Private Pilot’s Licence

Thinking of becoming a pilot?

If you are thinking of taking up flying and would like to achieve your Private Pilot Licence (PPL), you will find it really isn’t such a daunting task as you may initially imagine. We hope that the following is helpful but please don’t hesitate to contact us is you have any questions

Please also remember that not only youngsters can learn to fly. You can achieve your PPL at any age providing that you are fit enough to get a medical and have the positive attitude required to want to learn new skills and take pride in your achievements.

To help you make your decision on whether to go ahead with your licence, we would encourage you to book an introductory training flight first. You will actually fly the Cessna 152 or the Piper PA28 Warrior and get an idea of what’s in store for you if you decide to go for your PPL. You’ll find more about this in the section about “Gifts & Introductory Training Flights”. You have a choice of training for one of two different courses.

Which one that you choose will depend on your requirements and it is not really necessary for you to make up your mind immediately as the training for each is the same for the first part of the course. The medical requirements and the minimum number of hours you have to fly on each course are different but other than that, we will be flying the same aircraft and benefitting from the same excellent training.

We must stress that the flying hours quoted are minimum times – the number of hours that you fly in training will depend on your ability, your confidence, the frequency of your training sessions and how well you prepare for each session. (Whether or not you read the bit in the book that the instructor told you to last time!)

Ground School Instruction and Exams

As well as taking to the skies, you will be studying for your ground exams. These are not as intimidating as they sound (they take the form of multiple choice answers) and the subjects are usually fairly interesting to someone who is learning to fly.

The first thing to remember about exams is that, at Conington, you will not be left to struggle on your own! You can attend day courses in these subjects, have “one to one” ground school or you can self-study to pass these exams. Everyone is different, and most people use a combination of these things to pass their exams with relative ease. A great deal of the knowledge required will be picked up from your instructor during your briefings and as you fly, also from the questions that you ask as you progress.

As your flying progresses, you will learn how to use the radio so you can communicate clearly and this will help you to pass your Radiotelephony exams.

First solo flight, Medical Fitness & Exams…… again

Soon after starting your flight training…. Much sooner than you’d expect….. the time will come for you to take to the air on your own. But before your first solo you’ll need to get a medical – this means a visit to a CAA approved doctor to ensure you are fit enough to fly. You also need to have taken (and passed!) your air law exam to fly from Conington. This is similar to knowing the Highway Code and passing your “theory” before you go out driving on your own.


The full cost of learning to fly includes your total flying time, plus the cost of books, flying equipment (map, ruler, stop watch etc) flying club membership, ground school and exam fees. Please remember that it usually takes slightly longer than the minimum to reach the necessary standard to pass your flying exam (or Skills test) unless you are doing an intensive full time course. If you have long breaks in your training or if the weather stops you for a couple of weekends, you may need some revision to get completely comfortable with your flying again before you can progress.

You will find estimated minimum costs for a 45-hour PPL course below. These costs can occasionally vary with, for example, fuel costs, VAT increases etc so it’s worth checking them with us before making your final decision. Remember….. When you’re learning to fly, you don’t have to pay for your whole course immediately or pay for all of your equipment and books in one go – pay as you go, or, talk to us about the discount available for 10 hours “up front” payment.

A typical breakdown of minimum costs for your EASA flying course

What You will need to pay for EASA 
45 hours flying @ £143.00 £7,222.50
Skill test (examiner) fees £200
Exam fees 9 exams @ £35.00 £315
Exam Radiotelephony practical £100
Annual club membership £185
Books and equipment £220
Total Minimum Payment £8,242.50

Any additional flying necessary will be charged at the current training rate. Ground school is available at £35.00 per hour on a one to one basis with your instructor. The annual membership is based on an adult joining – junior and family rates are also available. Advance payment for 10 hours flying attracts a 5% discount (bank transfer or cash only).

What Your PPL Qualifies You To Do

Your PPL enables you to fly single engine aircraft when the weather is good enough for you to be able to fly visually. You’ll need to keep up your hours in order to keep your licence and to stay safe. Incidentally, your licence doesn’t allow you to fly for hire or your own reward. Ask your instructor for more details about this.

Further Qualifications

Once you have your PPL, you don’t have to stop learning. At Flying Club Conington there are opportunities for you to go on and do more. You can go on to learn to fly at night; you can train for your IMC (Instrument Meteorological Conditions) rating and be able to fly in less good weather; you can learn to fly more complex aircraft; you can do aerobatic training; radio navigation; multi-engine ratings ……..

See Things For Yourself

If you’d like to come and have a look round the clubhouse and airfield, please feel free to call in and see us. You can park in the car park and come into the clubroom area downstairs. Drinks (hot & cold) and food (hot & cold) is available. We’ll be only too happy to show you around and give you a taste of life at the club.

A Final Note About Flying Club Conington

We don’t just fly. There’s a healthy social scene, with talks, barbeques, and a popular club night on Thursday evenings. Also flying competitions, flying trips and much more. There is somebody available to talk to seven days a week and the kettle is always on!

The premier Cambridgeshire flying club

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