Pilot Training - learning to fly

Private Pilot License (PPL)

The Place to start

If you’re serious about learning to fly then this is the place to start. Gaining your PPL means that you’ll be able to fly a light aircraft unaccompanied (or with family & friends), which is an exhilarating experience. Once you decide to embark upon your PPL qualification then we will assign you to an instructor to ensure a consistency of learning. There will of course be times that lessons will be undertaken by an alternative instructor, especially when it comes to the testing stage, but your assigned instructor will be your main source of support during your training.

The following information explains more about what’s involved with gaining the qualification.

Flight Training

A minimum of 45 hours flying experience is required, of which at least 10 hours need be solo flying. All these hours will be flown under the direction of a qualified flying instructor and in accordance with the Civil Aviation Authority JAR-FCL approved syllabus.

You’ll be flying in Cessna 152 and 172 aircrafts which are ideal aircraft to learn solid basic skills which will serve you well whatever type of aircraft you fly in the future. Each lesson comprises of a pre-flight briefing with your instructor and are typically followed by up to an hour of flying, although flight times will vary and longer flights are introduced during the navigation training stage.

Whilst it is possible to gain your licence over a shorter period, we find that most students will take from 9 months to a year to complete their PPL with little difference to their existing routine. We do recommend that you commit to flying at least once a fortnight, and ideally once a week.

Ground Examinations

These consist of nine written papers, covering the subjects of Air Law, Operational Procedures, Human Performance, Communications, Meteorology, Navigation, Principles of Flight, Aircraft General and Flight Performance & Planning. Each paper is made up of comparatively simple multi-choice questions. In addition there is an oral test on the aircraft you used for training and a Radio Telephony practical exam.

You can study for these exams at home using course books available from our pilot shop. Additional support is also offered one-to-one with an instructor. Radio Telephony training is undertaken on an individual basis. The exams are taken at specific points during your flight training and are assessed by our CAA authorised in-house examiners, which means no waiting for results.

Flight Tests

The final part of earning the licence is a skills test of around 2 hours flight time which tests your ability in both navigation and general aircraft handling.

Other Requirements

You must be at least 14 years of age for flying experience to count towards a licence, and at least 16 years of age before you will be allowed to go solo. There is no maximum age.

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