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Hour Building (General & UK)

Old 22nd Jul 2001, 19:39
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Angry Hour Building (General & UK)

Just completed my PPL, 60 hours or so and now want to push on to 150 before looking to do a modular ATPL. Does anyone have any suggestions for how best to structure those hours? Perhaps someone's currently on an hour-building course with a recognised modular ATPL flying school and could let me know the syllabus they're working to. The schools that I've spoken to have been understandably secretive 'cos they want me to hour build with them. And their rates don't tend to be the cheapest around...


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Old 22nd Jul 2001, 21:47
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do all the night hours that you can and do long flights into europe remember the customs man will give you money to go abrord (about 50 for a PA28 with full tanks) the landing fees are cheaper in france as is the fuel ,also use the channel islands when you can for very cheap fuel.
If you can do a few air rallys it will sharpen up you navigation skills for the GFT and its good fun ,i can recomend the guernsey air rally as a good place to start it is held in mid september and i dont think you can beat it for a weekend of cheap flying fun .
The reason you need night hours is for the issue of the ATPL most people seem to be short of night hours come issue time so with a little forward planning you can avoid this pitfall.
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Old 24th Jul 2001, 01:51
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Was thinking of heading to Oz for 3 weeks or so if I can persuade my boss (also a PPL, very useful indeed) to let me have a teensy bit of unpaid leave to make it all worthwhile. Would I be advised to 'save' a few hours for night rating and IMC, or is it a case of 'hours is hours'. I don't intend flying up and down the coast; a few serious x-countries may be on the cards. Take it an Australian CASA night rating won't cut the mustard back home, but I guess night flying abroad would still be night flying. Any other suggestions? How to the flying schools structure their hours between PPL level and start of ATPL ground school?
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Old 6th Feb 2002, 16:26
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Question Structured hour building?

I understand this is/might be a requirement for the CPL. How is structured hour building defined and how does it differ from unstructured hours?


. .--'Baron
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Old 15th Jul 2004, 00:38
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Question Hour Building (General & UK)

I am considering purchasing a share in a complex single to complete the last 60 hours I require to be elegible for a CPL IR course.

Was just wondering if anyone knows the pitfalls of hour building this way? I can't see why more people don't do it! The hourly rate works out to be at least as cheap as going abroad and, cause you are at home you can take mates and "share costs"! That makes the hourly rate even cheaper! Plus you don't have the expense of transport and living costs abroad. All the hours you get are on a complex single, which is great, and you fly in the UK which must be beneficial. And finally, you have a plane at your disposal. This allows you to ligitimatly tell all the ladies at the bar that you own a plane!!! Good one!!

It all seems too good to be true so what am I missing?!?!?! There is usually something!!
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Old 15th Jul 2004, 00:57
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No expert by any stretch of the imagination but from reading other forums it would seem prudent to be careful what you're buying in to. To name but a few of the points I've picked up on:

Type of AC.

Cost per share.

Number of members.


Monthly fixed costs.

Hourly charge.

Number of aircraft hours flown per month.

Public or Private CofA.

Amount of money spent on maintenance over past couple of years.

I'm sure there are far more learned bods out there than me but this could be a bit of a taster.

Best Regards,

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Old 15th Jul 2004, 07:42
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I considered this but was put off by the possiblity of not being able to find a buyer for my share at the end.
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Old 15th Jul 2004, 10:32
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If its just the hours you're after, it is difficult to find anything cheaper than a PFA permit "group A" aeroplane. I am treasurer of a Jodel group flying on a PFA permit. The group has operated for about 20 years and I like to think our group is extremely well run. To give you some idea of costs; share price (1/6 share) 2500, monthly standing charge is 37, cost per hour (airborne, not brakes 0ff/On) 6 per hour plus you buy your own AVGAS and leave the aircraft full for the next flight.
There are several commercial pilots flying now ( including me), who built hours (used to need 700 hours) on this aircraft.


No electrics, so you have to swing the prop. This is more an imagined problem than a real problem.

PFA permit, so no IFR or night flights allowed.

Only 3 hour-to-dry-tanks range, and only 80 knot cruise, so route of a long trip is often determined by fuel availibility.

Like many interesting aircraft it is a taildragger, so you have to do some more learning.

I now fly for a living, but wouldn't have got my current job without all the tailwheel hours, the bulk of which I got on this aircraft.

Look around there are plenty of groups. Like everything in aviation, its still a financial risk, but compared to the cost of commercial training the risk is modest.
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Old 15th Jul 2004, 10:45
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I too looked into buying a share, and ummed and ahhhed for a while, and didn't do it.

The problem I have at my local club is that it is far too busy to get a plane in short notice, i.e. within a week. This means I either take an extended lunch, or just don't fly. It is more often the latter. Taking the plane for a weekend or for the whole day is just out of the question.

I did look into a share in a complex single, and once I delved into the costs, it started to look quite expensive. Wet hr was 80, and monthly costs were 300. Adding this all up meant that it was a false economy, I'd be needing to do an awful lot of hrs to make it cheaper.

The advantage was that the three other members in the group didn't really ever use the aircraft, and none of them had ever taken it away for a weekend. Something which I liked the sound of, so from a logistical point it was much better. I reckon the only reason I didn't do it was it would take about 90 mins in the car to get to the airfield.

Now this does sound expensive, and I've seen much cheaper options - an Arrow in North London and no joining fee etc, and there is a chap on this site with a couple of 152s in Oxford that look quite tempting - very cheap hrs. The only problem with these is the length of time is takes to get there in the car.
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Old 15th Jul 2004, 10:47
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Thanx 2close! Good advice! I have looked into most of those variables. Apparently 10 is about the right number of members for a share plane in order to get about 100 hours per year and keep the costs low. The cost per share equates to roughly what the plane is worth, bearing in mind I wanted to go for a complex single. The hourly charge is cheaper than going to America or South Africa for a similar aeroplane type. The monthly charge isn't too extreme at 70 per month. The group meets once every couple of months and the maintenance can be checked through the minutes taken from the meetings. Low hours on the engine and recently overhauled etc. Availability is good during the week which suits me and having looked at the internet booking system they use a number of people simply don't use it!!

The private C of A also allows me to do training with an instructor on my shared plane which is plenty cheaper than doing it on a school plane. Good for all those IMC and night ratings!

As you say Parris50, the only real gamble is being able to see it again but I've been reasonably reliably informed that 2 months will usually see off a share provided it is the right time of year (ealy to mid summer).

Still seems a good option at the moment!! Treading with caution thou!!! Any other considerations.
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Old 15th Jul 2004, 11:09
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I have a share in a small shipping company and we have been importing lots of aircraft from the USA thanks to the strong .

At the last count I think we have 12 aircraft on route with 4 arriving this the back of a lorry ! ! !

Most of these have been for PFA members and as a long standing member myself I would strongly recomend anyone with an interest in GA join them.

Have a look at dear old ebay in the USA for an idea of costs for a aircraft and if anyone is interested in exploring this option then you know where I am. then look under the motor section and other vehicles. Just looked myself and there are 162 aircraft of all types on there......

I'm like a kid in a sweet shop everytime I log into this part of ebay BE WARNED !

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Old 15th Jul 2004, 11:39
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you seem to be set on a complex type SEP,

if you are hour building I'm sure you realise that it doesn't matter what SEP the hours are completed on, a simple SEP will suffice and keep the cost down, most airline captains probably will not care or indeed be able to tell the diffference between a PA28-140 and a PA28R-201! However of it is what you want so be it!!

In my view buying a share for hour building is a good move - it worked for me, I was in a group of 16 and availability always very good - you will be surprised how many people own a share and never fly or only fly an hour a month! An internet booking system and clear booking rules maximise availability.

Also with regards to disposing of your share - a larger group and cheaper share worked here, it worked out that with the hours that I required to build - the discount over a flying club rate was greater than the initial cost of the share! So selling the share at the end just made the cost even cheaper.

Although be warned that you have to be prepared to stand a share in unexpected maintenance costs should they arise - it's worth checking that the aircraft has a good and long standing relationship with a good engineer.

Good luck and happy flying

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Old 15th Jul 2004, 13:04
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Thanx to everyone for all the hints and advice and experiences! It's all super helpful.

My reason for chosing a complex single is for the experience and preperation as I will be coing my CPL and IR in something with a wobbly prop and wheels that go up n down. I'm also keen to have the longer legs of a complex. It will make doing slightly more adventurous trips of decent lengths possible and hopefully put me in some testing scenarios and conditions. That might make an impression on the captain sitting next to me (if that far off day ever arrives!!!). Plus I can see my self heading down to the south of France or Italy or Spain and that just sounds like a lot of fun!!

No Sponsor! I think you can do better than the rates you mentioned. Have a look in the back of Flyer Magazine. There are plenty at 50 per hour wet and about 60 per month fixed cost. Amazingly cheap in my opinion and certainly worth a small gamble! By jove I think I'm gonna do it!! Just talked my self into it!!!! Or has anyone got a horror story!!
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Old 15th Jul 2004, 14:33
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I think the sole idea for a share was the fact you could take the aircraft to Portugal for a week and no-one else in the group would make sure the airctraft is what you want for the trips you plan on doing.

Make sure the group already has a substantial fund - e.g. 10K +, that it is well run, and has a set of legal rules for which you sign up to, including rules on how you sell your share. A well run group will have all these adminstrative things sorted out. Check the items that are due to be replaced, etc, and when the next C of A is etc; obviously the thing to do here is to avoid being faced with a huge cost of a replacement engine the day after you signed up. I was negotiating a opt out clause for the first 6 months, so that I was immune from some disaster.

The more complex the aircraft the more fussy the current members are on who joins. This can be driven by insurance, but many will request a PPL and IMC. Any increase in the insurance because of you will see you footing the bill for that increase.

Sounds like you want to do some extensive flying, so have a nice comfy aircraft, with a good set of avionics. The aircraft I was looking at (a Commander 114) had a recent overhaul of the avionics, which cost about 30K.

As for mentioning that you want to hour build, be aware that may make some people run a mile, and refuse to accept you.

Also, you will probably become a director in the company that owns the plane, so make sure you're not a bankrupt!!
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Old 26th Jul 2004, 19:00
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Cool Low Cost Hours Building

I am currently looking into buying upto 200 hours to increase my total and P1 time. Does anyone have any recommendations for cheap hours building anywhere in the world?

Recommendations and contact details would be gratefully appreciated.
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Old 26th Jul 2004, 21:30
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Buying 200 hours for experience....interesting.
Would guess it depends what you hope to achieve. I am assuming here you have a CPL/IR and are trying to be more employable.
Obviously cheapest hour building outwith buying a share is the US, South Africa, NZ etc. Get a 152 for 35 or thereabouts.
I would argue what will you gain from this. Probably not a lot and I can't see a future employer giving you a job on the back of drilling holes in the sky. Why not get an FI rating if it's more hours you want. You'll learn how to really fly a light a/c and potentially get many more hours for a much smaller outlay. And whilst it is argued instructing has little relevance to airline jobs it will be much better than burning up 7k on not much.

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Old 26th Jul 2004, 22:32
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You can rent a PA28 wet for 43 in Sweden which also includes landing fees at most Swedish airports.
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Old 28th Jul 2004, 01:22
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Hey Pacole,

Good schools in florida to build hours,

c-152 is 30 sterling a hour
c-172 is 41 sterling a hour
pa-28 is 41 sterling a hour
pa-28r is 50 sterling a hour
pa-34 is 70 sterling a hour

the prices are quite good for time building,hope this
helps you pacole.
PM me if you need any other advice.

safe flying all

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Old 29th Jul 2004, 07:48
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Try out Air Desert Pacific in LA. If you want to do a large amount of hours you won't find much cheaper. Great location. Check out for details.
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Old 4th Sep 2004, 22:16
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Hour building buddy

I am planning a trip to either S.Africa or the US to do some hour building and was looking for a buddy as flying aorund by ones self for 40 hrs+ gets boring. I was looking at November or Jan/Feb though I am open to suggestions.

Drop me line if your are intersted

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