Guidance for Student Pilots

 

The guidance below is for student pilots undertaking training towards a Pilots Licence.

Click on each of the content headings below to be taken to that section. At the end of each section, there is a link back to the contents here.

Contents

Requirements
How to Study

 

Requirements

The details below cover all Pilot Licence Courses from UK NPPL, PPL(A), LAPLA(A) and to a certain extent, Microlight Licences. Even if you are a pilot of an aircraft that does not need a licence (e.g. Paraglider) you will still need to know some of the subject matter detailed below!

Course Information

There are some hoops you need to jump through in order to complete the necessary requirements for your licence and in addition to your flying training.

These relate to the study for and taking of the necessary official theoretical knowledge exams, and are explained as concisely as we can below.

You will need to study for, and pass a total of nine written exams. The subjects are:

  • Air Law & ATC Procedures
  • Operational Procedures
  • Aircraft General Knowledge
  • Principles of Flight
  • Meteorology
  • Human Performance & Limitations
  • Navigation
  • Communications (Radio Telephony)
  • Flight Performance & Planning

In addition, you will also need to pass the following practical (oral) test:

  • Communications (Radio Telephony)
Pass Mark

The pass mark for each exam is 75%. This is also the pass mark for our own on-line exam associated with this course.

Failures & Resits

Each exam location has a maximum of three different exam papers for each of the subjects. These three papers per subject are common throughout all exam locations in the whole of the UK.

Note: This is due to change in June 2020 when all exams will be ONLINE (access available from approved ATO/DTO's).

If you fail to pass the exam for a subject after three attempts, you will need to undergo further training, and then apply to sit a fourth attempt at a central or regional centre as specified by the CAA.

Should you fail the fourth attempt, you will need to enter a 3 month cooling off period, and all previous exam passes in all subjects will be declared null and void. In other words, you will have to start the exam process all over again.

Timescales

All of the exams must be passed within a period of 18 months counted from the end of the calendar month when you first attempted an exam.

For example:
If you sit your first exam on the 2nd June 2016, you would have until 31st December 2017 to pass all exams.

If you fail to pass all exams within the 18-month period, you will need to enter a 3 month cooling off period, and all previous exam passes in all subjects will be declared null and void. In other words, you will have to start the exam process all over again.

At the successful completion of all exams, all exam passes will remain valid for a period of 24 months dated from the last exam pass date.

Exam Locations

You may only sit exams at a location registered with the CAA, who have been approved to hold the required Exam Papers.

These locations will also have an approved Ground Examiner who will act as invigilator, and who will mark your exam paper.

The exam location will normally be the same as your flight training organisation.

Note: This is due to change in June 2020 when all exams will be ONLINE (access available from approved ATO/DTO's).

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How to Study

As is often the case, you can make life easy, or you can make life difficult for yourself.

We have an in-depth understanding of the level and type of knowledge required for each of the subjects you need to study for your goal.

The amount of knowledge you need to assimilate is dependent upon the subject in question. Some subjects also complement each other, so studying them in a certain order can be beneficial from both a learning convenience and understanding perspective.

Taking all these factors into account, along with our knowledge of training and learning abilities, we highly recommend you take note of our suggested study guide and exam sitting strategy below to assure yourself every chance of success.

 
Study Order Course
1 Air Law & ATC Procedures
2 Operational Procedures
3 Aircraft General Knowledge
4 Principles of Flight
5 Meteorology
6 Human Performance & Limitations
7 Navigation
8 Communications Written (*)
9 Flight Performance & Planning

* There is also a Communications Practical (Oral) Exam with a Radiotelephony Examiner. You will need to have a separate revision/preparation session for this exam. We recommend you contact us for this revision session!

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