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Training Venues

Old 15th Apr 2017, 14:15
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Training Venues

I am currently in the process of looking for a training school to place my 21-Year old son who wants to fulfill his dream as a Commercial Pilot. I am not in the aviation industry so am seeking advise from others. I have been told to avoid Florida training venues, the only way is Uk and Spanish schools, then I am told Florida is the place to train but do the EASA IR when returning to the Uk.
Florida appears to be far cheaper than Europe to train. Can anyone advise me of pro's and con's either way. All I want is the best for my son without being ripped off! Can anyone recommend any reputable training venues in either location.
Thank you in anticipation.
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Old 16th Apr 2017, 00:16
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Get him to book in a trial lesson at a local flying club if he hasn't done so already. If after that he decides that this is a career he really would like to peruse that hour can be logged as flight training.

The two main routes are integrated and modular. If this is something he's really interested in I'm sure he'll be aware of that, though.

As for flying in Florida? I have no idea really as I did/am doing my training here in the UK. I often hear people saying that it's beneficial training here as the weather is more challenging and the airspace more restrictive, congested and complex. Though, the good weather in Florida is obviously one of its selling points in terms of less time sat on the ground weathered in.

Training is cheaper over in the states but once you factor in return flights, accommodation, travel, living costs is it really worth it? I really don't know, it's something he'll have to bare in mind.

In the meantime get him to research as much as possible. This place is a good place to start. Get him to visit flying schools and speak to instructors, current students, former students, current pilots, anyone in the game really.
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Old 16th Apr 2017, 09:43
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There are numerous routes to take, but assuming you want value for money, you'll want to go modular.

For this the three most common routes are:

1 Modular in the UK. (Expensive, weather dependent)
2 Modular in the US all the way, then convert. (Lots of extra learning)
3 Get a PPL and hour-build in the US, then come back and do the serious bit in the UK. (My preferred route)

By far and away the biggest hurdle to getting a PPL in the UK is the weather - aircraft will be booked solid on flyable days so a PPL could take many months. Go to CA, FL or AZ however, and you won't have that problem. I flew 2-3 times a day when I did it and a PPL in 3-4 weeks is entirely possible. When you're​learning to fly, waiting is soul destroying!

When you learn in the US, you have two options: FAA or EASA PPL. It doesn't matter which one you get, as it is just a stepping stone. The sensible choice is definitely FAA (I know this because I did EASA!)
An FAA licence has 1 written exam, an Oral and a flight test (which has a few extra bits) whereas an EASA licence had 7 exams, (I think it's now 9) and a flight test.
Here is the important bit: an FAA PPL is issued on the spot, which means that hour building can be done with friends and family. Or Hooters girls. With EASA you have to send off to Gatwick to get your licence issued before you can fly, which means all of my hour building was done solo. Without Hooters girls. I'm a pilot, which means I've never grown up, so I can put myself in his position. I'm sure he'd rather fly twice a day than once a week! The other thing to consider is that 3 months in the US will be a great experience!
As for the CPL it should be done in EASA airspace, to get used to charts and Navigation, and the IR has to be done here anyway, so I'd suggest diamond flight academy (others are available) to get that lot done in 2 months. The only other thing I'd recommend​is to avoid "empty" hours and get as much Instrument and night hours as possible, and an FAA IR will help towards an EASA IR (my biggest regret was not getting one when I had the hours to burn) There are pros and cons to everything, so expect the next post to be the complete opposite!
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Old 16th Apr 2017, 23:25
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Expect me to advocate the opositie.
Drilling holes in the sky on a basic airplane is a waste.
Travel with your son to the USA and visit the schools on your short list.
Spending $4-$5k on selecting a school can save you 10's of thousands.
Find a school experienced with non-US students and I don't mean Chinese or Indian.
Explain to the school that your son will be there for PPL through CPL ME IR
Why is this important?
Because PPL training is not equal.
I would train a PPL student with recreational intent differently then a PPL student with professional intent.
When a student is proficient in steep turns at PPL level there is no reason why you can't add 5 degrees and get them proficient at CPL level already.
Some of the FAA required CPL maneuvers are perfectly suitable to be taught during PPL. Also more attention to checklist usage, call outs and things like radio navigation if you know the student will do their IR next.
For a 'recreational' PPL is would spend more emphasis on dead reckoning and pilotage and with a 'pro' student use more radio navigation during their PPL dual and solo and night cross countries.
Now you need a Chief Flight Instructor who understands how to do this.

Choose an airplane type for the PPL that will be used for the IR next.
Choose an IFR equipped airplane for the PPL.
You don't want to use the simplest cheapest aircraft for the PPL and then have to do the IR in an airplane in which they have no flight experience.
Yes the PPL will be a little more expensive but you save 1000's on the IR by using an airplane that they already have 45-50 hrs of flight experience in, know all the checks, power settings , equipment and such.
Otherswise you can easily add 10-15 hrs onto the IR.

PPL and IR under part 141 training as it allows you to do the IR right after the PPL.
CPL training under part 61 as this allows more flexibility.
Log EASA compliant from day one.
Do all the required time building on an IFR flight plan to gain IFR experience.
For a European student CPL SE then CPL ME.
This requires discipline but start studying for the EASA exams while still in the USA and plan taking the first 3 upon return to Europe.
Then complete and practical conversion.

Alternatively enroll in a combined Academic and conversion course, ideally using the same type of aircraft as used for previous training.
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Old 17th Apr 2017, 10:24
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Thank you for your response B2N2.
Is there a training school that you would personally recommend and is there an aeroplane type that you could recommend based on the information in your reply. I don't mind paying extra as long as I am getting it right for my son. I have zero knowledge or links to aviation which is a bit of a hurdle to me. Do you recommend USA training from start to finish?
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Old 17th Apr 2017, 12:45
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Has anyone had any experience or got any views on FTE IN Shoreham?
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Old 17th Apr 2017, 20:31
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B2N2 makes a good point - in the US there are two ways to get a licence, part 61 and part 141. Because part 141 is taught to a specific approved course, they can be done in fewer hours (35 for PPL I think) and the IR can be done sooner. Doing it all in the same aircraft is also a good point, but to be honest switching types of not a massive problem, and the is plenty of hour building to be done. Logging the EASA way is also a good point (In fact two logbooks would make life easier) If you intend to get CFI work in the states, this is a great plan. However, if the plan is to get an EASA CPL MEIR and work in Europe, it's a bad idea..

To get an EASA CPL requires 200 hours. To get an FAA CPL requires 250 hours, and you still have to convert it! To convert an FAA CPL to an EASA CPL would be 15 hours, and to convert an FAA IR to an EASA IR would be 15 hours, so you're looking at 280 hours total.
Basically the cheapest way would be FAA PPL, FAA IR, hour building, FAA multi (to finish with 170 hours, 100 PIC) then EASA MEIR & EASA CPL single: 200 total
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Old 17th Apr 2017, 20:42
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First step should always be get a class 1 medical (to make sure he's fit)

Then I'd recommend a 4 week trip to the states for a PPL (to make sure he likes it)

Then forget about flying for a while and start banging out exams.

Last edited by rudestuff; 17th Apr 2017 at 21:12.
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Old 18th Apr 2017, 11:31
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don't mean to sound mean, but at 21 your son should be doing his own research and figure out what's going to work for him.. I echo other posters in regards doing the medical first and taking a trial lesson at your local club. For everything else, really it depends on the budget and whether the plan is to combine studies with work or not. If you're going to pay for his tuition and support him financially, just send him to one of the EU integrated schools that actually have ties with the airlines. At the same time remember that these programmes are tough and if your son is not the brightest tool in the shed, they will drop him mid point or not take him on board at all.

If the budget doesn't cover the leading integrated schools or he's going to be working at least part time, go the modular route, do his PPL at the closest club to home possible. Then with a PPL sorted, whilst doing hour building/ATPLs he will get to know people, see what the latest trends are, where people are going to do their CPLs - at that stage he should be able to make an informed decision himself.

Personally I wouldn't bother with US -yes, maybe it works out cheaper in some cases, but the hassle with the paperwork and getting everything converted would be too much for me.. others might think differently..

anyway, Pilot Careers Live event is coming to London this weekend, why not pay a visit and see what the story is - https://www.pilotcareernews.com/live/
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Old 18th Apr 2017, 14:34
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Get him to book in a trial lesson at a local flying club if he hasn't done so already. If after that he decides that this is a career he really would like to peruse that hour can be logged as flight training.
I'd go further than that.

A PPL (Private Pilots Licence) is the first step on civil flying training. It's only expensive if you don't compare it to the cost of professional training. All of those hours count to the professional licences later - or it can just be a step to a lifelong hobby and passion.

No young man or woman really knows if they have the aptitude and enthusiasm for professional flying training. But, particularly if they embark on it with that in mind, by the end of the PPL - they will know.

I have some doubts however whether a 21 year old not doing their own research has the enthusiasm, but I may be misreading.

Also, I'd re-iterate, they should be getting a class 1 medical before anything else. Without that, all bets are off for larger professional aeroplane flying - although some other options such as microlight instructor or commercial balloon pilot remain, as do many fascinating non pilot jobs in aviation.
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Old 19th Apr 2017, 08:34
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Originally Posted by B2N2
Because PPL training is not equal.
I would train a PPL student with recreational intent differently then a PPL student with professional intent.
When a student is proficient in steep turns at PPL level there is no reason why you can't add 5 degrees and get them proficient at CPL level already.
Hi, just a quick question, when you say add 5, what degree of bank angle in total is this for a CPL as oppose to PPL?
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