Flight Training – PPL

Private Pilots Licence (PPL)

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Private Pilot Licence (PPL), entitles the holder to fly EASA registered aeroplanes registered in the EU and non-EASA registered aircraft in the UK providing the holder has the correct ratings. However, as suggested in the title of the licence, it is a ‘Private’ licence and is purely for private flying only, not for commercial operations that lead to remuneration.

TRAINING

The training requirements are a minimum of 45 hours of which 10 are solo. Please note these are MINIMUM requirements and if doing training part-time or your training is affected by the weather it can take a lot longer.
During training, a solo qualifying cross-country is flown. This consists of landing at two separate airfields and counts towards the 10 solo hours.
Minimum of 25 hours of dual instruction
Minimum of 10 hours (supervised) solo, including:
Minimum of 5 hours solo navigation including a solo qualifying cross-country flight, landing at two different airfields en-route.

A Class 2 Medical is required before flying solo which can be obtained from a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) authorised aero-medical examiner. Most medicals are straightforward and anyone of average health should pass the medical without any difficulties.

There are 9 written examinations to complete which are all multiple choice and require a 75% pass mark.

  • Air Law
  • Human Performance
  • Meteorology
  • Communications
  • Operational Procedures
  • Principles of Flight
  • Flight Performance and Planning
  • Aircraft General Knowledge
  • Navigation

There will be a maximum of 6 sittings available in order to complete all the required theoretical examinations.

A sitting is defined as a maximum period of 10 consecutive days within which one or more exams can be taken.

In addition to these requirements, all the theoretical exams must be completed within an 18-month period (counted from the end of the calendar month when the applicant first attempted an examination). Once they have been completed within this period, the passes will be valid for 24 months for the purpose of license issue.

Applicants shall only take the examination when recommended by the ATO responsible for their training, once they have completed the appropriate elements of the training course of theoretical knowledge instruction to a satisfactory standard.

The recommendation by an ATO shall be valid for 12 months. If the applicant has failed to attempt at least one theoretical knowledge examination paper within this period of validity, the need for further training shall be determined by the ATO, based on the needs of the applicant.

If an applicant has failed to pass one of the examination papers within 4 attempts or has failed to pass all papers within either 6 sittings or 18 months counted from the end of the calendar month when the applicant first attempted an examination, he/she shall re-take the complete set of examination papers.
Before re-taking the examinations, the applicant shall undertake further training at an ATO. The extent and scope of the training needed shall be determined by the training organisation, based on the needs of the applicant.

EQUIPMENT NEEDED FOR A PPL

  • Current 1:500,000 chart
  • (relevant) aircraft checklist
  • Kneeboard (consult your instructor on the type)
  • Timepiece – Preferably with countdown function (either a watch or a stopwatch)
  • Plotter and ruler
  • Diversion plotter (CRP-1)
  • PPL theory books (Trevor Thom manuals 1-7 are recommended)
  • Chinograph pencils

 

RADIO TELEPHONY PRACTICAL EXAM

The student will be required to plan a navigation flight which is then ‘flown’ in the classroom, simulating the radio calls that would be required in real-time. Under these simulated conditions, the student will encounter and be expected to deal with scenarios such as the transition of controlled airspace, and the relay of a Mayday call.

STAYING CURRENT

Your EASA PPL(A) is a lifetime licence which means it doesn’t need any administrative action to keep it. It is only valid with an unexpired EASA or JAA class one or two medical certificate. You cannot use a LAPL medical certificate or an NPPL medical declaration with this licence.

Ratings within your licence may need revalidating or renewing in order to keep them valid. For example, your PPL(A) may include a SEP (land) rating that allows you to fly a non-complex aeroplane defined in the Single Engine Piston (land) category class. This privilege initially lasts for two years from the date of passing the skills test.

You can fly more complex aircraft within the class if you have ‘differences training’ signed off in your log book by a suitable instructor.
The UK has also made EASA licences valid on UK registered non-EASA aircraft.

In this example, to make sure that a SEP (land) rating does not expire and continues for another 2-year period, it can be revalidated by:

completing 12 hours of flight time in SEP (land) aircraft including 6 hours as pilot in command, 12 take-off and 12 landings and up to three training flights totalling of at least 1 hour with a flight instructor or class rating instructor (or passed a class or type rating proficiency check or skills test in any other class or type of aeroplane) in the 12 months before the rating expires. If the pilot also has a valid TMG (touring motor glider) rating, hours can count from TMG flights towards the 12 hours required for SEP (land) revalidation.

or

passing a proficiency check with an examiner up to three months before the rating expires.

If the rating has expired you cannot fly as a pilot in command until it has been renewed. To renew your SEP (land) rating you need to pass a proficiency check with an examiner who will require a ‘ready for test’ certificate signed by a Registered Training Facility (until 8 April 2015) or Approved Training Organisation, which may mean having to complete refresher training with them first.

An EASA PPL cannot contain national ratings such as SLMG, SSEA, Microlight class ratings, Microlight (Assistant) Flying Instructor ratings or IMC ratings. In order to have national ratings, the pilot must also have either a full national UK PPL or an NPPL, as appropriate for the rating desired. However, the UK Air Navigation Order allows microlights to be flown by EASA PPL or LAPL holders with a valid SEP (land) rating providing that suitable differences training is signed in the holder’s log book by a suitable instructor.

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