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PPL Training questions (UK)

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PPL Training questions (UK)

Old 11th Feb 2021, 22:30
  #21 (permalink)  
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I am confused here. My expectation is that if I pre book say 10 lessons to get a cheaper rate, then why would cancellations outside my control mean I might lose them? Weather is weather, maintenance of aircraft is not my fault. If I don't turn up, I'd expect to lose out, but is there something I'm missing about the way flight schools operate?


Yes, flying schools are run on very tight margins and often go bust. When that happens, usually the students don't see a penny of their money back. It is also not unknown for students, for whatever reasons of their own, to decide they're not happy and wish to switch schools - and then for the old school to refuse to refund any money already paid, regardless of whether that's been flown or not.

Don't pay up front any more money than you can afford to write off.

G
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Old 11th Feb 2021, 22:33
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Redhill is great to learn

I train at redhill Aviation i recommend them , great selection of cessna & piper aircrafts. Great airspace to learn being so close to Gatwick. At redhill there is also an AME where you can get your class 2 initial done, redhill is mainly grass but when runway is waterlogged they use the taxi way as a runway. Incase you didnt know EFG is now going to be based at Redhill
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Old 12th Feb 2021, 05:06
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I am confused here. My expectation is that if I pre book say 10 lessons to get a cheaper rate, then why would cancellations outside my control mean I might lose them? Weather is weather, maintenance of aircraft is not my fault. If I don't turn up, I'd expect to lose out, but is there something I'm missing about the way flight schools operate?
It's pretty standard advice on here...in the past the unwary have lost sizeable chunks of money paying for whole flying courses upfront only to see their money go up in smoke when said flying school goes busto...which has happened a lot!

That said, a financially aware person can mitigate this risk in a number of ways (and thus take advantage of block booking discounts).

Due diligence on the flying school (some have been around for decades and are perfectly financially sound)
Paying in small blocks and using them quickly.
Paying by credit card to to get Section 75 credit card cover (there are rules to be followed here and you need to check the detail of the payment processor to ensure coverage).
Advance Payment Protection insurance may be an option especially if you can pay for the lessons through a company.

If you can't be assed to do go through the nause of doing any/all of the above (and you're not rich ) then yeah, just pay cash as you go along.
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Old 12th Feb 2021, 12:04
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Originally Posted by Genghis the Engineer View Post

Yes, flying schools are run on very tight margins and often go bust. When that happens, usually the students don't see a penny of their money back. It is also not unknown for students, for whatever reasons of their own, to decide they're not happy and wish to switch schools - and then for the old school to refuse to refund any money already paid, regardless of whether that's been flown or not.

Don't pay up front any more money than you can afford to write off.

G
There is also a natural tendency for a flying school that is struggling financially to favour those students paying cash on the day and put off those who have paid in advance!

Can someone else give advice on making sure that a student has enough evidence of training hours/lessons completed at licence issue time by the CAA when/if the flying school has gone bust by then?
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Old 12th Feb 2021, 13:52
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1. Log book, each flight signed off by instructor. Not currently mandated, but I'm doing this now, anyway.
2. Make sure you see each entry recorded in your student notes, you should be signing them off. I discuss what I've written with each student, as part of the debrief.
3. Student notes SHOULD be forwarded to the CAA on cessation of trading by a DTO/ATO. Why wouldn't they do this? A student can't be in possession of their own notes.

TOO
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Old 12th Feb 2021, 18:44
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TOO wrote:

"Student notes SHOULD be forwarded to the CAA on cessation of trading by a DTO/ATO. Why wouldn't they do this? A student can't be in possession of their own notes."

I know they should but have heard of cases where they have not after a flying school has gone bust..

Good tip to get each training flight signed off by your instructor though.

I hope the thread starter does not get put off by all this because there are reliable flying schools about as others have mentioned. Despite this, I would still stick to TOO's original 3 golden rules:

1. Never pay up-front for flying training
2. Never pay up-front for flying training
3. Never pay up-front for flying training



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Old 26th Apr 2021, 14:14
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Hi everyone.

Just a couple of quickies (ooh er!)

Just wondering if anyone has any suggestions on additional questions to ask at the various schools I'm considering. Questions I've already decided to ask are:

1) Is flying limited in terms of hours (ie nothing before say 8am or after 7pm, only Wednesday to Sunday etc)
2) What books do you recommend. (Pooleys or AFE) Anecdotally it seems Pooleys is the preferred one.
3) What's your pass rate? And average hours
4) Is there any form of payment protection should the worst happen (I think this is less likely with Redhill Aviation or CubAir since they've seemingly been around a long time. Not sure how long Synergy @ Fairoaks have existed)



On a side note, I've seen suggestions of learning abroad (often in a more condensed time frame due to better weather probability) Hypothetically, if I could get 6-8 weeks semi-unpaid leave from my employer, ) is this even a good idea? (A few colleagues have gotten 6 weeks off to travel Australia and the Far East, so there is precedent) I cant speak any language to a fluent level (though I'm "get by level" in French and German) so worry about that inhibiting me. And that's before we even consider the post Brexit changes in going abroad to study.




Originally Posted by Peter Ahonsi View Post
I train at redhill Aviation i recommend them , great selection of cessna & piper aircrafts. Great airspace to learn being so close to Gatwick. At redhill there is also an AME where you can get your class 2 initial done, redhill is mainly grass but when runway is waterlogged they use the taxi way as a runway. Incase you didnt know EFG is now going to be based at Redhill
By chance I watched Redhill Aviation's YouTube videos recently. Certainly none of the other schools I've looked at have content like that. Which was a great advert for them since I hadn't considered them before.

RE: EFG I went past Biggin Hill a few weeks ago and there were no planes visible by their unit. Though the signage is still up. I had already discounted anyone at BH simply for the traffic issues.

Thanks everyone for the advice

Last edited by Plain1; 26th Apr 2021 at 14:30.
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Old 27th Apr 2021, 11:02
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I’m not going to bother cutting and pasting anything after that, but I would tend to disagree with the learn in a four seater and watch from the back as your pilot buddy learns advice. Yes it works well in commercial and instrument rating training, but relies on you and your flying buddy always being available at the same time for lessons. Also don’t forget the price differential. Where I instruct it costs an extra 45 per hour to fly a four seat aircraft as opposed to a two seat aircraft. If you sensibly budget for sixty hours training that’s an extra 2700, or 22.5 hours in the Cessna 152. Your not going to save that time watching someone else fly. Train in the two seater, and then do at most a couple of hours in a four seater once you e got your licence, if you want to carry more weight.

Also, if you’re sure you are only ever going to fly privately think seriously about microlights. With the new 600kg weight limits coming in modern three axis microlights are as capable for VFR flying as a Cessna 152/ Tomahawk / piper cub etc, and the exams and syllabus is a lot simpler and the licence will be cheaper to obtain.

Last edited by excrab; 27th Apr 2021 at 15:31.
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Old 27th Apr 2021, 12:28
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Plain 1 to answer your specific question in post #27.
Check the licensed hours of the airfield as training will need to be done in these hours. I started at Blackbushe in early spring, but once the light evenings came along I realised I could not make use of them due to limited licensed hours. I ended up going to White Waltham to complete my training and took advantage of lower weekday rates.

With reference to the hours needed, as mentioned by other posters, it can vary greatly, but I am no ace pilot and managed to pass in 47 hours. A lot will depend on your relationship with your instructor. I got along really well with mine, and I’m sure it helped me enormously.
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Old 27th Apr 2021, 17:31
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I don't agree with some of the concepts presented in the earlier posts. As said just above, training with someone in the back seat is not always a good idea, and a not so good idea for basic flight training. I'm not saying not to flay a four seat plane, but if you do, leave the back seats empty. A new student pilot does not need the distraction of someone in the back. Focus on what you're doing, minimize distractions as much as possible. Anyone on board is a distraction. For dual instruction, an instructor is a necessary distraction.

As much as possible, mix "in airplane" time with book study. It is unwise to attempt to get most of the way through book study and ground school without some time in the plane. Even time spent sitting in the plane on a poor weather day has benefit. If you memorize the books, you may have to unlearn some of what you thought you knew from the books, when you get in the plane - "Oh, it's like that!....". As much as practical, mix it up, that will show you that you cannot be fully prepared to fly from reading the books only. Some hands and feet, and developing muscle memory is necessary, and for a GA type plane, that only comes from sitting in it. Many of us learned to fly entirely in the aircraft, with ground school being a fill in the blanks activity to assure passing the exams. Sit in as many airplanes as you can, and make an effort to understand every control and instrument. Understand similarities, and differences.

Yes, your instructor is probably underpaid! That is something you can affect! Pay your instructor for their time! Do not expect to have a half hour of their time after a flight at their personal, nor the school's expense. Willingly pay for ground briefings before and after the flight. Willingly pay for a little extra flying here and there when you need to build certain skills.

With the information age, there is a vast amount of information placed where student pilot's will find it. Some of it has value. But, remind yourself that information typed onto the internet is low cost, so more voluminous (because of low cost to create) and less valuable when it applies to actual hands on aircraft handling skill building. Watching Youtube, flying computer flight simulators and reading about flying can provide only a small amount of what a student needs to learn about basic airplane handling. Yes, rules of the air, weather, navigation and some systems can be taught out of the plane, but handling learning it is best done in the plane.
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Old 27th Apr 2021, 19:12
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Hi PL,
That's a fantastic job you did there distilling all the info from previous posts.

However,
Make sure each flight is recorded in your student record folder held by your school. Get a copy of each sheet of your student record folder, even if it just a photo, but better to have a scan or a photocopy. If the company goes bust, this is all you will have for your money. Remember that you have a right to have a copy of your record folder and that you can take them and your business to another school without asking for permission.
here in the UK we're still working on the basis that the school retains student records and if you wish to change then copies will be sent to your new operator. I'm still waiting for a definitive answer to this one in writing. Recently, I've sent on copy records to another school for someone who has moved on and we're getting records for another person who has moved to us.
Anyone got anything in writing from the UK CAA?

TOO
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