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Private pilot licence

A private pilot licence is your ticket to experiencing the freedom and thrill of flying. So, if you've ever dreamt of taking flight and are wondering how to turn that dream into reality, read on to find out how to get a private pilot licence.

Key takeaways

  • To obtain a Private Pilot Licence (PPL), ensure you meet the eligibility criteria, including age requirements and medical fitness.

  • Engage in thorough training for PPL, covering theoretical knowledge and practical flying skills to prepare for examinations.

  • Understand the examination process, which includes written tests, flight tests, and oral assessments to demonstrate proficiency.

  • Familiarise yourself with the PPL application process, involving paperwork submission, background checks, and approvals from aviation authorities.

  • Explore the benefits of holding a PPL, such as the freedom to fly privately, travel conveniently, and pursue a career in aviation.

  • Be aware of the validity period of a PPL and the renewal process to ensure continuous compliance with regulations and safety standards.

What is a PPL?

The UK Private Pilot Licence (PPL) is a licence that helps you go from being a beginner to a certified private pilot. With this licence, you can fly for fun as the main pilot (Pilot in Command) of a single engine piston (SEP) aircraft. The UK PPL is very valuable and offers various extra ratings and privileges that you can add after completing your certification. These additions will help you enhance your skills and knowledge as a pilot.


If you dream of a career in aviation, getting a PPL is the initial step towards obtaining a commercial license. It provides the essential training required to progress to becoming a commercial pilot. The UK PPL is accepted in the UK and across Europe, and it can serve as a good foundation for converting licenses in other countries like the US.

Simulators in PPL Flight Training

Flight simulators offer numerous advantages in flight training.


Firstly, they provide a safe environment for trainee pilots to practice various maneuvers and emergency procedures without the inherent risks associated with real flight. This allows pilots to develop their skills and confidence without jeopardizing their safety or expensive aircraft.


Secondly, simulators offer flexibility by replicating different weather conditions and airports, allowing students to experience a wide range of scenarios that may not be readily available in real-world training.


Additionally, simulators are cost-effective, significantly reducing the expenses associated with fuel, maintenance, and aircraft rental. Furthermore, they enable instructors to closely monitor trainee performance, provide immediate feedback, and customize training programs to individual needs.


Overall, flight simulators play a crucial role in enhancing the efficiency, safety, and affordability of flight training, making them an invaluable tool for aspiring pilots.

Commercial Airline Simulator Experiences

At JexEx Simulation we offer full motion 737 simulator experiences. If your PPL is a stepping stone to a career as a commercial pilot, it's worth getting a hands-on experience in a commercial airline sim to give you a taste of what's to come. All experiences can be tailored to your needs.

30 Minute Experience

For a taste of what it's like to fly a commercial 737 jet.

You'll get to taxi, take off, tour the skies and land at any airport in the world, all from the captain's seat.

60 Minute Experience

Want to try your hand at some tricky weather conditions? Or a few challenging approaches?

Our most-popular hour long experience will give you the time to feel a variety of real-world flying situations.

120 Minute Experience

Our two-hour flying experience gives you the chance to try your hand at some really challenging flights.

Fancy a stall recovery? Or zero visibility approach? Or perhaps see how you fair with an engine failure!

Minimum Age

  • Meet the minimum age requirement set by aviation authorities.

  • Provide proof of age through official documents.

  • Ensure compliance with age restrictions before starting the licensing process.

Medical Requirements

Initial Assessment

  • Undergo an initial assessment to evaluate suitability for pilot training.

  • Complete required assessments such as medical checks and aptitude tests.

  • Receive feedback on readiness for pursuing a private pilot licence.


Ongoing Health

  • Maintain good physical health throughout the licensing process.

  • Regularly update medical records as per aviation regulations.

  • Be aware of health conditions that may affect pilot licensing eligibility.

Eligibility Criteria

Examination Process

Private pilot licence (PPL) applicants must pass theoretical exams to demonstrate their understanding of aviation knowledge. Subjects covered in these exams include air law, navigation, meteorology, and aircraft general knowledge.

To prepare effectively for these exams, candidates can use study materials like textbooks, online resources, and practice tests. Regular revision and seeking clarification on challenging topics are crucial steps towards success.

Theoretical Exams

Skills Tests

Before the skill test, aspiring pilots should ensure they have logged sufficient flying hours and received thorough training from certified instructors. Practising manoeuvres such as take-offs, landings, and emergency procedures is essential for readiness.

Staying calm during the test is key to performing well. Candidates should focus on following instructions precisely and demonstrating their flying skills confidently. Mental preparedness through relaxation techniques can help manage nerves effectively.

During the skill test, examiners evaluate various aspects of a candidate's piloting abilities. These include proficiency in handling different flight situations, adherence to safety protocols, communication skills with air traffic control, and decision-making under pressure.

Candidates must showcase their ability to navigate using charts and instruments accurately while maintaining situational awareness throughout the flight. Demonstrating effective cockpit resource management by prioritising tasks and communicating clearly with co-pilots is also crucial for success.

Ready to try our 737 simulator?

We offer a whole range of flight simulator experiences that everyone can enjoy, whether you're a complete flying novice or an experienced pilot looking to get familiar with the 737.

How to get your Private Pilot Licence

To get your UK PPL, you'll need to complete 45 hours of flight training which must include at least 25 hours with an instructor and 10 hours flying solo. You also have to do a solo cross country flight of at least 150nm, landing at two different aerodromes from where you started.

You'll have to pass nine multiple-choice exams, achieving a score of at least 75% in each. Exams must be completed within 6 sessions (each session covering a 10 day period). The exam topics are:

Common subjects

  • Air law

  • Human performance

  • Meteorology

  • Communications

  • Navigation

Exams specific to the aircraft category

  • Principles of flight

  • Operational procedures

  • Flight performance and planning

  • Aircraft general knowledge

Once you pass the written tests to get your private pilot's licence, you have 24 months to apply for the licence. The clock starts ticking from the day you finish your last written exam. During this two-year period, you need to finish your flight training and pass the skill evaluation. If you don't meet these requirements in time, you'll have to redo the exams.

For more information about applying for a Private Pilot Licence, check the CAA website.

More Information

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