Private Pilot Licence

Initial Private Pilot Licence (PPL)


Do you want to fly a plane for private use, or is this the first step in your goal of achieving your Commercial Licence?

The EASA Private Pilot Licence (EASA PPL) allows you to fly throughout Europe. This is the most preferred choice for prospective Commercial Pilots.


4-6 weeks full-time, and dependent on weather.

What is included:

  • Ground school, 9 multiple-choice examinations
  • R/T Practical Exam
  • Total flying: 45 hours
  • Dual flying: 25-35 hours
  • Solo flying: 10 hours
  • Fuel
  • Vat


  • EASA class 2 medical certificate, must be in possession before first solo flight.
  • Minimum age: 16

Night Rating


This rating will allow you to fly at night. It is also a pre-requisite before starting your CPL course.


3 Days, weather dependent

What is included:

  • Required Ground school
  • Total Flying: 5 hours
  • To include: 1 hour of dual navigation
  • 1 hour solo: 5 take off and landings to a full stop


EASA PPL or this can be completed during your PPL course, provided you meet the experience requirements for the PPL, 25 hours of dual flight training and 10 hours of solo.

IR(R) Rating




The Instrument Rating (Restricted) is a natural step forward for those who have qualified for their Private Pilot’s Licence, and can only be used in the UK Airspace. It permits pilots to fly safely in poor weather conditions, although the real purpose is to ensure that a flight may safely continue should the pilot inadvertently encounter bad weather conditions en-route.


Pre-Entry Requirements:

Before applying for your IR(R) rating, you must have flown a minimum of 25 hours after you have obtained your PPL, of which 10 hours must be PIC, to include 5 hours solo navigation and 15 hours dual instruction of which 10 hours are by sole reference to instruments during the course.


The Flying Course:

The course requires a minimum of 15 hours with an instructor followed by flight test. The course commences with training in general handling of the aircraft with sole reference to the instruments by use of screens covering the windows or special goggles or hoods. The student will be taught to recover from unusual attitudes, to straight and level flight using the full panel of instruments, before progressing to recovery with limited panel. Tracking to and from VOR and NDB facilities, develops the skills needed to carry out procedural approaches, which include holding, together with NDB and ILS (instrument Landing System) approaches allowing you to fly down to 500 feet above the airfield to clear cloud, with a minimum of 1800 metres in-fight visibility.


The Ground Exam:

There is one ground exam to take for the course which is multiple choice. This tests your knowledge about the theory of radio aids and your ability to apply them practically, it also includes flight planning on IFR.

Differences Training

Differences training has two different uses within the UK licensing system.

The first use is to train the pilot for flight in more complex aircraft than the pilot has flown before within a class rating already held.

When a licence and rating, for a PPL (A) with SEP (Land) rating is initially issued, the training has been in an aircraft with simple systems, with a fixed undercarriage, and a fixed pitch propeller.

This would be valid for all aircraft in that class, providing the new aircraft has similar simple systems and features.

If you want to move to an aircraft within the SEP (Land) which is more complex, the pilot would need formal differences training and a log book sign-off from a suitable instructor. The content of the training is only concerned with the complex operations of type.

The following list of features require further differences training. This list varies for holders of an SEP rating (or privileges within the LAPL) compared to an NPPL SSEA rating.

  • Retractable Undercarriage
  • Variable Pitch Propeller (Constant Speed Propeller)
  • Cabin Pressurisation
  • Turbo or Super Charging
  • Tailwheel
  • SPLC (Single Power Lever Control) used, for example with a Diesel Engine. This is not in the list of differences training required for NPPL-SSEA holders.
  • EFIS (Electronic Flight Instrument Systems) (e.g. ‘Glass Cockpit’). This is not in the list of differences training required for NPPL-SSEA holders
  • Cruise Speed of greater than 140 knots. This is only required for NPPL-SSEA holders.

The second use of differences training is used to extend the privileges of an existing licence, privilege or rating on a national basis.

EASA FCL does not provide a pilot with a LAPL (A) with SEP privileges (or a PPL(A)  with SEP rating) to fly a microlight aircraft, but it allows national authorities to extend the use of that licence on a national basis to non-EASA aircraft (such as a microlight) through national legislation. The UK has legislated to allow pilots qualified for SEP (land) aircraft to fly G registered microlight aircraft in the UK, providing the pilot undergoes differences training for microlight aircraft, and has a logbook sign off from a suitable instructor. Differences Training is used to permit flight of a category of aircraft rather than simply a feature within an aircraft.

For pilots with SEP or TMG privileges, differences training once completed does not have to be repeated. Pilots who have not flown using the particular ‘difference’ for some time are recommended to take appropriate training that they feel necessary, but it is not compulsory.

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