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Denham, Wycombe or White Waltham for PPL?

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Denham, Wycombe or White Waltham for PPL?

Old 19th Feb 2019, 19:12
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 1998
Location: UK
Posts: 268
Denham, Wycombe or White Waltham for PPL?

Hi all,

My cousin who lives in London is looking to do a PPL. I've suggested a trial lesson at either Denham, Wycombe Air Park, or White Waltham with a view to continuing with the PPL. Any experiences / opinions with these 3 airfields would be really helpful. I've suggested going to look round all 3 but I might be able to rule one out with some research. I think it would be best to choose a school first as it would be best to do the PPL at the same place as the trial lesson. Denham is closest but also closest to London control zone and has a 700ft AAL circuit which means no over head joins or glide circuits etc. Landing fees also look higher but not sure if they apply to the school based there. I've always flown PA28 / PA38 privately and so have a bias towards Piper aircraft over Cessna 152 / 172, but they are more expensive. Any opinions on Cessna vs Piper also would be useful! It's been nearly 20 years since I did my flying training and 10 years since I flew a light aircraft so I'm sure there have been changes since then (and not just the increase in cost)! Cheers!
Propellerhead is offline  
Old 20th Feb 2019, 07:46
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 13,747
As it happens I know all three reasonably well.

All are good, all are a bit on the expensive side - presumably because of their relative closeness to London, all three have schools who look after their aeroplanes and employ good instructors.

But for me the best of a good bunch is White Waltham. It has the best choice of aircraft, and a social side which knocks the other two into a cocked hat - nice clubhouse, lots of syndicates, regular evening social events. Basically, everything is that bit better than the local competition.

PA28s and C172s are equivalently good aeroplanes and poor trainers that are very similar to fly. There's nothing to choose between them - it's the instructor that matters. The C152 is a bit better training aeroplane and available at Denham and Booker but not at WW. On the other hand Waltham has Super Cubs and T67 Fireflies available, which in my opinion are far superior as training aeroplanes than most other offerings, because they both force much higher standards of handling technique (but are also more expensive.)

PA38s are good training aircraft, but unpopular with schools nowadays because of longevity issues. But I don't think that any of them are using Tomahawks any more are they? Booker used to so I could be wrong.

Genghis the Engineer is offline  
Old 20th Feb 2019, 09:00
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Uxbridge
Posts: 655
We use PA28-181 (with 750 and G5), PA38 (with 650 and 660) and a 152 Aerobat at Elstree. All have mode S. Send me a PM if your interested Prop'head..............
MrAverage is offline  
Old 22nd Feb 2019, 19:52
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Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 1998
Location: UK
Posts: 268
Thanks guys thatís helpful. Think Elstree is on the wrong side of London but thanks.
Propellerhead is offline  

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