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04 March 2019

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Hi Francesca,
As your dad is approaching 60 and speaks french I would recommend you get in contact with a microlight (ULM) instructor. Microlights are 2 seater light aircraft, perfectly safe and lots of fun. They are cheaper to fly and have less restrictions than the traditional light aircraft. The ULM movement is huge in France and there are microlight airstrips all over the country that he can fly to. You can find a list of instructors on the Federation website at https://ffplum.fr/annuaire-occitanie

I wish your dad Bons vols et Cieux Bleues.
Best of luck,
Clive

Francesca,

There is no problem for Brits to learn to fly in France (in fact at the moment the licensing is the same in the UK and Europe: this may be about to change with Brexit but no one knows for sure). Even if the UK falls out of the European system that will be no problem for a resident in France.

Speaking French removes a big problem.

Two things occur to me: -

(i) Costs: there are basically two types of powered aircraft. Conventional aeroplanes and Ultralights.
Conventional stuff: (Cessna, Piper, Robins etc) are significantly more expensive: everything, instruction, fuel, maintenance, hangarage is expensive. Secondhand they can be cheap to buy because of these running costs. Irreverently known as "Spamcans"

Ultralights (ULM's): substantially cheaper, with much lower fuel burn. Some of them are a lot faster than some "Spamcans", the main ULM limitation is that they are limited to two people (pilot & passenger) so you can't fly your wife and kids around. If you father is 'well built' you may encounter weight and balance limitations with some ULM types.

(ii) Medicals: to fly conventional stuff needs an annual EASA Class 2 medical; this checks all the usual stuff. Heart function (needs an ECG), vision (acuity & checks for red/green colour blindness: common in men), kidney function (glucose & protein in urine) etc. So get the medical, from an authorised Aeromedical examiner only, before you book a lot of expensive lessons! My Class 2 here in France is ~50€, some examiners charge ~100€. UK Class 2 costs can reach £200.

The BIG difference is that to fly ULM/microlights in France the medical is MUCH less demanding and less expensive.

Hope this is not too depressing; feel free to contact me if you want any further info. All the best.

David Walsh
47300 Ste Colombe de Villeneuve
France

Email: DavidTSWalsh>gmail.com (change this to a conventional email address, of course)

Bonsoir Francesca.

You ask:

I just wanted some advice really- is it OK for English people to learn to fly in France?

Of course , it's always a good experience to learn new activities in a new country , language ... I personally learnt flying , years ago in USA.,

Would you recommend it? What would the next steps be?

Register in an Aero Club .... When qualified ... Have a trip , flying above the Bay of ARCACHON ( Aero Club d' ANDERNOS les Bains ) quite a fabulous place for the views ( Dune du PYLA , Banc d'Arguin )

Do not hesitate , if U need more Infos ...Alan.

azg7@orange.fr

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