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DragonAsh

Flight schools in UK?

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Can anyone recommend a flight school for someone looking to get a private pilot's license in the UK? Ideally would be reasonably close to the London area. 

 

 

TIA

 

 

Scott

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What's wrong with Google?

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If the results are anything like what you get in the US it is next to useless. I'm not sure why it is but easy to locate a flight school and it is also difficult to find information about them or specific instructors.

 

I would recommend finding a flying club and speaking with their members.

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Scott - please ignore the unfirendly "try Google" posts. They are becoming more and more frequent here these days.

 

You asked for a recommendation, and I would suggest The Pilot Centre at Denham airfield, near Uxbridge. Tight circuit and v. busy on flyable days (as all clubs near London will be), but a nice atmosphere there. C152's mostly, with C180's, C172 and C182's for later on.

 

Further afield - not sure whats at Cranfield these days? I also here Booker has a good school or two.

 

Cheers, Rich

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When you say close to the London area do you mean north east west or south of London?

 

For the North East  of London you've got a flying school at Stapleford Airfield. Just to the the West of London you've got White Waltham Airfield and Blackbushe airport.

 

Those are the ones I'm aware of. I have no direct experience of any of these.

 

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/search/flying+school/@51.5286823,-0.223111,10z

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I found Pilot magazine on Google, which has a list of flying schools in the UK arranged by county.

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And did it "recommend" one? No. Hence the OP's post in a forum asking for recommendations.

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Jetset408,

 

Although your recommendations are exactly what the OP is looking for, there may be good schools which you are not aware of, so it's useful to have a reference list of what's available so that he can ask about the ones which have not yet been recommended, which may be geographically more suitable. Perhaps he already has a list and so mine is redundant.

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Scott - please ignore the unfirendly "try Google" posts. They are becoming more and more frequent here these days.

 

You asked for a recommendation, and I would suggest The Pilot Centre at Denham airfield, near Uxbridge. Tight circuit and v. busy on flyable days (as all clubs near London will be), but a nice atmosphere there. C152's mostly, with C180's, C172 and C182's for later on.

 

Further afield - not sure whats at Cranfield these days? I also here Booker has a good school or two.

 

Cheers, Rich

 

Plus 1, I did all of my PPL here, great aircraft, great people and challenging flying

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Scott - please ignore the unfirendly "try Google" posts.

 

Even so Google found more hits  than you did!

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More schools but no recommendations, which is what the OP really wanted.

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No worthwhile recommenations either. I wouldn't choose school basic on that basis.

 

It's essential to visit the school and, even more importantly, speak to the actual instructor to make sure you are compatible. After your it's your money you are spending.

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I don't think Google do flying lessons any more, do they? :BigGrin: .

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You might want to try Mid Anglia School of Flying at Cambridge Airport. Little over an hour by train from Kings Cross, and then a short taxi or bus ride. I expect it would be more convenient to London than Cranfield, as going by car out of  London is a nightmare. I Started at MASF last year, but have temporarily terminated flying lessons (due to finances), and I was impressed with the instructors and fleet. They use PA-28's exclusively which will be important if you prefer a low wing aeroplane, as most schools seem to use Cessna's.

 

Here is a link to them:

 

http://www.masfcambridge.com/

 

I hope to start lessons again shortly.

 

Mike

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What's wrong with Google?

 

It isn't a flight school.

 

EDIT: Beaten to the punch by Ron, but I forgive him since it's his birthday......and also mine :wink:

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Not a recommendation (shock horror) but I would assume there would be flight schools at Biggin Hill, Redhill and Headcorn (in fact I know someone learning at Headcorn so there must be one there). All not too far from London.

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I don't think Google do flying lessons any more, do they? :BigGrin: .

 

True but totally meaningless - Google don't airline flights either but we use it to check on airlines.  Had you not realised is that Google is a search engine?

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Had you not realised is that Google is a search engine?

 

No s**t?

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It's difficult to recommend an airfield if one has not tried many others. I had three different instructors at White Waltham who were all very different. The best instructor left half way through my training to fly for Cathay Pacific, the next guy was a Frenchman and nowhere in the same league (nothing to do with the fact he was French) and the last was a young lady....who was ok. edit* (I had a lady instructor on a Tiger Moth at Duxford ...she was really something!)

 

White Waltham is a very special field ....the clubhouse has been in a few movies . It has a Russian engineering section. I chose it because I prefer low wing to high wing (Piper PA-28's to Cessna 152/172's)....and it has three runways.

 

http://www.wlac.co.uk/wlac/

 

I have put my PPL on hold since my first solo to Kemble from White Waltham (where my beloved MK 742's are stored) ....what an experience to leave a grass field and land on a tarmac runway that could handle a 747!

 

The main aim and I certainly learnt the difference between real flying and the sim.....you don't wanna see bad weather flying for real!....in the sim I'm looking for it! :lol:

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I had three different instructors at White Waltham who were all very different.

 

I know of one student pilot had to change flying school because of the the attitude of the flying instructor - not of the school.

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I know of one student pilot had to change flying school because of the the attitude of the flying instructor - not of the school.

 

I can understand that. I would say the instructor is the most important part. A friend of mine training at Biggin Hill was flying for hours before learning emergency landings etc..It was the the first thing I learnt with my Cathay Instructor.

 

Mind you like instructors there are the students ...there are all types....my mate at Biggin Hill. I'd tell him to try yacht master ocean.  :lol:

 

Actually I could tell you all a little story (I've had a few glasses of vino collapso :blink: )

 

On my very first lesson the conditions were awful (Britain) so my instructor took me above the clouds and just gave me an exciting ride through the troughs in the clouds. On our way back down through the clouds he told me to hold a decent rate and heading while he contacted ATC ...expecting me to lose my spacial awareness through the clouds. Thanks to my FS IFR training I was faultless ....in fact my problem was always VFR flight.

 

I'm still in contact with the club and if I was a millionaire I would so be in the Friday afternoon or Saturday set ......who just pop over to France for lunch! lucky B's! :wub:

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Many thanks for all the comments and suggestions guys.

 

Yes, I of course used Google to get an idea of what flight schools were in the area. But as several posters noted, I wasn't asking for the location of possible flight schools, I was asking for *recommendations* - I've found word-of-mouth by reasonably like-minded individuals to be the quickest and most accurate way to understand the good and bad points about just about any object or service I'm looking to purchase. I don't base every single hotel decision on TripAdvisor - ultimately I make my own decision - but it's a good starting point. 

 

While I think the personality of the flight instructor and how well we mesh is by far the most important factor, I am also going on the (perhaps naive) assumption that good schools will get and keep good instructors, for the most part. 

 

I'm in north London, so the Stapleford Airport was the initial obvious choice, but I don't mind moving a bit farther afield for the right school.

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I'm in north London, so the Stapleford Airport was the initial obvious choice

 

I've had a couple of lessons at Stapleford and while their aircraft, at least the ones I went in, were a bit...tatty the staff are very good. I just wish I could afford to go more often.

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