Flying Training FAQs

Training related questions

• How old do I have to be to start logging training?

The minimum age for logging legal NPPL training is 14. 

You must be 16 before your first solo flight, and you can be issued a licence from the age of 17. 

This means you could feasibly gain a UK pilot's licence before you are able to hold a UK driving licence!

• I’m struggling to get my minimum hours and cross-country exercises done because of bad weather and work. Is there a time limit to get the application in?

Yes. The application must be received no later than 9 months from your GST pass. 

Your navigation hours, PIC hours and ground exams all have 24 months validity.

• I passed my GST 8 months ago and some of my exams nearly 2 years ago. However, I’m not sure I can get my cross-country exercises completed in time. Is there any way of extending this time limit?

You can ‘stop the clock’ on everything but your navigation hours by making an application for a NPPL with operational limitations immediately, with a view to completing the navigation requirements later. Your total minimum hours requirements will be 15 rather than 25, and your total minimum PIC hours will be 7 rather than 10. All exams and hours must still have been completed within 24 months of application though. 

• I'm trying to work out a cost estimate for my training. I understand that the minimum hours requirement is 25, but what would be the maximum that people take? Is there a mean average so I can budget accordingly?

Ultimately, your instructor will be the judge of your readiness for a General Skills Test and should give you regular feedback on your capabilities. Some applicants take in excess of 200 hours, others complete the course in under 30.

Remember that many non-ability related factors may affect the length of course: age of the student, regularity of flying experience and weather conditions among them. The current mean average course length is just under 60 hours, and just over 2 years.

• I’m only applying for a NPPL with operational limitations. Do I need to pass the Navigation ground exam?

Yes. All ground exams must be passed within 24 months for restricted and unrestricted NPPL applications.