Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where are you located ?
A: Birnie Air Services operate from Isle Of Wight Airport Sandown, Scotchells Brook Lane, PO36 0JP

Q: How old must I be to have a trial flying lesson ?
A: Whilst there is no minimum age, there is a requirement to be at least 16 years old before the first solo flight. Ideally, you should be able to reach and operate all the flying controls !

Q: What is involved in my trial flying lesson ?
A: Please arrive at the airport about 15 minutes prior to your flight for a brief explanation of the principles of flight. The instructor will point out important aspects of the aircraft, and make sure that you are comfortable, and securely strapped in. When airborne the instructor will demonstrate the effects of the flying controls, and allow you to fly the aircraft, under supervision. Once back on the ground, he will answer any questions you may have, and give any guidance on how to proceed with your training. You should wear comfortable clothing, and sensible shoes, training shoes are ideal

Q: Can I take someone else with me on my trial flying lesson ?
A: Yes, if the combined weights are within the limitations of the weight and balance envelope of the aircraft. The Cessna 172 is designed as a 4 seat aeroplane

Q: How do I book my trial flying lesson ?
A: Just Email or phone +44 (0) 7967 284410 to book your trial lesson

Q: What if the weather is unsuitable ?
A: No problem, we will just re-schedule the flight

Q: How much will it cost to get my Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL) ?
A: If completed in the minimum flying time, with additional costs, (medical, ground exams, flight test), the total cost will be in the order of £8,000

Q: What about ground school ?
A: Ground school is included in our training rate, and is completed at Sandown. Ground exams are set at Sandown, and currently cost £30 each

Q: Once I have my licence, how do I keep it current ?
A: The licence issued will be valid for life. The aircraft rating on the licence (for single engine aircraft), is valid for two years, and may be re-validated either by a flight test with our examiner, or by experience (flying 12 hours in the second year of validity, including a one hour flight with an instructor)

Q: I already have my licence, can I hire an aircraft ?
A: We have both Cessna 172 (4 seat), and Cessna 150 (2 seat) aircraft for hire. We will need to see your licence (including current medical certificate) and logbook. There is some brief paperwork to complete and we would need to do a short check-flight with you. Please Email or phone +44 (0) 7967 284410 for our current rates

Q: Can I train to be a commercial pilot ?
A: The PPL is the first step in most cases, and we can offer advice for the potential professional pilot

Q: Do you accept credit & debit cards for payments ?
A: Sorry, we are not equipped to support card based payments. Please pay cash or cheque

Q: My question is not listed in your FAQ ! ?
A: Please Email or phone +44 (0) 7967 284410 and we will be happy to answer your queries