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Not much point in starting a PPL in the autumn

Ibra wrote:

CBIR training in Nov would be more useful !

Well, no. I’m now two weeks into looking for a good moment to start on my training, but we’ve had clouds too low to do any approach and icing level more or less at cloud base. But for the very first lesson both my instructor and I prefer solid VMC or at least something like 2 octas. On top, there was in fact one “open hole” in the slices of “weather cheese” that might have been flyable, but then there’s work. Flexibility is a key, and in principle I’m lucky in that I am about 90% flexible in how I distribute my time. But for November training like this one would need 100 % dedication, and outcome could be maybe about one session per week, but I think it’d be less at the moment.

We did some ground school ;-)

Last Edited by UdoR at 24 Nov 10:13

Well, no. I’m now two weeks into looking for a good moment to start on my training, but we’ve had clouds too low to do any approach and icing level more or less at cloud base.

I did UK IMCR in November, lot of it was in OVC007 days (instructor cancels PPL lessons & circuits, he calls me to work on my IMCR), during that training one can fly IFR in IMC while staying in 2kft-3kft band bellow icing: if you have to climb to 6kft-8kft ATC MRVA in winter that sort of IFR training gets toasted !

I did CBIR in April-July, 90% of the flying was in CAVOK

Last Edited by Ibra at 24 Nov 11:25
Paris/Essex, France/UK, United Kingdom

Ibra wrote:


Absolute minimum in a small region here is 3kft, but that includes no approach. In order to do something meaningful it’s at least 4kft on request, but in principle it should be 5kft that gives some options. That still means some detour here, but ok. Icing was 5kft all the last days.

And then, with OCV007 I can’t do anything either, because we’re operating from a VFR only airfield, and there’s no IFR in airspace G in Germany (there’s a thread about it somewhere here).

I think whenever we’ve done some hours into the training the actual weather might even be fine. But first hour, and my instructor doesn’t even know my plane, so we keep it calm in the beginning ;-)

Last Edited by UdoR at 24 Nov 11:41

Yes cold IMC with proper Airway IFR or Radar IFR does kill the training for a whole winter…unless you are based in IFR airport: takeoff to fly an approach it’s silly when you can send PPL solo circuits or solo navigation but you can’t fly IFR training !

Last Edited by Ibra at 24 Nov 12:20
Paris/Essex, France/UK, United Kingdom

Here in the south of France, it’s actually very nice to do it in winter. Apart from cold plane and early night, weather is usually good, less convective and visibility is very nice. Also for flying in mountain areas, engine can provide more power and are less subject to heating issues. Of course we have sometimes low ceiling and thunderstorm ( I had a sea tornado on the runway threshold the day before my IFR test).
In addition to that, flying at night (which is easier in winter) is a good training and it’s good to build IFR hours at night.
I will add that PPL training in marginal weather (so, with an instructor) is easier in winter, as you don’t want to discover it by yourself and you’ll get less easily trapped in.

Last Edited by greg_mp at 24 Nov 12:42
LFMD, France
I wouldn’t be so categoric. I did my 15h TMG→ LAPL(A) conversion flights in oct-dec , my friend started his PPL training last october and got licence in april. Everything is possible with enough dedication. The weather varies a lot, i think the ATO minimum for circuit work was OVC008. Looking at my logbooks, I usually fly ca 30h during nov-march.
EETU, Estonia

The average PPL takes a year and it is largely due to wx plus weekends-only flying.

Time allowing, one can go somewhere else to resolve those issues. This is my view near home this morning.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 24 Nov 16:11

Silvaire wrote:

Time allowing, one can go somewhere else to resolve those issues.

Yes that’s what some flight schools use as advertisement for, e.g., south of Spain…


Regardless of time of year, the best possible way to get the PPL training done is to book two of three blocks of time off. Fly a few hours a day for several days and you will learn very fast and wont forget nearly as much between sessions compared to doing one hour a week or so.

Upper Harford private strip UK, near EGBJ, United Kingdom

Exactly; as an observer of this game for 22 years it’s always been clear to me that the reason the average PPL takes a year is because most people fit it around their existing life. That is why doing a PPL by travelling to say the US is so much faster; you just fly and fly, every day that’s flyable. And in Arizona that would be 363 days a year Factors like school (dis)organisation are also important, but less so. Bad weather just cripples training because the chances of a flyable slot at weekends is 2/7 of the whole week, and is reduced further by everybody else doing the same thing.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
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