Frequently Asked Questions
Why choose Westair Flying School?
When looking for a suitable Flying School, ask yourself these important questions:
- Is the school well established?
- How reputable is it?
- Are the aircraft well maintained?
- Are you encouraged to view the aircraft and facilities without obligation?
- Are the staff enthusiastic and suitably qualified?
- Do the training fees include your pre-flight instruction, debriefings and fuel?
Our Flying School has been established for 70 years and has built up a reputation of quality and safety. All of our aircraft are maintained by our highly qualified team of engineers. We welcome anyone to come and visit our club at anytime where a member of our staff will gladly answer any of your questions. All of our instructors are highly qualified and all of our ground staff are either pilots or students themselves… not salesmen. We also operate a policy of No Hidden Costs. Other schools may entice you with cheap deals but what do you really get for your money?
How do I obtain my Private Pilot’s Licence?
Learning to fly is really not difficult, if you can drive a car you will most likely be able to fly. You must be 17 to qualify for a licence, though you can begin your studies much earlier. You can legally go solo at 16 and there is no upper age limit, so don’t think because your retired you’re too old!
There are two routes to getting your licence, The EASA-PPL route which is more widely recognised and will allow you to continue with more advanced training such as Night ratings, IMC etc or the LAPL route which has a few more restrictions but is a shorter course.
Do I need any special equipment?
No special clothing is required for flying because modern training and touring aircraft are heated and are comparable in comfort to a car. You will need to purchase some items of equipment for the PPL course, such as books, aeronautical charts and rulers, but these can be bought from the club shop.
What types of aircraft are available?
Westair operates two Cessna 150s which are 2 seat aircraft, as well as two 4 seat Cessna 172 aircraft. These aircraft are amongst the most popular training aircraft in the world, around which we base our PPL course. They are renowned for their safety record and ease of handling, being the aircraft of choice for many flying schools around the world.
These aircraft are designed to be stable and therefore easy to fly and built to give you confidence from the very beginning of your flight training. The high wing design provides for excellent stability and visibility.
Once you have obtained your licence our aircraft including the four seat Warrior are also available for additional training or hire. Check out the specifications of all our aircraft here.
How often should I fly?
The frequency of your lessons depends on your availability and financial resources. An ideal arrangement would be to fly once or twice a week, each flight lasting approximately 45 minutes. This would allow you to obtain your licence in around 6-9 months.
However it is possible to space out your lessons to suit your pocket, or you may wish to devote your holiday to full-time training and so complete the course in a matter of weeks. The choice is yours – the club is open seven days a week, our aircraft are almost always available.
Each lesson commences with a pre-flight briefing on the exercises to be flown, followed by the flight and a de-briefing. You only pay for the official log book flying time, that is from the moment you move off under power to the moment you come back to a stop on the apron outside Westair.
Below are a list of Aviation Medical Examiners (AME’s) that Westair members have used before. This is by no means an extensive list of available Aviation Medical examiners in the North west and for more information and a full comprehensive list of examiners see the medical section of the CAA website. Medical Examiners Database
Dr M Jandu
Fly High Aeromedical Ltd, Gregson House, Haighton Green Lane, Preston PR2 5SR
Dr. Martin F. Hudson
Grasmere Medical Services, 7 Swanwick Close, Goostrey, Nr Holmes Chapel, Cheshire W4 8NU
Dr. Ed Byrne & Dr. John Wray
Skymed Ltd., Oceansky Business Aviation Centre, Hangar 7, Faireys Way, Manchester Airport West, Cheshire M90 5NE
Tel: 0161 4360123
(Also individually at Garston and Maghull, Liverpool)
How much does flying cost?
Flying costs can vary enormously from club to club, some include VAT, some instruction or a combination of both, others quote you for ‘dry’ time. ‘Dry Time’ means you pay the hourly rate for the aircraft and then add on the cost of the fuel used during your flying. What started out as a reasonable cost ends up being a lot more expensive than you thought or perhaps budgeted for.
At Westair we believe in keeping the charges clear and simple. The price you see is the price you pay per hour of flying time ‘Wet’, ie. the price includes the fuel used, with charges being broken down in 5 minute increments. Flying time starts from the moment the aircraft wheels move under your own power to the moment they finally come to a stop after the flight. The rates shown below include VAT and fuel. The only additional cost is a landing fee of just £13.50 (two seater) and £16.00 (4 seater) for each landing at Blackpool.
Prices include VAT
Can I try it first?
If you are not familiar with flying in a light aircraft, then a short trial lesson is recommended. This can be easily arranged, with flexibility in date and time, giving you the opportunity to fly the aircraft yourself to see what it is really like to be at the controls.
Trial lessons also make a unique gift for friends and relatives. Personalised Gift Certificates are available for trial lessons, starting from 20 minutes. These can be purchased by cheque or over the phone by credit card.
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What about exams?
At the end of the course you will fly with an examiner who will test what you have learnt throughout the course to ensure you are safe and competent. There is Radio Practical test to be taken before you obtain your licence which makes sure you understand procedures for communicating with Air Traffic Control. Finally there are a series of nine theoretical exams that need to be taken throughout the course. For more information on the theoretical exams click here.