Irv Lee (Irvin Lee) Mentoring the UK Private Pilot and South African PPL

Irv Lee - Higherplane Aviation Training ltd

Mentoring the Private Pilot flying in the UK, licence and radio Testing, Renewals & Validations, PPL Masterclasses, Radio Training & Testing, South African Vacation & Licensing advice, Consultancy and much more besides . . . . .

Last Update of this page: December 2020 but subpages will be updated more than this one!
NEW: Radio Training Available ONLINE - see tag on left.

Welcome to Irv Lee's PPL Masterclasses

Unsolicited Comments from Attendees:

Excellent value financially and invaluable from a knowledge point of view”
You identified with uncanny accuracy many areas that either I did not know about or had hazy knowledge that was incorrect!” really was a great day” say how much we enjoyed (and how much we got from) yesterday”
FANTASTIC value for money if you compare it to others”
Enjoyed the day and found it highly thought provoking”
Highly Informative and enjoyable”

General: (If you know all about them and simply want to book a place, page down to the bottom).
Now sponsored by Pooleys Flight Equipment ltd, these enjoyable, informative, day-long seminars have over ten years of proven pedigree for helping the private pilot in the UK enjoy flying safely, by knowledge and skill improvement. The day includes many tips and techniques which are real 'value-adds' complementing the basics learned during the PPL. They say a PPL is a licence to learn, well you can shortcut some of that extra post PPL learning in just a day.

The Masterclasses contributed to a national AOPA award for aviation safety for the presenter. Attendance at Masterclasses remains a contributing event for both LAA and AOPA pilot improvement ("Wings") schemes. With moves forward in technology since 2012 (the 'tablet' becoming ubiquitous in cockpits), combined with observed confusion in the hobby pilot population due to over-regulation and seemingly never ending (and accelerating) changes, and an apparent reduction in personal flying hours due to costs, the Masterclasses are revised and restarting, nationwide, by request. If you know all about them, the latest confirmed dates are here, but more info on each including price is at the bottom of the page. Each attendee receives a Pooley's goody-bag and there is a lucky draw on the day for something more substantial from the Pooley's range.
Schedule (other locations can be arranged following demand):

  • YOUR area of the country - Many Masterclasses start by pilot demand - once 5 or 6 register interest (independently or in groups) for a given area of the country, a hosting location is identified, and these interested pilots are polled for dates. Register now via the email address below to help have on scheduled in your area without commitment to attend.
  • Sherburn March 2020 Completed
  • Compton Abbas January 2020 - Two (NOW COMPLETED)
  • A27 S.E. Hants Dec 2019 - (NOW COMPLETED)
  • Hampshire near Winchester -NOW COMPLETED
  • Hampshire. Repeat of above for "wait list -NOW COMPLETED
  • South Midlands near M5/M42. (Now Completed)
  • Compton Abbas -NOW COMPLETED
  • Compton Abbas. Repeat of above for "wait list -NOW COMPLETED
  • Near Redhill (M25/M23). (Now Completed)
  • Hampshire/Surrey Border (M3 Jn 5)- (Now Completed)
  • Sherburn, Yorkshire -(Two separate offerings, both completed)

Overview: The Masterclasses are held around the country, often in a seminar room in a hotel or pub, typically 09:15 for coffee/tea and start soon after, finishing between 16:45 - 17:00, on a single day, (workday or weekend day chosen by attendees) with refreshments and lunch provided, located for easy access near population centres rather than at remote airfields. They can also be held at airfields by request of the clubs and schools, indeed, club CFIs in the past have reported increased rentals by attendees, as qualified pilots found 'flying partners' to share costs and thereby extend destination horizons (and experiences). As pilots of a certain safety mindset and attitude tend to sign up for the Masterclass, it is not surprising that one or two arrangements develop during the day for future flying.

Pilots often arrive thinking that as licence holders, they really should already know a lot more than they do and hope that no-one discovers the truth!, and then, by first coffee break, they realise everyone is in the same... boat(???). The presenter certainly wondered if he had somehow fooled the system when he first gained a PPL, hence the Masterclasses, which cover much of what the PPL course misses, and many of the things you need to know to stay safe and enjoy hobby flying, all adding a modern layer on top of the physical aircraft handling and 50 year old navigation techniques that you were taught.

Attendees bring nothing except their enthusiasm to know more about staying safe and keeping legal (and sometimes their own questions or problems) whilst flying for fun in the UK. There are no embarrassing questions to answer. Handouts are written to be used as aide-memoires, leaving the attendee free to keep the head up taking everything in, rather than head down taking notes. No atttendee is asked anything except perhaps the type of flying they prefer, ambitions, and their general flying patterns – for example, yours may be slow historic aircraft, standard rental aircraft, aeros, farm strips, syndicates, tailwheel - even non-pilot partners have attended to know more as the spare brain and extra pair of eyes/hands in the passenger seat. The enthusiasm by an attendee for one area of flying may be a factor in introducing another attendee to it during seminar breaks. Clubs have reported that students attending are often motivated to increase lesson frequency to qualify quicker than they had previously planned. Each module during the day is designed not only to deconfuse known confusions, but to bring pilots up to speed on 'what catches others out' and what to do about it. Typical content:

  • A brief look at untangling the current incredibly confusing air law and often illogical licensing situation, future changes known about, and how to make it easier to understand, or even, work around legally if necessary. (Note, the topic is not laboured, as it is rather 'dry' and the day is meant to be informative, safety based, and enjoyable. Any individual problems with licensing are dealt with during the day during breaks, or followed up if not solved immediately.) The presenter is constantly dealing successfully with individual problem licensing issues every week.
  • A brief deconfusing look at rules such as VFR, using easy-to-remember 'triggers' to recall values. When rules like VFR become easier to understand, pilots often realise that some regulatory minimum limits may be set far too low for their own personal safety – just because something is legal, it definitely does not mean it is safe. Pilots need no longer get into trouble via common misunderstandings, for example, what is Special VFR really, and why (and why wouldn't) you want it? (This will be even more important if the UK exemption on cloud separation during VFR transits in Class D disappears possibly in 2020.) – as previous attendees know, there are simple ways to explain concepts that few seem to understand.
  • Preflight Planning – how to do it efficiently and better, and what misconceptions some pilots have that could leave them exposed.
  • Avoiding en-route problems, including, but not limited to, infringement avoidance, how to understand UK weather better, how to stop it catching you out focussed on making you a much safer pilot – and become a better navigator, with tips they do not normally include in PPL courses. Navigation is also a lot easier when you realise there are ways to predict wind directions better than students have been taught for decades (and still are!). The presenter has lectured on Pilot Meteorology to first and second degree courses at a major UK University for almost ten years, and looked after the anti-infringement site FlyOnTrack for a similar time. The authorities are getting very concerned about infringments, so protect yourself from licence suspension or the expensive post-infringement classes by learning about common causes, self-protection measures, etc.
  • Landing Tips – do you realise how many incidents are minor accidents during landing? Probably not, as the authorities now do not publish public monthly summaries. A large percentage are landing accidents, once infringement incidents are filtered out. You know that at least one landing per flight is compulsory, yet so many pilots don't realise how to make them easier and safer than maybe they have been taught in the past. Give your future insurance premiums a break, not your undercarriage.
  • Modern Navigation – how to safely combine traditional VFR navigation with GPS, whether this is 'built-in panel GPS' (20+ years old now), or 'tablet GPS' (not yet 10 years old now). This includes safety tips whatever the brand, how to avoid elephant traps, and how to safely integrate GPS with VFR navigation whilst improving spatial awareness. The latest on traffic detection and future weather data for tablets is also covered.

Current Offerings and how to book

All Seminars: Clearly the PPL Masterclasses cannot be held during the Covid19 lockdowns, but by registering interest now (without commitment) you will help to bring one to your area soon after life returns to something more normal. The day includes coffee/tea refreshments through the day and a lunchtime hot meal or a buffet depending on location. Prices compare very well with the single hour for a 'SEP biennial training hour', (or the CAA's new Post Infringement Course for infringers) both of which often costs around 50% more. Bookings will open when the date is announced, the date is set by a poll amongst pre-registered members, to register, see email address below.
Any club/school wishing to host a Masterclass for members please use the contact the hotmail email address below. If you do not have the facilities on site for a whole day seminar with catering, I will locate one nearby.)
If you wish to find out more, book a place, or register 'demand' for a Masterclass elsewhere, please either email the Higherplane Aviation Training registration address which is:
or see the business card below.

Advert: NPPL or PPL, the pre flying tips are the same, and lots of confusions are sorted out with a Pre Preflight Checklist, the ideal safety addition to your flight bag. It also solves a big problem for friends/relatives who never know what to get you as a present. Get them to click on the link or the tag on the left for details and purchase. Orders usually delivered in under 2 working days, often next day if timings work out.

Discount code for Pooleys Online
Use "irvlee" in the "promotional code" discount field during checkout for prices to be recalculated downwards. For items over £100, contact me to see if extra discount available.

Higherplane Aviation Training Limited
Registered Engand & Wales Company No. 04339387