Let me just start off by saying – if you have ever have had an interest in aviation, having a private pilot’s license and getting up in the air is possibly one of the best ways to expand on this. Earning your PPL from Waterford Aero Club and viewing the magnificent Irish countryside from 2000′ is extremely satisfying and can be relatively cheap compared to other places around the country.
There are many reasons to choose Waterford as the place to start your training. Cheaper membership fees and aircraft rates compared to the flight schools and most clubs within Ireland may be the main reason for many, but for myself I find the quality of training is second to none. The instructors are extremely experienced, with thousands of hours each in all types of aircraft and flying conditions, you will be guaranteed to get some of the best possible training within the country. Training can be done in either the clubs Tecnam P2002 or the Piper Warrior/Cherokee.
Since Waterford Aero Club is situated at Waterford Airport, you get the experience of taking off from a relatively busy regional airport with a 1400 m long runway and be in the local training area within 5 minutes. The majority of the training is done within Waterford’s Class C controlled airspace and the controllers are extremely accommodating. This is one reason why students are able to progress quickly, you are not spending half of the flight going to and from the training area due to ATC restrictions.
Another plus would be the atmosphere and the people within the club. You will have members who founded the club back in the 1980’s to people who are currently airline pilots flying with airlines within Europe and abroad. The rest of the members are students and people who have their PPL in which they are either flying as a hobby or continuing with their studies and building hours to one day become commercial pilots. The club has members who all together share a wealth of knowledge and experience in which just by being around and listening to their advice I found helped me tremendously throughout all of my flying.
I, myself had a small few of hours built up over the past number of years but had to put a halt on training due to other commitments. I got back into the training at the beginning of February 2015 with the Aero Club’s Tecnam aircraft, went solo in March and have so far completed the majority of my training. I plan to have my PPL by the end of the summer and as you can see it is very achievable within a short period of time, the excellent weather in the “Sunny South-East” and the level of instruction given most certainly had something to do with it.
Even if you have no interest in getting a license, the Aero Club offers voucher flights (30 & 60 minute) which can be a great experience in itself or as the perfect gift for a family member/friend. Take off and take a tour of the Southeast, I recommend going up over Waterford City and back around to Dunmore East and the Hook-Head region or even head west and take in the stunning view of the Comeragh Mountains.
Thank you for reading, and hopefully we will be able to see you flying here in the near future. Whether this will be as a student, member or just undertaking a voucher flight within the club.