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PPL Course in London - EFG or Stapleford?

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PPL Course in London - EFG or Stapleford?

Old 22nd Aug 2018, 10:45
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: London
Age: 26
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PPL Course in London - EFG or Stapleford?

Hi guys

I am new looking to embark on my journey to becoming a professional pilot and am currently researching where is best to complete my PPL in London, as I have decided to go down the modular route. I have read great reviews from both EFG Flying School at Biggin Hill, and of Stapleford, and would be looking to start full time training in October.

Can anybody who has any experience of either offer any advice to help me make my decision.

I am living in Bermondsey and so Biggin Hill would be slightly easier for me to get to, however Stapleford appears to be the more professional of the two organisations? Cost-wise seems quite similar, both have ~10% discounts when paying for the full 45 hours upfront (is this the smart way to do it or is it better to pay as you go?). What could I expect to pay in fuel surcharges over the 45 hours roughly?

Thanks in advance!
samdalton is offline  
Old 22nd Aug 2018, 14:59
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Join Date: Nov 2011
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I can only personally speak for Stapleford and I must say the instruction I received when doing any flying hours there were of a very high standard.
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Old 23rd Aug 2018, 08:34
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Join Date: Aug 1998
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Be careful with Biggin - back in March the airport gave all flying schools six months notice to move out. That means there is only one month left. Don't know if this has changed. You'll need to check this - unless anyone else on here knows and can post..
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Old 23rd Aug 2018, 16:40
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Thanks FlyingGreek, do you have an estimate of what any additional costs would be over the 45hours?
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Old 23rd Aug 2018, 16:42
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And thanks Groundloop, yes I saw that too, although according to their Facebook it seems that the decision had been reversed in July and they're staying at BH after all (I would send a link but I'm new on here so admin won't let me!)
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Old 24th Aug 2018, 06:14
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Join Date: Nov 2011
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Originally Posted by samdalton View Post
Thanks FlyingGreek, do you have an estimate of what any additional costs would be over the 45hours?

Depends on the aircraft you choose to fly in.

theres a price list in the link below

http://www.flysfc.com/pdfs/sfc-ppl-pilot-handout.pdf
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Old 24th Aug 2018, 11:33
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Join Date: Apr 2012
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There are quite a few options around London which the OP hasn't mentioned and as someone who's also thinking of doing a PPL in the SE, there's a few below I can think of. You don't necessrily need to do a PPL (and maybe modular too) or hours building at the flying school where you intend to do a CPL/ME/IR.

Also, how much have you flown so far? Do you know that you enjoy it/have the aptitude? Do you have the spare time to commit to ATPL theory? I'm looking at doing the PPL standalone first, effectively treating it as an enjoyability/aptitude/spare time test and then taking things from there if it works out.

Bear in mind some of the flying schools which teach the commercial syllabus will prioritise commercial students when it comes to instructor/aircraft availability, so as a PPL student this is something you may want to think about.

NWFT at North Weald seem to be very competitive on price and come across as more of a club than a school, so to speak. Just off the M25 or a taxi from Epping station on the Central Line.

I'd imagine Redhill wouldn't be too difficult for the OP to reach (Tube or Southern to London Bridge, then Thameslink for circa. 45 minutes.

Elstree probably has a similar journey time to Redhill but of course in the opposite direction.

White Waltham could be doable by Jubilee Line from Bermondsey to Baker Street, then Bakerloo to Paddington and a GWR fast service to Maidenhead (half an hour). Likewise, Booker from Marylebone is an option.

If you live outside of London, driving to the airfield is usually a no-brainer, however getting the train from London allows you time to relax and to think about the upcoming training whilst planning things out. The return journey can be a good time to mull things over, I definitely wouldn't rule out getting the train to the airfield and that opens up the choices a bit (I should add that I'm a bit biased because I get a hefty discount off walk-up rail travel). It also allows you to avoid the crazy drivers in/around London and their suicidal overtaking manoeuvres. Some of the airfields will require a taxi to reach from the station, some won't.

It also depends on how the OP plans their training, if you intend to stay at the airfield all day. For example, turn up, fly a trip of one hour or more, take a break then fly a second trip (and even possibly a third), then distance to the airfield is of course less of a problem than if you just intend to do an hour and go home.

Lastly, one thing that makes me scratch my head is the pricing disparity between flying clubs/schools, how can some charge 150/hour dual in a C152 and how come others charge 60 more? I happened to have a trial lesson at one of the latter schools and the aircraft was still fairly tired if you ask me.

Last edited by Chris the Robot; 24th Aug 2018 at 11:44.
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