The Irish National PPL with Restricted Privileges (known more commonly as the National LAPL) and the National PPL were designed as a replacement for the Microlight PPL and are useful to pilots who intend to fly 3-Axis microlight and homebuilt aircraft.
The National LAPL allows the holder to fly a single-engine piston aircraft up to 2000kgs maximum takeoff mass and a maximum of 4 seats. This classification covers about 95% or more of the light aircraft available on the market. The licence can be exercised on Irish registered permit aircraft which include single-engine homebuilds and microlights. At the moment you cannot use this licence to fly a Cessna or other EASA aircraft as a European Licence is required for that. Our National LAPL course mirrors the EASA course exactly and we’re working with the Irish Aviation Authority to come up with a simple conversion to an EASA LAPL. The huge benefit of this licence is that we can conduct the training on modern permit aircraft which allows us to do the training at a much lower cost to the student. There’s also an option to do a bridge course to upgrade to a PPL(A) in future if desired.
The National PPL(A) (Private Pilot Licence – Aeroplane) is very similar to the LAPL licence except the course is longer and covers some extra areas such as instrument appreciation. The extra areas that are covered means that it is compliant with the ICAO standard and therefore is recognised worldwide (some validation procedures may be required depending on the state). It allows the holder to fly a single-engine piston aircraft up to 5700kgs MTOW that do not require a type rating. The licence can be exercised on most ICAO registered aircraft which includes single-engine homebuilds and microlights. At the moment you cannot use this licence to fly a Cessna or other EASA aircraft as a European Licence is required for that. Our PPL(A) course mirrors the EASA course exactly and we’re working with the Irish Aviation Authority to come up with a simple conversion to an EASA PPL. The huge benefit of this licence is that we can conduct the training on modern permit aircraft which allows us to do the training at a much lower cost to the student.
There are no pre-entry requirements for the National LAPL or PPL however we do recommend that you get a medical before you start, or early on in your training. The LAPL medical is the minimum requirement but you can also get a Class 2 medical. A Class 2 medical is the minimum medical required for the National PPL. Details of Aeromedical Examiners are available from the Irish Aviation Authority website. The minimum age for issuing a National LAPL or PPL Licence is 17 and the minimum age for solo flight is 16.
National LAPL(A) Course
The National LAPL course consists of a minimum of 30 hours of flight instruction. A further 10 hours will need to be flown as Pilot in Command (PIC) after you’re issued with your licence before you can carry passengers. Within the 30 hours you will need to complete:
- A minimum of 15 hours of dual instruction
- 6 hours of supervised solo flight time, including at least 3 hours of solo cross country flight time with at least 1 cross country flight of at least 150 km (80 NM) that includes 1 full stop landing at an aerodrome different from the departure aerodrome.
National PPL(A) Course
The National PPL course consists of a minimum of 45 hours of flight instruction. Once complete, there are no restrictions on passengers so you may carry passengers straight away. Within the 45 hours you will need to complete:
- A minimum of 25 hours of dual instruction
- 10 hours of supervised solo flight time, including at least 5 hours of solo cross country flight time with at least 1 cross country flight of at least 270 km (150 NM) that includes full stop landings at 2 aerodromes different from the departure aerodrome.
When you join the club, you will be given access to the Members Area of the website which contains a workbook outlining all of the exercises and lessons on the course. You will also have access to presentations, manuals and other documentation that will allow you to prepare for your lesson so you can maximise what you can take from each flight. The hours listed above are the minimum required, it may take longer if you don’t fly regularly or if you’re not prepared for your lesson.
After the National LAPL(A) Course
As mentioned above, once you have been issued with your licence, you will need to complete 10 hours PIC before you can carry passengers.
The privileges of your licence will only remain valid if you have completed, in the last 24 months, as pilot of an aeroplane:
- At least 12 hours flight time as PIC, including 12 take-offs and landings; and
- Refresher training of at least 1 hour of total flight time with an instructor.
If you do not meet these requirements you will need to:
- Complete a proficiency check with an examiner before you exercise the privileges of the licence; or
- Complete the additional flight time or take-offs and landings to meet the requirements above, flying dual or solo, under the supervision of an instructor.
After the National PPL(A) Course
The privileges of your licence will only remain valid if you have completed 12 hours of flight time in single-engine (single-pilot) aeroplane within the 12 months preceding the rating’s expiry date, including the following:
- 6 hours as pilot-in-command (PIC)
- 12 take-offs and landings
- a training flight of at least 1 hour (or a maximum of three totalling 1 hour) with the same flight instructor or class rating instructor. If you have already completed a proficiency check or skill test in another type or class of aeroplane, you will not have to complete this training flight
At FunFly we have a great club atmosphere so you will probably fly in excess of the minimum hours stated above (for revalidating your licence). In part, this is because flying permit aircraft is very affordable. You are free to fly the club aircraft when you finish your training, or you may wish to buy your own, buy a share in an aircraft or even attempt to build a kit. Either way, you’ll find lots of like-minded people. We regularly fly out to other airfields as a group so if you don’t feel comfortable flying long distances you can go along with other club members. We also strongly encourage buddy flying where two pilots will share their flying. This halves the costs as you only pay for the flights you fly but also gives you lots of extra experience.
If you’re interested in training for your National LAPL(A) or PPL(A), come down and visit us. We can show you around our facilities and aircraft. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.