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Smart Aviation in Poznan, Poland - Visit

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Smart Aviation in Poznan, Poland - Visit

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Old 11th Jul 2018, 20:11
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Newmarket, UK
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Smart Aviation in Poznan, Poland - Visit

Hi All,

I just visited Smart Aviation in Poznan and I would like to share my experience with you all. It may save you trip down here and may be it will encourage you come over and speak to the staff in more detail.

Location, GA building of Poznan Lawica airport, can be mistaken with Cirrus Training Centre (snirfff) but follow the signs and you will get there. Poznan Lawica is an international airport and you will be mixed with big jets, turbo props and GA. I think a great place to train to get familiar with controlled environment.

I have emailed the school one week in advance asking for the best day and time to come and speak to staff and see the facilities. I also asked in my email if I could book a trial flight with one of their instructors (doesn’t matter how long either 30-45-60mins, so I can make myself familiar with airport procedures, speak to instructor, fly their planes and initiate my flying within Polish airspace, which I haven’t done before).

I received confirmation to my email saying: Please come Wednesday 3:00pm, 11th July. I confirmed replying, yes sir I will be there.

I arrived good 15 mins earlier. Staff wasn’t aware I was vising, and the school owner, whom I had emailed before, wasn’t available either, he was away flying (with students presumably). A little bit disappointed I asked when someone could give me a tour (wasn’t hoping to fly at this point, it was raining heavily anyway). I was asked to return in 45min, which I did. Still waiting for another 20mins outside the office could hear all the banter and gossip between staff but still no invite to get up and go (hopefully lunch break). Okey, I am patient type, just made lady aware I was here again waiting and someone was with me within next 5mins. Sadly, it wasn’t the owner, or an instructor, but a pilot doing trial flights with keen customers.

I was shown around briefing rooms (good standard), classroom (very good standard with lovely view onto the apron and approach path), then meeting room in the tower (very cool room again with staggering views). The person showing me around (Jan, high five if you are reading this) was very informed on the subject of CPL ME IR in the school, as he’s done it himself there. Then we ventured off to the sim, which was in use at the time. Generic sim, but everything you need for your ME IR and for MCC too! (unless you prefer to do it on 737 or A320 then this one is no good).

When we came back to the office (it was being locked up for the day, approx. 5pm) I confessed that I had enquired about going up in their fleet but I not received confirmation of that. The person who was showing me around had a task to transport one of their planes for maintenance to another airfield near Poznan (Kobylnice) and said I could come with him on a basis of a trial flight, but… need to pay ‘experience flight’ fee of 615 zl (120, 140 euros?) for 30min flight. I felt a bit disappointed since GoldWings Academy in Warsaw offered to take me up for free (!). It’s a lot of money for 30mins flight when I am potentially looking to spend 15k with the school. Okey, I will not extend this rant as I am still to contact the school and ask for refund should I join the course, or to give me 1h rental free etc. I am not bargain hunter in a bad way, but it’s great to offer someone the taste of the product before they commit big time (either free or at discounted rate). It wouldn’t cost them anything extra to take on the scheduled maintenance flight anyway. But hey, aviation…

Jan amended his flight plan for 2 POB I was given high vis and headset and we ventured off to the apron. GA security was quick and pleasant but serious with black latex gloves involved, high five to the security lady! The plane was just not even 1 minute away walk from the security gate.

At this point it was still raining and vis was approx. 5k and we were going VFR. Quick plane checks and we were at the holding point within few minutes. Let it be opposite wind we would need to backtrack or taxi a very long way (2.5km?). Runway all wet and steaming windows, we took off. It was my first time in Tecnam 2002 and apart little space for legs sideways it is a very nice plane, all glass garmins – everything super modern, something you want to train on, if you are going commercial really. The plane was off quickly with 2 POB (both 6ft and I am 220lbs) with 50% fuel. We went out the East towards Kobylnica Airfield and then bit North for some general handling, so I had opportunity to carry out 2 x 360deg turns LH RH, 2 x 360deg advanced turns LH RH then 1 x descending 180deg (20 euros per tun, lol).

And we landed in Kobylnica on grass runway, parked the plane at maintenance guys and took Uber back to Poznan Lawica. This has given us time to talk a bit more about Jan’s careers goals, his training so far and outlook for a nice flying job. This was very positive and Jan was an very open and honest person, which I really appreciated. I wish him every luck in getting his RYR dream job.

To conclude. Smart Aviation looks certainly as a professional training operator. I cannot judge them wrong on the basis of my one off experience and I could damage their reputation wrongly. Bad on you Smart Aviation that you didn’t really make me feel welcomed and it did cost me money to come and see you and further money to do 6 turns in your T2002. But… Good on you that you have really impressive fleet of trainers, very nice people working for you, great modern SIM and very dedicated instructors from what I was told (nearly all professional captains).

What is encouraging is that Jan (who shown me around and flown with me) did his training there and with fairly low hours he had already been to some airline assessments incl. Ryanair (being trained at Smart Aviation, incl. MCC and JO). In the end this is what we all want.

I will seriously consider joining them for my CPL ME IR this winter as I did like their centre and Poznan is a great place to be. I have list of questions which I would like to be answered, but need to email them for a competent person to look at. I will post in this thread when answers come back.

Oh, and yes you can do some hour building there too and I am not aware at this stage of a lengthy waiting lists to join their programmes.

You can visit their good webiste, to check their fleet and prices here: http://www.smartaviation.eu/en/

I hope this helps someone.

PS

I have also visited Bartolini Air last year and their approach was very straight forward, I booked date and time and was welcomed by Michal on the day, shown around, questions answered – but I didn’t not ask for trial flight, so I cannot comment if this would be free or not. Bartolini’s HQ looks more modern and better organised on the surface of it. On the down side, they are bit more money and the killer is loooong waiting lists.


SP-CUG Cockpit



Jan doing pre-start up checks on SP-CUG


SP-CUG - landed in Kobylnica (Airfield East of Lawica) (very impressive workshop too!)


As you enter the centre. Don't be mislead by this poor light photo, both briefing rooms and class room certainly exceed standards known from here in the UK.

Last edited by JakubEGSC; 16th Jul 2018 at 21:20.
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Old 12th Jul 2018, 10:33
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Join Date: May 2018
Location: Flugplatz
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Hi JakubEGSC! Thank you for the amazing report! I am also looking for a school in CZ or PL right now where I can do the CPL ME-IR and among other schools, I visited Smart Aero (not Smart Aviation) at the Modlin Airport near Warsaw. Modlin is the Warsaw airport which is used by Ryanair.

One of their student pilots also works as an administration/sales guy there and he was waiting for me when I arrived at the airport. There was also an airport security control and a car took me from the security control to the school's hangar. Their facilities and hangar were clean and large, their airplanes looked fine and the person who showed me around was friendly and knowledgeable. For the IR training, they use the simulator of another Warsaw school. According to them, Smart Aero has a few instructors who are also airline pilots, but I do not have a clue about how many or how good or bad they are. All in all I liked what I saw there, but unfortunately I did not ask to fly with one of their instructors. I might visit them again and do that at a later point. Do you already have a favourite school in Poland? Has anyone visited any of the schools in Mielec?

Last edited by flugas; 12th Jul 2018 at 12:44.
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Old 12th Jul 2018, 19:39
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Join Date: Jun 2016
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Hi flugas,

I did my CPL/IR/ME training in Mielec (school ZUA, also called PZL Warszawa-Okecie) and it went well. If interested, just contact them by mail and ask if they have planes/FIs available for dates that are convenient to you, they listen very well to student's needs (and you can ask for an intensive or, on the contrary, a relax training). Be aware, if you wish to make some economy and to do a part of your IR training on a sim, it is not difficult to schedule but simulators are located in other schools (in Warsaw or either Watorowo near Torun) so it requires some relocations but it was fun for me
There is a second school in Mielec, Royal Star Aero but I know almost nothing about it.
An advantage is that there is no such complicated security check on the entry gate as I saw in Modlin but the aerodrome is anyway open all year round with snow removal thanks to PZL aircraft factory.
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Old 13th Jul 2018, 13:42
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Thank you RomanK! I contacted ZUA and Royal Star a few weeks ago, both schools were responsive and have good rates. Regarding Royal Star Aero, I heard from a Polish acquaintance who works in the aviation industry that this is "a known school in Poland", but what I found about them on PPRuNe did not convince me. I want to visit both schools in the next few weeks and will then let you know how it went.
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Old 14th Jul 2018, 10:19
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I would like to highly apologise Jakub that I was not able to meet on time. Indeed, I was flying at that time with IR student. I am glad that Jan has shown you a school. Jan as our former student is well informed about training offer so no doubt you've received very detailed information regarding our school. To conclude all benefits we have 9 airplanes in our fleet including 2 twins. Our newest twin is brand new airplane equipped with Garmin G1000 NXi. Besides all modern airplanes with glass cockpit we have also newest Alsim ALX simulator certified for IR/ME and MCC. We are also offering accommodation at the school.

Mateusz Dzialynski
CEO/CFI ATO Smart Aviation
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Old 16th Jul 2018, 14:44
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Join Date: Mar 2018
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Hi,

Thank you for this very informative post.

I am thinking about doing the 0-ATPL with them however it seems very hard to get replies from the guys in the office they must be very busy.

Did you ask about landing fees in Pozan? Are they included in the price?

thanks,

nord
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Old 16th Jul 2018, 21:15
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Originally Posted by Pilot1981 View Post
I would like to highly apologise Jakub that I was not able to meet on time. Indeed, I was flying at that time with IR student. I am glad that Jan has shown you a school. Jan as our former student is well informed about training offer so no doubt you've received very detailed information regarding our school. To conclude all benefits we have 9 airplanes in our fleet including 2 twins. Our newest twin is brand new airplane equipped with Garmin G1000 NXi. Besides all modern airplanes with glass cockpit we have also newest Alsim ALX simulator certified for IR/ME and MCC. We are also offering accommodation at the school.

Mateusz Dzialynski
CEO/CFI ATO Smart Aviation
Hello Mateusz,

Thanks for you reply in this post, much appreciated. I am a bit gutted that I missed you in the office but I may schedule to come back and allocate more time in Poznan so have some time contingency.

I am really impressed with your training centre and I will send some of my fellow students your way too.

I can only confirm that checking out your impressive fleet and sim was great experience. And the view of them lined up on the apron (due to weather) I can only compare it to visiting FTE Jerez in Spain :-) .

Speak to you soon.

J
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Old 16th Jul 2018, 21:25
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Originally Posted by nord121 View Post
Hi,

Thank you for this very informative post.

I am thinking about doing the 0-ATPL with them however it seems very hard to get replies from the guys in the office they must be very busy.

Did you ask about landing fees in Pozan? Are they included in the price?

thanks,

nord

Hi Nord,

I hope you are ok.

No, I haven't asked questions yet, but I will and I will post in the thread. Probably won't be quick as I am aware they are really busy operation.

J
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 20:22
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Join Date: Jan 2012
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Originally Posted by JakubEGSC View Post
Hi Nord,

I hope you are ok.

No, I haven't asked questions yet, but I will and I will post in the thread. Probably won't be quick as I am aware they are really busy operation.

J
Indeed, we are very busy because lots o students want to start their training asap. We really do our best but to be honest we haven't suspected to have so many inquiries. Last year we purchased 4 new airplanes. We are planning to order 3 more at the end of the year to have them ready for our students in new season 2019.

Landing fees are not included. However to compare with other schools located at international airports Poznan seems to be very attractive:
- 7,5 EUR full stop
- 2,5 EUR touch and go

Best regards my friends :-)
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Old 18th Jul 2018, 13:17
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Join Date: Aug 2013
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You should avoid GoldWings Academy. There is some bad comments on google map (written in Polish) and this thread "watch out for Goldwings Flight Academy from Poland"
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Old 18th Jul 2018, 13:22
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Originally Posted by dragoon17c View Post
You should avoid GoldWings Academy. There is some bad comments on google map (written in Polish) and this thread "watch out for Goldwings Flight Academy from Poland"
Hi,

I have visited them too and I will write my report soon. I wouldn't base my decision based solely on google reviews.

The training market is booming (trying to catch up with industry demands) and there is a lot of room for multiple professional training centres in one's country market.

Jakub
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Old 18th Jul 2018, 16:53
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Silly question -- why consider these schools instead of Bartolini?
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Old 19th Jul 2018, 10:15
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Originally Posted by Nurse2Pilot View Post
Silly question -- why consider these schools instead of Bartolini?
Hi,

There are no silly questions.

I am doing my ATPL theory now with Bartolini. Bartolini wouldnt reserve me slot for CPL ME IR course until I passed my ATPL exams, then it is a long waiting list. Other schools can take me on as soon as I am ready, and Gold Wings offered to start training while I go through my ATPL exams. With job market as it is at the moment there isn't true advantage of Bartolini over other schools. SmartAviation has vast fleet of glass cockpit Tecnams too and are cheaper = 11,000[+ exam fees, landing fees] vs 17,500 (19,500euros) at Bartolini.

Everyone circumstances are different and everybody should make decisions depending on those. My budget is super-tight and I want to get all my certification at lowest cost possible (creating me no debt), still with chances of being invited to interviews. I will probably be more relaxed when choosing MCC&JOT.

Bartolini are great and they were my first choice, but with lack of spaces for what I want to do I will be happy to train elsewhere. I believe we are in a unique moment in training market in Poland and we are able to take advantage of it and get all certification for a fraction of cost. This is will not last forever and as ATO grow prices will go up. I am taking the punt and making my move now.

That's my approach - and it will not work for everyone (give it strategically or financially).
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Old 19th Jul 2018, 15:49
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That's weird. I reserved my CPL-ME-IR slot while during the brush-up days at Bartolini Air. I would start sitting my ATPL exams two months after that.

They probably had too many cancellations due to people not passing their ATPL exams in the time frame they expected but I reckon that in the long term it might hinder Bartolini Air. Whatever, I am sure they know what they are doing.
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Old 19th Jul 2018, 15:53
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Hey BananaJoe

I am going there in Sept for 2 weeks classes so many things will clear up.

I would be tempted to stick to my original plan to stay with them, but now having visited other ATOs seen their fleet and professionalism, and if I could save money and put it towards MCC and JOT... make me wonder you know.

J
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Old 19th Jul 2018, 16:32
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The most amazing part of this thread is that you managed to get a response from them. I've been trying for weeks. Terrible

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Old 19th Jul 2018, 17:54
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Originally Posted by Hawker400 View Post
The most amazing part of this thread is that you managed to get a response from them. I've been trying for weeks. Terrible

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Who from Hawker?
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Old 19th Jul 2018, 17:57
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I found the following:

Smart Aviation - Poznan Mr Mateusz Dzialynski - quick and sharp responses

Gold Wings - go via facebook reply in minutes

Bartolini - well... haha it may take some time and few emails for someone to get back to you. Phone call probably is the best.
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Old 19th Jul 2018, 19:37
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That makes perfect sense, Jakub, thanks for explaining your side.

I assume you did your PPL with Bartolini as well? Or just ATPL theory?
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Old 20th Jul 2018, 08:45
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Originally Posted by Nurse2Pilot View Post
That makes perfect sense, Jakub, thanks for explaining your side.

I assume you did your PPL with Bartolini as well? Or just ATPL theory?

Morning,

I did my PPL in the UK via the most long-winded route possible:

- NPPL (Microlights 3 axis) 29hrs traning
- SSEA (Simple Single Engine Aircraft) Endorsement circa 6hrs training giving me NPPL (A)
- NPPL (A) Conversion to Easa LAPL (A)
- Easa LAPL (A) Conversion to PPL
- Hours building in Spain (Fly in Spain, Jerez)
- ATPL Theory with Bartolini

I've passed feew GSTs in my life already, lol. I recommend this route if you have time. Training is quick but CAA paperwork takes AGES! You get to fly different types of planes too. Reason - I had only dribbles of money at a time. If I had money and got to choose again I would have gone straight for PPL(A) and do it in 4-5 weeks in Spain (recommend Fly in Spain, Jerez,- what an adventure!)

Last edited by JakubEGSC; 20th Jul 2018 at 09:11.
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