Learning to fly can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life, and there may be many reasons for wanting to gain a pilots licence. Whether you’re looking to take on a new hobby, or you’re looking at a career in aviation, here at Seawing Flying Club there’s no better place to learn. Our experienced and friendly flight instructors have logged thousands of flight hours between them, and will help you gain your license in no time at all.
As a complete beginner there are two main licences available to the new pilot:
- The Private Pilots Licence (PPL) or The Light Aircraft Pilots Licence (LAPL)
- Once you attain your license, you can then add additional ratings like night flying or instrument rating.
The Private Pilots Licence
The PPL Licence is recognised across the world, and gives you the freedom to pilot an aircraft within your qualified category not just within the UK but worldwide. This licence The privileges of this licence allow you to fly privately (not for remuneration or for any commercial operation). To receive instructional flying you must be at least 14 years of age.
To fly solo you must be 16 and 17 to gain your licence. There is no upper age limit.
- 45 hours flight training which includes the following:
- 25 hours dual flight instruction.
- 10 hours supervised solo flight time.
- A solo cross-country flight of at least 150 nautical miles landing at 2 airfields along the route and then returning to the airfield of departure.
In addition to the flight time there are nine ground exams which you will need to pass.
9 Ground Exams:
- Air Law
- Aeroplane General
- Principles of Flight
- Flight Performance and Planning
- Human Performance and Limitations
- Operational Procedures
On completion of your flight training you will have a Skills Test with a CAA Authorised Examiner to demonstrate the skills learnt.
Once you have passed, your new licence will allow you to fly single engine piston aircraft in daylight hours under VFR (Visual Flight Rules).
During your course and before your first solo flight you will be required to undertake a medical examination and to be issued with a Pilot Medical Certificate. For the PPL, this is known as a ‘Class 2’ Pilot Medical.. These are issued by Aviation Medical Examiners (AMEs), Doctors who are authorised by the CAA to carry out Pilot Medicals and issue the appropriate certificates. We can advise you on where to find an AME.
When you gain your private pilots license, you can then move onto additional ratings to add to your license. These allow you to build on your skills as a pilot, giving you permission to flying in more challenging conditions such as in cloud, and at night.
Introduction. The experience of flying at night is truly unique and should be tried by all pilots at least once. The Night Qualification allows the holder to act as pilot in command of an aircraft at night and provides an additional margin of safety as evening approaches at the end of a days flying.
Flight Training Requirements:
Candidates complete a minimum of 5 hours of flight training at night. An instrument flying refresher training flight during daylight hours is often found to be helpful prior to commencing the night training. It is worth keeping in mind that many candidates complete a greater number of flight training hours. Training for the Night Qualification may be completed during training for the EASA PPL.
The flight training must include the following:
- 3 hours dual training including 1 hour of navigation.
- 5 take off and full stop landings at night as pilot in command.
- Theoretical Knowledge Subjects. There are no theoretical exams required; however a suitable level of background study and briefing with your instructor will ensure that the considerations of night flying are fully understood.
Training Credits. Credits towards the flight training are available. These are dependent upon previous training and experience.
Skills Test. There is no flight skills test, simply an application to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to have the qualification added on your licence.
Currency. To carry passengers the pilot in command must have completed at least 3 take offs and 3 landings during the previous 90 days. If the pilot in command does not have a current Instrument Rating (IR) then 1 take off and 1 landing must have been completed at night. As with all safety related matters, a greater level of currency is always advisable.
Instrument Rating Restricted (IR R)
The IR(R) rating previously known as IMC (Instrument Meteorological Conditions) allows the holder to fly within more limiting weather and can potentially provide an additional margin of safety should conditions deteriorate during a flight. The IMC rating provides a time and cost effective alternative to the full Instrument Rating (IR). The IMC is a UK only rating and can be endorsed on a UK or UK issued EASA Part-FCL and used within UK airspace.
Flight Training Requirements. Candidates must complete a minimum of 25 hours of flying following PPL issue before applying for the IMC rating. It is worth keeping in mind that many candidates complete a greater number of flight training hours. The flying hours must include the following:
- 10 hours as Pilot in Command.
- 5 hours as Pilot in Command on cross country flights.
- 15 hours as Pilot under Training in instrument flying during the IMC course.
- 5 hours of training may be conducted in a Flight Simulator or Flight and Navigational Procedures Trainer (FNPT)
However most candidates complete all the required flight training hours within the aircraft.
10 hours total flight time by sole reference to instruments during IMC course.