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 mean that it is compliant with the ICAO standard and therefore is recognised worldwide*. 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 factory built permit aircraft which allows us to do the training at a much lower cost to the student. As most recreational pilots do not fly aircraft with more than four seats, we recommend the National LAPL course as it has a lower hours requirement. There’s also an option to do a bridge course to upgrade to a PPL(A) in future if desired.
There are no pre-entry requirements for the National PPL however we do recommend that you get a medical before you start, or early on in your training. 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 PPL Licence is 17 and the minimum ago for solo flight is 16.
The National PPL course consists of a minimum of 45 hours of flight instruction. Once complete, there are no restrictions 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 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 Limetree 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 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.
*Some paperwork is usually required in order to validate your licence if you want to fly in certain countries e.g. USA