EASA - Private Pilots Licence

The EASA (European) Private Pilots Licence entitles the holder to fly a UK registered aircraft of up to 5700kgs almost anywhere in the world. As the title suggests, it is for private flights only and the holder of a PPL may not fly for remuneration. Existing JAR Licences will shortly start to be replaced by EASA Licences, ask me for more information if you are uncertain as to what you need to do.


The only pre-requisites for training towards the EASA PPL(A) is that the student must be at least 14 years of age. However, in order to fly solo the student must be at least 16 years of age and be the holder of a valid Class 2 Medical certificate issued by a CAA Authorised Medical Examiner. It is strongly recommended that the student obtains a Class 2 medical certificate at the earliest opportunity, since failure of the medical examination will result in cessation of training.

Course Requirements

Before a student can be issued with a EASA PPL(A) he or she must be at least 17 years of age and have accrue a minimum of 45 hours flying as a pilot under training. Of those 45 hours, 25 hours must be dual instruction and 10 hours solo (of which 5 hours must be on cross country exercises). The time flown on the final skills test may be included for the purpose of the 45 hour requirement.

The student must successfully pass multiple choice theoretical knowledge examinations in 7 subjects which includes: Air Law, Meteorology, Navigation, Aircraft Technical, Flight Planning and Performance, Human Performance and Limitations and Radio Telephony.

If a radio telephony licence is required a radio telephony oral exam must also be taken.

Course Progress

The course begins with introductions to the controls and progresses towards general handling. The general handling phase culminates in the aerodrome circuit and eventually the first solo exercise. After a period of solo consolidation, the student will complete a further phase of general handling before learning to navigate and taking greater responsibility for managing the flight. Once the instructor is convinced of the student’s ability the first solo cross country flight will take place. After several more flights culminating in the qualifying cross country QXC. The QXC involves flying to two airfields and returning back to yor home airfield with a total distance that must exceed 150nm in total. After this has been succesfully completed the skills test is then undertaken with an examiner.

The average student will take longer than minimum hours to complete the course. But with the right natural aptitude and some commitment, it is possible to finish the course with just 45 hours in your logbook.

Privileges of the EASA PPL(A)

The holder of a EASA PPL(A) is permitted to fly:

         aircraft with a maximum take off weight not exceeding 5700kg

         during the hours of daylight

         in flight visibilities not less than 5km
        while remaining in sight of the surface at all times

        with passengers, but not for remuneration.

The licence holder may fly at night with the addition of a night qualification. An Instrument Meteorological Conditions rating IMC (or full Instrument Rating) will allow the holder to fly out of sight of the surface and in much reduced flight visibilities.

Revalidation Requirements   

The EASA PPL(A) is now valid for life providing you have kept up with the experience requirements for an appropriate rating.

 student is issued with a Single Engine Piston rating when the licence is granted. The SEP rating must be revalidated every two years. Although a test can be taken, typically it is done by meeting the experience requirements which state that: in the second year of the validity of the rating, the holder must fly a minimum of 12 hours which shall include at least 6 hours as pilot in command and a 1 hour flight with an EASA instructor.

Lesson Numbers

Exercise 1 - Aircraft Familiarisation
Exercise 2 – Pre And Post Flight
Exercise 2a - Preparation for flight
Exercise 2b  - Starting and stopping the engine
Exercise 2c  - Post flight Actions
Exercise 3 – Air Experience
Exercise 4 – The Controls
Exercise 4a - The primary effect of each main flight control
Exercise 4b - The further effect of each main flight control
Exercise 4c - The art of trimming
Exercise 4d - The effect of airspeed and slipstream
Exercise 4e - The effects of power changes
Exercise 4f - The effect of power using flaps
Exercise 4g - Carburettor heat
Exercise 4h - The mixture control
Exercise 4i - Using the radio
Exercise 4j - Cabin heating and ventilation
Exercise 5 – Taxiing
Exercise 5 - Taxiing the aircraft
Exercise 6 – Straight And Level Flight
Exercise 6a -  Flying straight and level in balance at constant power
Exercise 6b - Flying straight and level in balance at a selected airspeed
Exercise 6c - Cruising with flaps extended
Exercise 7 – Climbing
Exercise 8 – Descending
Exercise 8a - The glide
Exercise 8b - The powered descent
Exercise 8c - Use of flaps in the descent
Exercise 8d - The sideslip
Exercise 9 – Turns
Exercise 9a - The medium level turn
Exercise 9b - The climbing turn
Exercise 9c - Descending turns
Exercise 9d - Turning onto selected headings
Exercise 10 – Stalling And Slow Flight
Exercise 10a - Slow Flying
Exercise 10b - Stalling
Exercise 11 – Spinning (Not Mandatory)
Exercise 11a - Incipient Spins
Exercise 11b - Full Spins
Exercise 12 – Standard Take-Off And Climb To Downward leg
Exercise 13 – Circuits Approaches And Landings
Exercise 13a - Circuit, powered approach and normal landing
Exercise 13b - Go around
Exercise 13c - Departing and joining the circuit
Exercise 13d - Flapless approach and landing
Exercise 13e - Glide approach and landing
Exercise 13f - Crosswind operations
Exercise 13g - Short field operations
Exercise 13h - Soft field operations
Exercise 14 - First solo - Only entered in your logbook once.
Exercise 15 – Advanced Turning
Exercise 15a - Steep level turn
Exercise 15b - Recover from unusual attitudes
Exercise 15c - Steep descending turn
Exercise 16 – Forced Landing Without Power
Exercise 16 - Forced landing without power
Exercise 17 – Precautionary Landings
Exercise 17a - Precautionary search and landing
Exercise 17b - Ditching in water
Exercise 18 – Navigation
Exercise 18a - Pilot Navigation
Exercise 18b - Navigation at lower levels and in reduced visibility
Exercise 19 – Basic Instrument Flying  

EASA - Night Rating

Pilots holding a CAA or EASA PPL(A), as well as those training for the EASA licence may undertake the training required to be issued with a night qualification.


The only pre-requisites to begin training towards a night rating are to either hold one of the aforementioned licences or, if undertaking training towards the EASA PPL(A), have completed a minimum of 25 hours dual instruction and 10 hours supervised solo time, which shall include 5 hours solo cross country and successful completion of the qualifying cross country flight.

Course Requirements

In order to be able to exercise the privileges of a PPL at night you must complete a minimum of 5 hours instruction at night. This will include a minimum of 3 hours dual training and a navigation flight of at least 1 hour. The solo requirement is 5 take offs and full stop landings.

Course Progress

The course will begin with a long brief which will endeavour to explain what to expect. Everything looks very different at night and the visual cues to which you have become accustomed have all but disappeared. The briefing is followed by a familiarisation flight of about one hour to allow you to get acclimatised to the new conditions, and concluding with a few circuits. Subsequent flights will involve navigating and circuits until the student is deemed to be at a standard acceptable to permit supervised solo flight.

Privileges of the Night Qualification

Holders of a night qualification are permitted to fly at night in visual meteorological conditions.

Revalidation Requirements

There are no revalidation requirements for this rating. Once it is attached to the licence it remains valid indefinitely. However, in order to carry passengers under night operating conditions it is necessary to be in compliance with the ninety day rule, which includes having conducted one of the required take offs and landings at night. Holders of a valid instrument rating are exempt this requirement.

EASA - Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) Rating (IR Restricted)

Pilots holding a CAA or EASA PPL(A), as well as those training for the EASA licence may undertake the training required to be issued with an Instrument Meteorological Conditions Rating.


The applicant must hold either a CAA or EASA PPL(A) and a flight radiotelephony operator’s licence. He or she must have completed at least 10 hours flying as pilot in command since being granted a licence, of which 5 hours must be cross country flights.

Course Requirements

The IMC course is a minimum of 15 hours flying, under instrument conditions. It is validated by the taking of a test which serves to demonstrate that the applicant can safely fly by sole reference to instruments, including basic handling with full and partial panel, radio navigation and the conduct of two separate types of approach. Under visual conditions, the pilot must demonstrate a bad weather circuit and landing.

Course Progress

The course will begin with basic instrument handling, including full and partial panel. When the student reaches a satisfactory level of competency such that he or she can take on more tasks the navigation phase will begin, which shall include various types of instrument approach. When the student is able to competently fly the required procedures (and having passed the theoretical knowledge exam) the flight test may be taken.

Privileges of the Instrument Meteorological Conditions Rating

Holders of an Instrument Meteorological conditions rating may:

Take off or land in flight visibilities not less than 1800 metres below cloud
ly outside of controlled airspace out of sight of the surface and under sole reference to instruments..

Fly in Class D and E airspace in circumstances which require compliance with Instrument Flight Rules.

Fly in a control zone under special VFR in visibilities not less than 3Km.

Revalidation Requirements

The IMC Rating is valid for 25 months. Revalidation is by test with a suitably qualified examiner.

EASA Update:

An IMC Rating will transfer to an Instrument Rating (Restricted) from April 2015.....

EASA - PPL - Ground Exams

There are 9 written exams that you are need to pass, in order to qualify for your EASA PPL 

  • All these examinations must be passed prior to taking the PPL Skill Test. 
  • The pass mark for each examination is 75%. 
  • The examinations must be passed within a period of 18 months and they remain valid for licence issue for 24 months from successful completion of the last examination.

 Aviation Law Examination

This exam consists of 20 multiple choice questions to be answered in 60 minutes, Topics covered range from the establishment of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in the 1940's through to the practical application of The Rules of The Air in the modern aviation environment.

 Operational Procedures Examination

This exam consists of 20 multiple choice questions to be answered in 60 minutes, covering the legislative side of General Aviation. --  

 Meteorology Examination

20 multiple choice questions to be answered in 60 minutes. -- This subject provides the PPL student with a firm foundation in basic weather theory enabling interpretation of actual weather reports and forecasts to ensure safe flight.

 Aircraft (General) Examination

20 multiple choice questions to be answered in 60 minutes. --  What happens when the ignition key is turned, all matters technical are covered within this subject. 

  Principles of Flight Examination

20 multiple choice questions to be answered in 60 minutes. -- From how a wing produces lift to how a wing produces drag.

 Navigation and Radio Aids Examination

25 multiple choice questions to be answered in 90 minutes. -- From Form of the Earth to GPS, the student is taken through the same basic navigation techniques that have served past aviators so well to the radio navigation aids as employed by today's aeroplanes.

 Human Performance and Limitations Examination

20 multiple choice questions to be answered in 30 minutes. -- Aviation is a demanding and unfamiliar environment to the novice pilot, and this subject covers the psychological effects and conditions that trainee aviators will find themselves subjected to during their flying careers.

 Flight Performance and Planning Examination

20 multiple choice questions to be answered in 60 minutes. -- The calculations that guarantee safe flight begin long before the engine is started. A pilot must be able to calculate the length of runway required for take-off and landing, as well as whether an aeroplane is correctly loaded within weight and balance limits, and with sufficient fuel for the planned flight.

 R/T Practical Examination

The student will be required to plan a navigation flight which is then 'flown' in the classroom, simulating the radio calls that would be required in real-time. Under these simulated conditions, the student will encounter and be expected to deal with scenarios such as the transition of controlled airspace, and the relay of a Mayday call.

 Communications Examination

30 multiple choice questions to be answered in 40 minutes. -- The theoretical side of aviation Radio-Telephony (RT) communications, ranging from the phonetic alphabet through to the finer points of the 'language' of flying.

Important notes about taking the exams

If the candidate fails to pass an examination at the first attempt there should be a 2 week period before sitting another paper on the same subject. 

Should the candidate fail the examination at the second attempt there should be a 4 week period before taking a further attempt. 

In the event of a third failure the candidate will be required to sit a final examination paper at CAA Gatwick or a CAA Regional Test Centre after undertaking further training as determined by the flying school / club.

Upon completion of further training and prior to sitting the final examination paper a EASA / JAR-FCL Private Pilot's Licence Aeroplanes / Helicopters Theoretical Knowledge Examination - Application Form Section 4 Declaration of Completion of Further Training must be completed by the Flying School / Club as part of the application to re-sit the final paper. Booking for the final paper must be made through CAA PLD Exam Support and a re-sit fee will be payable. 

A candidate failing the final paper will be banned from taking any further attempts for a period of 3 months thereafter the candidate will be required to re-enter the examinations as though for the initial attempt. All previous exam passes in all subjects will be rendered null and void and all further examinations will be sat at CAA Gatwick or a Regional Test Centre after the candidate has undertaken further training as determined by the Flying School / Club.

It is therefore strongly recommend that a candidate prepares fully before attempting any of the examinations.