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Your best ATO experience and why

This post is strictly about positive experience to keep it easy.

For your training needs so far, what was the best DTO/ATO (or other training individual or organisation) you experienced, and why (can be anything e.g. quality of training, low price, favorite airplane, well organized, instructor personality = is now a personal friend etc…).

End question: would you personally and wholeheartedly recommend them?

Thanks for your replies!

Last Edited by Snoopy at 18 Apr 12:59
Airline, GA, IFR Instructor, Safety P...
LOWG | Worldwide

In my flying career I experienced five FTOs in the EU, and one of them was clearly a notch above the rest: excellent instructors, high level of training, very well organised, has a dormitory (with a resident cat and a kitchenette) directly at the field, hard runway with lights, huge fleet (Cessna 172 classic, 172 with G1000, 150, 152, 162, 172RG, 208EX, CJ1 and CJ2+, Piper Seneca II and V, King Air C90, Zlin Z226, Schweizer S300, Eurocopter EC120, EC135, AS350, AS355, Enstrom 280FX and 480, and possibly more), also a Part 145 maintenance organisation and an operator of medevac helicopters, air taxi and other GA operations. No longer inexpensive but worth the money. Would definitely go there again. DSA at LKHK Hradec Kralove.

Last Edited by Ultranomad at 18 Apr 13:32
LKBU (near Prague), Czech Republic

Wow Ultranomad that’s an incredible fleet of aircraft. I was very lucky with learning at clubs mainly but one ATO does stand out for overall quality of tuition, aircraft, simulators, price and general overall friendliness (I found it more like a club than a commercial ATO) It is IAF (Iroise Aero Formation) at Brest LFRB.


Ultranomad wrote:

Zlin Z226

Interesting. I would travel a long way to get checked out in that one and do a few solo hours

@Silvaire, for that one, you don’t need DSA, you can hire it 25-30% cheaper at most flying clubs in Czechia, along with a few more interesting old Czech types (Z142, L-200, L-13SE, etc.). And if more people are interested, it’s possible to arrange a fly-in with instruction in these types.

Last Edited by Ultranomad at 18 Apr 23:01
LKBU (near Prague), Czech Republic

@Ultranomad, thanks for that info – it is more interesting to me than you might imagine. I would really like to fly a tandem two-seater Zlín, the earlier model the better.

By coincidence, literally as I started writing this a TV program on Czechia began (by Rick Steves, the TV and book travel writer). I’ve been to Prague and Karlovy Vary before on two separate trips, but neither trip was much to do with aviation – except for a visit to the Kbely Museum where I saw the types you mention.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 18 Apr 23:40

I raised in local Aeroclub, it has also it’s own ATO, for members, but renting planes for a bit higher prices also for non members. it is located at Plasy airport (LKPS). We have many planes, like Z-43, Z-226, Z-142, Cessna C-152, C172S, L-13SW, and also gliders. It is not common ATO, because it is not commercial. It is flying club, but with advantages, like normal ATO, or DTO. I am pretty sure, if someone will come there, they will rent you a plane you want to fly, also with instructor, then solo.

@Silvaire if you are interested in Z-226, that is great plane, very nice to fly, bit difficult to take off and land, but it worth every minute in it. I prefer Z-126 little bit more, it is her older sister, same airframe, not so powerful engine, but it has it’s own magic. I own one and I love it. Picture is from yesterday, my friend took this photo of me with cell phone only, but quality is sufficient :)

Last Edited by Jelen at 20 Apr 12:45
LKBU (near Prague), Czech Republic

Wonderful photo. Others have said the Z-126 is the nicest flying of the Zlin Treners I learned how to fly in a Luscombe, not the easiest plane on the ground either, although forward visibility was good.

I only ever flew with one training company, the old SAA (in the US) which had strong connections to Sweden at the time. They were very good and still operate… but in a different location, with different ownership and different planes. I don’t think much has stayed the same except the name.

Welcome to EuroGA, Jelen, from another ex CZ resident (Pribram) I used to walk up the hill to Svata Hora every Sunday, to a radio club. It was the only interesting day of the seven. 1966-1969.

On the original Q, the only school I was ever satisfied with was Chandler Air Service in Arizona where I did my FAA IR in 2006. Very well organised, everything just worked for the 2 weeks I was there. Against that I can count maybe a dozen outfits around the UK where I did the PPL, IMCR, FAA PPL, FAA CPL, JAA IR… all of them are now gone and one could write hilarious stories about some of them – I did a bit here. Some of it reminded me of a book called Propellerhead.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Had a great experience at Stapleford getting my PPL.

Managed to do it in 45h50 because their receptionists are brilliant at finding that elusive available aircraft at the last minute for your first Solo Landaway!

My instructor was fantastic (if you want to know who please PM me for details!)

Anyway – thought my first post should be on something positive in this crazy world!

I am flying out of Thruxton now – if anyone wants to meet up for flying etc let me know!


Learning & burning
Thruxton, United Kingdom
21 Posts
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