Prestwick Flying Club Guide to Flying.

Prestwick or Glasgow Prestwick International Airport to give it the full title is my local airport and another one which I have something of an affection for. My dad took me there in my youth to watch Concorde Pilots learning how to fly their new office. At that time it was possible to stand at the fence right at the side of the runway where, believe it or not, the road once crossed. The trainee pilots, all with many flying hours already behind them practiced taking off and landing, bumps and circuits, exploiting the long runway and unused airspace.

That vantage point was perfectly placed to watch the touchdown, close enough to smell the tyre smoke. That was quickly followed by four cones of blue flame from the afterburners, rippling with the shockwaves and the most incredible noise vibrating through your chest.

Although those days are long gone, as is the Royal Navy anti submarine helicopter squadron, Prestwick still plays host to many unusual civilian and military visitors transiting the Atlantic from Europe to the USA.

Prestwick Flying Club is one of two at the airport, Prestwick Flight Center being the other. I have visited both recently and have had a very warm and helpful reception at each one. Each has its own character and both are filled with fascinating people with incredible experience. There is however one major difference, Prestwick Flight Center is unashamedly a business, complete with professional licenced maintenance engineers. Prestwick Flying Club is a non profit organisation run by the members, for the members; The costs involved are therefore a bit lower.

Prestwick Flying Club is the only club I have personal experience of as a member other than the Scottish Gliding Union at Portmoak, which is my current club. I am not a member of either of the Prestwick clubs at the moment although that is about to change once I make some big decisions around which aircraft I buy.

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A Guest Article from Prestwick Pilot Sandy Cameron.

I met Sandy at the Baird of Bute Lecture earlier this month at Strathclyde University. He is such an enthusiastic advocate of flying for fun that he is willing to talk for hours and help in any way he can. He is part of the fabric of Prestwick Flying Club and willing mentor to new students and experienced aviators alike. Sandy originally wrote this article for the club website but was kind enough to allow me to use it as it explains what to expect when turning up for a flying lesson and provides a great guide in the likely event of becoming "hooked" on flying afterwards. He has a fair bit of experience himself including over 400 hours in his current Eurostar aircraft which he owns in syndicate with five other pilots.

I have reproduced his article below verbatim, only removing contact details and addresses as I do not have the permission of those mentioned to release them. You can make contact through the cub website which is linked in the article.

Thanks Sandy.

So You Want to Learn to Fly. by Sandy Cameron.

 So you are considering if you would like to learn to fly ??

 These notes will give you some information.


-          First you want to find out if you really want to progress to your Pilot's Licence.

You can do this by going for a 'Trial Flight'. Or an ‘Air Experience Flight’.

Most Flying Clubs run a scheme whereby you can go for a Trial Flight. This normally lasts about 1/2 hour. The Instructor will explain all the checks he is doing, prior to flying, and show you just how the aircraft flies. Then he will give you 'control' of the aircraft so that you can get the feel of what it is like to fly it. (The aircraft have dual controls)

First impression is that if you do something wrong, the plane will fall out of the sky - not true. Also some people think that if the engine stops, you again, will fall out of the sky - not true - a plane will glide - about a mile for every 1000 feet height. (less so, for a microlight). So no parachutes !!



So what happens if you find that after the Trial Flight , you are keen to learn to fly ??


First, you will need to join the Prestwick Flying Club.


Apply for Annual Subscription for year  Jan to Dec --- cost £165 as at 2016.

(Sept to Dec next year = £220)

You will be issued with a membership card and given a key for access to the Clubhouse.


PPL Training  [be guided by your Instructor – but this gives you some info].


1.      For an EASA Private Pilot’s License ,

2.      A National Private Pilot License [NPPL]

3.      A Light Aircraft Pilot’s Licence (LAPL)

4.      training on the Club’s DR400 Robin aircraft at £156 per ‘flying hour’

= [take off till land time + 5 minutes for taxiing]

Landing fees at Prestwick for the Clubs is £8.25

Instructor fees per hour are at £25 per hour.


The PFC have a web site - Full of Club information.

 The PFC remit is to provide flying at the cheapest non profit making cost -- to encourage recreational flying in the west of Scotland. We have a good Clubhouse, built by the members and for the members and although all the Club running is done voluntarily by the members we like to think that anyone joining us will enjoy the casual social structure and find us most welcoming. { You could even join as asocial Member for £25 /annum]

 Everything is worked on a part time basis, particularly since most members still have their jobs to fulfil.

A lot of the members are Air Traffic Controllers working at Atlantic House (SATC = Scottish Air Traffic Control). The bulk of the Instructors are experienced  Commercial Pilots who also love light aircraft flying and we have one gentleman who is a Civil Aviation Examiner and Commercial pilot and Examiner of Instructors.

The airport itself is relatively quiet, allowing ease of circuit training and uncontrolled airspace locally.

It boasts 2 No runways = 30 /12   10,000 feet long and 21/03 6000 feet long  // air traffic controlled with Fire Cover and full Terminal Facilities. (See the Glasgow Prestwick Airport web site)


Now lets look at what learning to fly, is all about. ----------


For a. - the  EASA ‘Class A’  Licence for Light Aircraft.


You need to undertake a minimum of 45 hours of flying training for the EASA License or a minimum of 32 hours for an NPPL (National Private Pilot’s Licence) or the new LAPL or Light Aircraft Pilots Licence.


 EASA  licence if you consider that you would take your flying onward to eg Commercial Flying eventually or

want to also be able to fly in poor weather and /or at night.


NPPL or LAPL if you want to go for purely Recreational flying only (flying under ‘Visual Flight Rules’ (VFR) during daylight hours only.

Whatever the required training hours, on average, most people will take slightly longer due to the vagaries of the British weather, Instructor & Aircraft availability often defeating consistent regular flying. (count on a year to

18 months, dependent on the time you can commit to it, and, of course the cost). Basically you would be spreading the cost over the time that it takes you to gain your PPL.


The Flight Training comprises of :-


1. Practical flying exercises.

2. Studies into the theoretical aspects of flying – as per ‘3’.

3. Studies into various other subjects such as weather ; navigation ; aircraft systems ; aviation law ; theory of instrument flying and human performance factors.

4. Undertaking  examinations on the theory side, (per ‘3’),  and flight tests.

5. Study for your 'Radio Telephony' Licence examinations to enable you to use radio communication when flying- ie the R/T Licence.

-- and undertake and uphold a medical certificate (the first aspect to look at, particularly if you want to go onward towards a Commercial licence eventually).

All the above may sound difficult, however, it is not as difficult as first perceived. The various examinations are not too difficult. Most entail answering a question where you are given three answers and have to pick the correct one. ie 'Multiple Choice' exams.


You will be given a list of the subjects you have to study, and do these in parallel with your actual flying training. Nowadays you can buy not only books on the various subjects (some available in the Clubhouse or local library) but also get audio and video tapes to help you along. You'll see them advertised in 'Pilot' magazine and 'Flyer' magazine and from various 'Aviation Shops' catalogues and there are many interesting sources on the Internet. There is also the local library.

If you can get on the Internet, have a look at the Transair catalogue or Flightstore a similar provider. Pick up a flying magazine and see the adverts.


Your Instructor will also tell you of other sources (eg students about to complete their course).and the Club may run evening classes.

It is not quite like being at School or College. Some and substance is that this time you are 'interested' - so you will take better note of what you learn, and, the more you know, the safer you will fly!


b. - the Medical –


1.      Either a Class 2 Medical for an EASA License

2.      or an LAPL Medical (using the Air Traffic Doctors at National Air Traffic Services NATS Atlantic House, Prestwick)

3.       A Medical Declaration  for an NPPL - obtained through your Doctor based on the medical records he holds about you.

4.      As of 25/8/2016 – now get a CAA Self Declaration

   (see )


For 1. All pilots must undergo a medical examination, undertaken by an authorised AME or Aviation Medical Examiner.


- Under the age of 40 years, this will last 5 years.

- Between 40 and 50 it lasts 2 years.

-          Over 50 it has to be done  annually - inclusive of an annual ECG test.


An initial medical involves a thorough examination including  urine check for blood sugar; blood pressure; eyesight; an ECG check and 'Peak Flow' test. (blow into tube to see what your lungs are like).


You will for this fee and hassle,  be given a Class 2 Medical certificate -- don't lose it, when you are about to learn to fly, this piece of paper is  your Student Pilots Licence.


For 2. An LAPL Medical  - undertaken by a Air Traffic Controller Doctor  at the NATS Centre in Prestwick or an Aero Medical Examiner (AME).


For 2.  An NPPL Medical Declaration, you arrange an appointment with your Doctor taking a Medical Declaration form with you. The aim is that you sign the form, declaring that you are fit to drive a DVLA Class 2 vehicle (lorry). If the Doctor agrees, based on your medical records, he will countersign the declaration, and put the Surgery’s stamp on the form. He may charge you, or not, a fee for same. He does not have to undertake any examination, as it is based on your medical records.

The detail and forms etc can be seen and printed off, on the NPPL website. =  

[though as of August 2016 a Medical Declaration to the CAA Online (see ‘srg1210) – but this is only for those who fly Light Aircraft Association (LAA) ‘Permit to Fly aircraft.]


3. Costs - in learning to fly - can I afford it ?

The above is a very pertinent question ?

It is the INITIAL COST of TRAINING and GAINING your Licence which is paramount.


£ .. £ .. £ … ????    

Everyone thinks that flying is a 'rich man's sport'. Not true, - but yes, the initial cost is high. However sustaining your Licence once gained, does not have to 'cost the earth'. Many other sport hobbies can be surprisingly high, even learning to drive through a driving school costs quite a bit.


So what is it going to cost ?


Flight Training costs can vary throughout the country. Most Training Entities naturally exist to make a profit. However, there are some Clubs /  'Groups' who train people 'to uphold' their Club member numbers and therefore seek only to generate monies to cover the cost of providing an aircraft duly maintained to the high standards required in aviation. Such is the Prestwick Flying Club.


Generally, however the most prevalent are Training Organisations.

Monthly magazines such as 'Pilot' or 'Flyer' , available in most decent 'magazine outlets' has lots of adverts for Flying Training organisations throughout Britain and 'Pilot'  also publishes on an annual basis, (usually March), a list of all the Flying Clubs in the UK with their costs and it is perfectly feasible to request the appropriate 'back number edition' of the Pilot Magazine.

However, to give you a ‘sample’ of Training Costs  ie the PFC.


n  Hourly rate £156   (‘flying rates here are based on the ‘time from takeoff till the time you land’ – this is rounded up to the nearest 5 minutes and 5 minutes added for ‘Taxiing time’ & there are ‘Landing Fees’

 eg - at Prestwick  of £8.25 / per landing.

n  Instructor Fees £25 / hr.

So an hour's flight with Instructor plus landing = £156 + £8.25 + £25 = £189.25.

You need a minimum

A.    45 hours training for an EASA Private Pilot's Licence,  So ultimately 45 * 189.25 = £8516.25

B.     OR 32 hours minimum for an NPPL = 189.25 x 32 = £6056. and similarly for a LAPL.


However, remember that this isn’t paid out in one go, but progressively over the period of learning to fly - which leans severely on primarily the weather -  a  minimum of  6 months through to 18 months.

{remember also that you may be able to get Sponsored from a gift foundation… you will see some adverts offering some monies from Sponsors. There is even a ‘Sponsors Year Book ‘ in the local Reference section of Libraries and other such books.  ‘Don’t ask – Don’t get’ !!

You could join the Air Cadets or if in a University, join the ‘University Air Squadron’ and get some training thru them. All depends on your age and your life’s plan.

There are some additional ‘one of costs’ :-

You will have to join the Flying Club and pay your Annual Subscription eg £165/annum. (2017).

Your Medical and ECG  for a Class 2 medical = approx £250 - £300  or likely £165 for an LAPL Medical or

 Nil or small for your NPPL Medical Declaration.(latter for Permit to Fly aircraft only.


-          You'll also need some 'Paperwork' :- (some available in the Clubhouse and see Transair Catalogue)


-          a 'Pilot's Log Book' - in which you will log each flight you do.


-          a 'Checklist' - so that you can do also the pre-flight checks . (you can get one at the Club, for free !).


-          An  'Aeronautical Map' of the area. - you must carry such a map every time you fly and  you'll need it later for doing 'Flight Planning' and Navigation = £15.99


-          Later you will also need a 'Scale Ruler' ; 'Protractor' and 'Navigation Computer'.

-          A set of PPL study books / tapes for studying such as Air Law ; Radio ; Navigation and Meteorology ; Aircraft Technical ; Human Performance. (Look for someone who has passed the PPL Course and may be able to give you or sell you them. )There are also a few books in the Clubhouse you can get a loan of.. or try the local library.

-          a 'Cheque Book' - bank current account - the best way to pay for your flights. (or these days by Bank Transfer)


Overall these initial costs amount to around £200 - £300.


Apart from that -- if it wasn't enough there are two other items -- Birthday or Christmas time would be handy !! --


a.      when you are flying, your hands sweat (stress !!??) - since you fly with the left hand, a 'Golf Glove' is a boon, not only that, when you put it on -- "you're going flying !!" -- psychologically !!

b.       an 'Airband Radio' is also a good idea. Later you will be studying for your Radio Telephony Licence so that you can use the radio in the aircraft. What are they saying !! The radio lets you listen in to what’s going on. Once you know the main things they are saying, you can listen in - and respond to yourself what you would have replied, while doing whatever else it is your are doing at the time !!  Thus you get 'sharp' before the event !! Examples of an RT script is available so you see the average terminology used when radioing.


Prestwick Frequencies are :-


Air Traffic Information Services (ATIS) = 121.125 -

--  (continuous broadcast of airport conditions updated every 30 mins)

Prestwick Tower = 118.15           Prestwick Approach = 129.45

Scottish Flight Information = 119.875         Glasgow Approach = 119.100


The 'National Private Pilot's Licence' - the 'Recreational Licence'.


The Flying Organisations in the UK have recognised that the introduction of the new JAR Regulations, (now EASA Regulations),  with their more ‘onerous’ training hours, can only be detrimental to the industry and certainly won’t attract lots of new prospective pilots.(unless they want to do purely Recreational Flying) Accordingly, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) came out with  a new 'Recreational Licence'.


- the 'National Private Pilots Licence'. – the ‘NPPL’.


It was been agreed that the 'NPPL' will require a minimum of 32 hours of flight training.  This will thus reduce the costs by over £2,000 – a substantial savings.


– Occasionally you will see ‘Bursary’ grants being advertised for Flying Training, and check the libraries for the ‘year Book of Bursaries and Grants’ and the many other similar books on this subject. Many organisations provide sponsoring for various training issues.

One example is the 'Air League Trust'.  This entity has competitions for prospective pilots and can provide 'Scholarships'. See their site on the Internet under or write to them at ' The Secretary, Air League Educational Trust, Broadway House, Tothill Street, London SW1H 9NS. Tel 020-7222-8463.

- if you don't ask, you don't get !! – trawl the net !


Sustaining your Licence and ‘Group’ Flying after you have gained it.


Preferably, to keep sharp, you want to fly at least once a month.


Thus the initial cost of 'Learning to Fly', as you see,  is quite high,

Once you have gained your Licence, your costs will fall as you won't be flying all these initial flying hours and you no longer have 'Instructor costs' (apart from some possible 'checkouts' or other chosen training such as the Instrument Meteorological Conditions or IMC rating to allow you limited flying in bad weather, and the Night Rating .  [Latter not allowed under an NPPL].Those really keen and meaning to do a lot of flying eg abroad, will ultimately go for the IR or Instrument Rating allowing flight in bad weather and to fly along the Airways with the 'big boys' !! [ again, - not allowed under an NPPL].


It is also likely that if you are going flying, you may visit another airfield, along with a ‘fellow pilot friend’. Thus, you fly one ‘leg’ and the other guy flies the other. This gives you the opportunity of visiting places without the cost of flying both ways. This is a common exercise to keep costs lower than otherwise. Remember, once you have your Licence - an hour's flying eg out of Prestwick Airport, gets you to Oban; Perth; Isle of Man; Carlisle  ; 35 mins to Islay or Cumbernauld.





Group Flying.

Quite a few Flying Clubs incorporate  'Flying Groups' where perhaps from 6 up to 30 people have purchased and run one or even two aircraft. (Such is the case at the PFC).

 Purchase of a  'Share' in such a Group will allow you to fly the aircraft at lower costs since the overall operating costs are shared by all the members of the Group. See the SAF Group (Scottish Airways Flyers Group below, at PFC.

Effectively, you are buying a ‘share’ of the aircraft, relative to its overall cost. The latter can be sold to someone else at a later date, if you so choose. The initial ‘share’ lump sum cost will depend on the value of the aircraft operated by the Group and the number of people in it

Apart from the initial ‘share’ cost, it is likely that each member of the Group will contribute to the annual ‘Fixed Costs’. An aircraft needs to be officially maintained and must naturally be insured. Thus, regardless of the number of  hours flown by the Group members in a year, these necessary ‘annual costs’ have to be paid for in the form of ‘fixed’costs.

The latter are made up primarily of such things as maintenance costs and insurance. – typically totalling £6000 to £10,000 per Class A Light Aircraft per annum and perhaps a small amount towards a ‘contingency fund’. Each member thus pays either an annual lump sum, (eg £480) but proportionate to the number of group members, or by a monthly ‘Standing Order’.

Thereafter, you fly the aircraft at an hourly flying rate which will cover the cost of fuel ; engine oil usage and a contribution towards ultimate replacement or major overhaul work for the engine. The SAF Group at PFC --

Shares values can vary and are currently around £1000 - £1500. Each member also has a responsibility to pay an annual sum towards 'Fixed Costs' regardless as to the amount of flying undertaken. The latter is presently set at £480. Should a 'Share' change hands, it is incumbent on the seller to ensure that any  outstanding 'Fixed Costs' dues are paid to the Group. 

  A Look at What is Involved in Flying.


-          At the PFC there are 'Aircraft Booking ' diaries - you agree with your Instructor when you will both be available and enter a 'Booking' in the computer diary eg Sat 10 till 12. or use online booking system.

-          Each aircraft has a 'Call Sign' eg  G-BAJZ = Golf Bravo Alpha Juliet Zulu  - you'll be learning the 'Phonetic Alphabet' in your training !! - you can practice on car registrations !! So you book eg G-BAJZ

-          Always, in agreement with your Instructor, turn up about 1/2 hour early - he will want to brief you on just what you will be doing in the flight before you go.

-          You are as well to be aware now, that you are unlikely to get flying every time you book a lesson.

In order to fly, you must have :-

- decent weather // an aircraft available // the Instructor available.


WEATHER : - Since you will be flying 'Visual Flight Rules' (VFR) –

 you need good weather, -- which is not always the case !! Keep tabs on weather forecasts and keep in contact with your Instructor before the lesson - does he consider its 'on' or 'not today - thank you'.

You want decent VISIBILITY - not less than 10 Kilometres (6 miles) also the cloud base at usually not lower than 1500 feet and-

-          wind direction and velocity - not across the runway at 18 knots - too great a crosswind !!


Get used to watching weather forecasts - does it look like it will be 'crap' on Sat - or beautiful with a nice 'High Pressure area' landing around the airfield on the due day !!

Also, using your Airband radio, you can tune into Prestwick’s ATIS (Air Traffic Information Service) 121.125

Remember you'll  be studying weather for the exams as well !!


AIRCRAFT AVAILABILITY : Legal requirements mean that the aircraft has to go for mandatory maintenance after every 50 hours of flying and, once a year it goes for a major 'Annual Maintenance'. It may mean that on the day of your lesson the aircraft is away for a '50 hour check' and not be available.

There is an 'Operations’ sheet in which all flights are recorded towards determining when 'checks' are due. Watch how the hours are building on the aircraft relative to your booking. It may be the case that your booked A/C eg G-BAJZ is coming up for a check  and won’t be available on the day of your booking !.

Should it not turn out to be a nice day, in the early days of your training, it could still  be worth going to the Club. You could sit in the aircraft and go through the 'Check Lists' to better familiarise yourself with the aircraft. You could use the time for study or visit the Clubhouse for a cuppa and a chat - often, you are not the only one to turn up. You can learn a lot just talking to other pilots or students. Then again, you could do a bit of tidying up in the Clubhouse !! Even though you can't fly, the 'big planes ' will be flying  and listen to them on the Airband Radio in the Clubhouse.

If nothing else, always have in your mind, an alternative,-  as to what you are going to do with yourself, in case you don't get flying that day - otherwise you'll just wander about like a 'lost soul.'


Hopefully though- its a lovely day !! - perfect for flying !!                                                           


Better get down to the Clubhouse 'sharp' - see the A/C is available and in good order - no faults logged which would 'ground it' and defeat the game. You may already have been warned by your Instructor, just what flying exercise you will be doing that day and have read up about it - you'll be too busy when you are flying it !!

After your ‘Flight Briefing’ by the Instructor, watch as he / she checks the 'Operations Sheet' for the aircraft. He will fill in the sheet for the forthcoming flight entering aircraft / pilot & student names / where you're going / how long, and check for sufficient fuel for the flight.


Then he will 'book out' the aircraft by telephoning the 'Control Tower', telling them the aircraft call sign ; type ; where he's going ; when ;  for how long (lapse time)- (ETE = ‘estimated time onroute’; number of persons on board (POB) ; fuel endurance.(in hours), and estimated time of departure (ETD).


Next its a case of going out to the aircraft to check it out, externally first,  - using your 'Checklist'.

It may also need refuelled - although the 'Ops Sheet' should show when it was fuelled and give the approx status - to be visually checked at the aircraft !!  Later, once you've done a few flights, the Instructor will probably get you to go out and do all the external checks yourself. Thus he can confidently climb aboard when he comes out - trusting that you have checked that all is well !!


Now aboard, doors secure and safety belt on (‘Hatch & Harness’),  you go through your 'pre-start check list' then 'start checks' -Once ready to move off,  call the 'Tower' for 'Taxi Clearance' and move off, down to the 'Holding Point' near the runway. There, you do your 'Power & other checks' – and now ready, you call -'ready for departure' and take off once cleared by the Tower.


The Student (or Pilot) sits in the left seat - Instructor in the right seat. When taxiing you guide the plane with your feet – (using either differential brakes on the main wheels - like a bulldozer or a ‘steerable nose wheel).

The main controls are for 'flying' .You will learn to fly level, then how to climb and descend, then turns.   All this is to get you ready eventually, as your training progresses, to going ‘on the circuit' around the runway, towards Takeoff and Landing practice.

You will also do steep turns ; Stalling etc. Eventually when the Instructor thinks you are competent you will then do your 'first solo circuit'.

Thereafter, consolidate your circuit work and landings. By the way, another expense is that you pay for each landing @ £8.25 per landing.


Then it's onto cross country work and navigation by ‘dual flight with the Instructor’ / the solo nav flights, until finally you sit your ‘Navigation Flight Test’ and 'GFT' or  General Flying Test with the ‘Examiner’, towards finally gaining your PPL or Private Pilot's Licence .


You will also have to get an 'RT Licence' or 'Radio Telephony Licence' - so that you can use the radio. You sit a written and practical exam on this and will do so before you are allowed to go solo.

On this basis, it is a good idea to buy yourself an 'Airband Radio'. That way, you can listen in and get used to the terminology of radio work when flying. You can also buy audio tapes to teach you this and get practice.


At first you'll be wondering why you ever took up this 'flying' - how will you ever get through it all. Remember, we all had to go through this. Just persevere - you'll get there eventually - and what an achievement !!

“One step at a time, and plan the next. “


Wait till you can take your friends up for a flight ! Isle of Man is only 1 1/4 hours flying away / Islay 35 mins / Dundee an hour / Oban 1 hour or thereabouts. - or even go for a local flight - a nice day - beautiful views - while all the other mortals are stuck down on the ground , including the traffic in a queue !!



There is a list of other pilots and students flying the Robin. Once you have your Licence, you could buddy up with another pilot an each fly a leg.


As a Student Pilot initially and later as a Qualified Pilot, - remember the aim is :-


-          Establish and maintain a high standard of Airmanship inclusive of all safety aspects.

-          That’s what your Instructor will instil in you.


-          Fly with courtesy; professionalism and special attention to safety and the comfort of others and




In doing so - FLY SAFE - FLY HAPPY - never overstretching yourself or chancing your arm in marginal weather.


Remember, at Prestwick, you're flying out of an International Airport !!


Good Luck with your flying - should you decide to choose this 'adventure' !!


Other Information.


Weather -- there are many sources these days :-


a.       – watch the Weather' on BBC 1 (BBC Scotland) AT 6.55 PM each night for a forecast.

b.      -- weather info - by one of the Club members getting it off the internet on the club computer

c.       -- the now many sources on the Internet --

1.  -- you will have to register - for free - choosing a 'User name' and a password for when you log on.


2. It should be noted that the weather is produced in METARS and TAFS.

METARS -- gives a coding system  which indicates the actual weather at the given airfield at a given time and usually repeated every 30 mins.

TAF's -- are Terminal Airport Forecasts -- and again in a coding system indicate the forecast 9 hours and 18 hours ahead of time.

You can print off the coding explanation to be able to understand what is being given.

            3 . then there is


The PFC have a computer, internet ready to access such info in the Clubhouse for your use.

      Nowadays  a lot of the airfields have web cams where you can also see what it is actually like at an airfield let alone the weather there.