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-   -   Hour Building USA - (Master thread) (https://www.pprune.org/professional-pilot-training-includes-ground-studies/526027-hour-building-usa-master-thread.html)

weedman1990 21st Oct 2013 21:01

Hour Building USA - (Master thread)
Hi there,

I currently have a UK JAR PPL (19 PIC hours) and have just taken the final amount of ATPL theory examinations which i studied with Bristol Ground School. I want to do the remaining hours abroad and gain experience flying elsewhere and then come back to the UK and do my CPL/ME/IR.

I've been reading a number of threads about hour building and i cant get my mind on where to go and who to go with. I've listed below a few of my specifications.

1) I want to go somewhere with good weather for instance USA or Europe. I've noticed that a lot of you have said Phoenix, AZ.

2) It has to be cheap.

3) Has to have nearby Accommodation which is reachable within a 10 - 15 min walking distance or even better, onsite (I haven't passed my driving test yet :O).

4) What procedures (e.g. forms to fill in) do i have to do to be able to go to a particular country and do my hour building.

5) Be able to have good availability of aircraft.

6) Possible to finish hour building withing 4 - 8 weeks max.

7) Would there be a instructor available on hand if needed.

Would be grateful for the help.


skyfox2 21st Oct 2013 23:03

Why not see Florida flyers school?.i ll be there in decembermore or less

Morris542 22nd Oct 2013 07:58

It has to be cheap.
That made me laugh, isn't the first thing you learn about flying is that it isn't cheap!

I'm at the end of my hour building phase and I bought a share in an aircraft at my local airfield. Good availability, weather was good enough during the summer and having it local allowed me to carry on studying for ATPLs and working to build up the money. Not cheap but certainly less expensive than some methods.

Also having an aircraft in the UK has been useful as I've been able to take friends for flights, so they've paid for they're share of the cost, effectively halving my hourly rate on some flights!

OhNoCB 22nd Oct 2013 12:42

I didn't go there in the end due to getting a good deal in Europe for hour building, but I had brief correspondence with Chandler Air Service (I think that's correct) in AZ and they seemed to be well priced and good folk.

G-F0RC3 22nd Oct 2013 13:44

I think it's fantastic that you've got a PPL but not a driving license! :p I wonder how many people fall into that category? :)

grafity 22nd Oct 2013 14:40

I'd highly recommend Chandler Air Service, but you need a rental car. The public transport in the states is crap.

Pilots Paradise | USA Flying Holidays
Maybe this is an option, I know of 1 guy from my ATPLs that went there. I haven't really talked to him about it, but it might be something to look at yourself.
Park your plane outside the accommodation, you can't ask for much more than that. :)

Other than that, as has been mentioned, look into your options at home as well. If you have friends and family will to share a bit of the cost it might be surprising how cheap it would cost you overall.

Genghis the Engineer 22nd Oct 2013 14:57

I've flown out of Palm Springs, CA a few times. There are several rental outfits there - the town itself is a nice spot to be and has a choice of variously prices places to stay. Everything's close enough together that you can either walk, or just use a short cheap taxi ride. All the FBOs there seem to look after their aeroplanes well, always have instructors on hand, and you're far enough from the LA Basin to avoid most of the nasty airspace. Lots of nice trips to be done out of there and consistently excellent weather (just take lots of water, and get used to doing density altitude calculations).

Getting there from the UK, there are various connecting flights into Palm Springs international that are reasonably affordable - it also avoids the joys of LAX.

As for getting a US licence - just google "14 CFR 61.75" and you'll find all the answers. Or just search in the private flying section of PPrune - that particular topic gets discussed regularly and you should find all the answers very easily.

GAZ45 23rd Oct 2013 11:25

I would second Chandler Air Service.

I have recently returned from flying nearly 70 hours. There was a guy staying in the school accommodation who used a push bike to get back and forth the airport as he didnít drive (its one straight road although probably a 25 minute cycle). Also if you go on Ďair bíníbí, you can find even cheaper accommodation thatís really close to the airport.

If you are planning to go to CAE Oxford for the waypoint modular programme then I would definitely suggest Chandler as it is in Phoenix airspace. When I was there I flew in and out of Oxford Goodyear airport Ė got to check out the OAA school there, and got to know the local airspace and popular routes, which Iím sure will help for the CPL/MEP that you do out there with Oxford.

Instruction is great at Chandler. Aircraft availability is good because they never seemed to overbook the flight rental aircraft and they have a reasonably sized fleet. They train on Warriors but use Cherokees for rental usually (as they are the cheapest). I never had issues with availability. I completed 70 hours in 4 weeks.

Oh and remember.... a lot of US schools quote hourly rates without tax added!

Any more questions feel free to PM.

Morris542 31st Oct 2013 10:12

If only you could share the hours...

weedman1990 31st Oct 2013 16:39

well apparently this place (Flight Program - Time Build Inc - Flight Time Building Program) says that you earn PIC hours while flying as a safety pilot :S.

MartinCh 2nd Nov 2013 00:52

if FAA/US only pilot flew as safety pilot (and not as instructor) that legal with some caveats done to death on pprune and gazillion other websites. The European/non-US pilot would be the only PIC in their books, but as per FAA regs, when the handling/controls manipulating EASA etc chap is under hood, then the safety pilot is acting as PIC keeping lookout etc. I don't see why European guys could not have it OK'd by home CAA when the other person is not instructor/instructing. Logging lots of time as S/P in FAA system may be frowned upon by some companies, though.

weedman1990 7th Nov 2013 17:39

I Finally made my decision, i decided to choose Chandler air Services. I received good feedback about them from a lot of different people.

JDZ1 8th Nov 2013 02:19

Hour Building USA January 2014
Hello everyone,

I've searched endlessly for recent posts and feedback on hour building in the states...namely Florida and still haven't found great success.

I am flying out to florida mid January 2014 and would appreciate any great feedback from anyone who has recently completed hour building with a flying school in Florida or its surrounding areas.
I have emailed several schools and got very generic responses.

I am considering the Pan AM academy in Kissimee, Flight Time Building and Chandler Air Services.

I would really appreciate any feedback or advice on any of these three or any that you may know of.

Many Thanks

A future budding pilot

AirForceNone 8th Nov 2013 13:39

Let us know how you get on.

I hope to be in your position soon

weedman1990 8th Nov 2013 17:03

@AirForceNone - Will do mate. I just sent my license verification forms off on Monday to the UK CAA and FAA, so I'm hoping i get the Verification letter by the end of December or start of January. I emailed Chandler Air Services too and asked for a quote and they quoted me for 80 hours all taxed including accommodation with the checkout and ground training due to the mountains over in Arizona - £6045 which to me is a bargain. I am going to browse around for other accommodation and see what they can provide me with.

Straighten Up 13th Nov 2013 16:43

Hi weedman

What aircraft did they offer you for this price?


weedman1990 13th Nov 2013 23:30

@straighten up

I think they offered me PA28 cause when they told me to email them when i phoned them up, they told me to email them with my details and what flying experience i have got. I told them that i flew Cessna 152's and PA28's so i'm sure that they quoted me for a PA28.

I can email them and find out for you though?

I don't really mind if its in a Cherokee to be honest. It will be a good experience and a learning curve for me.


Pertti Jarvela 14th Nov 2013 14:51

Time building

Looking to do time building in New England are in 2014.

Any tips?


RedBullGaveMeWings 15th Nov 2013 16:24

£6045 for 80 hours, all taxed including accomodation, checkout and ground school???
I knew they were good and cheap, but I could never expect such an offer!

Weedman, do you have any experience on Piper aircraft?
I have only flown Cessnas so far and was wondering if they provide a sort of familiarization course.

weedman1990 15th Nov 2013 18:14


Hahaa, exactly and i got quoted in the UK for 80 hours well over 10k

I have around 3 hours dual and 4 hours solo on a Piper Warrior PA28, i normally fly cessna's too but i have to get some dual hours in the UK before i go to the states because i haven't flown since November 2012 mainly because i concentrated on my ATPL'S. Now i have them out of the way i can concentrate on the hours and just fly full time!

I think Chandler Air Services will be able to help you out because personally i think those approx 3 days for the checkout and ground training will be enough to get familerised with the aircraft even if you haven't flown the PA28's before. Mind you i might even get made to fly the Piper Cherokees they have there because they are even cheaper. But anyway think the best thing for you to do is ask your instructor where you completed your PPL and tell him/her that you want to fly the PA28. Thats what i did.

Hope this helped.

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