Theoretical Knowledge & Ground School Examinations

Theory and exams

While the actual flying is undoubtedly more fun, ground-based study is a crucial part of training, as well as helping you to understand the limitations of the aircraft and of pilots as human beings. It teaches you the laws and procedures to which you must adhere as a pilot, and how to plan a flight safely.

As part of the new European Aviation Safety Agency Private Pilot’s licence syllabus, a much greater emphasis has been placed on the core learning subjects to make sure applicants have gained sufficient theoretical knowledge as more aviation related accidents and incidents are put down to pilot error. In addition to the ground exams there is a requirement for 100 hours ground school to be completed as part of the course.

Ground School Subjects

The theoretical knowledge syllabus is identical for the PPL and the LAPL. To gain your pilot’s licence, you’ll have to pass nine multiple-choice ground exams:

  • Air Law
  • Operational Procedures
  • Navigation
  • Flight Planning and Performance
  • Principles of Flight
  • Aircraft General Knowledge
  • Human Performance
  • Meteorology
  • Communications/RT

You will also need to complete a practical radio exam as part of your licence.

Theoretical Examinations

The exams are multiple choice and must be passed in six sittings, a sitting being a period of 10 days from the day the first exam is taken. All exams must be completed within 18 months.

The pass mark is 75%. All exams must be passed before taking your skills test. The skills test must be undertaken within six months of completing the final exam.

Now it's time for the skills test. Read more here.