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   fixed wing aircraft
  all about pilot ratings

  the JAR PPL
  the ratings
   biennial flight revue
   PPL ground school
   IMC rating
   night rating
   multi engine rating
   instrument rating
   seaplane rating
   aerobatic diploma
   license conversions
   proficiency checks
   National pilot licence
  JAR medical examination
  staying current

The National Private Pilots Licence

This new licence has been specifically designed to meet the requirements of the recreational flyer and is therefore less complex, and thus somewhat easier to attain, than the up till now only of the UK option, the JAR (European) PPL.

A structured course of flying instruction over a minimum 32 hours, plus Navigational Flight Test, a Flying Skill Test and a series of Ground Examinations, will result in a less expensive route to a Pilot's Licence than has been available for some years.

Perhaps the most significant advantage of the NPPL over JAR is the less onerous medical requirement. Based on the DVLA 2 (professional driver) and DVLA 1 (private driver) schedules, applicants will simply sign a declaration of fitness to fly and have their doctor sign it to confirm they have no reason to believe that he/she does not reach the DVLA 2 standard. If a medical condition does not prevent the applicant from reaching this standard but he/she meets DVLA 1 then he can fly solo with another qualified pilot only. A series of GP guidance notes are available on diseases such as diabetes, heart problems, epilepsy etc. But the good news is that many of the aliments that with JAR are a definite medical failure need not necessarily rule you out from flying with a NPPL.

Another major advantage with the NPPL is that pilots of different categories of aircraft will receive credit for their existing experience should they wish to learn to fly something different. For instance a glider or microlight pilot wishing to take up light aircraft flying will not have to complete the full 32 hour course, thus making it a financially viable option.

The licence does have a few operational limitations over the JAR licence.

1. As a recreational licence is fundamentally for flying VFR (visual flight rules or where the pilot can see the ground where he is going). There is no facility for flying in cloud on instruments.

2. It is currently confined to UK airspace. However in time it is hoped that other EU states will recognise the NPPL, just as they do our car licences, and foreign flight will be permitted.

3. A maximum of four people, including the pilot, can be flown.

To what extent these limitations impact on your individual requirements is a personal issue but it is a fact that the vast majority of current PPL holders only fly in VFR and in four or less seat aircraft. And surprisingly few fly abroad.