CLUB: +44 (0)2476 306440
E-mail us: info@almat.co.uk

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How old do I need to be before I can fly an aeroplane? A. You can start your training from about the age of 14 although you cannot fly solo until the age of 16.
Q. How long will it take to get my Pilots Licence? A. There is no specific time period to obtain your licence, it largely depends on how often you fly. It is possible to obtain a licence within weeks, many people take years. It has been our experience that on average most student pilots take approximatly 12 months but ultimately the choice is yours.
Q. Is it safe to fly? A. Yes it is one of the safest forms of transport. All aircraft are inspected prior to each flight. They are checked and maintained regularly by licensed engineers, To the highest standards as required and regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority. All our instructors are fully qualified commercial pilots, with extensive experience and expertise in the field of instruction. Periodically their licences are re-validated by authorised flight examiners.
Q. Am I insured? A. Yes you are covered under the aircraft insurance. Extra cover for trial can be obtained from the experience company supplying your voucher.
Q. Is it difficult? A. Flying or learning to fly is not difficult but requires high motivation and dedication.
Q. Will I get to use the controls? A. Yes, your instructor will try to give you as much "Hands On" flying experience as possible for you to obtain a better understanding of the aircrafts handling characteristics. You will truly see how flying is an exhilarating experience.
Q. Does the weather play a major role in flying? A. Yes, depending on your type of flight and nature of training. We adhere to the standards, rules and regulations as laid down by The Civil Aviation Authority to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable experience.
Q. My flights been cancelled because of 'weather' will it affect the expiry of my voucher? A. If your flight has been cancelled due to Weather reasons we will re-book your flight to a date of your choice. This will not affect the expiry date. Typical reasons for are that the weather exceeds the company minima, such as strong winds, low cloud, poor visibility. To enable you to enjoy "Hans On" flying, conditions must be adequate for your instructor to safely hand control to you.
Q. I was given a flying lesson as a gift, is it ok to transfer the name on the voucher? A.This depends on the company issuing the voucher. Under most circumstances there will be no problem. We suggest that you contact Almat for individual answers.
Q. I enjoyed my trial flight and want to get my license; will my trial flight count towards my training? A. All trial lessons are bone fide training flights, hence if you did wish to continue training it will count.
Q. Do I need a medical exam, if so, can my own GP do this? Is it difficult to pass a medical test? A. When flying with an instructor you do not need to have a valid medical certificate, however to fly solo and to obtain your licence you will need one. The type or class of medical required depends on the licence you aim to achieve. For the National Private Pilots Licence (NPPL) your own GP can issue the certificate. For the EASA Private Pilots Licence only authorised CAA authorised medical examiners (AME) may issue the certificate. A list of these AME'S can be obtained from the CAA website from the link on this site.
Q. I wear glasses is this a problem? A. The medicals are not difficult but if you have any concerns we suggest that you give us a ring so that it can be discussed in private. The wearing of glasses /contact lenses is not a problem. Under most circumstances the correction of vision by wearing spectacles/lenses falls within the limitations required by the medical standards. Limitations on your licence may be imposed but these usually mean the carrying of a spare pair of spectacles.
Q. Can I use my licence abroad? A. Yes if you have the EASA PPL. If you have the NPPL it can only be used within the UK. We have many trips to France, the channel islands, Ireland and many more. You can use the EASA PPL even in America once you have applied for the FAA licence. This is usually a paper exercise an air law exam and a short flight test.
Q. How many exams are there to pass? A. There are seven written exams, all multi choice. Our instructors will do all they can to assist you to pass the exams.
Q. Can I get help studying for these? A. We have set classes on each subject or the instructors will help you study with one on one assistance at times to suit you.
Q. How do I keep my licence valid? A. Your medical has to be valid and this is renewed either every 5 years for the younger members or every 6 months for those of a more mature age. Also you have to have completed a flight with an instructor of an hours duration, 11 hours in the previous 12 months or a flight test with an examiner.
Q. Can I fly at night? A. Once you have obtained a night qualification which is about 5 hours flight with an instructor at night you can fly during the hours of darkness. This is really good.
Q. Is there an age limit? A. 14 is the earliest you can start, but the upper limit, well there is none. So long as you are fit and pass the medical you can keep flying.
Q. When someone gets their licence what do they do with it? A. For some it a for recreation only and they treat it as a hobby. You can fly almost anywhere you want, within reason and conforming to airspace limitations. We as a club have many organised trips both abroad and locally and all are welcome. For others it is the start of a commercial licence and can lead to flying jets with hundreds of passengers.
Q. What sort of aircraft will I be flying? A. We have Cessna 150, Cessna 152, 2 seat aircraft, Piper PA 28 (140), Piper PA 28 (161), and Cessna 172, 4 seat aircraft for training.
Q. Do I have to become a member of Almat Flying Club? A. Yes – after your first introductory lessons. The best option for you can be discussed with the staff.
Q. Do I need any special educations qualifications? A. No.
Q. Do I have to pay anything in the event of a cancelled lesson? How long does it take before I can fly solo? A. Normally we require 48 hours notice of cancellation but usually with a telephone call we can re-arrange the booking.
Q. How long does it take before I can fly solo? A. It varies, but between 10 and 20 hours of instruction is not unusual.
Q. Do I have to complete the course in a set time? A. No – You can learn at your own pace.
Q. Are there any books or equipment that I will need? A. Yes – These are on sale and available at the club and your instructor or a member of staff will assist you in choosing the correct study material.
Q. Where can I sit the written examinations? A. At your convenience at the club.
Q. Do I need any special clothing? A. No – Headsets are provided and the aircraft have heating and ventilation.
Q. Will I have to pay a set price for every lesson? A. No – you only pay for the flying time (brakes off to brakes on)
Q. Will I have to pay any monies in advance? A. No – you only pay for the flying time (brakes off to brakes on)
Q. How do I book my lessons? A. By telephone or in person at the club after a previous lesson.
Q. I have a lapsed PPL how do I get my license back? A. Please see the page on lapsed PPLs