Retractable Undercarriage Differences Training


Differences Training is a mandatory requirement before undertaking flight in aircraft that include any of the specified "Official Differences" categories. Training must be performed by an instructor who already has that "difference" signed off themselves. Differences Training is recorded in your log book, with an official CAA certificate (sticker) recording the completion of training, signed by the instructor.

As the saying goes there are only two types of pilots; "Those that have, and those that will.... land with the gear up".

In essence (if you learnt to fly with us in the first place), we would have instilled in that basic training all the procedures that will set you in good stead for when you eventually fly an aircraft with retractable undercarriage.

It might seem that this "difference" is fairly straight forwards, but you will also appreciate that aircraft that employ "wobbly wheels" tend to also have a greater performance than those you may be used to flying.

Importantly, we will teach you the techniques and "fail-safe" procedures that (hopefully) will never let you put yourself in the "have" camp!

Typically, the conversion lasts around 2 hours to ensure you have grasped the different procedures (and performance where necessary). Although there is no legal minimum training time before sign-off, we will only certify your difference training once we are satisfied of your competence. Some people take more time, and some people take less! It's down to the individual concerned.

See below for further information.


Training Syllabus

Our syllabus not only conforms to the officially required trianing, but we also show you some tips, tricks and best practices to ensure you get the very best out of your time spent with us.

  • Principles of Operation
  • Performance Variables
  • Centre of Gravity Calculations
  • Pre-flight Checks
  • In-flight Operational Procedures
    • Climbing
    • Approaches & Landings
    • Go-arounds
    • NEW Checks to include
  • Emergency Procedures
    • Failure modes and pilot actions
    • Glide Performance
    • Forced Landing Procedures


Remember that you are being instructed by an instructor with an enviable reputation for delivering results to you. Our personal objective is to make sure you land with a smile on your face. If you don’t – we haven’t done our job properly.

There are three options for our instructional charges; £50 per hour, £150 per half-day, or £250 per full day.

If you want us to come to you, just add our travelling and accommodation (at cost).

The aircraft costs are extra; you can use your own aircraft, hire from a training organisation local to you, or hire from a training organisation local to us.


Where can I do this course?

We are more than happy to come to you wherever you are! However, we normally operate in Essex, with relatively easy access to the airfields in the area. We teach (and examine) regularly (either as part of a club or freelance) at Earls Colne, Andrewsfield, North Weald, Duxford, Crowfield and Cambridge. There are numerous smaller airfields available such as Elmsett, Clacton, Rougham and Great Oakley within easy reach. Southend and Stapleford are also possible.


Which Aircraft can I use?

You can use your own or syndicate aircraft, which in some ways, is better since you'll become really familiar with it as part of the course!

If you belong to a flying club already, most organisations are happy for us to instruct in their aircraft if that's an option you'd like to pursue.

If you need to hire an aircraft locally to us, we have access to a variety of aircraft types and training organisations. Please feel free to contact us for more detailed information.