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Flight Training in Manchester Area

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Flight Training in Manchester Area

Old 10th Apr 2016, 15:19
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Flight Training in Manchester Area

Hi everyone,

So after reading a lot on this forum (especially the many motivational stories here) I am as keen as mustard in being up in the air and pursuing some proper flight training, both for a hobby and possibly future career opportunities.

The question that I am sure every pilot wannabe has had - where does one start?

Perhaps a little bit about myself - I'm in my mid-20's (or quarter-life crisis? ) now, live in Manchester and have a day job weekdays. So far so good with what I am doing, but thought I could achieve something more satisfying, and that something stems early from my childhood. What can be more satisfying to be able to explore the world freely and swiftly with a pair of wings?

I read that many start by getting their PPL first. So I've been digging into CAA's list of flying schools available in the Manchester area, and immediately ran into my first question: What's the difference between approved training organization and registered training facility?

My second and, perhaps the important, question is finding a reputable school that offers PPL. One that I shortlisted so far is Manchester Flight Training, which offers a PPL course on a Cessna 150 for an up front fee of 7,795. Is this reasonable? Any other costs that I should also prepare for? I would be most grateful for some review and comments if you are currently training/were trained there. Suggestions on other schools are also welcome too!

I am looking to complete my PPL in 6 months' time, weather permitting of course. I hope this should allow enough time to pursue my dream.

Thanks. Any thoughts are much appreciated!
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Old 10th Apr 2016, 21:28
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Hi,

I too recently got myself into a place that would allow learning to fly. I'm 11 hours in and it is every bit as good as I hoped it would be.

I too live in the Great Manchester but have opted to learn to fly at Liverpool, Barton just didnt work for me for a few reasons.

I will say this but everyone will tell you this DO NOT PAY UP FRONT.

Visit each school and meet the people and get to know the instructors and see if you like them and they way they look after you.

Costs wise there are a few extras. Books, 9 lots of exams including a practical RT exam. You'll need some ground school and some flying bits(charts, pens, rulers etc).

If you want to know have the full letter and verse PM me and I'll be happy to meet up.

Stan
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Old 11th Apr 2016, 09:18
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Originally Posted by glaidman View Post
So I've been digging into CAA's list of flying schools available in the Manchester area, and immediately ran into my first question: What's the difference between approved training organization and registered training facility?
From your point of view embarking on a PPL, there's no real difference. As part of the change from the old JAA to the new EASA world came a mandate for existing RTFs to become ATOs, along with assorted new regulatory requirements that I don't pretend to know or understand. The original deadline to convert was 12 months ago, but inevitably, the wheels of bureaucracy grind slowly and, along with ongoing arguments over the how the whole framework will work, the deadline for schools to convert to being ATOs has been put back to at least April 2018.

Originally Posted by glaidman View Post
My second and, perhaps the important, question is finding a reputable school that offers PPL. One that I shortlisted so far is Manchester Flight Training, which offers a PPL course on a Cessna 150 for an up front fee of 7,795. Is this reasonable? Any other costs that I should also prepare for?
The MFT package includes 45 hours, which covers the miminum requirement for a PPL. While some people will reach test standard within 45 hours, I think the average is probably nearer 60 to 65 hours, so you'd be wise to budget for some extra flying hours & landing fees in addition to that package. You'll also need to get your medical fairly early on and some basic equipment such as charts, books etc. Depending upon how confident you are at doing the exams, you may want to pay for some additional ground school. All in all, I'd budget for nearer 11k.

Personally, I did my PPL at MFT and was very happy with them, but what's good for one may not be right for another. So, to echo the previous poster, before you even think about buying into any package, go and visit and have a chat with the staff. Have a trial lesson or two, make sure you're happy with the instructors and the organisation and, rather fundamentally, make sure you actually do like flying and that you are able to pass the medical.
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Old 11th Apr 2016, 09:40
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I'm training 5 days a week and I'm 11-hours in myself. I'm training at Bristol Airport and the chuffing weather just this minute cancelled today's lesson. Typical.

Anyway, the place I started was choosing a flight school/club (I went with Bristol because they are a club and located within controlled airspace, so ATC from day one!)

Secondly, get your medical done. Class 1 is more expensive and thorough, but if you are looking at going career, you'll need a class 1. My urine test wasn't perfect and I had to seek a second test from my GP in order to clear, which took a further 3 days. One thing I will add is that you will need an Opthamologist (eye test) to fill out the lengthy CAA form for the medical. So that's another 20 or more (TIP: seek out a free Specsaver's eye test voucher online and then they'll just end up charging you 10 admin fee for having to fill out the form!)

Next, or in the meantime, I'd buy the theory books and start studying. I went with Pooley's but the AFE ones are just as good I hear. There's a lot of material to go through and the sooner you start studying it the better. One thing I will say is that certain things like Nav and Comms will make much more sense once you've got experience in the cockpit, but it's still good to go over. Study Aviation Law and Operational Procedures first, would be my advice. You need to pass Av Law before you can go solo anyhow.
These books will cost in the region of 150 (Flightstore have an offer on for the entire collection of Pooley's books right now)

Equipment wise, you'll need things like, a chart, pens, nav ruler, protractor, notepads, fuel tester, logbook, kneeboard... budget around 200 for the miscellaneous. More if you want a headset.

Most will tell you not to pay upfront and it's sage advice. However, I have paid upfront. But I have my reasons and rationale. If you are to do it, however, at least put it on a credit card so you are protected. If you can get the same deal without paying upfront, do it that way.

Your deal sounds about right, although I'm learning in a PA28 for nearer the same price. What Manc said above me, however, is spot on. Your package is 45 hours, so if you go over that minimum make sure you've budgeted it in. Find out the hourly rate for dual training and cover yourself for an extra 10 hours or so just in case.

It's one of the best things I've ever done and spent a chunk of money on. I'm only just starting, but if you have any questions... fire away. Good luck!
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Old 11th Apr 2016, 09:46
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glaidman

I'm not referring to any Manchester based training organisations but...

DO NOT PAY UPFRONT

Every couple of months we hear of someone who has "invested" a large sum of money only to see it disappear - even though they were told not to do it.

Enjoy your lessons but keep control of your cash
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Old 11th Apr 2016, 10:30
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Don't pay up front for two reasons:

Flying schools have a habit of going tits-up, taking your cash with them.

You're in a far better position if you don't get on with your school and wish to change.
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Old 11th Apr 2016, 11:00
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I'll just add to everyone else saying not to Pay up front.

Barton is a nice spot, and your obvious place for flight training around Manchester. I'd suggest walking around the various schools for a look and a chat. If you don't have an immediate plan to go commercial, include the microlight school in that - what you learn there might pleasantly surprise you.

G
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Old 11th Apr 2016, 15:04
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I second what Genghis said about Barton. It's a few years since I last flew in or out but I did my PPL there back in 1978 and it was our main base throughout the 80s, 90s, and 2000s before our group moved to Liverpool.

Back in the day Barton was run by Lancashire Aero Club so landings were free for members. That was great for circuits, or at any time you were not 100% happy with your landing - just do another!

It also taught one to accept shortish and rough fields as nothing unusual - good training for farm strip flying later! Being in the Manchester Control Zone also meant you got to use 'proper' RT and indeed back then trips into 'The Big Airport' and clearances direct across the zone were commonplace.
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Old 11th Apr 2016, 16:18
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I fly from Barton and in fact instruct part time at one (not saying which as I think you should make up your own mind) are three fixed wing flying schools :- Manchester Flight Training, LAC Flying School and Mainair. The first two both operate Cessna 152 and Pa28, LAC also has a C172. Mainair is a microlight school, these are conventional flying machines and fly very much like the other aircraft but rates are much cheaper being microlights. I would say all three offer a good standard of training and I would advise visiting all three before making a descision. Please feel free to PM me if you want further info.
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Old 14th Apr 2016, 17:03
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I did my NPPL at Mainair in 2014, passing in 43 hours. All in it cost me 6500 including petrol for trips to and from Barton/Rochdale and all equipment. Great instructors, great well maintained aircraft and great fun. What you might find by flying a Eurostar is just how well they perform, and also how modern they are. I still fly with them now as they do aircraft hire as well.

If you want any info send me a PM and I'll be happy to tell you more.
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Old 14th Apr 2016, 17:33
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If you want to purely fly for fun and do not intend to make a future career in flying then consider the 3 axis microlight route with Mainair. Excellent school , superb instructors and mix of Ikarus C42's and Eurostars.


Passed my NPPL(M) with Mainair in 2014 , and I would highly recommend them.


Todays 3 axis microlights are not much different in performance to regular GA aircraft , except its daylight only and VFR only.


Cheap and fun flying.....


If it's a career path then do the full blown PPL.


If you have the cash available already - just pay the school per hour as flown.
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Old 14th Apr 2016, 18:29
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Todays 3 axis microlights are not much different in performance to regular GA aircraft
That really depends on which GA aircraft you are talking about and what flying you want to do - ours is aerobatic and will cruise at 150kts+, you will not find many microlights that will do that, but they will fill the bill for many people.
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Old 7th Aug 2018, 12:37
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Interesting read, as I has the same question and was looking at the same three Manchester schools.

I considered Microlights but my only concern is I'd like to be able to fly quite large distances and also fly year round. The VFR element worried me for this reason however I've seen a video on YouTube in a microlight flying to Ireland and back and there was quite a lot of cloud cover.

Can anybody advise what percentage of the year they think is IFR in the UK? What's September to April like? What kind of distance range can you realistically plan for with fuel and weather forecast? How feasible is over water flying both year round and over winter?

(Also, *why* does a microlight PPL not count towards a PPL?! Or is that asking a big question...)

Would greatly appreciate any advice on these questions!
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Old 8th Aug 2018, 10:23
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Boddles

What's September to April like?
We're talking Manchester here - low cloud and drizzle available all year round. I'm enjoying the current good spell with quite a few trips in clear conditions but it was the exact opposite last year.

The rest of your post belies a lack of experience in light aircraft matters. So "walk before run" .. go and take a trial lesson or two at differing schools and discuss your plans with them.

Good luck!

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Old 8th Aug 2018, 10:53
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(Also, *why* does a microlight PPL not count towards a PPL?! Or is that asking a big question...)
I did a microlight NPPL first and it was relatively easy to upgrade it to a normal NPPL then to a PPL however had to do the theory exams again.
That was many years ago so things might have changed. (that was when I first came across Genghis!)
One thing I might add is that I found the training aspect of GA flying the best part and far more enjoyable than the actual flying afterwards.
Did my Instrument training at the Manchester School of Flying at Manchester Airport (no longer in existence), the challenge of using the many frequencies and negotiating the taxiways etc was an added challenge, my wife actually did her PPL training with them. Don't be afraid of using a school at a larger airport but the price you might have to pay is the additional time waiting to land.
Sorry off topic but brought back memories to me. Good luck with your training and enjoy.
You might even consider taking a couple of weeks holiday in Portugal with Gerry Breen.
FF

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Old 8th Aug 2018, 12:07
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Originally Posted by ETOPS View Post
Boddles



We're talking Manchester here - low cloud and drizzle available all year round. I'm enjoying the current good spell with quite a few trips in clear conditions but it was the exact opposite last year.

The rest of your post belies a lack of experience in light aircraft matters. So "walk before run" .. go and take a trial lesson or two at differing schools and discuss your plans with them.

Good luck!

Thanks, yes, sorry, IMC

Spoke with a very helpful chap at MainAir so I am just going to go for the trial and go from there. He advised IMC is for getting out of bad weather rather than deliberately flying in it so that pretty much landed me firmly on NPPL rather than PPL. I'm coming from fifteen years of only having pursued an interest in IFR and passenger jets hence my lack of knowledge of the GA philosophy and approach to flying, so like you say, I'll walk before I run...

Thanks,
Jon
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Old 8th Aug 2018, 12:32
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No light aircraft schools at Manchester International now, all at City (Barton) airport which is making big efforts at improving, a new hangar just going up and will be putting in the plastic matting on the main runway.
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Old 8th Aug 2018, 20:56
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From my early years, my dad used to take me to Barton to look at planes.

Many years later, I had the privilege to gain my PPL there. And my first passenger flight as "PIC" was my dad.

You won't get better training anywhere else in The North West :-)
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Old 8th Aug 2018, 22:04
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He advised IMC is for getting out of bad weather rather than deliberately flying in it
You will find that after you have had instrument training your flying will be that much better, NPPL or PPL first but keep that in mind
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Old 10th Aug 2018, 02:12
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[QUOTE He advised IMC is for getting out of bad weather rather than deliberately flying in it][/QUOTE]
I would say that very much depends on how much you actually use it once you have it, used regularly it is fine to deliberately fly in it, but then again if you don't use it regularly you are probably not safe to be using it the time you actually need it!
if you are not going to use an IMC rating (or IR(R)) then an aeros course will do far more for your handling skills!
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