The National LAPL (Light Aircraft Pilot Licence) is the perfect licence for recreational flying in Ireland. It allows the holder to fly a single engine piston aircraft up to 2000kgs maximum takeoff weight 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 including 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 factory built permit aircraft which allows us to do the training at a much lower cost to the student. As most recreational pilots mainly fly more affordable permit aircraft there’s no requirement for a more expensive European licence.
There are no pre-entry requirements for the National LAPL 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. Details of Aeromedical Examiners are available from the Irish Aviation Authority website. The minimum age for issuing a National LAPL Licence is 17 and the minimum ago for solo flight is 16.
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.
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 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.
At Clonbullogue 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 in the club. 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, come down and visit us. We can show you around our facilities and aircraft. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.