fly on the Robin a good idea. And also a good idea to fly the taildragger at Clacton. BOTH ARE GLIDER TUG PLANES IN GENERAL USE.

which may give you ideas.....you get no money for flying the tug, but boy can you build up the hours! Booker and Bidford are all aerotow. And I think Aboyne in Scotland, and possibly Black Mountains gliding club in Wales. Recommend visiting all these places.

Where did you do your gliding? and how far did you get? Silver C used to knock a lot of hours off the PPL requirement....

Let us know how you get on! and visit us at Shenington some day.

Mary
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Old 14th Apr 2015, 22:30
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Whereabouts in Scotland is Shenington? Might drop in one day.
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Old 15th Apr 2015, 08:20
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thing - Shenington is in Oxford, I believe.

Mary Meagher - Indeed, I will never pay for the whole course up front. At AFC, they give you your exams free of charge if you deposit 1000. Still a lot of money, but at the rate I'm hoping to be flying, the money shouldn't be in their bank for more than 2 weeks

Gliding wise, unfortunately, I was only able to get solo, and couldn't progress much further. The airfield (Walney, Barrow-In-Furness, NW England) was a good hour's drive away, and the weather there was often very different to where I lived (usually much worse). I often went to the airfield (which was only operational at weekends, if an instructor decided to turn up), to find it was howling wind and peeing it down with rain, or the gliders weren't available, or something.

Didn't get to go last year at all as we didn't have a tug aircraft, and as I worked on Saturdays, it was very hit and miss whether Sunday would be possible... As a result, I didn't get as much gliding done as I would have liked.

I will certainly do my tailwheel conversion, and hopefully find a local club I can do some tugging at... Do you know if there are minimum requirements to be a tug pilot?

Thank you

Toby
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Old 15th Apr 2015, 11:56
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thing - Shenington is in Oxford, I believe.
Yes, brain fade on my part! I think it's because I associate Mary with those flying vids she posts up flying the Jodel around Scottish lochs and what have you.
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Old 15th Apr 2015, 12:16
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75 hour PPL here who trained at Earls Colne from November 2012 to April 2014 on the Robin's.

Earls Colne - it's a good choice of airfield, they've got a lighted hard runway and a grass one so are open pretty much all year round. I also gained my night rating there in December last year.

Robins - I did all my training on a split between ECAC, ECAF & ECAP, they see some heavy usage but they're pretty solid aircraft with great visibility.

Feel free to PM with any questions.
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