LAPL Training (for beginners)

The LAPL (Light Aircraft Pilot Licence) allows you to fly a light aircraft either solo or with friends in nice weather. This license is the equivalent of a driver’s licence, but a bit more rigorous.

A lot of flying schools will push you towards a PPL but if you’re planning to fly as a hobby and in nice weather, then there’s no need for a PPL. At MotorGlide, we recommend that you train for the LAPL (Light Aircraft Pilots License); for the majority of UK pilots, the privileges of this licence suits them perfectly.

[More information on glider pilot conversions to this licence can be found here.]

What’s the difference between a PPL & LAPL?

  • Hours – for the LAPL, you need to complete minimum of 30 hours of training instead of the 45 you complete for the PPL (saving you at least £1700!).
  • Medical – for the LAPL, you require a LAPL medical which is similar to a DVLA van medical. For the LAPL it’ll cost £80 to £120. For a PPL you need a Class 2 or higher (£120+).
  • Training – at MotorGlide, we train you in a motorglider (much more affordable), and once you’re at licence level we can then convert you to a larger aircraft. The result is that you gain an LAPL with two ratings: TMG & SEP. This is a european license and therefore can only fly anywhere in Europe.

What licence do I train for?

95% of UK private pilots only fly in good weather and only in the UK, so there is no need for any license other than an LAPL. If you ever want to upgrade to the PPL, that can easily be done later.

Light Aircraft Pilots License (Aeroplanes) – LAPL(A)

Matt & JeffTraining requirements:
- Minimum of 24 hours of dual flying training (total of 30hr including solo)
- 6 hours solo flying
- Solo cross-country of 80nm, landing at one other airfield.
- Aircraft Radio Test
- 9 ground exams
- Skill Test, to cover general handling, emergencies and navigation.

What about the ground exams?
There are 9 multiple choice exams and these exams can be taken here at MotorGlide.

Ground Exam subjects:
- Air Law
- Operational Procedures
- Communications
- Navigation
- Meteorology
- Aircraft General Knowledge
- Principles of Flight
- Flight Performance and Planning
- Human Performance

Help with ground exams?
We incurrence home study with books and various phone apps. If you require more help then our instructors are more than happy to help by providing ground school.

Age limits:
- There is no upper limit (our oldest student is 86!!)
- 14 years of age to start your flight training
- 16 years of age to go solo
- 17 years of age to be issued a licence.

Medical requirements:
- LAPL medical or higher is required
- This can be obtained from your GP, but we recommend you see an AME (Aero Medical Examiner). We can provide you a list of examiners (costs about £90).

How long until I get my license?
- This is all depends upon how often you come flying!
- Most people fly for 1 hour a week and will complete their training in 6 to 12 months.
- It works like driving lessons, you book as many lessons as you like and as frequent as you like.

Do I need to buy an airplane after qualifying?
Once you have a license you can hire MotorGlide’s aircraft for £76/hr, no need to buy your own (in fact unless you do lots of flying it’s not worth owning you own aircraft),

Maintaining your licence privileges:
In the past 12 months you will need to complete 12 hours solo (or with a friend) and have flown with an instructor for one hour.

What can you do with this license?
- Fly in any EASA country, that’s most of Europe.
- Fly in nice weather only, during the day or night (if you hold a night rating).
- Fly single engine aircraft (max of 2000 kg).
- Fly up to 3 passengers. 

How much will it cost?

Other flying schools – prices vary dramatically from £120 to £180 per hour for a light aircraft, and most training organisations only offer the PPL (it makes them more money!), at 45 hours of training.

  • Taking the average of price £150 per hour:
  • 45 hours x £150/hr = £6,750
  • Extras – books, ground exams, CAA fees = £500
  • Total cost = £7,250+

MotorGlide – we are open with our pricing and we train you for the NPPL or LAPL, saving you money.

  • Cost per hour = £105
  • 30 hours x £105 = £3,150
  • Extras – books, ground exams, CAA fees = £500
  • Total cost £3,650 (budget for £4,000 and you’ll have no financial surprises)

NB: 30 hours is the minimum required for this licence. The number of hours required in practice depends on the individual student’s ability; therefore, more training hours may be required to achieve your licence.