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Home > Blog > Best Aero Clubs In Tyne And Wear

Best Aero Clubs in Tyne and Wear to fly to From Sherburn

Posted 27 Nov 2023

Best Aero Clubs in Tyne and Wear

In this guide, we will cover the importance of aero clubs, some basics about pilot licenses, and a list of all the great aero clubs in Tyne and Wear.

Tyne and Wear has played a crucial role in the broader history of aviation in the UK. Located in the Northeast of England, Tyne and Wear has been at the centre of many contributions to aviation both in the context of civil and military aviation.

The county is known for its vast and beautiful landscapes, jaw-dropping horizons, and one of the best weather conditions in the country. Private pilots are sure to find their fill of aviation when visiting Tyne and Wear. However, before you go on your journey, there are a few things to keep in mind!

In this guide, we will cover the importance of aero clubs, some basics about pilot licenses, and a list of all the great aero clubs in Tyne and Wear.

Aero Clubs in Aviation

Aviation and aero clubs go hand in hand, and it can easily be said that these flight schools have singlehandedly played a vital role in pushing the aviation industry forward.

Before the advent of flight, aero clubs existed in one form or the other for many decades. However, instead of these clubs being populated by pilots, they were usually full of engineers and enthusiasts who wanted to tackle the problem of flight.

It wasn’t until the late 1890s and the early 1900s that we started to seriously consider aviation as a viable industry. It took an incredible amount of money and resources to take aviation to what it is today – but everything would have been for naught if it weren’t for aero clubs!

See, aero clubs are the blood of the aviation industry. These flight schools don’t just play the role of teaching people how to fly, but they are also the face of the industry. They connect the public to the industry and allow ordinary people to become capable pilots.

Many historians believe that the initial aero clubs that followed the successful flight by the Wright brothers in 1903 were incredibly important in pushing the industry forward worldwide.

However, if you look at it from the outside, the aviation industry shouldn’t have seen such a big boom as it did back in the 1900s because the infrastructure and equipment required for teaching pilots how to fly were stupendously expensive – and the costs carried down to the students would have been too high.

However, there was an unfortunate silver lining to this situation.

During the First World War, the military put considerable attention to aviation. After all, it was one of the greatest inventions of mankind and everyone knew the capability of these aerial vehicles in war.

The money and resources put into the industry allowed engineers to come up with better aircraft designs and better ways to make aircraft more efficient and safer. Economies of scale also started to take effect which helped bring down the overall cost of entry for the industry.

As the supply side of aircraft started to ramp up, so did the demand. In the beginning, aviation wasn’t for everyone, after all, there were a lot of risks involved with the profession. Luckily, that didn’t stop a few early adopters who made it their mission to learn everything they could about aircraft and how to fly them.

This interest further developed the industry as most of the candidates who went on to become pilots also later became capable instructors. By the 1910s, we already had plenty of commercial and large-scale aero clubs in the country.

However, we still lacked privately owned and smaller aero clubs that were aimed at people who had even fewer resources to learn how to fly.

This problem was eventually solved after the First World War. See, there was a surplus of aircraft scrap material that was decommissioned by the military - but one man’s trash is another man’s way into the aviation industry!

Using leftover materials like engine parts, fuselage materials, and electrical equipment, enthusiasts were able to build their very own aircraft and start their own fledging business. This was a breakthrough in the aviation community because it allowed even more people to enter the world of aviation without worrying about exuberant training pricing.

By the end of the Second World War, the aviation industry had established a permanent role in our lives and the industry continues to be an indispensable part of our modern world!

Pilot Licensing

It became clear that the aviation industry required heavy regulation. Since this industry involves a lot of variables that carry high risk, engineers had to completely revamp the way we approach aviation by introducing strict protocols and regulations to minimise risk as much as possible.

What was the best way to introduce these regulations? Using a governing body called the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The Civil Aviation Authority was tasked to oversee all the aviation-related activities in the country.

Every flight school had to be accredited by the CAA and all of them had to follow the guidelines set forth by the regulatory body. One of the key regulations is regarding licensing.

Pilot licensing is a lot like driving licenses: you need to pass theoretical and practical tests in order to qualify for operating the vehicle.

However, in the case of pilot licenses, things are a bit more complicated and thorough. As mentioned, since this industry carries inherent risks (even though modern practices have nearly eliminated these risks), pilots need to be extra careful about following procedures when operating aircraft.

There are primary two types of pilot licenses:

  • Commercial Pilot Licenses
  • Private Pilot Licenses

Commercial pilot licenses are one of the most prevalent types of pilot licenses in the world. These licenses are what allow capable pilots to operate large aircraft that usually carry either people or cargo.

Commercial pilot licenses came about when the aviation industry shifted its focus from enthusiasts to public transportation and services. This allowed the industry to monetise aircraft and help invest even more resources into the aviation industry.

The only way to obtain a commercial pilot license is to first enrol in a capable flight school, like Sherburn Aero Club. Aero clubs are the gateway for people to learn how to fly and become professional pilots.

These clubs offer extensive training services that allow people to learn both the theoretical and practical concepts of flight. Commercial flight training requires more flight hours and thorough theoretical training. For example, a typical commercial pilot can be expected to log at least 250 hours of flying time to earn their license, including 50 hours of cross-country flying and 100 hours of pilot-in-command time.

Commercial pilot candidates may also spend extra time on other training modules like Instrument Ratings or Night Ratings that allow them to fly aircraft outside of VFR (Visual Flight Rules). VFR is a set of rules that outline when pilots can fly their aircraft. These rules usually require clear blue skies with no weather anomalies.

Finally, commercial pilot training is relatively more expensive than other pilot licenses simply because there is a lot of training involved with this license and pilots need to spend extra time in supplemental training modules as well. However, the good news is that capable commercial pilots are almost immediately grabbed by large airlines, sometimes even before they graduate.

Commercial pilots are paid handsomely, and the profession is well respected around the world. This is why many people consider commercial pilot licenses very lucrative and rewarding.

Private pilot licenses on the other hand are one of the most popular pilot licenses in the world. This type of license is for people who want to experience aviation as a hobby and not as a career. For this reason, private pilot licenses often have more relaxed requirements compared to commercial pilot licenses.

Make no mistake though, private pilot training requires just as much attention as commercial pilot and even though the training requirements are less, you are expected to conduct yourself in a highly professional manner.

Private pilots are usually enthusiasts who love flying – and that is where aero clubs come in. Aero clubs like Sherburn Aero Club have a prospering community of private pilots who regularly train and fly aircraft for leisure purposes.

Another benefit of private pilot training is that you get to decide your training schedule. As mentioned, since this training is less intense, a private pilot can work at their day job and learn how to fly on the side.

Private pilot licenses are also less costly than commercial pilot licenses. Even the medical requirements for private pilots are different. For example, Private pilots require a Class 2 medical certificate instead of a more thorough Class 1 certificate for commercial pilots.

At the end of the day, the type of license you go with will depend on your personal goals. However, please keep in mind that not every flight school is equipped for commercial pilot training. This is why we recommend that you check out the school in advance and do your research before making a decision.

Larger and more capable flight schools, like Sherburn Aero Club, offer both private and commercial pilot training. You can even find scholarship offers, discounts, and other monetary incentives to lessen the cost of your training as well.

Best Aero Clubs in Tyne and Wear to fly to From Sherburn

Planning on travelling to Tyne and Wear? Here are the top aero clubs that you need to keep on your radar:

Northumbria Flying School

Northumbria Flying School is a premier flying school in Tyne and Wear. This aero club is beloved for its prospering community of private pilots and is by far one of the best flight schools for candidates who need specialised training.

You can easily find all the necessary amenities along with a decent fleet of light aircraft at this flight school. For the best experience, we recommend that you book your visit in advance since this club regularly sees both club members and visitors from other aero clubs.

Northeast Flight Academy

Northeast Flight Academy is a relatively new but highly capable flight club in Tyne and Wear. This flight school is known for its friendly staff and fleet of fixed and flex-wing aircraft. Private pilots are sure to find their fill of aviation here!

Since Northeast Flight Academy is ideally located near one of the best geographical features of Tyne and Wear, we recommend that you experience the skies of this county in a flex-wing aircraft.

Newcastle International Airport

Newcastle International Airport is the largest and primary airport in the county. This airport is known for its expansive space which is also home to a couple of high-class aero clubs and even a fire academy known as the Newcastle Airport Fire Academy.

If you are looking to experience the best of this county, then we highly recommend that you set your sights on Newcastle International. This airport has all the amenities that visiting pilots may require and since the airport also hosts flight schools, you are guaranteed to meet a mix of great pilots!

Newcastle Aviation Academy

Looking for a place where you can find ambitious and daring private pilots who love pushing the boundaries of their training? Then we recommend that you visit Newcastle Aviation Academy. Located in Newcastle International Airport, this aero club has been around for many years and has churned out the best pilots that the UK has to offer.

Not only does the club offer extensive training services like private and commercial pilot training, but everyday folks can also enjoy experience flights and even Light Aircraft Pilot (LAPL) training which is one of the most relaxed pilot training programs aimed at people who want a quick and easy entry into aviation.

For visits, please call in advance and book your appointment. Since this flight school is located inside an international airport, you should check out the website of the Aero Club to figure out its policies for visiting pilots.


Sherburn Aero Club, which has been operational since 1964, is the ideal place for most of your training and flying needs. It is one of the largest flying clubs in the North of England and also one of the largest in the country.

If you wish to begin your career in aviation or wish to take to the skies as a hobby, Sherburn’s flight training school offers private and commercial licences, along with pilot medicals to ensure a smooth journey going forward.

For those who wish to experience the thrill of a flight for fun or to help fuel their aviation dreams, Sherburn offers experience flights for the newbie, as well as the veteran in various types of light aircraft.

With a large fleet of new aircraft and an airfield refurbishment with new runways, hangars, and an extended clubhouse, we cater to brand-new flyers who have just started their journey to the skies, as well as seasoned flyers who have been operating aircraft for decades.

The flight experience option is also available for people who wish to take to the skies for special occasions, even if they aren’t into aviation in the long run.

Sherburn offers a dedicated day-long Flight Radiotelephony Operator’s Licence (FRTOL) course for those wishing to get the certification, running the first Sunday of every month.

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 at 01977 682 674​​​, email us at flightdesk@sherburnaeroclub.com, or message us via our online contact form for more information on light aircraft, training requirements, fee structure, licencing procedures, as well as experience flights and pilot training at Sherburn.

Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash 



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