Learn to fly – No prior experience required
If you’re considering learning to fly then you’ve come to the right place.
All of our flight training is performed in our fleet of Piper PA-28 and PA-38 aircraft. We also offer a flight simulator which complements our training fleet and our own online groundschool.
The UK Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL)
The Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL) is the gold standard private flying licence and the first rung on the ladder towards a career in commercial aviation.
It is by far the most popular of the courses we offer and allows the holder to act, without renumeration, as the pilot of an aircraft carrying passengers.
The PPL can have numerous additional endorsements added to enable the holder to fly at night, on instruments only, in multi-engine aircraft or even to become a flight instructor!
The only pre-requisite for starting a Private Pilot Licence course is that you must be at least 14 years old.
- Flight training: 45 hours (minimum)
- Ground study options:
- Self study
- Online courses
- Ground examinations: 9
- Medical certification: Class 1 or 2
The UK Light Aeroplane Pilot’s Licence (LAPL)
The LAPL is a ‘light’ version of the PPL and is primarily aimed at those who plan to only fly privately, in aircraft of limited size and in good weather conditions. It also requires a slightly less demanding medical certification, so those who can not obtain a Class 2 medical can fly with reduced priviliges.
If you are limited by a medical condition or are only ever likely to fly for pleasure and in good weather then the reduced cost of the LAPL can make it the pragmatic choice.
The only additional rating that can be added to the LAPL is the Night Rating, but the licence is upgradeable to the PPL post-issue which then opens the door for further training if desired.
Students enroling on a Light Aeroplane Pilot Licence course must be at least 14 years old.
- Flight training: 30 hours (minimum)
- Ground study options:
- Self study
- Online courses
- Ground examinations: 9
- Medical certification: Class 2 or LAPL
Start your journey here.
Enrol today and start booking your lessons online!
A Merseyflight membership is the minimum requirement to start your flight training journey with us. As standard, an annual membership gives you the following benefits:
- 12 month access to flying school facilities
- Member flying rates
- Online booking
- Electronic logbook
- Online training records
- Online study materials
- Online course guidance
- Use of school equipment
- Insurance cover
Upgrade to our Frequent Flyer membership programme and you will benefit from:
- 5 – 7.5% discount on all of your flying and landing fees
- Priority booking – book your lessons up to 6 weeks in advance (4 weeks standard)
Membership Tariff Comparison
|Minimum flights or hours within preceding 28 days
< 2 training flights
< 2 hours flying
2+ training flights
2 + hours flying
4+ training flights
4+ hours flying
Alternatively, choose our Enrolment Package to kick start training. Packed with everything you need at a discounted price, our enrolment package includes:
- Frequent Flyer Membership
- Subscription to the Pooley’s Aviation Academy online ground school for computer-based theory training, examination practice, regular webinars and much more.
- 2 Hours of mandatory induction ground school; including the first two exercises of the PPL syllabus (aircraft familiarisation and preparation for / action after flight), registration with the UK Civil Aviation Authority, tuition on how to make the most of our online services (booking, training records, flying logs, study resources etc)
- Our ‘Pilot’s Starter Kit’; All the flight equipment you need up to your first solo flight! Includes 5 course text books (Air Pilot’s Manuals volumes 1, 2, 4, 6 and 7), Pilot’s logbook, kneeboard, aircraft checklist, hi-vis vest, airside pass holder and laynard – all in a flight bag!
Frequently Asked Questions
What does a PPL/LAPL training course consist of?
A flight training course consists of two concurrently running threads; a practical element (flight training) and a ground study element (theoretical knowledge). Both the flight training and theoretical knowledge elements of the course are defined in an internationally recognised syllabus.
The practical training is wholly undertaken at our facility, in our fleet of training aircraft and under the instruction and oversight of our highly qualified and experienced team. In order to complete the practical element of the course, a student pilot must:
- Complete training in all parts of the practical syllabus to an acceptable standard;
- Complete at least the minimum required dual training and solo flying hours.
The theoretical knowledge requirement covers 9 subjects:
- Aviation Law
- Operational Procedures
- Aircraft General Knowledge
- Principles of Flight
- Flight Performance & Planning
- Human Performance
In order to complete the theoretical knowledge element of the course, the student pilot must pass a multiple choice ground examination in each of these subjects. All ground examinations are sat at Merseyflight.
Unlike the practical training, the ground study is mainly in the hands of the student pilot and undertaken in the form of home-study using the course materials. It is essential that the student pilot remains focused on their study throughout their course, ensuring that it runs concurrently with their flight training for maximum benefit. The instructor will guide and support the student with regard to integrating their ground study and will offer additional ground school if required.
Merseyflight do offer an online ground school for a small additional cost – More details can be found on our resources page.
Upon completion of both the practical flight training and the theoretical knowledge examinations the student will undertake a flight test with one of our examiners.
What is the difference between the PPL and LAPL courses?
Aside from some air exercises being omitted from the LAPL syllabus, the two courses are identical; however, once you have started training for one of the licences your flight training credit is not transferrable to the other mid-course, so the decision must be carefully considered.
Who can learn to fly?
Anybody can learn to fly – almost!
First of all, you need to be at least 14 years old to count your training flights towards your total hours. You must be 16 years old before you can fly solo and 17 years old for licence issue.
You also need to be able to demonstrate that you are fit and healthy enough to fly. This is done by undertaking a medical examination. There are different levels of medical certification required, depending on your choice of course; Class 1, Class 2 and LAPL. For the PPL you will require at least a class 2 medical which must be performed by a CAA approved aeromedical examiner (AME) whereas the LAPL medical can be performed by your GP.
You may have certain medical conditions which preclude the award of higher levels of certification which may affect your choice of course.
We can provide guidance on the process of gaining certification and recommend local CAA approved AMEs. You can also find contact details for these AMEs on our resources page.
Please note: you do not need a medical before you start learning to fly but you will need one before your first solo flight.
Finally, learning to fly takes dedication and is not cheap. You will need to be motivated, have enough time to fly regularly, study at home and be able to fund your flight training. You can estimate your overall course costs by using our handy course calculator.
How much will a PPL or LAPL cost?
One of the most often asked questions!
The answer is not as simple as it might first seem as there are a lot of variables. The good news is that your overall spend is very much in your own hands. By working hard on the ground you can make the most of the expensive time in the air. Students who study conscientiously, learn from their instructor’s critique and are well prepared for their flying lessons generally complete their training at the lower end of the budget.
We have provided a course calculator tool to help you to estimate your overall costs.
What will I need to budget for?
- Annual membership
- Aircraft and instructor hire
- Landing fees
- Flight equipment
- Study materials
- Examination fees
- Test fees
- Ground school
- CAA Application fees
- Medical examination
Can I do all of my training at Merseyflight?
Merseyflight are a CAA approved flight training and ground examination centre and offer a complete training solution for both the Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL) and the Light Aeroplane Pilot’s Licence (LAPL).
We are specialists in, and dedicated to, teaching the PPL, LAPL and associated ratings.
What is Merseyflight's success rate like?
Our success rate is second to none. Check out our honours board on our home page.
How and where do I start?
If you have never been in a light aircraft before then we recommend you start with one of our extended trial lessons or ‘Learn to fly’ packages.
If you have already completed one of these and are ready to enrol on one of our courses then the first step is to become a Merseyflight member. Once you have been granted access to our online booking system it’s as simple as scheduling your next lesson!
Should I learn in a 2 or 4 seat aircraft?
Your choice of learning in a 2 seat or 4 seat aircraft will usually be determined by your size and weight or just by pure personal preference.
Our 2 seat trainers are Piper PA-38 Tomahawks and the 4 seat option is the larger Piper P-28-A Cherokee.
Training costs are slightly higher in the Cherokee due to the heavier airframe and larger engine. Details regarding flight training costs can be found on our pricing page. Landing fees for the Tomahawk and the Cherokee are identical.
What equipment do I need?
You are going to need various bits and pieces of equipment for both your practical flight training and your study.
Some equipment is essential, such as your basic flight equipment and course books.
We offer 2 equipment packages which include your essential kit and some recommended items. One kit is for everything you need up to and including your first solo flight and the other comprises navigational equipment which you will need for the later stages of your training.
We are a Pooley’s Flight Equipment dealer, so you can either purchase equipment from us or from Pooley’s directly – just don’t forget to use our discount code MERSEYFLIGHT for an extra 5% off!
How do I prepare for my ground examinations?
Approximately 100 hours of study is recommended to pass your theoretical knowledge ground examinations. Merseyflight offer a number of ways to support your learning:
The self study approach to ground exams is the cheapest option and the most fundamentally important. The only costs involved are the course books and your time.
Books can be purchased in either ebook or paperback editions from ourselves, or directly from Pooley’s. If purchasing from Pooley’s, use coupon code MERSEYFLIGHT to receive a 5% discount on checkout.
Online ground school
Merseyflight offer an online solution which ideally should be used to complement your course books.
The online ground school covers all of the subject areas of the PPL and LAPL ground examinations with graphically based interactive courses.
Progress tests and mock examinations can also be accesses through the course interface so that you can test yourself against an extensive database of realistic examination questions.
Classroom based ground school
We offer classroom based ground school in either a one-to-one or group course format.
Ground school in this environment can be used for both practical training briefings and theoretical knowledge teaching.
Ground school is conducted by one of our experienced flight instructors.
We also regulalrly host a very popular and highly rated Radiotelephony course which includes the practical test required for the award of your Radio Telephony licence.