Who Can Apply

If you are a veteran of the UK Armed Forces and have been medically discharged from the Armed Services due to injury or illness then you are eligible to apply by emailing a personal statement to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Please include information about your life before the military as well as your career in HM Forces. We'll also need to know about how you were injured/became ill, what your physical/psychological symptoms are (if any) and why you want to become a pilot.

We consider each application on a case-by-case basis. However, naturally, some injuries will be more restrictive than others.

Please do speak to us to find out, however, as you may be surprised.

Desirable characteristics:

  • Personal responsibility
  • Motivation and commitment
  • Logical reasoning and ability to function under pressure
  • Communication skills


Where does the training take place?

Currently, beneficiaries are able to complete their Private Pilot’s Licenses at their local flight school before attending Skyborne Academy, Gloucester commercial training phase.

How long does it take?

Typically students can expect to be training for between 12-18 months, some of which will be completed at your local flying school. Total time will depend on your individual aptitude, commitment and the weather.

When can I go home?

Although we are not able to fly every day (due to weather etc) we expect students to be in the classroom for theory training/self-study Monday-Friday 0900 - 1700 with weekends off. Additionally, we grant a minimum of 3 weeks leave per year with full consideration given to all requests made via our formal process.

What is the theory training like?

You will sit 9 theory exams during phase 1 (Private Pilot's License), following by an additional 14 exams during phase 2 (ATPL theory).

Classroom sessions are instructor-led initially and progressive in intensity, working over time towards becoming student-led with instructor/specialist support provided when required.

Theory exam topics include:

  • Human Performance and Limitations
  • Radio Navigation
  • General Navigation
  • Aircraft General Knowledge - Airframes and Systems
  • Aircraft General Knowledge - Instrumentation
  • VFR Communications
  • IFR Communications
  • Meteorology
  • Air Law
  • Flight planning
  • Principles of flight
  • Operational Procedures
  • Mass and Balance
  • Performance

How much flying will I do?

WFW student pilots can expect to fly between 185 - 200 hours during their training with us. We facilitate a modular training process, which means the syllabus is split into the following stages:

  1. The Private Pilot's License, consisting of:
    • A minimum of 45 hours flight training of which,
    • 25 hours must be dual instruction
    • 10 hours must be solo
    • Student must complete solo cross-country flight of at least 100nm, stopping at two aerodromes en-route.
    • Practical skills test.
  2. Hour building, consisting of:
    • Maximum of 110 hours flown as pilot in command building experience. During this phase students are encourage to fly their friends and family and challenge their newly developed skills in new airspace. Some of this time will be flown with instructors, however, in order to keep skills honed.
  3. Commercial Pilot's Course, consisting of:
    • Minimum 30 hours instruction
    • 10 hours night flying.
    • Commercial skills test

Do people fail?

This is not an easy course and some people do not pass. That said, if you’re prepared to work hard and commit 100% then we will do the same for you.

Will I get a job?

Although the charity does network on behalf of new graduates, finding that first job can be tricky. We can provide you with the skills and training, however, for many new pilots this is only the beginning. Be prepared to travel, work hard and start at the bottom and you'll be on the right track.

We'll make you into the best pilot we can, but the rest is down to you!

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Supported By:

Veterans Foundation
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