The Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL)

The PPL is an EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) licence issued by the UK CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) and is an internationally recognised licence. Subject to relevant training and further ratings it allows the holder to fly any aircraft type. The licence can be extended with additional ratings for instrument flying, aerobatics, night flying, mountain flying and glider or banner towing.

The PPL course requires a minimum of forty-five hours flying, including ten hours of supervised solo flying.

There are ground examinations, covering a range of subjects including Aviation Law, Navigation, Meteorology, Principles of Flight, Airframes and Engines, Airworthiness, Instruments, Human Performance and Radio Telephony. Preparation for the written examinations is covered by a combination of self-study from textbooks and briefings from your instructor. Certain areas of ground training are required to have been completed at particular stages of your flying training. If you are planning an intensive course, it is best to get the majority of your ground studies and examinations completed before commencing your flying.

There is no time limit within which the flying has to be completed; you can spread your training over as long a period as you wish. However, we find that the longer the break between flying lessons the more overall flying time will be needed to attain the required standard. The course of flying commences with learning the effects of the various aircraft controls, then on to straight and level flight, climbing, descending, turning and stalling. Once the basic skills have been mastered your training concentrates on take off, flying a circuit around the aerodrome and landing. When these skills have been learnt, your instructor will leave you to fly the aircraft on your own, your ‘First Solo’. There now follows a period of consolidation of your flying skills before moving on to steep turns, forced landings, low-level operations, stalling, spin awareness, slow flight, instrument flying and cross-country navigation.

Then comes a solo Qualifying Cross Country flight which is a flight of least 150 nautical miles, with landings at two airports en-route. At the end of the course there is a flight test called the “Skill Test” to be passed.

Medical Requirements

A medical certificate is required before solo flight can be permitted.

For the PPL a Class 2 Medical Certificate is required. So long as you are generally fit this should not be a problem. Glasses or contact lenses are permitted, within certain limits. The Class 2 Medical Certificate can be issued, following successful examination by the CAA medical branch, or at any one of a number of doctors authorised by the CAA as medical examiners.

The CAA Authorised Medical Examiner that most Cubair pilots use is Dr Philip Ranger at Room 4, Aero 16. Redhill Aerodrome. Telephone 07740 686749. eMail philip@pilotsmedicals.co.uk