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Flying Training

training aircraftFlight training is conducted in one of our eleven aircraft. Training takes place 7 days a week from 0900 to 1800 (1600 over the winter).

Each lesson has a two hour slot to allow for a pre-flight briefing and preparation, an hour flying, and time to de-brief the lesson and discuss any points or queries that may have arisen.

The debrief will enable you to gain maximum benefit from your time in the air - you can frequently learn as much from your mistakes as you can from getting it right first time! Navigation flights may require the booking of double slots, but students should not plan to fly more than two lessons per day. It is advisable to set aside a morning or an afternoon for a two hour lesson.

The CAA requires all candidates to complete a minimum of 45 hours flight training.

This includes:
  • 25 hours dual flying with a flying instructor
  • 10 hours solo, including:
    • - At least 5 hours cross country navigation, which itself must include:
      • A qualifying cross country flight of 150 miles landing away at two other aerodromes.
The remaining 10 hours will be dual or solo, depending on the needs of the student (usually dual).

Your PPL course will progress as follows:
  • Stage 1
    • Consists of 5-10 hours in which we teach you to fly the aircraft straight and level, to climb, descend and turn, together with the basic skills to control the speed and rate of climb and descent. You will develop the skills required to complete all the pre-flight checks and be able to taxi, take off and make basic radio calls with confidence. In addition you will learn to look out, perform safety checks as you fly and to generally feel at home in your new environment.
  • Stage 2
    • By now you will have 15 to 20 hours flying experience and you should be able to fly the Circuit of Coventry Airport solo. Before you go first solo you will have covered all types of landings and demonstrated your competence to deal with any emergency situation that you could encounter.
  • Stage 3
    • After solo we consolidate what you have learned to date and introduce you to Practice Forced Landings, which will enable you to glide to a safe landing, should you lose engine power. This will prepare you for more solo work away from the circuit and enable us to progress to Stage 4.
  • Stage 4
    • Is all about Cross-Country Navigation including Radio Navigation - we will teach you to handle the workload of flying, navigating and communicating on the radio (all at the same time!). This stage is probably the most satisfying and leads to a solo Qualifying Cross-Country Flight
  • Stage 5
    • Consists of some basic Instrument Flying, which covers the skills you will need to find your way out of cloud safely.
  • Stage 6
    • Preparation for your Flying Skills Test. This is the final 2.5 hour long flying test conducted by a Flying Instructor who has an Examiner Rating. It will consist of Navigation and General Handling.

Theoretical Knowledge Examinations

Just as we now have a Driving Theory Test, so we also have Theoretical Knowledge exams for the PPL. These test your understanding of all essential knowledge required for you to be a proficient and safe pilot.

Do not be put off if is some time since you studied. You do not need a technical or academic background to pass the exams. All the questions are multiple-choice, so the skills required are entirely practical: the ability to read, draw lines on a chart, and make simple calculations. You only need to set aside a couple of hours a week to study.

Ground School Classes

We strongly recommend our ground school classes, run on weekday evenings and at weekends. These are taught by one of our Flying Instructors. These have a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 10 students per class and generally run on a Tuesday from 7:30 PM to 9:45 PM including a 15 minute break. Sat / Sunday courses run from 10:00 am to 4:30 PM. The cost ranges between £55 per person for a 4 week course and £95 for a 7 week course (note this is the total cost for the course, not per session).

The CAA recommends at least 45 hours of ground school teaching so Almat has a clear advantage over most schools, which have self-study as the only option available. It is also a good way to meet your fellow students. All textbooks are available from our Pooley’s pilot supplies shop. For the latest information on ground studies please contact one of our team.

Note – you do not have to join Almat as a member to attend our ground school. It is open to members of any other Aviation club or training centre.

Before you make your first solo flight you have to pass the Aviation Law exam (exam 1). After passing your first Theoretical Knowledge examination you must pass the remainder within 18 months. You must pass all the Theoretical Knowledge examinations before you can take your Flying Skills Test.

Read More about Ground School Classes

Fitness and Medical

Prior to flying solo for the first time, you must pass a medical examination by a CAA approved doctor. The examination is similar to one you may be asked to undergo for life insurance purposes. Naturally eyesight is important but wearing spectacles or contact lenses does not normally prevent you from being a pilot. You will be issued with a EASA Class 2 Medical Certificate, which you must have before your first solo flight takes place. This is issued by a CAA approved Authorised Medical Examiner (AME). The CAA website contains a list of AMEs and can be accessed via the CAA website: . Look under “Safety Regulation Group”, then “Medical”.

Tests and Examinations - summary

In summary to qualify for the issue of a PPL the candidate will need to have passed the following requirements:
  • Hold a valid Class 2 Medical certificate
  • Passed all 9 Theoretical Knowledge examinations
  • Have passed the Radio Telephony Practical examination
  • Have flown at least 45 hours flight training, including 10 hours solo flying
  • Have flown a Qualifying Cross Country flight
  • Passed the Flying Skills Test

How long will it take?

The ability to acquire the necessary skills varies from one person to another but most people can reach the necessary level of proficiency with 45 to 60 hours of flight training. Training full time over four to six weeks (weather permitting) you would probably need less flying hours than if you spread training over a longer period. Be aware that a full time course will be a major commitment of 5 or 6 days a week.

If you can devote two mornings or afternoons each week (with a lesson each day) for flying with some studying in between you could gain your licence within three or four months. If you can only spare one day a week you could take as long as nine or ten months. However this more relaxed pace does allow plenty of time for study for the Theoretical Knowledge examinations.

Training is very much dependent upon the vagaries of the British weather. Low cloud, rain and drizzle, and poor visibility can lead to cancellations. It is not advisable to wait and restrict your flying to a particular season of the year. There can be heavy rain or hazy visibility on summer days while conversely many winter days can have cold but clear blue skies with excellent visibility and good aircraft availability.

It is important to try and maintain regular consistency. We appreciate that work commitments can intervene, but this may require some refresher training that inevitably adds to the hours required.

Budgeting and Flying Costs

Our rates include fuel, instructor and VAT and can be found HERE. The rates are “chocks off to chocks on”, which is the time entered in your log book. in addition you should budget for additional items such as pilots log book, navigation equipment, etc. Please feel free to call us for more information regarding Flying costs.

Equipment and other costs

The club has a selection of headsets for use by students. You will need to initially allow £25-35 for the purchase of a logbook to record flights plus an aeronautical map of Southern England. For the navigation phase of the course a Dalton computer (a navigation slide rule used for flight planning calculations) and plotting ruler and pencils will be required for which another £45-50 will be required.

The cost of the Flying Skills Test at the end of the course is £150, payable to the Examiner (plus the cost of the aircraft hire), and there is also the cost of the Licence issue by the CAA.

No special clothing or shoes are required for flying, just comfortable clothing of the sort you would use to drive a car and a warm jacket in winter for walking out to the aircraft. For ladies, no high heels please. They make rudder control very difficult and will damage the wing surfaces when you board. The aircraft have very effective heating for winter use. For summer they are not air-conditioned but have effective cooling air vents.

A realistic budget for the complete Private Pilot’s Licence course is around £7,000, the cost of a new kitchen, second car or luxury cruise. The big difference is that passing your PPL is a tremendous personal achievement, rather than the purchase of a consumer item which requires nothing more challenging than writing a cheque.

Please call us to book your flight or request a gift voucher