In this post I summarise the similarities and differences between the LAPL vs PPL, that is, the Light Aircraft Pilot Licence and the Private Pilot Licence.
The right licence for you will depend on your aviation aspirations. If you want to fly single engine aircraft for recreational purposes under VFR during daylight hours in UK airspace, with perhaps occasional trips to other countries, then the LAPL is ideal. Theoretically it will take less time and expense to gain as the syllabus contains fewer hours of flying time.
On the other hand if you want to fly European registered aircraft, perhaps one day under IFR having acquired an instrument rating, and maybe continue flight training to begin a career, then the PPL is probably your best option. The extra training will earn you a private pilot licence that’s recognised globally.
Why are there two private pilot licences?
The LAPL was introduced by EASA to enable aspiring aviators to gain a licence with a shorter syllabus and less stringent medical requirements than those of the PPL.
The PPL is a globally recognised private pilot’s licence whereas the LAPL is particular to Europe.
The only additional ratings that a pilot can add to the LAPL are the Night rating and an Aerobatic rating.
The additional ratings that a pilot can add to the PPL are Night, Aerobatic, Multi Engine, and Instrument ratings.
Both licences allow the holder to fly single engine piston aircraft and to carry passengers for non commercial operations i.e. leisure flights.
Size & weight of aircraft type
The PPL allows the holder to fly aircraft with a MTOW (Maximum Take-off Weight) of 5,750 kg with a maximum of 19 passengers.
The LAPL allows the holder to fly aircraft with a MTOW (Maximum Take-off Weight) of 2,000 kg with a maximum of 3 passengers.
You can tell from those figures that all LSA (Light Sport Aircraft) and the majority of single engine training aircraft would be accessible to the holder of an LAPL. For example, with a current LAPL you could fly yourself and three passengers in a Cessna 172 to France and back.
To keep your LAPL valid you need to fly 12 hours in the last 24 months as Pilot in Command including 1 hour with an instructor. Those 12 hours as PIC should include 12 take-offs and landings.
To keep your PPL valid you need to fly 12 hours in the last 12 months including 6 hours as Pilot in Command. Those 12 hours should also include 12 take-offs and landings.
The minimum training hours for the LAPL are 30 hours of which 6 hours should be solo flight, 3 of which should be solo cross country flying. These flights should include one flight of at least 80 NM during which the student lands at one other airfield.
The minimum training hours for the PPL are 45 hours of which 10 hours should be solo flight, 5 of which should be solo cross country flying. These flights should should include one flight of at least 150 NM during which the student lands at 2 other airfields.
Both licences require passes in the ground school subjects and a final practical test in the form of a general skills test.
LAPL and PPL Upgrade
If you can’t decide between the two licence types you can get an LAPL and upgrade to a PPL at a later date. You’ll need to undertake an additional 15 hours of flying, a Class 2 medical, and a checkout with a CAA examiner.
Summary table – LAPL vs PPL
Minimum training required:
Min 45 hours. Must include 10 hours solo of which, 5 hours of which is solo cross country flying that includes 1 cross country flight of 150NM+ with landings at 2 other airfields
Min 30 hours. Must include 6 hours solo of which, 3 hours of which is solo cross country flying that includes 1 cross country flight of 80NM+ with landings at 1 other airfield
*MTOW: 5,750 Kg Max Passengers: 19
*MTOW: 2,000 Kg Max Passengers: 3
Instrument Rating, Night Rating, Multi-Engine, Aerobatics
These are the minimum hours and requirements. Most people will need extra training to complete the course. Consequently, this has a proportional effect on the cost.
Courses start with general handling and familiarisation leading to the first solo flight. Thereafter, the time taken to complete and pass the skills test varies greatly due to the number of hours flown each month.
You may see the term supervised solo flight which means that the flight instructor has mentored the planning and preparation for the flight itself, but the student is still flying solo.
As well as the flight instruction needed to teach the student how to fly light aircraft, the flying school will also provide the complimentary and mandatory tuition in ground school subjects.
Subjects that are common to all aircraft
Subjects that are specific to the aircraft type
Principles of flight
Flight performance and planning
Aircraft general knowledge
Paying for PPL flying
With either the Light Aircraft Pilot Licence and the PPL, the pilot is allowed to accept funds from passengers (up to 3 on LAPL, up to 5 on PPL) on a cost sharing basis as long as it’s on a non-commercial basis and there is no profit involved. These funds should be for the landing fees, fuel etc.
This means that, once qualified, you can reduce the cost of your flying considerably. You’ll still need to rent aircraft on a hourly basis or buy a share in owner group, but at least you can offset the cost of flying by inviting passengers along who are willing to pay something toward the fuel.
National Private Pilot Licence: NPPL vs PPL
Some years ago the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) introduced the NPPL (National Private Pilot Licence). This is a non-EASA licence for pilots of microlight aircraft, Permit-to-Fly and kit-built aircraft, and vintage aircraft.
The limitations of the UK NPPL specify that the licence holder can only conduct flights in UK registered aircraft inside UK airspace, unless by special arrangement with another aviation authority.
The syllabus requirements for this are less stringent than the EASA PPL, but then so are the privileges granted to anyone holding this type of licence.
Microlight pilots can obtain their National Private Pilot Licence on either a flexi wing or a three axis aircraft. Flexi wing microlights are usually open cockpit and have a single wing that is moved by a control bar. Three axis aircraft are similar to conventional aircraft but are obviously much lighter.
It all begins with a flight experience. Find somewhere near you where you can go up with an instructor for 30-45 mins to get a taste of flight.
Also, for tips on how to complete the syllabus without breaking the bank, check out my PPL video course.
Disclaimer: Check UK Civil Aviation Authority
This post is my understanding of the requirements and I make no claims as to the accuracy presented here. Always check the details with your flight instructor and the relevant sections of the UK CAA website:
Chief Aircraft Inc. has be a General Aviation supplier of aircraft parts, pilot supplies, and radio-controlled models worldwide for over 30 years.
Chief Avionics was formed in 1994 to install a wide variety of the latest avionics for its customers and is today an FAA-approved Part 145 repair station located at Grants Pass Airport.
At Deland Airport (DeLand Municipal Airport), Chief Aircraft Inc.’s Florida facility aids in quicker East Coast deliveries with mail order phones as well as walk-in and fly-in service at both facilities.
Pilot Supplies & Pilot Gear
There are a variety of pilot supplies and pilot gear available for both light aircraft pilots and commercial pilots. Some of the most essential items include GPS units, radios, flight bags, and charts. GPS units are essential for navigation, while radios are necessary for communication with air traffic control.
Flight bags help to keep all of a pilot’s essential gear organized, while charts provide critical information about airspace and terrain. Other useful items include binoculars, flashlights, and first-aid kits. By having the right supplies and gear on hand, pilots can be prepared for any situation they may encounter while flying.
Bendix King Avionics
Bendix King is a leading provider of avionics products, technologies, and services for the general aviation, business, and commercial aviation markets. Their innovative solutions are designed to enhance safety, improve efficiency and reduce aircraft operating costs.
Bendix King has been at the forefront of avionics innovation for over 50 years and is committed to providing pilots with the latest technology to help them safely navigate the skies. From flight displays and navigation systems to communications and environmental control systems, Bendix King offers a comprehensive suite of avionics products to meet the needs of any pilot.
Garmin Aviation Systems
Garmin is a leading provider of aviation GPS systems. Its products are used by private pilots and major airlines around the world. Garmin’s G1000 is one of the most popular flight decks, offering a comprehensive suite of integrated avionics, including GPS navigation, communication, and weather information.
The G1000 can be found in a wide variety of aircraft, from single-engine Cessnas to corporate jets. For pilots looking for an even more advanced system, Garmin also offers the G3000, which adds enhanced safety features such as traffic collision avoidance and terrain awareness.
Trig Avionics is a UK-based manufacturer of avionics products, founded in 2006. Trig’s product range includes transponders, GPS receivers, and COM/NAV/GPS systems. The company has over 60 STC approvals for the retrofit installation of its products on a wide variety of aircraft types, including Cessna, Piper, Beechcraft, Cirrus, Diamond, and Mooney.
Trig’s products are known for their high build quality and reliability, and the company has a strong reputation in the aviation industry.
RC Model Aircraft
Chief Aircraft Inc. is a leading supplier of radio-controlled aircraft models. They offer a wide range of models, from electric RC models to turbine jets. Each model is designed to provide the utmost in flying performance and realism.
Some of the most popular models offered by Chief Aircraft Inc. include the Pitts Challenger, Viper Turbine Jet, and P-51 Mustang.
The Pitts Challenger is a high-performance RC model aircraft designed for aerobatic flying. It features a sleek design with a low wing and symmetrical airfoil, making it ideal for loops, rolls, and hammerheads.
The Challenger is constructed from balsa and plywood and covered in heat-shrink film for durability. It comes complete with everything you need to get started, including a pre-painted fiberglass cowling, drive train, and electronics. The Pitts Challenger is a great choice for pilots who want to experience the thrill of aerobatic flying.
The Viper Turbine Jet is a high-performance RC model aircraft that is perfect for both novice and experienced flyers. Featuring a sleek design and powerful turbine engine, the Viper Turbine Jet is capable of reaching impressive speeds.
The aircraft also features a state-of-the-art flight control system that provides pilots with precise control over the aircraft’s movements.
No matter what your level of experience or interest, Chief Aircraft Inc. has a radio-controlled aircraft model that is right for you. Their wide selection of models offers something for everyone, from beginner pilots to experienced flyers.
Chief Aircraft Locations
Chief Aircraft Inc are a General Aviation supplier of aircraft parts and pilot supplies. Find them at these two airports or visit their website.
RANTS PASS AIRPORT
West Coast Store: Mon-Fri 7:00am-4:00pm PST 1301 Brookside Blvd. – Grants Pass, OR 97526
East Coast Store: Mon-Fri 9:00am-5:00pm EST 813A Flightline Blvd. Ste. 1 – Deland, FL 32724
Choosing the best aircraft paint remover takes a little thought and buying the right one for your airplane will save time and effort. Nothing spoils the look of an aircraft more than the sight of chipped, peeling, or faded paint. It’s like a tear in a fine suit of clothes; from a distance things don’t look too bad but up close the heart sinks a little at the condition.
A freshly finished airplane, whatever it’s age or vintage, is a beautiful thing to behold. It’s also more aerodynamic and therefore more efficient in the air so repainting and polishing it to a gleaming finish is not just aesthetically pleasing, it also makes commercial sense.
Inevitably, with the amount of use they get, the aircraft at your local flying school are probably not the tidiest examples and you can often see worn paint when you’re learning to fly.
The Right Aircraft Paint Remover
Choosing the best product for your aircraft will depend on the aircraft type and the existing layers of paint. Aircraft paint remover is a specially formulated product that is used to strip the types of paint used only on aircraft.
There are different types but all of them work in basically the same way: they dissolve the paint so that it can be washed away with water. They can be used on both commercial and private aircraft, and they are generally safe to use, but it’s always important to read the label carefully and follow the instructions, particularly when being used copiously to deal with layers of baked enamels.
The stronger examples are fast acting while others required a longer removal time and perhaps a repeat application in order to break through mutiple coats of baked enamels to the bare surface beneath.
Safe Practices for Water-Based or Oil-Based Paint Stripping
There are two main types of aircraft paint removers: solvent-based and water-based. Solvent-based are generally more effective and fast acting than water-based products, but they can also be more dangerous to use. Water-based are typically safer and easier to use, but they may not be as effective at removing paint and tend to require a longer removal time.
There are several risks and dangers associated with the use of oil-based paint strippers, including:
The potential for skin and respiratory irritation if breathed in or comes into contact with skin.
The risk of fire or explosion if the remover is not used in a well-ventilated area.
The potential for environmental damage if the remover is spilled or leaks.
To mitigate these risks:
Wear the appropriate protective clothing and masks and always work in a well ventilated area.
Ensure that containers don’t leak and dispose of surplus material conscientiously.
Make sure your workship first-aid kit is equipped to deal with chemical contamination of the skin or eyes.
Rust-Oleum® Aircraft Remover
Rust-Oleum® Aircraft Remover is a powerful aircraft paint stripper that quickly and easily removes multiple layers of paint in one application. The aircraft paint stripper is ideal for use on aircraft, cars, boats, RVs, and more. The aircraft paint stripper is safe for use on all types of aircraft finishes, including gelcoat, epoxy, polyurethane, and more.
Rust-Oleum® Aircraft Remover is a fast acting aircraft paint stripper that starts working in as little as 30 minutes. Simply apply the aircraft paint stripper to the surface and let it work its magic. The aircraft paint stripper will remove multiple layers of paint in one application, leaving the surface clean and ready for new paint or primer.
Klean Strip Paint Remover
Klean Strip aircraft paint remover is a powerful product that can remove even the most stubborn aircraft paint. The active ingredients in Klean Strip aircraft paint remover are highly effective at breaking down paint. Klean Strip aircraft paint remover is safe to use on most types of aircraft, including both metal and composite aircraft.
Klean Strip aircraft paint remover is easy to use, simply apply it to the aircraft and let it sit for the recommended amount of time. After the recommended amount of time has elapsed, simply wipe away the aircraft paint with a clean cloth.
Citristrip Pain & Varnish Stripping Gel
Citristrip gel is safe for use on most aircraft surfaces, including aluminum, fiberglass, and composite materials. Citri-Strip Paint Stripping Gel is ideal for removing paint from large and small aircraft surfaces. To use the gel, simply apply it to the aircraft surface with a brush or roller and let it sit for 15-30 minutes. Then, scrape off the paint with a putty knife or other blunt object. For best results, follow up with a good washing with soap and water.
Evapo-Rust Safe Erase
Evapo-Rust Safe Erase aircraft paint stripper is a unique formula that safely and effectively removes aircraft paint. The stripper is non-toxic, biodegradable, and safe for the environment. It also does not contain any harmful chemicals or solvents. The stripper is applied with a brush or roller and can be easily removed with a power washer or hose. It is ideal for removing aircraft paint from metal surfaces, plastic surfaces, glass surfaces, and composite materials.
Smart Strip Advanced Paint Remover
Smart Strip is a powerful aircraft paint remover that is perfect for removing multiple layers of paint. The advanced formula quickly strips away paint, leaving a smooth surface that is ready for refinishing.
Smart Strip is easy to use and provides excellent results with minimal effort. Simply apply the remover to the surface and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping away the paint. For stubborn areas, you may need to repeat the process. However, overall, Smart Strip is an effective and easy-to-use aircraft paint remover that can save you time and money.
The most popular types of aircraft paint removers are caustic, solvent-based, and enzymatic. Caustic aircraft paint removers are the most aggressive and can cause damage to the underlying material if not used properly.
Solvent-based aircraft paint removers are less aggressive and can be used on a variety of materials. Enzymatic aircraft paint removers are the least aggressive and are safe for use on all materials.
Choose wisely and always apply to a test area before using on the main areas of the aircraft. Hardened layers of baked enamels may require repeat application and extended removal time before the bare surface is revealed.
Pilot kneeboards are the small clipboards or folders worn on the knee during flight. They are an essential item of flight gear as they provide a convenient place to keep track of important information such as flight data, frequencies, and other information transmitted during radio calls. For the more qualified aviators and commercial pilots they are a covenient place in which to jot down important IFR information and other pilot notes.
A very basic kneeboard might be just a firm place on which to hold a notepad or for securing checklists. Student pilots on a budget might also use such a standard kneeboard to hold charts. It will probably have a single plastic strap and a pen holder. It might also have a crosswind component graph and a light gun signal key printed on it.
iPad kneeboards are obviously designed to hold an iPad firmly during flight. Even the simplest tablet kneeboard should be capabale of holding the iPad or iPad mini in place where it won’t be dislodged by control movements or bumpy air.
The kneeboard encourages cockpit organization by providing a place to store items such as plastic checklist pages. It’s where the inflight note taking happens, for jotting down radio frequencies, runways in use, wind speed & direction, and the QNH or QFE.
Think of the aviation kneeboard as the pilot’s desk.
Pilot Kneeboard Sizes
Pilot kneeboards are available in a variety of sizes and styles, and they can be customized to meet the needs of any pilot. There are many different types of pilot kneeboards available on the market, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and new products do occasionally appear to challenge the established models.
Most will have at least one adjustable elastic strap with clip together ends or a velcro strap for fixing it to the thigh.
Many are now first and foremost iPad kneeboards i.e. they hold an EFB (electronic flight bags). Depending on your tablet of choice you can buy one for your iPad Air, iPad Mini, iPad Pro, or any other electronic device or cell phone.
Here is a list of 11 of the best pilot kneeboards available today. As you can see, they differ in many respects as they’ve been designed for a variety of flight types.
MyGoFlight EFB Pilot Kneeboard
The MyGoFlight EFB Pilot Kneeboard is a top-quality kneeboard that’s designed specifically for use with electronic flight bags (EFB) e.g. an iPad. It features an attachable tablet holder, as well as plenty of storage space available to secure pens and pencils.
It’s one way to keep your iPad Mini safe while you’re flying. The detachable clipboard can be attached magnetically so it stays put when not being used; plus there are multiple pockets throughout this durable case that allow quick access. One-handed operation makes taking out devices easy no matter what situation arises: whether during preflight or before reaching your destination airport.
PILOT EFB CLIPBOARD AND KNEEBOARD The electronic flight bag VFR/IFR detachable clipboard adheres magnetically for stable note taking. Pilots kneeboard, clipboard, lapboard, and everyday case securely holds and protects your iPad Pro 9.7, 10.5, 11, iPad Air 1/2, iPad 2, 3, 4, 9.7, 10.2, or any other 9-11" tablet. Aviators, truckers, road trippers, travelers, boaters, and anyone else with an active lifestyle will love having easy, quick, safe, and one-handed access to thei
COCKPIT READY AND EASILY ADJUSTABLE When securely strapped to your knee or used as a lap board, the iPad is viewable and operable with one hand during critical phases of flight per FAA requirements. The tablet is held in the case by four adjustable clips that are attached to a rotating cradle, allowing easy 360° rotation between landscape and portrait positions. The cut-out design provides full and easy access to all of the device's ports, buttons, and controls.
VERSATILE AND MULTI-PURPOSE The removeable Velcro strap securely holds the kneeboard in. Once the strap is removed, the kneeboard becomes a sleek iPad case for everyday use. Easily take your iPad from air to office to home where the built-in and adjustable stand converts the case for laps, desks, or tabletops. Use a low slant for reducing wrist strain while typing on the on-screen keyboard or a higher angle for watching movies or photo slideshows or when typing with a wireless keyboard.
HEAVY-DUTY AND DURABLE YET LUXURIOUS Made of, and wrapped in, high quality, genuine black leather for a rich, sumptuous, and satisfying feel. Soft and supple micro-fiber material lines the inside, protecting your device.
International products have separate terms, are sold from abroad and may differ from local products, including fit, age ratings, and language of product, labeling or instructions.
The ASA VRF Pilot Kneeboard is another great option for those who use EFBs. It has a similar design to the MyGoFlight model but also includes an integrated clipboard that allows you to take notes during your flight.
This durable brushed aluminum VFR kneeboard gives pilots everything they need in one place, from important information about visibility and communication frequencies right down to how many minutes it’ll take before reaching cruising altitude with this particular type of aircraft. All this information is conveniently located on the custom-designed surface; specifically formulated by experts who know exactly what’s required while piloting.
FlyBoys Classic Kneeboard is the ultimate flight kneeboard for commercial and general aviation pilots. It’s a favorite among military pilots. The ultra-rugged D600 fabric ensures years of trouble-free use in the most demanding environment while a flexible design allows you to customize your kneeboard with checklists, inflight guides, and more.
The included flexible plastic clipboard (FB1060 ) is perfect for holding paper charts and other materials.
The Destination Departure Pilot Kneeboard is a brushed aluminum kneeboard with a strong pen holder at the top. It’s probably more ideal for short VFR flights as some users report that the clip is too strong for an iPad screen.
It also has a soft strap and strong velcro attachments to ensure it stays in position on your leg while the flight controls remain accessible. The aluminum material makes it a durable item. The cushioned edges protect hands from grazes and knocks should any sudden movement be required.
Dimensions: 5.5” x 8” kneeboard, 4.5” x 1.5” clip, 1.5” wide elastic strap aluminum strong construction with a flexible plastic clip pen holder that attaches to the kneeboard clip for any aviation accessories
SOFT AND STRONG FABRIC STRAP ensures a perfect fit for all leg sizes, men or women as well as durable construction to prevent future rips or tears along with strong velcro ensuring attachment during all phases of flight
A COMFORTABLE DESIGN which allows easy adjustment and use for any size person allowing ease of access for anybody who needs to use a kneeboard
CAN HOLD MOST AVIATION ACCESSORIES like an e6b flight computer on the kneeboard tray, plotter, sectional chart, and most student supplies
GREAT FOR ANY PILOT who needs to simplify things in the cockpit as well as convenient VFR information on the faceplate including information like light gun signals, transponder codes, VFR weather requirements and more
Jeppesen’s VFR Trifold Kneeboard is the perfect tool for keeping all your essential aeronautical information & equipment front and center during flight. Made with 600D Denier Cordura polymer, this durable kneeboard has plenty of space to easily organize any aviation essentials you need on hand while flying.
It has two leg straps with velcro fasteners. It’s a versatile kneeboard that has a detachable clipboard so that it can be used independently of the kneeboard.
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ASA IFR Tri-Fold Kneeboard
ASA’s IFR Tri-Fold Kneeboard is perfect for pilots who need to carry more. This strong aluminum tooled clipboard is silkscreened with important IFR information and fits into a black 3-panel jacket. The left panel has ample room for small books, papers, and other items that don’t fit elsewhere.
The center panel holds the kneeboard under clear plastic with a pen/pencil holder and buttonholes on either side allowing a pilot to fold back one or both panels with the leg band. The right-hand panel contains a clear pocket for an approach plate or pilot’s operating handbook. There is also a buttonhole for a yoke-mounted microphone and clips for holding a flight log and other papers.
The myClip Multi Kneeboard Strap for Tablets and Phones is a lightweight, one-handed device that allows you to securely attach your electronic flight bag (iPad) while flying. The innovative design provides an easy on/off attachment system with no clips around the case; simply slide over it and snap it into place.
It’s not a pilot kneeboard, just a strap, but once the tablet is in place it effectively becomes a kneeboard.
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Flight Outfitters Slimline iPad Kneeboard
The Flight Outfitters Slimline iPad Kneeboard has a rotating cradle that allows you to use your tablet in either portrait or landscape mode. Two mesh pockets provide extra storage for documents and other small items, while the heavy-duty elastic strap ensures it stays secured to your leg. This is a reversible kneeboard that can be used on either leg.
The LIFT Aviation Navigator Kneeboard is for pilots who want a premium leather kneeboarding experience that looks and feels just as good when not in use. The FIDLOCK™ quick adjustment buckle fit system allows you to easily change your mind, while the over-knee leg strap with silicone printed no-slip grip keeps it there during flight time. This model also comes with an expandable zippered pocket holding small items securely inside.
ASA iPad Air Rotating Kneeboard
The perfect tablet kneeboard for your iPad, this binder has an elastic strap that ensures it stays in place while you’re flying across the countryside or making a water crossing. It rotates 360 degrees so there are always options when adjusting from profile to landscape mode. Plus with its variable tilt feature, it makes map reading and checking for landmarks so much easier, no matter the light conditions or the position of the sun.
Kneeboards for the pilots in your life make a welcome gift. They get a lot of wear and tear during their life (the kneeboards, not the pilots, though that may also be true) and consequently may be prone to damage if not looked after well. A velcro strap or the pen holders may break, for example.
Next to the flight bag and the aviation headset, pilot kneeboards are one of the first items on the student pilot’s shopping list. The latest models may also include a power port, they may be reversible with several pockets for an inflight guide and other documents.
The best pilot kneeboards are not necessarily the most expensive. You don’t need a top of the range tri fold reversible kneeboard in your flight bag if you’re just going for a VRF flight in the local area. You just need something on which you can jot down in flight pertinent information and that will hold maps.
Compton Abbas Airfield (EGHA) is one of those airfields that attracts many new visitors and which has a loyal selection of aviators who frequently drop in. It is arguably one of the most picturesque airfields in the South of England. I have a personal reason to be fond of the airfield as it was here that I completed my PPL in 1991.
The airfield is on top of a hill about 3 miles south of the Dorset town of Shaftesbury. The hill is one of the chalk hills known as Cranborne Chase. The nearby village of Compton Abbas dates back to Saxon times and the literal meaning of the name is ‘village in a narrow valley’ near the ‘abbey’ in Shaftesbury.
This grass airfield is known for its warm welcome, social and aviation events, and of course, flying in various forms. It’s a popular meeting point for widely dispersed pilots who want to meet up before exploring the south coast.
There are several flight experiences available for anyone who wants a taste of flight in vintage aircraft or for aviators who want to try something new.
Compton is one of the locations in the UK where you can have a flight in a Harvard. The particular Havard at this airfield is a 1946 Marines At-6C Mk2a. Click here for more information.
If the Harvard Experience is out of your price range then how about a flight in an open cockpit biplane of the 1940s, the Boeing Stearman, used during WWII to train Navy Pilots, or the closed cockpit of a 1950s RAF trainer, the de Havilland Chipmunk, used until comparatively recently to train Army pilots at the Middle Wallop airfield in Hampshire. They would learn to fly on these fixed-wing aircraft before graduating onto helicopters at the Army Air Corps School of Flying.
If in vintage aircraft flying is not for you then there are two other options in more modern airplanes. You can try your hand at conventional flying in a light aircraft aboard a Piper Warrior or an Ikarus C42 which looks like an airplane but is in fact in the microlight category.
Compton is the home of a busy and active flying club. As well as being a prime location at which to base an aircraft members can hire from of a fleet of Piper Warrior aircraft and an Ikarus C42 providing ample solo hire availability. Club members fly out to other airfields and enjoy other social and aviation activities.
There are two cafes at the airfield, the Compton Cafe (for visiting pilots and customers attending for experience flights) and the Runway Cafe which is open to all. In fact, as with many picturesque airfields like this one, the Runway Cafe is frequented by many people who simply want to enjoy the view, watching the airplanes come and go, with the backdrop of the open country rolling away in the distance.
Flight training is available for the following licences at the Flying School at Compton which has been teaching people to fly light aircraft for over 30 years.:
The National Private Pilots Licence Microlight (NPPL(M))
They can also provide training for additional ratings including Tailwheel (essential if you want to fly vintage aircraft), Instrument Rating (Restricted).
The airfield is open all year from Tuesday to Sunday from 09:00-17:00hrs (local), apart from bank holidays. The Runway Cafe is open from 10:00-16:00hrs.
Compton Abbas really is a lovely place to visit, by road as well as by air.
Compton Abbas Airfield in the news
Compton Abbas may be a small airfield but it hit international headlines in the 1990s.
Asil Nadir is a Turkish Cypriot business tycoon who fled the United Kingdom in 1993 aboard a twin-engined Piper aircraft that took off from this airfield. The Piper landed in northern France where Nadir transferred to a private jet that took him to Northern Cyprus. He absconded after being charged with multiple counts of fraud and theft. He was later convicted in his absence and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
In August 2010, he returned to the UK to stand trial, but was released on bail and subsequently absconded again. In 2013, he was finally brought back to the UK to stand trial and was sentenced to seven years in prison. Nadir is currently out on parole and living in Turkey.
Andrewsfield Aviation like to offer friendly but professional flight training at all levels. They provide training for the Light Aircraft Pilot’s Licence (LAPL) and the Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL) aboard their fleet of Cessna C152 and Piper PA28 aircraft.
For these licences candidates need to complete a minimum of 30 or 45 hours respectively and pass 9 written exams on the various ground school subjects.
The final step before gaining your Pilot’s Licence is the Skills Test during which your flying ability will be tested by an examiner. But don’t be daunted – their instructors will be there to guide you and mentor you every step of the way.
Once you are the proud owner of Private Pilot’s Licence you’ll free to take friends and family on trips of your own choosing.
As your confidence and skills develop you’ll soon be able to fly further afield. For example, you could fly to popular destinations like Le Touquet in northern France, only 1 hour and 15 minutes from Andrewsfield. Stop there for lunch and fly back in time for tea.
One major advantage of learning at Andrewsfield is that home landing fees are included in the lesson price. Many other flying schools charge landing fees in addition to your normal lesson price.
Andrewsfield was the choice of Paul Bonhomme to renew his Flight Instructor Rating. Paul Bonhomme was one of the stalwarts of the Red Bull Air Race series. He announced his retirement from the championship just days after securing a record-breaking third title at the 2015 Series finale in Las Vegas.
Additional Training at Andrewsfield Aviation
In aviation the learning and developing never ends and they offer further instruction for Instrument IR(R) /IMC training, a Night Rating, and an Aerobatic Rating. You can even go for a Multi Engine Rating in our own Beech Duchess B76 aircraft.
If your ambitions include teaching then they can provide you with a Flight Instructor Course (FIC) which is open to PPL and CPL pilots. However if you don’t want to commit to the full FIC course and if you have at least 300 hours logged as Pilot in Command you can opt for the Class Rating Instructor (CRI) course which will enable you to perform type conversions, check outs, and refresher training.
Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) training is also available and is normally carried out using our Piper Arrow PA-28R-200 aircraft.
Trial Lesson Gift Vouchers & Hour Building
If you’re looking for a gift with a difference then why not buy one of their Trial Flying Lesson vouchers. The lucky recipient will have the opportunity to take control and fly the aircraft, and will be presented with a Certificate of Completion to mark the event.
Finally, they can also offer flight training and hour building at our satellite flight school in Naples, Florida where we can also take you from zero hours right up to EASA/FAA CPL/ATPL licences.
Saling Airfield, Essex
Saling Airfield is a small general aviation airfield located in the village of Great Saling, Essex, England. The airfield is home to a number of light aircraft and is used for private flying and flight training.
The airfield was originally built by USAAF engineers during the Second World War and was used by both the RAF and the United States Army Air Forces. Various USAAF squadrons operated from this airfield including heavy bombers sent on daylight raids over Germany right up to the end of the war. The RAF’s including visits by numbers 19, 65 and 122 Squadrons.
This war time airfield that once saw B-26 Marauders and Spitfires on its runways is now a busy general aviation airfield.
So whether it’s on a full or part time basis Andrewsfield can offer you the flight training you need at very competitive prices. Please visit www.andrewsfield.com for more information and follow the links to their social media accounts where you’ll see what our students past and present have to say about our services.
Or call them now on 01371 856744 and they’ll answer any questions you may have about learning to fly. They look forward to welcoming you to Andrewsfield.
There is a flight simulator experience waiting for you in many places around the UK and elsewhere. You’ll find links to a full range of flight simulator experiences in the UK below.
Modern flight simulators are so much better than the slow, unrealistic examples of the past. Many are full-motion simulators, so you get to feel all the sensations of climbing, descending, and turning. There are so many types of simulators, from Spitfires and other famous fighter aircraft to airliners, from light aircraft to modern military jets. You can even recreate the famous Sully Experience by ditching your airliner in the Hudson River.
The huge advantage of simulators is that no previous experience is required. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never sat in an aircraft before or don’t know the first thing about cockpits. You’ll be given a full briefing to ensure that you, or the lucky recipient of your gift, will enjoy the experience and that you come back for more.
Another big advantage of simulators is the fact that they are open all year round and, unlike real flying lessons, the weather never postpones the event. So whatever the wind or the precipitation outside you can enjoy a realistic flying experience.
Some of these flight simulator experiences are run by professionals who use the same simulators for training commercial pilots. You’ll be sitting in the same cockpit as the pilot who attends refresher courses or a new pilot on the way to obtaining a commercial licence.
Others are the cockpits of fighter jets in which you can experience the sensations and sounds of today’s modern combat, and World War II vintage aircraft in which you can relive the dogfights of the past, going into aerial battle with a computer-generated adversary or perhaps a friend in another simulator.
Alternatively, how about trying to land your aircraft on the deck of an aircraft carrier as it moves about in a rough sea? Some of the modern jet simulators include air to air combat, aircraft carrier landings, air to ground bombing, air to air refueling, formation flying, and full mission campaigns.
Whether you lean toward a Spitfire simulator or landing a Boeing 737 at LAX or an Airbus A320 at Heathrow, there’s a simulator experience waiting for you. They are the next best thing to being in the cockpit of a real Spitfire or flying an airliner into any airport in the world.
Airliner Flight Simulators
If airliners are your thing then you could choose to experience landing at some of the world’s most famous and spectacular airports; St Maarten, Innsbruck, and Kai Tak. Sitting in the darkened cockpit your eyes will see and your ears will hear exactly what real pilots experience.
Do you suffer from a fear of flying? Spending some time in a flight simulator has been known to relieve the symptoms of nervous flyers. Included in the links below is a link to a fear of flying course in Northampton or Sussex. Professional and patient instructors are on hand to walk you through every step.
Flight simulator experiences are also an excellent choice for businesses and companies looking for that fun and safe team-building exercise that is open all the year-round, whatever the weather.
Ready to give one a try, or thinking of giving the gift of wings to someone else? Why not go with a friend and take turns, or bring some of the family and make a day of it?
Use the links below to make a choice then follow the clicks to a booking. It’s an experience that is fun, safe, and very realistic. It may even give you the taste for real flying.
History of Flight Simulation
For as long as there have been airplanes, people have dreamed of flying. Early inventors attempted to build machines that could mimic the experience of flight, but it was not until the early 20th century that the first true flight simulators were developed. The earliest simulators were used for training pilots in the military, but it wasn’t long before civilian pilots began to use them as well.
Flight simulators have come a long way since those early days and they are now used for a variety of purposes, from training students and qualified pilots under the watchful eye of an instructor and checking their ability to fly real aircraft to entertaining people and giving them a flight experience.
The commercial simulator of today is a motion simulator that generates the physical sensation of piloting a plane as it lands at an airport or passes through any kind of weather. They can be configured for any type of skies and destinations.
Despite their many uses, all flight simulators share one common goal: to give their users the closest possible experience to flying without leaving the ground.
The Realism of Flight Simulator Software
The realism of flight simulator software has evolved in proportion to the hardware, processing power, and software of our computers. Flight sims have been around for almost as long as the personal computer. Flight simulator software has always been a best seller over the past few decades.
It was the idea that there might be a realistic alternative to actual flying that first attracted me to PCs. I was learning to fly in the 1980s but I didn’t have enough money to fly as often as I’d like.
To have a very realistic flight simulator on a powerful home PC seemed a great idea. However, it was to be a long time before the software and the processing power evolved into something satisfactory let alone a package that was truly impressive.
The evolution from the first attempts to the visual, auditory, and process realism of today’s flight sims are demonstrated in this video (it’s over 30 minutes long so you might want to scroll through it for glimpses).
Perhaps you can remember those early versions of Microsoft Flight Simulator. At first, they seemed poor substitutes for a real cockpit and instrument panel. As the years passed they began to take on a depth of realism that has evolved into something very close to the real thing.
Today, realism is everything. Real pilots who want to practice on light aircraft and aviation enthusiasts who want to fly airliners demand the accuracy of the Captain’s seat. They want total immersion in the experience. When someone is paying to use a Spitfire simulator they want to feel realistic controls as if they’re sitting in a Spitfire cockpit.
Combat flight sims have always been popular but as realism has improved the demand for civil aviation simulators has increased as well.
Today you can fly an airliner from startup to shutdown and select every button for every task, just as the aircrew would do in real flight. Perhaps some of those flight sim enthusiasts daydream of being asked to assist with any emergency that results in the aircrew being incapacitated!
The Virtual Cockpit
The idea of a passenger being able to land an airliner in an emergency has often been the subject of debate among pilots and aviation writers. As the realism in affordable flight simulators improves it can only add more fuel to the fire.
Today’s flight sims contain fully functioning instrument panels to the front, overhead, and to either side. You can turn and select buttons and turn dials. The instruments give clear and accurate information based on your flight parameters.
For some years now it’s been possible to select the time of day, weather, and random flight emergencies as well as dozens of aircraft types. Given the number of locations and terrain available it is not possible to live long enough to try every combination available.
It seems likely that the next generation of flight sim developers will exploit the potential of virtual reality. Surely there can be no greater fully immersive experience. As well as, and perhaps in conjunction with VR, there are likely to be more advances in the feedback from the control columns and pilot seats.
So, whether you’re a pilot who is unable to fly due to bad weather or an enthusiast looking for the next best thing, there is plenty of scope for exercise and enjoyment in the world of flight simulator software.
The Future of Flight Simulators
The limitations of flight sims used to be the fact that, no matter how realistic the graphics displayed on the screen nor the sounds coming out of the speakers, the pilot couldn’t feel the sensations of flight. Now that augmented and artificial reality has now found its way into the world of flight sims it’s possible to experience the physical sensations both by using cockpit seats that move in response to the aircraft’s movements and by fooling the mind using virtual reality goggles.
Flight Simulation FAQs
What is the best flight simulator?
There is no single best flight simulator. Professional pilots use a variety of simulators depending on their needs. Some are designed for training and others for recreation. The market for flight simulator software is large and growing, so there is something to meet the needs of everyone from beginners to experts.
What are the different types of flight simulators?
There are four types of flight simulators: full flight simulators, cockpit simulators, cabin crew trainers, and device trainers. Full flight simulators provide the most realistic experience and are used for training pilots. Cockpit simulators are used to train cabin crew and simulate the environment of a cockpit. Cabin crew trainers help prepare cabin crew for their roles. Device trainers are used to train pilots on the use of devices such as radios and navigational aids.
What are the best features of a flight simulator?
There is no single best feature of a flight simulator. However, some of the best features include the realistic graphics and sounds, the ability to fly in different weather conditions and locations, and the variety of aircraft available to fly. Additionally, flight simulators can be used for training or recreation, making them an enjoyable experience for pilots and aviation enthusiasts.
How realistic are today’s flight simulators?
Professional pilots use a variety of flight simulators depending on their needs, and many aviators find that today’s flight sims provide an experience that is realistic enough for training or recreation. The graphics and sounds in many sims are realistic enough to fool the mind and devices such as cockpit seats that move in response to the aircraft’s movements can provide a physical sensation of flight. Additionally, virtual reality goggles can be used to further immerse the user in the experience.
What is the future of flight simulators?
The future of flight simulators is likely to include more immersive experiences, such as virtual reality, and more realistic sensations, such as those provided by moving cockpit seats. Additionally, the market for flight sim software is large and growing, so there is likely to be something to meet the needs of everyone from beginners to experts.
Are there any good free flight sims?
Yes, there are several good free flight simulators available. Some are browser based while others are free to download for a PC or Max. All of these simulators are realistic and provide a great experience for pilots and aviation enthusiasts.
Tiger Moth flights are wonderful flying experiences. They give you a taste of what it was like to fly during the 1930s when these aircraft first took to the skies, and as a trainee pilot during World War II when they were used to teach ab initio students how to fly. Step away from modern life for a while and enjoy the pure nostalgia of flight as it was 90 years ago.
During the flight, you will have the opportunity to take in the stunning scenery and to get a taste of vintage flying in this legendary aircraft. The Tiger Moth is a great choice for those looking for an unforgettable flying experience as a gift to a loved one or a treat for themselves.
The Tiger Moth is a British biplane that was made by the de Havilland Aircraft Company. It was used as both a civilian and military aircraft, and it is one of the most successful biplanes ever built. The Tiger Moth’s design includes two open cockpits in tandem with dual controls, allowing the pilot to hand over control of the aircraft to the passenger or student pilot. The aircraft is powered by a de Havilland Gipsy Major engine. Today, these vintage aircraft are carefully maintained by dedicated mechanics and flown by experienced pilots.
A 30 minute Tiger Moth flight is an amazing experience that you will probably want to repeat. You can enjoy the flight as a passenger but if you want to know how it feels to fly the aircraft you will be able to take control and enjoy all the sensations of flying this open cockpit biplane. Tiger Moth flights are available at select locations around the UK, USA, and a few other countries. If you’ve ever visited the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, Cambridgeshire and seen the Tiger Moths in the display hangars, you may have wondered what it would be like to experience vintage aviation of this type.
What happens during a Tiger Moth flight experience?
Your Tiger Moth flight will begin with a pre flight briefing from your instructor pilot. He or she will describe what is about to take place, where you will be flying and for how long, and what you can expect from the flight.
No matter what your level of flying experience, be sure to ask questions if you’re in any doubt or just curious. There is no such thing as a dumb question and you will not be judged for any lack of knowledge. The instructor will be committed to ensuring your safety and enjoyment. If you like this flight experience they hope you will return to repeat it with more flying lessons! The instructor will probably ask you what type of flight experience you would like, from gentle flight with as few maneuvers as possible to some aerobatics during which you’ll be glad you’re strapped in tightly.
The Tiger Moth flight experience varies depending on the location, but generally, you will be able to take the controls of the aircraft during the flight. This is a great opportunity to experience ‘stick and rudder’ flying in a vintage aircraft. If you would rather not fly the aircraft yourself then you can simply enjoy the view and take as many photos as you like. The duration of the flight can vary. It’s possible to purchase anything from 15 minute Tiger Moth flight to a full hour in the air. And of course, you will also have a chance to enjoy the stunning views from above as you fly along at a gentle pace.
Tiger Moth Flights Near Me – Where to book
Several flight schools in the UK offer Tiger Moth flights.
A Tiger Moth flight (various durations) at Headcorn Aerodrome in Kent. They have two aircraft available. One was built in 1934 and the other is a rare Australian aircraft built in 1959.
Tiger Moth Flights at Redhill Aerodrome in Surrey. Redhill was the home of the Tiger Club from 1959-1990.
How about a Tiger Moth flight over God’s own country, Yorkshire? The flights take place at Sherburn Aerodrome, near Leeds. You’ll be donning a flying jacket for the full 1940s experience, see an original WW II dispersal hut, and contributing to the RAF Benevolent Fund all at the same time.
Fly over the Sussex Downs or the south coast in a 1940s Tiger Moth or a Stampe from Shoreham Airport (also known as Brighton City Airport).
There are Tiger Moth flights of various durations available at Derby Airfield in Egginton, Derbyshire. From the same airfield, you can book a Dambusters Flight experience, flying the route that the 617 Squadron aircraft flown by Guy Gibson and his crewmates used to practice their dam busting raids.
You can take lessons in a Tiger Moth at North Weald airfield in Essex. This historic airfield that was an operational fighter base during WWII.
If you can’t decide where or when then Tiger Moth flight vouchers, valid at locations nationwide, are available to purchase online.
Who can go on a Tiger Moth flight?
Almost anyone can enjoy a Tiger Moth flight. However, these are tail dragger aircraft with no cockpit doors so you should be able to climb in to and out of the front cockpit (the pilot will sit in the rear cockpit). Either the pilot or a member of the ground crew will help you with this.
There is likely to be a minimum age and there may also be weight restrictions. Call the flying school to check. Also, if you are in any doubt about a particular medical condition then you should consult your doctor before doing any flying.
What’s it like to fly in a Tiger Moth
Flying in a Tiger Moth is an unforgettable experience. The open cockpit and the sound of the engine combine to give you a sense of freedom that is unparalleled. Even though the plane is small, it is incredibly nimble, responsive, and generally docile. Every movement of the controls is transmitted directly to the plane, so you feel like you are one with the aircraft.
Once you have strapped in to that front cockpit and enclosed within the wooden fuselage you will start to take in your surroundings. You’ll be able to look more closely at the Tiger Moth wings and the aircraft’s fuel tank in the upper wing above.
The view from the cockpit is also magical. As you fly along you’ll be reminded of the ageless wonder of flight. You’ll be experiencing the same sensations that Tiger Moth pilots encountered during the 1930s. You will notice how the Tiger Moth responds to gentle adjustments of the stick and rudder. Your first flight in an open cockpit tail dragger will be quite unlike normal flight in a light aircraft, and it will be a fantastic experience.
What to wear for your Tiger Moth flight experience
There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing what to wear for your Tiger Moth flight experience. The flight school might provide you with a leather flying helmet and goggles and a leather flying jacket to complete the authentic 1930s experience. They may also offer you a flight suit to wear over your clothes in place of the jacket.
First, you’ll want to dress for the weather. By that, I mean the weather above, not just the weather on the ground. Even on a warm spring or summer’s day, it can be much colder when you’re at 2,000ft in an open cockpit.
Second, comfortable clothing is a must. You’ll be sitting in the cockpit for the duration of the flight, so you’ll want to make sure you’re wearing something that won’t restrict your movement.
Finally, closed-toe shoes are a must. Boots or trainers are fine, though avoid wearing anything with loose accessories. This is for safety reasons, as loose clothing and shoes can pose a hazard while flying.
With these guidelines in mind, you’re sure to have a safe and enjoyable experience flying in a Tiger Moth!
Tips for your Tiger Moth flight experience
All flights are weather dependent so call the flight school before setting off to the airfield and they will advise if there are suitable flying conditions.
Go with a friend and relative and ask them to take plenty of pictures of you climbing into and out of the aircraft.
Ask the flight school if they provide any in-cockpit camera footage as part of the flight experience package.
If you’re a student pilot or already a qualified pilot, mention that you want to log the experience as a flying lesson e.g. General Handling.
If you take a camera with you for the flight, keep a firm grip on that phone or camera. You don’t want the wind to whip it out of your hand or to drop it onto the cockpit floor where it will not only be irretrievable for the duration of the flight but may also interfere with the aircraft’s control cables.
Accidents in these gentle aircraft are vary rare and the flight school will have its own Public Liability Insurance. You may want to check your own private insurance for any restrictive clauses.
The history of the de Havilland Tiger Moth
The de Havilland Tiger Moth is a British biplane that was used for initial training by the Royal Air Force during the 1930s and 1940s. The Tiger Moth was designed to be an easy-to-fly aircraft that could provide new pilots with the basic skills they would need to fly more advanced aircraft. Its design an low speed meant made the Tiger Moth’s handling ideal for training future fighter pilots.
This aircraft’s distinctive design has made it one of the most recognizable aircraft of the era. Despite its success as a training plane, the Tiger Moth was retired from service in the 1950s and replaced by more modern trainers, most notably the de Havilland Chipmunk. However, the plane’s simple design and affable personality have made it a popular choice for aircraft enthusiasts and many examples remain airworthy.
The Tiger Moth remains one of the most popular vintage aircraft among collectors and pilots. One of the reasons for the Tiger Moth’s enduring popularity is its engine. The de Havilland Gipsy Major is a four-cylinder inline engine that produces around 130 horsepower. Its simple design made it easy to maintain and repair, even in the field. The Gipsy Major also has a good power-to-weight ratio, making the Tiger Moth a nimble and responsive aircraft. In addition, the engine is relatively quiet, which made the Tiger Moth a favorite among flight instructors who had to deal with the constant noise of aero engines.
Soon after it first flew, this aircraft was put into service as a trainer by the Royal Air Force. It quickly became popular with both students and instructors and remained in service for over 20 years. In addition to its use as a trainer, the Tiger Moth was also used as a light utility aircraft. After the war, many Tiger Moths were sold on the civilian market, and they remain popular to this day with many airworthy Tiger Moths flying and displaying at airshows and lifting gently from grass airstrips.
Where to see Tiger Moths on display
De Havilland Aircraft Museum, England
The de Havilland Aircraft Museum is a museum located in London Colney, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom. The museum is dedicated purely to the history and preservation of de Havilland aircraft. The museum houses a collection of over 50 de Havilland aircraft, as well as a variety of artifacts and documents related to the company’s history. The museum also offers a variety of educational programs and events for both children and adults. There are also examples on static display at the Imperial War Museum at Duxford.
Mackay Tiger Moth Museum, Australia
The Mackay Tiger Moth Museum is one of the most unique museums in Australia. The museum is dedicated to the history and preservation of the Tiger Moth aircraft. The Tiger Moth was a popular aircraft in the early 20th Century and was used by the Australian military during World War II. The Mackay Tiger Moth Museum houses a collection of over 30 Tiger Moths, as well as other aircraft from the same era. The museum is open to the public seven days a week and offers a variety of guided tours and educational programs. Visitors can learn about the history of the Tiger Moth aircraft, and see how these iconic planes are being preserved for future generations.
The de Havilland name lives on
de Havilland Aircraft of Canada is an aircraft manufacturer with its head office in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It was founded in 1928 as a subsidiary of de Havilland Aircraft.
In the 1930s, de Havilland Canada built more than 600 bush planes for use in forestry and mining operations in the Canadian north. The company also produced a series of successful passenger aircraft. In the 1960s, the company was acquired by Hawker Siddeley and became a part of that company’s aircraft division. In 1986, DHC was sold to Bombardier Inc. and became a subsidiary of that company.
Today, de Havilland Canada is a world-renowned aircraft manufacturer with a global customer base. The company’s products include the Dash 8 series of turboprop airliners and the Global series of business jets.
A flight bag is a piece of luggage designed specifically for air travel. Flight bags are typically smaller than traditional suitcases and often have multiple compartments and enough storage space to help keep everything organized. They also usually have a shoulder strap or carry handle, which can be helpful when navigating through an airport.
In addition, many flight bags supplied to the US market are equipped with a TSA-approved lock, which helps to keep belongings secure during the journey. As an air travel passenger, whether you’re a frequent flyer or just taking a weekend getaway, a flight bag that has been designed for air travel can make life a little easier.
Who needs a flight bag?
As well as passengers, a flight bag is an extremely useful tool for pilots and any members of the aircrew, whether a private pilot or commercial airline captain. A sturdy flight bag will typically have several pockets and compartments to keep all essential items organized and within easy reach. This can include items such as aviation headsets, sectional charts, kneepads, checklists, fuel testers, and other items that may be needed during the flight.
In addition, a flight bag can also serve as a convenient place to store important personal items such as a passport or driver’s license (and more recently, additional health documentation).
For pilots who frequently fly into unfamiliar airports, a practical flight bag makes life just that little bit easier. It is essential to have quick and easy access to all of the necessary documents and resources, and a well-organized flight bag can make all the difference.
What makes a good flight bag?
A good flight bag should be spacious enough to fit everything you need, but not so large that it becomes cumbersome to carry or stow away, either in the cockpit or in the overhead lockers. The bag should also have several well-organized compartments to help keep everything in its place and it should be durable enough to withstand the rigors of travel.
For this reason, it should be made from high-quality materials that can resist wear and tear, and it should have strong straps and handles that won’t break under the weight of your belongings. With all of these features, a premium bag can make traveling easier and more enjoyable.
As a pilot, the best flight bag for you will have dedicated pockets and storage space for all the particular items you carry with you.
These pockets might include:
Two padded headset pockets
Fuel tester pockets
A large transceiver pocket
A zippered iPad pocket
A zippered rear pocket
Mesh pockets for easy access to items e.g. a water bottle
A zippered pocket or separate pockets for each or some of the following; sunglasses, spare batteries, flight plans, charging cords, and other gear
In addition to the exterior pockets you might want to consider these other bag features:
Padded laptop compartment
Adjustable shoulder strap
Lined main compartment
J hook (to attach to other bags)
Pocket Cap Front
The pocket cap front is a large zippered pocket made up of a large flap that covers the entire front of the bag and it is secured with a snap closure or a zip, enabling quick access. The pocket cap front is typically used to store items such as an boarding pass, passport, or other documents. The pocket cap front is a feature you’ll see on almost every type of flight bag.
Choosing a flight bag suitable for passengers
When it comes to choosing a flight bag, there are a few things to take into account. First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure that the bag is the right size for your needs.
For air travelers, carry-on bags have strict size restrictions and these vary from one airline to another. Budget airlines and short-haul flights insist on smaller bags than long-haul flights, so be sure to check the dimensions of your bag before purchasing it.
Your decision will probably be based on the routes you most often fly. As a business traveler who makes several short-haul flights within the same country or continent each year, you might opt for a small bag than, for example, someone who travels long haul once a year to go on holiday.
Once you’ve found the perfect size, you can start to think about style. Do you want a bright and colorful bag that will stand out from the rest? Or are you looking for something more subdued? There are plenty of great options out there, so take your time and find the perfect bag for your travel requirements.
The Student Pilot Flight Bag
During that initial rush of enthusiasm when student pilots start learning to fly there is the pleasure of buying all the gear needed for the weeks and months ahead. Some of this equipment may last well past the date of obtaining a pilot’s license. A battered flight bag may be a visible reminder of those early days of flight lesson nerves.
All this pilot gear could also be on a birthday or Christmas wishlist. However, your family and friends may not be familiar with the products and where to buy them, so you may have to send them a wishlist link or precise details if you’re to receive the flight bag and other pilot gear you have in mind.
The Pilot Flight Bag
A recreational pilot (PPL or similar) may simply continue using the flight bag that has served well during training, but commercial or airline pilots (CPL/ATPL, etc) may need something a bit more executive looking that befits the aircraft and the company image.
Wouldn’t that battered old flight bag from your student pilot days look a bit out of place in the cockpit of a Hawker 4000? Perhaps it’s time you treated yourself and upgraded to something a bit smarter, like a leather flight bag that matches the shine on your shoes and clean-cut of your uniform.
Pilot bags used by professional pilots will be by their side at all times and will not have to travel on a luggage cart at any point.
Where to buy your flight bag
Flight Outfitters is an aviation apparel brand that is all about providing pilots and aviation enthusiasts with high-quality, stylish clothing. The brand offers a wide range of items, from T-shirts and hats to jackets and flight suits. In addition to their clothing line, Flight Outfitters also sells a variety of aviation-themed accessories, such as headphones, bags, and wallets.
Flight Outfitters bags can be inspected closely at about twenty retail locations in the USA, a few in Canada, and one in the UK. In addition, there are several in Europe. If you prefer to shop online then there are of course dozens of online retailers base in the USA, Germany, South Africa, Australia, and the UK. The Flight Outfitters lift bag is a popular choice.
For air travelers, the best flight bags don’t need to be quite as compartmentalized as those used by airline captains carrying assorted amounts of flying gear. An excellent bag for a passenger will be made from durable material and have enough space for all their essential gear. They may also want a padded iPad pocket, several external pockets, perhaps a padded laptop sleeve, and a padded shoulder strap.
Like aviator sungglasses, flight bags are often used by people who not only have no practical connection with aviation but may not share any interest in it. Their only interest is in aviation is a comfortable flight with punctual departure and arrival times.
For you, maybe flight bags are a stlyish accessory, a practical bag made perhaps out of oiled South American cowhide. You may not need a bush pilot bag but you like the style, it’s colour and its leather accents on the canvas edges, and you just want bag features such as an organizer pocket, rolling luggage handles, adjustable strap, and enough room for all your accessories.
Vancropak Travel Backpack, 40L Flight Approved Carry On Backpack
This spacious and stylish backpack is designed for both men and women and meets the maximum size allowed by IATA flights. The expandable design allows you to store everything from clothes to toiletries. Whether you’re hitting the road for a weekend getaway or taking a business trip, this carry-on backpack will make packing a breeze.
The Vancropak Travel Backpack has a spacious main compartment and separate mesh pocket, it has plenty of room to store all your travel gear. The internal compression elastic straps keep everything secure, while the front compartment with various pockets is perfect for storing notebooks, pens, earphones, and other small items.
And the anti-theft back pocket is ideal for keeping your valuables safe. The Vancropak Travel Backpack is large enough to hold everything you need for a comfortable trip, and its stylish design makes it a great choice for both men and women.
It features an air-mesh ventilated back panel, adjustable chest straps, and four exterior side compression buckles to help keep your belongings secure. Plus, the thickened sponge handles and shoulder straps provide extra comfort when you’re carrying your bag.
Large Capacity : carry-on travel backpack offers a roomy and well-organized main compartment that's secured shut with double zippers and four external compression straps. Unzipped, the inside flap offers a full-width zippered mesh compartment—great for larger items or keeping contents separate from the main compartment. Inside the main compartment, there are two adjustable compression straps to help keep contents in place.
Expandable & Flight Approved Size: Weekender backpack's regular dimension : 20*14*7inch(Expandable size: 20*14*9inch) , You can created an extra room by zipper closure expansion according to your requirement . It's complies with the flight regulations that fit the allowed maximum size of an IATA flights. You can easily put it on airplane luggage rack as well as the under seat storage. And the 180 degree zipper closure help you go through the security check quickly and keep the inside items tight
Reduce Pressure Feature: Luggage backpack with adjustable anti-slip sternum strap that can be adjusted upward or downward by quick release buckle for distribute the weight from your shoulder. And 4 exterior compression buckle straps help to pack more compact for stabilization and maximum carry comfort, Also reduced stress on the zippers. Upgraded adjustable shoulder straps buckle for long lasting and durability. It's convenient for worldwide travelers
Convenient for Multi Occasion Use: Flight Approved backpack is easy to carry , Back pocket can hide its shoulder straps when not using. With two comfortable handles that set both on top and one side of the backpack make it even more convenient when you want to take it with your hand. This multiple pockets backpack allowing a more flexible carrying experience and easy to carry around for travelers and weekenders
Durable & Comfy Use: Expandable backpack made of durable polyester and anti-scratch material. Water-Resistant fabric feature can provide a protection against in drizzle day. This 40L luggage backpack with Ergonomic Design can decrease the pressure of shoulder and neck, Let you feel comfortable even withstand heavy package for your weekend daypack travel
Your aviation headset may be an item that you want to carry for quick access in a compact bag specifically designed for the task, rather than in the zip pocket of a larger bag. You may need to make it easily accessible in a dark cockpit, for example.
The Simple Flyer Alpha Pilot Headset Flight Bag is the perfect bag for aviation professionals and student pilots. It has a large headset pocket, a protected iPad inner pocket, and pockets for pens, phone chargers, and everything else needed to be easily reached. The large side pockets are perfect for water bottles, sunglasses, view limiting devices, handheld radios, ADS-B receivers, etc. Simple Flyer’s Alpha Pilot Headset Flight Bag is made of durable rip-stop nylon fabric that will last in harsh environments.
Other Travel Bags
A messenger bag is a type of shoulder bag that was often used by bicycle messengers, hence the name. The design of the bag allows it to be worn across the body, leaving the hands free to ride a bike.
Messenger bags are often made from durable materials such as canvas or leather, and they often have several pockets to help keep everything organized. A messenger bag is are very often a sturdy bag and makes very good laptop bag.
Many people now use messenger bags as an alternative to a traditional briefcase, backpack, or flight bag, as they can be more comfortable to carry and offer easy access to the contents. However, messenger bags tend to have just one large compartment, so they don’t keep everything separated.
RYANAIR MAXIMUM CABIN LUGGAGE SIZE: We specifically designed our Aerolite holdall to measure 40x20x25cm; which is EXACTLY the maximum allowed size you can take for free in the cabin when flying with Ryanair. It is also accepted on virtually all major airlines world-wide; Including easyJet, British Airways, Etihad, Emirates, Delta, Flybe, Lufthansa, Norwegian, Jet2, KLM, Quatar, Wizz Air and Virgin Atlantic to name just a few!
UNDERSEAT FLIGHT BAG: This compact holdall is the perfect piece of cabin hand luggage for your travels. It is a convenient under seat flight bag that is made to fit within the guidelines and perfect for your travels. Dimensions: 40x20x25cm, Weight: 0.45kg, Capacity: 20L.
SAFE AND SECURE: No need to worry about the safety of your belongings. This holdall features a spacious and lockable main compartment to help keep your items safe. The convenient front zipped pocket is an ideal space for your travel documents and any items you need quick access to throughout your flight, such as books, headphones, snacks and electronic devices.
CARRY BY HAND, WEAR ON YOUR SHOULDER, OR MOUNT OVER LARGER LUGGAGE: The HOLD615 is highly adaptable. It features two handles on the top with a velcro clasp to carry by hand. If you prefer to wear your bag on your shoulder, it includes a length-adjustable shoulder strap for convenience. Or if you’re travelling with a larger cabin case or hold luggage, it features a dedicated mounting strap on the rear – allowing you to mount the bag over your extendable trolley handle.
5 YEAR WARRANTY: Our durable holdall bags are designed to last but for peace of mind, Aerolite offer a 5 year guarantee replacement service covering all manufacturing defects.
BRITISH AIRWAYS, KLM & AIR FRANCE MAX SIZE: We specifically designed our flight bag to measure 40x30x15, allowing you to take our bag for free in the cabin when flying with these airlines. It is also the maximum free carry on/personal item size for Finnair, Iberia, Pegasus, Scandinavian SAS, TAP Portugal and Turkish Airlines. Plus, it is also accepted as carry on luggage on several other major airlines world-wide; including easyJet, Ryanair, LOT and many more!
LARGE MAIN COMPARTMENT: This large capacity holdall is the perfect piece of cabin hand luggage for your travels. It is a convenient under seat flight bag with a large main compartment - which provides plenty of storage space for anything that you need throughout your flight; such as books, headphones, snacks and electronic devices. Dimensions: 40x30x15cm, Weight: 0.55kg, Capacity: 18L.
SAFE AND SECURE: No need to worry about the safety of your belongings, as the holdall features a main compartment which is lockable using the loops in the zips to keep your belongings secure. The bag also features a convenient front zipped pocket which is ideal for any small items you need to access at a moment’s notice - including boarding passes, travel documents and your passport.
WEAR ON YOUR SHOULDER, OR MOUNT OVER LARGER LUGGAGE: Our holdall is highly adaptable. When wearing the bag on your shoulder, it includes a length-adjustable shoulder strap for convenience. Or if you’re travelling with a larger cabin case or hold luggage, it features a dedicated mounting strap on the rear – allowing you to mount the bag over your extendable trolley handle.
2 YEAR WARRANTY: The bag also comes complete with a 2 Year Warranty covering all manufacturing defects for full peace of mind.
PREMIUM FEATURES: The 3 in 1 multi-purpose design allows you to transport your items exactly the way you want. The bag features a padded mesh backrest and can be worn as a backpack for hands-free transportation. The straps can be stored when not in use in the handy zip pocket provided. The bag can also be carried on your shoulder using the detachable shoulder strap, or carried by hand as a holdall using the soft reinforced top or side carry handles.
RYANAIR MAXIMUM CABIN LUGGAGE SIZE: We specifically designed the BPMAX03 bag to measure 40x20x25cm; which is EXACTLY the maximum allowed size you can take for free in the cabin when flying with Ryanair. It is also accepted on virtually all major airlines world-wide; Including easyJet, British Airways, Etihad, Emirates, Delta, Flybe, Lufthansa, Norwegian, Jet2, KLM, Quatar, Wizz Air and Virgin Atlantic to name just a few! Weight: 0.95kg, Capacity: 18L.
ORGANISED: This backpack is ideal for those travelling light. It features three dedicated zipped compartments. The spacious main compartment features packing straps for your clothes and shoes. The middle pocket is for your tech; with a tablet pouch (fitting screens up to 10.1”), and smaller pockets for your accessories. It also has a waterproof pocket for toiletries. The smaller front pocket is perfect for stationery and smaller possessions. Plus, there’s even a water-bottle holder on the side.
USB CHARGING PORT: The bag features a built in USB charging port on the outside, so you can easily charge your mobile devices whilst on the go. Simply place your own powerpack into the internal powerpack pocket (fits powerpacks up to 18x8x2cm – powerpack not included) and use the USB cable supplied to wire it to the port. You can then use your own charger cable to charge your device, without having to lug a heavy powerpack around in your pockets.
SECRET RFID COMPARTMENT, YKK ZIPPERS & 5 YEAR WARRANTY: The bag features a special secret hidden compartment with an RFID-blocking lining – so your credit cards are safe from fraudsters while on the move. The YKK zippers have been precision engineered to pass the toughest of abrasion resistance tests and ensure that the contents of your luggage are well protected. The bag also comes complete with a 5 Year Warranty covering all manufacturing defects for full peace of mind.
【IATA Flights Size】40*30*17 CM (Normal 26L). 45*30*27 CM(Expanded 38L), Weight：1.3KG ,fits for 17.3 Inch laptop. Design to fit the allowed maximum size of an IATA flights, enough space for your personal stuff for a long journey.
【180° opened & Multiple compartments】The travel backpack can open freely at 90 to 180 degree like a suitcase,Easy to take out and put in. Thickened PC layer ×1,iPad layer × 1，Large clothes layer × 2,front layer × 2 for books and little goods，WATER-PROOF compartment × 1 for Toiletries and wet clothes，There are also several compartments for bottle and small items (the detailed situation of the product may refer to the image).
【Water-Repellent Material】This Business laptop backpack made of durable Nylon and Hydrophobic molecular materials，Can protect your backpack from rain erosion. With SBS metal zippers,Open your backpack smoothly.👍Comfortable and breathable sponge mesh design of the back and straps,meaning it's more comfortable carrying a heavy load, relieves the stress of your shoulder.
【USB Charging Port】External USB charger port with built-in charging cable offers a more convenient way,Release your hands. *Please noted, Powerbank do not included.
【Perfect Travel Companion】A good choice on the go - Fashion laptop bag with sturdy luggage belt lets you pull suitcase with one hand, great for school, university, weekend getaway, occasional travel, gyms, everyday work, business, trip, camping and hiking.
RYANAIR MAXIMUM CABIN LUGGAGE SIZE: We specifically designed our 5 Cities holdall to measure 40x25x20cm; which is EXACTLY the maximum allowed size you can take for free in the cabin when flying with Ryanair. It is also accepted on virtually all major airlines world-wide; Including easyJet, British Airways, Etihad, Emirates, Delta, Flybe, Lufthansa, Norwegian, Jet2, KLM, Quatar, Wizz Air and Virgin Atlantic to name just a few!
RYANAIR MAXIMUM CABIN LUGGAGE SIZE: We specifically designed our 5 Cities holdall to measure 40x25x20cm; which is EXACTLY the maximum allowed size you can take for free in the cabin when flying with Ryanair. It is also accepted on virtually all major airlines world-wide; Including easyJet, British Airways, Etihad, Emirates, Delta, Flybe, Lufthansa, Norwegian, Jet2, KLM, Quatar, Wizz Air and Virgin Atlantic to name just a few!
RYANAIR MAXIMUM CABIN LUGGAGE SIZE: We specifically designed our 5 Cities holdall to measure 40x25x20cm; which is EXACTLY the maximum allowed size you can take for free in the cabin when flying with Ryanair. It is also accepted on virtually all major airlines world-wide; Including easyJet, British Airways, Etihad, Emirates, Delta, Flybe, Lufthansa, Norwegian, Jet2, KLM, Quatar, Wizz Air and Virgin Atlantic to name just a few!
UNDERSEAT FLIGHT BAG: This compact holdall is the perfect piece of cabin hand luggage for your travels. It is a convenient under seat flight bag which allows quick access to anything that you need throughout your flight, such as books, headphones, snacks and electronic devices. Dimensions: 40x20x25cm, Weight: 0.45kg, Capacity: 20L.
SAFE AND SECURE: No need to worry about the safety of your belongings, this holdall features a spacious and lockable main compartment to help keep your belongings safe on your travels. The convenient front zipped pocket is an ideal space for your travel documents and any items you need to quick access to.
RYANAIR MAXIMUM CABIN LUGGAGE SIZE: We specifically designed the HOLD611-322 holdall to measure 40x25x20cm; which is EXACTLY the maximum allowed size you can take for free in the cabin when flying with Ryanair. It is also accepted on virtually all major airlines world-wide; Including easyJet, British Airways, Etihad, Emirates, Delta, Flybe, Lufthansa, Norwegian, Jet2, KLM, Quatar, Wizz Air and Virgin Atlantic to name just a few! Weight: 1.2kg, Capacity: 20L.
ABS HARD SHELL HYBRID PROTECTION: The side panels of the bag are made from scratch-resistant ABS hard shell plastic to protect the contents from bumps and scrapes from both sides. ABS is also extremely light. The central section is made from flexible yet rip-resistant polyester material for lightness; and also to allow you to pack as much as possible inside.
CARRY BY HAND, WEAR ON YOUR SHOULDER, OR MOUNT OVER LARGER LUGGAGE: The HOLD611-322 is highly adaptable. It features two handles on the top with a velcro clasp to carry by hand. If you prefer to wear your bag on your shoulder, it includes a detachable length-adjustable non-slip shoulder strap for convenience. Or if you’re travelling with a larger cabin case or hold luggage, it features a dedicated mounting strap on the rear – allowing you to mount the bag over your extendable trolley handle.
DUAL ZIP CLOSURE: The holdall features two openings for convenience. The main opening runs across the entire length of the bag; and can be used when packing/unpacking. It also features a handy U-Shaped opening on the top of the bag; which can be used to quickly access your essentials (such as passports, travel documents or other travel essentials), without having to open the bag up fully or items spilling out. Both feature dual-zip closure, which can be locked shut for security if required.
RIGID BASE, WATERPROOF INTERIOR POCKET & 2 YEAR WARRANTY: The interior features a fold-down rigid base liner for when the bag is in use. When not in use, you can fold the liner up to compress the bag for easier storage. The interior also features two elasticated pockets (perfect for toiletry bottles), and a clear waterproof pocket for toothbrushes or wet items. Finally, the holdall comes complete with a 2 Year Warranty covering all manufacturing defects, so you can buy with absolute confidence!
A portable urinal provides a convenient and discreet way for pilots to answer that call without leaving their seat or exposing themselves. No, it’s not the most glamorous subject. Portable urinals for aviators isn’t at the top of the list of suitable gifts for pilots, yet they are quite important, particularly for pilots who fly long legs.
Preflight checks should include one that is sometimes overlooked, and that is, “Would now be a good time to use the loo/rest room?“.
Having the urge to pee when you’re at 5,000ft can turn what would have been an enjoyable flight into one you would rather ended quickly. That’s not only annoying but it can also diminish your concentration and generate anxiety, and that is never a good thing when you’re the pilot in command. For these reasons you should look upon your portable urinal as part of your safety equipment aboard the aircraft.
Portable Urinals for the Cockpit
There are a variety of different portable urinals available on the market, obviously designed to match the differences between female and male anatomy. Female urinals come in a variety of shapes and sizes, those male urinals tend to be more of the urinal bottle type. Some models use disposable bags that capture the urine and which are therefore spill proof and leak proof.
As the pilot, it’s not just yourself that you need to think about. You might also want to carry additional male and female urinals in your aircraft for the comfort of your passengers if you frequently take passengers on extended trips.
Two Types of Portable Urinals
Generally speaking, there are two types of portable urinals for pilots: reusable plastic bottles that safely contain the urine for disposal later, and single use ones that contain absorbent gels or other substances that soak up the fluid and which are then disposed of.
Both types of urinals have their benefits. The urinal bottle type can be used over and over again while the absorbent types minimise the risk of spills and leaks. Ultimately, it is up to the individual pilot to decide which type of urinal is best for them.
There are a few drawbacks to using portable urinals. First, they can be a bit messy if not emptied properly. Second, they can be difficult to clean and maintain. Finally, they may not be appropriate for all pilots for a variety of medical reasons.
However, urinal bottles are more envornmentally friendly. The spill proof types that have the absorbant gels are single use items that have to be discarded and probably end up in a landfill site somewhere. Consequently, the urinal bottle type with a spill proof cap is a best seller.
Uriwell Unisex Personal Toilet Portable Urinal
The Uriwell Unisex Personal Toilet Portable Urinal is a great option for both male and female pilots. This urinal is simple to use and easy to clean. It also has a built-in suction system that prevents spills.
Compact and easy to store
Suction system prevents spills
Feel more comfortable and confident when flying
The Uriwell Unisex Personal Toilet Portable Urinal is the perfect option for pilots who want a reliable and discreet urinal that is easy to use and clean.
The Little John Portable Urinal
At the cheaper end of the budget, the Little John Portable Urinal is one solution for both men and women, although it does require the Lady J adapter for females. This urinal is easy and comfortable to use, thanks to the soft, flexible rim. The Little John Portable Urinal can be rinsed out and used again and again. It’s a popular choice due to the price point and simplicity.
However, it’s just a basic urine bottle and although it’s made of thick plastic and has a fairly large capacity, it doesn’t contain the absorbent substances designed to prevent spills. Even so, if you read reviews you’ll find the average rating value is quite high.
TravelJohn Disposable Portable Urinal
The TravelJohn Disposable Portable Urinal is perfect for those who want a male urinal that is easy to use and clean, and that can be disposed of after each use. This urinal fits easily in your pocket or flight bag, making it suitable for aviators.
Easy to use
Lightweight and portable
The range includes the TravelJane resealable and spill proof urinals designed for women.
The same company now produces biodegradeable versions of each product in response to the demand from consumers for more envronmentally friendly products.
The Pee Pocket is a disposable urinal that is perfect for those who want an easy-to-use and clean urinal that can be thrown away after each use, with the added bonus that this urinal is made of biodegradable materials, making it environmentally friendly. It also comes with a carrying case for easy portability.
Easy to use
Male Urinal with Glow in The Dark Lid
This Male Urinal delivers quick bladder relief to males in the cockpit. Its mobility makes it ideal for situations to e.g. tourists, campers, hospitals, and emergency use.
The transparent urine bottle was created with the intention of illuminating in the dark for ease of finding in low-light settings.
Although these transport wine bottles are flexible in design and constructed of high-density polyethylene, they can actually maintain an entire volume of 1000 milliliters or 32 ounces. The detachable lid helps to prevent odours as well. Each bottle is 9.5″ tall and 3″ wide with a 2.25″ wide opening over
To avoid spills, the ergonomically designed handle with a wide grip area helps to provide maximum stability while filling or emptying the bottle.
PORTABLE URINAL BOTTLES FOR MEN: This Male Urinal provides instant bladder relief for men whether they are home or on the go. Its portability also makes it convenient for travelers, campers, hospitals and emergency use.
GLOWS IN THE DARK LID: This translucent urine bottle was specially designed to glow in the dark for user to easily locate bottle in dark places.
PREMIUM QUALITY: These durable plastic bottles can hold up to 1000 ml or 32 ounces of liquid. The removable lid also helps to prevent odors. Each bottle measures approximately 9.5" tall and 3" wide with a 2.25" wide opening across the top.
HAND-HELD URINALS: The easy-to-grip handle provides maximum stability while using or emptying the bottle to avoid spillage.
It’s a self-contained portable male urinal when the lengthy tube is removed. This is also a woman’s urinal when connected with the female interface and long tube.
The hose is 120cm/47.2 inches long. Based on your unique requirements, the hose (the sealing lid’s side connected to the urinal) may be cut to the correct length, which solves the problem of excessively lengthy hoses.
The Toilet Safety Seat is made of thickened durable plastic, so it’s safe and won’t fall. The smooth material surfaces guarantee secure usage, no flaws, and no scratches. The urinal’s broad base design helps to avoid spills and leaks by preventing tipping.
The male urinal is light, compact, durable, and strong. It comes with an easy-grip handle for simple usage. Using hot water and detergent to clean it is straightforward.
Unisex Potty: 3 in 1 multifunctional urinals for men & women, 1.It's a portable male urinal when the long tube is removed, better for camping or in traffic; 3.This is a woman's urinal when connected the long tube and female interface, convenient for pregnant women too; 2.It is also a men's urinal when the female funnel is removed.
Upgrade Cutable Hose: The length of the hose is 120cm/47.2 Inch. The hose(side of the sealing lid connected to the urinal) can be cut to suitable length based on your different needs, which specifically solves the problem of too long hoses.
Excellent Quality: Made of thickened durable plastic material, making it sturdy, not afraid of falling. Smooth material surfaces that ensure safe use, no glitches, prevents scratches. Wide base design of the urinal helps prevent tipping, so there will be no spills or leakage.
2000ml Large Capacity: The bottle comes with graduations for measuring urine output. It can meet the demand for urine measurement. It's a very clear observation of the situation. It is widely used for people with bed incontinence or limited mobility. The patient can directly use the urinal on a bed or a wheelchair. It can also come in handy during a camping trip or any time when there is no restroom.
Easy to Carry and Use: The male urinal is lightweight, portable, strong and durable. An easy-grip handle for effortless use. It can be easily cleaned using hot water and detergent. Just unscrew the lid, wash the urinal with water and detergent, and then screw the lid back.
Clean it thoroughly with hot water and soap, or a mild bleach solution, or just use a disposable one.
What are the benefits of having a portable urinal in the cockpit?
There are many benefits having a portable urinal in the cockpit, including the following:
They are reassuring for both passengers and pilots. Like the sick bags, sometimes just knowing they are available is enough.
They are disposable and can be thrown away after each use.
Many are made of biodegradable materials, making them environmentally friendly.
They come in a variety of sizes and styles, allowing you choose one that suits you and the space available.
In the cockpit of a small aircraft, there are many benefits to having a portable urinal. They can be reassuring for both passengers and pilots alike as they know it is available if needed. Many come in biodegradable materials making them environmentally friendly. The portability allows you to bring it with you wherever you go and the variety of styles means there is one to suit your needs.
I hope you found this guide on how to choose the right portable urinal for your needs helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below.
The best aviation headsets for pilots and their passengers can be determined by the type of aircraft and the budget available. Here are some of the best pilot headsets on the market. Whether you’re looking for a top-of-the-line noise canceling headset or something more affordable, read on to find the perfect aviation headset for your needs.
Flying is a great experience, but it can be hard to enjoy when you’re not comfortable. The right pair of headphones will keep out distracting noises and provide crystal clear audio so that you can focus on what’s happening around you and enjoy your flight even more. Headsets have come a long way since the versions worn by Tiger Moth and other pilots of nearly a century ago.
The best headsets are made with careful consideration for the needs of pilots. They’ve been tested for comfort, noise reduction, mic clarity, and more to ensure pilots have a safe and effective experience. If you fly frequently, it’s important to invest in a headset that will last. A good quality headset is worth its weight in gold.
In this post, we’ll cover what you need to know about choosing a headset. We’ll briefly describe how they work, which features are most important, and why you might want to choose a more expensive one over a relatively inexpensive aviation headset.
Why do we need Aviation Headsets?
The importance of clear and unambiguous communication when flying cannot be overestimated. Incident and accident investigation results have revealed that confusion or misheard messages are a significant contributory cause of incidents.
It’s essential that you can hear the radio transmissions clearly, both from air traffic control and from other aircraft, and that your messages are heard without any distortion. They not only make flying a lot easier and more enjoyable but they’re also crucial safety equipment.
Types of Aviation Headsets
There are a few different types on the market, so it helps to be aware of the basic differences before making a purchase. The most common types are noise canceling, passive, and active.
Active Noise Reduction Headset
An active noise reduction headset (ANR headset) is designed to reduce the amount of ambient or background noise that gets into your ears. This is the best aviation headset type for pilots and their passengers who fly in aircraft that have a lot of cockpit noise or open cockpit aircraft.
Passive Noise Reduction Headset
A passive noise reduction (PNR) headset) doesn’t have any active noise canceling technology, but it does have ear cups that seal off your ears from background noise. This is a good option for pilots who fly in less noisy aircraft, like a modern, well-insulated aircraft that have a comfortable, perhaps luxurious interior.
Electronic Noise Reduction Headset
This is a technology that you’ll see in the David Clark X-Series, like the DC ONE-X and the DC ONE-XP and their popular H10 range.
Best Aviation Headsets – Features
When shopping for a new aviation headset, there are a few features you’ll want to consider before making a purchase. Here are some of the most important:
As described above, sound quality is essential for clear and concise communications.
A good aviation headset will reduce the amount of noise that gets into your ears, making it easier to concentrate. It’s also less tiring, which can be significant when flying long tracks. Think about the type of aircraft you’ll be flying when choosing between active and passive noise reduction.
There are a few different types of active noise reduction technologies available, but the most common is called “phase cancellation.” This technology works by creating a sound wave that is exactly the opposite of the ambient noise, effectively canceling it out. Other technologies use microphones to detect and block specific frequencies of noise.
No matter which type of active noise reduction technology is used, it’s important that it is effective in both low and high-frequency ranges.
Also, it’s best to choose models that have dual volume controls, one on each ear cup.
Noise Reduction Rating
A noise reduction rating (NRR) is an indication of the noise-cancelling ability of a hearing protector. It is expressed in decibels (dB) and represents the amount of noise that a protector reduces when worn in a standard testing environment. For example, if a protector has an NRR rating of 26 dB, it reduces the amount of outside noise by 26 dB.
The mic clarity of your aviation headset is also very important. Being able to hear clearly is only half the equation. You need to be heard just as clearly.
Most people are familiar with pilot headsets that have boom microphones that can be positioned close to the pilot’s mouth. Others have “in-ear” microphones that are embedded in the ear cups. Both types of microphones have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Boom microphones are more common, and they’re usually better at canceling out noise from the environment. However, they can be difficult to use in certain situations. In-ear microphones are less likely to pick up external noise, but they can be uncomfortable for some people to wear.
Wearing an aviation headset for a long time can become tiring and lead to headaches. The clamping force must be sufficient to hold the headset in place but not so strong that it causes discomfort.
As well as the clamping force there is the weight to consider. Again, you have to take into account the strain a heavier headset might place on your head, neck, and shoulders during long flights.
If the weight is high on your list of priorities then you might want to consider an in ear aviation headset. This might be necessary on a temporary basis after, for example, minor injury or surgery anywhere on the head or scalp.
Finally, it’s important to make sure that the aviation headset you choose is compatible with your aircraft. There are a variety of different connectors and adapters available, so be sure to do your research before making a purchase.
The options include wired, wireless, and bluetooth connectivity. Again, the features you need are individual to you and have to be weighed up agains the expected price tag.
As we shall see in the list below aviation headsets can range greatly in price. It’s important to consider what type of flying you do before spending a lot of money on a headset. If you only fly recreationally, a less expensive option may be all you need. But if you do a lot of commercial flying, it’s worth investing in a top-of-the-line headset that will offer the best features and performance.
Ultimately, the best aviation headset for you is going to whatever meets the requirements when you’ve arranged all these considerations in the order of your particular priority.
David Clark Aviation Headsets
David Clark is a company that has been making aviation headsets for many years and are highly recommended. They are known for their quality and durability and their headsets are used by both commercial and private pilots all over the world.
If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line headset that will last for years, David Clark is a brand that is recognized globally and is used by the military as well as civilian pilots.
Due to their long history in aviation and the consistent quality, a David Clark aviation headset is considered top of the range by many. Best sellers include the David Clark H10 13.4 and the David Clark DC One.
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Lightspeed Aviation Headsets
Another reputable brand for aviation headsets is Lightspeed. They offer a variety of different models, all of which are designed with the safety and comfort of pilots in mind. Lightspeed headsets are perfect for anyone who flies frequently, whether it’s for work or pleasure.
The Lightspeed Zulu 3 Aviation Headset is a current top-seller among General Aviation pilots.
New contoured ear seals are designed to hug the curve of the jaw, reducing side pressure to get a more natural fit for more comfort and stability. These ear seals create 30 to 50 percent more space for the ear than other ANR headsets, a key feature of long-term user comfort.
Zulu 3 is outfitted with new cables built around a Kevlar core, which are stronger, lighter, and more flexible than standard cables. The more durable cables complement the other premium materials used in the rest of the headset construction, including the magnesium cups, sliders, and the stainless steel headband.
Retains the same award winning Lightspeed ANR and all of the most popular features of Zulu.2, such as Bluetooth for phone and music, Auto Shutoff, and ComPriority. It also has an exclusive user adjustable mic gain adjustment to get the audio and side tone just right for all voices.
A taller head pad option ensures maximum comfort and performance on smaller head shapes.
Backed by an industry-best 7-year-warranty from Lightspeed.
Bose is a well-known name in the world of audio, and their aviation headsets are no exception. They’re comfortable, reduce noise effectively, and have crystal-clear sound quality. And if you’re looking for a headset that’s versatile enough to be used for both flying and other activities, such as listening to music then a Bose headset might be the answer.
You’ll see plenty of Bose A20 aviation headsets being carried around airfields by student pilots and instructors.
The Rugged Air RA200 General Aviation Student Pilot Headset provides 24dB NRR* hearing protection and comes with a ballistic-nylon carry bag. They are lightweight, only 13.4 oz, and have clear hear 50mm audio speakers. The stay-put adjustable flex boom ensures a custom fit and the universal 3.5mm music port allows you to listen to your favorite music.
This adjustable headset comes with a stainless steel headband, 5′ straight shielded cord, EM56 noise reflective cup microphone, and 50mm performance audio speakers. Plus, it’s backed by a $20 ballistic-nylon bag and 24dB NRR* hearing protection.
The headset bag is a great added bonus that protects your investment and makes it easy to transport your headphones.
The stay-put flex boom ensures that the microphone will stay in place, no matter how active you are. This is perfect for pilots who need to be able to move around freely without having to worry about their microphone falling out of place.
The EM56 noise reflective microphone helps to block out distracting noises so that you can focus on what’s happening around you and enjoy your flight even more.
The 50mm mono audio speakers provide superior sound quality so that you can enjoy your flight even more.
The Foam Fit comfort ear seals keep out noise and distractions, prevent ear fatigue, and fit comfortably on your ears.
The adjustable stainless steel headband ensures a perfect fit for any flyer.
The universal 3.5mm auxiliary music port means you can listen to your favorite music while flying and keep yourself entertained and focused during long flights.
Bose A20 Aviation Headset
The Bose A20 aviation headset is one of the best on the market, and it’s been tested for comfort, noise reduction, and more. If you’re looking for a quality headset that will last, the Bose A20 is a great choice. It features Active Noise Reduction technology to reduce ambient noise, and it’s been designed with comfort in mind. It’s also Bluetooth-enabled, so you can use it with your smartphone or other devices. The Bose A20 is a great choice for pilots of all experience levels.
Reduces noise by 30% compared to other aviation headsets
Fits more comfortably and with less clamping force than other aviation headsets
Equalizes audio signals automatically for enhanced clarity and intelligibility
Can connect wirelessly to Bluetooth-enabled devices
Can prioritize audio signals using “mute” or “mix” mode
Certified to FAA TSO and E/TSO-C139 standards
Mic can be connected to either the left or right earcup
Battery life of up to 45 hours from just 2 AA batteries.
The Bose A20 generates 30% greater active noise canceling than a conventional aviation headset, a total noise reduction rating of 24dB. In addition, it has 30% less clamping force These two benefits alone are enough to make it stand out from the rest.
The ergonomically designed auxiliary audio input with intercom/AUX priority switching is ideal for traffic warning systems and dedicated GPS.
Plug & Play
Plug it in, turn it on, go flying.
No need to adjust settings or fuss with complicated controls.
Enjoy clear sound quality and noise reduction without any distractions.
Fly with ease and confidence, knowing that your headset is simple and easy to use.
Bluetooth audio and communications interface
Allows you to control the audio mix of communications and music
Simplifies use for pilots who are new to aviation headsets.
Enjoy a distraction-free flight.
Keep your focus on what’s happening around you, not just what’s going on in your headset.
David Clark H10-13.4 Aviation Headset
The David Clark H10-13.4 Aviation Headset is a noise-canceling headset that reduces noise by 30% compared to other aviation headsets. It also fits more comfortably and with less clamping force than other aviation headsets. The headset equalizes audio signals automatically for enhanced clarity and intelligibility and can connect wirelessly to Bluetooth-enabled devices.
It can prioritize audio signals using “mute” or “mix” mode. The microphone can be connected to either the left or right earcup, and the battery life is up to 45 hours from just 2 AA batteries.
The David Clark H10-13.4 Aviation Headset is also a noise-canceling headset that exceeds RTCA/DO-214 Standards. It has an expanded, super-soft, double foam head pad, a larger, yet lighter, undercut, Comfort Gel, ear seals, and a universal flex boom for perfect microphone placement. It also has an exclusive M-7A, the most advanced noise-canceling microphone available.
The low-profile volume control knob has detent settings, and the molded cord assembly is made to exceptional pull and flex standards. The headset also has a 5-Year Warranty and is made in the USA. It is FAA TSO Approved C-57b, C58a, and has a certified Noise Reduction Rating of 23 dB.
The David Clark headsets are easily recognizable by the distinctive green color and logo on each ear cup. When I first bought mine I started to notice them in all kinds of TV shows and documentaries.
Kore Aviation KA-1 PNR Aviation Headset with Carrying Case
Looking for a top-of-the-line aviation headset that will provide you with maximum comfort and clear sound? Look no further than the Kore Aviation KA-1 passive noise reduction General Aviation headset This luxurious headset is made with high-quality materials and features ultra-soft gel ear seals for ultimate comfort.
It also boasts excellent noise reduction capabilities, making it perfect for both pilots and passengers. Plus, every purchase comes with a free custom carry bag while stocks last.
High-density acoustic foam ear cups for best in class noise attenuation
Clear 50mm performance audio speakers
Ultra-soft silicone gel ear seals that allow your ears to breathe
Dual volume controls for quick adjustment on each ear
Electret noise-canceling flex-boom microphone for quiet communication
Gold plated plugs for the best connection and corrosion resistance
Tough molded Y-block Mono/Stereo switch
3.5mm audio port for iOS/ Android/ MP3 compatibility (will need separate male-to-male 3
An ANR aviation headset is a type of aviation headset that uses active noise reduction technology to reduce the amount of environmental noise that reaches the user’s ear. This technology employs small microphones inside the ear cups to detect sound waves, which are then processed by a microchip and inverted so that they cancel out incoming noise before it can reach the ear.
ANR aviation headsets are typically more expensive than their passive counterparts, but many pilots find them to be worth the investment for their improved audio clarity and comfort.
2. What are PNR passive noise reduction aviation headsets?
Passive noise reduction aviation headsets are headsets designed to reduce the amount of environmental noise that enters the ear cup. This is accomplished by using specialized materials and construction techniques to create a seal around the ear. The seal blocks out most of the sound, which allows pilots to better hear communications and alerts from cockpits.
3. How long do aviation headsets last?
Aviation headsets are very durable and last a long time. If the battery or headphone jack is damaged, it’s easy to replace.
4. Do student pilots need a headset?
Yes, all student pilots need a headset. Many flight schools provide headsets for students, but you can’t be certain that there will always be one available so it’s always good to have your own just in case.
5. Do flight schools provide headsets?
Yes, most flight schools provide headsets for students to use during their training. However, it’s always a good idea to have your own headset for several reasons. School headsets are used by many students so there’s a fair amount of wear and tear. If you’ve followed this guide you’ll probably buy a headset that suits you and your needs whereas the flight school headset could be any type. Also, there is the issue of hygiene. Do you want to use a headset that has been used by several people?
6. Why do aviation headsets cost so much?
A top of the range aviation headset can cost over $1000, so why do these high-priced items weigh so much on our wallets? The answer is simple: quality and durability. Like all electronic devices that receive a lot of use, it’s the durability of the quality and components that separate the expensive from the less expensive models.
7. Should a Student Pilot get a Bose A20?
It’s one of the best quality aviation headsets on the market and it’s built to last. It’s also very comfortable and has great noise reduction capabilities, but it’s also one of the more expensive. Buying such a headset is a personal choice. If you can afford it, go for it! If not, save your money and buy something that is almost as good.
8. What headsets do airline pilots use?
Many airline pilots use David Clark headsets. These headsets are designed to provide maximum comfort and audio quality, and they’re built to last. They’re also relatively affordable, making them a popular choice for many pilots.
9. What headset do military pilots use?
Military pilots tend to use headsets that have the best noise canceling abilities. they need to avoid being distracted by the sound of their own engine and other noises in the cockpit.
10. Should I use a wireless headset?
It’s a matter of personal choice and that will probably be based upon the type of aircraft flown and therefore the layout of a cockpit. Some pilots prefer to have the reassurance of a wired connection. It may seem less advance but sometimes it’s the best option. A wireless headset means there’s one more thing to go wrong i.e. a break in the WiFi connectivity.
Aviation Headset History
Radio communications in aircraft have a long and interesting history. The first radios were used for experimental purposes in the early 1900s, and by World War II, radios were being used for air-to-ground and air-to-air communication. Today, radios are an essential part of aviation, used for everything from communication to navigation.
As important as radios are, however, they can be difficult to use effectively if you can’t hear them properly.
Aviation headsets were first introduced in the early 1920s when pilots started using them to communicate with one another. At the time, these headsets were made of cloth and leather, and they were not very comfortable to wear.
In the 1930s, the first flying helmets were created. These helmets were made of metal and they had ear cups that protected the pilot’s ears from the noise.
With the onset of World War II aviation technology was boosted thanks to the needs of military pilots for whom communication was often a matter of life or death.
With the arrival of the Jet Age in the 1950s, aviation headsets became even more popular with increased demand in military, civil, and general aviation.
Today, the aviation headsets used in aircraft of all types are much more advanced than those of 100 years ago thanks to digital technology. As the materials and the noise-canceling technology evolve we can expect them to become lighter and more efficient as time passes.
Radion Communications in the Cockpit
Radio communications have been used in the cockpit of light aircraft for many years. In the early days, pilots would use voice radios to communicate with one another. This was often difficult, as the radios could only transmit a certain distance and the pilots had to be careful not to talk over one another.
In recent years, radio communications have been replaced by digital systems. These systems allow pilots to communicate with each other using text messages. This is much more efficient, as it allows pilots to communicate without interrupting one another. In addition, digital systems can transmit messages over a much greater distance than voice radios.
Digital systems have also been used to communicate with air traffic controllers. This has allowed pilots to receive information about their flight path, and has helped to improve safety in the cockpit. In addition, digital systems can be used to receive weather updates and other important information.
Overall, digital radio communications have played a major role in the safety of light aircraft. They have allowed pilots to communicate more effectively with one another, and have also helped to improve safety in the cockpit.
Aviation Headset Flight Test
A few years ago I conducted a flight test with the ZeroPoint Aviation Z-1 headset.
Here’s the manufacturer’s description of this product:
“The Z-1 Headset provides affordability with the best available features, ideal comfort and noise reduction with ultra-soft gel ear seals, crystal clear sound with built-in dual-driver technology, and exceptional durability backed by our lifetime warranty”.Zeropoint Aviation
This headset is definitely affordable when you compare the price against the market leaders but there is only one way to test the features and quality and that’s to go flying and using them.
So I met up with PPL holder Mike outside a small hangar at Solent Airport, which is a General Aviation airfield in southern England with a long history dating back to 1917. Right away, Mike pre-flighted our aircraft for the test, G-COVZ, a 45-year-old Cessna 150, and christened ‘Covid Zulu’ for the day! If you’ve flown in a C-150 you’ll know they’re not the roomiest of cockpits when there are two grown men aboard, but it was adequate for our needs.
With pre-flight checks, complete Mike and I unpacked our headsets, strapped in, and then plugged in. The Z-1s has a sturdy build quality and after a few minor adjustments, they were comfortably in place. There is an AUX port and they ship with a spare AUX cable – ideal for passengers and pilots alike who want to plug in that all-important music.
Right from the start, we were struck by quality. Mike mentioned that the microphone in particular was very clear. “They seem to have got the frequency just right,” he remarked. Another great feature is the dual volume controls. We had a few minutes to adjust our headsets as we taxied from the hangars on the north side of the airfield to the holding point for runway 05.
Ready To Depart
While we were parked at the hold Mike swapped out his Z-1 headset and tested his David Clark’s, then returned to the Z-1. Apart from perhaps a little extra noise canceling from the David Clark headset account of a tighter grip, there was no difference.
We took off and turned south to fly in the airspace south of the airport, over the Solent, just to the north of the Isle of Wight.
Transmission and reception were very clear. We had no trouble understanding each other or the messages to and from the Tower and from other aircraft in the vicinity. Our experience in this flight test bears out the testimonials that used to be on the ZeroPoint Aviation website.
All in all, Mike and I were pleasantly surprised by the build and the quality of the mic. You can pay three times as much for a headset but you won’t get three times the quality. So much of the pricing, as with many items in the aviation world (any anywhere else), is decided by the brand. Yes, you could go for a name that’s been around for a long time and which your fellow flyers recommend but why pay so much when you’re not going to notice any significant difference?
Sadly, since that flight test in 2019 Zeropoint Aviation’s website has gone offline and their Facebook page hasn’t had an update since December 2020, so I guess they’re no longer operating.
An aviation headset that is well cared for maintained can last several years or more, and while noise reduction technology is evolving it’s only doing so in small increments.
Air Travel Headphones
Air travel can be noisy for several reasons and the longer the noise, the worse its effect on your mood and general wellbeing. Aside from the constant background noise of the aircraft, its engines, and cabin air circulation, there is the noise that your fellow passengers make.
As an air passenger, you want to enjoy the flight and arrive at your destination fresh and relaxed. If you don’t do any recreational flying of any kind, either as a passenger or a pilot, then you might be wondering if an aviation headset would be suitable for traveling in airliners in which there is are fairly predictable levels of noise within a commercial airliner.
There’s no doubt that aviation headsets are vastly superior to those cheap ones handed out by the cabin crew. On a long-haul flight, a good quality noise-canceling headset not only makes all the media and entertainment more enjoyable but also helps you to have better quality sleep.
However, it might look a bit odd if you’re wearing a headset with a boom mic while travelling as an airline passenger. Choose a high-quality headset that has noise-canceling technology but no mic. It should be wired, with any wireless or bluetooth functionality as optional extras.
Learning how to fly can be a life-changing experience, providing a sense of freedom and accomplishment that is unmatched by any other activity. For any aspiring aviator or those looking for a career in aviation, piot training can open up a whole new world.
From the cockpit of a small airplane, you can not only explore new landscapes and skyscapes but also see familiar territory from a fresh perspective. In fact, it’s more than another perspective. It’s more like adding a new dimension to life. It’s like the difference between seeing the world in 3D instead of just 2D. Whether you’re over a city or a rural area, you get to see it in a way that few people ever do.
Being the proud owner of a pilot licence gives you entry to club that has members all over the world. It’s not an elite club and it’s open to everyone. It does not discriminate in any way; race, culture, gender, etc – everyone is welcome.
Free syllabi for the FAA private pilot
For many people, flying is the ultimate freedom. There’s something special about being able to leave the ground and explore the world from the sky. With the right training by qualified instructors and your persistant practice, you can be on your way to discovering new places and experiences.
Learning how to fly is also a great way to learn about yourself. It takes patience and discipline to complete all the required flight training, and those are two qualities that can be applied to other areas of life. Pilots must be able to focus on the task at hand and make quick decisions, skills that can come in handy when faced with a challenging situation in all walks of life.
So if you’re looking for a new challenge or just want to experience something different, learning how to fly is a great option. All the tools and resources you’ll need are readily available to help you get started, so don’t hesitate to give it a try. You may find that getting your pilot certificate and becoming a private pilot is the best thing you’ve ever done.
Plenty of Resources
There are plenty of resources available to help you learn to fly, including books, online courses, and ground school classes, all of which help to fill in the gaps in knowledge for the student pilot as you progress and prepare for each written exam.
As a beginner, it’s important to find flight training that moves at a pace that suits you. There are plenty of flight schools out there, and your flight instructor will assess your aptitude. You won’t be expected to undertake any flight test until you’re deemed ready.
The first few sessions of flight training can one day lead to a career as a professional pilot. Others will simply enjoy flying as a sport pilot spending their leisure time at their local airport. They may plan trips, visiting flying clubs and associating with other pilots and aircraft owners and generally enjoying all that general aviation has to offer.
Joining a pilots association will broaden their horizons. Some may build on their training, perhaps gaining an instrument rating which will prove their ability to fly in worse weather, and some may go on to become a flight instructor, becoming a valuable addition to flight schools.
Student Pilot Tips
1. Do your research. Before you spend any money do some research into the flight schools in your location. In the long run it will save you money if you find the school and the instructor that best suits you even if it means traveling further than the nearest school.
2. Find the right instructor. We’re all different personality types and sometimes we don’t always gel with everyone around us. As the paying customer you need to be able to switch instructor if you don’t get along.
3. Get the right equipment. Buy the right pilot gear at the start and it will last many years.
4. Take your time. Don’t try to learn everything all at once. Take your time and build on your skills gradually. There’s a lot to learn so take it one step at a time.
5. Use the right resources. There are plenty of resources available to help you learn to fly, both online and in print. Make use of those that are written by pilots for pilots. Learn from the best.
6. Practice, practice, practice. The more you fly, the better you’ll become. Make sure you practice regularly to improve your skills, but also practice the flight planning, checking the weather, and navigation.
7. Enjoy the learning experience. Pilot training can be intensive and challenging at times. You may encounter points at which you feel you’re not making any progress, but keep going. Many who now enjoy using their sport pilot certificate also reached a point at which they wondered whether they would ever be ready for flight test but with the coaching of their flight instructor, they completed the course. So make sure you take the time to enjoy the experience.
7 myths about flight training
1. Learning to fly is expensive
While it is true that learning to fly requires some expenditure it’s actually comparable to many other leisure activities. With careful planning and continuity of practice you can minimise the expense.
2. You need to be an expert in math and physics to learn to fly
You don’t need to be an expert in math and physics to learn to fly; in fact, many pilots will confide that they learned more about these subjects by learning to fly and, where it was necessary, had some extra tuition to overcome any problems.
3. It’s difficult to become a pilot
It’s not difficult to become a pilot, but it does require dedication and persistance. Learning any new skill requires efforst and application, and aviation is no exception. However, as with all big challenges the trick is to take it one step at a time.
4. Learning to fly is dangerous
Some pilots will tell you that the most dangerous part of learning to fly is driving to the airfield! Learning to fly is not dangerous if you take the time to learn about the aircraft and the weather, and as long as you don’t fly beyond your own abilities. Risk is minimised by knowledge and skill.
5. You need a lot of free time to learn to fly
You don’t need a lot of free time to learn to fly; most people can complete their training in a few months. Some even do it with a few weeks, if they have no other distractions and the weather allows it.
6. Flying is only for rich people
Flying is not only for rich people; there are many affordable ways to learn to fly. As well as light aircraft there are microlights, ultralights, light sport aircraft, and many other aerial vehicles.
7. Flying is a waste of time
Flying is a great way to spend your time; it’s challenging, exciting, and educational. It could lead to new friends, and for some, a new career.
So don’t believe the myths – learning to fly can be a life-changing experience for everyone!
Why people don’t start learning how to fly
1. I’m not afraid of flying, I’m afraid of crashing
From early on in your training you’ll be taught how to land the aicraft in a variety of situations. You won’t be expected to fly solo until your instructor is confident that you can land safely. During your training you’ll also be taught what to do in the unlikely event that the engine stops mid flight. You’ll be taught how to trim the aircraft, pick a suitable landing spot, and glide the aircraft to a landing.
2. I’m not sure if I would be good at it
It’s very common for people to doubt their own abilities. Just remember that those pilots flying in a way that seems effortless were once nervous student pilots who knew nothing.
3. Isn’t it better to leave it to the professionals?
How do you suppose the professionals got were they are? One day, they decided to embark on some flight training. One day, they decided to embark on some flight training that lead to them gaining a private pilot certificate. Now it’s your turn.
4. I’m too old for this
Some people don’t start flying until they’re retired. Grandparents learn to fly. As long as you’re reasonably fit and healthy there’s a pilot certificate of some type waiting for you.
5. What if I can’t learn?
Your instructor will give you any additional training or ground school tuition that you may need. Everyone is different. Don’t get hung up on the number of hours the next guy completed before going solo. We all learn at different paces.
How to Choose Flight Schools
There are many different flight schools around the world and they offer a variety of programs, from introductory lessons to full-blown pilot careers. Choosing the right school needn’t be difficult, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
The first step is to decide what you want to get out of your training. Do you want to learn to fly for recreation, as a private pilot, or are you interested in becoming a professional pilot?
Once you’ve decided what you want to do, research the different schools in your area. Look for a school that has a good reputation and offers the program you’re interested in. Check out their website and read the testimonials.
Visit the flight school and notice how you’re greeted, the condition of the premises, and the general feel and atmosphere. Make sure you ask plenty of questions and get quotes from several schools before making a decision.
13 Questions to ask Flight Schools
What type of training do you offer?
How long does the program take to complete?
What type of aircraft do you use for training?
Do you offer financing options?
What is included in your course tuition?
Do you have any promotions or discounts currently available?
As well as the practical flying lessons that will one day lead to a check ride before you’re finally awarded your private pilot certificate, there is the ground school. Ground instruction will be provided by your flight school but many students supplement this with online courses and books.
The student pilot will need to pass a written exam in several subjects and an oral exam for the Radio Telephony. This will confirm that you’re competent at transmitting and responding using the radio in the cockpit.
Rod Machado’s Flight Training Products
Rod Machado is a world-renowned aviation educator and author. He has written more than a dozen books on the subject of flying, including the best-selling “How to Fly an Airplane.”
Rod’s products go beyond the basics and provide pilots with a complete understanding of what it takes to be a safe, competent pilot.
Rod Machado’s passion for flying is evident in his teaching methods and the products he produces. He has a unique ability to make complex topics easy to understand, and his materials are essential for anyone who wants to learn more about flying.
Plus, Rod’s products come with a money-back guarantee, so you can be sure that you’re getting the best training available.
If you’re interested in learning to fly, then you need to check out Rod Machado’s products. They’re the best in the business, and they’ll teach you everything you need to know about flying.
5 Common Flight School Training Aircraft
These are some of the more traditional training aircraft you might encounter as you start your flying lessons. You can learn in many other aircraft types but these are more numerous.
The first time new people arrive for their flight training they are starting a journey that can lead to gaining a sport pilot certificate, spending enjoyable days as a sport pilot visiting airfields all over the country.
Others may become a flight instructor, and some may go on to a career in the airlines. Whatever you end up doing, it all starts with the day you showed up for your first flying lesson.
Learning how to fly is an amazing experience. Whether you’re just getting started or are a seasoned veteran, the sense of freedom and accomplishment that comes with learning to fly can’t be matched by any other activity. With so many resources available for those looking to learn, now’s the time to take your first flight!
Do you want to know how to become a private pilot, how to use your licence for fun and recreation, and how to start a career in aviation?
Is it your ambition to learn to fly in order to simply enjoy flight or to start a career in aviation?
Would you like to learn to fly for recreation and pleasure, flying light aircraft, sport aircraft, microlights, or gyrocopters?
Do you ever look up as aircraft fly overhead and wonder if you too could become a private pilot or pehaps one day an airline pilot?
I learned to fly 30 years ago and in this course I present you with advice and tips based on my personal experience of gaining Private Pilots Licence. This is a course designed to inspire and motivate you rather than a technical course covering specific parts of the PPL syllabus.
Join me on this course as I introduce you to the wonderful world of the Pilot’s Licence, general aviation, commerical aviation, and the aviation industry.
People from all walks of life learn to fly. They come from every conceivable background and start at all ages. Some start in their teens and gain the PPL before they’re committed to either a career or raising a family. Some wait until their retired and the children have left home.
For others it’s the start of a career in aviation as they continue on to gain a Commercial Pilots Licence (CPL), Instrument Rating (IR), and then an Air Transport Pilots Licence (ATPL). This is the licence you need if you want to fly an airliner.
In my course I explain in plain English what’s involved and how to use your licence for recreation. I also describe the various career options and how to go about training.
How to gain a private pilot certificate in the USA
To become a private pilot in the USA, there are a few basic requirements that you must meet.
First, you must be at least 16 years old. Second, you must have a valid drivers license. Third, you must be able to read, write, and speak English. Fourth, you must pass a physical exam and a drug test. And fifth, you must pass the FAA Private Pilot written exam.
The process of becoming a private pilot begins with meeting the basic requirements. Once you have met all of the requirements, you can start the process of obtaining your license. This process includes taking a course from an authorized flight school, passing a checkride with an examiner, and obtaining your medical certificate.
After you have completed all of the requirements, you will be ready to start flying. But first, it is important to understand the basics of flying an airplane. The best way to learn is by getting some flight instruction from a certified flight instructor.
Once you have completed your flight instruction and are comfortable with the basics of flying, you will be ready to take your final checkride. Upon successful completion of your checkride, you will be awarded your private pilot certificate.
So, if you are interested in becoming a private pilot, meet the basic requirements, and are willing to put in the time and effort, it is definitely possible.
Light Aircraft in the USA
According to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the most popular light aircraft in the USA are the Cessna 172, Piper Cherokee/Archer, and Beechcraft Bonanza. These aircraft account for more than 60% of all general aviation aircraft flying in the USA.
The Cessna 172 is a four-seat, single-engine aircraft that was first introduced in 1956. It is the most popular aircraft in the world and has been built more than any other aircraft. The Cessna 172 is a high-wing airplane with a fixed tricycle landing gear. It is powered by a Lycoming O-320 engine that produces 150 horsepower.
The Piper Cherokee is a low-wing airplane with a fixed tricycle landing gear. It is powered by a Lycoming O-320 engine that produces 150 horsepower. and Beechcraft Bonanza. These aircraft account for more than 60% of all general aviation aircraft flying in the USA.
The Cirrus SR20 is a four-seat, low-wing, single-engine aircraft with a fixed tricycle landing gear that was first introduced in 1998. It is a popular aircraft and is often used for training.
The Beechcraft Bonanza is a six-seat, single-engine aircraft that was first introduced in 1947. It is a high-wing airplane with a fixed tricycle landing gear. It is powered by a Lycoming O-540 engine that produces 260 horsepower.
The Beechcraft Bonanza is a popular aircraft and is often used for training. It is also used for personal and business transportation.
I finally obtained a Private Pilots Licence in 1991 but learning to fly didn’t come easily to me. I was not a quick learner and took more than the average amount of hours to reach each milestone. I consoled myself with the thought that people who take longer to learn things learn them more deeply.
I wasn’t particularly confident either. Many were the times that I enjoyed the guilty relief when the cloud base was too low or the visibility too poor for my next lesson. Sometimes it felt like being told you’d got an unexpected day of school, which in effect it was.
When I was in the air there were times when I sat, tense and nervous, wondering what I was going to do wrong next and how could I keep control long enough to avoid some kind of disaster or the shame of screwing things up in front of instructors and spectators.
Money was always tight too. Lessons were delayed because I ran out of cash so progress was delayed while I earned more or found some way to borrow enough to continue.
The lack of continuity made learning to fly a longer process than it needed to be. It took seven long years, not seven weeks, or even seven months.
And having finally taken delivery of my Private Pilots Licence from the CAA in 1991 I asked myself, “Was it all worth it? Was it all worth the sleepless nights, money worries, nerves, and anxiety?”
The answer is of course yes, it was all worth it. Nothing can take away the feeling after the first solo, or the times I drove away from the airfield in my beaten up old car (or one I’d borrowed for the day) feeling ten foot tall, with a big stupid grin on my face because I’d just returned from a solo flight, there and back, with map and stopwatch.
Practice would have made perfect. For a number of reasons I didn’t get the chance to fill my logbook with PIC entries, building on these foundations. Repetition nurtures confidence and develops skills. I wanted to be the kind of pilot you see side-slipping an aircraft in to drop the wheels gently down on the numbers having flown a relaxed flight over hundreds of miles.
Driving a car eventually became effortless, and I made some progress driving lorries but there weren’t enough opportunities to practice reversing 40′ trailers onto loading bays to get it down to a fine art.
Navigation for truckers in the 1980s wasn’t easy either, without the ubiquitous apps and satnavs of today. If your map book didn’t pinpoint your destination you had to muddle through with frequent stops to ask for directions, which wasn’t convenient for the drivers in the queue that had built up behind you.
People who fly a lot or fly for a living become such experts, possessing skills that I have no chance of mastering myself, but goals such as this are personal and relative. Once that licence has your name on it nothing can take away the achievement and what it means to you personally.
I passed the exams, I passed the navigation test, and I passed the general flight test (GFT, as it was then known). If I never fly solo again at least I know I climbed one mountain and was rewarded with the view on the summit.
Main benefits of obtaining a Private Pilots Licence
There are many benefits to obtaining a private pilots licence. One of the main benefits of obtaining a PPL is the ability to fly whenever and wherever you want, providing you have the appropriate ratings and experience for the journey, the aircraft, and the weather. This can be extremely useful for business trips or vacations, as it gives you a great deal of flexibility and saves you from having to rely on commercial airlines.
Another benefit is the increased safety that comes with being a licensed pilot. While flying is inherently safe, being able to handle the aircraft in all situations – including emergencies – gives you an extra level of confidence that can benefit all areas of your life, not just flying.
Finally, being a pilot can be an immensely satisfying hobby, giving you the opportunity to explore the world from a unique perspective. Whether you’re flying solo or taking friends and family on adventures, being a pilot is an experience that will stay with you for a lifetime.
Developer’s description: “RunwayHD is the one-stop aviation app available on iOS and Android devices created to give aviators everything they need for safe and fun flying.
Designed for VFR flying, RunwayHD is the complete planning, navigation and awareness app for novice and professional pilots alike flying anything from microlight flexwings to gliders and rotary aircraft.”
RunwayHD is free with in-app purchases. When checked on iTunes it had an average rating of 4.7 out of 168 ratings.
Developer’s description: “LogTen Pro is the leading international pilot logbook platform for all your Apple devices. It is the tool of choice for pilots in nearly 200 countries, and every major airline. From glider pilots to Gulfstream pilots, and from Apache pilots to airline pilots, whether you’ve got 10 hours or 10,000, LogTen Pro is designed to be completely customizable for your type of flying, country, region, or company so you can track exactly what you need.”
LogTen Pro is free with in-app purchases. When checked on iTunes it had an average rating of 4.5 out of 3,600 ratings.
Developer’s description: “The flight planning features in SkyDemon are all designed to make planning a flight less tedious and more interesting, by bringing the very best aeronautical briefing information directly to your fingertips in real time as you explore our charts and experiment with potential journeys.
SkyDemon will help give you the confidence to fly further and to more interesting places. Plan a journey, brief yourself on potential hazards, prepare for flight and analyse your track logs. Live briefing data includes NOTAM, airfield documents and maps, TAF, METAR and wind forecasts at altitude.”
SkyDemon is free with in-app purchases. When checked on iTunes it had an average rating of 4.9 out of 3,700 ratings.
Developer’s description: “PocketFMS developed EasyVFR basic UK edition specifically to help pilots flying in the UK to avoid unintended entry into airspace or NOTAMed airspace. EasyVFR basic UK edition is free to download and use. Airspace is updated every 28 days and these updates are also totally free. NOTAMs are provided by a live link to EuroControl, ensuring that you have the latest NOTAMs to hand. All NOTAM updates are of course also free.
EasyVFR basic UK edition will show your position on the moving map so that you can see your position relative the airspace around you. You will get a warning as you approach an airspace which highlights the airspace boundary that you are approaching and provides you the appropriate call sign and frequency to contact in order to get a clearance to enter.
A position tab will give you your current position in a format that makes reporting your position to ATC easy, as well as giving you the frequency and call sign for the most relevant air traffic unit in your area, including a LARS if one is available.”
EasyVFR basic UK edition is free. When checked on iTunes it had an average rating of 4.8 out of 268 ratings.
Developer’s description: “EasyVFR is an aviation Moving Map which can be used for flight planning, GPS navigation and post-flight analysis on iOS devices (minimum iPhone 6 and/or iPad Air). With EasyVFR you can take your iPhone and iPad with you in the cockpit, plan your flight, and follow your route on a moving map, always confident of your position and the airspace and airports around you.
EasyVFR is NOT free. It requires an in-app subscription to function. The subscription provides updated AeroData for Europe, USA, Canada & Australia / New Zealand, published in line with the 28 day AIRAC cycle. It includes a continuous feed of EuroControl NOTAMs, and weather data from official sources in the supported regions and from our contracted professionals.”
When checked on iTunes it had an average rating of 4.7 out of 21 ratings.
Developer’s description: “AeroWeather Lite provides quick and intuitive access to METAR and TAF for airports worldwide.
Data can be shown in its original (raw) format or as fully decoded and easy understandable texts.
AeroWeather Lite is helpful for weather preflight-briefings, but also to just get very precise weather. All weather data is cached for offline access.
There are many settings for units and format of METAR/TAF available.
The app features a built-in airport database, which includes basic airport data like sunrise/sunset, twilight times, timezones etc”
AeroWeather Lite is free with in-app purchases. When checked on iTunes it had an average rating of 2.7 out of 41 ratings.
Sky MET (free) by Sparkling Apps.
Developer’s description: “The ultimate weather app for pilots, by pilots. This visually stunning and feature rich application provides you with all the weather information you will need when you prepare for your next flight.
METARs and TAFs with a twist. Sure you can get TAFs and METARs everywhere, but you’d be hard pressed to find a map based overview that provides you instant insight in how the weather will develop over time, just by moving a slider. In addition to raw text, Sky MET provides you with:
TAF and METAR decoding.
Crosswind component calculation.
Weather radar for each station.
And web cam images, allowing for sneek peek at the station sky”.
Sky MET (free) has an optional upgrade to Pro. When checked on iTunes it had an average rating of 4.1 out of 17 ratings.
Developer’s description: “With more than 75 aviation calculations, unit conversions and aviation weather reports, we are sure you will find myE6B beneficial in helping to solve the planning and navigating problems associated with flying.
In addition to a comprehensive set of flight planning calculations, myE6B includes convenient access to global METAR, TAF, AIR/SIGMET and PIREP reports, and a handy search utility for finding unknown ICAO weather station codes.”
E6B Aviation Calculator costs £8.99. When checked on iTunes it had an average rating of 4.9 out of 8 ratings.
Developer’s description: “Aircraft Checklists from Qref® for iPhone and iPad are expertly designed and written procedures specifically for your aircraft.
The same award-winning content found in our printed checklists can now be found in a customizable, easy-access app.
Every detail has been meticulously designed to make the checklist quick, easy-to-use and accurate.
Choose your aircraft from a growing library of 50+ comprehensive models.
Customize any item you need, directly on your iPhone or iPad, right where you use a checklist, without having to go to a website and upload.”
Qref Aircraft Checklists is free with in-app purchases. When checked on iTunes it had an average rating of 3.4 out of 5 ratings.
That concludes this list of apps for pilots. Have you used any of these? What do you think of them?
Let me know by posting a comment below.
If you know of any apps that do a better job of the tasks described above then let me know.
Remember that apps are there to help and they can be an excellent source of information for flight planning and navigation but when flying your eyes and attention should be outside the cockpit not fixed on a screen.
Learning to fly and obtaining a Private Pilot’s Licence isn’t cheap but you can avoid unnecessary expense with a little forward planning. Flying lesson costs will vary but in the long run the cheaper hourly rate may not be your best option.
In this post I discuss the cost of obtaining a fixed wing Pilot’s Licence for flying light aircraft in the UK. There are two types available; PPL (Private Pilot’s Licence) and LAPL (Light Aircraft Pilot’s Licence).
The LAPL gives the pilot fewer privileges than the PPL so the requirements are less stringent. As a rough guide the cost of a PPL will start at £8,000 and the LAPL will start at £6,000. Costs for other types of aircraft like microlights or helicopters for example, will vary proportionally according to aircraft type.
Flying Lesson Costs
As well as the lessons themselves you will need to add several other smaller sums:
Flying lessons (CAA minimums plus contingency)
Student pilot kit (books, maps, navigational computer etc)
Headset (the school may lend them but for several reasons it’s best to have your own)
Travel to and from the flight training club or school
If you visit the CAA’s website and read the requirements for a PPL(A) you will see that you need minimum of 45 hours of training. This should include a minimum of 25 hours of dual instruction and 10 hours of solo flight. I’ll leave it to the CAA or your flying instructor to explain the finer details.
The keyword here though is minimum. Some people do manage to complete all the requirements at or close to that figure. Will you be able to do so? You will need to factor in a contingency into your budget for extra hours above the minimum requirements.
Continuity of Training
Training for the private pilot certificate syllabus must be continuous in order to be effective. In order to complete the syllabus, a trainee must have a solid understanding of the concepts and be able to apply them in a variety of situations.
One of the benefits of continuity in training is that it allows the trainee to build on previous concepts and skills. This can help to prevent confusion and frustration, as well as ensuring that the trainee is always progressing towards their goal. Additionally, continuity of training provides an opportunity for the trainer to assess the trainee’s progress and identify any areas where additional work is needed. It is only through a commitment to continuity that trainees will be able to successfully complete the private pilot certificate syllabus.
As my previous post illustrates you will save yourself a lot of money if your budget organised and available at the start of your training. If you run out of money the continuity is broken and when you return to training you’ll have to revise and repeat previous exercises.
So plan your finances in such a way that you won’t run out of money at a critical stage. Trust me, there’s nothing more frustrating! As you empty your bank account or reach your credit card limit you realise that you’re about to shelve your logbook just when things are getting interesting.
Flying schools are subject to the same economic forces as any other business, so your flying lesson costs may increase over time due to inflation.
Choosing the right Flight Training School
Flight training costs vary around the UK. You’ll pay more per hour at a club with a shiny fleet of new aircraft and an immaculate club house with all the facilities than you will at a small grass strip with a portakabin as an office.
Things to consider when choosing a flight school
Proximity. How long will it take you to get there?
Runway(s). If it’s a grass airfield will it be out of use in very wet weather?
Facilities. Do the buildings look well maintained?
Fleet. How many aircraft are there and how old are they?
Instructors. Talk to a few and ask to be shown around.
Reputation. Google the school name and read what others are saying about it.
The school that is closest to you might not be the ideal choice. On the other hand you don’t want to travel for an hour more to reach your flight school at short notice if a weather window opens.
Flying lesson costs abroad
The attractive prospect of learning to fly wherever there are near constant blues skies and uncluttered airspace lures some to book flight training holidays in Florida, South Africa, Australia, or perhaps just across the Channel.
The attractions are obvious and the additional cost of flights accommodation and subsistence may seem a price worth paying, particularly if the hourly rate is favourable.
However, there is another cost that is sometimes overlooked. If you cover most of the syllabus in areas where the weather is often predictably pleasant and the airspace is wide open and free of restrictions how will you cope when you return to the UK?
Will you have the necessary skills and, just as importantly, confidence to make a judgement when the weather is borderline? Will your navigation skills keep you out of Controlled Airspace and Danger Areas?
Some students who return from flight training trips find themselves asking for additional training with a UK flying instructor in order to bring their skills up the standard required in Britain’s comparatively congested airspace.
Perhaps your flying holiday would be better spent hour building after you’ve obtained your PPL. On the other hand, learning to fly in a quiet airstrip in predictable weather might give you the time to learn how to fly the aircraft well and without other distractions.
You are going to be spending thousands of pounds so it’s worth remembering that you are the customer. You may be in awe of the instructors and in particular the CFI (Chief Flying Instructor) but they depend on students like you for their livelihood.
If you have any complaints or concerns don’t let them fester. If you feel it’s appropriate go and see the CFI and ask for a quiet chat. Assuming he/she is professionally minded then you will be met with an open mind.
For example, you may find that you don’t get along with your instructor. This is unusual but it does happen. We’re all different personality types and just occasionally we don’t gel with the person sitting next to us for hours on end.
So remembering that it’s your money you’re spending go and address this with the CFI and he or she should offer an alternative. This is likely to save you money because you will learn faster with an instructor who is on your wavelength.
Conclusion and a warning
Like any other commercial establishment running on tight margins and reliant upon a strong economy flight schools can go out of business if mismanaged or if they run out of students. For this reason it’s never a good idea to hand over large amounts of cash upfront. If they tempt you with a discount for a large deposit then perhaps a few hundred pounds might be worth the risk but I would suggest not handing over a thousand or more.
Perhaps things have improved greatly since I was a student pilot so feel free to ignore all my advice! Just remember that you want to go from zero hours to Pilot In Command, so managing the finances is your first lesson in being control.
Feel free to add your comments, suggestions, stories, and other feedback in the comments below.
Meanwhile, book yourself a trial flight…
Introductory flying lesson in 9 locations around the UK.
For some students the prospect of studying the PPL Ground School subjects is just as daunting as learning to fly itself. Perhaps you were not top of the class in Maths or English. Maybe you doubt your own abilities, or is it the thought of speaking on the radio that worries you?
The sheer amount of knowledge on unfamiliar subjects that you will be expected to absorb may fill you with dread. If you’re learning to fly later in life then it could be a while since you did any formal study, let a alone pass any exams.
However, the PPL ground school subjects fall into several categories. Each of those categories is further sub divided into related sections. By taking it slowly and building as you go you will be surprised just how much you have learned in a few weeks.
There’s a wealth of information out there
Not so long ago the only way to study the PPL ground school subjects was using books and going to classes. The books and the classes remain an essential component, but now there are so many other supplements you can use:
Interactive DVDs for the home or office
CDs or digital files while you travel
Apps that both teach and quiz you
Social media groups in which you learn from each other
Go at your pace. It’s not a race
You’re not competing with other students so if you attend classes and others seem more knowledgeable then don’t be dismayed. This is not about being first past the post. This is about learning and understanding in such a way that it makes you a more confident and competent pilot. If you need more time, take it, and remind yourself that often the people who learn more slowly learn more deeply.
Enjoy the PPL Ground School subjects
Presumably you’re learning to fly because you have more than a slight interest in aviation. So approach all the ground school subjects with a sense of curiosity. Be open minded to the ideas and concepts. By making this conscious effort you will remove some the resistance that makes learning difficult at times.
Don’t be shy to ask for extra help
If your flying school provides only group classes and you feel yourself falling behind or if you simply don’t understand certain aspects, then ask for additional help. Many of us went to schools with large class sizes so we didn’t always receive the tuition that we needed. The advantage of flying schools is that you can easily obtain that extra one to one tuition from an instructor.
Get into the habit of regular study
A little an often is usually the best way to proceed. Read a chapter, mull it over, contemplate it until you’re satisfied you’ve got the general idea, then move on. It can be helpful to set aside the same times each week to that it becomes a habit. Set a schedule that’s realistic for you and stick to it.
Remember why you are studying
Studying the PPL ground school subjects is not a tick-box exercise designed just to get you through a multiple choice exam. A good understanding of all the subjects will enhance your enjoyment of flying by making you a more confident pilot.
Once you’ve passed the exams, don’t stop there. Continue to maintain a healthy standard of knowledge by reading aviation books and magazines. Learn from other pilots who have made mistakes and written about them.
The I Learned About Flying from That volumes are packed with stories written by pilots who made a mistake or an error of judgement. They learned from the experience and have now passed on that knowledge to us.
Ready to start? Thinking of Revising?
Here’s a reminder of what you’ll be studying in your PPL ground school.
Air Law & Operational Procedures
Navigation & Radio Aids
Aircraft General & Principles of Flight
Human Performance & Limitations
Flight Performance & Planning
VHF Radio written and oral exam
What are you waiting for? Go Flying!
Introductory flying lesson in 9 locations around the UK.
You’ve finally done it. You’ve got your Private Pilot’s Licence (certificate). After months of study and hard work, you’ve earned it. Now you’re ready to take to the skies and enjoy the freedom of flight. But what comes next? Here are a few tips on how to make the most of your wings.
First, be sure to brush up on your flying skills. While a private pilot certificate gives you the ability to fly solo and carry passengers, it’s important to stay sharp and keep your skills honed. Take some time to review the basics of flying, and then practice them regularly. Second, take advantage of the freedom that your new certificate provides. With a private pilot certificate, you can fly just about anywhere in the world (subject to airspace restrictions).
In a previous post I described my journey from the first trial flight through to PPL completion. Whether, like me, it took you several years or just a few months to obtain your own PPL what are you going to do now that you have your pilot’s licence?
The post PPL phase is an important time for the recently qualified pilot. You have learned to fly up to an acceptable standard but this when a new phase of learning begins.
Assuming the funds are available and you can afford to fly on a regular basis you might find yourself giving pleasure flights to friends and family until the novelty (for them) wears off. What then?
If you have not planned ahead you might find yourself flying less often. If you don’t form the habit you might stop landing away at other airfields. Without this practice your confidence will lessen and eventually your flying might be confined to short trips in the local area.
There is a risk that the fall in your confidence level may lead you to stop flying altogether. It would be a great shame to withdraw having come so far but it’s all too common for PPL holders to abandon it at this early stage.
To maintain your interest and continuity of learning, and build your confidence, set new goals. Consider the variety in aviation and stretch yourself to reach each of these objectives when you’ve built up enough confidence and ability:
Join a flying club and socialise with other aviators.
Join AOPA and enjoy hotel, fuel, and pilot supply discounts.
Join the LAA and build, maintain, or restore aircraft.
Visit other airfields. Land on grass, concrete, and tarmac.
If the PPL was the first step on a professional career then you’re probably already aware of the path to further training. You may be heading for a CPL/IR, ATPL, or a Flight Instructor rating.
Pilot’s Licence – done, but the cash runs out
For any number of reasons you may find, as I did, that the money just isn’t available for flying. The Pilot’s licence had to be put aside while I took care of other responsibilities.
However, if it’s obvious that you’re hooked on aviation then you may find your Christmas and birthday wishes are fulfilled and you continue to add entries into your logbook. They may not be entries in the Pilot in Command column but you can still experience flight in all kinds of ways.
Since obtaining my PPL I have had to confine my logbook entries to dual instruction but I’ve chosen flights that are memorable due to the aircraft type and the maneouvers flown.
The flight around Barbados in a Cessna172 (appropriately registered BP-JOY) was particularly memorable. Flying in the Caribbean is extra special due the to vast expanses of ocean in several shades of blue with the bluest of skies above.
The aero club was on the southern side of Grantley Adams International Airport and we once the preflight was complete we made our way to the holiday point for the runway. It was unusual to be in a light aircraft at an international airport using the same runway and airspace as airliners on international flights from the USA, UK, and elsewhere.
We flew one circuit of the island heading north along the eastern coast first and returning down the west coast. We had to orbit once or twice before rejoining the circuit to allow a DHL flight to land.
For some the path from a trial flight to PPL i.e. the acquisition of a Private Pilots Licence is one that takes only a few months to complete, but for me it was to last a little longer.
My first taste of flying was as a child in the 1960s. My father had hired a helicopter to spray fertiliser onto a small crop of conifers planted on some of his land in Wales. Once the job was done the pilot agreed to give we three children a ride in his Bell 47-D (G-ASOL).
I don’t remember much about it, but it must have planted a seed. It seems it wasn’t just the trees that benefited from a little boost that day. However, it would be nearly two decades later before the seed bore fruit.
I left school at 16 with only a few qualifications and spent several years in and out of dead-end jobs so I was restless for a challenge. I needed to set and achieve a goal, go on an adventure of sorts and spread my wings.
Learning to fly fitted the bill in every way. I was also inspired by the books of Richard Bach, in particular Gift of Wings and Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah. There was a new world to explore but I didn’t have to cross the globe to find a rain forest. All I had to do was to go up, not across.
Flight Preparaton, Southampton
I lived within a few miles of Southampton (Eastleigh) Airport, birthplace of the Spitfire. The airfield has been in use for over 100 years. The first aircraft took off from this airfield in 1910. At the time, in the mid 1980s, it was still a mix of GA (General Aviation) and commercial flights to the the Channel Islands and elsewhere.
I chose a flying school called Flight Preparation. They had a small fleet of Grumman AA5A Cheetahs and some office space on the first floor of the old terminal building. They also rented offices a few miles away in Chandlers Ford where they provided evening ground school classes.
My first lesson was on the 3rd November 1984 in a Cheetah with the registration G-NASH. Being a bit of a slow learner and with weather and other delays, it was to be seven months and a total of 17 hours and 35 minutes of dual instruction before I was ready for my first solo on 4th July 1985.
My First Solo
They say no pilot ever forgets their first solo, and they are right. I can still feel the anticipation after another round of circuit bashing in G-BFTE. As a student you know that the day is imminent but you’re never quite sure when the instructor is going to ask you to fly that first solo.
After several take-offs and landings in during which my instructor criticised my abilities to the point where I was ready to complain we taxied onto the apron.
Are we going to park, return to the terminal building, and discuss my obvious inability to control an aircraft? Or is today the day?
As we came to a halt my instructor said, “Right. Do that again, just the once. I’m going for a cup of tea.” Before I could issue any kind of protest he was out of the aircraft and walking away without looking back.
Of course, tea was the last thing on his mind. He would have probably watched as I made my radio call and taxied back to the holding point. Perhaps he watched as I made every turn and kept his finger crossed for a half decent landing with no bounces, wheel-barrowing or worse.
Once the tower had given permission I moved out onto the centre line of that big concrete runway. I glanced once again at the Ts and Ps (Temperatures and Pressures). They were all in the green. Full throttle, gently, and off we go.
The first thing I noticed was how much faster the aircraft climbed without the instructor. Then, it was a case of follow the drill. Climb out, turn, downwind call. For a few moments on the downwind leg I allowed myself the luxury of looking around. “I AM FLYING THIS PLANE! I – ME – I AM FLYING THIS AIRCRAFT!”
I made my downwind call and turn onto base leg. Moments later I was on final approach and the view out of the cockpit looked about right. I made my last radio call of the circuit and concentrated, hearing my instructor’s voice in my head as I looked at the end of the runway and my position relative to it.
A gentle flare, a little more, and the main wheels were down. I held the nose up as the speed decreased and let it too drop onto the runway. Not a perfect landing but I was down safely.
The elation I felt as I walked across that apron to the terminal is still vivid 30 years later. It was as if I had crossed into another world, from the land where people don’t fly, to the land of pilots. I felt ten feet tall and couldn’t stop smiling.
After the First Solo. Celebration, and delays
Four days later I celebrated my first solo with the first of two 20 minute rides in a Pitts Special S2-A in which I experienced open cockpit aerobatics for the first time. The contrast between the enclosed, gentle flying of the Cheetah with the power and maneouverability of the Pitts could not have been greater.
I can still remember the sensation of being at the top of loop as my backside left the seat and I realised why the instructor had made sure my shoulder straps were so tight. After several loops, flick-rolls and stall turns I was left in no doubt as to the unbridled joy of aerobatics.
The solo time included a Qualifying Cross Country (QCC) flight from Southampton to Exeter, Exeter to Bournemouth, and Bournemouth to Southampton. Approaching Exeter I still vividly remember looking down and seeing the VOR at Ottery St Mary. My navigation was spot on!
However, despite completing the QCC and the GFT something went awry. I was out of work again and both the flight school and I didn’t pull all the various components together and submit an application to the CAA for the licence.
1988 – Another push to complete
Nearly two years later, in May 1988, the funds were available to complete the goal. This time I choose a school based at Blackbushe airfield in the north of Hampshire. I am not certain but I think Flight Preparation in Southampton had gone out of business by then.
Due to the lack of continuity in my training and changes to the PPL syllabus I had to go through several hours of dual training before I was ready to go solo again.
Then, after a few hour of solo navigation exercises I was given an NFT (Navigational Flight Test), which I failed! The flying funds ran out again and my training at Blackbushe came to an end in February 1989. It wasn’t until September 1991 that I could afford to fly again.
Completion at last!
On 6th September 1991 I began a series of lessons at Compton Abbas airfield, this time in Cessna 150s. Once again, revision was necessary before I was ready to solo, but the training went well and I passed the NFT on the 13th September.
A week later I completed the Qualifying Cross Country to a satisfactory standard by flying from Compton to Sandown (Isle of Wight), Sandown to Exeter, and back to Compton.
After another 50 minutes of preparation after the QCC I passed the GFT on the 20th October 1991.
I had done it, and this time there would be no foul-ups with the paperwork. All the forms were filled in and sent to the CAA and my licence arrived a few weeks later. It had taken me seven years, but I got there in the end. I was the proud owner of a Private Pilots Licence at last.
With thanks to Ian Haskell for the photos. Ian worked at the airport as an Air Traffic Controller and learned to fly there too. All these aircraft are Grumman American AA-5A Cheetahs apart from G-ECCO which is a Grumman American GA-7 Cougar.
In July 2015 the aerospace giant Boeing predicted that the world would need 558,000 new pilots during the next twenty years. If this forecast for half a million pilots jobs were correct at the time (and they should know, being Boeing) then there has never been a better time to learn to fly.
If you start soon and work your way along the path to a career in the airlines then you should be ready to catch this wave of opportunity as it gathers momentum over the next few years.
You’re probably thinking that the pandemic of 2020/2021 negated that prediction and although aviation took a huge hit, it is recovering quickly and more pilots are needed to offset those who did not return to aviation.
Learning To Fly
If you have no flying experience at all then the idea of one day being the pilot of an airliner and responsible for the safe take-off, flight, and landing of a multi million pound aircraft, along with its passengers, crew, or cargo, may see nothing but a dream, but like all such ambitions they can be realised with the right amount of concentration, perseverance, money, and sacrifice.
At the very start of your journey into aviation you’re going to have a lot of fun and excitement as you learn to fly. The milestones are many and come in quick succession; first solo, first solo navigation, first land away etc and within a few months you will become one of the privileged holders of a Private Pilots Licence. This licence will entitle you to fly specific aircraft within the limits of the type of licence you have elected to obtain.
At this point the path for some pilots diverts into recreational flying and that journey can last for years. For the lucky few it can last a lifetime and some pilots continue to fly into their eighth and even their ninth decades, but for those whose aspirations are firmly fixed within the world of civil aviation then the achievement of the PPL marks only the end of first stage of training.
From there they must move quickly on to twin engine ratings, a Commercial Pilots Licence, and Instrument Rating, and onward towards an ATPL (Air Transport Pilots Licence).
As you can imagine, all this training takes a lot of concentration and application. It also demands a lot of sacrifice. If you take this path you will probably drastically reduce (and perhaps cut out altogether) nights out, holidays, nice cars, new clothes, and all the other things that working people spend their money on.
Obviously, if money is not a problem for you then this won’t be the case, but for most student pilots it is not uncommon for them to reach the end of their training in debt to the tune of tens of thousands of pounds and it is only the promise of a long career in the airlines, with increments of salary as they gain experience and seniority, and ending with a good pension, that gives them the confidence to continue with their goals.
Learning to fly isn’t cheap. Yes, it can be done on a budget but since this post is about the airline career path it would probably be a false economy to learn to fly microlights or some of the other smaller, lighter aircraft.
The number of flying schools offering flight training varies from place to place and in quality. You should try a few of those closest to you before committing to spending all your money in one place, and even if you find what seems to be the rights flying school don’t feel you have to stick to the same instructor.
It’s vitally important that you get the best flight training from the outset and that you have a comfortable and enjoyable relationship with your Flying Instructor.
If you’re in your teens or twenties with a mature and focused attitude to study and training, if you’re the sort of person who looks skywards whenever you hear the sound of an aero engine, if you dream of flying and seeing the world above the clouds then perhaps you should delay no longer and start planning your career in the airlines over the coming decades.
Many people dream of taking to the skies and piloting their own aircraft. While this may seem like a daunting task, learning to fly a light aircraft is actually a great idea for a number of reasons. First of all, it can be an incredibly exhilarating experience. Secondly, it can give you a new perspective on your surroundings. And finally, it can be a the start of a new career. If you’re thinking about learning to fly, then there’s no time like the present.
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