What flight school for my PPL?

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What flight school for my PPL?

Post by aisling2308 »

I am 16 years old and I live in Co. Mayo. As an aspiring airline pilot, I take great interest in aviation and often visit my local airport, Ireland West Airport Knock. I am interested in gaining my Private Pilots Licence but I am not too sure where to do it and how much it costs. I have done a lot of research on this particular topic but I am unable to decide whether to go to Connaught Aero Club, the National Flight Centre or any other flying school for that matter.

I would like to know your experiences with Flying Schools in Connacht or in any part of Ireland and why you would recommend them. I would also like to know any relevant prices because I am eager to begin my training.

Thank you in advance for your replies. :)

(If you wish to see how ambitious I am to be a pilot, please don't hesitate to pop over to my blog. http://aislingt.blogspot.com/)

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Re: What flight school for my PPL?

Post by ma11achy »

Hi there,

Well, it looks like you're well on your way to being a pilot! Asking questions is a great way of finding out what to do next.

I'll try and help out here, as I was in your situation a long time ago and I did the same thing.

First things first, training to be a pilot costs money. Lots and lots of money. If you have access to lots and lots of money then - great! There's no problems in getting to be a pilot :)

If, like most of us - you're not a millionaire (yet), there are ways around this. The most important way around it is to shop around. Don't just hand over money to a Flight Training School and hope when you graduate, you'll have airlines falling at your feet....make sure you check out all the ways of becoming a pilot first, then start handing over money - but very carefully :)

Start small - why not get yourself a Private Pilot's License first. This is the first step on the ladder to becoming an airline pilot.
Many pilots stop here, as they're happy to just fly around for fun, dropping into airfields around the country and having a laugh with other pilots. There are lots of clubs around Ireland that can help you here - your local Flying Club for example (you mentioned Connaught) - there's a few up around there, Galway FC, Abbeyshrule FC in Longford, Birr FC in Offaly and of course my own club - Limerck Flying Club in Coonagh - http://www.limerickflyingclub.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

You could then find out what it's like to actually fly a 737 airliner, quite cheap actually! A friend of mine owns a company in Shannon called "Atlantic Air Venture" where they have a huge building full of everything related to aviation and flying. They have many simulators there, but the most impressive is a full 737 cockpit, with an instructor station and people from the training colleges able to answer any questions you have. Their website is here: http://www.atlanticairventure.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

If after all that, you're still hooked on becoming an airline pilot - then you'll have a lot more knowledge from talking to other pilots about where to go next.

Just so you can Google some of this (you probably know it already) - here are the steps to becoming an airline pilot:

1) PPL (Private Pilot's License)
2) CPL (Commercial Pilot's License)
3) IR (Instrument Rating)
4) MER (Multi-Engine Rating) - sometimes combined what number 3 to give you a ME/IR
5) ATPL (Airline Transport Pilot's License)

Each step (except the multi-engine rating) have exams. The toughest exams are supposed to be the ATPL's - I haven't done them (yet), but from what I hear from other people, you need to study hard!
Finally, the steps above don't have to be done exactly as they are written - you could do a PPL, then an IR, then do your ATPL's and then get a CPL. The only thing is that you have to get a PPL first.

Happy flying!
Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines

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