Pilot Training FAQs

Some commonly asked questions..

Learning to fly can be an incredibly exciting and rewarding experience. Getting your head around what’s involved can initially be quite daunting. Naturally, you’ll probably have a lot of questions.

Hopefully this page will answer some that you may have. If not, feel free to get in touch – we love to talk!

What aircraft do you have?

The club uses PA-28 Warrior aircraft as the basic trainer. Other aircraft are available to those with licenses who wish to develop their flying skills. We have a highly professional instructional staff and members who are able to pass on a wealth of experience beyond the basic LAPL/PPL requirements.

Do you offer any block purchases of training hours?

No, we don’t and you should be wary of doing this with other companies. We’re aware that some organisations impose restrictions on the validity, which can result in block time purchased expiring before you get a chance to fly the hours.

Companies can go bust, meaning that you lose your money. Also, if you don’t like the training that is provided, you are tied to the company, as they already have your money. At Glasgow Flying Club you pay for each individual flight on completion. This allows you to match your expenditure to your personal finances.

Can I hire aircraft once I have my license?

Absolutely, once you have your license you can rent our aircraft.

Can I take aircraft away from Glasgow and spend time away?

Yes, we encourage our members to use the aircraft to visit other airfields. Subsequently, our aircraft have out-of-hours indemnity for a number of Highlands and Islands airfields, which can be visited outside their licensed hours.

What if I wish to pursue a commercial career in flying?

We work closely with Tayside Aviation and GFC members are also members of Tayside Flying Club. Tayside Aviation is an award-winning, professional flying training organisation who can train you for commercial flying qualifications. As we utilise the same training material as Tayside Aviation, and utilise Tayside-trained instructors, the transition to progressing with Tayside will be straightforward.

Will using a flight sim help me with my flight training?

Use of a flight sim can help, as it allows the practice of procedures and checks, while on the ground, saving some money. The club has invested in a flight sim, which is available for the use of members.

Can I add a Night Rating to the LAPL?

Yes, you can add a night rating or aerobatic qualifications to your LAPL license.

Can I “convert” my LAPL license to a PPL at a later date?

Yes! You just need to undertake the “missing” instruction, obtain a Class 2 Medical and complete a skills test to validate your proficiency. The theory exams are the same for the PPL as for the LAPL, so you don’t need to sit any extra theory exams.

What’s the Brexit impact?

This is a bit of an ever evolving picture at the moment, so it’s probably best you reach out to us directly for any Brexit related queries.

Is the membership optional?

Unfortunately, no. As a non-profit members club we require that all students become a member of the club so that everyone is paying a fair share towards the running costs of the club. Equally, your membership covers your insurance for use of our aircraft.

Do I need to have any formal qualifications?

Nope! All we ask is that you are commited to working hard at all stages of the process.

What’s it like flying at Glasgow International Airport?

We love it. ATC are incredibly supportive and always do their best to fit our departures/arrivals in between their busy commercial traffic. The main benefit to flying at Glasgow is that zone transits will become second nature ..equally, it’s way more interesting flying with the big jets!

Do I need to have a medical prior to starting my training?

You do not need require a medical prior to starting training. Although, this is required prior to your first solo.

That being said, if you have any medical issues that you think may prevent you from obtaining either the LAPL or Class 2 medical certificate, then we would recommend that you speak to an Authorised Medical Examiner (AME) prior to spending any money on training. 

How do I get started?

If you have no prior flying experience, then we always recommend that you purchase a 60 minute experience flight. This will count towards the minimum hours for either the LAPL or the PPL.

This will very much take the form of a first lesson, rather than a sightseeing experience. The reason we recommend this as not only does it give you the chance to see if flying is for you, but it also allows you to try us without the need to commit to a full membership. 


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Taking it further

What’s next after a getting my license?

The minimum number of flight time for a LAPL license is currently 35 hours and for a PPL it is 45 hours.

It is worth noting that this is the required minimum number of hours by EASA and every student is different. For example – a student flying every week is more likely to obtain their license in less time than a student who is flying less frequently.

Your LAPL/PPL license allows you to rent any of the club’s aircraft for which you are checked out. Many pilots start by taking friends and family members for short trips around the local area to build experience. Following this, trips to other airfields such as Oban, Mull, Dundee or Glenrothes help to keep you proficient in navigational skills, as well as being very scenic.

Glasgow Flying Club pilot members are also members of Tayside Flying Club, which entitles them to free landings at Dundee and Fife Airports. Once you have gained experience, it is possible to take an aircraft away for a weekend or longer, allowing you to explore more of the UK. If you have an EASA LAPL or PPL, you could visit Europe; for example, Paris or Amsterdam can be reached in around six hours flying time. Night and Instrument qualifications can be added to your licence, giving a whole new perspective on flying, as well as added flexibility returning from day trips. Both the EASA PPL and the LAPL require revalidation at regular intervals. This is to ensure the holder remains current in all aspects of flying during their flying career. Full details are available at the clubhouse.

Hopefully this goes some way to answering some of the questions you may have. We have a wealth of information on our Pilot Training pages, but we would love to hear from you – so, please get in touch with us.