New to PPL

Author
Discussion

48k

5,627 posts

93 months

Tuesday 6th August
quotequote all
sc0tt said:
Aviation law should arrive tomorrow. Hoping to get stuck in as soon as possible.
Ooh you lucky chap. It's *such* a good read. You'll really, really enjoy learning about signal squares and light signals and all sorts of other fascinating subjects hehe

Neptune188

183 posts

122 months

Wednesday 7th August
quotequote all
Air Law is the hardest one, you have to "learn" it - most of the others you can use logic to work out.

HPL and Radio are the easiest, I found Met the most interesting, PoF the most boring, AGK and Nav somewhere in the middle.

The ground exams are the only thing putting me off going for my CPL, I hate studying. I meet all the pre-entry criteria otherwise.

sc0tt

Original Poster:

16,434 posts

146 months

Wednesday 7th August
quotequote all
It is a great read hehe

AshVX220

4,019 posts

135 months

Thursday 8th August
quotequote all
For those questioning going the commercial route etc,

My best mate always wanted to fly, predominantly fast jet military, but for various reasons he never got there, not through lack of education etc but other things. Anyway, he "fell" in to the police force, Still wanting to fly he re-mortgaged his house to get some capital behind him, probably at about 32 years old. Went to Florida for 6 weeks speedy course finishing up with his PPL. Then he went on to do the remaining courses required for commercial flying. Probably took him about 3 years to get it all done. First opportunity came at Flybe out of Southampton, then he was successful in being selected to fly 777's for Emirates, living in Dubai. He came back to the UK this year and started with Virgin Atlantic in April on the Dreamliner.

Did it all off his own back, with his own money, took a risk re-mortgaging, but it's all worked out. He loves it.

eharding

9,741 posts

229 months

Thursday 8th August
quotequote all
48k said:
Ooh you lucky chap. It's *such* a good read. You'll really, really enjoy learning about signal squares and light signals and all sorts of other fascinating subjects hehe
Signal lamps - never had one directed at me. Signal squares are still in use though.


Neptune188

183 posts

122 months

Thursday 8th August
quotequote all
I did, on my night rating. And i've seen flares for no undercarriage.

But, once in 20 years...

Ray89

1 posts

1 month

Thursday 8th August
quotequote all
sc0tt said:
Hi all, i’m Interested in studying my PPL. I’ve done lots of forum reading here and the flyer forum and now have 2 taster lessons booked.

The reason for this is with 2 different flight schools. I wanted to see which I preferred better.

They are a few weeks away now. Is there anything that I could start reading to get myself familiar in between?

Any words of wisdom?

Thank you.
Hi All,

Sorry to jump in on Sc0tt's post but i'm in a similar position, only i want to know if a few things are possible:

1. Is there a way of fully paying up the entire cost of a course (which i expect to be 9-10k) and having my lessons compressed into one continuous period? Id like to learn at speed if its possible and do as much as I can in as little time possible. would an instructor take me on for long duration's in one day, consistently until my hours are up? (weather permitting ect.)

2.Any instructors who would do this in the Kent area?

3. My closest flight school would be Skytrek in Rochester, does anybody have an opinion on them?

4. Any know who of bargain instructors? deals ect. (you get what you pay for i know).

5. I'm looking at purchasing all volumes of Pooleys flight manuals- is this the best book to go for?

Id love to be able to dedicate some time to this and my Boss is also fully supportive of taking Leave to achieve what i can.

knowledge very much appreciated guys thank you.

LimaDelta

3,960 posts

163 months

Thursday 8th August
quotequote all
Ray89 said:
Hi All,

Sorry to jump in on Sc0tt's post but i'm in a similar position, only i want to know if a few things are possible:

1. Is there a way of fully paying up the entire cost of a course (which i expect to be 9-10k) and having my lessons compressed into one continuous period? Id like to learn at speed if its possible and do as much as I can in as little time possible. would an instructor take me on for long duration's in one day, consistently until my hours are up? (weather permitting ect.)

2.Any instructors who would do this in the Kent area?

3. My closest flight school would be Skytrek in Rochester, does anybody have an opinion on them?

4. Any know who of bargain instructors? deals ect. (you get what you pay for i know).

5. I'm looking at purchasing all volumes of Pooleys flight manuals- is this the best book to go for?

Id love to be able to dedicate some time to this and my Boss is also fully supportive of taking Leave to achieve what i can.

knowledge very much appreciated guys thank you.
I'll pitch in, I'm sure others will too.

It took me years (literally) to finish my PPL in the UK. If I was doing it again, I would do an intensive course somewhere with predictable weather.

There is a lot to learn and process. It may be possible to complete multiple lessons a day, but even now after 4 hours or so of flying I feel physically and mentally drained. I'm not sure this is the best way to learn. Others may disagree.

Many people will advise against paying upfront. If the flying school goes bust (and they frequently do) you will probably not get any money back. That said, if you can find a reputable school with good longevity, and they offer a reasonable discount for doing so then maybe it is worth it.

The Trevor Thom/Pooleys books seem to be the standard texts. Other training manuals are available.

eharding

9,741 posts

229 months

Thursday 8th August
quotequote all
Ray89 said:
Sorry to jump in on Sc0tt's post but i'm in a similar position, only i want to know if a few things are possible:
Re Multiple lessons a day - bear in mind there will be (should be....) both a pre-flight and a post-flight briefing / de-briefing as well as the actual flying - so expect a lesson to soak up a decent chunk of a morning or afternoon. Personally, I booked an average of three lessons a week at White Waltham back in 2003, with the expectation of at least one being cancelled due to the weather - as it happened, I think only a couple were actually cancelled, so the tempo was kept fairly high (my instructor, bless her, was keen for me to experience less than optimal weather - I remember when I was doing my IMC with her after the PPL, I was slogging around the Woodley NDB hold on a murky and bumpy afternoon in IFR training goggles, which restrict your view to just the panel, when the whole cockpit lit up and the ADF needle swung 180 degrees. "Ooooh". She squeaked. "They *do* point at thunderstorms!")

There are schools in the US which offer intensive courses relying on favourable climates (and uncongested airspace), but if you're planning on doing your flying in the UK you may as well get used to making judgements about variable weather, and - in the South East at least - arcane airspace arrangements which you really, *really* don't want to fall foul of.

As above, you may get a discount by paying up front, but pay on a credit card so that if the school goes bust, you have some mechanism for compensation (and if it does, be prepared for a struggle to get your training records transferred to a new school).

AshVX220

4,019 posts

135 months

Friday 9th August
quotequote all
LimaDelta said:
Ray89 said:
Hi All,

Sorry to jump in on Sc0tt's post but i'm in a similar position, only i want to know if a few things are possible:

1. Is there a way of fully paying up the entire cost of a course (which i expect to be 9-10k) and having my lessons compressed into one continuous period? Id like to learn at speed if its possible and do as much as I can in as little time possible. would an instructor take me on for long duration's in one day, consistently until my hours are up? (weather permitting ect.)

2.Any instructors who would do this in the Kent area?

3. My closest flight school would be Skytrek in Rochester, does anybody have an opinion on them?

4. Any know who of bargain instructors? deals ect. (you get what you pay for i know).

5. I'm looking at purchasing all volumes of Pooleys flight manuals- is this the best book to go for?

Id love to be able to dedicate some time to this and my Boss is also fully supportive of taking Leave to achieve what i can.

knowledge very much appreciated guys thank you.
I'll pitch in, I'm sure others will too.

It took me years (literally) to finish my PPL in the UK. If I was doing it again, I would do an intensive course somewhere with predictable weather.

There is a lot to learn and process. It may be possible to complete multiple lessons a day, but even now after 4 hours or so of flying I feel physically and mentally drained. I'm not sure this is the best way to learn. Others may disagree.

Many people will advise against paying upfront. If the flying school goes bust (and they frequently do) you will probably not get any money back. That said, if you can find a reputable school with good longevity, and they offer a reasonable discount for doing so then maybe it is worth it.

The Trevor Thom/Pooleys books seem to be the standard texts. Other training manuals are available.
As above and as eharding alluded to, my best mate did his PPL in 6 weeks in Kissimee, Florida, I guess with everything you need to do this is as quick as it's likely to get.

Neptune188

183 posts

122 months

Friday 9th August
quotequote all
Don't pay up front. Even the biggest schools fail - Cabair as a great example. Margins are pretty slim on flight training so there aren't huge discounts to be had by paying in lumps - i'd never commit more than 5-10hrs (or what I was prepared to loose). And the credit card trick is good also.

Personally I wouldn't recommend going to the US for the basic PPL - any savings are obliterated when you consider coming back here, getting familiar with the way Europe works, etc. Great fun for hours building but you'll learn more relevant stuff here. Hour building or further training (CPL, IR, etc) is a different matter.

Now is a reasonably good time to start training. There's enough of the summer left so that you'll go solo if you hit it pretty hard, then over the winter focus on the exams - then come spring you're into navigation. Navigation for a student needs good weather - unless you're lucky or infinitely flexible doing this in winter is a complete lottery and slows progress a lot, and there's around 15-20hrs of the 45hr minimum as navigation exercises.

When I was training I found I maxxed out after about 3hrs in one day - it doesn't sound like much but it's an awful lot of information to process. A few weeks ago I did some glider instructing in the morning, a few hours in my own glider after lunch and two short areotows in the tug in the evening and I barely had the capacity to function on the drive home.

Lastly, be prepared for cancellations, delays, short notice changes. These things happen.

Edited by Neptune188 on Friday 9th August 10:52

El stovey

27,697 posts

208 months

Friday 9th August
quotequote all
There’s always lots of hanging around waiting for stuff. Weather, aircraft, instructors, students etc

I remember one day, almost 30 years ago, waiting to take someone on a scenic flight and a distressed bloke burst into the school from a lesson, shouted something about it being “too dangerous” and threw all his kit at me which included a knee board, some rulers, a CRP5 plus some charts and pens. Then he drove off in a Porsche never to be seen again.

You’ll have good and bad days but stick with it. If you do rage quit, make sure you give your stuff to some other future pilot, because they’ll really appreciate it.


eharding

9,741 posts

229 months

Friday 9th August
quotequote all
El stovey said:
I remember one day, almost 30 years ago, waiting to take someone on a scenic flight and a distressed bloke burst into the school from a lesson, shouted something about it being “too dangerous” and threw all his kit at me which included a knee board, some rulers, a CRP5 plus some charts and pens.
Things are better now.

These days, he'd have thrown his SkyDemon-equipped iPad, four different types of Electronic Conspicuity dongle, two Go-Pros and a grands worth of Bose headset at you before scarpering. A tidy penny on eBay, that lot.

El stovey

27,697 posts

208 months

Friday 9th August
quotequote all
eharding said:
El stovey said:
I remember one day, almost 30 years ago, waiting to take someone on a scenic flight and a distressed bloke burst into the school from a lesson, shouted something about it being “too dangerous” and threw all his kit at me which included a knee board, some rulers, a CRP5 plus some charts and pens.
Things are better now.

These days, he'd have thrown his SkyDemon-equipped iPad, four different types of Electronic Conspicuity dongle, two Go-Pros and a grands worth of Bose headset at you before scarpering. A tidy penny of eBay, that lot.
I was hoping I’d get his David Clark headset but he kept that. hehe

Are people not still using CRP5s and doing 1 in 60s? Next you’ll be telling me that you can’t fax a flight plan.

Thankfully there’s still big watches and cool sunglasses. I’ve just bought another pair of Randolph aviators. Got to keep up the standards when the youngsters are all doing that instagram thing.

eharding

9,741 posts

229 months

Friday 9th August
quotequote all
El stovey said:
I was hoping I’d get his David Clark headset but he kept that. hehe

Are people not still using CRP5s and doing 1 in 60s? Next you’ll be telling me that you can’t fax a flight plan.

Thankfully there’s still big watches and cool sunglasses. I’ve just bought another pair of Randolph aviators. Got to keep up the standards when the youngsters are all doing that instagram thing.
I did invest in a very nice pair of noise cancelling DCs early in my PPL - made the RT a lot more clear, although I swear my head was about half an inch narrower after wearing them for an hour - the grip was distinctly industrial.

Later on though, there were a couple of occasions on over-water trips when the battery decided to fail about 10 minutes after coasting out - amazing how an intermittent noise-cancelling effect sounds like an engine about to crap itself when you're especially keen for it not to.

Presumably they still teach nav fundamentals with a whizz-wheel. I've still got mine somewhere - although for some reason quite early on the lettering started to smudge, possibly due to being thrown in a flight bag with a less then completely dried fuel tester.

Edited: I'll see your Randolph Aviators and raise you, largely due to a combination of beer and eBay, a full selection of detachable visors for my Gentex HGU-55 helmet - including smoked, half-smoked, amber, high-contrast amber, clear and finally anti-laser, which turns everything a delicate shade of pink. I never managed to find the fully blinged mirror variety though,


Edited by eharding on Friday 9th August 12:46

zombeh

631 posts

132 months

Friday 9th August
quotequote all
Probably depends on what you're flying, microlight NPPL syllabus was changed in the last year or so to have all the modern in it.

I'd like to think they still teach you how to use stuff that doesn't have batteries and how to find the green bit in the middle of all the other green bits by such cunning means as "looking where you're going". It's especially useful when your phone gets a little confused about where it is and skydemon starts screaming that you've flown into someone's CTA.

El stovey

27,697 posts

208 months

Friday 9th August
quotequote all
eharding said:
Edited: I'll see your Randolph Aviators and raise you, largely due to a combination of beer and eBay, a full selection of detachable visors for my Gentex HGU-55 helmet - including smoked, half-smoked, amber, high-contrast amber, clear and finally anti-laser, which turns everything a delicate shade of pink. I never managed to find the fully blinged mirror variety though,
You’re winning at flying with a helmet and visors. Do you have a cool flying suit and some patches?

Alas if I turned up to work with a helmet and visors I might make a name for myself, plus communication would be difficult in the flight deck.

If I had your YAK though I’d be turning up with ALL the gear. hehe

eharding

9,741 posts

229 months

Friday 9th August
quotequote all
zombeh said:
It's especially useful when your phone gets a little confused about where it is and skydemon starts screaming that you've flown into someone's CTA.
I remember buying at the PC Memory Map CAA charts and overhead imagery - no Google Maps back in those days, so it was a novelty. My instructor was intrigued, zooming into the imagery of White Waltham, and then out again, then panned across to Heathrow. This was just before my first solo nav,

Pointing at the image of Heathrow on the screen, she said "...and if you see this underneath you....just keep going. Don't come back here, *ever*, and don't mention my name to anybody. Got it?"

billybobtrees

36 posts

69 months

Friday 9th August
quotequote all
Some really useful info so far which, as someone contemplating going for a PPL, has made the itch that much bigger...

If I were to do it, I would look to do an intensive course. Does anyone have any recommendations for training schools in the UK or US that are top rated and well regarded within the community?

Still undecided* about fixed wing or rotary, so suggestions for both welcome.

It will purely be a leisure pursuit so not looking for commercial qualification. I just need to learn more about the pros/cons of fitting each in to my own circumstances and actually being able to fly regularly.

eharding

9,741 posts

229 months

Friday 9th August
quotequote all
El stovey said:
You’re winning at flying with a helmet and visors. Do you have a cool flying suit and some patches?

Alas if I turned up to work with a helmet and visors I might make a name for myself, plus communication would be difficult in the flight deck.

If I had your YAK though I’d be turning up with ALL the gear. hehe
Sadly, for some reason all my grow-bags seemed to shrink over the years - probably due to being soaked in oil. Yes, that's it. Oil-induced shrinkage. Nothing to do with chronic pie retention. Yak share sadly sold in the spring.

The only flying overall patch I had was an 'EAC' one, which stood for 'Elmer Aviation Clothing' - once of the aerobatic mates had a business making bespoke flame-proof motorsport clothing, and he branched out into aviation. A few of us had them, but apparently only on mine did the EAC actually stand for 'Ed's A C***"