WARNING: DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU ARE IN DANGER OF GETTING HOOKED ON HELICOPTER FLYING.
Phoenix Helicopter Academy have opened a branch in Spain, half an hour's drive from Valencia airport, which is a two hour £60 return easyJet flight from Gatwick. A motorway leads directly from the airport to the airfield and then 10 minutes further west, to the local town of Requena, so access couldn't be easier.
Phoenix provide first class instruction from charming experienced UK instructors who take turns to do a short spell in Spain. So you can do a combined course at a Phoenix base in the UK (Goodwood or Blackbushe) and in Spain with the same instructors.
The scenery is fabulous.
The airfield is quiet and efficient.
To maximise your flying time and resources there is a hostel on the airfield, shared with a UK microlight school. The accommodation is clean and fun and costs only €25 per night. Another €25 per day will buy you three excellent cooked meals with unlimited drinks at the airfield provided by incredibly friendly willing staff.
My husband and I, both PPL(H) holders, have just returned from a two day trip. We each had over four hours of tuition honing our (in my case rather rusty) flying skills including manoeuvring around a deserted airstrip high in the mountains, an amazing experience.
We stayed in the hostel but if you have transport (our hire car cost €40 per day) there are hotels in Requena, 10 minutes away.
In the evenings we visited Requena where there is a lively Irish pub and various eating places including an incredible tapas bar, reached via narrow medieval streets in the old part of the town. Sadly we didn't have time to explore more or visit the sixteenth century church whose magnificent entrance we tantalisingly glimpsed.
The flying is the main expense and you may even be able to get this partly or totally sponsored in the near future as Phoenix are hoping to link with a University to make training as a commercial helicopter pilot a degree course. If you are still not sure why not give it a try over a weekend? You are guaranteed to have an amazing time and, as I say, the chances are that you will become irrecoverably hooked.
PS Microlight flying, walking, mountain biking and motor bike scrambling are all on offer from the same site.
For more information or a quote, contact Phoenix Helicopters email@example.com or visit our website: www.phoenixhelicopters.es