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09 August 2009


a huge well done, such good news and really pleased for you,
hopefully it won't be long before we see you back here in the south.
Any hints tips or advice for this last part of my training will be welcomed
aswell drop me an email and let me know the gory details....
WELL DONE from us all here.


Congratulations Stine, so nice to have met you on your trip to Jonzac a few weeks back too.

Sounds like the US school was a bit of a 'cowboy outfit'.

Doubtless there are a minority of students who won't 'make the grade' but I would have thought that this could be spotted within the first few hours of training.

I think that the secret of successful pilot training is a 'structured' course, over a fairly short period and with the same Instructor.

That's also true of learning to drive.

When I learned to fly in the UK, I did so over about 2 years as finance and weather permitted.

My first instructor followed the 'effing and blinding' school of training and I would have probably given up immediately had he not gone AWOL after 2 lessons.

I suffered several subsequent changes of instructor who often began each lesson by asking "what shall we do today?".

And there were the usual isssues of late and cancelled lessons.

It was only towards the end of the period that somebody actually gave me a sheet which listed the specific training tasks to be completed.

As this was over 30 years ago, I shan't name the flying school which must have improved considerably as they are still in business.

When I came to do my IMC rating some years later, I took my 'syndicate' aircraft to a school at Southend and completed the whole thing in about 2 weeks, which was a lot easier.

I had previously done the IMC ground studies at the City of London Polytechnic (London Guildhall University) which is just 'down the road' from where I live.

I also did my night rating with the same Southend flying school over 2 evenings.

More recently, my friend Bill went to Cabair at Denham where he had an excellent instructor who delivered a highly-structured training course which got him through both PPL and IMC in just a few months.

Well done to Stine for persevering.


Witnessing Stine's first solo flight and subsequent PPL qualification introduced me to a kind, friendly and committed student who had a fantastically encouraging and professional instructor. Sue's patience, storytelling and people antenna make tackling the challenges rewarding; we're lucky that she's ours.

Well done Stine - and Sue. I can identify with a lot of what you went through during your training - the steady loss of confidence and eventually the feeling that you would never make it. I started flying in October 2000 after that there was a start-stop process where the times I felt I was making progress alternated with other times when I was sure I was not. The sense of making no progress seemed to be mainly due to lack of continuity such as bad weather and problems with planes and shortage of instructors. No instructor told me I was wasting my time although I know some of them came close to it.

I realised at the end of 2008 that I had flown 42 hours during the year without making any perceptible progress, identified the lack of continuity as the main factor and then looked for a training facility where this would be less of a problem.

It was obvious from the moment I found Nearly Heaven and exchanged emails with Sue that what she and the Aerolub de Limoges offered was exactly what I needed - prospects of much better continuity and the great bonus of understanding the lack of confidence issues and how to address them. And so it turned out.

Bad students? Bad instructors? I am sure there may be some students who find it incredibly hard to absorb information but I am equally sure that some instructors may not be capable of transmitting information in a way the student can absorb it. I suggest that the difference between good and bad instructors may be how well they understand how to teach flying as well as how to fly.

Sounds like a great club.

Can anybody tell me what they charge for instruction as it doesn't say on the web site.

Hi Pierre

I have sent you an email containing all the prices and information required for obtaining a PPL here in France.

I hope to see you in the future.
Please contact me on the email address below:

I forgot to mention that I once did a 'basic aerobatics' course on a Cessna Aerobat (as I said, BASIC) where the Instructor's first words (in the air) were "I am not officially qualified to teach you this".

As it happens, it went quite well and I was able to master basic loops and rolls though I was quite nervous about the concept of 'stall turns' as Cessnas don't fly very well in reverse if you miss the critical point to kick the rudder.

Spins, I had already done as they were 'in the syllabus' when I trained for my PPL.

My knees were 'like jelly' when I did my first spin but I grew to quite like them (I trod a similar path with my first 'winch launches' in a glider).

I was, however, slightly perplexed when my aerobatics instructor inititated a spin in the middle of cloud and advised me to wait until we had fallen out before attempting the recovery.

One just assumed that the instructor knew what he was doing.

Sadly. most club training aircraft are not authorised to perform any of these manoeuvres.

Anyway, my point was about 'cowboy' schools and I noticed that this establishment was prosecuted a couple of years later for causing the death of a student by negligence.

Well done Stine,all the hard work and determination have paid off,this is a wonderful story,I am delighted for you.

This is also further testament to Sue and her talent as an instructor:her patience,humour and practical approach make the difference.

Best wishes,

Thank you so much for your lovely comments.
Not only have I gotten my ppl, I have also made many new friends, which I am very thankful for. And thank you Sue, for writing this kind article, and being so patient with me and giving me my confidence back. I could not have done it without your encouraging and funny remarks. Because of Sue I got to see much more of France than Limoges. The trips we did together made me realize all the fun you can have with flying, at the same time as it was very useful before my exam.
During my stay Matt helped me a lot with the theoretical parts and thoroughly explained all my questions, regardless of how stupid they might have been. So big thank you to Sue and Matt for being so wonderful and helping me achieve my dream!

Stine your success is my reward!

Once again, congratulations to you both!!

Stine it was a pleasure to help you during your PPL training. No questions are ever too 'stupid' it is only the persons need to truly understand that counts.

I hope that we will fly together in the future and I am so happy that you kept on fighting to achieve your dream.

As Robert Kennedy once said:

“There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”
“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them”

Best Wishes,


Hi Matt

I know that you will achieve your dream of becoming a commercial pilot, your dedication to flying is inspiring to my students.

Thank you for helping me too!

Hi Sue

I have enjoyed reading the articles and blogs on this site so thank you.

Can you tell me if CPL training is available in Limoges & if not, are there any plans to provide this in the future?

Many Thanks


According to the AC Limoges web site, they don't really see themselves as a flying school and, consequently, don't offer commercial pilot training.

To quote the AC Limoges web site:

"In France, there are two forms of license.

The basic license (B.B.), it is a specifically French (it cannot be used out of our borders) whereas the P.P.L (Private Pilot License) is a European license which allows the holder to fly anywhere in Europe subject to certain linguistic abilities.

At the Aero club of Limoges, pilot training is undertaken by voluntary English and French instructors, enabling us to offer more attractive rates in comparison to a flying school (where the instructors are paid)"

I note that the Aeroclub du Limousin next door have both 'professional' and 'voluntary' instructors though they also appear to offer only non-commercial Pilot training.

They do charge 'openly' for instruction though the fees seem very reasonable.

I notice that they also offer a discount 'pack' which provides €1830-worth of flying at a reduction of 10% if paid in advance (i.e. you pay only €1647).

For students having one of these packs, instruction is offered at €15 per hour rather than €25.

I understand that AC Limoges will also be offering a discounted 'pack' at some point.

I'm in the US and on my 4th instructor trying to get my PPL having been at it almost 3 years and over 100 hours now. Bad weather, 2 instructors who were only in it for the hours whose idea of ground school was "go home and read your book" and a 3rd instructor who I think had a death wish. I'm finally with a good instructor that I'll stick with but I'm having to unlearn a lot of stuff so it's almost like starting over. Also switching from a Cessna 172 to a 152, from a non towered to towered airport and a new instructor. I soloed last year under instructor #3 but have yet to solo with this instructor yet. I'm in total agreement that there are no bad students only totally crappy instructors. I'm thoroughly disgusted that these idiots are still out there teaching and wish there was some kind of enforcement that would get these bad instructors away from students and out of the air. They only discourage students and potential students and teach unsafe practices.

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