How to get a Private Pilots Licence (PPL)

How to get a ppl

Starting your private pilot licence training is an exciting time for any future pilot. With a Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL) you’ll be able to act as pilot in command (PIC) in non-commercial operations in aeroplanes with a maximum take of weight not exceeding 5700Kgs.

If you decide to continue your training to become a commercial airline pilot, the PPL is a pre-requisite for your modular route to an ATPL licence, a PPL is a pre-course requirement to enrol on a modular ATPL theory course.

We’ve put together this short guide to explain what requirements are needed before you start your training, how much it may cost and how to study for the theory side of a PPL.

What are the requirements to gain a PPL?

You must complete 45 hours of flying training to include at least,

  • 25 hours of dual instruction
  • 10 hours of supervised solo time, including 5 hours of solo cross-country time with at least 1 cross country flight of 150NM that includes full stop landings at two aerodromes different to your departure aerodrome

You need to pass 9 exams prior to your skills test, the subjects are.

  • Air Law
  • Aircraft General Knowledge (AGK)
  • Flight Planning and Performance
  • Human Performance and Limitations
  • Meteorology
  • Navigation
  • Operational Procedures
  • Principles Of Flight
  • Communications

The subject Air Law needs to be passed prior to flying solo. The minimum age to hold a PPL is 17, you can begin your training before this, but you must be age 16 to fly solo.

You are required to hold as a minimum a class two medical certificate prior to flying solo. An Aeromedical examiner (AME) can conduct this medical assessment.

At the end of your training, a skills test is flown with an examiner to demonstrate you are competent to act as pilot in command. Once you have passed you are free to apply for the issue of a PPL with your aviation authority.


How much will private pilot licence training cost?

Your training will cost approximately £8,000 – £11,000 depending on the school you choose to train with. PPL training is usually pay as you go meaning you pay for each flight as you go allowing you to spread the cost of your training out.


How long will it take to study for a PPL?

This entirely depends on what time you can set aside towards your training. You can spread your training out over several months or complete the PPL on a full-time basis. The training is flexible allowing you to study around other commitments, you will be able to come up with a plan with your chosen school to suit your requirements.


Before you start your Private Pilot Licence Training…

Do a trial lesson prior to committing to your training to ensure flying is for you. Visit your chosen school to make sure it fits your personal circumstance and needs.


Using ATPdigital to study your PPL theory

Bristol’s computer-based training software ATPdigital has been designed to prepare you for the 9 PPL exams. It is a bespoke application that can be used on PC, Mac and iPad, it will also work offline once installed allowing you to study on the move.

The software features a study guide for each subject to put emphasis on the key areas. It also incorporates exam style questions at the end of each lesson and end of section progress test to expose you to the style of questions you will experience during the exams.

Find Out More About BGS’s PPL(A) Theory Training Sofware

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