Pilots who joined from Italy in August-September 2008
"We have written a large review of our hour building at NCB-AVIATION, because we think that more people will join this beautiful airport by knowing more about the hour building programs….we hope that you will like our report!
We were looking for somewhere to build 100 hours of flight time in order to be able to start our modular CPL training in Italy.
We were already in contact with a flight school in Texas, a cheap and good one, but we have continued to search through the internet until we found NCB-AVIATION.
This new hour building provider has the lowest hourly price we have ever seen for an All-In program, that includes the accommodation and the transportation service, very useful because in Ohio the distances are very big! (Of course, also the Euro, stronger than Dollar, helped us a bit…).
So the good things were the price and the climate (Texas is much hotter than Ohio), but we didn’t know anything else about the school, because only few people joined it, and only one left a review. So we have started out by sending an e-mail to the staff and Vittorio, the manager, very kindly answered at all our questions.
In the end, we have decided to leave for this “Adventure”.
When we arrived on the 18th of August, the weather was not good, and during the first 2 days it wasn’t easy to adapt to the new environment, but once we started flying, everything went better!
After the English interview for license conversion (very easy!) and a few hours with an instructor, we were allowed to go solo.
We have done the first flights together in order to become familiar with the area, and we have immediately noticed the difference with Italy: in the U.S. you can fly for miles and miles without contacting any ATC, with the maximum freedom, and you can land at almost any airport without paying landing fees….and if you want to land or do some touch & goes in a big airport, just call the controller and ask! They are very nice, they help you and speak slower if you don’t understand, you are given the same level of priority as an airliner ….not the usual discrimination that we see in most places in Europe….this is flying!
The airport is nice, but has a very tiny runway; during the first flights, it’s a bit scary (we have both learned to fly in Italy on a runway of 2500x45 meters…), but it’s very good for practising and we both acquired precision landing techniques (at the end of our hour building, we were able to land and stop in less than 200 meters with obstacle….Cessna's are capable of doing incredible things!).
The planes, as you can see from the pictures, aren’t new (the N46603, my favourite one, was made n 1968), but they fly well. The only thing you have to check very carefully before each flight, is the engine oil, because often after the plane lands, no one from the maintenance would go to the plane to add some oil, so you may have to do it by yourself.
Furthermore, they are sometimes tricky to start-up, but it's often only if someone else used the plane before me…
Weather conditions were variable during our stay, some days with beautiful sky conditions and unlimited visibility, and other days with fog, rain and thunderstorms, but even during the bad days, we had alot of fun: we were able to visit the national museum of the USAF in Dayton (it’s huge, wonderful, and FREE!!) and the Cleveland Airshow (a show you have to see….here you can really touch the planes and also sit in the cockpit…), while other days we went to Cleveland for shopping.
We suggest you to remain for not less than 35 days for the 100 hour block, in order to be able to finish all the hours also as a contingency just in case that the weather is worse than usual, as it happened to us: we have finished all the hours just on the last day!
The accommodation is a good hotel, quiet despite the vicinity of the highway and with very comfortable rooms, all amenities like TV, microwave oven, refrigerator, personal bathroom, wireless internet (here wireless internet is everywhere, also inside the supermarket! It’s very easy to remain in contact with parents and friends for free, you just need a PC with wireless connection) and a King Size bed.
The only thing that was hard for us to accustom to, was the food, because there is a huge difference between American fast foods, microwave foods and our traditional Italian food…
In the end we can say that everyone should try this experience, because you will see new beautiful places, improve your English, meet a lot of nice people and also save alot of money. You will like Ohio!