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Home > Blog > Best Aero Clubs In The North Of England

Best Aero clubs in the North of England

Posted 08 Mar 2022

Aero clubs in the North of England

If you are an aspiring pilot, either of the commercial or recreational kind, joining an aero club is a sure-fire way to make your dreams of taking to the skies come true.

If you are an aspiring pilot, either of the commercial or recreational kind, joining an aero club is a sure-fire way to make your dreams of taking to the skies come true.

A pilot’s primary need is an aircraft because no matter how much theory you choose to study unless you get into a cockpit and fly an aircraft, you will not be able to call yourself a pilot. Through aero clubs, you can buy aircraft shares or opt to privately own your own aeroplane.

That being said, aeroplanes are an expensive commodity. Not only that, their upkeep and storage present huge hassles as well, and for people with limited budgets and not enough money to shoulder the expense of owning and maintaining a private aircraft, an aero club may be the only way to obtain access to an aeroplane. 

In addition to this, the sense of community and the access to experienced trainers that a flying club provides are truly indispensable. Read on to find out about the best aero clubs north of England and why you should consider joining one:


In return for a membership fee, an aero club allows you to pilot an aircraft to your heart’s content according to an hourly rate.

Through an aero club, you can jointly or privately own an aircraft and not have to worry about its upkeep since it is handled by the club itself. Not only do aero clubs allow you to pilot an aircraft for recreation purposes, but they also give you the opportunity to train in order to improve your aviation skills, apply for a higher rating, and get a top tier licence.

There are several aero clubs all across England. If you reside in the North of the country, you may find yourself inundated with options.

Here are our picks of the best aero clubs in the area to make it easier for you to choose. You can fly from one aero club in the North to another in the South with ease, given you have a valid membership at both clubs.



Sherburn Aero Club

 On top of our list is our very own Sherburn Aero Club, located at The Aerodrome in Elmet, Leeds. Our club has been active since 1964 and has developed much over the years. It is one of the largest flying clubs in all of England and we can vouch that it provides quality that matches.

Sherburn is the ideal club for both seasoned pilots as well as beginners looking to lock in flight hours in order to apply for their licence. The training wing of our club was first launched in the 1970s and has only grown since then. The club offers dedicated private pilot training, which includes training on aircraft as well as through simulators.

In addition to this, Sherburn offers medical services, with a dedicated evaluation centre that helps pilots apply for the needed medical certification. Whether you are a beginner, mid-career, or have years and years of aviation behind you, here at Sherburn, we make sure that all of your flying-related needs are taken care of. 

The club also has a dedicated fleet, consisting of the Piper PA-28 Cadet, Piper PA-28 Warrior, Aero AT-3, and Robin 2160. Apart from the essentials, Sherburn also offers experience flights for individuals that want to get a feel of aviation before deciding on it as a long-term option, whether for recreational purposes or professionally.

Sherburn also offers services to those who wish to purchase an aircraft, whether on a shared or private basis.

For pilots who wish to bring their families along or would like to have a good time with their fellow pilots, the club is also home to a dedicated restaurant and bar, adding to the strong sense of community here at Sherburn.

Northeast Flying Club

 Located at the Shotton Airfield in Durham, Northeast Flying Club is the perfect place to kickstart your aviation journey, or to use for its facilities later on in your aviation journey. The club is uniquely placed to cater to the entirety of the Northeast of England, making it one of the most popular aero clubs in the region. Like Sherburn, Northeast has a lot to offer its members.

The club prides itself on its rigorous and rewarding training program for private pilots. There are various packages on offer depending on the aspiring pilot’s budget and needs.

For those wishing to get a feel of aviation, single-day training sessions are available, as well as an option of a five-hour-long package deal. There is also the option of a complete package that will take you from the start of your aviation training to acquiring your licence.


Hull Aero Club

 Hull Aero Club is located in the Beverley Airfield in the scenic Yorkshire countryside. It is an ideal location for a weekend getaway and one where pilots can bring their families along for a good time as well.

It is a great place for aviation enthusiasts, regardless of where they are in terms of experience. For the complete beginner, Hull prides itself on its training program, sessions of which are conducted in the Beverley Airfield, which is free of all controlled airspace regulations. This allows for a beginner to learn freely and with ease.

The pilot training also covers the theoretical exam bit, which must be passed with at least a 75% score to qualify for a

Private Pilot Licence (PPL)

issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of the United Kingdom.

For those wishing to take their loved ones to the skies as a birthday or anniversary present, the club also offers experience flights that offer an unforgettably good time.


Yorkshire Aero Club
Another aero club located in Yorkshire, the Yorkshire Aero Club is based at the Doncaster Sheffield Airport and Sandtoft Airfield.

It is a great place for pilots looking to obtain a general licence such as the Light Aircraft Pilot Licence (LAPL), Private Pilot Licence (PPL), or the Flight Radiotelephony Operators Licence (FRTOL).

In addition to this, the club also offers training for Instrument Rating (IR) and  Night Rating. The club is ideally placed for pilots coming in from Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, and Nottinghamshire.

The club also arranges experience flights, which make for a great present for the aviation lovers in your life. The fleet at the club includes Cessna 150 and 172 aircraft. 



Great community

 There are many reasons why you should join an aero club, with the sense of community an aero club offers being at the forefront.

In daily life, unless you are a professional pilot and spend your days interacting with others from the same profession, it is difficult to come by others who share your aviation-related interests. For this reason, aero clubs are a great option for pilots looking to connect with like-minded individuals to share their love of flying.

Also, the fact that most aero clubs offer facilities for the whole family allows for different families to connect as a whole as well. The community also comes in handy when there are queries you may have regarding aviation or need assistance with a related task. The community can offer guidance and support during such times since it includes pilots with different levels of experience.

Advance your skills

 When you’re surrounded by other pilots all the time, many of whom are senior aviation enthusiasts and have a lot more experience than you, it is natural to want to up your own skills as well. This healthy competition and the desire to be a better pilot leads to a challenging environment that constantly makes you check and improve your aviation skills.

The fact that aero clubs such as Sherburn provide training facilities in addition to an airfield and experience flights means members have the option to add extra hours of flight time and practice and gain further ratings and certifications.

 If a private pilot chooses to pursue aviation professionally, the option to add flight hours is readily available, so that a Private Pilot Licence (PPL)  or Light Aircraft Pilot Licence (LAPL) holder can upgrade to a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) whenever they want.


Fly different aircraft

One of the best parts of training with an aero club is the variety of aircraft at the pilot’s fingertips. If a pilot were to gather enough resources to invest in an aeroplane, chances are that is the only aircraft they will have access to.

This issue is done away with when it comes to aero clubs, with the pilot being free to pick and choose which aircraft (depending on its availability) is best suited to them.

The option to upgrade your own aeroplane exists, but comes with an added cost and hours of logistical planning. However, in a club, all you need to do is switch hangars in order to go from one aeroplane to the next. Aero clubs like Sherburn Aero Club allow members to buy shares in an aircraft, which means pilots can own an aircraft but with much less commitment.


Divided maintenance costs
Aero clubs are member-owned, which means all the money charged via member fees goes right back to the members themselves. The money is used for the upkeep and maintenance of the airfield and the aircraft.

Officers from within the community are selected, after they volunteer their names, to oversee maintenance. This makes it a hassle-free experience, with the burden of responsibility shared equally amongst the members of the aero club. 


Save money
This is the most important factor when it comes to why pilots join aero clubs. Aeroplanes are expensive, and their maintenance can pile up into huge yearly costs that most people cannot afford.

However, this issue is done away with due to the shared responsibility in a member-owned aero club as has been previously mentioned. No one should have to let go of their dreams of becoming a professional pilot or taking to the skies as a hobby just because they do not have the massive amount of funds that are needed to buy an aircraft and rent out a hangar.

The fact that aero clubs open up the world of aviation for most people adds to their popularity.




Private Pilot Licence (PPL)

Aero clubs usually offer training facilities for private pilots, with more advanced clubs also offering training for professional licences such as the Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL).

The training program will help you gain the initial hours of training in order to acquire a general licence such as the Private Pilot Licence. To apply for the PPL with the CAA, you should log in at least 45 hours of flight time. 10 hours out of the total should be of solo flight time, with a cross-country flight totalling at least 270 km. In addition to this, the applicant must prove mastery of nine subjects that include Meteorology and Air Navigation through their corresponding theoretical exams.

To qualify for the exams, the applicant must score at least 75% marks. The minimum age for this licence is 17, and since most aero clubs house a fleet comprising light aircraft, a PPL (or a Light Aircraft Pilot Licence) is important. It is important to note that a PPL holder cannot ask for monetary compensation in return for their piloting services, and if they wish to pursue aviation as a career, then a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) is a necessity.

Light Aircraft Pilot Licence (LAPL)

 The Light Aircraft Pilot Licence (LAPL) is a United Kingdom-specific licence that is mostly obtained by hobbyists who wish to fly light aircraft only. Light aircraft, commonly known as microlights in the UK, include aeroplanes such as the three-axis, as well as the newer light sport microlight.

The requirements for the LAPL are far more relaxed as compared to those for the PPL. As opposed to the 45 hours of training needed for the PPL, applicants for the LAPL need to only show 12 hours of total flight time. Since most aero clubs cater to pilots wishing to fly aeroplanes, it is necessary to get an Aeroplane rating in addition to your general aviation licence.

Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL)

 The CPL is a professional licence, which means it is needed by anyone wishing to pursue aviation as a career. The requirements for the CPL are far stricter as compared to those of general aviation licences such as the PPL and the LAPL.

 The total amount of flight time needed is 200 hours, and applicants must also show a Class 2 medical certificate, which is more stringent than the Class 1 that is needed for general aviation licences.

 If a PPL or LAPL holder wishes to obtain a professional licence, they can add to their existing number of flight hours.  



Sherburn Aero Club opened its doors in 1964 and went on to become one of the largest flying clubs in the North of England and also one of the largest in the country. The flying club opened a flight training school in the 1970s which was followed by several major investments including a large fleet of new aircraft and an airfield refurbishment with new runways, hangars, and an extended clubhouse.

Being both a flying club and a flight training school, we are well-positioned to cater to our members and their friends and families, before, during, and after they become qualified pilots. We aim to give all of our members a fun social environment whilst providing the opportunity to continue to build on their experience and expand their horizons.

Whether you are taking to the skies for an experience flight or starting your flying career, Sherburn has it all to offer. In addition to that, if you are looking for a hangarage for your own aircraft, need servicing or repairs, want to buy a new aircraft or aviation equipment, or are just looking to enjoy and watch the aircraft, Sherburn Aero Club is the place to be.


Call us on 01977 682 674​​​, email us at flightdesk@sherburnaeroclub.com, or message us via our online contact form for more information on aero clubs in the North of England as well as membership options at Sherburn Aero Club.



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