Congratulations on deciding to learn to fly! Here is a quick breakdown of costs and what is involved in passing the EASA PPL course to gain a Private Pilot’s Licence. Help with PPL course:


Help with PPL course – What is Involved?

The course requires you to gain the following:

  • EASA Class 2 Medical Certificate (more on that here)
  • 45 hours actual flight time
  • 9 multiple choice theoretical exams passed at 75% or higher (between 12 to 16 questions per exam)

There are no pre-requisities before starting your course, other than the minimum age of 14 (you’ll need to be 16 before you fly solo and 17 to obtain a license though).

Help with PPL course – How Long Does It Take?

Although the minimum amount of flying hours is 45, most students won’t pass in that time as certain parts of the subject will need to be practiced more thoroughly – a general rule is to aim for 60 hours.

The required hours is also split into further minimum requirements:

  • 25 hours minimum dual flying (with your instructor)
  • 10 hours minimum solo flying (on your own!)
    • A minimum 5 hours solo cross country
    • A Qualifying Cross Country Flight of at least 150 nautical miles landing at two other airfields

The remaining hours can be completed dual, solo or some of each. 

Help with PPL course – What Are The Groundschool Exams?

There are 9 groundschool exams with between 12 to 16 questions per exam which form part of the syllabus . You’ll need a mark of 75% or higher to pass.

  • Air Law
  • Human Performance and Limitations
  • Meteorology
  • Navigation
  • Aircraft General
  • Flight Performance and Planning
  • Communications
  • Operational Procedures
  • Principles of Flight

You have 18 months in which to complete all nine exams from the end of the month that you have attempted your first exam, and once all exams have been completed, you then have 24 months from this date in which to successfully pass your PPL skills test.

Help with PPL course – What are the Flying Exercises?

The dual instruction exercises can be broken down in to the following subjects:

  • Flying Straight and Level
  • Climbing and Descending
  • Circuits, Take Off’s and Landings
  • Stall Recovery
  • Recovery from Unusual Attitudes
  • Steep Turns
  • Navigation and Radio Use

The PPL flight instruction syllabus covers the following:

1- pre-flight operations, including mass and balance, aeroplane inspection and servicing. 
2- aerodrome and traffic pattern operations, collision avoidance precautions and procedures
3- control of the aeroplane by external visual reference
4- flight at critically low airspeeds, recognition of and recovery from, incipient and full stalls.
5- flight at critically high airspeeds, recognition of and recovery from spiral dives.
6- normal and cross-wind take-offs and landings
7- maximum performance (short field and obstacle clearance) take-offs, short field landings
8- flight by reference soley to instruments
9- cross-country flying using visual reference, dead reckoning and radio navigation aids
10- emergency operations, including simulated aeroplane equipment malfunctions
11- operations to, from and transiting controlled aerodromes, compliance with air traffic services procedures, communication procedures and phraseology. 

Help with PPL course – How Much Will It Cost? Forum member MSGr has explained in depth his entire PPL journey with costs here

Actual figures vary with each flying school, with some offering packages that allow discounts for a 45 hour pass rate. MSGr calculated a total course cost of £15,357.93, broken down as £11,686.50 (76% of total) in flight costs; £564.00 (4% of total) in exam costs; £3,107.43 (20% of total) in item costs.

Take Flight Aviaition states:

“Whether you are a student or a license holder, there is a membership fee of £40 per month payable by standing order on the first of every month.  We have a variety of aircraft on which you can learn to fly. Hire of the aircraft is paid directly to Take Flight Aviation and instruction is paid directly to the instructor. The cheapest aircraft you can learnt to fly in is the Cessna 152 which is £109 per hour for the aircraft hire and £30 per hour for an instructor; a total of £139 per hour. There’s no additional surcharge or landing fees as with some operators, with the only exception being night training, which attracts £10 per sortie fee payable to the airfield.

Other extras to be aware of are the PPL skills test fee taken at the end of your course which is payable directly to the examiner, CAA license application fee and charge for your medical examination.”

Take Flight Aviation

What Kit Do I Need To Purchase?

It is not essential for the start of the course, but as soon as practically possible you will need to purchase your own headset – you don’t really want to be wearing one that has been on so many people’s ears!

You will also need to read the PPL theory books. Book one supports the practical flying training and it is useful if you can read ahead for the next lessons so it all falls into place when you actually come to fly in it. Navigation equipment such as a knee-board, rule and plogs will need to be purchased later on in the course but your instructor will advise you nearer the time. 

If you can afford to buy all your kit at the start, there’s a PPL starter kit which can be purchased and comes free with most training school’s pre-paid courses.

We hope that has given you Help with PPL course – why not comment below to help others!


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