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Cranfield Flight School :(

Old 24th Nov 2013, 08:48
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: UK
Posts: 154
Cranfield Flight School :(

Yesterday had one of the most disgusting experiences with Crranfield School. After 8 weeks in row trying to rent an airplane, after doing my check ride with the school, 2 of them where cancel due "maintenance" (always on weekend... ? but ok).. and the other one by meteo (nothing to say about this). I reserved one for yesterday, and called during all week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday)

On the way to Cranfield, I called at 10:58 (as the rental was from 11:00 to 13:00, to let them now that we where 5 minutes away due traffic on M1 junction) and the person on the telephone, told me that airplane was given to someone as I wasn't the on time! Hey it's not yet 11! and that's why I' calling), after some argue by telephone the person told that ok he will hold it for me. My first surprise was that at 11:04 the airplane was not on the field, but maybe was on his way back or somewhere else), and after arriving on reception. the person was really un polite with me, yelling, he ask me for logbook and after checking he says I cannot fly because my flight was 48 days before, and on his words: THE LAW DOES NOT ALLOW YOU... after showing CAA and FAA documentation saying that this is not true (90 days, 3 TO and 3 Landings) he says well then it's our LAW.

Once again this was in a really bad manner, and I ask him if there's any document that I've signed where states so, and even it's true, that I have the feeling that he was just putting excuses as the airplane was gone, so I ask for a document where is stated so. In my expedient there was like 4 documents, all with my signature, but none of them says anything about it, and then he handle me a document where it says if you didn't fly for 28 days, then you are at discretion of FI, if it's more than 60 days then Checkride id required, although was not signed by me!!! After a chat with the Instructor who gave me the Checkride, I accept to do one circuit to be signed off again. Then pass the telephone to the person on the counter and

Surprise!!! reply: YOU ARE NOT FLYING BECAUSE I DON'T WANT OVER, and I don't need yo justify anything to you why.

What a big disappoint, after 3 weeks canceled, and traveling to Cranfield, get this reply and in this maner! I would understand if he would told me listen, we give it to someone, as we though you where not coming, I'm sorry for that.. or whatever, but not this way!

Now they lost a customer, as I was planning to do my CPL and ME with them.
spaflyer is offline  
Old 24th Nov 2013, 10:31
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Hoylake
Age: 46
Posts: 414
Its simple, vote with your feet and walk away, if you're hour building there will be plenty of aircraft to rent who dont have rules restricting you to half of what the 'law' does say (90 days)

Its a money making school imposed restriction, the school I used to hire from is 30 days! but a pa28 priavtely owned and kept in the same hangar is nearly half the price per hour and 90 days
Nearly There is offline  
Old 24th Nov 2013, 11:47
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Hotel Gypsy
Posts: 2,831
Currency limitations applied by schools are always a moot point. From a legislation perspective things are very clear - "90 day passenger rule". Personally, I have never seen any additional insurance stipulations although we have all heard stories of this excuse being used.

HOWEVER, I personally think that hirers need to look at this issue from the perspective of the owner. Taking the law to the extreme would you, as an owner, let someone borrow your aircraft having not flown any form of aircraft in the last 729 days (ie just short of two years)? I wouldn't.

If we accept that a line has to be drawn somewhere, in my experience I would offer that this line should be in the two-month territory. My argument behind this is that most hirers who are only flying on a once every 8 week basis are probably not high time individuals and they will suffer from skill fade. Of course there will be exceptions to the rules and there has to be a 'CFI's discretion' mechanism in the club/school rules; the basic rule has to cater for the lowest common denominator.

As for all the other nonsense - you are a customer, you feed Guy-Behind-The-Desk's kids and if he chooses to deal with you in such a manner he needs to understand that caviar is off tonight's menu.
Cows getting bigger is offline  
Old 24th Nov 2013, 12:01
  #4 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 233
This is very much like the sort of behaviours that caused me to take my business from CFS over the road to Bonus half a dozen years ago when I did my CPL. Twice in a row the instructor in my case didn't even bother to turn up for my scheduled lesson, so after the second and I was sat around for half an hour, I told them where to go and walked. Bonus had their problems as well, and are now out of business, but their level of professionallism was always head and shoulders above anything I saw from Coulson's Flying Circus.

I've no idea how good or bad your flying is, or what their rental and currency rules are these days - certainly planning to only turn up for the start of your rental slot, given the amount of preparation needed for a flight is seldom under half an hour, is very poor practice and I can't entirely blame them for letting somebody else take the aircraft.

But ultimately, you're the customer, and if they want your business, at the very least you expect some reasonable flexibility and a great deal of good manners. I've heard good things of CFS over the last couple of years, but if they've reverted back to "the bad old days" then frankly yes, walk and do your PPLing and eventual CPL elsewhere. Billins and Azure are both fairly reasonable for private flying at Cranfield, but for CPL you're out of luck unfortunately.
Pilotage is offline  
Old 24th Nov 2013, 13:35
  #5 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2,448
I understand that there are a couple of new CPL providers due to start operations at Cranfield in the coming months
BillieBob is offline  
Old 25th Nov 2013, 08:50
  #6 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: UK
Posts: 154
That's my main goal, find a place where to do my conversion/convalidation. Right now have 130 hours, (I got my FAA IR in April, and flown since then 10 hours over here in UK), due the bad weather and cancellations I've been unable to fly in the last 2 months. Although I understand that schools want to be sure their airplanes are safe, I'm talking that my last flight/checkride was with them, and one of their instructors, and get my IFR less than 7 months ago should be enough. Anyway the right way should just ask by telephone, hey in our records says that you didn't fly for X and our policy is X, instead of just waiting until I show up. However the point is that the aircraft was given to someone else, and they don't want to accept the situation. As I accept to do a circuit with an instructor to be current again, then is when the guy in the counter said: YOU ARE NOT FLYING BECAUSE I DON'T WANT, OVER, and I don't need to justify anything to you about why.

I also flown in Bonus before they shutdown operations some months ago, so now I'm a little bit lost about where to go, as I did my ground on Oxford Aviation, one option is to look for schools around Oxford, as it's just one hour away from Milton Keynes. If you have any recommendations let me know!

Last edited by spaflyer; 25th Nov 2013 at 09:06.
spaflyer is offline  
Old 25th Nov 2013, 08:57
  #7 (permalink)  

Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: White Waltham, Prestwick & Calgary
Age: 68
Posts: 3,826
How about Wycombe Air Centre?
paco is offline  
Old 25th Nov 2013, 09:42
  #8 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: edinburgh
Posts: 8
I've flown from the school. Have had no problems at all! Very friendly team, easy going. Seen So many students their. First time passes.
They must be doing well as they are expanding hugely and I hear they have many students coming in the following year.
Greg.M is offline  
Old 25th Nov 2013, 10:38
  #9 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 13,774
Now known as "Booker Aviation" - yes, that would be the first place I'd look that isn't EGTC.
Genghis the Engineer is offline  
Old 25th Nov 2013, 14:56
  #10 (permalink)  

Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: White Waltham, Prestwick & Calgary
Age: 68
Posts: 3,826
Shows my age
paco is offline  
Old 4th Dec 2013, 10:33
  #11 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: England
Posts: 877
Or Northampton Sywell, which is a third of the distance from Wycombe
tonker is offline  
Old 4th Dec 2013, 19:56
  #12 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Home Counties
Age: 56
Posts: 105
As harsh as this may sound if you cant take this sort of aggravation aviation is not for you Im afraid. CFS have a point they are a business and so many pilots only see the situation from their perspective. I have been an instructor examiner so have seen this situation many times. To turn up right on slot time will not work, there is a lot of prep for a flight, so as a duty instructor I may have thought you were not coming, and there is pressure to utilise the ac. Ringing 5 mins before doesn't cut it really. I once worked for a school that charged you if you were late, its just life Im afraid, with regard to the check flight they are correct as its the club rule, yes the law is 90 days but that isnt relevant at all at club level, learn the system from both sides and you will have a much happier time in this game.

Last edited by Aware; 5th Dec 2013 at 07:28.
Aware is offline  
Old 5th Dec 2013, 21:26
  #13 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Midlands
Posts: 326
Precisely Aware, my thoughts entirely. How anyone can expect to pitch up minutes before scheduled off-block time and expect to launch immediately is simply ridiculous. In reality, they've probably done him a favour for his own safety. Had the exact same situation happen a few times at my previous employer-ATO and late-arriving students simply lost their slots and did not fly that day. Funnily enough, they were never late again........

On another note, picking up on the post a few posts above.......does anyone know which ATOs might be setting up at EGTC??
Happy Wanderer is offline  
Old 6th Dec 2013, 05:49
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Hotel Gypsy
Posts: 2,831
Booker is certainly worth a look. They do seem to have a refreshing attitude.
Cows getting bigger is offline  

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