Don’t pay for flight training upfront

Coming into land

Cabair collage of air training is one of the reason you don’t pay for flight training upfront. It was a big renowned flight training school based at Cranfield airport.
Cabair liked to take payment upfront for their zero to ATPL courses which a the time of their administration was £60,000-£70,000.
Unfortunately for the students of Cabair when the company went into administration with their money, they became an unsecured creditor. To make things worse, as a student you are normally after people like the government and suppliers who are all trying to recover their cash.
Cabair was in trouble well before they finally closed for good. They even managed to talk students into paying more money to finish up their training, so some of these poor students were hit twice.
A google search about the school would have shown up their difficulties which were well known in the aviation community. It would seem that some students were not doing their research. This is why you cannot believe what the schools tell you (or any business for that matter) and must do your own search.
Can you imagine being a student and losing tens of thousands of pounds? A lot of this money would have been borrowed or loaned which makes it even worse. I can’t help but feel bad for these people. Remember that any money that was borrowed would still need to be repaid.
Nobody is training pilots out of the kindness of their heart. They are a business to make money and it makes sense for them to tell you things like there is a pilot shortage (I have a post on why there is no pilot shortage).
Instructors are there to build hours or earn a living / some extra money. Some love to teach, of course they do, but would they do it for free? Would anyone work for free? Would you?
No students = No money, remember that.
Other things schools like to say are all their students go on to fly for airlines. There some caveats like they have waited years, or found the jobs on their own, or only done part of their training with that school. These are the things they don’t mention for obvious reason but by doing some research on the internet you can find these things out.

Essential rules when paying for flight training

  1. Do not ever pay for training up front – I mean EVER. If someone wants you to pay up front rather than in installments say no. Why should you pay for training that isn’t going to be delivered for up to 18 months? You should either pay as you go or split the payment over the course.
  2. Pay as you fly – If you are doing a PPL or some other part of training then you should be able to pay as you fly. At my current school I fly then I pay. This is the best way to do it as I have had the service then I pay for it.
  3. If you do pay for part up front, use a credit card – Credit cards protect you for all purchases over £100. For instance if ground school costs £2000, put it all on a credit card.
    Credit Card -> Debit Card -> Cash. The credit card is defiantly king however. If you pay cash you will just be another unsecured creditor with no other way to get it back. With the debit card you have some hope and with the credit card you have legal protection.
    That way if the school goes bust you can go to your credit card company and should be able to get it back.

So just to say it one last time, don’t pay for flight training upfront!

Thinking of training via the modular route? Or started and still have questions? Then read The Essential Modular Flight Training Guide.

The essential flight training guide

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