Bristol and Wessex Aeroplane Club, Silver Zone, Bristol Airport, BS48 3DP
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18 year old PPL student goes from zero to solo in 11 hours

August 11th, 2019 Posted by Bristol & Wessex Aeroplane Club

We love hearing stories about how our students are progressing, during their PPL and afterwards.

We recently caught up with PPL student Josh House and invited him to answer some questions regarding his pilot training so far with us as well as his background, interests and experience. Josh went solo in just 11 hours and we feel that he is a role model for the focus and proactivity he has put into his training, being very much on track to complete his PPL in minimum hours.

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I’m 18 and just finished my A level studies last year after completing A level maths, physics and computer science. The primary reason for me studying these subjects was my passion for aviation and engineering with the hope that these subjects would support me in my future career. I am working in my first job in a bakery, learning the production of bread which supports my flight training perfectly as the shifts are early on weekends which allows me to book lessons on weekdays. 

What made you decide to learn to fly?

Starting off I was never really interested in planes; cars was more my interest. However, my Nan had a fascination in aviation which she passed on to me. She was always telling me stories of her holidays abroad where she was able to go up to the cockpit and talk to the pilots on her trips to Iceland and Madeira.

She also told me stories about her first flight in a general aviation aircraft (a piper cub) which really got me interested in aviation. So, in some way I started flying training not only to achieve the career I dream of but to also honour my Nan and the amazing industry she has inspired me about. 

Before starting training, had you any experience of light aircraft, if so what aircraft types?

Before starting training, I had only my simulator experience and a trial lesson which I had at B&W in 2017. I had also been up the club in 2015 and was grateful to be allowed to sit in one of their Piper PA28’s. The very aircraft I completed my first solo in.

As I mentioned above my Nan was the reason I am so interested in aviation and led me to purchase my home flight simulator, on my simulator (X plane) I fly all sorts from commercial to GA and aim to recreate real world operations as this gives me the most enjoyment. I also fly on a virtual online network which has allowed me to develop my radio calls and general knowledge even before starting my PPL.

What are your long-term goals with flying training and how will you achieve them?

My aim is to eventually progress to become a commercial pilot by taking the modular route and studying my PPL with the club and then further onto ATPL’s and CPL. I aim to complete study whilst working a full-time job in order to fund the training.

What advice do you have for others who are at the start of training or considering starting training?

I would advise people to set out with a clear aim for what they want to achieve by obtaining a PPL, from aiming to gain a CPL to simply fly around Europe and enjoy the sights it has to offer. Setting this aim will allow you to give the course 100% and will make it so much easier and enjoyable

I would advise anyone considering starting training to just go for it, once you start flying you will love it and wonder why you have not started sooner.

How many hours training did you have before your first solo?

I had 10.3 hours (Not including my 2017 1 hr trial lesson) before completing my first solo.

How did you find your first solo?

The first solo was simply amazing, there are no words to describe the feeling when you apply full power and take off, briefly looking to your right and realising that it’s just you, no one else to support you, just you and the aircraft. There were definitely a few moments where I didn’t believe that this was happening however in between these short moments you are just focused on follow the same procedures that you have been trained to do.

Soloing in 10.3 hours is a fantastic achievement.  Any advice on getting there so quickly?

I do prepare a lot for lessons.  I read the book to make sure I know what I’m doing before I arrive, and I practice on my flight simulator.  I also made sure that I had the radio side of things nailed early on so this wasn’t an issue for me.  Listening to radio exchanges on Youtube and reading books on it, like CAP417 which is free from the CAA website, are great ways to practice. 

If you could sum up the feeling of flight in a few words, what would it be?

As difficult as It is to sum it up in a few words, the feeling of flight is simply out of this world and one that I will certainly never get bored of!

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Bristol and Wessex Aeroplane Club
Bristol Airport, BS48 3DP

01275 475429


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