AOPA UK

Become a Mentee

Mentor Locations

There are now Mentors covering a good part of the UK Mainland, with greatest coverage in the areas of the most intense aviation activity and most restrictive airspace. This image is representative of the current position, to see the latest position view the Mentor Location Map.

We have recently received a growing number of Mentee Applications and interest from more experienced pilots to become Mentors. We really need to get the scheme off the ground, literally, to test all the procedures before we put in the effort to induct more Mentors.

 

What does it take to be registered as a Mentee?

Well it is simple :-

  • You need to be a current AOPA UK Member
  • You need to have a valid Pilot Licence (including NPPL)
  • You need to have a valid aircraft rating and be current
  • You need to have a valid medical certificate (or self certificate for NPPL)
  • You need to have a Bronze Wings Award (free to all Pilots Licence holders) or higher
  • You want to keep flying, improve your skills and expand your aviation horizons

Registering as a Mentee will give you access to the network of AOPA UK Members who are registered as AOPA VFR Mentors. Every Mentor meets standards set and reviewed by AOPA UK.

Each Mentor is there to help you enjoy the privileges of your Pilot Licence in a non-instructional environment, helping you hone your flying skills and extend your flying experience.

You should be able to match your needs to a Mentor, either at your own Airfield or within travelling distance.

Who would benefit from being a Mentee?

Typically a Mentee will be a low hours pilot who has had all the training but, for whatever reason, has seen the shine go out of their flying and finds that they aren't getting the enjoyment they expected from all the hard work put in to getting a Pilot Licence. Perhaps :-

  • You have had a near miss with controlled airspace and/or lack confidence to ask for a clearance
  • You feel that your R/T skills are lacking and you have lost confidence in talking to ATC
  • You rarely stray beyond your local area because of lack of confidence
  • You would like to travel abroad, but feel it is all too difficult to plan and complete the paperwork
  • You aren't confident using the kit on board your aircraft
  • etc.

Equally, you might be a more experienced pilot who has recently completed differences training, or obtained a new rating, and would benefit from flying the first few hours with a more experienced pilot who is practiced in the skills you have just learned.

Whatever your needs, so long as they are NOT instructional, then the AOPA VFR Mentoring Scheme is there for you.

Why all this formality, when I can just fly in the right hand seat as a friend who happens to be a pilot?

From the outset, AOPA UK wanted to establish a minimum standard for Mentors, attracting experienced pilots with real life flying experience  with the motivation and ability to pass this on. This required standards to be set and maintained and a formal structure to the scheme. This would make the scheme stand apart from friend/buddy flying or an "on-line dating" type approach.

In constructing the scheme, there were many doubters who foresaw that there was no way a formal Mentoring scheme could operate in the increasingly litigious and regulated aviation environment in the UK. So we took professional legal and insurance advice on this.

The advice given was that there was a risk of litigation against the more experienced flyer, even if just a friend in the right hand seat but who happens to be pilot, in the event of a accident resulting in serious injury or death. Also, it was vital that the PIC was established at the outset and maintained throughout a flight.

To minimise the risk of litigation against a Mentor, or AOPA UK, the professional advice given had three main elements :-

1) That the scheme was fully documented - thus the Guidelines.

2) That there was a clear agreement between the Mentor and Mentee - thus the formal Mentor/Mentee Agreement

3) That a degree of insurance cover could be provided through the Aircraft Insurance - as in the Guidelines

So yes, there is some formality, but it has been kept as simple as possible and provides a degree of protection not afforded to an informal buddy/friend flying relationship.

Ready to Register as a Mentee?

Apply to be registered as a Mentee here Mentee Application
Not a Member? Buy your membership online through our webshop here Join AOPA Now!
Apply for your free Bronze Wings Award using the Form here  Wings Award Application

 

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