A private pilot licence is all you need to fly as a hobby. There is a choice of private licences and which one you want usually depends on whether you see the need to fly in any country in the world, restrict yourself to Europe, or simply fly locally in the UK.
There are different categories of licences to fly a helicopter, gyroplane, balloon, airship, glider or aeroplane. Even if you only intend to fly in the UK, it is worthwhile assessing all licence options and not restricting yourself unless you have to.
Minimum age requirements are:
- at least 16 years old before you can take a solo flight during your training (14 for balloons and gliders)
- at least 17 years old before you can apply for your private pilot licence.
Apart from flying instruction or examining for private licences you will need a commercial level licence if you want to make a living as a pilot.
Generally your training will include:
- Ground training and exams in nine different subjects
- Dual flying lessons with an instructor
- Solo flying training
- A flight test
For LAPL and PPL aeroplane and helicopter licences you can only be trained by an Approved Training Organisation (ATO), formerly known as Registered Training Facilities.
For full information regarding private pilot licences, please go to our dedicated Private Pilot Licence section.
Private Licence Training Providers
There are many private pilot training courses available, we have come up with the following collection of providers. We are totally unbiased and are not affiliated with any of these companies.
We have divided up the training providers by country to make it easier to browse. As this is an english based website, we have put UK training providers at the top followed by European training providers. This list is constantly being updated, so be sure to check back for more info, or if you have personal experience of a great training provider please let us know.
Cambridge Aero Club
Cambridge Aero Club is one of the longest established flight training schools in the world. Based at Cambridge Airport, they have been training pilots since 1929. Their highly experienced instructor team has an infectious enthusiasm for flying and teaching. Between them, they have amassed an unrivalled level of instructing expertise and have become highly specialised in everything from basic flight instruction to advanced aerobatics.
Visit www.cambridgeaeroclub.com for more information.
Booker Aviation has gained its reputation over nearly fifty years as an efficient, friendly and professional flight training organisation.
They offer full modular flight training packages from Private Pilot Licences, through structured hours building, Commercial Pilot Licences, Multi-Engine Piston Ratings and Instrument Rating courses.
Visit www.bookeraviation.aero for more information.