Frequently Asked Questions
A few questions and answers about Trial Lessons at Lydd Aero Club
WARNING! Cheap Flying Experiences
Some other Clubs and Companies selling their own Vouchers and calling them “30 minute” or “60 minute” “lessons” do NOT give you 30 or 60 minutes in the Aircraft. Times often include lengthy briefings and you end up with a very short flight.
Our timings are all “in the aircraft”
Trial Lessons are real flying lessons. Lydd Aero Club is an “Approved Training Organisation” and so the flights will not be “Sightseeing” or “Pleasure” flights although we do our best to ensure they are most pleasurable. They are an opportunity for anyone to see what learning to fly is all about and at the same time have a great flying experience.
The instructors at Lydd are normally ex or even current commercial pilots with thousands of hours of flying experience. Some have been with us since the Club was established in 2000 and they are all keen to pass on their knowledge and experiences. The Club offers a range of flights to suit all budgets and requirements. Why not buy a flight just for yourself or as a gift someone else?
A trial lesson experience can be whatever you want it to be. If you simply want to see what goes on “up front” in an aeroplane and at the same time have the pleasure of seeing the local Kent and Sussex scenery that is fine, but all flights will be proper lessons in which you will be expected to participate. How much is entirely a matter for you and the instructor to discuss in the pre-flight briefing and later in the plane. All flights, whether you have an Introductory trial lesson or an Extended one, may officially be recorded in a logbook as the first contribution to your training for a pilot’s licence.
The Trial Lesson purchase will provide you with temporary club membership and you will be asked to sign in and provide identification much like any airport check-in.
There will then be the pre-flight briefing similar to a first-time student pilot. This briefing will depend on any previous experience you may have and will be adapted to your own requirements.
Walking to and around the aircraft will be a further opportunity to discuss any aspects of flying and the flight, although the instructor will have already completed the proper check of the aircraft earlier in the day. On entering the aircraft, the instructor will point out the main features of the flight controls and complete the start-up check list. They will then contact Lydd Control Tower and request taxi for engine checks and thereafter, take-off.
The length of the lesson and what is involved will depend on which one you have purchased or upgraded. The various lessons involving a “Land-Away” will mean a stopover at another airfield where there can be discussion on the outbound flight, the return and a break dependant upon the length of the flight you have just completed.
1. The Vouchers may be purchased online through this website or by telephone (01797 320 734) to the Club. An advice leaflet telling the budding pilot what they can expect during their Trial Lesson, the conditions of sale, and the Voucher will be prepared upon purchase. This normally goes out on the day of your order by first class post. Email copies of the Voucher can be sent upon request.
2. Some people buy the voucher for themselves but many buy it as a gift for presentation. The details sheet with Voucher is suitable for forwarding as a gift and there is space for the recipient’s name and a personal message if you wish to add one..
3. After receiving the voucher the recipient should decide on a date and time as soon as possible thereafter to make their booking. Vouchers are sold at a reduced rate compared to current flying lessons so a voucher fixes the price for 6 months and it must be used before the expiry date shown on the voucher.
4. On the day which has been booked for the lesson PHONE before leaving home. Many factors may delay or postpone your flight although every effort is taken to get you into the air and enjoy your day.
5. There is usually ample parking at Lydd Airport (directions on the “Find us” page of this website( https://www.lyddaero.co.uk/find-us/ ). Proceed to the front entrance. Once inside, turn immediately left and follow the signs to Lydd Aero Club.
6. On welcoming you at the Club you will “sign in” and may be asked for photo ID (driving licence, etc.) if this is your first flight with the Club. You will then be introduced to your Flight Instructor.
7. A briefing follows, normally in a Classroom setting, describing the basic controls and their affect on the aircraft. The Flight Instructor will tailor the briefing to the prospective pilot’s requirements. Many will want to know everything with a view to obtaining a private pilot’s licence and even going on to a professional career, others will be there just to enjoy the ride and experience what goes on in the cockpit. If interested in any particular aspect – just ask!
8. Once in the aircraft and after a further short briefing the Instructor will undertake whichever “Lesson” has been chosen.
Don’t assume “you can’t do that”
Before buying a Voucher please don’t hesitate to discuss any special requirements.
Various physical or learning difficulties has often put off many from even considering a Trial Lesson.
The Club has often been asked to consider persons with such requirements and we try to consider each request on it’s feasibility. Many who thought they were not able have been delighted when they completed their Trial Lesson.
In some cases where there was doubt, such as the ability to get both into and out of the aircraft with safety, the prospective student pilot has been asked to visit for an informal chat and even “try the aircraft for size”
If you feel you (or the Voucher Recipient) are quite capable to complete the lesson but still have some Special Requests – please ask at the time of booking.
If you have already purchased a Voucher please phone (01797 320734 – Office Hours) to arrange a date and time.
Book as soon as you can in case your chosen date is postponed by bad weather, etc.
- To make a booking we need to know:
- Whose voucher it is? We do Lydd Aero Club (obviously!) and Virgin Experience.
- If Lydd Aero Club Voucher, then:
- What is Voucher number and type i.e. Introductory – 30 or 60 minute and Land-away 30 or 60 minute, and
- A Contact Phone number for yourself, and
- Time(s) and date(s) when you would be available to fly.
- If a Virgin/Acorne Voucher, we also need:
- Type (Introductory or Extended),
- Serial number,
- PIN number
- and expiration date
- A Contact Phone number for yourself, and
- Time(s) and date(s) when you would be available to fly.
Flying light aircraft is often weather dependant. Strong cross winds, poor visibility & low cloud are all factors which will limit whether flights can take place.
For this reason we always ask our students and Trial Lesson Experience customers to telephone before leaving home, preferably on the day of the flight, or at least the afternoon before, when a reasonable forecast can be made as to whether the flight will go ahead. Phone 01797 320734.
Height and weight of prospective pilots is very important. All aircraft are weight limited both in total and balance.
If you feel those flying are above average size then we need to know when you book.
Tell the Club when you book the flight. Don’t wait until you arrive at the airport where weights may be checked if the instructor needs to calculate safe loads.
The Club operates 7 days a week for 363 days a year so there is plenty of time to “fit it in”. The main difficulty as described above is The Weather. Strong winds, poor visibility, low cloud, etc., will all affect a first flight by someone we hope will both enjoy the lesson and perhaps want to go on and get their licence to fly.
Lydd Aero Club Vouchers are valid for 6 months from the date of issue and the expiry date is shown on each individual voucher.
All vouchers must be used before the expiry date. Vouchers are non-refundable so don’t leave it until nearing the expiry date in case your chosen date/time is weathered or postponed for any reason.
Once a trial lesson is booked an appropriate aircraft and instructor will be reserved. To cover these costs any cancellations or amendments by the customer may be subject to the following charges: over 48 hours before booked flight – No Charge. 24 – 48 hours before booked flight 25% surcharge. Under 24 hours before booked flight 50% surcharge.
Lydd Aero Club may be required to cancel or re-schedule a Trail Lesson due to weather, safety or technical reasons. In such instances no cancellation charges shall apply and the Club will make every effort to re-book the flight to the customer’s new requested date and time.
See also conditions relating to “Other Brands of Vouchers” – below
We accept valid Virgin and Acorne Vouchers. That means the Voucher must be in date at the time of the actual flight.
Please have your Serial Number, PIN code, expiry date and a contact telephone number ready when telephoning to book your flight.
Your voucher must be valid at the time and date of the actual flight, even if postponed for any reason. Whilst Lydd Aero Club can, under certain circumstances extend the valid period of our own Vouchers, we have no control over the validity of other brands of Voucher. If your Voucher has expired, for any reason, only the issuing company can extend the validity of your Voucher.
If you require an upgrade to a longer flight or larger aircraft (so you can take a friend) we are happy to convert your Voucher to a Lydd Aero Club Voucher (see various options online) and take payments at the time of booking.
Something comfortable but not bulky! You will not be cold once in the plane but something thin and windproof is often a good idea when going across the tarmac. For the ladies trousers may be preferable when climbing into a light aircraft. Shoes should not be too heavy but no “flip flops” or high heels – please.
The main limitation is whether the prospective pilot can reach the controls comfortably. For Trial Lessons there is no formal limit. However, if you want the flight to count towards a licence then you need to be 14 years of age or more. Those taking up flying later in life may need to consider whether they are in sufficient good health. You may consider an early medical examination with a CAA registered AME money well spent.
If the Trial Lesson “student” is under 14 year old we require a parent or authorised guardian in the aircraft. You therefore need to purchase a flight in a four seat aircraft so that the parent of guardian can accompany the young person in that aircraft.
Yes, you can bring a camera and use it both on the ground and in the air.
A friend or member of family accompanying you may also be able to come to the aircraft if time permits.
If using the camera on you mobile phone please switch it to “flight” mode.