What's involved in Learning to Fly

THERE are two different licences for the Private Pilot. The LAPL (Light Aircraft Pilots Licence) is valid for daytime flying, generally in the UK only. The LAPL requires fewer hours to attain so is cheaper. It also has significantly relaxed medical requirements.

AT-3 plan view


Designed specifically for training, most of our aircraft are two seat AT-3s, one of the newest generations of light aircraft. An aluminium airframe combined with the lightweight ultra-reliable 100hp Rotax 912S engine results in a sparkling performance.

Easy to operate from small airfields, they climb at 800 feet per minute or more and will cruise at up to 120 kts.

We also have a comprehensively equipped C172 Skyhawk, with all the kit required for IMC training.


You cannot fly solo before the age of 16. There is no maximum age. 16 stone/220 lbs/100 kg is the practical maximum for the AT-3s; the C172 is a 3/4 seat tourer with much more generous limits.


If training for a EASA licence you must pass a medical exam to fly solo. For the LAPL your doctor must sign a declaration of medical fitness for you to fly solo and no medical examination is normally required.


Thanks to our online booking system which is available 24/7, you can see aircraft and instructor availability instantly, and make bookings at your convenience. You have the option to have the same instructor to look after you (circumstances permitting) who will take time to brief you before your flight and debrief you afterwards. When the weather is good they will take you flying and when it isn't they will take you for ground school usually as one to one tutorials or in small groups of three or four.

The booking system also keeps track of all of your booked flying in an online logbook, which can be printed or exported for use in other systems. Just like your paper logbook, you can also add notes and also enter flights that haven't gone through the booking system.


That's easy. Just phone 01604 790218 and we'll arrange a time and date, or use the contact form. If you have already bought a voucher you can of course also use the online booking system. All you then need to do is report to the clubhouse on time - we have all the equipment you'll need on the day such as headsets.

If your friends or family have bought you a trial flight, bring them along with you to watch! We have comfortable sofas and a warm clubhouse, or there are picnic tables outside and the airfield cafe with elevated balcony just a few moment's walk away.

AT-3 flying


You have to complete at least 45 hours flying instruction of which at least 25 hours are dual and 10 hours are solo. This solo time includes at least 5 hours cross-country with at least one flight of 150nm during which you land at two other airfields. Finally you take a General Skill Test (GST).

There are exams to be passed covering Air Law, Human Performance, Meteorology, Navigation and Aeroplane Technical Subjects. Over the whole course you will receive at least 25 hours ground school; add to that some home study, particularly on the questions and answers which we will give you and you will pass the exams.

You'll also need a Class 2 medical - most people of average fitness will pass this with ease and we can point you towards an appropriate Aeromedical Examiner (AME). The examination is not onerous and details are on the CAA website, here.

Flight planning

bulletTHE LAPL

Designed as a recreational licence with less stringent medical fitness requirements, the LAPL requires less flying and thus costs less. You have to complete at least 30 hours flying instruction of which at least 24 hours are dual and 6 hours are solo. Finally you take a General Flying Test (GFT).

Ground School and exams are the same as for the EASA Licence.

Night flight


One of the most fascinating and enjoyable experiences you can have is seeing the glittering lights of the night-time world from half a mile high. The course is five hours flight at night of which 2 hours are dual circuit work and one is cross country. Solo you fly a minimum of 5 take-offs and full stop landings together with a departure and return to the airfield. Ground school is included.


You can start with a trial lesson so that you can see if you'll enjoy it. We bet you will as we'll give you control and you will fly the aircraft. This flight is exercise 3 in the licence syllabus and it will count towards your licence.