Private Pilot's Licence
The best way to start your aviation dream is to try flying with a Trial Flying Lesson.
If you have any questions about learning to fly then we'd love to hear from you. Please call on 01702 545198, or come and see for yourself any day (except Mondays), no appointment is necessary.
PPL Flight Training at Southend Flying Club
The UK CAA specify a minimum of 45 hours flying training, of which 10 hours must be solo. Clearly defined exercises cover aircraft familiarisation, climbing, descending, turning, slow flight, stalling and circuits, culminating in your first solo. Steep turns, emergency drills and instrument flying lead on to dual and solo navigation tasks. A 2 hour practical Skills Test in navigation and general handling completes the course for licence issue. Early lessons are usually about an hour in length, although later tasks may require up to 2 hours. Flying is normally booked in advance with the office.
PPL Theory exams
These are online multiple choice, produced by the CAA but undertaken at Southend Flying Club. Studying is mainly self-study but instructors are freely available to help with any sections as necessary. The correct text books are available from the Flying Club store. We are also recommend an excellent online course provider; EasyPPL.
Before each exam there is a revision module and mock test before you are recommended to sit the online exam.
The subjects and the order we recommend you sit them are are as follows:
Aviation Law, Communications, Principles of flight, Aircraft General Knowledge, Meteorology, Human Performance and Limitations, Operational procedures, Navigation & Flight Performance and Planning.
Completing the course
Once the flight training and theory exams are complete you will take a flying Skills Test with one of our CAA approved Flight Examiners. Most people also elect to obtain an aircraft radio operating licence (FRTOL), which is a separate test and maybe completed before or after the Skills Test. This is completed at Southend Flying Club with our resident Radio Telephony Examiner.
No age limits apply to fly, however 14 is the lower limit for instructional flying. A minimum age of 16 years applies to solo flying and 17 years to holding a licence.
At least a class 2 medical certificate is required before flying solo. Only a UK approved CAA Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) can issue your medical certificate. Southend Flying Club has a visiting AME who is available most weekends by appointment. Validity periods are dependant on age, i.e. Up to 40 every 5 years, 40-49 every 2 years, 50+ every 12 months.
Good visibility is important, especially in the early stages. Low cloud and strong winds can sometimes restrict operations. You are advised to phone us before setting out for the airfield to check the conditions.
How long will it take?
This necessarily is governed by aptitude, personal commitments, weather, and of course funds. Intensive courses are possible, though a more leisurely pace is usual (typically 8-12 months) when customised around your schedule.
How much will it cost?
This depends on the number of hours it takes you to reach the required standard. Prices can change so call us on 01702 545198 for the latest prices. All our prices include VAT where applicable. Discounts are available for lump sum payments towards flying or for whole courses in advance. Conditions apply. A rough guide would be £12-14k.
After you obtain your Private Pilot's Licence
Once qualified, you may hire any of the Club's aircraft and carry passengers (although not for profit). Cost sharing is possible and splitting the cost of flights between friends and relatives can make flying much more affordable.
There are very few restrictions on where you can take a light aircraft. Trips to the continent are popular, Le Touquet in France being a fantastic taste of flying abroad and making it possible to have lunch in France and be back by late afternoon.
The PA28-R Piper Arrow, with a higher cruising speed than the trainers, is a popular 'step up' for the new and experienced licence holder alike. Dual differences training will be required; normally 3-5 hours with an instructor.
Once qualified you will find it beneficial to add further ratings to your licence.
Maintaining your licence privileges
Your licence will be valid for life but your flying privileges need to be revalidated every two years. This is done in either one of two ways:
The simplest is to have a Proficiency Check with one the Southend Flying Club examiners within the last three months of the validity. This is a flight test of your general handling skills and will normally last about one hour.
Otherwise revalidating is done with flying experience. You will require in the last 12 months of your validity period, 12 hours of flying. These 12 hours will need to be a minimum of 6 hours as pilot in command, there will need to be logbook evidence of 12 take-offs and 12 landings and there must also be a signed off dual flight with an instructor of at least one hour.