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Private Pilot License – FAQ’s

The Private Pilot License is your gateway to a career in aviation with the ability to build on the license with additional ratings to fly in instrument conditions and at night.

What’s Involved:

  • Minimum age of 14 to log flights towards your licence

  • Minimum of 45 hours flight training required

  • 9 theory exams

  • 1 x Practical radio telephony exam

  • Minimum Class 2 CAA medical required

  • Skills test with a CAA examiner

Age Requirements

  • You can start to log flights towards your licence from 14 years of age

  • Fly your first solo flights towards your licence from 16 years of age

  • Become a PPL holder from 17 years of age and sit the skills test aged 16-17

Flight Hour Requirements

Minimum of 45 hours flight training required for PPL issue, of which:

  • Minimum 25 hours must be dual training with an instructor in the aircraft

  • Minimum 10 hours solo flight  (just yourself in the aircraft) whilst your instructor supervises from the ground

  • You’re required to have a valid medical certificate and successfully complete an air law theoretical exam prior to completing your first solo flight

Exams

9 Theoretical exams covering:

  • Air Law

  • Operational Procedures

  • Communications

  • Meteorology

  • Aircraft General Knowledge

  • Flight Performance & Planning

  • Navigation

  • Principles of Flight

  • Human Performance

*From sitting your first theoretical exam, you have 18 months to complete all 9 exams

  • You can sit these across 6 sittings, each sitting lasts a period of 10 days. You can sit as many exams you like in a sitting

  • After successful completion of your theoretical exams they are valid for a period of 24 months, in which time you must pass your skill test or the exams will require to be completed again.

  • You have to pass a radiotelephony practical test

  • All of the above can be completed here at Leading Edge Flight Training

Medical Requirements

  • For your PPL you are required to hold a valid class 2 CAA medical as a minimum requirement 

*This has to be completed by a CAA approved Aeromedical Examiner (AME)

What to expect at your medical (this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Medical history

  • Eyesight

  • Physical examination

  • Hearing

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)

  • Lung function test

  • Urine test

Local AME’s are:

  • Dr Mike Timmons Kilmarnock (01563 540 510)

  • Dr A R Downie: Glasgow Airport (0141 438 2357)

  • Dr G Martin: Maryhill Glasgow (0141 451 2830)

  • Dr M Girgis: Axa Healthcare, City Centre Glasgow (0141 553 5121)

Practical Skill Test

  • After successful completion of all of the above, this is the final test towards obtaining your PPL

  • This comprises of a flight with a CAA approved examiner, covering things such as general handling, emergency procedures and navigation to name but a few

  • The examiner will also complete some oral questions, for example questions regarding the instruments on board the aircraft.

The Privileges of holding a PPL

  • You can take friends and family flying

  • If you have an ambition to become a commercial pilot, then this is the first step on the journey towards your dream job

  • Freedom to explore Scotland and beyond from above

  • Fly out to airfields big and small, maybe even over to Glenforsa or Oban for a spot of lunch if you like

  • Flying has great social benefits. The general aviation community is a close knit group, keen to fly and socialise together

  • These are just a few of the privileges………..now just get your licence and find out the many more!

Commonly Asked Questions

  • Q – I wear glasses / contacts………..can I still learn to fly?
  • A – Absolutely, yes! Although severe colour blindness may require investigation.
  • Q – Is flying difficult?
  • A – Not difficult, however it takes practice, practice, practice
  • Q – How old is too old, to learn how to fly?
  • A – You’re never too old to learn!
  • Q – Do you need to fly solo?
  • A – Yes solo flying is a requirement for the PPL course, however you will only fly solo after both you and your instructor are comfortable
  • Q – I have completed some flight training in the past. Can I use this flight time towards my licence?
  • A – Yes, however after a certain length of time it may no longer count towards your 45 hours minimum but the will remain valuable. If you have any previous hours, just ask and we’ll be able to check if these can be used towards your PPL
  • Q – Will the weather stop me flying?
  • A – It can, however the good days make up for the bad
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