Flying lessons & Air Experience Flights in the heart of the Devon countryside

Courses & Qualifications

Exemplary Training & Quality Instruction.

Learning To Fly

Is Flying For Me?

We understand that learning to fly is a big commitment both financially and personally, so before commencing and committing yourself to any training we suggest (if you haven't already) that you try an air experience flight. The air experience flight is a one off lesson that contributes towards the gain of your license - but gives you the freedom to decide if you are comfortable with flying without incurring our club membership costs. Have a look at the different packages we have to offer here, or if you are certain you want to learn to fly then consider our different training options here and get yourself started!

 

I Have Decided I want to Learn To Fly, What Now?

Deciding which type of license is for you depends on your personal preferences and what you hope to achieve out of flying. If you are wishing to pursue a career in Aviation then we strongly recommend training for the full PPL (A). If on the other hand you wish to fly purely for sport & leisure then the LAPL (A) may be slightly more appropriate to your needs.

 

Which Aircraft Should I choose?

Choosing the correct aircraft for your training is an important factor to consider before commencing any training. Ideally, we aim to keep you in the same aircraft throughout your course for consistency, so making the right choice at the start is essential.

 

  • The Cessna 152 offers a low cost solution to your training, and is typically the ‘standard’ of flight training in the UK. The C152 is a very forgiving and nimble aircraft, though comes at the price of reduced comfort and all-weather capability.
  • The Cessna 172, similarly to the Cessna 152, is an exceptionally versatile aircraft offering slightly more room and comfort during your training for just a small premium. The C172 also boasts slightly stronger performance and controllability in high-wind situations, making it the ideal aircraft for training during the winter period.
  • The Piper PA28 Warrior III is certainly the best equipped aircraft in the fleet, offering comfort, controllability and state of the art instrumentation for a first-class training experience. The PA28 is the ideal aircraft for all-weather operations and those looking to progress onto commercial levels of flight training.

 

If you are unsure which aircraft is for you, please feel free to contact our ops staff or pop in for a visit and we can help advise you on which aircraft would be most suitable for you.

 

How Long Does It Take To Become A Pilot

It is possible to complete all your flight training within a matter of weeks; but we generally suggest (allowing suitable time for bad weather and aircraft availability) learning to fly over the course of a year. With that said your training can be relatively flexible and worked around your lifestyle.

 

How Much Does It Cost To Learn To Fly

It is difficult to offer an exact cost of flight training as we understand that every student is different and will take different amounts of time to complete their training. On average though, most students will train from 30-60 hours before gaining their license. Prices start from £5400 for the LAPL, and £8100 for the Full PPL based on the minimum hourly requirements set by the CAA. Please download a copy of our current price list and send us a completed copy of our membership form to get enrolled at the flight school.


Courses

Overview:

The EASA Private Pilots Licence ‘PPL (A)' is a European licence that allows the holder to fly single engine, fixed pitched, fixed gear aircraft in Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC). The licence ultimately provides a foundation in which you can further build your skills and progress, if you so desire, on to Commercial levels of flight training.

Course Structure:

The PPL is a course consisting of a minimum of 45 hours flight training (10 hours of which are solo) that covers everything from aircraft handling, solo flying and air navigation. Alongside this there are 9 multiple choice ground exams that are to be complete before taking the final flight test (the skills test). Don’t worry or be put off by these exams, as we offer comprehensive ground school tuition across all the subject material. Our instructors and operations staff are always happy to assist you with any issues or problems. New EASA European regulations brought out during 2012 have helped to structure the course following, what we believe, to be a more appropriate modular approach to flight training - making your training more focused and allowing you to become a safer pilot. We suggest following the approach detailed below, although changes can be made to suit your learning style:

Flight Hours

Course Content

Exam to be Taken

0-12 Basic Controls CAA Medical
0-12 General Handling Air Law
0-12 Stalls/PFL's Operational Procedures
0-12 Circuits Human Performance
13-25 First Solo Meteorology
13-25 Basics of Navigation Air Navigation
13-25 Local Navigation Communications
26-45 Cross Country Flying Aircraft Technical
26-45 Instrument Flying Principles of Flight
26-45 QXC Flight Flight Planning
26-45 Radio Practical Radio Practical Exam
26-45 Skills Test Practice Skills Test

Age Requirements:

To begin any form of Flight Training you must be at least 14 years old, at which time you can start recording hours towards your licence. At 16 you are able to fly solo, and for those committed students, gain your licence at the age of 17. Although there is no upper age limit defined by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), we generally consider 80 years old to be a maximum for the commencement of training - although, that’s not to say you cannot still fly with an instructor.

Medical Requirements:

Before undertaking your first solo flight it is a requirement that you hold a valid Class 2 (or Class 1) medical certificate. We generally advise however that this medical examination be completed before commencing any training. A list of CAA medical examiners can be found here, or can be provided by the operations staff.

Our Training:

Our training is carried out on a professional one-to-one basis with one of our fully CAA qualified flight instructors, at a pace that suits you. We aim to keep you with the same instructor throughout your training for confidence and stability - although we realise at times this may not be achievable depending on when you are able to fly. Each lesson is booked in a one and a half hour slot, allowing for a full pre-flight briefing to take place as well as the proposed flight. In circumstances where the weather is poor, or you require tuition for your exams, we offer comprehensive ground school for all aspects of your training - allowing you to sit the exams with confidence and a good level of understanding. Learning at a non-controlled airfield, with no commercial traffic will mean you will benefit from short departure and arrival times, giving you more useful time in the air and ultimately saving you money in the long run. While we cannot offer an ATC environment for you to practice your Radiotelephony (RT), we can provide you with specialist RT tuition to build your confidence in RT heavy and controlled airspace - Which most of our students agree to be a better approach to flight training. We hope that our more relaxed airfield environment will make our training more pleasurable and encourage you to become a safer and more aware pilot.

Time:

We cater for all types of students, from those who prefer an intense and committed training programme to those who enjoy a much more relaxed and enjoyable approach to flight training. Depending on the weather, a licence can be achieved anywhere in the period of a few weeks to the course of a few years - although we feel about a year provides the best balance between progress and enjoyment. We understand that every student is different and has different circumstances that will affect their training, so we pride ourselves in supporting every student to the fullest and working around their personal requirements.

Costs:

All training carried out at Devon & Somerset Flight Training will be completed on a pay-as-you-go hourly basis, eliminating the need for any high cost upfront payment to be made before starting your training. As the airfield is privately owned we aim to keep rates as low as possible, ranging (depending on which aircraft is chosen to complete your training) from £180-£205 an hour. All landing fees (unlike many flight schools at commercial airfields) are free for club aircraft, saving you money during your training, especially during the early stages of flight training. A full list of prices can be found here.

Overview:

The EASA Light Aircraft Pilots Licence ‘LAPL (A)' is similar to the full PPL (A), although is aimed at the recreational pilot rather than potential commercial pilots. Unlike the PPL (A), the LAPL is only valid for single engine aircraft flying in Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC) within Europe. The LAPL limits you to fly aircraft with no more than 4 people on board up to a weight of 2000kg’s, and does not allow (unlike the PPL) any ratings such as IMC, Multi-Engine or other ratings to be applied to the license. However, pilots with a LAPL license are still able to obtain a Night Qualification and additional qualifications.

Course Structure:

The LAPL is a slightly shortened course consisting of a minimum of 30 hours flight training (10 of which are solo hours) that covers everything from aircraft handling, solo flying and air navigation. Alongside this there are 9 multiple choice ground exams that are to be complete before taking the final flight test (the skills test). Don’t worry or be put off by these exams, as all we offer comprehensive ground school tuition across all the subject material. Our instructors and operations staff are always happy to assist you with any issues or problems. New EASA European regulations brought out during 2012 have helped to structure the course following, what we believe, to be a more appropriate modular approach to flight training- making your training more focused and allowing you to become a safer Pilot. We suggest following the approach detailed below, although changes can be made to suit your learning style:

Flight Hours

Course Content

Exam to be Taken

0-10 Basic Controls CAA Medical
0-10 General Handling Air Law
0-10 Stalls/PFL's Operational Procedures
0-10 Circuits Human Performance
11-20 First Solo Meteorology
11-20 Basics of Navigation Air Navigation
11-20 Local Navigation Communications
21-30 Cross Country Flying Aircraft Technical
21-30 Instrument Flying Principles of Flight
21-30 QXC Flight Flight Planning
21-30 Radio Practical Radio Practical Exam
21-30 Skills Test Practice Skills Test

Age Requirements:

To begin any form of Flight Training you must be at least 14 years old, at which time you can start logging hours towards your licence. At 16 you are able to fly solo, and for those committed students, gain your licence at the age of 17. Although there is no upper age limit defined by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), we generally consider 80 years old to be a maximum for the commencement of training- although, that’s not to say you cannot still fly with an instructor.

Medical Requirements:

Medical requirements for the LAPL are slightly less stringent than the PPL, and as such do not require you to hold a Class 1 or 2 Medical certificate. You must however hold a valid LAPL medical which can be carried out by any CAA medical examiner. We generally advise however that this medical examination be completed before commencing any training. A list of CAA medical examiners can be found here, or can be provided by the operations staff.

Our Training:

Our training is carried out on a professional one-to-one basis with one of our fully CAA qualified flight instructors, at a pace that suits you. We aim to keep you with the same instructor throughout your training for confidence and stability - although we realise at times this may not be achievable depending on when you are able to fly. Each lesson is booked in a one and a half hour slot, allowing for a full pre-flight briefing to take place as well as the proposed flight. In circumstances where the weather is poor, or you require tuition for your exams, we offer comprehensive ground school for all aspects of your training - allowing you to sit the exams with confidence and a good level of understanding. Learning at a non-controlled airfield, with no commercial traffic will mean you will benefit from short departure and arrival times, giving you more useful time in the air and ultimately saving you money in the long run. While we cannot offer an ATC environment for you to practice your Radiotelephony (RT), we can provide you with specialist RT tuition to build your confidence in RT heavy and controlled airspace - Which most of our students agree to be a better approach to flight training. We hope that our more relaxed airfield environment will make our training more pleasurable and encourage you to become a safer and more aware pilot.

Time:

We cater for all types of students, from those who prefer an intense and committed training programme to those who enjoy a much more relaxed and enjoyable approach to flight training. Depending on the weather, a license can be achieved anywhere in the period of a few weeks to the course of a few years - although we feel about a year provides the best balance between progress and enjoyment. We understand that every student is different and has different circumstances that will affect their training, so we pride ourselves in supporting every student to the fullest and working around their personal requirements.

Costs:

All training carried out at Devon & Somerset Flight Training will be completed on a pay-as-you-go hourly basis, eliminating the need for any high cost upfront payment to be made before starting your training. As the airfield is privately owned we aim to keep rates as low as possible, ranging (depending on which aircraft is chosen to complete your training) from £180-£205 an hour. All landing fees (unlike many flight schools at commercial airfields) are free for club aircraft, saving you money during your training, especially during the early stages of flight training. A full list of prices can be found here.

Overview:

The AOPA flying companion’s course is aimed at those who regularly fly as a passenger and would like to become more involved in the flying experience, without taking on the responsibility of a fully qualified Pilot. It is a fantastic way to gain confidence and assist the pilot in all aspects of flight, from navigation to radiotelephony. It also gives you the added security and knowledge to get the aircraft back on the ground in the very unlikely event of pilot incapacitation. The course is very flexible and can be personalised to work around your personal aims. No previous experience is required and we can help structure the course the way you like.

Course Structure:

In order to obtain the AOPA Flying Companions Certificate the candidate must complete 8 hours dual flying instruction in addition to a further 12 hours of briefings on theoretical knowledge. You are also required to have passed Air Law, Principles of Flight and Human Performance & Limitations examinations. We recommend following the structure outlined below, although changes can be made to suit your needs.

Lesson 1

- Cockpit Familiarisation & Effect of the Controls
To understand the affect of the main controls, throttle flaps and trim.

Lesson 2

- Straight & Level Flight
To understand how to maintain constant altitude and direction using the natural horizon at different power settings.

Lesson 3

- Climbs, Descents and Turns
To learn the procedures associated with climbs, descents and low angle turns onto a desired heading.

Lesson 4

- Stalling
To understand the nature of the stall and the recovery process that is associated with it.

Lesson 5

- Circuits
To become familiar with the circuit pattern and to practice takeoffs/landings on both grass and paved runways.

Lesson 6

- Navigation
To practice navigation and map reading skills.

Lesson 7

- Radiotelephony
To become acquainted with aerodrome phraseology and RT associated with controlled airspace.

Lesson 8

- Emergency Procedures
To learn the procedures for different states of distress and urgency, and how to cope in the event of an in-flight emergency.

Overview:

The AOPA Radio Navigation course has been designed to encourage PPL/LAPL licensed pilots to obtain formal training in radio navigation procedures under Visual Flight Rules (VFR). The AOPA Radio Navigation course provides a great way to gain confidence in flying and also encourages pilots to travel further from their home base.

Course Structure:

To obtain an AOPA Radio Navigation Certificate the candidate must have completed 5 hours of dual flying (1 hour of which may be conducted in an approved FNPT simulator) in addition to a minimum of 10 hours theoretical knowledge taken from the IMC syllabus. In addition to completion of the flight and ground training, the candidate must pass a small radio navigation test with a certified flight examiner. The test is likely to include:
  • A VFR navigation leg (no less than 25nm) using any of the following Nav aids: VOR, DME, ADF or VDF, for position fixing, backed up by map reading skills. GPS may be used to confirm a position fix. Direct tracking to/from a beacon is not allowed. The primary objective of this section is to use Radio Navigation as a backup to map reading skills.
  • A diversion leg of 20nm using solely navigation aids (VOR, DME, ADF or VDF). GPS use is allowed, though must be backed up by another appropriate Nav aid. Visual reference navigation is not allowed in this stage. Only visual identification of the final location is permitted. The primary objective of this section is to use Radio Navigation as a primary method of navigation.

A copy of the Radio Navigation Syllabus can be found here.

Qualifications and Ratings

Overview:

The night qualification is a non-expiring add-on for both PPL and LAPL licence holders that allow the privileges of flying at night. CAA Definition: Night is defined as the time from half an hour after sunset until half an hour before sunrise, sunset and sunrise being determined at surface level. Night flying can be a very serene and unique experience and is an extremely useful addition to have on your licence.

Course Structure:

The course involves a minimum of 5 hours night flying and at least 1 of the 5 hours, dual navigation as well as 5 solo take off and landings. There are no exams for this qualification and there is no final test, you are certified to fly at night once the instructor is satisfied you are competent to. Training is typically carried out at Cardiff airport due to their very reasonable training rates. However, a small proportion can be carried out at Dunkeswell.

Requirements:

Before you can be granted your night qualification you must have completed:
  • A minimum of 5 hours night flying time, of which at least 1 hour must be dual navigation
  • Completed at least 5 solo take off and landings
  • Sufficient ground tuition for the issue of the night qualification
  • No flight or ground test is required

Recommendations:

As the weather can be marginal over the winter period (when night training is carried out) we generally suggest that training for the night qualification be carried out over an intense two-three night period to make the most of the good weather and avoid prolonging the training. Training can be carried out in any of our IF aircraft.

Overview:

The IMC (Instrument Meteorological Conditions) rating is designed as a rating to improve your VFR flying and will give you much greater confidence in the air, especially when the weather conditions are poor. It must not however be considered as a full Instrument Rating (IR) or used as such in full IFR conditions. The IMC rating is only applicable to those who hold a valid PPL (or CPL); it cannot be added to the LAPL licence.

Course Structure:

The IMC course consists of a minimum of 15 hours dual flying instruction, and a further 20 hours of ground theory. In addition to this one ground exam must be taken, preparation for which will be provided adequately by our instructors and the Instrument study guide (Air Pilots Manual Book 5).
The following areas will be covered during your training:
  • Limited and Full panel instrument flying covering all aspects of flight
  • Recovery from unusual attitudes
  • Radio navigation
  • Instrument approaches
  • Missed approach procedures
  • Bad weather circuits

Requirements:

Before you can be granted your IMC rating you must have completed:
  • A minimum of 25 Hours of experience after the grant of you PPL(A)
  • At least 15 Hours dual instruction over the IMC course
  • Completed one theoretical knowledge examination for the IMC course
  • Completed a flight test with a certified examiner for the IMC course

Cost:

IMC training may be carried out on your own aircraft or one of our IMC equipped aircraft. The costs of which are based on our hourly rates of aircraft/instructor hire. As Dunkeswell Aerodrome does not have any instrument approaches, training for instrument approaches will be carried out at either Cardiff, Exeter or Bournemouth. All three of these airfields can provide ILS/DME, NDB/DME and Surveillance Radar Approaches (SRA). RNAS Yeovilton may also be able to provide Precision Radar Approaches (PRA), although prior permission must be acquired first. All approaches must be paid for separately and are not covered by our IMC training course.

Overview:

The tailwheel conversion requires differences training to allow a PPL or LAPL holder to fly tailwheel aircraft.

Course Structure:

There are currently no ‘legal’ requirements for the tailwheel conversion. It is entirely up to the instructors’ discretion as to whether he feels you are competent to fly tailwheel aircraft. In general, most students will take 3-5 hours to complete this training.

Recommendations:

We suggest that training for the tailwheel conversion be carried out on our two seater 7ECA Citabria - The two seat basic aerobatic trainer. You are however more than welcome to train on your own aircraft should you wish.

Overview:

The TMG (Touring Motor Glider) Class Rating allows both EASA PPL & LAPL holders to fly powered motor gliders- giving them the privelages to choose between either long distance unpowered flight or the cruise performance of a standard single engine aircraft.

Course Structure:

The TMG course consists of approximately 5 hours of flight instruction, with a further 2 hours of sufficient ground tuition, covering the following items unique to motorgliding:

  • Use of spoilers for approach control
  • Stopping & restaring the engine in-flight
  • Soaring flight (engine off) and best speeds to fly

Recommendations:

We, at Devon & Somerset Flight Training, are in the very fortunate position of being able to offer you (as the only location in the country) training for your TMG rating. We have access to the unique SF25C Rotax Falke, which in addition to the above TMG skills, provides Pilots with the opportunity to train in Electronic Constant Speed Propeller operation and tailwheel flying.

Revalidating your TMG:

The revalidation requirements for the TMG are the same as for the SEP rating, as such, if you hold both an SEP & TMG rating they can be revalidated together, providing you have completed within the 12 months proceeding expriy:
  • 12 hours flight time in one of the classes
  • 6 hours as PIC
  • 12 take-offs and landings
  • 1 hour flight with an instructor in the other class
As long as you meet the above requirements in either of the classes then both ratings can be revalidated together (I.e 12 hours in SEP, 1 hour in TMG or 12 horus in TMG, 1 hour in SEP).

Overview:

Differences training is designed to account for the huge variety of different aircraft across the globe, many of which have very different systems and flight characteristics. Here at Devon & Somerset Flight Training we offer differences training for the following aircraft categories:

  • Tailwheel
  • Familiarisation on the GNS 430

If you have any questions regarding differences training, please feel free to contact our operations staff our resident CFI on 01404 891643.

Revalidation & Renewals:

If your licence has lapsed or you need to complete your second year check flight, we can certainly get you back into the skies and flying. All of our instructors are capable of carrying out your revalidation (by experience), and our three examiners (Simon Capp & Tony Mew) can carry out a renewal (by proficiency check) for most aircraft types and ratings. If you have any questions regarding licensing, please feel free to contact our operations staff or our resident CFI on 01404 891643.

C152 Grass Strip Flying, Photo by Tadeu Primo (2008)

Get yourself started

Download our PPL brochure today and book in your very first lesson

Students

Check out our latest notices and some of your best photos.

Latest Updates, Notices & Achievements

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Website Update!

Devon & Somerset Flight Training have launched their new, fully responsive and 'mobile-friendly', website. We hope you like the fresh new style and features for an awesome year ahead. It should display consistently well on all devices, browsers (with some limits on older software) and operating systems. Should you have any issues with the new website, please let us know, and get in contact with Matt on the Ops team.

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Student Achievements!

It’s already been a busy winter of achievements for many, even a first Initial PPL Test. Congratulations to all of those students!
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Safety Notice!

As we start a new flying season it would be useful if you could refresh yourselves with the Flying Order Book which is located in the flight briefing room, Student pilots should read every 6 months and licence pilots every 12 months, and then sign the signature sheet.

Top 5 Photos of the Month

Catalina Cockpit, Photo by Charlie Salter (2014) Catalina Cockpit, Photo by Charlie Salter (2014) November Floods, Photo by Tony Griffith (2014)


If you would like your photos uploaded onto our website, please feel free to email them to us at info@dsft.co.uk, or alternatively submit them via Facebook or Twitter.

C172 Cockpit, Photo by Chris Saulit (2010)

Cessna or Piper?

Your Pilots licence will allow you to fly many different types of aircraft

Aircraft Hire

See what we have on offer after your PPL.

What Can I achieve With My Pilots Licence

10 Amazing Things You Can Do With Your Licence

You've worked extremely hard, dedicated a lot of time and money into your flying and have earned your Pilots Licence. Congratulations! But, what can you do now? Oddly enough, that is a question that comes up more often that Pilots care to admit. Sure, once you've qualified, you'll want to take your family and friends up for a flight, but once you have done that, you may find yourself looking for a new mission.

The good news is that the adventures you have whilst you are flying are only limited by your own imagination. The freedom and endless possibilities that come with the title of 'Pilot' are the reason your learnt to fly. You may have your own dreams and goals, but here is what we believe every Pilot should try - consider it our own DSFT bucket list:

  • Fly further afield - There are hundreds of airfields out there for you to explore. Go for lunch with the family at one of the many airfield cafés scattered around the UK.

  • Night flying - There's nothing more serene than flying on a crisp winters evening and experiencing the beauty of the glistening towns and cities below.

  • Fly a tailwheel aircraft - Take the challenge of our tailwheel course and gain your differences sign-off; giving you the opportunity to fly many other types of aircraft.

  • Fly on a family holiday - Take the family on an overnight city break or for the more adventurous, try destinations further afield.

  • Fly something completely different - You don't always have to stick to the same aircraft once you gain your licence. Have a go at flying complex types, multi-engines or even just experience the difference between the Cessna's and Pipers.

  • Fly an instrument flight - Put your flying skills to the test and have an IMC (Instrument Meteorological Conditions) lesson or even attempt the whole course.

  • Group flying - Fly with fellow aviators and like-minded pilots to destinations that you have never been too before. Group flying is a great way to boost your confidence and experience long distance flying.

  • Inspire the next generation of pilots - Who was it that inspired you to learn to fly? Give something back to your friends and family and let them experience the enjoyment of flying.

  • Fly to another country - Experience the excitement of venturing abroad with destinations such as the Channel Islands and France less than an hour and half away.

  • Restore of even build your own aircraft - The pinnacle of most aviators is to build and own their own aircraft.


What We Have On Offer

Something for everyone
Aircraft Hire

Aircraft Hire

There is no better location to enjoy the privileges of your licence than flying above the beautiful West Country. Whether you are looking for a way to build up hours, or perhaps enjoy the adventure of flying with family and friends; we offer very competitive prices on our well maintained fleet of aircraft.

Push your flying to new heights
Differences

Enhance Your Flying

Take your flying to new heights with the number of courses we have on offer. Learn to fly at night, practice your instrument flying or convert onto different aircraft types with our differences training. Fly further airfield, even to another country, the skies are limitless.

Friendly and vibrant atmosphere
Flyouts

Regular Flyouts

Open all year round we have plenty to see and do. Regular flyouts, events and fly-ins make our aerodrome a friendly and welcoming place to visit. Should you have any suggestions, please feel free to get in touch, we would love to hear from you.