Flying lessons in the UK
Would you like to pilot for a profit
or fly just for fun? In either case, plenty of flight lesson
opportunities are available across the UK. Flying lessons are
offered individually for entertainment and in full courses that lead
to private and commercial licenses.
Among individual lessons, the most traditional involve flying a
small plane such as a Cessna 152. Some popular alternatives include
flying modern microlight aircraft, old-fashioned biplanes, gliders,
and helicopters. The most daring of students try their hand at
aerobatic airplane flight. Typical flying lessons last between 20
minutes and one hour, and they generally cost between £50 and £300.
Lessons involving certain aircraft, such as helicopters and rare
biplanes, tend to cost the most.
As for full courses, recreational pilots and commercial pilots alike
begin by earning a private pilotís license (PPL). Flying lessons
include instruction in navigation, practicing flight maneuvers, and
using a two-way radio. In addition to logging a certain number of
hours, a student pursuing a PPL must pass a health examination and
obtain a Class 2 medical certificate.
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One can earn a private pilotís license in the UK after a minimum of
45 hours of training, but more time is generally recommended.
Furthermore, students are advised to consistently take one or two
flight lessons per week. Otherwise, information is forgotten between
sessions, and more lessons are ultimately required.
Although earning a private pilot license requires a significant time
investment, students progress relatively quickly. Instruction is
almost always one-on-one, and the airplanes used in training are
chosen for their ease of handling and reliability; typical training
craft include small Cessnas and Piper four-seaters.
After earning a private license, a pilot becomes eligible for
commercial training. In the UK, commercial training begins with
ground school. Students study at a flight school or via distance
learning for approximately eight to twelve months. If scheduling
permits, they may log flight hours while enrolled in ground school.
However, ground school flying lessons must be taken seriously; a
student must pass numerous Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL)
exams at the conclusion of the course. After passing the ATPL exams,
a pilot need only log enough flight hours and pass a Class 1 medical
exam in order to earn a commercial pilotís license.
If you are uncertain whether flying lessons are right for you,
consider taking a sample lesson. Most schools offer an introductory
lesson for £50 to £100.
and Flor Westphal 2007