Light Aircraft Pilot's Licence
The UK Light Aircraft Pilots Licence (LAPL), is similar to the PPL, although is aimed at the recreational pilot. Unlike the PPL, the LAPL is only valid for single engine aircraft flying in Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC) within Europe. The LAPL allows you to fly aircraft with no more than 4 people on board up to a weight of 2000kg, and does not allow (unlike the PPL) any ratings to be added, like IMC, Multi-Engine or other ratings to be applied to the licence. However, pilots with a LAPL licence are still able to obtain a Night Qualification and additional differences training, i.e. retractable, variable pitch propeller, tailwheel to name but a few.
The LAPL course consists of a minimum of 30 hours flying training, 9 multiple choice written exams and a flight test. To begin flying training you must be at least 14 years old. At 16 you are able to fly solo, and apply for the licence at the age of 17. There is no upper age limit.
Medical requirement for the LAPL are slightly less stringent than the PPL, and so do not require you to hold a Class 1 or 2 Medical certificate. You must however hold a valid LAPL medical which can be carried out by any CAA medical examiner or your own GP. We generally advise however that this medical examination be completed after your second flying lesson. A list of CAA medical examiners can be found here, or can be provided by the operations staff.
The first step would be to take an air experience flight. This will give you the chance to try flying in a light aircraft without committing to a full course. If you wish to continue training this will count towards your licence and be the first entry in your logbook.