Archive for April, 2013

Is recreational flying in the U.K. a realistic hobby for the “average Joe”?

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Recreational flying is seen as an expensive hobby that is surely going to burn a very deep hole in your pocket should you decided to take it up. Ultimately, it is often the type of extravagant past-time associated with the wealthy and seen as an unrealistic aspiration for the “average Joe”. With that said, flying is a potentially life-long hobby that is incredibly involved and rewarding. So is it possible to indulge your desire to get air-borne without breaking the bank?

Make no bones about it; if you’re serious about taking up recreational flying it’s a past-time that requires considerable investment both in terms of time and money. One-off classes can be very reasonable and start from approximately £60, however if you are looking to work towards your PPL (Private Pilot’s Licence) a much longer time spent training will be required. In the UK, the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority stipulate that you must spend a minimum of 45 hours in the air before you are qualified to take the pilot’s licensing test. To get the required flight time under your belt it is a good idea to enrol on a PPL course at a CAA accredited flight school or flying club. Courses such as this aren’t cheap, you’ll be looking in the region of a couple of thousand pounds, but there are some good deals available including discount options online. A good tip as always is to shop around to not only make sure you’re getting the best deal financially but also to make sure that the course itself is the best choice for you. Some key considerations should include; how far you have to travel to get to the school? Where it is located, for example if it is on the sea coast lessons could easily be affected by the weather. If you’re going to make the investment then it has to be right choice.

Once you’ve completed your training and are fully qualified, the next consideration is how are you going to quench your new-found thirst for flight without the use of the aircraft at your flight school? For those one-off occasions when you want to indulge your passion you can rent a plane for a few hundred pounds depending on how long you want to rent it for. If your dream has always been to own your own plane on the other hand, then you will undoubtedly be looking at an investment in the region of tens of thousands, to hundreds of thousands of pounds. Of course there are also other considerations in terms of cost such as parking and airport fees. These can vary greatly, however in recent times many small airports have been able to expand the amount of parking space that they are able to provide to private aircraft owners through the use of temporary aviation flooring that provides additional secure parking and operational surfaces.

There is also the cost of maintaining your plane and of course insurance to consider. Choosing an aircraft with good safety rating will help to reduce insurance costs to some extent. It is also a good idea to find a good value aircraft mechanic for times when maintenance is required.

While learning to fly is the type of hobby that is always going to incur a noticeable cost, our outlay will always depend on just how far you want to indulge your passion. If you’re happy to spend the odd weekend partaking in individual classes then it is a part time that is the reach of most. However, if your aspirations include flying and owning your own aircraft then undoubtedly a substantial amount of investment over a long period of time will be required for your dream to become a reality.

About the author – Louise Orr is an avid flying enthusiast, from learning about the history of flying to researching innovative aviation technologies. You can find her on Google +.

New ATP Pilot Training In Ogden, UT and Morristown, NJ

Monday, April 29th, 2013

ATP Pilot Training logoATP announced today that it is expanding its training network by opening two new training centers. Ogden, UT (KOGD) opens May 1, 2013, and Morristown, NJ (KMMU) opens June 1, 2013.

The opening of these two training centers brings the total number of ATP pilot training facilities that the company operates up to 30, the most locations of any flight training provider in the United States.

“The opening of these facilities represents a continued effort by ATP to provide high quality, career and multi-engine flight training throughout the United States,” said Vice President, Jim Koziarski.  “We know how important it is to provide flight training in quality aircraft by properly qualified instructors and staff.  It is our goal to make that available in as many locations throughout the United States as possible.  As the demand for pilots grows, ATP is focused on ensuring the infrastructure to train them is available.”

The new Morristown (KMMU) facility will complement the already established ATP facilities in Trenton, NJ (KTTN) and Islip, NY (KISP).  ATP locations offer both Career Oriented Pilot Training and Add-On ratings along with hourly flight training programs.  ATP operates new Garmin G1000 equipped Cessna 172 and Garmin G500 equipped Piper Seminole aircraft at its facilities.

For more information about ATP and its new Training Centers, visit

In 1984, ATP pioneered accelerated, professional multi-engine flight training with an emphasis on pilot career development. Today ATP’s Airline Career Pilot Program prepares pilots for airline careers with nationwide flying experience in multi-engine aircraft. In partnership with the leading regional and national airlines, ATP offers its students an airline-sponsored career track from zero time to 1500 hours, with CFI job placement and airline employment. ATP flies over 9,000 hours to provide more than 350 FAA pilot certificates every month across 30 locations nationwide. As America’s largest flight school, ATP provides more pilots to the regional airlines than any other single flight school, college, or academy.

Drone Pilot Training – UAS Set To Share US Skies In 2015

Friday, April 26th, 2013
by Glenn Pew, AvWeb contributing editor

Article excerpt:

USAF drone - Drone Pilot TrainingUnmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are scheduled for integration into the (U.S.) national airspace system (NAS) in 2015, spurring job growth and a forecast economic impact of $13.6 billion by 2019. But while the growing industry will be adding to the overall workforce, the segment might also be changing the employment landscape for people interested in drone pilot training. The new segment will need pilots, but what kind of pilots, and where will they come from? Let’s take a look.

First, the role of an UAS pilot may be significantly different from that of traditional pilots flying today. There is even some evidence that a person’s experience functioning as a traditional pilot may actually impair some areas of their performance, or learning, as a drone pilot. But some industry observers believe it’s most likely that the FAA will require drone operators to have experience in the cockpit demonstrated in the form of a commercial and instrument flight certificate before they are allowed to operate a drone in the NAS. There are a multiple, sometimes conflicting factors to consider. Here are a few…

Educators like those at the University of North Dakota (UND) have already developed programs to train UAS pilots. UND in particular has made drone-related programs available to students since 2009.

Building A Better (Drone) Pilot

In 2009, the first year UND accepted students to its UAS program, five were enrolled. “Today,” says Palmer, “there are about 120 majors in the program.” Palmer says UND has invested roughly $22 million to research UAS related areas and is currently involved in a $5.5 million program looking at Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) drone operations.

Who Will Choose To Fly On The Ground

The history of UAS in American airspace has yet to be written. But integration of unmanned aircraft into the U.S. national airspace system is scheduled to begin in 2015. One thing is clear. UAS pilots will be a slightly different breed, but… they will still be pilots. And they may give up their time aloft quite willingly. An internal Air Force study highlighted recently by NBC news notes that of 244 undergraduates allowed to pick any career in the Air Force, one quarter elected to sign on as drone pilots. More to the point, of 487 fighter and bomber pilots assigned to three years drone duty, more than 410 elected to continue their careers as drone pilots when the three years were up. In the military, there is evidence the job is attracting, and apparently maintaining the interest of both pilots and non pilots. We don’t yet know how those patterns will translate to commercial aviation. But with 2015 looming, we’re about to find out.

Read the full text of the article The Drones Are Coming: Who Will Fly Them? at AvWeb.

Who Doesn’t Need a P-51 Mustang LSA?

Friday, April 26th, 2013

Avionics Technician Training: Technologies to Keep You in High Demand

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013
avionics technicianBy 

If you’re considering avionics technician training, we’ve got a list of three technologies to master that should help you not only find a job as an avionics technician, but will direct the skills and knowledge you acquire during your training.

In our new article Avionics Technician Training: Mastery Of Three Technologies Will Keep You In High Demand we run down several technologies that will keep skilled avionics technicians in high demand, such as glass cockpits and advanced GPS systems. The following is just part of the article, be sure to click through to read it all:

Glass cockpits are one of the hottest trends in all of aviation. Even the military is upgrading some of their largest and oldest aircraft to glass cockpits. Even new Cessna 172s or Piper Archers, simple training aircraft, are coming out of the factory with some of the latest glass panel avionics. Unlike older avionics, which were typically more self-contained, new glass cockpits are fully integrated and, even a simple upgrade will require a trained avionics technician.

While they may seem simple on the surface, mastering these three technologies as an avionics technician will put you in high demand as advanced avionics are rapidly becoming common place in even simple aircraft. After completing avionics technician training, you will be able to maintain, install, and service the devices that pilots and air traffic controllers rely on everyday…read more >>

Click here to locate avionics technician training near you.

Related Articles:

Avionics Technician Training – Three Perks Of Learning To Repair Advanced Avionics
Become An Avionics Technician – Three Reasons Repairing Avionics Makes a Great Career
Avionics Technicians – Three Perks Of The Job

UK Helicopter Pilot Scholarships Available Through Helicentre

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

UK helicopter pilot scholarship logoWith just over a week to go until the application deadline for Helicentre Aviation’s 2013 Professional Helicopter Pilot Scholarships, the training academy has announced the launch of at least two further scholarship places to be awarded in 2014.

The announcement comes as exciting news for this year’s scholarship hopefuls, who will get a second chance to apply if unsuccessful this time around, but it also gives an opportunity for new pilots and those who are too late to complete this year’s application process to start out on a potentially life-changing, substantially funded career path.

Captain Sarah Bowen, Helicentre Aviation’s Managing Director says “Our Scholarship Programme was born as a result of our own shortage of company helicopter pilots, particularly flight instructors. Despite receiving over a thousand registrations of interest for this year’s Scholarships, and allowing over 14 months from the initial launch to the application deadline, we are absolutely taken aback at the small numbers of applicants. Ultimately two deserving pilots will be awarded their places this June following a series of interviews and we are very excited, not only about providing these pilots with their training and qualifications, but also their first opportunity to work in the helicopter industry as a professional pilot”.

The early announcement of the 2014 Scholarships is hoped to encourage applicants to get their submissions in without delay to avoid missing out on the opportunity, which will definitely result in employment for the successful candidates. This year alone at least two pilots who graduated from Helicentre Aviation’s Professional Pilot Programme and continued onto working full time at Helicentre have now secured jobs in Canada and the North Sea. Further details about the 2014 Scholarships will be released in May, and a series of open days will be held at Leicester Airport during the summer months for prospective candidates to attend and find out more about the new Scholarships.

Meanwhile anyone who would like to be kept informed should register their interest by visiting

Seaplane Rating Training: Choosing a Good Seaplane Rating Course

Friday, April 19th, 2013
seaplane rating trainingBy 

If you’re considering seaplane rating training and you want to make sure you select a good seaplane rating course, we’d like to help. When selecting a seaplane rating course, there are three things you should look for that will help you gain the right skills and knowledge for maximum impact during your training.

In our new article Seaplane Rating Training: Three Elements Of A Good Seaplane Rating Course we run down the elements of good seaplane rating training, including finding structured training. The following is just a sample, be sure to click through to read the entire article:

Regarding the check-ride, look for a school with an examiner on staff. This isn’t an attempt to “guarantee a pass,” but rather, to guarantee a check-ride on schedule. The trouble with quick training, like seaplane rating training, is that you’d likely need to schedule an independent check-ride well before you did the training to ensure that it happened on schedule. If the school has an examiner on staff, it is typically a planned part of the training; you can schedule the check-ride an hour before you take off. The examiner still reports to the FAA, but you don’t have to be worked into their schedule.

There are plenty of good seaplane rating training programs all over the country. If you keep these things in mind while shopping around, you are sure to find yourself in a beautiful place for one of the most fun days of flying you can have…read more >>

Click here to locate seaplane rating training near you.

Related Articles:

Learn to Fly Seaplanes – Three Ways A Seaplane Rating Will Improve Your Skills
Getting a Seaplane Rating – Is A Seaplane or Floatplane Rating In Your Future?
Seaplane Ratings – Just Add Water

Demand For Helicopter Pilots Grows – HAI 2013 Coverage

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Ride along with Inventist Media as they cover Heli Expo 2013 and interview helicopter operations staff  from all over the world. The theme is consistent… demand for helicopter pilots continues to grow.

Want to learn more about becoming a professional helicopter pilot? offers articles and more resources to help you learn about the industry, and, when you’re ready, listings of helicopter schools worldwide. You can contact the schools that look interesting and get started towards a new career in aviation!

Piloting Is A Career With Plenty Of Room For Growth

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013
American Airlines jet on the groundBy Paul C. Guerrier

The airline industry is booming, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at job growth numbers these days. Both the airline and air shipping industries need a substantial number of new pilots, and that need is expected to grow over the next fifteen years both in the U.S. and abroad. It’s a double-edged sword though since airlines aren’t always profitable.

Digging Into Pilot Salaries May Spur Growth

It’s unfortunate, but the airline industry has been cutting back on pilot salaries for a while to keep airline ticket prices low. The cuts have been so severe that some experts say that the glory days of being a pilot are all but over. Those cuts may force some pilots to seek other jobs or retire. Because of this, the airline industry could face shortages.

While no one is attracted to a job with the lowest wages, those wages are unlikely to remain low during a pilot shortage. When pilots start leaving the industry, there’s a break-even point. Airlines need a certain number of pilots to run their airline. When that threshold is hit, expect salaries to climb. If a young pilot times it right, he could get in on the ground floor of a new hiring wave with a decent salary.

The Airline Industry Projects Growth

Boeing has forecast that it needs another 466,650 more commercial pilots by 2029 – a truly staggering number of pilots. Forty percent of those pilots are needed in the Asia-Pacific region. More than 97,000 will be needed in North America. It’s not a mystery to major airlines what will be required in the future.

Some airlines are expected to increase reliance on technology, rather than human beings, but there will always be a need for a human pilot to oversee flight operations. Many of the new pilot opportunities will be in Asia – especially China. While the economy isn’t growing as much as it was two years ago, China is still seeing a demand for increased travel.

Retirement May Spur Growth

Retirement is a reality in the airline industry. At age 65, pilots must retire by law. This fact alone serves as a warning to many airlines who have older pilots. In the 1980s and 1990s, being a pilot was pretty glamorous. That’s when airlines received the bulk of their now-veteran pilots. Today, those same pilots are approaching retirement. That former hiring boom is turning into a retirement boom – and a supply problem.

New pilots are needed, but not just any pilot will do. Airlines have quite a problem to solve. Older pilots have much more experience than new pilots. What’s needed is a gradual integration of new pilots, accompanied by seasoned veterans, to ease the industry into a new era.

The Air Shipping Industry

FedEx, UPS, and other air freight companies are doing more business by air these days. Even with the cost of fuel, consumer demand and increased online shopping is pushing the industry to put in more flight time. While fuel costs push companys’ profits down, the fact is that these same companies still need pilots to fly their aircraft and deliver goods.


About the author – Paul C. Guerrier recently completed his flight certification. He loves writing about his aviation hobby, and he blogs for a number of different websites in his spare time. Looking for an internationally recognized flight training program? Click here.

ATP Buying Up To 100 Piper Aircraft For Training Fleet

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

ATP logoApril 10, 2013 – Lakeland, FL – Piper Aircraft Inc. and Airline Transport Professionals (ATP) reached a three-year agreement today at SUN ‘n FUN International Fly In and Expo for the sale of multiple Piper Archer TXs. Piper and ATP jointly made the announcement on the second day of the aviation event here in Lakeland.

Airline Transport Professionals, America’s largest flight school, specializing in airline pilot training and pilot career development agreed to initially purchase a fleet of 15 Piper Archer TX single-engine piston-powered advanced training aircraft for delivery in late 2013.

Piper LogoIn addition to the firm 15-aircraft fleet order, ATP has options for 85 additional Archers for delivery in the future. These will be the first single-engine Piper training aircraft in ATP’s fleet as it transitions to predominantly Piper training aircraft.

In Addition to 30-airplane Seminole Deal

The latest order is in addition to a 30-airplane Piper Seminole fleet option placed with Piper by ATP in 2011. The 15th aircraft delivered in that transaction is on display at the Piper Booth #MD-18 at SUN ‘n FUN.

All Equipped with Garmin G500

All of the new ATP airplanes under the agreements with Piper will be equipped with Garmin G500 glass cockpit avionics suites. The G500 is a PFD/MFD dual-screen electronic flight display. Dual 6.5-in. LCDs, mounted side- by-side in the bezel, put both Primary Flight Display (PFD) and Multifunction Display (MFD) capabilities directly in instructor and student field of view to help streamline instrument scanning and enhance situational awareness.

“This large follow-on fleet transaction clearly shows continued confidence on the part of ATP in Piper Aircraft. Our training aircraft have proven themselves with millions of hours of rugged flight school training around the world,” says Piper President and CEO Simon Caldecott.

“ATP is transitioning our fleet to Pipers because these airplanes offer rugged dispatch reliability, technological flexibility in cockpit avionics and instrumentation and operational economy,” said ATP Vice President Jim Koziarski. ATP currently operates 107 Piper Seminoles, five Diamond DA40s, 93 Cessna Skyhawks and a CitationJet.

Contact ATP here