Subjects

There are a total of nine theoretical multiple choice ground school theory exam subjects which must be passed before a skills test is taken and before a pilot's licence can be issued.

EASA rules state that all exams must be sat in a maximum of six sittings. A sitting is a period of ten days starting from the day that an exam is taken. If an exam is failed, it cannot be taken in the same sitting. It can be taken twice locally but if these are also not passed, it must be sat once more at the CAA in Gatwick. If the fourth attempt is failed, all ground exams must be taken again (including those that were passed). If all the exams and re-sits are not passed in the six sittings, then all ground school exams must be taken again.

The subjects below are the same for both the Private Pilot's Licence and the Light Aircraft Pilot's Licence.

Air Law

Aviation law is normally the first written exam to be taken. It is advised to have this exam completed prior to your first solo flight as air law is similar to the highway code of the air. Although your first solo flight will usually be one solo circuit, it is important that you know how to read ground signals and know who has right of way as well as being aware of airspace restrictions.

Topics covered include legislation, the establishment of ICAO in the 1940's and rules of the air.

Questions: 16
Time: 35 minutes

Test your Air Law theory knowledge here for free

 

 

Human Performance and Limitations

Deteriorating decision making due to stress accumulation or ill health can lead to the development of dangerous situations. The ability to interpret the signs at an early stage makes accidents less likely to happen and therefore human performance and limitations is a vital part of your exam syllabus.

Questions: 12
Time: 25 minutes

 

 

Meteorology

Weather patterns and their interpretation are of great importance to pilots. You will learn how to understand what is happening in the atmosphere and what sort of conditions to avoid flying in (or into). You will learn to read aerodrome weather reports and forecasts and how to apply them to your intended flight to ensure that at all times you remain safe and legal.

Questions: 16
Time: 50 minutes

 

 

Communications

Your Radio Telephony RT Licence will allow you to fly, for example, through certain categories of airspace and into aerodromes with higher levels of radio work. This exam covers the theoretical side of communications in aviation.

Questions: 12
Time: 20 minutes

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft General Knowledge

This covers the theory of aeroplane systems - engine, fuel, oil and electrical. It gives background knowledge on how an aircraft works.

Questions: 16
Time: 35 minutes

 

 

Flight Performance and Planning

Flight Performance and Planning concentrates on how well the aeroplane performs in differing situations, but with an emphasis on the practical aspects of flying. This will teach you how to learn about calculating weight and balance, fuel, ETAs etc. You will learn, amongst other things, the safest way to load your aeroplane and how to get the best range and endurance out of it.

Questions: 12
Time: 45 minutes

 

Navigation

This includes learning how to map-read and use your navigation computer to complete an orderly flight plan, including radio frequencies, alternate aerodromes and a fuel plan and how to deal with unforeseen navigation circumstances.

Questions: 12
Time: 45 minutes

 

 

Operational Procedures

This exam has extracts from some of the above mentioned exams, but with an emphasis on the operating rules and safety aspects of flying.

Questions: 12
Time: 30 minutes

 

Principles of Flight

This breaks down the original former Technical exam, now aircraft general knowledge into smaller sections to concentrate your study into key areas. You will learn topics such as the theory of flight and aerodynamics (lift, weight, drag & thrust).

Questions: 12
Time: 35 minutes

 

 

Study well for your ground school exams to ensure you pass all subjects first time and also to consolidate your learning in the air.

View our recommended theoretical exam sitting plan.