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Light Aircraft Pilot 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. 


About the Light Aircraft Pilot Licence (LAPL)


The LAPL is a relatively new licence.  It allows for a potentially quicker and cheaper route to getting a Pilot Licence and has reduced medical requirements, so for some it will be the only way they can obtain a licence.  It does come with more restrictions than the traditional Private Pilot Licence (PPL) so it won't suit everyone.  If you want to carry more than three passengers, fly larger aircraft, add instrument flight ratings or become a Commercial  Pilot (Airline Pilot)  then it is best to train towards a PPL.  If you have no intention of flying outside of the UK and are happy with these restrictions the contact us now to begin your flight training at Southend flying Club.

Flight Training at Southend Flying Club


The UK CAA specifies a minimum of 30 hours flying training, of which 6 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. 


LAPL Theory exams at Southend Flying Club

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.

Medical requirements

At least a class 3 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.

Weather restrictions

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 £7-9k.

After you obtain your Light Aircraft Pilot's Licence (LAPL)

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.

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 may find it beneficial to add a night rating 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: 

  1. Have completed at least 12 hours of flight time as PIC or flying dual or solo under the supervision of an instructor, including:
    12 take-offs and landings
    Refresher training of at least 1 hour of total flight time with an instructor

2. Have passed a LAPL(A) proficiency check with on of our resident Southend Flying Club examiners.

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