Frequently Asked Questions. Got something on your mind?


‘What are typical start and finish times’?

Typical start and finish times are 9am to 5.30pm with a morning, lunch and afternoon break. Finish times can vary though due to individual or class progression.

'What's happened to the old paper based PPL Exams'?

These were replaced with PPL e-Exams in October 2020. See our full information guide on PPL e-Exams.

‘Do most people come to complete all 9 subjects in 5 days’?

YES! The vast majority of people take all 9 courses over 5 days and pass them first time. Remember though, these are bespoke courses designed to work for you and the subjects can be taken individually. Most people come to see us because they are either short of time, can't absorb the material by reading a book, or just fed up of juggling working life, family and learning to fly. We also offer a 1 to 1 ground school course over as many days as you like, typically 4. So, you choose how many subjects you want to study, and we'll do the rest!

‘I left school years ago and without many qualifications, will I find it difficult’?

This is a question asked by many people prior to starting our Ground School. The answer is an emphatic 'no' you will not. Our courses are taught by qualified teachers and flying instructors who have a wealth of experience working with people across the age and ability range. Patience, dedication and enthusiasm are hall marks of our success to date.

‘What will I get out of it’?

Obviously, all of the examinations which is necessary for the award of the Private Pilots Licence (PPL) as well as a great deal of satisfaction and a detailed understanding of the key elements of PPL Aviation Theory. This knowledge can be further applied to the natural sciences and would serve you well should you decide to embark upon such courses with colleges or universities in the future, or indeed a Commercial Pilots Licence course.

‘How big are your classes’?

A maximum of 4 students with 2 instructors. Teaching very small groups ensures that you dictate the pace and get the most out of your time with us. We also provide bespoke one to one courses; but experience has shown us that you will get the most out of working alongside someone else. They may even be someone to socialise with during your ground school holiday! We will spend additional one to one time with any student that requires it in order to ensure you take your exam with confidence.

‘How will the course be delivered’?

We pride ourselves on delivering a first class training program. To achieve this we use qualified professionals and state of the art ICT. The lecture format is via high quality, industry leading presentations. You will be provided with lecture notes which are duplicates of the presentation itself. This method of delivery is highly desirable as it eliminates the need to take notes, thereby enabling you to focus fully on the lecture. There are also times when we defer to good old fashioned ‘chalk and talk’, where it is preferable and indeed necessary.

‘What are your pass rates’?

We have worked incredibly hard over the last 18 years and we can boast that 98% of our clients pass their exams on their first attempt, and just 2% need to re-sit. We have never had anyone take a third exam.

‘What if I fail an exam’?

In the highly unlikely event that you do, you will be invited on to the next available course and given free tuition and a free examination. We’re very fair at The Great Circle, and your success is our success!

‘Where is your training venue’?

We run courses each month in the the historic town of Halifax, West Yorkshire. Our venue is only half a mile from the town centre. There are good rail and motorway links and the closest airports are Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle respectively.

'What is you training venue like'?

It's a large beautiful victorian property with 5 floors. Each of our 4 specialist training rooms have been tastefully designed to subtly promote aviation, whilst simultaneously accelerating your learning in a peaceful, relaxed and stylish environment.

Our training venue is truly  a universe apart from noisy airports, the continuous smell of fuel, run down damp portacabins that you normally find on airfields, or a competitors kitchen or office! You'll be with us for 5 days, you need to be happy, and, above all, comfortable and relaxed. Your training environment improves your confidence and naturally contributes to your overall success in the exams.

‘Is there anything to do on an evening’?

You will be spoilt for choice with bars, restaurants and shops in Halifax. It is an historic town often used for filming hit TV shows such as Gentleman Jack, Happy Valley and Ackley Bridge. The lovely areas of Hebden Bridge and Haworth are also very close by should you fancy a change of scenery one evening.

'I've seen someone who's just a bit cheaper, why shouldn't I go to them'?

Our pricing structures are extremely competitive and it is unlikely we will be beaten on price for the services we offer, but you already know that! With our competitors courses, you are usually required to buy and read their material before attending, essentially teaching yourself, and their courses simply fill in the gaps, so they’re not teaching you much. OR, they do all the teaching online with large groups! Many of our competitors end up being much more expensive in the long run as they simply don't provide the quality of courses that we do, resulting in you having to invest more money and time both on the ground and in the air. We employ the very best staff and provide facilities, training resources and after sales support, that is unrivalled. Take a look at our article 'why Choose Us'.

‘Is there accommodation nearby’?

There are a myriad of hotels and local b&b’s within minutes of our training facility. Accommodation can be sought from as little as £25 per night. See our where to stay and eat

‘Is there parking available’?

Yes, both private and on-street.

‘How far in advance do I have to book’?

The sooner the better. Due to flight training and scheduling, we only release Ground School course dates two months in advance. For this reason, courses tend to fill up quickly. Please do not book your hotel and arrange time off from work without booking with us first and receiving your course confirmation email.

‘I have a disability, what provisions are made’?

We make every effort to accommodate students with disabilities but it is imperative you contact us in advance to advise us. All entrances, elevators (where applicable), work areas, refreshment areas and conveniences are designed for wheelchair access. If you have any special requirements, please just contact us well in advance so that we can try to accommodate your requirements.

'What are you doing regrading COVID-19'?

The Great Circle takes every reasonable precaution to help keep both you and its staff safe. Social distancing measures in class and during breaks are encouraged where possible. Regular washing and sanitizing of hands is also encouraged. You will be working on your own desk at all times and will not be required to share equipment with other students. You may wear a face mask at your discretion, although this is not a requirment for our courses.