New to PPL

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El stovey

27,725 posts

208 months

Friday 9th August
quotequote all
I did fly with someone with that sky demon app on an iPad. It looked awesome.

If my friend and I had had that we would never have violated the airspace around HMAS albatross (Nowra) Australia, whilst arguing about where we were.


eharding

9,748 posts

229 months

Friday 9th August
quotequote all
billybobtrees said:
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.
If you're in west London, for fixed-wing look at West London Aero Club at White Waltham, just west of Maidenhead. For rotary, there's Booker up at High Wycombe. Others may be more convenient if you're further away. As per previous posts, WLAC very much a club as well as a school, and they'll continue to help you progress long after your getting your PPL.

As for rotary vs fixed wing - I'd say your looking at between two to three times the cost for rotary - post PPL there are some relatively cost efficient ways of flying fixed wing - fuel-sipping PFA permit types, microlights whereas there isn't really a rotary equivalent (there are some lightweight helicopters, but if you're the standard PH Powerful Build they'll be performance limited). That being said, rotary is huge fun, but a lot more demanding. A couple of the Yak pilots at WW went off to do rotary, so flew with them quite a bit, and did a session in an R44 up at Booker (they've since given up aviation completely and taken up motor bikes though...)

eharding

9,748 posts

229 months

Friday 9th August
quotequote all
El stovey said:
I did fly with someone with that sky demon app on an iPad. It looked awesome.

If my friend and I had had that we would never have violated the airspace around HMAS albatross (Nowra) Australia, whilst arguing about where we were.
I know of two people who saw it running on someone else's iPad, liked it so much they rushed out and bought an iPad mini and a Sky Demon license and were then deeply disappointed to find that you need the more expensive cellular version, as the non-cellular version doesn't have a GPS module.

One of them found this out in the clubhouse before going flying with it, and was in receipt of some minor mickey taking.

The other one - a co-owner of my Pitts - he got as far a Lydd in Kent enroute to France before realising his new shiny navaid wasn't going to work. This was years ago, and we're still extracting the proverbial. However, this is still minor ribbing compared to the stick he gets for parking the Pitts in a ditch at Breighton - that was three years ago, and they've nearly finished putting it back together.

LimaDelta

3,960 posts

163 months

Friday 9th August
quotequote all
billybobtrees said:
Still undecided* about fixed wing or rotary, so suggestions for both welcome.
Flying is a perishable skill. Rotary even more so. Forget the training and licence, how much are you going to fly after qualifying? How much can you afford to fly after qualifying? I spend about 1k/month on flying, which is fine (IMHO) for fixed wing, but wouldn't go far in a helicopter (3 hours in a R22 maybe?, <1hr in something with a turbine). Flying the minimum hours to retain a rotary licence would make make me a hazard to everything in the sky (yes, birds too).

Imagine if after passing your driving test, you only drove for an hour or two a month - how safe and competent a driver do you think you would be? That is my main argument against rotary. It is very expensive to stay proficient, rather than just legally current.

What am I trying to say? Given an unlimited budget then the answer for me personally is both.

That said, why not have a trial lesson in each and see what you think?

El stovey

27,725 posts

208 months

Friday 9th August
quotequote all
eharding said:
Yak share sadly sold in the spring.
frown

Hopefully for good reasons.

eharding

9,748 posts

229 months

Friday 9th August
quotequote all
El stovey said:
eharding said:
Yak share sadly sold in the spring.
frown

Hopefully for good reasons.
Had to move down to Devon for family reasons. Hope to get back into it at some stage though. Was still the CAA nominated contact for a while after selling, so I got the snottogram from the Belgrano when the chap I sold the share to bonged the Heathrow zone. What could have been a slightly tricky conversation was made easier when it turns out he'd already had his standard issue bking over the phone just after it happened.

Baby Shark doo doo doo doo

11,561 posts

114 months

Friday 9th August
quotequote all
eharding said:
El stovey said:
I did fly with someone with that sky demon app on an iPad. It looked awesome.

If my friend and I had had that we would never have violated the airspace around HMAS albatross (Nowra) Australia, whilst arguing about where we were.
I know of two people who saw it running on someone else's iPad, liked it so much they rushed out and bought an iPad mini and a Sky Demon license and were then deeply disappointed to find that you need the more expensive cellular version, as the non-cellular version doesn't have a GPS module.

One of them found this out in the clubhouse before going flying with it, and was in receipt of some minor mickey taking.

The other one - a co-owner of my Pitts - he got as far a Lydd in Kent enroute to France before realising his new shiny navaid wasn't going to work. This was years ago, and we're still extracting the proverbial. However, this is still minor ribbing compared to the stick he gets for parking the Pitts in a ditch at Breighton - that was three years ago, and they've nearly finished putting it back together.
We have a cellular iPad, however use the gps from PilotAware with SkyDemon.

Awesome bit of kit biggrin

billybobtrees

36 posts

69 months

Friday 9th August
quotequote all
Eharding and LimaDelta: thanks for input.

I'm looking at relocating in 12-18 months so part of the desktop research at the moment is looking at proximity to air fields and how much time I'll realistically be able to commit over the long term. Much to figure out.

Intention is to do some trial flights in both and take it from there. Friend of mine wanted to do a PPL and booked a test flight... ended up hating the sensation of feeling every jolt and bump in a small aircraft and never went back.

48k

5,631 posts

93 months

Saturday 10th August
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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.).
Re (1) - don't understimate how mentally tiring learning to fly is. Also as you get further in to the syllabus, an hour in the air can need an hour or more of groundschool and planning. And the UK weather isn't known for being hugely co-operative either.

I used to pay for lessons in blocks of ten hours which was fortunate when the flying school went bust (as they do) I'd paid on credit card which helped enourmously so always pay on CC even if you get a loan for the money.

Rochester is a nice place to fly from - I visited a few times on lessons. It's handy in that Headcorn and Biggin aren't too far away, giving you the option to experience a couple of different Air Traffic services, grass strip and very busy "proper" airport during later lessons.

sc0tt

Original Poster:

16,443 posts

146 months

Saturday 17th August
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First lesson today! Cancelled to winds. Next time.

magpie215

2,530 posts

134 months

Sunday 18th August
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sc0tt said:
First lesson today! Cancelled to winds. Next time.
Sadly a regular occurrence in the U.K if its not x wind it will be vis or aircraft serviceability.

Newc

986 posts

127 months

Monday 19th August
quotequote all
Ah, the joys of UK training.

It's a bit windy
It's the wrong kind of wind
It's hazy, do you fancy some circuits
It's a bit rainy
You're doing landaway nav ? Oh, it's only got 90 mins time left on the engine, do you fancy some circuits
Instructor's called in sick
Transponder u/s ? Nothing in the tech log, sorry about that. Do you fancy some circuits
It's a bit snowy
Your instructor's taken a job in Bali. I'm the new guy. Shall we start with some circuits
Fire truck's broken, airfield's closed
There's a x-country glider competition on our northerly departure, shall we just do some circuits

You'll love it.

Dr Jekyll

17,898 posts

206 months

Monday 19th August
quotequote all
Newc said:
Ah, the joys of UK training.

It's a bit windy
It's the wrong kind of wind
It's hazy, do you fancy some circuits
It's a bit rainy
You're doing landaway nav ? Oh, it's only got 90 mins time left on the engine, do you fancy some circuits
Instructor's called in sick
Transponder u/s ? Nothing in the tech log, sorry about that. Do you fancy some circuits
It's a bit snowy
Your instructor's taken a job in Bali. I'm the new guy. Shall we start with some circuits
Fire truck's broken, airfield's closed
There's a x-country glider competition on our northerly departure, shall we just do some circuits

You'll love it.
Not forgetting:

I know we were planning to do circuits but the circuits so crowded we have to do something else.

To be honest though, in all the time I was learning (Cabair at Elstree) I never had a lesson cancelled to technical issues.

LimaDelta

3,960 posts

163 months

Wednesday 28th August
quotequote all
sc0tt said:
First lesson today! Cancelled to winds. Next time.
Have you been up yet?


Geneve

3,517 posts

164 months

Thursday 29th August
quotequote all
A lot of advantages with 'rotary'.

The training is less weather sensitive. Wind can be less of an issue as you can always point it into wind for t/o or landing. Low cloud or poor viz just means more field work at hover heights.

When you get your licence, there are more places to fly to/from. You don't need some 500m of runway at the start and finish of each journey - just a suitable 'tennis court' sized area, free of hazards.

The sheer versatility of a good helicopter is amazing - nothing else can lift, hover, fly sideways, backwards, forwards, up, down, or do a 360 turn over the same spot. And, you generally fly lower and see much more.

Negatives? Cost is higher. The training takes longer and you should fly more frequently to remain current.

The Robinson R22 is often the default low cost ab initio trainer - although Frank R never actually designed it for training. It does divide opinion, but logical if you intend to move on to the ubiquitous R44. Other options are the Hughes/Schweizer/Sikorsky 300 or the new(ish) Cabri, or perhaps an Enstrom. Turbines a lot more expensive, but such awesome machines.

Magnum 475

1,245 posts

77 months

Friday 30th August
quotequote all
Dr Jekyll said:
Not forgetting:

I know we were planning to do circuits but the circuits so crowded we have to do something else.

To be honest though, in all the time I was learning (Cabair at Elstree) I never had a lesson cancelled to technical issues.
Or my days of training at Coventry in the days when Thomson were there. “There’s no point starting up yet, there are three Thomsons coming in. Oh, and it’s too busy for circuits here today, shall we go and do some stalls & spins instead?”

Frequently used to fly to Leicester or Wellesbourne for circuits due to the amount of traffic at Coventry.