The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Light Aircraft Pilots Licence (LAPL) is the easiest and most economical route to getting a flying licence in Europe and we are recommending this route if you have no definite ambitions to become a professional pilot. It requires a minimum of 30 hours (compared to 45 for the PPL) and you can convert easily to a PPL if your plans change. With this licence you can fly as pilot in command anywhere in Europe under visual conditions in any aircraft of the same class and variant that you trained in. What you can’t do with this licence is train for the more advanced licences such as CPL and Instrument rating without first converting to the PPL (in essence another 15 hours of training and experience.)
Light Aircraft Pilots Licence (LAPL)
The LAPL course offers you the all the training and experience you need to obtain a pilots licence.
LAPL training requires a minimum of 30 hours flying time including 6 hours solo, ending with a skills test with an examiner where you will need to prove your general handling and navigation skills.
Training is typically done in a Piper 28 warrior the go to trainer in the world of basic flying training. The course follows the following typical structure. Times can vary depending upon skill levels and the time you are able to put into it. Most people exceed these minimum hours by 20-40% so allow that in your budget.
Minimum 30 hours flight training
Minimum 6 hours solo of which,
3 hours must be cross-country including,
One cross-country of at least 80 nautical miles and landing at one other airfield
There are 9 written examinations to complete which are all multiple choice and require a 75% pass mark. They can be taken at your convenience at the school.
Flight Performance and Planning
Principles of Flight
Our experienced instructors will support you throughout your training. Typically you will be booked training sessions in 2 hours blocks, for which you will fly for 60 to 90 minutes. You only pay for the time spent in the aircraft, your pre and post flight briefings with your instructor are free. You can fly as often as you like but we recommend that you should aim to fly at least once a week as regular flying experience plays an important role in the training.
The full course cost for the LAPL if you ‘pay as you go’ is £8200* but be aware that this is for the minimum hours.
This includes 30 hours flying, 9 ground exam fees and 12 months membership of the flying school. There will be other extras so see the course pricing tab for more details.
Practical examinations are not covered in the above price:
Communications (RT Licence): A simulation of a flight to cover radio calls for everyday and emergency procedures (£125).
Skills test: A flight test covering all skills gained during training, including navigation and general handling of the aircraft (£150 plus aircraft hire for time flown at solo rate).
A LAPL medical certificate is required before flying solo which can be obtained from your own GP or a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) authorised aero-medical examiner. Most medicals are straightforward and anyone of average health should pass the medical without any difficulties. Costs vary but expect to pay around £110. A list of local medical examiners will be provided by your instructor.
The Light Aircraft Pilots Licence allows you to fly an aircraft during daylight hours in reasonably good weather within the limits of Visual Flight Rules (VFR). To allow you to fly in more challenging conditions, the licence can be upgraded, so you might want to then consider:
At a Glance
Covers nearly all single engine piston aircraft. Minimum age for licence issue is 17 years. Minimum age for first solo is 16 years.
Minimum visibility condition for flying is 5 kilometres.
You can fly with up to three passengers in an aircraft.
Allows the licence holder to undertake additional training for tail wheel aircraft and aircraft with turbocharged engines, variable pitch propellers, retractable undercarriage, pressurised cabins, and cruise exceeding 140 knots.
Maintained through a minimum of 12 hours flying in 24 months.
Aviation medical required (cost ~ £60) from your local GP (See CAA notes here)
Allows flights into European Airspace