Menu Sign In Contact FAQ
Welcome to our forums

FTA (Flying Time Aviation) at Shoreham EGKA goes bust

The revenue cash flow forecast is a bit sketchy, and am guessing the unexplained asterisk for FTE means the existing students who apparently are out for £2mm in undelivered pre paid training?

Taking a single location ATO from around 50 (?) cadet graduates per annum to 260 per annum in UK weather has not been done in a long time.

Even if the financing and aircraft were available, there is a shortage of MEP/IR/CPL instructors and the industry no longer produces them. No one pays their dues in a Navajo any more, and the airline pilots of today lack MEP PIC experience, plus the FI requirements to teach CPL. I even have colleagues who paid their dues in the classic night freight jobs in the US midwest in Beech 18s, but they are not spring chickens :)

Oxford (EGTK), United Kingdom

Plus you need a Class One medical to teach for the CPL and a lot of the old boys struggle with that.

I note they have reduced the requirement to have 30 hours on type to 5 hours before you can do a microlight instructor rating. I wonder if anything is on the horizon to teach for the mep.

@Bathman I expect there will be a relaxation on the Class 1 requirement. Not sure what real world MEP experience is expected these days for CPL/MEP/IR instructors, it used to be around 300 hours PIC in the old day. The 30 hours MEP PIC requirement is a regulatory minimum, and I doubt this will change anytime soon.

The airlines am not sure are yet convinced of a training model without the MEP CPL/IR component, even if some MPL courses have no MEP component and the cadets learn multi engine in a SIM (eg Dash 8 multi crew) before moving onto the jet sim.

Oxford (EGTK), United Kingdom

The problem for schools is one of cost.
A school needs a reliable aircraft with the promise of little downtime. It also needs modern avionics such as glass cockpits or at least partial glass and it needs to have WAAS to get the PBN entry in the licence.
Achieving this means buying new Diamond DA42 or DA62, Technam P2006, Vulcanair P68,
Piper Seneca V and PA44 Seminole or Beech Baron 58. So the school is seeing a minimum outlay of €600,000 to well over €1m to purchase.
Leasing is an option but is still a major committment and you end up with a committment where the only way out is liquidation if you don’t get the students.
You also need the appropriate FnPT2 simulator to go with it if you are to keep the cost to the student down, and for the student to experience conditions that only crop up rarely in real life.
The cost of this with new avionics is around €200,000
The alternative of buying a cheap, older Seneca and fitting it with the latest avionics is not such a good option these days as a couple of new engines for a Seneca and new avionics is going to set you back €300,000 to €400,000 and being old is not so easily leasable.
Then on top of all this, there are the running costs.
Seneca V and Barons and Vulcanair use over 100lph in training environment the seminole 72 -80 lph .Even claiming back VAT we are talking around €2 per litre (I am averaging costs here as prices are going up and down regularly at the moment).
The Diamonds and the Tecnam are of course cheaper on fuel.
On top of all this you have the usual hangarage, insurance, both of which have increased greatly over the last 2 years as has maintenance ( whilst the facilities have reduced). Plus around €5000 per annum for all the databases one needs. On top of that MEP training with the MEP IR and CPL have to be carried out at airports where landing and other fees have increased greatly. Many (which didn’t
before) now charge for touch and goes and those which did charge for t&gs now charge for go rounds (not genuine missed approaches).
This means that for a student the cost of a suitably equipped MEP IFR capable aircraft runs somewhere between €500 and €1000 per hour with suitably qualified instructor.
So what tends to happen is that students do their IR and CPL in a suitably equipped SEP. So as well as the MEP aircraft and a suitable simulator it also has to buy a suitably equipped single engine aircraft and perhaps even an SEP simulator.
But the students by now chosing to do most of their hours of training in on single engine and only switching to the multi engine aircraft,when necessary, cuts the number of hours in the schools MEP dramatically. And yet a school has modelled its business on at least 400 hours a year per aircraft, just to break even.
Those that have a business model to achieve this will scrape along, those that do not will fall off a cliff edge.


Airlines want experience on a glass panel, mainly because of the use of IAS/Altitude tape displays, and the more accurate/detailed attitude displays. The students develop better attitude based instrument skills, in theory.

Oxford (EGTK), United Kingdom

Breaking news, apparently Skyborne has bought FTA out of bankruptcy. Arguably the management at FTA have behaved as responsibly as they could and set in motion a process which hopefully allows the students to continue with training, and hopefully not be out of pocket.

Oxford (EGTK), United Kingdom

I’d be surprised if thats the case. Continue training yes. Out of pocket I’d guess they will be.

Id guess they will just use it as a satellite base and move into their building.

Skyborne aren’t short on confidence. From their website: “As the most respected and trusted airline training academy in the world, Skyborne trains airline pilots to industry-leading standards.”

Stapleford (EGSG), Denham (EGLD)

You can “take over” a business in two ways

  • buy the business (remain liable for all liabilities)
  • buy the assets (all liabilities, generally, fall away)

The 2nd one obviously really p1sses off the creditors.

I don’t believe there is a formal middle option, although in principle one can come to some agreement with the creditors to take a shave on what they are owed. Like countries do…

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

@RobertL18C is there any more on this?

I haven’t heard it mentioned anywhere else and if it were the case I’d expect it to have been publicised.

United Kingdom
20 Posts
Sign in to add your message

Back to Top