Learning to fly in Kent, and taking Flying Lessons in Kent to obtain a Private Pilots Licence (PPL)
Flight training is available for a JAR PPL (Private Pilots Licence) which is valid throughout the European Economic Community.
The PPL is the basic requirement for any advanced or Commercial Licences. Once qualified you can have further training with us to add 'ratings' such as the Night Qualification or Basic Instrument (IMC) to the PPL.
Learning to fly – the basic requirements:
You can start at any age, as soon as someone is big enough to reach the controls, although you cannot officially log the time to count towards a Licence until the age of 14.
You can go solo in an aeroplane as a student pilot at the age of 16 and you can be issued with a Licence once you are 17, and you can fly to as old as you are able to maintain the medical certificate.
A Class 2 medical certificate (Class 1 is for Commercial) - issued by an Aero Medical Examiner (AME), we maintain a list of these and can find one near you.
Flying hours required:
Minimum of 45 hours including the following:
At least 25 hours with an instructor
At least 10 hours solo with at least 5 hours solo cross-country and a 150nm cross-country qualifier
At least 2 hours of stall awareness and spin avoidance
Basic instrument appreciation
Use of navigation aids
To be honest most people do take a little longer depending on work, family and financial commitments. It’s a good idea to have a chat with us first.
Groundschool – The theory bit:
You need to pass theoretical examinations in:
Aviation Law (we like you to have this one before you go solo.
Navigation (you need to pass this before you undertake any solo flights away from the aerodrome.
Aircraft General. This includes basic aerodynamics, engines and airframes.
Flight performance and Planning
Human Performance and Limitations. A bit of physiology and some mental as well as physical effects from flying.
Meteorology. That’s the weather!
Communications. This includes a written test as well as a practical exam, but we can take you through the whole thing so that you can get your RadioTelephony (RT) Licence.
You do not have to be an expert in any one subject, but you do need to have a little basic knowledge in each of these areas.
The final flight test, called the Combined Skills Test:
A Skills test with an examiner which includes general handling and a cross-country (navigation) section.
Once issued the JAR licence is valid for 5 years and allows the holder to fly in Visual Meteorological Conditions as Pilot in Command of a single engined piston aircraft including flying abroad (subject to currency checks for Club aircraft).
There are also currency requirements to make sure you are safe and in practice.
Further courses are available for qualifications such as
AOPA Aerobatics course
Multi engine rating
National Private Pilots Licence (NPPL)
The requirements for a NPPL are similar to the JAR PPL, but with reduced training time (ie it does not cover radio navigation). With approximately 32 hours of flying training and a less rigorous medical, the licence holder is limited to flying in the UK only.
Can be completed on Self-Launching Motor-Glider (NPPL SLMG) or Single Engine Piston light aircraft (NPPL SEP). The NPPL SLMG can be upgraded to NPPL SEP by completing conversion training and a general flight test. This would be a less expensive way of obtaining the NPPL SEP, as shown below by completing a NPPL SLMG followed by upgrade to NPPL SEP.
Flying lessons at Headcorn in Kent - learn to fly with us.
We offer a full range of flying training in addition to pleasure flights. These include trial lessons, pleasure flights, PPL renewals and extra ratings including Night Qualification and AOPA Aerobatic courses.
Flying instruction is normally geared towards PPL (Private Pilots Licence) and NPPL (National Private Pilots Licence) qualifications, for which we have available CAA registered examiners.
Our experienced flying instructors carry out pilot training on a range of single engine light aircraft. We also operate a dedicated ground school and are CAA exam invigilators.
We can also arrange, aerial photography and air taxi services
Having Flying Lessons in Kent:
At Headcorn Aerodrome in the beautiful Weald of Kent means that you can get to visit some interesting and charming airfields around the South East of England.
Biggin Hill Airport in Kent is just 30 minutes flying time away. The historic Battle of Britain airfield with two runways.
Shoreham is close to the Sussex coast, and a busy airfield 50 minutes flying time away. The terminal is a classic period design and is a listed building.
Lydd Airport in Kent. Only 15 minutes flying time away, Lydd has two runways and restaurant facilities.
French airfield, 50 minutes flying time from Headcorn. Ideal location for a relaxed lunch.
So to sum up your course of Flying Lessons in beautiful Kent:
Following your Trial Lesson you’ve decided to go ahead and train to qualify for a PPL.
The course can be split into three parts:
Firstly, you will learn literally to fly the aeroplane. The effects of all the controls, how to fly straight, to turn, climb and descend.
Of course you will also learn how to take off and land. This will result in lots of sessions in the “circuit” doing “touch and go’s”. Eventually the time will come when your instructor will climb out of the aeroplane and leave you to do one complete circuit all on your own.
Your first solo!
(Before you go solo you must have obtained an Aviation Medical from a CAA approved GP)
The next stage of the course involves the application of all that you have mastered, to fly away from the airfield to other places. Now we’re into navigation, the weather, air law, planning and all the other aspects of flying which will equip you to face the last stage of the course.
The Grande Finale or final stage is of course the Skills Test that you will complete with an
examiner. A bit like a driving test but nowhere near as scary! Here you will impress the
examiner with your expertise and mastery of the air! Or perhaps more realistically you will show him (or her!) that you are basically able and safe to fly on your own and with
Running throughout this syllabus there is of course the Groundschool.
You will need to study for a total of eight exams and you must complete them all within twelve months of each other. From passing your first exam then, you have twelve months to pass them all, and three years to get your licence issued.
The subjects are, Air Law; Meteorology; Air Navigation; Aeroplane Technical; Human
Performance and Limitations; Flight Planning and Aeroplane Performance; Radio Telephony(RT) written; RT practical.
All the necessary books can be purchased from us here at Headcorn, and they are very good, however if you would like extra tuition that can be arranged with any one of a number of
Doing your PPL in the UK does have some limitations in the weather department, (although here in Kent we do get away with some better weather than the rest of the country) but you should be able to complete the entire course within a year or much less depending on your other commitments, so if you book one lesson per week, expect some to be cancelled due to weather.
When you apply for your licence you must have completed a minimum of 45 hours including 10 hours solo.
To be honest most people take between 50 and 60 hours to qualify, or more if you have heavy work or family commitments.
So good luck and we look forward to welcoming you here at Headcorn in Kent.