The Flight Training Process


Private Pilots Licence (PPL)

Flying is fun, challenging and rewarding. It is a fast, safe and cost-effective way to travel. With a Private Pilots Licence (PPL) you are taking charge on an aircraft and flying yourself.

There are no minimum education standards to start learning to fly. A knowledge of maths and physics is useful.

Flight Training

Early lessons cover the basics like principles of flight, straight and level flight, climbing and descending. Most students will take their first solo flight after 10-15 hours of flight training.

A briefing is usually given before and after a flight. You can take your lessons as often as you like. Early flights are around 30-40 minutes to begin with. As you progress flights can take several hours. Your training can be split up into 3 sections:

Dual – Flying with an Instructor

Solo – Flying by yourself, practising what you have learnt in your dual flights

Advanced Dual – Advanced flying with your Instructor

For your Private Pilots Licence you need a minimum of 50 hours total flight time which is typically divided as follows:

  • 15 hours Dual Flight Time – Flight with your Instructor
  • 15 hours Solo Flight Time – once you’ve been solo you will build your solo hours which includes cross-country time
  • 5 hours Instrument Flight Time – by using a hood we simulate flying the aircraft using instruments with your Instructor guiding you through it.
  • 10 hours Cross-Country Flight Time – you’ll be shown how to calculate heading, time to destination, ground speed, fuel used etc, on flights to destinations beyond the home aerodrome, both dual and solo.
  • 5 hours Terrain Awareness (Low Flying and Mountain Flying)

Theory

There are 6 subjects with exams you need to pass for your PPL:

  • Law – the rules of flying
  • Radio – how to be clear and concise on the radio
  • Human Factors – health, stresses and other human influences.
  • Meteorology – the weather Cloud, weather patterns, weather conditions affecting aircraft, interpreting aviation weather reports
  • Aircraft Technical Knowledge – Flight instruments, principles of flight, aerodynamics, engines, electrical systems, weight & balance.
  • Navigation – using maps, compass and calculating flight time and fuel needed.

These exams are mainly multi-choice and require a 70% pass rate. Exams cost about $80 each.

A Student Undergoing Theory Lessons

Then What?

After you’ve obtained your PPL your horizons broaden:

  • Ratings in your choice of aircraft (learning to fly new aircraft types).
  • Flights to main airports throughout New Zealand.
  • Ability to take passengers on flights.
  • Commercial Pilot Training.