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The route to a Private Pilot's Licence

14 February 2022

The route to a Private Pilot's Licence

For many a flying experience is the chance to take the controls of a plane and tick off an item on a bucket list. For others however, it is the first taste of light aircraft flying before deciding to train for their Private Pilot's Licence (PPL). If you sit in the latter category the following is a snapshot of your route to achieving your dream – just get used to acronyms!

A PPL for aeroplanes will allow you to act as pilot in command (PIC) in non-commercial aeroplanes or touring motor gliders (TMGs) and the minimum age to get your PPL is 17. A medical, by an Aeromedical Examiner (AME), is a prerequisite and a Part MED Class 2 Medical Certificate will be issued if you're deemed sufficiently healthy.

At this point you are starting your journey proper with enrolment on a training course at an approved training organisation (ATO) or a declared training organisation (DTO) where you will receive tuition and crediting.

Here you will learn, and be tested on, what are termed Common Subjects covering air law, human performance, meteorology, communications and navigation, plus exams specific to the aircraft category. These latter exams cover principles of flight, operational procedures, flight performance and planning together with aircraft general knowledge.

Flight instruction will then begin. You will need to complete the required 45 hours of flight instruction on aeroplanes, five hours of which may have been completed in an approved flight simulator, otherwise known as a FSTD (flight simulation training device).

This training will need to include at least 25 hours of dual flight instruction, together with 10 hours of supervised solo flight time. The latter will include at least five hours of solo cross-country flight time with at least one cross-country flight of at least 270 km (150 NM – nautical miles) that includes full stop landings at two aerodromes different from the departure aerodrome.

At the end of your training, you will need to take a skill test with an examiner in the relevant aircraft type to demonstrate that you can competently carry out the procedures and manoeuvres that you have been taught, while acting as pilot in command (PIC).

You must have had some flight instruction on the same aircraft type, or class, that you will be taking your skill test in - generally, you will take the test in the same aircraft in which you have been trained. Your flying school will make any bookings for your skill test when they feel you are ready, together with ensuring that the examiner meets the requirements for test notification and designation as set out by the CAA.

Once successful, holding a Private Pilot's Licence can be the launchpad for a career in aviation or, if this isn't your aim, a PPL instead allows you to travel in style - you can pilot a private aircraft and take friends and family on trips without payment. Either way the sky's the limit.

We hope you enjoyed this training overview however for more detail on gaining a Private Pilot's Licence please consult the official CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) website. In the meantime, if you're looking to book a taster flight experience. visit our Flying Lessons experiences page on the FlyDays website today to view our complete range of lessons we have available to book.

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