Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:06 pm Post subject: Where to do a PPL-H in the Midlands-UK?
I've been lurking for a few weeks now, finally managed to get my profile problems sorted (Thanks Sarah) so I'm in!
I'm looking for reccomendations of somewhere to learn in the Midlands, preferably not too far from Coventry where I live. Within 30 mins or so I'd say.
If anyone has good, bad or indifferent things to say about any of the local heli schools I'd love to hear about it before I start spending the cash.
I'm not just looking for the cheapest route to the PPL, I want to take into account any hidden extra's etc that might not be talked about and get the best all round training I can.
I've flown a H269 as a 18th Birthday trial lesson, got the bug but never had the cash to do anything about it - so I decided to carry on flying R/C Model helicopters, which I now do reasonably well.
Now 12yrs later I'm earning proper cash I have the disposable income to do it for real hence the post and my being here.
Due to personal commitments I can only really fly fortnightly at weekends or during the week in the evenings - does anyone think that wouldn't be often enough to progress?
Joined: Jul 20, 2004 Posts: 3702 Location: Birmingham, UK
Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 7:39 pm Post subject:
Glad I could help! Welcome to the forums.
Depends what type you want to fly I guess... where did you do your trial lesson?
There are heli schools at Coventry, Wellesbourne, Wolverhampton, and Sywell, and if you want to travel a little further afield there are plenty more to choose from.
I'm sure there are many PPLs who can only fly at weekends - evenings are probably not going to be an option unless you find an airfield that is licenced after 5pm - you'd have to check with the schools themselves. We (myself and WhirlyGuy) only used to fly on Sundays at the beginning, and seemed to keep the continuity pretty well. We'd do a couple of hours each week. I guess it depends how quickly you want to get it all done.
Please feel free to post more questions - I'm sure there are many here who can give you some sound advice.
Joined: Aug 15, 2006 Posts: 501 Location: Coventry, England
Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 7:12 am Post subject:
I too live in Coventry, but I am nearly at the end of my PPL course now (hopefully test on Monday!).
I have been learning at Sloane Helicopters at Sywell Aerodrome (Northampton) and on the whole they have been very good (apart from some initial teething problems). I also learnt at the weekends and wherever I could grab an extra hour and they were very accomodating of this.
They have good kit, and as they are a Robinson dealer and the UK agent for Agusta Westland it is all maintained well. You also get to see the bigger machines (109/119's) a lot which is nice.
I would say it was worth the 40 minute drive.
That said I know a few people who have done their training at HeliAir at Wellesbourne and there is a member on here who was training at Coventry as well - not heard bad things about either.
If you want any advice, at any point, feel free to PM me! Good luck.
Joined: Jul 20, 2004 Posts: 3702 Location: Birmingham, UK
Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 7:24 am Post subject:
The main thing is to fly where you feel comfortable with the instructor, with the aircraft and with the atmosphere. I have traveled 80 odd miles to fly for these reasons.
Maybe have a few trial lessons at various places, or at least go in and chat to the instructors so you can get a feel for what the school can offer you - after all you can put all the flights in your logbook and you don't really want to tie yourself to a school when you haven't even been over there to speak to them.
Best of luck and keep us posted on how you're getting on!
Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 7:16 pm Post subject: Many Thanks for the input
Hi Guys & Whirlygirl
I have to admit I hadn't really considered Sloane or East Mids but thinking about it in more detail there has to be more than just location and a potential drive in my choice of school.
WhirlyGirl's suggestion of some trial lessons is something I had thought about doing, I was thinking more of an introductory day with maybe 2-3 hrs worth of flying interspersed with the briefings etc.
I'm not sure an hour would be enough to give a true impression of a place!
I much appreciate everyone's helpfullness and willingness to share experiences and advice, it makes me wish I'd found this site yrs ago (I might have managed a few hrs by now if I had).
James T, your account of learning to fly makes fantastic reading - the highs and lows (Yes I'm fully prepared for the bad days) of gaining a PPL.
I've got a couple of free weekends coming up so I may well make a start - Now who to choose for my 1st lesson...
Whirls and Jeff, the prices for R22 training and SFH are listed on the website here
Whirls, for over a 10 hour block buy of time, I know that Nigel would be willing to negotiate.
Jeff, there are trial lessons, and introductory half days listed on there too; might want to look at the Pilot Training page, too. One other difference between EMH and many other schools, is that EMH operate from a private site, rather than a fully kitted out airfield. As to if that's an advantage for you, or not, it does mean you get used to off-airfield landing.... _________________ J.
My girlfriend has chipped in with the suggestion I could learn nearer to her place (Idle - 5mins from Leeds bradford).
Her other 'want' is to see how happy/excited etc I am when I come back from my 1st lesson / trial flight - so much so that I've booked myself in at Mulitflight for an hours R22 trial lesson.
I've still not discounted learning elsewhere because I think she may well soon get bored sitting in the cafe while I go out flying... Multiflight would also mean I could realistically only fly Friday afternoons or some weekends - would that be often enough to make real progress?
I am already looking forward to the flight, as it'll be my 1st time in an R22. I did an hour many yrs ago in a H269 but I expect this flight to be all more serious given I actually want to learn to fly now!
My plan is to still take several trial lessons with maybe 2 other flight schools to get a feel for who suits me best, EMH / Heli-Air are both strong contenders due to being closer to home than Multiflight.
Has or does anyone fly with Multiflight, or done a PPL there?
Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 6:14 pm Post subject: Trial Lesson went ok - but Weather now...
I went and did my trial hr with Multiflight (Leeds) flying an R22, reg G-TTHC.
The weather was quite breezy and the R22 was as twitchy as I'd expected (And moreso than the H269 I flew before) but it was good fun.
I believe I did ok holding a steady(ish) course and turning / climbing / decending etc. I was however a little tired after, I realise part of that was me concentrating on the dials a little too much..
The hr was over all too soon and I want to do more...
I booked another 2 lessons with Multiflight for last weekend and yep you've guessed it, poor weather put paid to both lessons - Why did I choose to start learning when we're experiencing the strangest summer weather in memory?
After talking it through with my Girlfriend I'm going to do as many lessons as I can at Multiflight, the place gives an impression of being a well sorted and proffessional flight school and at least then if the weather is lousy we're together!
I've yet to ask my instructor, but has anyone done a 1st solo at an international airport? Do you think they would allow it, or will they take me somewhere else, maybe to a slightly quieter airfield?
I now need to work out how to make the most of the poor weather, and then get as many hours as possible in.
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