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Night Rating

IMC Rating


Full Range of Courses Offered

NPPL (National Private Pilot's Licence): The NPPL licence is only valid within the United Kingdom. Permission can be sought from the officials of the destination country to fly abroad. This licence can be obtained by anyone who is fit enough to drive a car and indeed the medical requirements following of those issued by DVLA for car and HGV drivers. Quite frequently PPL holders transfer their medical to that required for NPPL when the CAA medical requirements become too much for them. A UK only licence for those pilots happy to keep their flying within the confines of UK airspace. This licence also has the benefit of more relaxed medical requirements.
Course requirements include:-
1. Minimum of 35 hour  flight training (25 of which are with an instructor and the remaining hours as supervised solo including navigation)
2. Medical declaration signed by your own G.P.

PPL (Private Pilot's Licence): This licence is the first step towards freedom of the sky, whether you are just planning on recreational flying with friends and family, or have your sights set on the Captain's seat of a large jet.
The course consists of 45 hours flight training minimum of which 25 hours dual and 15 hours solo.
As well as 7 x Written examinations must be undertaken on the following:-
1. Aviation Law
2. Meteorology
3. Navigation
4. Technical
5. Radio Telephony (written)
6. Human Performance and Limitations
7. Flight Performance
a Flight Test

Night Qualification:
A useful fallback when you are running a little late on the return from your booze-cruise to France, and also a requirement for professional licences.
The requirements for the Night qualification are 5 hours of overall night flying, of which at least 3 are under dual instruction, and at least 1 hour of dual night navigation. This training must include 5 take offs and full stop landings at night.

IMC (Instrument Meteorological Conditions):
This rating will prepare you for the days when the weather is less than fine and teach you the more complex skills of Radio Navigation.
The IMC rating will require a minimum of 15 hours training, 29 hours ground school, one written exam and a flight test.

Frequently Asked Questions ON PPL:
The following FAQs (in no particular order) should answer most of your questions about learning to fly with Firecrest Aviation Ltd. If you have other questions or need any further information, please feel free to Contact Us.
Will I get my licence after 45 hours?
The 45 hours flight time is a minimum legal requirement. In reality, the time required to reach the necessary standard varies depending on the abilities of each student. Realistically, most pilots qualify at between 50 to 55 hours.
How often should I fly?
The simple answer is "as often as possible". As the gap between each lesson increases, so does the amount of time required to revise and re-learn skills, so for example, one lesson per week is preferable to a lesson every 6 weeks.
Will I always have the same instructor?
We do our best to ensure that you have the same instructor all the way through your flying training. If your instructor is not going to be available for you, we will always try to let you know in advance (even flying instructors have to have holidays!). As your flying training progresses, it can be beneficial to fly with different instructors occasionally.
What are the advantages of learning in the UK rather than the USA?
On gaining your licence, you will already be familiar with the UK airspace, procedures and weather. However, if you've learnt in the airspace, procedures and climate of another country, it will take time to gain experience of the factors affecting flight in and around the UK. At Firecrest our instructors are always on hand to answer any questions and offer advice.
How much will it cost to learn to fly?
Please see our Price List for training packages and aircraft rental rates.
I'm not very good at maths, is that a problem?
The short answer is no. All the calculations required by a JAR PPL(A) are fairly simple and are well explained in the course books. In addition, the Flight Computer (a sort of "calculator for pilots") does all the difficult work for you.
How often should I study?
As with flying, the simple answer is "as often as possible". In reality, a few hours a week of self study, coupled with theory sessions with your instructor, is sufficient for the average student.
Can I get past exam papers for revision?
There are several excellent publications which provide the student pilot with not only complete sets of typical CAA exam questions, but also detailed explanations of the answers.
What happens if I fail an exam?
First of all, don't worry, even the most gifted of pilots has failed exams! Normally, your instructor will not recommend you for an exam until you are ready for it. If you do fail, your instructor will help you improve your weak spots and then you can re-sit the exam. Each exam can be taken 3 times.
Can I fly in all weathers?
The basic JAR-PPL(A) allows you to fly by day under Visual Flight Rules (VFR), that is, clear of clouds and in sight of the ground. Later in your piloting life, you can take further ratings which will allow you to fly both at night and above the clouds.
Where can I fly?
A JAR PPL is an internationally recognised licence and subject to local rules is usable world wide. the NPPL is only recognised for flights in UK airspace and by prior arrangement with some other European countries. By 2012 it is anticipated that the NPPL will be replaced by a pan-European licence.
Can I take passengers?
After you have received your JAR-PPL(A) licence, you can take passengers, but you cannot charge them for the flight. However, you can share the cost equally between you.
How expensive is it to hire an aeroplane?
Aeroplane hire charges are from chock-to-chock, which means from the time the aircraft starts to taxi and when it comes to a halt at the end of the flight, so you only pay for chock-to-chock time. For weekends away, only the actual flying time would be charged (subject to a minimum flying time). Our terms and conditions give full details of our current prices and hire conditions.
How fit must I be to learn to fly?
For the JAA PPL a medical must be passed with an authorised Aviation Medical Examiner (a list and further information is available on the CAA Website).
For the NPPL the student must complete a medical declaration with his GP.
In both cases the medical certificate must be issued before any solo flight can take place. There is no upper age limit, providing you continue to pass the medical requirements. Spectacles can be worn and many disabilities do not prevent people from flying
When can I fly?
Firecrest Aviation Ltd is usually open seven days a week, 9:30AM to 6:00PM (or Sunset). In the summer, this is often extended into the evening. In winter, opening can be extended to allow night flying training to take place with prior arrangements..
What sort of aircraft can I fly?
You can fly any single engine aeroplane up to 5700Kg. There are many aeroplanes of varying degrees of complexity within this category. As you progress on to each new aircraft or level of complexity, you will require "conversion to type" and "difference training" if necessary.
How difficult is it to fly?
In many ways, flying is similar to driving a car except that you now have up and down in addition to left and right, also, you no longer have a reverse gear(!) so thinking ahead and anticipation become much more important.
The natural world has a greater impact on flying than driving, so you need to have a better understanding of the weather. Navigation is also a bit different (there are no road signs in the sky!) and is a skill which will be acquired as your training progresses. And finally, while driving, you are insulated from the world. However, in an aeroplane you must communicate with Air Traffic Control using the radio.
What can I do after I gain my licence?
The possibilities are almost endless, but here are a few of the things that other members have gone on to: conversion to more complex aeroplanes (including twin engine aeroplanes); take instrument and night ratings; aerobatics; air racing, etc. members regularly go further afield to Scotland, Ireland or even the Continent.
What about safety?
All Firecrest aircraft are certified under the EASA Certificate of airworthiness - the same as a holiday jet. This means that all our aeroplanes are maintained to the highest of professional standards. Our training aircraft are amongst the most reliable and popular light aircraft in the world.
How do I keep current?
To retain your JAR-PPL(A), you must fly at least 12 hours during every two years (including a minimum of one hour with an instructor - to make sure you're 'up to speed'). You must also maintain an up-to-date medical.

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