Private Pilots License  PPL (A)

In order to gain a Private Pilots License you must train at a Irish Aviation Authority approved pilot training school in Ireland or an approved school in the country that you train in. In Europe this will lead to a JAR Private Pilots License valid throughout Europe in JAA (joint aviation authority) countries. Check the IAA website for the full list. The initial step is normally to take a trial flight with a qualified flying instructor. Once you are happy you want to continue you will join the club or school as a student member. There are two parts to the training, ground school and flight training.

Ground School

Through your Flight Training Organization you will receive your ground school training course air law, aircraft general knowledge, flight performance & planning, human performance & limitations, meteorology, navigation, operational procedures, principles of flight and communication. There is a bit to be learned in these courses, but they are normally done over a couple of months and you will always find that instructors and other pilots will give you all the support you need.

Once your CFI ( chief flying instructor ) is happy that you are ready for the test you can can apply to sit the examination. The IAA normally set these in Dublin and four exams cover the nine subjects above. Your successful results stay valid for two years, during which time you must take your practical flight test or you have to resit the ground exams again.

Flight Training

You will complete a minimum of 45 hours of flight training as a pilot in  group A  aeroplanes. There is a minimum requirement of 25 hours dual and 10 hours solo. The other 10 hours can be either solo or dual or if hold another type of license (pilots license before you ask) you can apply for a credit of up to 10 hours from the Irish Aviation Authority. Good luck! Of the solo hours at least 5 must be cross country with a flight of least of 150 nautical miles with a stop at 2 different airfields from the one that you left from.

Once again when your CFI is happy that you are ready you can apply for your flight test. To do your test you must have passed you ground school exams some time in the last 2 years on the day of you flight test. It is not based on the day you apply for the test. Don't fall foul of this rule! It would be normal that your CFI or another instructor in your school would bring you out for a mock test first just to prepare you.

Medical & Age 

Before you go solo you must have passed a  Class 1 or Class 2 medical exam and have applied and received a Student Pilots License ( SPL ) from the IAA . Normally it would be a class 2 medical that you will obtain and can be completed from an approved list of doctors around the country. If you intend to continue with a flying career you will need a class 1 medical.

To start your training as a pilot you must be at least 15 years of age and 16 years to go solo. To have a full PPL (A) you must be at least 17. It does appear from this that you could sit your ground exams at age 15 or 16, do your flight test at 16 and apply for your license on your 17th  birthday. Happy days.

Microlight Rating

You can apply for a microlight rating to be attached to you group  PPL (A) to the Irish Aviation Authority. There is a requirement that you have up to 5 hours instruction in a microlight aircraft and a CFI for microlights conducts a flight test. I believe it is about 1 1/2 hours in length. No additional ground tests are required. This then needs to re-validated every two years. If your let your group A license expire so does you microlight rating.





Where are we?


Fergus McDonnell

00 353 (0)87 805 1400

Address: Lights Sport Aviation Ltd.
Co. Galway,