I’ve been asked by a listener called Tom Boothby whether I could do an episode on flight training in the US. I’ve eventually got a few folks lined up to come on the podcast and chat about their experiences.
So, Episode 33 of Flying Podcast features a fellow Barton flyer called Dave Crozier who trained in the US some time back. My first question for Dave was `what was your experience of flight training in the USA?’ His response was that he’d been struggling to get his PPL completed over here in the UK. The weather in England was conspiring to prevent him getting his flying licence so he decided to go over to the US to complete his training.
After a great deal of research, Dave chose UK Flight Training of Long Beach in California. He chose California due to the predicted better weather and with 360 flying days a year who could argue.
Dave suggested that people generally go to the US in order to get their licence in several weeks and UKFT were promising to help get Dave his licence in 2 to 3 weeks. He completed his ground school exams prior to going over there which he said he would advise everyone to do as it freed up a lot of time to enjoy oneself when actually learning to fly.
The price, at the time, was Â£3900 which he said was much, much cheaper than in the UK.
Dave mentioned that he got a JAA PPL but he warned others to check exactly what sort of licence they’d get after their training period in the US.
Another motivation for Dave to train at UK Flight Training was to build a holiday into his time over there in California.
At the time, you paid as you flew at UKFT, which suited Dave and he advises that you should not look favourably on any organisation that asked for a significant payment up front.
It may not be the same now but when Dave went to UK Flight Training he actually stayed with one of instructors which he said was very good as it allowed complete immersion in flying and was relatively cheap.
Dave’s didn’t get along with his first instructor at UKFT but the guy that runs UKFT, Ajay Sinha, said that if you weren’t happy with your instructor you were free to change and that’s just what Dave did. Luckily, Dave’s second instructor, Chad, was much better and he eventually became a good friend.
For those people now looking to go to the US for flight training Dave says that you should talk to as many people as possible that have had experiences of US training. Although his own experiences of flying with UK Flight Training weren’t perfect he says that the good points of the organisation far outweigh the bad. However he says that he is aware of some scare stories on the web relating to UKFT so ‘do your research!’.
Training at UKFT was at Long Beach Airport which was much bigger than Dave was used to and the aircraft available were typical flight training workhorses such as Cessna 152s and 172s.
Dave actually ran out of time in the US so didn’t get his licence completed. He came back to the UK and did his GFT here. He then returned to the US to do some flying and the stories of his flying experiences are very interesting. The podcast is worth a listen if only for these stories especially the one about him being shot at by USS Nimitz!