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Old 02.03.2022, 19:27
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Aviation: Flight training/Pilot License (LAPL, PPL)

Hello all! One for the pilots and aviation enthusiasts in the room:

I'm looking into getting flight training and a license for leisure (Zurich-Zug area), would be great if someone had some insights and useful information on:

- Types of licenses (be 100% sure about the differences between LAPL and PPL).
- Recommendations on a specific flight school? Is training in English possible (my German is really poor)?.
- From experience, how much do you have to invest (time and money)?
- Good place to have a test flight?

Any other information is more than welcome, and would be happy to invite anyone to a coffee/beer so I can pick their brain!

Cheers!
Alex
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  #2  
Old 02.03.2022, 22:07
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Re: Aviation: Flight training/Pilot License (LAPL, PPL)

As a hobby pilot, I can only recommend (I fly out of Zürich).

To simplify it: LAPL is a European thing, you cannot use anywhere else and you are limited to small aircraft. What is your goal? Do you want to do all bells and whistles and jump into an airliner for living later on? Would you like to do longer trips with your family? Are you going to own or rent? Do you want to fly in bad weather sooner or later?

It's possible in English but your options will be limited.

In Switzerland it's crazy expensive. I would assume around 25-30k for a PPL, doable within a year.

Pick an airport you like and give them a ring. Intro flights possible anywhere.
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Old 03.03.2022, 12:06
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Re: Aviation: Flight training/Pilot License (LAPL, PPL)

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As a hobby pilot, I can only recommend (I fly out of Zürich).

To simplify it: LAPL is a European thing, you cannot use anywhere else and you are limited to small aircraft. What is your goal? Do you want to do all bells and whistles and jump into an airliner for living later on? Would you like to do longer trips with your family? Are you going to own or rent? Do you want to fly in bad weather sooner or later?

It's possible in English but your options will be limited.

In Switzerland it's crazy expensive. I would assume around 25-30k for a PPL, doable within a year.

Pick an airport you like and give them a ring. Intro flights possible anywhere.
that sure is expensive. I've seen prices around 18k on some flight school's webpages. Guess there are hidden costs which they don't publicize? I'll get in contact with a few and ask about the language and costs, and go for an intro flight for sure.

Understood about the LAPL. For what I want to do to start off with (hobby), it would actually be enough. Purely leisure flights on days off and some cross-country trips for now. Never know about the future though. I've always found agricultural and forestry aviation super interesting.

In the end, I guess the price difference for a LAPL is not really worth it (seen prices for "only" 5k less than a PPL), considering that with the PPL you have the basis to transition into a CPL or more in the future right?
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Old 03.03.2022, 12:11
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Re: Aviation: Flight training/Pilot License (LAPL, PPL)

I wouldn't do it here in Switzerland - pricey. Look at intensive PPL courses in other EU countries, where the flying is done in a country with good weather and costs are lower, theory can probably be done online these days in advance. Portugal for example is a popular PPL training location.
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Old 03.03.2022, 15:45
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Re: Aviation: Flight training/Pilot License (LAPL, PPL)

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In the end, I guess the price difference for a LAPL is not really worth it (seen prices for "only" 5k less than a PPL), considering that with the PPL you have the basis to transition into a CPL or more in the future right?
yes, if you want to progress further mid-term (let's say it's in your 5 years plan) PPL makes more sense. On the other hand, if you change your mind later it's not impossible to upgrade your LAPL either - just not the shortest path.

Keep in mind, PPL comes with a SEP rating which expires every 2 years. LAPL is for a lifetime, just need to keep yourself current. This might matter if you don't fly for a year or two due to whatever reason.
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Old 03.03.2022, 15:54
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Re: Aviation: Flight training/Pilot License (LAPL, PPL)

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I wouldn't do it here in Switzerland - pricey. Look at intensive PPL courses in other EU countries, where the flying is done in a country with good weather and costs are lower, theory can probably be done online these days in advance. Portugal for example is a popular PPL training location.
also, the training quality is different. I got my license 10 years back over flatlands and at quiet uncontrolled airports. It was not straightforward to transition to Swiss procedures (busy/controlled airports, complex airspace structure, high terrain, short runways & poor obstacle clearance).
Nobody will give you a plane with your fresh Portuguese license (insurance reasons). So is it really cheaper to fly 45 hours in Portugal plus 20 in Switzerland than going for the whole training here?
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Old 03.03.2022, 16:06
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Re: Aviation: Flight training/Pilot License (LAPL, PPL)

I'm doing my PPL now.


There are two schools that I found that do the practical lessons in English:
Buttwill and Eichenberger. I use Eichenberger and like them


For the theory, I found only one school in CH who does it in English. Was a bit less impressed there, as everything is online and large part of the content is pdf's for you to read. Very little is interactive...


When I looked at doing it abroad - the challenge is you then need to get "approved" to rent a plane in CH. Most places will ask you to do a conversion course (practical + Swiss air law theory). If you want to convert your license, you will need to take the Swiss air law theory test as well.



Budget all in seems to be around 20k.


Remember that once you have the PPL, you will need to fly a minimum number of hours to maintain it. Budget ~170 per hour of flight time after your license.
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Old 03.03.2022, 16:16
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Re: Aviation: Flight training/Pilot License (LAPL, PPL)

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If you want to convert your license, you will need to take the Swiss air law theory test as well.
Conversion means from a foreign license (pe. FAA). EASA licenses are fully equivalent (air law is the same everywhere, there is no Swiss version), it's just changing your "competent authority". No test is required.
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Old 03.03.2022, 17:03
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Re: Aviation: Flight training/Pilot License (LAPL, PPL)

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Conversion means from a foreign license (pe. FAA). EASA licenses are fully equivalent (air law is the same everywhere, there is no Swiss version), it's just changing your "competent authority". No test is required.

That's not what the Swiss authority told me. I was told that I would be expected to take the Swiss air law exam. Still have the email somewhere...


Also, Birrfeld airport insist on proving experience in Switzerland before renting you a plane
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Old 03.03.2022, 17:32
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Re: Aviation: Flight training/Pilot License (LAPL, PPL)

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That's not what the Swiss authority told me. I was told that I would be expected to take the Swiss air law exam. Still have the email somewhere...


Also, Birrfeld airport insist on proving experience in Switzerland before renting you a plane
It's probably changed since then, but when I converted my FAA PPL into a Swiss PPL I had to do the Air Law Exam and also an introduction into alpine flying (which I did out of Locarno). Certainly, if you get your license in the US, it makes sense to do a few hours with an instructor here. I found the biggest difference (apart from the mountains) was the length of the runways. In the US, more often than not, nobody cares whether you land on the 1st, 2nd or 3rd third of the runway. Here you have to be somewhat more accurate...
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Old 03.03.2022, 18:14
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Re: Aviation: Flight training/Pilot License (LAPL, PPL)

From all your messages, it all comes down to whether it is cheaper to:
  1. Get the PPL in another EASA country + some hours with an instructor in Switzerland.
  2. Do the full PPL in Switzerland.

Can any of the people that have done this share the aprox. cost of introduction to flying in Switzerland?

Thing is I'm from Spain and I go there roughly once every 4/6 weeks, plus vacations, so I wouldn't consider the "going there" as an extra cost to the PPL.
I'll ask the local airport there about the costs of the PPL.

As for the SEP rating, it's more than doable right? I mean, if for whatever reason you don't log in enough hours and have to do the short instructor session, it's not that much I guess.
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Old 03.03.2022, 19:45
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Re: Aviation: Flight training/Pilot License (LAPL, PPL)

If I were you, I’d totally do the European PPL in Spain and then do familiarisation lessons with the airfield you plan to fly from in Switzerland.
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Old 03.03.2022, 19:47
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Re: Aviation: Flight training/Pilot License (LAPL, PPL)

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As for the SEP rating, it's more than doable right? I mean, if for whatever reason you don't log in enough hours and have to do the short instructor session, it's not that much I guess.
In case ou don't have the hours, you have to do the renewal with an examiner of your competent authority. Nothing really hard but could be a pain in the ass to organize. Much easier to fly with any EASA certified instructor in due time.
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Old 27.03.2022, 21:27
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Re: Aviation: Flight training/Pilot License (LAPL, PPL)

Hi all,

I am also thinking about getting a PPL and have a few questions for those that already have one.

1 - What are the minimum flight hours you need to do to keep the license?
2 - If you miss the minimum hours, how much the renewing will cost?

Thanks
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Old 08.04.2022, 13:16
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Re: Aviation: Flight training/Pilot License (LAPL, PPL)

So.... done my research and want to share my conclusions in case they help anyone:

PPL cost in Switzerland is well in the 20k - 25k range taking everything into account. School brochure's and price advertising always leave something out.

LAPL doesn't really make any sense because:
a) you can't start adding on ratings to eventually end up with a CPL
b) the lower costs are due to the less hours you need to get the license, however you're gonna end up doing and paying for the same hours until your allowed to take any passengers.

Taking into consideration I am originally from Spain* (and will probably move back in 5-10 years):
PPL cost is half the price (10k-15k range all-in).

What I have found most interesting and is the route I will go down is the ULM license which exists in Spain. Countries like France and Germany also have an equivalent "microlight" category/license.

Everything is cheaper:
- License for under 3k
- New planes for 100k, second hand obviously much cheaper
- Maintenance is cheaper as the planes do not have to be certified by an official dealer.

This category is getting a lot of attention and increasing interest in Europe as it is a very accessible way into aviation. That does not mean that the microlights are flying metal scraps. Because of the increased interest, manufacturers are increasingly concentrating more on this class of aviation. In fact, I have seen many flight schools that teach the PPL with microlights (registered as GA aircraft).

Also, legislation is being updated to better reflect the current market (MTOW is being raised also the max altitude will also increase in the near future). All this means that for sure prices will only increase in the future.

Hopefully Switzerland will hop on this trend and create an equivalent license sometime soon.

Obvious disadvantage is that there is no way up from a microlight license. No possibility of upgrading one day to a CPL.
Also, microlights can only seat 2 people by law.
The way I see it , it's like having a motorbike. It's a hobby for just you and max your partner.

Hope at least someone gets something useful out of this.

Cheers!
Alex
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  #16  
Old 23.05.2022, 08:54
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Re: Aviation: Flight training/Pilot License (LAPL, PPL)

Sorry resurrecting this as I found a possible alternative (I did say I'm doing my PPL - so anything that makes is cheaper is good )


Fly-in-Spain do EASA training, and say that they can get you the PPL from any EASA country as long as you do your theory exams and medical here.


The 100-hours of training can be done online.



I've contacted them for more info, as that sounds like a pretty good alternative (combining the Spanish portion for the paper)
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Old 23.05.2022, 12:37
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Re: Aviation: Flight training/Pilot License (LAPL, PPL)

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Sorry resurrecting this as I found a possible alternative (I did say I'm doing my PPL - so anything that makes is cheaper is good )


Fly-in-Spain do EASA training, and say that they can get you the PPL from any EASA country as long as you do your theory exams and medical here.


The 100-hours of training can be done online.



I've contacted them for more info, as that sounds like a pretty good alternative (combining the Spanish portion for the paper)
Sounds interesting! Let us know in more detail once you get the full information from them
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Old 24.05.2022, 10:53
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Re: Aviation: Flight training/Pilot License (LAPL, PPL)

So I did more digging since my last post, and found a few schools in Spain, Hungary, Czech, Netherlands, etc that will do a PPL. For now, I will continue with my weekly class in CH for the practical; as my biggest "delay" is the ground school. I looked into that too...

Interestingly, a lot of the more reputable schools use ATPDigital for their theory / groundschool. So I looked at ATPDigital (£180 direct for the PPL), and found out that they have an EASA registered ATO (in Ireland, to get around Brexit). As they are EASA registered, they can sign the Swiss exam booking form.

So now I've signed up with them, and will aim to get my theory completed (remotely/online) in the next month or so. BAZL seem to have exams monthly in Zurich, so with some luck, I can get the theory done by end of July / August... which is also a good period to then look at practicals as the weather improves.
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Old 24.05.2022, 11:10
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Re: Aviation: Flight training/Pilot License (LAPL, PPL)

I came across this one sometime ago and thought it looked good, based in Portugal & UK - but would choose Portugal myself.

Harris Air Academy

Interested in other people's thoughts
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Old 23.06.2022, 16:55
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Re: Aviation: Flight training/Pilot License (LAPL, PPL)

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For the theory, I found only one school in CH who does it in English. Was a bit less impressed there, as everything is online and large part of the content is pdf's for you to read. Very little is interactive...
Which one is that school?
Also, is the theory exam in English?

Thank you.
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