If you want to fly as a hobby, or if you are completing a modular route of training towards a Commercial Pilot Licence, then the PPL is one of the first milestones that you need to reach.
For many, it will be the first skills test they ever take. You will need to ensure you have 45 hours of flying displayed in your log book to be issued the licence.
In the classroom
As with all Pilot Licences, on the way to gaining your PPL you’ll need to jump through the hoops of Theoretical Knowledge Exams – nine hoops to be precise.
You’ll need to scrub up on:
1) Air Law
2) Operational Procedures
3) Human Performance
6) Aircraft General Knowledge
7) Principles of Flight
8) Flight Performance + Planning
You do however get the mercy of multiple choice!
If you make it through these exams and are not put off, then you’ll need to do the flying test for the PPL within 24 months. It’s well worth getting it under your belt, or you need to do those exams again…
Where can you sit your exams?
PPL exams can be taken at Approved Training Organisations (ATOs) or Registered Training Facilities (RTFs). The UK Civil Aviation Authority provides a handy guide to ATOs and RTFs in the UK.
Flying experience – log it!
It’s not enough to fly them, you’ve got to log those 45 hours! And you’ll need a Professional Pilot Log Book to do it.
Hour building for a PPL can be costly so it might be a good idea to offer to help out at your local aerodrome, from cutting the grass or washing the aircraft. If people see that you are keen and you are in the right place at the right time you might get a bit off free flying!
For a PPL, you’ll need to complete and log 45 hours of flight instruction on aircraft. But it’s not all that simple – this can be a variety of flight types, and must include:
To any under 17s reading, unfortunately you’ll have to wait a bit longer as this is the minimum age required to be issued with a PPL. However, you can go solo at 16, so time it well enough and you could be awarded a PPL on your 17th birthday!
As with many things in aviation, gaining a PPL is going to cost money. You are likely to incur a bill in the UK of £6000 and upwards depending on where you train, in what aircraft and at what intensity. Fortunately, we have compiled a list of scholarships available to give you the chance to save on this where you can! Scholarships are few and far between – and therefore highly competitive.
The Honourable Company of Air Pilots – https://www.airpilots.org/career-matters/scholarships/
This organisation offers scholarships in the form of PPL, Instructor and Gliding scholarships. Applications for 2017 are now closed but will reopen in 2018.
The Air League - http://www.airleague.co.uk/scholarships/
The Air League has awarded scholarships worth around £2m in the last decade. In terms of flying it offers bursaries, gliding scholarships and flying scholarships. Applications will re-open in 2018.
The Royal Aero Club Trust - http://www.royalaeroclubtrust.org/bursaries
The Royal Aero Club Trust offers bursaries to budding pilots, this year the highest bursary was £1000. Applications will re-open in September and will close 31 March 2018.
When do you not need a PPL?
If you intend to become an Airline Pilot we recommend skipping the PPL stage and starting from scratch on an Integrated Airline Transport Pilots Licence (ATPL) or Multi-Crew Pilot Licence training course. Your PPL will not give you an advantage in training, nor do many schools tend to credit you for hours you already have. You’ll need to train at the same pace and complete all elements of the course alongside your fellow cadets.
Hobby or career, your journey is personal. Wherever your first flights lead, log them in style! Aileron Professional Pilot Log Books are leather- bound and personalised by hand, available in a variety of classic colours. Get yours and start logging today www.ailerongroup.co.uk.