Learn to Fly in the UK

Interested in learning to fly in the UK?

What do I need to know and what will I have to do? The basic license that you will be training for is called a private pilot’s licence (PPL). There is another license called a National private pilot’s license (NPPL), but this has more restrictions—-More details about both later.

Well a few basic requirements first. You need to be at least 17 years old to actually have a private pilot’s license issued but you can start training earlier. You will not be allowed to fly solo (on your own) until you are 16. You will need to get a medical certificate to say you are fit to fly alone. It is not a tough medical but occasionally people will fail it. I am not going to attempt to give medical advice here and the best thing is to contact a doctor. The biggest problems would be heart disease, strong medication, diabetes or epilepsy. Wearing glasses is not a problem but you are required to carry them with you along with a spare pair. To get the medical you need to see a doctor that has been approved by the civil aviation authority. These are called Aviation Medical Examiners (AMEs) Any school can give you a list of them.

It is worth noting that the medical requirements for an NPPL are less strict than for a PPL. I would suggest that you get the medical as soon as possible because if there is a problem then any training would have been a waste of your money.

When you are ready to start you need to find yourself a good flying school. Most airfields have a school and in fact you will probably be surprised how many there are. You can find details on the internet or just go to your local airfield and ask around. It is well worth taking a look at more than one school as they vary enormously. Some are much better than others. Some quite formal, some relaxed. Some busy, some quiet. It really is a case of finding the one that works for you. Obviously you need to check the prices for the training and these also vary a lot. Check what is included in the price– membership, landing fees, equipment, ground school. All schools are different. So do shop around! gatwick lateral flow test 

You have to do at least 45 hours of training to get your license, pass 7 written exams and a flight test.

Out of that 45 hours at least ten must be flown solo. Remember that these are minimums and depending on ability more training may be required. The written exams are multiple choice and cover;

-Air law
-Meteorology (weather)
-Flight planning
-Aircraft, technical
-Human performance

The final flight test is with an examiner who will normally come from your own school so chances are you will know them already. It involves a two hour flight including navigation handling skills and emergency drills.

Then that’s it you fill in an application form and get it in the post to the Civil Aviation Authority!


The NPPL as I said earlier is slightly easier to get but more limited in what you can do with it.

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