If you're working towards a Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL), you will need to have the required number of flying hours and ensure these are logged correctly in your pilot logbook before you can get your licence issued.
In this guide, we take you through the requirements of a PPL and how to log these flying hours to get your licence. This is also applicable for integrated ATPL/MPL students during the Single Engine flying phase.
Remember, the aviation authorities retain the right to request a pilot's original logbook at any time.
Photo by Lancashire Barnstormers 2019
You will need to have completed the following flight hours before completing your PPL skills test.
Cross country flight time is defined as “A flight between a point of departure and a point of arrival following a pre–planned route, using standard navigation procedures”. A cross country flight is a flight that is at least 150NM and includes two full stop landings at aerodromes other than the departure aerodrome.
For more information on getting a PPL, check out our blog on the Private Pilot Licence explained, here.
How to log your flight time
Once you have completed your skills test, your logbook (or a certified copy) will have to be sent to the authorities to obtain your PPL. Below is a handy guide on how to log your PPL flight time using our EASA compliant Personalised Pilot Logbook.
Our left hand logging page are simple and easy to use (pictured below). On these pages you simply need to decide which format you are going to use to log your flight time. The most commonly used formats are either 1:30 (for 1 hours and 30 minutes) or simply 1.5 ( for most people this makes total hours calculations easier).
We recommend you use our ‘Remarks’ column on the far right page to detail your PPL training syllabus. E.g. Label first circuits lesson as ‘Circuits’, stall recovery practice as ‘Stall recoveries’ etc.
Your flight (whether dual or solo) can be logged as Cross Country (PIC Nav in our book) if it meets the requirements for cross country flight time as stated above.
1) Logging your dual instruction time:
Log your dual instruction time in one of the dual columns. You must first decide whether it is a day or night flight and must log for the appropriate aeroplane (Single Engine or Multi Engine).
2) Logging your solo time:
Log your solo time into one of the PIC columns. Decide whether you are doing day or night hours and choose the appropriate aeroplane. Be aware that your flight can only be Dual OR Solo.
3) Logging your cross country time:
Cross country time should be logged under the ‘PIC Nav’. This will be logged alongside your PIC or DUAL hours. We recommend detailing the route you flew for your cross country hours in the ‘Remarks’ column.
4) Logging Simulator (FSTD) hours (if applicable):
Five of your 45 required hours could be completed in an FSTD, this may reduce the cost of completing your PPL. All Aileron Logbooks have a specific section for logging FSTD time in the back. Remember to log details of the lesson in the Remarks column and obtain the FSTD qualification number.
5) After Flight Test
After your flight test you should have the flight countersigned by your examiner and send either your logbook or a certified copy off to the CAA with your licence application. Visit the CAA website here for more guidance on this.
Your PPL will allow you to fly solo in the aircraft you are rated on. To fly commercially or carry fare paying passengers you will need a Commercial Pilot’s Licence (CPL). If you are already working towards your CPL, you can view our guide on how to log for your licence here.
If you are interested in training to fly commercially, check out our range of guides for aspiring pilots, including: Best Pilot Training Schools, Top Airline Cadet Programmes, Nine Things To Do When Applying For Pilot Training and, How To Prepare For A Pilot Interview.
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