You will be learning to fly in order to achieve a EASA Private Pilots Licence with a single engine piston (SEP) class rating, which will enable you to fly aircraft in that class up to a maximum take-off weight of 5,700kg in any European country for private and recreational purposes only (i.e. not for any commercial gain).
You must be a minimum of 17 years old to obtain your licence although flight training can start at 12 years with hours logged from 14 years old. However, in order to fly solo the student must be at least 16 years of age and be the holder of a valid Class 2 Medical certificate issued by a CAA authorised Aero Medical Examiner (AME). It is strongly recommended that the student pilot obtains this medical certificate at the earliest opportunity. Details of where to obtain CAA medicals can be obtained on the CAA website or from us.
The CAA requires you to complete a minimum of 45 hours of flight instruction in an aeroplane. 25 hours of this must be dual flight instruction (with an instructor) and 10 hours solo as pilot-in-command of which 5 hours must be cross-country flights (flying away from your base training airfield).
The flying lessons consist of exercises taken from the syllabus that are designed to equip you with the knowledge for your first significant milestone, exercise 14, your First Solo* flight. Examples of these exercises are aircraft familiarisation, climbing and descending, turning, slow flights and circuits. After this you will move onto steep turns, emergency drills and instrument flying, which in turn leads on to dual and solo navigation tasks. Each lesson concludes with a clearly defined exercise planned for your next lesson. Initially, the duration of each flying lesson is about an hour in the air. However, as you progress through the syllabus you will require two to three hours actual flying time.
Most of your training is in preparation of your Qualifying Cross Country solo flight – a triangular route of no less than 150 nautical miles which includes a landing at two different airfields. After the Qualifying Cross Country, you will do some revision flying, a Mock Skills Test and finally the Skills Test – a practical flying test (approx. 2.5 hours) consisting of general handling of the aircraft and navigation.
Prior to your Skills Test you are required to take multiple choice on-line exams in 9 subjects which have to be sat at the school with an invigilator present.
Both Air Law and Operational Procedures must be passed before the first solo flight and the school encourages student Pilots to take and pass the remaining 7 prior to the Qualifying Cross Country.
- Air Law – To be passed before your first solo flight
- Operational Procedures – To be passed before your first solo flight
- Flight Performance and Planning
- Aircraft General Knowledge
- Principles of Flight
- Human Performance
The CAA allow a period of eighteen months for the exams to be completed which remain valid for a period of 24 months from the date of the last exam. It is, however, important to note that the exams must all be completed and valid for the Skills Test and licence application.
Our Flight Instructors and Ground Examiner are happy to devise and deliver appropriate topic based theory programmes to support our members either individually or in small groups.
If you have any further questions regarding the theory subjects or ground exams please contact Ops.
Flight Radio Telephony Operator Licence (FRTOL)
Although this is not a pre-requisite for LAPL/PPL licence application, you will require it before you can use the radio whilst exercising your PPL privileges. We can provide you with the required training and practical radio telephony (RT) test with our in-house RT Examiner. This is usually completed by our students during the end part of their training for the PPL, preferably prior to the Qualifying Cross Country. It is important to note that demonstrated language proficiency to at least a level 4 is required (the language proficiency assessment has, in a number of cases, to be conducted at a CAA approved language assessment centre).
Our most attractive option, for those wishing to fly on average once or twice a week, is the 45 hour BUILDER PLAN (qualifying terms apply) which requires a monthly subscription (10 month minimum) and offers 16% discount on the Dual Rate, free Blackbushe Landings (normally £16) and 50% discount on Annual Membership (normally £199) and each of the 9 Theory Exams (normally £45 each).
However, we offer other payment options starting with the Pay as You Fly which is based on our current published standard rates and also the discounted Top Up With Ten which is a 10 hour package and benefits from a 5% discount on flight and Blackbushe daytime landings (membership as per standard rates).
Wherever you decide to learn, there are a number of costs that you should explore further and budget for; Dual/Solo Flight time, School Membership, Landings/Touch-and-Goes, Ground School, Theory Exams, RT Practical Test, Skills Test, Medical and CAA Licence Issue costs.
With regards to the cost of your lessons, they are based on the flight time (actual time from when the brakes are released and you start moving off in the aircraft until the brakes are applied again at the end of your lesson). Your training will be significantly improved if you are able to have lessons with regular frequency and prepare for each one by completing any relevant homework such as reading and/or navigation preparation and also attend your lessons with the appropriate kit such as watch, chart, pens, headset, etc. Failure to do this impacts on the amount of training necessary to reach the level of competency required to pass the PPL Skills Test and can therefore significantly affect the overall cost of the course.
It is important to note that whilst 45 hours of flight training pre-Skills Test is the minimum number of hours required by the CAA, factors such as a student’s ability, aptitude and availability and also weather issues can have a very negative impact on the total cost of achieving a PPL.
*Before your first solo flight and in addition to having passed the Air Law ground exam, you will need to have a UK CAA Class 2 medical certificate. There are several Aero Medical Examiners (AMEs) in the area and we can provide contact details for these.