Pre CPL and IR Hour Building

Adrian Willis
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Getting your hour building strategy right is a perfect way of to give yourself a fantastic foundation on which to build your entire flying career. If done optimally, it is a great way to  improve your flying skills ready for CPL and IR training.

Avoid just hiring the cheapest plane and flying around until you have accumulated the desired number of hours as while this approach builds flying experience, it doesn’t improve your flying skills. If you prepare properly you will cruise through CPL and IR training and learn and gain much more than the students that are clinging on with their finger nails trying to keep up.


Commercial Pilot’s Licence (CPL)
There is a big step up from private flying to commercial flying. When doing your PPL, the emphasis is on being safe. Safety is still a key factor during your CPL however there is an emphasis on being commercially expeditious. Your flying has to be much more precise with the examiners testing to much smaller flying tolerances and being less lenient, proper RT is a must! Navigation is harder because destinations are much smaller and harder to spot. You are unlikely to find the destination unless you are using the correct navigation technique. While the techniques are the same as what you should have been taught during your PPL course, many people have flaws in their training and navigation technique which is often not picked up until CPL training.

Instrument Rating (IR)

Instrument flying takes practice and becomes instinctive after time. When you first start learning, it can be overwhelming and seem like an uphill struggle. When first learning, it is easy to lose situation awareness, miss-read or miss-interpret an approach plate and to get over loaded. Good instruction helps but it also takes time to master. There is a huge amount to learn and even after successfully passing your instrument rating test, there will be gaps in your knowledge. If you start your instrument rating with a good number of IFR hours under your belt, the IR course will be easier,  much more enjoyable and you will learn much more.

While commercial training is difficult, the biggest challenge is securing a flying job  The current job market is such that many of those that complete commercial training will never get a job in the airlines or in corporate aviation. There is a pilot shortage, for experienced pilots, but not pilots straight out of flying training. Airlines realise that the first type rating course is very challenging and mitigate their risk as much as possible by being selective.  The junior pilot that finishes training with 50 hours IFR time will be a much higher training risk than someone with 100 hours. Costs are high and people can’t afford to  get 50 hours IFR time on completion of their training. They can however afford it and make their life much easier if they incorporate it into their hour building strategy!


Hour building at the British Aerobatic Academy
Typically hour builders require between 100-150 hours and by doing them at the British Aerobatic Academy, we can give you a broad range of flying experience that will be cost effective, fun, differentiate you from the masses, and can include:

  • Tail Wheel Conversion
  • Night Rating
  • Instrument Flying
  • Navigation Practise
  • Aerobatics
  • Upset Recovery training (UPRT)


Our prices start from £130 an hour. For more information, call Adrian on 07712864413 or email Adrian.Willis@BritishAerobaticAcademy.com.

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