Unlike a professional licence or rating (i.e. CPL, ATPL and IR) where minimum private study and instructor led study time is mandated, the ground school for the issue of PPL, LAPL and NPPL can be completed wholly by self-study. Depending on your ability to assimilate the information this may take up to 100hrs. Some students’ learning style lends itself better to 100% self study and some prefer some instructors led sessions.
However, it is easy to underestimate the theory requirements for the issue of a recreation pilot licence, perhaps in part because the examination papers consist of a small numbers of questions (12-16) and take between 20 – 50 minutes each to complete. It is also, because the pilot tends to draw on their theory knowledge more heavily during the, thankfully, rare occurrences of airborne problem solving, under pressure and it is the rarity of these unforeseen events that constitutes the relative safety of recreational aviation but also detracts from the importance the student pilot places on theory knowledge. The prospective pilot should consider the importance of theory in a wider context. For example there is no substitute for a thorough understanding of meteorology to enable a pilot to plan correctly and make safe weather decisions both on the ground and in the air; there are no lay-bys in the sky!
Andrews’ Aviation suggest a 1 to 2-day instructor led “Deep-Dive” for each subject and offer 1:1 or group instructor led sessions on either individual subjects or as a full time 35 hour course over 5-days to complement your self-study. Take a look at our fees page to decide what’s right for your learning style.
EASA LAPL/PPL Theoretical Knowledge subjects are defined in Part-FCL and include the following subjects:
– Air Law;
– Operational Procedures;
– Human Performance;
– Principles of Flight;
– Aircraft General Knowledge;
– Flight Performance and Planning;
There is order in which the exams should be done although the order above is seen as a natural order which follows progress along the flight training syllabus. There is also a natural synergy between subjects; Air Law & Operational Procedures, Principles of Flight & Aircraft General Knowledge and Navigation & Flight Performance and Planning exams make good study companions.
The National Private Pilot Licence syllabus is found here. Section 3 defines the Theoretical Knowledge Subjects which follows the same format and syllabus of the EASA PPL/LAPL defined above.
IMC / IR(R)
The theory element of the Instrument Meteorological Rating (IMC) / Instrument Rating Restricted (IR(R)) culminates in a 2 hour examination consisting of 25 questions covering all elements of the IMC/IR(R) including producing a PLOG complete with fuel planning.