The simple answer to the question ‘what kit do i need to buy to learn to fly?’ is usually NOTHING AT ALL!
So, What Kit Do I Need to Learn to Fly? Your flight school should give you access to all equipment you will need to fly, and drip-feed you equipment you need to buy as and when required – including headsets, revision guides and CAA charts.
However, most flying schools will offer exciting Pilot Starter Packs, usually for around £250, or it will be offered for free when purchasing a 45 hour block of lessons. BEWARE! Flying schools regularly go bust, and large upfront payments can be hard to recoup.
Having said that, Pilot Starter Packs are a great way to receive immediate gratification, give you something physical to take back to your family to show off to, and for you to finally realise what a mammoth task you have just taken on!
Are PPL Starter Packs a worthwhile purchase?
There are two main suppliers of starter packs for student pilots – Pooleys and AFE. Both supply full coursework guidance and a plethora of goodies for a new pilot to get confused by, and then eventually understand and use during the PPL journey. As long as you are certain you will finish the course, you will require most of the products contained within either of them, and purchasing the whole set together will save you some money – or at least include some freebie products that you don’t specifically need.
Both kits comes in at £239.99. A fair whack, but stacked with good quality products. Let’s look at the sets and discover the difference between the two:
|Aerodrome Flight Guide||YES||YES||—|
|Ruler, Protractor & Computer||YES||YES||YES|
|Kneeboard & Log Pad||YES||YES||YES|
|CAA Chart & Marker Pens||YES||YES||YES|
|Hi Viz Jacket||YES||YES||YES|
|£10 Gift Voucher||YES||—||—|
|The Skyway Code Printed Edition||—||YES||—|
|Syllabus & Course Guide||—||YES||—|
|Cockpit Companion Book||—||YES||—|
*Although these revision guide books can be extremely useful – they are not strictly required. All of the information required to pass a PPL is online (for example, the majority of Air Law information is contained in the Skyway code)
How much would the required apparatus be if purchased on their own?
Both company’s sell all of the above products we’ve marked as ‘Required’ separately for around £130, or around £250 including the revision books. AFE comes in slightly cheaper on all products. So, if you are wanting to buy the products before going through your training, it is a better option to buy a starter pack. However, if you are unsure about finishing the course, or budget is an issue – talk to your training school and instructor! You should be able to buy apparatus as you go, or beg/borrow items as you need them. Flying is an expensive hobby – keeping the funds in your account could buy you another lesson in the sky!
A link to both starter kits is below: