Trial Flying Lesson at Glenrothes (Fife) Airport

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Well, I finally did it. I booked an hour's trial with Tayside Aviation. Wednesday 13th April was the day. It started early for me. The trial lesson was booked for 10:30 am. I had to phone at 8:30 am to check in with reception that the lesson was a go depending on the weather. I could see out my window it was afabulously sunny morning but perhaps it was a different matter at the airport. So I phoned up as instructed "Yes" the voice on the phone told me, "If you can be here for 10:15 we''ll get your sorted". Come 9:45 I was in the car and off. When I arrived, I watched as G-FIFE, a Cessna 152, taxied into this parking spot, revved up its engine for a moment then shut down. I assume it was a PPL student as a young fellow carrying charts etc exited from the left and a Tayside Aviation pilot got out from the right. http://img223.echo.cx/img223/1678/gfife1qs.th.jpg Anyway. After I signed a temporary membership form I was told my Pilot would be Graham. So I sat and waited for him to come back from a flight with another noob. Eventualy a Cessna landed and 5 minutes later a tall guy introduced himself to me as Graham, he asked me what I'd like to do. Head up towards St. Andrews or head for the Forth bridges and then on to Kincardine. I chose the latter. I was given a weighty headset and we were off. I tell ya, the Cessna 152 is one small plane. There was barely enough room for the two of us to sit side by side. Before climbing in, I was instructed on how to get it and close the door. Worryingly Graham told me not to worry if the door opens in flight, the prop wash would keep it from opening wide. A little concerning, but hey, I would have a seatbelt on. So I climbed in, a little easier said than done. I dunno about other GA aircraft, but on the 152 your literally sitting on the floor. So you have to try and step into through a door way thats a good 3 foot off the ground and feet first too, with no footwell to sink your feet into. Anyway...once in I slammed the door shut. Graham went over a few things with me, primed the engine and started her up. We taxied to the opposite side of the small apron and did a power test. I watched this nice looking cirrus taxi in. http://img255.echo.cx/img255/1962/cirrus9vl.th.jpg I took this photo after my flight. Soon after the power tests we took off. Sure enough, during the climb out my door did jarr open. I grabbed the handle and clicked it shut again... slightly alarming but graham was right, the prop wash did stop it from swinging wide open. Unfortunately I was to awe struck and far far to nervous to have a clear enough head to take any photos. Not that that mattered as soon after climb out Graham showed me the basics, and handed me control. For the next 50 minutes I flew the cessna with the yoke, Graham keeping the rudder under his control and doing all the radio chat. We flew over to the Forth Bridged, turn right and headed for Kincardine, once there we turned left and crossed the forth. Over Falkirk I executed a few left and right turns, while learning that when doing so, the cessna's nose wanted to dip. At first its a little difficult to turn and keep your level, but I got the hang of it quickly. After that we flew straight for Loch Leven. Throughout this I kept the plane level between 1,500 and 1,700 feet. After Loch leven it was back to Glenrothes where I got to descend to FL010 and fly the downwind leg. At Base graham took over and brought us in for a snappy landing right on the numbers. As I walked to my car, satisifed I snapped the plane that I had just flown about Fife... http://img258.echo.cx/img258/3479/gbffw0ol.th.jpg If I wasn't hooked on flying before, I definately am now! Now to rob a bank to get £5K for a PPL. LOL
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Profile picture for user Bmused55

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Oh, is it not quite hard to descend from 1700ft to FL100?
Yeah yeah, bite me. LOL typo gremlin
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Sounding good Sandy? Looks like there may be a few of us going for that PPL soon enough (lol) :p
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Well, you're now set up for financial ruin because once you start its difficult to stop - take it from one who's been there, done that, and is still after some ten years making trips to the flying club every couple of weeks. I really do not want to work out how much I've spent on flying since then (it was 10 years ago yesterday I did my first solo at Ormond Beach in Florida), but even if I did work it out whatever the cost has been its been worth every penny. All I can say is - if you can find the money, go for it because you will not regret it. Andy
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Well, you're now set up for financial ruin because once you start its difficult to stop - take it from one who's been there, done that, and is still after some ten years making trips to the flying club every couple of weeks. I really do not want to work out how much I've spent on flying since then (it was 10 years ago yesterday I did my first solo at Ormond Beach in Florida), but even if I did work it out whatever the cost has been its been worth every penny. All I can say is - if you can find the money, go for it because you will not regret it. Andy
Money is the only thing holding me back, or rather the lack of money
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Sandy, Two choices - pay as you go, or scrape together something like £3000 and go to the States, do the entire course in three weeks, and come back with a UK licence. OK, so for the latter there's the airfare and food to pay for too (but accommodation is usually included) but its the quickest way and it avoids the three-steps-forward-two-steps-back that a lesson every couple of weeks can sometimes result in. Myself and a friend went to Florida - three weeks (ten years ago it was £2000) of VERY hard work and certainly not a holiday, but we actually dropped the paperwork off at the CAA at LGW on the way back and two weeks later we had our licences and have been flying ever since. Andy
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Sandy, Two choices - pay as you go, or scrape together something like £3000 and go to the States, do the entire course in three weeks, and come back with a UK licence. OK, so for the latter there's the airfare and food to pay for too (but accommodation is usually included) but its the quickest way and it avoids the three-steps-forward-two-steps-back that a lesson every couple of weeks can sometimes result in. Myself and a friend went to Florida - three weeks (ten years ago it was £2000) of VERY hard work and certainly not a holiday, but we actually dropped the paperwork off at the CAA at LGW on the way back and two weeks later we had our licences and have been flying ever since. Andy
I've been looking into that. An MSN buddy of mine recently got his PPL in San Jose I think. £3500 all in. Thats flights and accomodation. Sweet deal. When I start working again it might be an option.
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Well, I finally did it. I booked an hour's trial with Tayside Aviation. If I wasn't hooked on flying before, I definately am now!
Looking forward to seeing you over on General Aviation with more progress reports. Moggy :)
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Sandy if you can go to the states do that. Continuity is the key, you'll have good weather and that helps loads. The only thing I'd say is sit the exams first. Flying for the PPL in the U.K. ends up costing loads more due to weather being bad, but you still end up going into the circuit....... Go to the US and with the money you saved come back to the U.K. and fly a good few nav x. Good to see you enjoyed it. dme
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I have another hour to take yet. So I'll try and keep a clear head and snap some photos next time :)
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Excellent stuff Sandy, I have my 1st trial lesson out of somewhere in York next month, couldnt wait before, cant wait even more seeing how much you enjoyed it :)
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Ive seen that one a few times! :D
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A NOTE OF CAUTION
Sandy, Two choices - pay as you go, or scrape together something like £3000 and go to the States, Andy
Realistically it will cost you about £5,500 to complete a JAR PPL over the course of a year in the UK If you go to the US and do it in three weeks it will cost you about £3,000 for the course and about £500 for incidentals. £3,500 in all. Looks like a pretty good argument to going to the US to me. Except. Your US student comes back, three weeks into his flying life, with 45 hours under his belt and a shiny licence. What does he have to do next? Well fly of course. But his US PPL doesn't make this free. He'll have to pay about £110 per hour aircraft rental, same as the rest of us. So he flies once a week from then on. 49 weeks of the year left and he's spent £110 x 49 = £5,390 on top of his £3,500. Total for his first year of flying £8,890 The poor bloke in the UK, One lesson a week for 45 weeks and one hour's rental for each of the remaining 7 weeks of the year. Total cost for his first year of flying = £6,270 In that year the guy taking the expensive UK route has actually spent £2,620 less than the guy taking the cheaper US route. (Who has admittedly clocked up a lot more hours) People always forget that once you have your PPL you still have to keep flying. There are very good reasons for going to the States to learn. If you are in a rush If work and social committments make it difficult to get away in the UK If you really have learning problems and would benefit from the intensive course. But if you are just plain short of money, the US route is a fallacy, and not for you. Moggy
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Great report there

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Nice report there Sandy. I had my first trial flight at Stapleford when I was 9 years old, on a Cessna 152. Had about another 5 or 6 after that. Since then it's been free though, with the Air Cadets (and much more fun!). About 2 hours of (free) aerobatics and flying in the last 3 years - that was a total of 4 separate flights. I was recenly accepted on a gliding scholarship, and should hopefully get to do this in the summer. That'll take me to solo standard, cant wait :D
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A NOTE OF CAUTION Your US student comes back, three weeks into his flying life, with 45 hours under his belt and a shiny licence. What does he have to do next? Well fly of course. But his US PPL doesn't make this free. He'll have to pay about £110 per hour aircraft rental, same as the rest of us.
Moggy, I think that misses the point. Those of us commenting in this thread are flying for leisure purposes - Sandy would be going about things in a different way if he was intent on life as a commercial pilot. There is only one reason to learn to fly in such cases, and that is to fly - its not to be tied down to circuits and bumps, stalls and steep turns, all at the behest of an instructor. No doubt, if you've not got a lump sum learn in the UK and expect to take a lot longer and learn much more slowly. But otherwise just go get it out of the way quickly and get on with why you really wanted to learn to fly - you're going to be spending money anyway so spend it on enjoying it rather than having the drudgery of lesson after lesson for years on end. Andy
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Moggy, I think that misses the point. Those of us commenting in this thread are flying for leisure purposes - Sandy would be going about things in a different way if he was intent on life as a commercial pilot. There is only one reason to learn to fly in such cases, and that is to fly - its not to be tied down to circuits and bumps, stalls and steep turns, all at the behest of an instructor. No doubt, if you've not got a lump sum learn in the UK and expect to take a lot longer and learn much more slowly. But otherwise just go get it out of the way quickly and get on with why you really wanted to learn to fly - you're going to be spending money anyway so spend it on enjoying it rather than having the drudgery of lesson after lesson for years on end. Andy
My intent is indeed to become a commercial pilot.
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Then I' surprised the way you're doing things - no point at all in f**king around with one lesson every few weeks. There are far larger obstacles than the private for you then - get onto an intensive either here or in the US rather than mucking around with trial lessons and taking photos during them. Andy
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Then I' surprised the way you're doing things - no point at all in f**king around with one lesson every few weeks. There are far larger obstacles than the private for you then - get onto an intensive either here or in the US rather than mucking around with trial lessons and taking photos during them. Andy
Need some £££ first old bean. I'm not sure if you're aware that I'm currently between jobs.... that means I get £80 every two weeks! Its rediculous.... I paid over £3000 in National Insurance contributions last year and the 5 before that... and £40 a week is all I get. Anyway, these trials lessons I'm flying were booked as a christmas present. Its only 2 hours total. Just a bit of fun. They're not realy instructive... sure its hands on experience and 2 hours I'll be able to put in a log... but they're hardly "lessons"
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Moggy, I think that misses the point. No doubt, if you've not got a lump sum learn in the UK and expect to take a lot longer and learn much more slowly. But otherwise just go get it out of the way quickly and get on with why you really wanted to learn to fly - you're going to be spending money anyway so spend it on enjoying it rather than having the drudgery of lesson after lesson for years on end. Andy
On the contrary it is you who is missing the point. Read my post again, but this time try to follow what I am saying. I'll repeat the important part here for you in bold so it stands out But if you are just plain short of money, the US route is a fallacy, and not for you. Also. If you consider a flying lesson with a skilled instructor sharing his knowledge with you to be 'drudgery' I suspect you are in the wrong hobby. Moggy