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Learning to fly

Discussion in 'OT (OFF Topic) Forums' started by Meldrew2, Nov 2, 2015.

  1. Meldrew2

    Meldrew2 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I've had the itch for a long time, but I've now got a bit of spare time and spare cash to scratch it.

    It's purely for the pleasure and the challenge; so daylight VFR is enough for me - no intentions to fly outside of the UK or at night. I'll stick to easyJet for my holidays…

    A few questions:

    I believe that the NPPL is being superseded by the LAPL - does anyone know what the main differences are?

    I'm not the slimmest or most agile person around - so am I right in thinking a high wing (ie Cessna) will be easier to climb into than a low wing (ie Piper)?

    I've seen a full package of 45 hours, 45 landings, ground briefings, exam fees, log book, Pooley's Vol 1, Syllabus & record of training, check list, knee board etc, for £6500 in a C-150 or £7800 in a C-172. Does that seem decent value?

    That price is based on a PPL - the LAPL requires a minimum of 30 hours rather than 45 so I'm assuming price will be less (provided 30 hours is enough for me to get up to standard).

    Finally - I'm a complete novice except for a 30 min trial a few years ago. Anything you can tell me will be appreciated...
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2015
  2. BIRMA

    BIRMA Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    It has gone up a lot, back in 1985 I went over to Fort Worth to gain the FAA licence then you came back to the UK and did about 5 hours to get your CAA licence.
    The whole package including the licence and accommodation was £1800 I seem to recall.
    I found taking off and landing to be the highlight once up in the air I found it a bit boring.
     
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  3. Chrishazle

    Chrishazle Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    One of my cousins was a pilot - initially Fleet Air Arm then commercial. He described being a commercial pilot as hours and hours of utter boredom interspersed with moments of terror - called take-off and landing!!
     
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  4. OP
    OP
    Meldrew2

    Meldrew2 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I was pondering going to Florida to learn to fly a few years ago - then 911 happened - and suddenly the opportunity to learn there disappeared.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Meldrew2

    Meldrew2 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Agreed. At least being in a light aircraft flying under VFR should give me a nice view...
     
  6. flango

    flango Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I know a lot of pilots with all the travelling I do and some of them are now good friends, but most have the same view unless its a new plane, they say " If you want to experience the thrill of flying go sit under your stairs and watch the electricity meter and gas meter dials go round because thats as exciting as it gets"

    Florida may be a no no these days but Arizona is still doing good business with its flying schools, our tech centre is just outside Tucson and most guys down there fly

    At least flying under VFR should alleviate the boredom :D
     
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  7. BIRMA

    BIRMA Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I found much more enjoyment gliding with Lasham just up the road from me I liked the hunting of thermals and the serenity of it. Plus it was so much cheaper if a few like minded people pooled together and bought one.
    It might also be worth checking out your local microlight club I was amazed at modern microlights.
     
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  8. Stratman

    Stratman Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I did mine in Las Vegas. I didn't need to do any hours in Blighty to get my CAA ticket, just the medical, radio licence and Air Law exam. I did some research before I went out and found the FAA licence doesn't require spins, rather it concentrates on spin avoidance, at least back in 1981. Once the FAA examiner had passed me on my flight test, I explained about the CAA requiring spin entry and recovery. He was quite happy to test me on them (my instructors had taught them to me) and endorse my logbook to that effect and the CAA were happy to accept it.

    I'm not sure about the 'boring' bit, navigating through mountain ranges and across deserts requires full concentration ;)
     
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  9. portzy

    portzy Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I did my PPL and additional ratings some 30 odd years ago and I can tell you this much, it was the best chapter in my life bar none although i would not admit that to Mrs P.

    Like you, I only ever intended to persue it to PPL level but having being bitten by the bug I progressed to IMC, night, twin, instructor, and instrument ratings, my crowning glory was to achieve an ATPL in the early nineties. All of this was self financed, (about £45k), and with no backing from the airlines or cadetships.

    Sadly, it all went south due to a medical problem, migraines in fact, and my medical was suspended and therefore my licence. I had to have a run of six clear months without any migraine episodes to get my licence back and I could not clear that hurdle which was a 8ummer because I had a couple of job offers pending.

    Anyways, I still have my licences and log books, training records etc, and would still do it all over again.

    On the subject of high/low wing? If it's your size your worried about then I cannot see it making much difference really. Typically Cessna 150/152/172's have a step on the wing strut which you use to embark, on the Piper series you enter the cabin by walking up the wing root from the rear. I've flown with and instructed lots of big folks and none had a problem with either high/low wing derivatives however, there is a tad more shoulder room in the Piper series.

    One thing to consider though is that the Cessna with high wing gives you a better view of the ground for navigation purposes when you are a student.

    Good luck and enjoy it!!!!
     
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  10. Stratman

    Stratman Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    One little annoyance I found, and it's no more than that, is when turning left in circuits (most circuits are left handed) the high wing dipping in the turn obscured the view of the ground features around which I was making the turn.

    It's not really relevant when flying cross country but makes nice ninety degree turns in the circuit that little bit more challenging.
     
  11. HB

    HB Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Tbh if you want to get high, it can be organised around the corner from the curry place we go to. You can also have your onboard twin tanks between your legs emptied by a special foreign suction tool
     
  12. portzy

    portzy Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Going back to Meldrew's first post.

    Dont forget to factor in that 45 hours is a minimum and most folks, for a variety of reasons, need a little more. In my case I needed 49 due to cancelled lessons and gaps in training which, however small, can effect your progress.

    Landaways. Whenever you landaway during your nav exercises you will be expected to pay a landing fee and maybe a parking fee also unless the visiting airfield has a reciprocal arrangement with your particular club/school.

    Nav kit. Local area half mil and quarter mil topographical charts will be required and and also other tools such as analogue flight computers, (CP5 springs to mind), unless you are allowed to use electronic devices these days.

    Licence issue. Not sure of the cost these days but it's the last thing you pay for and usually you are in such a euphoric state of mind that the cost becomes irrelevant.

    Medical. I my days it was a class 3 for PPL and class 1 for ATPL, I'm not sure of the cost for either now but the class 3 was done locally by a doctor known to my club, the class 1 was done in London at the CAA in Holborn and later moved to Gatwick.

    Dont think for a minute that getting your PPL will be the end of it. Like me, you will want to better yourself in other ways either by becoming more qualified and experienced or maybe expanding your pleasure flying by taking up aeros.

    Not really cost related but choice of club location could be a factor, I will allude to this if you need me to. I see you are in Stockport? Have you been looking at Barton?
     
  13. Peter T

    Peter T Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I got my PPL in the 90s when it was £80/hour!

    I learned in a piper cherokee and I have prefered the low wing types ever since. As someone already mentioned, I find it hard to do a tidy circuit in a high wing aircraft.

    Would you have to pay for the whold package up front? When I did it I paid/hour, and bought the equipment as necessary.

    Not sure how much a medical is these days, but you need to get one before you commit to any training. If there's a problem you need to know upfront.

    Also, looking at the details of your proposed package, does that include touch and goes. You'll be doing about 10 of those/hour when you start doing circuit training.
     
  14. BEJ

    BEJ Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    My medical was done by my own doctor with no charge. It is the equivalent medical to an HGV 2 licence requirement.
     
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