LAPL Training

The Light Aircraft Pilots License is very similar to the UK’s National Private Pilots License (NPPL), however is valid in Europe.

Difference include being able to complete your medical at your GP, instead of a specialist AME. All you have to do is ask us for the forms for your GP to fill in, and we can also give you the guidelines for the Doctor to use to examine you. You can also go to your normal CAA approved medical examiner who can give you a medical based on lower criteria than then normal PPL. This is an advantage if you are unable to get a normal medical, or have had problems. This way you can often keep flying even when you have lost your CAA medical privileges.

Apart from the differences with the medical, there is a lot less training required as well. The requirements are as follows and I have put the PPL requirements in the table as well for comparison.

Flying Experience LAPL PPL
Supervised Solo flight time 6 10
Solo Cross-Country flight time 3 5
Solo Cross-Country 1 Landing 80NM
Solo Cross-Country 2 Landings 150NM
Dual Instruction 15 25
TOTAL 30 45

All the training is the same for both licences, however the extra training for the PPL is made up of an hour of Instrument Flying and training to use Radio Navigation aids as well as the longer cross countries.

It is not possible to add ratings such as the night rating or IR (R) to the LAPL.

Once all the training is complete, and the 9 theoretical exams, which are the same for both licences, have been taken and passed, then the final step is to do the skills test with an examiner, and on passing that the application can be made for the licence.

If at some future date you want to upgrade to a full PPL, provided you have done the minimum hours, and had the training in instrument flying and radio aids, then a new qualifying cross country has to be flown, and the PPL skills test taken.  Or you could elect to do the longer cross country in the first place.    One of our students who had completed his PPL but still needed to do nearly 10 hours flying has done the Commercial Pilots Qualifying Cross Country with is over 300 Nautical Miles.



It is the same as the one for the PPL, but there is no requirement to show your ability to fly on instruments, or show that you can use any radio aids installed in the test aircraft.

Use of checklist, airmanship, control of aeroplane or TMG by external visual references, anti-icing procedures, etc. apply in all sections.


Pre-flight documentation, NOTAM and weather briefing
Mass, balance and performance calculation
Aeroplane or TMG inspection and servicing
Engine starting and after starting procedures
Taxiing and aerodrome procedures, pre-take-off procedures
Take-off and after take-off checks
Aerodrome departure procedures
ATC liaison – compliance

ATC liaison – compliance
Straight and Level flight, with speed changes
i Best rate of climb
ii Climbing turns
iii Levelling off
Medium (30° bank) turns, lookout procedure and collision avoidance
Steep (45° bank) turns (including recognition and recovery from a spiral dive)
Flight at critically low airspeed with and without flaps
i Clean stall and recover with power
ii Approach to stall descending turn with bank angle 20°, approach configuration
iii Approach to stall in landing configuration
i With and without power
ii Descending turns (steep gliding turns)
iii Levelling off

Flight plan, dead reckoning and map reading
Maintenance of altitude, heading and speed
Orientation, airspace structure, timing and revision of ETAs, and log keeping
Diversion to alternate aerodrome (planning and implementation)
Flight management (checks, fuel systems and carburettor icing etc.)
ATC liaison – compliance

Aerodrome arrival procedures
Collision Avoidance (Lookout Procedures)
Precision landing (short field landing), crosswind, if suitable conditions available
Flapless landing
Approach to landing with idle power
Touch and go
Go around from low height
ATC liaison – compliance
Actions after flight

This section may be combined with sections 1 through 4
Simulated engine failure after take-off
*Simulated forced landing
*Simulated precautionary landing
Simulated emergencies
Oral questions

*these items may be combined at the discretion of the FE.
Note: If the test completed in two parts then Section1 and Items a, c and h of Section 4 (aerodrome arrival, landing, actions after flight) shall be assessed on both flight.

If you just want to fly with your friends in the local area, or possibly with more experience venture overseas, then this is an ideal way to get into the air with a new pilots licence. Should you wish to do distance flying, then we would recommend completing the full PPL.

At present this licence, although on the application forms, we are still going through the approval process for us to be able to teach it. However as it is almost identical to the NPPL and all the initial training up to solo and just beyond is identical, by the time anyone intending to do this course completes it, all our approvals will have been completed.