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For those of you who wish to hire or use your own light aircraft, the first step is to obtain your Private Pilots Licence (PPL). RAF Flying clubs offers you the training and experience you need and all of our training is approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
The PPL is also the first step if you want to go further and pursue a professional aviation career via the Modular route.
An EASA Private Pilots Licence (PPL) course at an RAF Flying Club will combine both practical flight training and the theoretical knowledge required to fly light aircraft within the UK and Europe.
The course requires a minimum of forty-five hours flying time – including ten hours solo – ending with a skills test with an examiner. The skills test will examine your general handling and navigation skills.
There are also nine written exams to be completed covering important topics including:
All of the exams are in the multiple-choice format and require a 75% pass mark.
Finally, you must pass a medical examination by a CAA-approved doctor, and pass a practical radio operators exam. Most medicals are straightforward and anyone of average health should pass the medical without any difficulties.
Our dedicated, experienced instructors will support you throughout your training. You can fly as often as you like, but we do recommend that all students should aim to fly at least once a week – regular flying experience plays an important role in the training!
The course is available from all of our bases.
The Private Pilots Licence allows to you to pilot an aircraft during daylight hours in reasonably good weather within the limits of Visual Flight Rules (VFR). To allow you to fly in more challenging conditions, the licence can be upgraded to include the ability to fly in Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) and/or at night.
Also available is the Light Aircraft Pilots Licence (LAPL) that offers a slight reduction in flight training required (30 hours instead of 45 hours minimum), but with additional restrictions being placed on what you can do with your licence. The medical requirements for the LAPL are also reduced.
Once you have your PPL, you can fly a light aeroplane or helicopter in daylight hours with reasonably good weather. To get the most value from your investment, however, you should consider upgrading your PPL to include ratings that allow you to fly at night and/or in less favourable weather conditions – known as Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC).
If you intend to become a professional pilot, the night rating is a mandatory step!
The Night Rating course comprises of 5 hours of night flying including navigation and circuits at an aerodrome. There is also a small amount of theoretical knowledge instruction – but no exam!
The Night qualification does exactly what it says on the tin allowing you to fly after sunset (quite useful when flying during the winter months).
The IR(R) Rating – also commonly known as the IMC Rating – allows you to continue your flight and land in more challenging weather conditions than those normally permitted when flying under Visual Flight Rules (VFR).
The course consists of 15 hours of flight instruction, theoretical knowledge lessons and an exam, and an IR(R) Rating Skills Test with an examiner.
The privileges of the IR(R) Rating can only be used within the UK – a full Instrument Rating is required if you wish to fly in marginal weather across Europe. Aeros offers the full Instrument Rating course at any site.