I've being training towards my ppl for about a year and a half now and I've around 20hrs done. I've been recently let go and was thinking of using the savings I have to get it finished quickly since I have plenty of time now.
I'm looking for advise on where to go. Florida was the first thought that naturally came to mind, but I was wondering has anyone any other suggestions. I'm looking to complete it quickly and relatively cheaply.
One more question, since I've trained under the IAA and I've an IAA student license/medical will this prove an issue when it comes to Flight schools who are generally under the UK CAA when outside the JAA/IAA land.
Thanks in advance.
Florida is the obvious choice, but you do have factor in the plane tickets,accomadation,TSA fees , US M1 visa fees and travel to and from the embassy etc etc so make sure you factor all those into your TOTAL costs. Florida is fun but you can get periods of weather that isnt suitable for flying for upto a week at time or more as you move in summer/hurricane season. Generally tho you can get the licence within a reasonable time frame. Just do your homework on any school you chose and dont pay all upfront. If you go to florida all the schools will be UK CAA so you will be doing their exams and your licence would be issued by them too. Up to getting the licence you will be flying on a FAA student licence.
As for somewhere else i would recommend france. NO visa , no TSA, cheap to get to, accomadation is reasonable and you get a JAA issued ppl. The best known one is run by an english woman called sue virr who has an excellent reputation and is called www.nearlyheaven.com , who conducts everything in english incuding the writtens and i think you can get either a french or a english JAA ppl.
I would imagine if you do the sums the french option might work out cheaper with less hassle.
As for having a Iaa student licence it will not make any difference where you go. If its florida you will need a FAA student licence to solo, if its france it will be a french student licence etc etc. Wherever you go you will have to do the student exams of the country that will issue your full licence, there is no credit for having done any exams here.
Hope that helps.
If you go abroad you will have extra travel, food & accom costs as well as the inevitable 'one step forward 2 back' situation while you get to know the local area, convert to a different type, become used to a new instructor etc.
I'd say have a serious chat with the owner or CFI of the school you are established with and come to some arrangement whereby you spend all day every day there good weather or bad, studying, ready to take any cancelled slots, picking up any ferry flights, spare seats, help with cleaning planes, getting weather etc.
You'd be surprised what you get out if you put a lot in... weather getting better, days longer, money is tight so availability will be good.
The grass is not always greener on the other side of the hill.
At this time of the year you will get the weather. Even if a day isn't suitable for cross countries you will get lots of days in the circuit. It's worth a try.
Thanks for all the advise, France looks interesting alright I'll have look into it and see how the economics work out.
Just to give you bit more detail. I was flying out of Coonagh while working in Shannon. This was perfect for me while living in Shannon, the flying was cheap and the guys in Coonagh are great(even have Hum mentioned once or twice in my pilot log). However, I'm now back in Meath since loosing the job.
This means there's a considerable food, travel and accommodation for staying/driving to Limerick so it's hard to know if that argument stands in my case.
As for the Weston schools, I'm sure they do an excellent job but when a flight hour costs ~€200 thats ~€6000 for the remaining 30 hours alone, not to mention ground school, test fees etc. This is when schools in Florida are offering a full course and accommodation for as low as $6700 that's a little over €5000.
With money aside though getting it finished with a months solid training is what is really appealing to me. I'm concerned that a job offer will come along and I'll have to put the ppl on the back burner again.
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