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Licences and Ratings

The licencing structure has undergone much change over the past few years. Most licences are now issued under the licencing regime of EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) and are valid across the EU. The most popular licence achieved at Cotswold Aero Club is the EASA PPL(A).

The UK still issues its own licences but these are only valid within UK airspace.

Here's a brief explanation of what's available:

PPL(A) - EASA Private Pilot Licence (Aeroplanes)

The privileges of the holder of a PPL(A) are to act without remuneration as PIC (Pilot in Command) in non-commercial operations on aeroplanes.

Requirements:
  • Hold at least an EASA Class 2 aviation medical.
  • Flying hours: 45, of which 25 must be dual instruction and 10 must be supervised solo flying. Of the solo flying 5 must be cross country with at least 1 cross-country flight of at least 150 nm, during which full stop landings are made at 2 intermediate airfields.
  • Achieve passes in the following theoretical knowledge examinations:
    Aviation Law, Operational Procedures, Communications, Human Performance and Limitations, Navigation, Meteorology, Flight Performance and Planning, Principles of Flight and Aircraft General Knowledge.
  • Achieve a pass in Radio Telephony practical examination.
  • Achieve a pass in the PPL (Aeroplane) Skill Test.

LAPL(A) - EASA Light Aircraft Pilot Licence (Aeroplanes)

The privileges of the holder of a LAPL(A) are to act without remuneration as PIC in non-commercial operations on aeroplanes which have a maximum take-off mass of 2000 kg or less and no more than 4 seats.

Requirements:
  • Hold at least an EASA LAPL or Class 2 aviation medical.
  • Flying hours: 30, of which 15 must be dual instruction and 6 must be supervised solo flying. Of the solo flying 3 must be cross country with at least 1 cross-country flight of at least 80 nm, during which 1 full stop landing is made at an airfield different from the airfield of departure.
  • Achieve passes in the following theoretical knowledge examinations:
    Aviation Law, Operational Procedures, Communications, Human Performance and Limitations, Navigation, Meteorology, Flight Performance and Planning, Principles of Flight and Aircraft General Knowledge.
  • Achieve a pass in Radio Telephony practical examination.
  • Achieve a pass in the LAPL (Aeroplane) Skill Test.

NPPL(A) - UK National Private Pilot Licence (Aeroplanes)

The privileges of the holder of a NPPL(A) are to act without remuneration as PIC in non-commercial operations on aeroplanes which have a maximum take-off mass of 2000 kg or less and no more than 4 seats. This licence may only be used in UK airspace.

Requirements:
  • Hold at least an NPPL Medical declaration. An EASA LAPL or Class 2 aviation medical are also acceptable.
  • Flying hours: 32, of which 22 must be dual instruction and 10 must be supervised solo flying. Of the solo flying 4 must be cross country with at least 1 cross-country flight of at least 100 nm, during which full stop landings are made at 2 intermediate airfields.
  • Achieve passes in the following theoretical knowledge examinations:
    Aviation Law, Operational Procedures, Communications, Human Performance and Limitations, Navigation, Meteorology, Flight Performance and Planning, Principles of Flight and Aircraft General Knowledge.
  • Achieve a pass in Radio Telephony practical examination.
  • Achieve a pass in the NPPL Navigation Skill Test (prior to completing the Qualifying Cross Country).
  • Achieve a pass in the NPPL General Skill Test.

Additional Ratings and Qualifications

Night Qualification

To extend the privileges of the EASA PPL(A) or LAPL(A) an additional training course covering night flying may be undertaken.

Course consists of:
  • A minimum of 5 hours night flying.
  • A minimum of 3 hours must be dual instruction and 1 hour must be night navigation.
  • 5 full stop landings whilst acting as Pilot in Command are also required.

There is no theoretical knowledge examination for this rating but there will be ground briefings alongside the flying lessons.

Instrument Meteorological Conditions Rating IMCR or IR(R)

To extend the privileges of a UK or EASA PPL(A) to allow flight in cloud or out of sight of the surface whilst operating in Class D, E, F or G airspace in the UK.

Requirements:
  • A minimum of 15 hours of dual flying covering aircraft handling, navigation and instrument approaches
  • Achieve a pass in the IMC Skill Test.
  • Achieve a pass in the IMC Theoretical Knowledge written examination.

EASA Aerobatic Rating

To extend the privileges of the EASA PPL(A) or LAPL(A) to allow aerobatic manoeuvres to be flown.

Requirements:
  • A minimum of 5 hours or 20 flights of aerobatic instruction.

There is no theoretical knowledge examination for this rating but there will be ground briefings alongside the flying lessons.

EASA En Route Instrument Rating and Competence Based Instrument Rating

Linking with Rate One Aviation we may be able to help should you be interested in either of these ratings.

Winner of the Pike Trophy:
  • 1995 John Cole, CFI 1970 – 1988
  • 2016 Philip Mathews, CFI 1988 – present