Learning to fly is expensive. Take a look at our post on the cost of becoming a pilot for evidence of that. One tip we have for keeping your costs down is to invest in one of the top PPL Starter Packs. Flight training study kits bundle together important equipment, which works out much cheaper than buying the contents individually.
PPL Starter Packs are definitely worth the investment — but which one is the best?
► The 2 Best PPL(A) Starter Packs
AFE and Pooley’s currently produce the best, most comprehensive PPL Flight Training Study Kits i’ve seen. Differentiating them is tough, because both packs contain very similar products. They’re similarly priced, too.
Let’s take a look at both PPL(A) packs one by one…
AFE Full PPL(A) Study Pack — £229.95 (+£5.99 delivery)
► What’s Included in the AFE PPL Starter Pack?
- PPL1 Flying Training
- PPL2 Air Law, Operational Procedures & Communications
- PPL3 Navigation & Meteorology
- PPL4 Principles of Flight, Aircraft General Knowledge, Flight Performance Planning
- PPL5 Human Factors & Flight Safety
- EASA LAPL (A) Syllabus & Course Guide
- UK VFR Flight Guide
- AS-5 16” navigation ruler
- AP-1 5” navigation protractor
- AVP-1 VFR plotter
- ARC-1 flight computer
- AFE VB-1s folding kneeboard
- A5 VFR navigation log pad
- AFE Pilot’s Logbook
- 4-colour chart-marking pen set
- CAA 1:500 000 aeronautical chart
Pooley’s Full PPL(A) Study Pack — £239.99 (Vat exempt)
► What’s Included in the Pooley’s PPL Starter Pack?
- APM Volume 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 & 7
- Spiral United Kingdom Flight Guide (latest edition)
- NM-2 Scale Ruler
- PP-1 Protractor
- CRP-1 Computer
- CB-3 Kneeboard & VFR Log Pad
- PPL Log Book
- Set of permanent Lumocolour Markers
- CAA 1:500,000 chart of your local area (please specify area required)
- FC-8 Case
So which PPL(A) Starter Pack Should You Buy?
► Who Offers More? AFE or Pooleys?
The only significant difference between the 2 PPL(A) Starter Packs is that AFE includes the AVP-1 VFR Plotter. This on it’s own would set you back £8.99 from the AFE online store. Therefore the AFE pack has the (slight) edge.
Note: Pooley's produce their own version of the AVP-1 VFR Plotter, called the RNP-1 (also priced at £8.99). It's near enough the exact same product.
How important is the AVP-1 Plotter anyway?
The design is of the AVP/RNP is very confusing. At my flight school it was well-known for being a headache to use. It wasn’t just the students that thought this — the instructors did too!
In fact, the AVP/RNP’s poor design was one of the inspirations for the Fly GA MR-1 Diversion Plotter. Take a look — it’ll make a great addition to your flight bag. To learn how it works, check out our tutorial: How To Use The Fly GA Diversion Ruler/Plotter
► How about the Flight Guides included in the PPL(A) Starter Packs?
AFE and Pooley’s both produce excellent flight guides with up-to-date information. Both cover a comparable numbers of airfields — 960 and 942 respectively. Pooley’s have however added 120 airfields since 2014 and redrawn 100 airfield plates.
But there’s not much to separate our two sets in this department. Hence the similar individual price tags for the flight guides. Pooleys’ spiral-bound version is £26.99, whilst AFE’s is £26.95*.
*Prices quoted as of 07/03/2017.
► Another minor difference between the two PPL(A) Starter Packs…
Pooley’s offers a free iPLATES app in their ‘loose-leaf’ version. Simply download the app from the Apple iTunes store, register an account, and then you’re able to view the same pages on your iPad. All of which are geo-referenced.
Whilst the iPLATES app may not be enough to sway you towards the Pooley’s PPL Flight Study Kit, it’s still a nice touch. Personally i’d save myself some money by opting for the AFE version, and reinvesting some of the savings on the specially designed MR-1 Diversion Ruler.
Fly GA PPL(A) Starter Kit?
We’re currently in the process of developing our own PPL(A) Starter Kit. Our bundle will include the following items:
- 4-Colour Chart-Marking Pen Set
- Nautical Mile Scale Ruler (60nm Distance Map Tool)
- A5 VFR Pilot Log Pad (Flight Plog)
- Map Navigation Protractor (Square)
- Flight Diversion Ruler (Plotter)
- Compass Rose Flight Map Stickers (12 Pack)
- Fly GA Flight Computer (in production)
We guarantee to keep costs low. Additionally, we’ll be offering free delivery via Amazon on all PPL(A) Starter Kit purchases.
Watch this space!