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PPL self-fly hire at Biggin Hill/Blackbushe

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PPL self-fly hire at Biggin Hill/Blackbushe

Old 28th Apr 2021, 19:32
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PPL self-fly hire at Biggin Hill/Blackbushe

Hello!

I've been flying post-PPL for a number of years at EGGP, but recently relocated to the South East for work reasons. I've never lived here before, and haven't really flown here from EGGP, either.

As restrictions begin to ease, I'm looking for somewhere to fly from. Both Blackbushe and Biggin Hill seem to work for me - I was wondering if anyone has any recommendations for flying groups/clubs/schools etc to hire an SEP airplane from at these airfields?

One thing that has really struck me about this part of the country is that flying seems to be considerably more expensive than I am used to - hourly rates for the places I've been able to look up myself always seem to hover around £30-40 more, per wet hour, than what I'd be paying for similar types back up North. I guess gone are the days of the post-PPL 'honeymoon' period where I had access to well-equipped aircraft at bases with commercial-level facilities at reasonable cost (as well as affordable rent and living costs... )!

Any advice gladly received!

CS.
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Old 28th Apr 2021, 22:05
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Join Date: Sep 2015
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Hello mate,

Firstly, welcome to the Beautiful South!
I was in a position similar to yourself recently, just wanting cheap flying and after visiting several flying clubs and getting their rates, then analysing on an excel spreadsheet (yeah I know, sad!) I found Blackbushe Aviation with their Gold club membership by far the best value option, provided you fly a couple of hours a month on average over the year. Add to that the great facilities at EGLK and the fact itís a friendly light a/c-positive airfield (vs Biggin that are becoming more and more focussed on Biz-jet traffic) and IMO itís a winner. Drop in when the new cafe is open (in the next week or two) and take a look for yourself.
Happy flying wherever you end up!
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Old 29th Apr 2021, 07:20
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Roughly where are you based?
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Old 29th Apr 2021, 08:58
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Join Date: May 2011
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Originally Posted by MrAverage View Post
Roughly where are you based?
Hmm, Yes. The Bushe and Biggin are 50 miles apart. Your location would help us help you.
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Old 29th Apr 2021, 15:19
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Originally Posted by AirUK View Post
Hello mate,

Firstly, welcome to the Beautiful South!
I was in a position similar to yourself recently, just wanting cheap flying and after visiting several flying clubs and getting their rates, then analysing on an excel spreadsheet (yeah I know, sad!) I found Blackbushe Aviation with their Gold club membership by far the best value option, provided you fly a couple of hours a month on average over the year. Add to that the great facilities at EGLK and the fact it’s a friendly light a/c-positive airfield (vs Biggin that are becoming more and more focussed on Biz-jet traffic) and IMO it’s a winner. Drop in when the new cafe is open (in the next week or two) and take a look for yourself.
Happy flying wherever you end up!
Thank you!

And Blackbushe Aviation is actually one of the outfits I've managed to find - will definitely bear what you said in mind.


Originally Posted by Grelly View Post
Hmm, Yes. The Bushe and Biggin are 50 miles apart. Your location would help us help you.
I'm actually based quite near Heathrow - so Blackbushe is certainly closer. However, I figured there may be utility in the long-term in flying from somewhere that more closely resembles Liverpool in terms of facilities (e.g. the ILS, ATC, 24/7 ops etc) that I've become used to having access to. Biggin Hill seems to be the closest match in that regard - distance travelled to get there wouldn't be a massive issue. However, if I can't find an affordable outfit, I guess it's off the table.

I'm aware there are other alternatives, too, but some of these are grass-only runways and my experience at EGCB has been that it's a hassle for maintaining currency due to the number of otherwise good-weather days where I can't actually fly because of surface conditions.
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Old 29th Apr 2021, 21:38
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Join Date: May 2011
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Denham? Elstree? Wycombe Airpark?

I don't know the airfields that side of London, so can't advise. Being near Heathrow does inevitably mean you are going to have to travel some distance to a GA airfield.

Have you found the UKGA website? It has an interactive map of the UKs main airfields. You may need to sign up to get access.

Good luck.
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Old 30th Apr 2021, 14:44
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I'm actually based quite near Heathrow
White Waltham is not that far via the M4, Fairoaks is also reasonably close.
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Old 30th Apr 2021, 16:49
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Thank you, both!

I did look up Wycombe Airpark but note that it is an all-grass airfield. I've got some names of places at Elstree and Denham that I'll get in touch with over the weekend, though.

RE Fairoaks - this looks like an ideal place but I have only been able to find one outfit there - Fairoaks Flight Centre - and they do seem extremely expensive. I don't know if it's something I will need to get used to living here, but £200/hr for a PA28 is a big jump from the £130/£140 I'd pay at EGGP (which I'd have thought is a much more expensive base)! Does anyone know of any alternatives?
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Old 30th Apr 2021, 18:05
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Does anyone know of any alternatives?
You might try the London Transport Flying Club at Fairoaks - LTFC About
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Old 30th Apr 2021, 21:24
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Wycombe Airpark has a 720m hard runway 06-24. Did you mistype and mean White Waltham?
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Old 1st May 2021, 01:47
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Originally Posted by Saab Dastard View Post
You might try the London Transport Flying Club at Fairoaks - LTFC About
Will do, thanks!

Originally Posted by Grelly View Post
Wycombe Airpark has a 720m hard runway 06-24. Did you mistype and mean White Waltham?
That's exactly right - thanks for pointing it out! Looks like Booker Aviation could be a good bet?
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Old 4th May 2021, 15:07
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If you're still considering Blackbushe, take a look at Blackbushe Flying Group

Most of the fleet of 20-odd aircraft are based there, some very smart aircraft.
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Old 9th May 2021, 23:26
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Originally Posted by Wycombe View Post
If you're still considering Blackbushe, take a look at Blackbushe Flying Group

Most of the fleet of 20-odd aircraft are based there, some very smart aircraft.
That's really helpful; I wouldn't have known about this, otherwise - thank you! Looks exactly like the kind of thing that would suit me.
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