New flying school for South Wales

G-BSSBHorizon Flight Training has just been given approval from the CAA to conduct training here at MoD St Athan. The new flying school is located within the Horizon Aircraft Services Ltd. hangar, which is located on the South side of the airfield, next to the Regional Rehabilitation Unit.

Anyone who has ever visited Horizon will already know what a unique and exciting engineering environment they operate in. So you will find that the training aircraft will be nestled between a Hawker Hunter, Jet Provost, L29 and L39 aircraft as well as many other interesting and unusual aircraft.

This new Flying School aims to provide the highest quality training which will be given by experienced and professional flight instructors, which is essential for anyone wishing to maximise their potential as a future pilot, whether it is for recreational flying or to compete for a job in the professional marketplace; from flight instructor to airline pilot. There is never a compromise with the training standards so students can enjoy their aviation tuition in a safe but fun environment.

The Accountable Manager, John Sparks, is also the owner and Chief Engineer of Horizon Aircraft Services Ltd. As an individual he brings a wealth of experience in all aspects of aviation, spanning almost 40 years. His Team are all ex-military, consisting of both Royal Air Force and Royal Navy pilots and engineers, who are dedicated to providing a unique professional environment for flying training. These lessons are tailored to the individual whatever their entry level, from complete beginner to students who have flown a little in the past.

The aircraft that the students will currently learn to fly is the Cessna 150. Horizon operates two of these aircraft which are ideal to introduce new students to the fundamental aspects of flying.

The Flying School has initially been approved to teach:
• EASA PPL – Private Pilot Licence – 45 hours minimum course
• EASA LAPL – Light Aircraft Pilot Licence – 30 hours minimum course
• The EASA LAPL is a more restricted licence designed for people who want to fly for more recreational purposes.

In addition the instructors are also approved for Night Ratings, an essential add-on to your licence just in case you find yourself in the air as the sun sets.

They also have approval for Aerobatics and also Tail-Wheel conversion for those more experienced and adventurous pilots.

The training areas that they fly are from St Athan to the west over in the Porthcawl area and from St Athan to the east towards Newport. However, once students have completed their circuit training they are able to fly to a variety of locations during the navigation stage, putting the theory and practice they have learnt to the test.

The Horizon shared crew room will allow students to talk to many different pilots and engineers that use the hangar to carry out their summer flying display circuit and engineering test flight work so there is a  wealth of experience to draw on.

John Sparks said; “Our core business is training students to pass their Skills Test and obtain their pilot licence which will allow them to hire aircraft in the future so they can fully embrace the freedom of flying. But we can also offer Trial Flight Experiences; this can either be a 30, 45 or 60 minute flight and is classed as Exercise 3 of the LAPL or PPL syllabus which counts towards your licence. This flight is designed to ensure future students are making the right choice for them before continuing with their training. The favourite flight is the route flown at 2,000 feet over the city of Cardiff returning along the coast via Penarth and Lavernock Point.

“Our cost is comparable with other South Wales schools but we are unique in providing a 5% discount for all MoD staff. There are also plans to become an ELCAS provider, so please keep an eye on our website for updates.”

John concluded; “We are a hub of diverse aviation activity here at St Athan with a warm welcome. So come and join us and be part of something extraordinary.”

If you are interested in learning to fly you can contact Horizon Flight on Tel: 01446 750284 or visit their website:


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