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 3 Best PPL(A) Starter Packs
AFE and Pooley’s currently produce the 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.
There’s also our very own FlyGA PPL(A) Starter Pack, which bundles several core Navigational tools into one set. Customers benefit from free delivery and an unbeatable price.
Let’s take a look at all three PPL(A) packs one by one…
1. 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
2. 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
3. FlyGA PPL(A) Starter Kit For Flight Navigation — £29.97 (+ FREE Delivery)
What’s Included in the FlyGA PPL Starter Pack?
- Flight Diversion Ruler. Measures 40 nautical miles (NM) scaled at 1:500,000 (planes) and 1:250,000 (helicopters). [£14.99 RRP]
- Square Protractor. 128mm transparent design, with 0-360 scale on the outside edge. Reciprocal headings indicated inset. [£7.97 RRP]
- Nautical Mile Ruler. Convenient length (255mm x 38mm) for cockpit use on topographical maps. [£7.97 RRP]
- A5 VFR Plog. Sufficient for use in the the Planning & Navigation legs of the EASA Private Pilot Licence (PPL) skills test. [£3.32 RRP]
- 16x Compass Rose Map Stickers. Clear, transparent, VFR aids for cockpit use. [£4.97 RRP]
TYPICAL RRP = ~£40.00 + Delivery
OUR PRICE = £29.97 + FREE Delivery
5 Reasons to Buy The FlyGA PPL Starter Set
- Value for Money: it’s approximately 25% better value than if you purchased equivalent items from leading flight stores.
- Delivery: free delivery is included in the price. Amazon Prime members benefit from next day delivery.
- Convenience: all key items in the Navigation Pack are required by student pilots and used throughout the PPL training course. It’s easier to buy them all at once.
- Future Proof: the Kit is immune to changes in the PPL and LAPL syllabus. You won’t waste your money by investing in aviation equipment (e.g. books) that might go out of date in the future.
- Quality of Product: rest assured that buying through Amazon ensures you’ll receive an excellent set that adheres to strict quality checks.
So Which PPL(A) Starter Pack Should You Buy?
Who Offers More? AFE or Pooleys, or FlyGA?
If you’re looking for a complete PPL Starter Kit, then consider one of the sets from AFE and Pooleys. For basic, essential equipment — and unrivalled value for money — choose FlyGA.
However, I should point out that the only significant difference between the 2 complete PPL(A) Starter Packs is that AFE includes the AVP-1 VFR Plotter. This on it’s own would set you back £8.99 (plus delivery) 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 + delivery). 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 reasons we designed 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
With the innovative MR-1 Plotter included in the set, the FlyGA PPL Pack is better suited to those looking for great value Navigational tools — rather than study materials (which we don’t provide).
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 these two sets in this department, either. 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 from AFE and Pooley’s…
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.
Be sure to take a look at the FlyGA Set before you make a decision — it might save you some money.