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Example Flexible Programmes

Example Flexible Programmes

These are two typical Flexible Programme training plans and budgets, addressing two student’s priorities and constraints. Both students had close to zero flight time when they started. The budgets are totally comprehensive, covering training, living costs, travel, licence costs, etc. Note that they include a 10% contingency. We always recommend this, which may well be unused if all goes to plan. However, it is there to cater for the unexpected such as failed exams, training delays, etc. You need the assurance that you can afford to deal with the unexpected to take the pressure off you, if things do start to go wrong; the last thing you need to be worrying about then is whether you can afford to deal with the issue! Many students will not need the contingency, but all are advised to plan for it.

Example One

(1) Part-time PPL with Clifton Aviation

This was planned to take 30 training days plus an allowance of 15 days for weather cancellations and theory training. The student could commit to one day per week and two 5-day periods. Therefore, their course was planned to last 37 weeks. In practice, the weather was better than the pessimistic plan and the student was able to fly on two days some weeks and twice on some days on others, so the PPL took 26 weeks. The budget allowed for the flying, theory, exams, flight tests, travelling costs and a few nights in a hotel, plus a 10% contingency allowance. In the event the student was under-budget.

(2) ATPL Theory with Bristol Groundschool

There are three modules in the course, each finishing with a week in the classroom and then a few days of exams. The student planned on a work rate which would allow flight training to continue part time, with much of the theory study in the evenings after work. Module 1 was planned to be completed in 2 months with a third for revision before going to Bristol Groundschool for the revision week and exams. Modules 2 and three followed a similar pattern, but with a slightly condensed time allowance based on our recommendations. The exams were done with Austro Control. The total taken was 10 months and the budget allowed for the Bristol Groundschool course, some training equipment, travel, accommodation and the exam fees plus 10%. The contingency was not needed so student was again a little under budget in practice.

(3) Hour Building with Clifton Aviation, Ultimate High and private hire

The student had access to an aircraft to rent, so planned to do a night rating with Clifton, occasional ‘dual checks’ with them, PIC flying on the rented aircraft and an advanced UPRT course with Ultimate High. The rate of flying was chosen to fit in with the theory training, with the exception of the night rating and UPRT which were full-time, and the qualifying cross country which was done on a trip to Europe. Clifton Aviation helped plan the PIC flying which was mostly cross country, and the dual checks included further instrument flying. The budget was £20 700, which covered all the flying, maps, landing fees, accommodation, travel and the usual contingency of 10%.

(4) CPL/MEIR with Diamond Flight Academy

Diamond are a common choice for Wings Flexible Programme students. They offer a very well-run full time course over 9 weeks. It is all inclusive, helping with budgeting, and they are one of the very few schools with a track record for on time on-quality delivery. There are three accommodation options, all on-site. The student opted for the mid-range option and the budget, which included the course fee, flight tests, flights to and from Sweden and a living allowance. We included a contingency of 10% again, which might not have been used as the Diamond course has ‘no surprises’, but the exchange rate moved between planning and paying for the course so some of this was used up.

(5) Wings Alliance APS-MCC course

After a couple of weeks gap, we planned the student to do our 3-week course. The planning gap here is longer for some other CPL/IR course providers, as our faith in them completing on time is not as sound as with Diamond, and it is difficult to run a multi-crew course if one of the crew isn’t ready. It is easy to budget for this phase as the course fee and duration are fixed, so the accommodation costs are predictable. The student’s budget included the course fee, accommodation, living allowance and travel costs. Rather than a contingency allowance, the student allowed £25 spending money per day which proved more than adequate.

The training went pretty much to plan. Little of the contingency was needed, but the pilot had resigned from employment at the start of their final ATPL exams and there was a gap of 2 months on graduation before starting with their airline, so the budget saving was a useful contribution to living costs. The budget included allowance for aviation medial renewals and licensing costs.

The total training from start to graduation, including breaks took just under 20 months.

The total budget including everything and allowing a 10% contingency was £74 000, of which approx. £67 000 was training costs including all test fees etc. The actual spend was £68 394 of which £59 750 was on training.

Example Two

(1) Part-time PPL with Ravenair

This student aimed to do a part-time PPL on a PA-38 Tomahawk, while working in the aviation industry and living at home. Their shift pattern allowed for 2 flights every 9 days. After allowing for some lost training days due to poor weather, etc., we predicted that it would take 29 weeks. In practice she was 3 weeks early. Club membership, all flight training, theory training and exams and R/T licence were included in the price; the only extra was the flight test and aircraft hire. The budget was £9300 which allowed for the training, travel to and from the training centre, and a 10% contingency allowance. In the event the student was well under-budget as little of the contingency was needed.

(2) ATPL Theory with Bristol Groundschool

The plan for this student was very similar to Student 1, but at a slightly slower rate. She aimed to do the 3 modules in 12 months, while working in airside operations at an airport. Her shift pattern was 6 on, 3 off. She aimed to do her studying allowed a full-study day once each 9 days and about two hours per day on average when not on shift. She saved costs by living at home and put the majority of her pay towards her flight training. The budget was £5100 which allowed for the Bristol Groundschool course, training equipment, travel to and from Clevedon, accommodation for the revision courses and exams, the Austro Control exam fees plus 10%. The contingency was not needed so she was again a little under budget in practice.

(3) Hour Building with Ravenair and Ultimate High

The student planned to do her hour building including night rating with Ravenair. Although on a tight budget, she elected to do the UPRT course with Ultimate High; not the cheapest but arguably the best course available. The student continued to work on shift and study for her ATPL theory. The budget was £16 800, which covered all the flying, maps, landing fees, accommodation, travel and the usual contingency of 10%. A little of the contingency was used but there was still a saving of £1267 on the budget.

(4) CPL/MEIR with Bartolini Air

Bartolini are popular with Wings Flexible Programme students. They combine low cost with high quality training. The course price is inclusive which is helping with budgeting. The accommodation is on a comfortable student campus, a cycle or bus ride away. Living costs are low. The budget of £20,000 included the course fee, flights to and from Poland and a living allowance. We included a contingency of 10% again, which was not needed; after some exchange rate variation there was a useful saving of £2221 on budget.

(5) Wings Alliance APS-MCC course

As with the first example, this phase was easy to budget for and no contingency was allowed for.
The training went to plan and very little of the contingency was needed, allowing a good saving on the budget. After graduating the student resumed work on a temporary contract but resigned after two months to start her type rating.

The total training from start to graduation while working part-time was on-plan at 24 months.

The all-inclusive budget was about £61 500, of which £55 400 was training and related costs. The actual spend was £56 844 of which £53 068 was on training.

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