I'm a UK citizen, planning on getting my PPL this year. My goal was to train intensively, taking lessons several times a week. Unfortunately the UK weather means that even if you have the time and money to train that often, it's easier said than done since lessons are called off more often than not due to a low cloud base or rain.

I was thinking I might be able to get it done faster if I went somewhere like Spain or Italy where the weather is better, but obviously for this to work I'd need to find somewhere with English instruction. I'm assuming if I could find such a place, then as long as the school was EASA certified then the hours would count towards a UK PPL and I could just return home at the end to take my checkride and written exams.

Does my plan make sense, or is there a flaw I've overlooked? If it would work, can anyone recommend a good school that meets these criteria?

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I would find a school and call them, chances are they are available in English because the universal ATC language is English. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Mar 8 '17 at 4:42
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ There certainly are, be carefull that changing schools mid-course can be difficult, and (afairecall) you need to take the ppl exam (in english) with the CAA that approved the ATO. eg, Spanish CAA and Spanish PPL, which you can then convert to a UK one $\endgroup$
    – Radu094
    Mar 8 '17 at 7:05
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site! To prevent the question to be closed as off-topic, be sure to remove "resource location" aspects, and as opinion-based, be sure to not ask for the latter ("Does my plan make sense", "can anyone recommend a good school"). $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Mar 8 '17 at 10:31
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ All PPL's in the UK are now EASA PPLs. Which means any license you get in Europe is valid in the UK (and vice versa). $\endgroup$
    – Jamiec
    Mar 8 '17 at 12:13
  • $\begingroup$ @Jamiec I think NPPLs are still being issued and they won't become Part-FCL (LAPL or whatever) until sometime next year $\endgroup$ Mar 10 '17 at 13:59

Some years ago there were a couple of flight schools on Malta, I'm not sure if they are still operating, DuckDuckGo could probably tell you

The most common way of getting a JAR (pre-EASA) PPL (for UK trainees) outside the UK used to be to go to a JAR accredited school in the USA. Florida was very popular. I expect there are schools in the US that are allowed to train to the EASA syllabus these days. I think you need to travel on a training visa to do this and I'm not sure what is involved in getting one

I think I'm right in saying your flight test can be taken by an EASA examiner anywhere, no need to come home to do it (and anyway you'd want to do it over familiar territory)

A big warning to anyone learning to fly is not to pay upfront. Pay lesson by lesson. Flying schools can go bust very quickly, many students have lost a lot of money this way

Personally, I would be wary of training outside the UK, the weather conditions and procedures will be very different from what you are used to, and a low-hours pilot could easily get caught out. Marginal conditions can go bad on you very quickly. If you do do this, try to get some supplementary lessons in poorish weather and get some time fly through UK CAS to get used to ATC procedures


I know there's one school in Malaga, Spain that provides instruction and exam in English https://www.oneair.es/ and this place has decent weather year round, so that might be a good option.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.