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Home > Blog > Best Aeroclubs In Gloucestershire

Best aeroclubs in Gloucestershire to fly to from Sherburn

Posted 22 Feb 2024

Best aeroclubs in Gloucestershire

This guide will cover the aspects of flight training, licensing, and a list of the top aero clubs in Gloucestershire to fly to from Sherburn.

Looking for a mix of beautiful natural and manmade landmarks for stunning aerial views? Then we can’t recommend Gloucestershire enough. Gloucestershire is located at the head of the River Severn estuary on the border with Wales.

The county is home to the popular town of Cheltenham which is renowned for its Cheltenham Festival which focuses on exciting horse jump racing for the Gold Cup.

The county is also known for Regency buildings, including the Pittville Pump Room, a remnant of Cheltenham’s past as a spa town. There is no doubt that Gloucestershire has a deep-rooted history in both arts and culture.

If you are a pilot who is looking to earn a licence for cross-county flights, then this guide is just for you. This guide will cover the aspects of flight training, licensing, and a list of the top aero clubs in Gloucestershire to fly to from Sherburn.

Private Pilots – Licensing, Perks, and More

Private pilots are the heart and soul of aviation. The aviation industry was initially established thanks to these wide-eyed dreamers who had the vision of an aviation-centric world where pilots bridged the gap between different places around the globe.

Private pilots make up the majority of the enthusiasts in aviation and flying lightweight aircraft is an excellent way for any type of pilot to enjoy the thrills of aviation with relatively complete autonomy.

In essence, Private flying, or recreational flying, is when a pilot pursues aviation without expecting to build an aviation career. This is why private pilot licences are well-suited for people who only want to pick up aviation as a hobby and fly in light aircraft.

Types of PPL(s)

Private Pilot Licences (PPL) come under the general aviation category. As per the governing body in aviation, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of the United Kingdom, private pilots are allowed to fly lightweight aircraft under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) until they earn further certifications that allow them to fly in various conditions.

Within the Private Pilot Licence program, there are various types of general aviation licences depending on your ambitions.

The most popular of these are the Private Pilot Licence (PPL) and the Light Aircraft Pilot Licence (LAPL).

Private Pilot Licence (PPL):

Private Pilot Licences are perfect for people who want just the thrills of aviation without climbing a career ladder. A PPL is best for beginners and hobbyists mainly because, as compared to the CPL, it has fewer requirements and is relatively easier to achieve.

The requirements for the PPL are more relaxed compared to commercial licences, with the total flight time requirement being only 45 hours, out of which 10 must be on a solo flight unaccompanied by a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI).

Private pilots also have relaxed medical requirements. For a PPL, candidates must obtain a Class 2 medical certificate, which covers basic health requirements than the ones required for Class 1 certificates.

Although the minimum age requirement for the PPL is 18 years, students can enrol in flight programmes earlier and train toward their licence under supervision. Once they meet the minimum age requirement, they can then apply for a PPL.

PPL training entails nine theoretical subjects, with a minimum of 75% marks in exams for subjects including meteorology, navigation, air law, and principles of flight.
Just like commercial licences (such as CPL, ATPL, and MPL), a Private Pilot Licence is recognised all over the world and allows pilots the privilege to fly anywhere in the world, except for North Korea which has its own requirements.


Light Aircraft Pilot Licence (LAPL):

The LAPL can be considered as a condensed form of a PPL. While the PPL allows pilots to fly any type of flex or fixed-wing aircraft, given they have the required ratings, the LAPL only allows pilots to fly light aircraft.

 What makes LAPL so great is the fact that it has even more relaxed and flexible training requirements than a regular PPL which is why people who only want to pick up aviation as a hobby find this licence to be more worthwhile.

LAPL is perfect for pilots who do not wish to fly heavy aircraft, such as the multi-engine variety and are satisfied with flying only within UK airspace.

There are a few drawbacks to the LAPL, though. For example. A LAPL is not recognised outside of the UK and will require an upgrade if the pilot wishes to fly outside the UK.

A LAPL requires 12 hours of total flight time. It is also better suited for younger pilots since the minimum age requirement is 17 years!  

The Basics of Commercial Licences

Commercial licences enable pilots to fly not just larger airplanes, but also to use their skills to earn money. Aviators who dream of operating large airliners from one city to the other and have ambitions of becoming captains go for a CPL!

If you want to climb a corporate ladder and earn money in aviation, then you will require a licence under the category of “commercial licences“ as mandated by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Commercial Pilot Licence Types

Just like in the case of PPLs, there are different types of commercial licences too. The three main types of commercial licences are the Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL), the Multi-crew Pilot Licence (MPL), and the Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL).

Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL):

This is the licence of choice for anyone who wants to make a name in commercial aviation. This licence allows pilots to get hired by large airliners!

CPLs require a total of 200 hours of flight time – of these 200 hours, 100 must be spent in command of an aircraft, with the others being completed via dual instruction with a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI).
A solo flight totalling 300 miles is also mandated. In addition to this, the pilot must also obtain a Class 1 medical certificate, which ensures the health status of a pilot. A Class 1 medical certificate is very thorough and covers various in-depth aspects of a pilot’s health.

Of course, CPL pilots are also required to complete theoretical exams in a series of aviation-related subjects, which include:

  • Air law,
  • Aircraft general knowledge - airframe/systems/powerplant,
  • Aircraft general knowledge - instrumentation, Mass and Balance,
  • Performance,
  • Flight planning and monitoring,
  • Human performance,
  • Meteorology,
  • General navigation,
  • Radio navigation,
  • Operational procedures,
  • Principles of flight,
  • Visual flight rules (VFR),

This training also includes specific certifications like Night Rating. A Night Rating allows pilots to fly at night. To obtain this certification, a pilot will have to apply for an additional Night Rating on top of their CPL, which qualifies them to fly after sunset.

CPL pilots can also fly single-engine aircraft. To pilot multi-engine varieties, CPL pilots will have to get additional certifications.

Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL):

If you are not sure about building a career as a commercial pilot, then we recommend that you check out ATPL. The Airline Transport Pilot Licence is a great option because it is based on the foundations of the CPL, adding an extra component with multi-crew training towards the end.

While this type of licence is generally harder to obtain (even compared to a CPL), it is by far one of the most lucrative in the aviation industry. ATPL pilots are assigned to fly precious cargo and may also be allowed to carry passengers. For example, an ATPL allows a pilot to carry nine or more passengers in an aircraft.

After initial training, a pilot is awarded the frozen ATPL (fATPL). This licence is the precursor to the final ATPL (unfrozen) licence which pilots can obtain after they get hired by various airliners and complete a total of 1500 hours of flight time.

Multi-crew Pilot Licence (MPL):

Pilots who wish to get hired with certain airlines can opt for a Multi-crew Pilot Licence. This licence is airline-specific, so the training requirements may also differ. For example, pilots can skip most of the single-engine training modules during their training since these training requirements are part of the CPL and ATPL licences.

An MPL is for pilots who want to fly aircraft with multiple crew members. The benefit of an MPL is that this licence exposes the pilot to a typical cabin environment earlier than an ATPL. Furthermore, this licence also comes with an automatic job guarantee with the airline – so while not flexible, it is a great way to quickly start earning.

If a candidate wishes to fly single-engine aircraft, such as light aircraft, they will need to take up additional training on top of what is typically required for the acquisition of the MPL.


Which Licence is Best for You?

The best way to determine the best type of licence for you is to start with your expectations and needs in aviation.

For people who want the thrills of aviation, the private pilot licence (PPL) will offer the most benefit. Plus, you can also expand on your training and work toward other types of licences.

Furthermore, it is also important to consider the minute details of each licence such as training time, fee requirements, scheduling, budgeting, and more. Please keep in mind that aviation is an expensive endeavour so candidates must consider the overall costs associated with each licence type.

Training for Pilot Licences

This is where top-class aviation clubs come in! Aviation clubs such as Sherburn Aero Club offer training for private pilots as well as commercial pilots. In fact, some private pilots widen their ambitions and commonly opt for a commercial pilot licence later in life!

With a fleet of light aircraft ready to fly as well as other training options such as flight simulators, aviation clubs are great for both private as well as commercial pilots.

Best Aero Clubs in Gloucestershire to Fly to From Sherburn

Now that you know all about pilot licences, here are some of the best aero clubs in Gloucestershire to fly to from Sherburn:

Aeros Flight Training

This aeroclub is located inside Gloucestershire Airport which makes it a great place for visiting pilots. Since the club is located inside an established airport, you can expect all of the amenities like a café, a common area, and of course, top-class students.

Aeros Flight Training prides itself on providing one of the best private training in the entire county. The school is ideally located and is frequently visited by other nearby clubs in Gloucestershire too.

Bristol & Wessex Aeroplane Club Limited

Whether it is casual flying or advanced private pilot training, we are sure that you will find your fix at Bristol & Wessex Aeroplane Club. This club has been around for quite some time and has quickly earned the reputation of being an excellent place for visiting pilots due to its ideal location that provides access to stunning views.

The club has a licenced bar and café, which makes it great for networking purposes too! If you are headed toward Gloucestershire, then we recommend that you keep this club on your radar.

Clifton Aviation Limited

Clifton Aviation Limited is also located inside Gloucestershire Airport and is home to one of the most talented private pilots in the industry. The club is known to produce capable pilots who later go on to be great instructors too.

Whether it is PPL training or casual experience flights, there is something for everyone at this aero club.

Cotswold Aero Club

Based in the heart of the Cotswolds at Gloucestershire airport this club is located near frequent sightseeing areas such as Bristol, Bath, Swindon Worcester, and more.

Cotswold Aero Club is one of the oldest clubs in the county and has extensive experience in producing one of the best private pilots in the world. The club is known for its nurturing environment with a relaxed approach toward aviation which makes it ideal for beginners and friendly aviators.

Staverton Flying School

With its own taxiway to the runway and excellent views of the entire airfield, Staverton Flying School is easily one of the best aeroclubs located inside Gloucestershire airport. You can expect a friendly environment, talented aviators, and veteran instructors at this aero club!


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.

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.

If you wish to begin your career in aviation with a PPL or CPL 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.

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.

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. 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.

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 Robert Bye on Unsplash 



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