Train­ing costs

Pilot - - AIRMAIL -

There are a cou­ple of things ex­er­cis­ing me at the mo­ment. Firstly, we keep hear­ing about the short­age of com­mer­cial pi­lots within the EU and, granted, it’s not a cheap deal learn­ing to fly. How­ever I have spo­ken to a fair few guys who hap­pen to run com­mer­cial schools and they all say that a vast ma­jor­ity of those they get are fifth- or sixth-rate pi­lots – they just hap­pen to be able to af­ford it. I thought this was an ex­ag­ger­a­tion but twice now I have been caught out by peo­ple who can hap­pily fly you on hol­i­day but can’t fly a light air­craft.

A chap fly­ing with my in­struc­tor had a cou­ple of thou­sand hours fly­ing Boe­ings but could not handle or land a PA-28. Now that’s a scary thought. Then, to top it off, when on a back-seat ride whilst a chap was be­ing checked out on the Ar­row – an­other 1,000 hour-plus pi­lot – the in­struc­tor told him to turn ninety de­grees to the left and he banked it ninety de­grees in­stead. Need­less to say, he did not get signed off.

But my point is, if we have such a mas­sive short­age of pi­lots, then why are the com­pa­nies and or the CAA not help­ing to find the chaps or ladies that have a gift for fly­ing but don’t have the cap­i­tal? I re­ally think there needs to be a good look at flight train­ing and the way it’s con­ducted, to solve this prob­lem. Peo­ple need to be aware that if the com­puter fails then I’m afraid you don’t have a hope be­cause the chaps fly­ing don’t or can’t re­mem­ber what to do.

This is a great shame for those of us that seem to be able to fly but can’t af­ford to take it fur­ther. I keep be­ing told I should go com­mer­cial but I can’t af­ford it. I would hap­pily fly for free if some­one would give me the chance and I know of oth­ers like this. This coun­try and avi­a­tion don’t seem to mix. Shame.

The sec­ond thing is that I have an FAA PPL, and it does not mat­ter which fly­ing school or club I go to, I guar­an­tee I will be given a dif­fer­ent an­swer re­gard­ing con­ver­sion and what I am al­lowed to fly. Surely we are all singing from the same book here. How can there be so much vari­a­tion be­tween clubs? Even at the same air­port. It’s a dis­grace and does not fill you with con­fi­dence when try­ing to find a lo­cal fly­ing club. You have no idea whether you are be­ing taken for a ride or be­ing told the truth.

It would be re­ally in­ter­est­ing to hear about the prob­lems fel­low avi­a­tors are suf­fer­ing. I do this for fun and I hope oth­ers do too and the en­joy­ment of avi­a­tion. So if I can help any­body I would and it would be nice to know that there may be peo­ple out there who would do the same. James An­der­son by email It would help if the Govern­ment knocked the VAT off com­mer­cial train­ing, of course - Ed

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