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PPL/Ground School

Old 20th Jul 2017, 21:37
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PPL/Ground School

Hi all,

I am hoping someone can help me as I am to say the least a little confused! To give you a little bit of background info, I am firstly new to this forum, I graduated university with a first class degree in tourism management and now work in an aircraft charter company as a commercial jet broker. Problem is, all I have ever wanted to be is a pilot and now I am finally in a position where I can afford to save money (aside from the 50k debt I have from uni.....).

Anyway, I have been doing a lot of digging into the possible ways of completing my PPL licence. And because of the sheer amount of digging, I think I have confused myself even more... So I am asking for your opinions either from your own research or experience as I don't think anybody will know better than people who are/have been in my shoes! Main questions I have are:

- Firstly, do I stay in the UK to complete the PPL or do I go to the US. My boss did his PPL over in the US as an intensive course (3 weeks and did all the exams and flying). His advise was to complete ground school here and go to the US and solely focus on flying for a few weeks.

- This leads me onto the next question... Ground schools... which ones are half decent? I am near Goodwood and Farnborough or even Shoreham.. what are your experiences with those/instructors/pass rates etc?

- I work full time and it seems to be impossible to find information on the pattern of study/lectures at those ground schools.. So I guess the question is, is it all done through self study or are there evening classes and are there repeats of the classes as opposed to annual terms? For example, do they just loop the same lessons every week or every month.. eg. NAV lesson every 2 months? I know from a person who holds a PPL that there are study sessions to help you but no ground school seems to show how the taught sessions happen...

- If I stay in the UK and enrol to both flying and ground school, which one is good in the south of UK? I have looked at Biggin Hill (EFG), Goodwood (seems very expensive, even more than Biggin Hill), Shoreham, Stapleford or Farnborough (Blackbushe).... but I would really love some advise on your experiences...

- What is the cost for just ground school and again which one is a good one?


I think that's enough questions for now... I'm sorry if I have bored you to death but I really don't know who else to ask!

Thanks in advance!
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Old 21st Jul 2017, 14:13
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Why do you want to do all the hours so quickly? In My opinion the most important thing in PPL is to enjoy the flying!

Do you want to become a proffesional pilot or just PPL?
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Old 21st Jul 2017, 20:53
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Considering the fact that you still have loan to pay I would suggest you first clear that. Pilot training is money pit and with balance in minus as starting point you will soon be in problems. PPL means nothing (money earning wise) and it is long road until you get CPL with authorisations you need. Beside that my opinion is that first 40 FH of training you get is extremely important to form you as a pilot - so do it properly with good FI. Prepare theory and be ready to do practice right. I don't know how old are you and how quick you need to do all the stuff but if you are under 25 there is enough time.
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Old 22nd Jul 2017, 12:18
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Originally Posted by superflanker
Why do you want to do all the hours so quickly? In My opinion the most important thing in PPL is to enjoy the flying!

Do you want to become a proffesional pilot or just PPL?

It's not that I want to do them quickly, I don't mind as long as I don't have too long gaps in between flying - People have advised against that for some reason? I would love to become a professional pilot one day, that's the goal but I am in no means in a rush to do the ppl just so I get it out the way..
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Old 24th Jul 2017, 09:20
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Regarding PPL theory. I do not know many places that "teach" it. Most schools I know expect the student to put in 95% of the effort by reading the study material, then go into school and sit down with the instructors when you come up against something you don't understand.
I'm sure there are ground schools that specialise in PPL theory, but I've never heard of any.

Regarding time between lessons. My PPL to almost three and a half years while working full time. Although I would advise against leaving gaps more than a couple of weeks between lessons, you can't control mechanical issues, weather, double bookings, illness etc. The theory will take you longer than you think (if you do it properly) but it's important to understand it if you wish to proceed on to the ATPLs.

Take your time, enjoy the experience, but don't take your eye off the end goal.
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Old 25th Jul 2017, 07:17
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There are such schools but the demand is not high so there wouldn't be any active advertising. Sadly, it's usually a case of reading a book in a dusty corner.
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Old 25th Jul 2017, 10:46
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I can tell you a good one... But it's in Spain
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Old 25th Jul 2017, 14:48
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You can study the theory using Pooleys books, they are very good combined with the Exam Preparation Books also from Pooleys and android APP called EASA PPL Exams (PPL LAPL SUCCESS is written in the APP Icon). This Android APP had most of the questions that I faced in the exams, great tool.
You can also try to get CATS free WBT for PPL (https://wbt.catsaviation.com). They have pretty good material and many questions.

I used all of them combined and passed all of the 9 PPL exams, 7 of them with 100% and 1 mistake in each of the other 2.

After passing all of them you are basically free to choose any flight school that can fulfill your time schedule.

I did my course in Spain, the weather was great, possible to finish in 4 weeks smoothly if you are good with the theory.
You can also go to USA or any other place in Europe depending on the season, if you want to fly as much as possible in few weeks.

I hope this helps, good luck in your training. Cheers
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Old 25th Jul 2017, 17:44
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I used pplgroundschool.com for my EASA Fixed Wing PPL Groundschool and I found Ash to be excellent.
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Old 26th Jul 2017, 21:35
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Let any FTO have a sniff at providing you classroom PPL theory and they'll take 25/hour very quickly.

The PPL theory isn't very challenging and can be studied in your own time at home. Make use of the multiple websites online for practicing mock exams. I used Pooleys books and found them excellent at the time.

Ensure you really learn the subject, they make the ATPLs a little easier when/if you go on to do them.

- If you've studied at degree level, the quantity in the PPL syllabus will seem very little!

Last edited by pilotjimbo; 27th Jul 2017 at 14:00.
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Old 26th Jul 2017, 22:05
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Originally Posted by superflanker
I can tell you a good one... But it's in Spain
You know of a school called One air in malaga? Been thinking of doing my ME-IR there.
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Old 27th Jul 2017, 13:05
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All i know is that it has good prices
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Old 29th Jul 2017, 07:28
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The PPL exams aren't hard and I would probably suggest just spending some time at home to study for them. Aside from the big thick books, I also used the AFE Revision Guides which summarise everything you need to know very nicely, PPL Cruiser and this app (also available on Android I believe) which are question banks.

I did 6 exams over 2 days using these, then the remaining took a while longer as there was a bit more material to study and get my head around (PoF, Nav, FPP).
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Old 29th Jul 2017, 19:38
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Originally Posted by pilotjimbo
Let any FTO have a sniff at providing you classroom PPL theory and they'll take 25/hour very quickly.
My recollection is that this was done, with instructors giving the course, at usual evening class venues, in the venue's normal programme, at usual evening class rates. Which in those days (it was some time ago) was well under 25 for the course.


An advantage over just home study was the ability to ask questions.
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Old 29th Jul 2017, 20:23
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I honestly felt that the PPL exams would be terrifyingly difficult and there was no way I could pass them, especially if like me, you have been out of education for a decade.

However it turns out that writing out the key information a couple of times and then reading it over and over to absorb the relevant facts was enough to secure 100/95% in the exams. (For me at least).

Don't be apprehensive about self study, it will all begin to click together the more of the books you read and digest, and even more so if you do it alongside practical flying.
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Old 29th Jul 2017, 20:39
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Don't rush your training. It is my experience that the training, PPL and IR are the most interesting parts of flying.
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Old 29th Jul 2017, 21:46
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There is really no point in getting a PPL unless you can enjoy the process before, during and after. Get the exams out of the way by getting stuck in as soon as possible. With a first class degree you will be capable of doing this with ease. Also make sure you you have a slush fund of a minimum of three or four lessons in case early slots come up or you need revision or remedial training. Fix any problems as soon as possible. Once you have a licence, make sure you use it wisely. Share a plane with someone and go somewhere interesting. Learn aeros, fly vintage; don't just knock an expensive hole in the sky.

PM
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Old 29th Jul 2017, 22:08
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I graduated university with a first class degree
The exams should be easy.

There is really no point in getting a PPL unless you can enjoy the process before, during and after
I didn't really enjoy training. I enjoy flying, and now have over 2,000 hours solo.

Go for the quickest PPL, which will be done with the best instructors, and be the cheapest, regardless of quoted price per hour.
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Old 2nd Aug 2017, 22:18
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You guys are amazing, thank you all SO much for all the tips and confidence boost!

I've managed to get hold of the books however they are my boss' old books and they are around 8 years old (just so I can have a flick through them and see what we're talking ahout), it does seem daunting when you look at it at first but you've all reassured me very well so I'm feeling more confident!

Based on all of your advice, I'm going to crack on with the books and just go with it!

Thank you all again for taking some time to clarify things for me, I'll definitely be taking the advice to move forward!

All the best!!!! 😊
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