Learning to fly, or thinking of learning? Post your questions, comments and experiences here

Moderator: AndyR

By cloudChaser
#1674185
Hey everyone!
I have another question regarding the hot topic of PPL vs LAPL...
With my intentions of flying being solely as a hobby and not a career, my initial idea was to train for the LAPL - which seems to have quite a few advantages for a hobby pilot!
However the ability to add extra ratings, such as the IMC onto the PPL and with the English weather being what it is, do you think its worth doing the extra PPL for this added bonus?!
Would eventually having an IMC rating actually give you more flying time or do you find its doesn't add a lot based on the extra training required etc and I should just wait for sun to come out before flying?!
Any advice is very welcome!
Thanks,
CC
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By Flyin'Dutch'
#1674189
There is an enormous amount of 'encouragement' from pilots, schools and instructors to go for the PPL rather than LAPL.

Reality is that in everyday GA flying 95% of pilots can do 100% of the time what they want to do with a LAPL.

The vast majority of people getting an IMC only let it lapse, a small minority does the 2 yearly revalidation test so they can use it 'in anger' although that rarely if even happens, an infinitisemaly small number does use the rating as an IR. They would be better off with a full IR for which you then need a PPL.
By cloudChaser
#1674250
Hey,
Thanks for the reply!
That's a good argument for going towards the LAPL - Its a difficult decision, I'm tempted to go for the PPL to equip myself with more training and to take advantage of the additional ratings that could be added after - but then, do I want to add extra if its just a hobby and do I want to spend the extra time and money of something which is not part of my career- A never-ending dilemma!
Either way, I have to fly! :)
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By PaulB
#1674257
What will be the status of the LAPL post Brexit. There's stuff out there that says it will be UK only, but I've not seen anything official.


Bak to the OP, if you might want to ever want to fly in the USA (or fly an N reg???), I'd assume that getting an FAA licence based on a LAPL is a no-no?
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By T67M
#1674258
The big thing you can do with a PPL which you can't with a LAPL is fly under a 61.75 license validation in the USA. Flying in the US is an exercise in "how it should be done" and is something I do every chance I get.

Whilst it is true that a lot of IR(r) holders allow the rating to lapse and the skills decay, having had those skills may one day be enough to save you in the fickle UK weather. The IR(r) also entitles you to fly in some conditions which fall below the SERA limits for VMC but which are perfectly suitable for visual flying.
#1674276
My tu'penny worth is this.

I think that the economy argument in favour of a LAPL is somewhat illusory. Yes, the required mininum number of hours required before completing a Skills Test for a LAPL is around 70% of that required for a PPL and therefore, theoretically, the course entails less and costs less. But in my experience not too many students get to the required standard within the minimum LAPL time in any case. And, since the difference in syllabus is relatively small, it means that in practical terms a given student is probably going to take roughly the same time getting to test standard whether he 'buys' the LAPL or PPL package.

The PPL syllabus of course includes a section on 'instrument appreciation' which, whilst in no way equivalent to an instrument qualification, does mean that if you ever inadvertently enter IMC you might survive. The LAPL syllabus contains none. The LAPL syllabus also contains no Radio Nav training. So there are some practical reasons why completing the PPL course will leave you better trained. Given the reduction in VMC minima under SERA there is, it seems to me, a real risk that a LAPL-holding pilot might quite legally (albeit ill-advisedly) launch himself off into thick weather and then quickly become unstuck. As he loses all visual references such a pilot might rather wish that he'd had some instrument appreciation training....

The other issue is that until fairly recently it was not uncommon for a student to start off on a LAPL course and then, if he decided to, to 'upgrade' to a PPL mind-course - since the content of the first parts of the course is to all practical intents identical. For reasons that do not really bear much scrutiny the CAA has now ruled that this is no longer allowed. So once you commit to a LAPL course you essentially have to see it through then, if you so wish, convert it to a PPL afterwards.
T67M liked this
#1674299
Thread drift...

David Wood "For reasons that do not really bear much scrutiny the CAA has now ruled that this is no longer allowed."

This does sound very odd, how would the CAA even know what the applicant's original intention was (LAPL or PPL) let alone have any valid reason for caring, so long as the whole PPL sylabus has been passed?

Unless the early lessons were provided by a LAPL-only FI then there could be no legitimate reason for refusing the application for a PPL.

You've obviously got some different experience on this, could you share please.
#1674401
Kemble Pitts wrote:Thread drift...

David Wood "For reasons that do not really bear much scrutiny the CAA has now ruled that this is no longer allowed."

This does sound very odd, how would the CAA even know what the applicant's original intention was (LAPL or PPL) let alone have any valid reason for caring, so long as the whole PPL sylabus has been passed?

Unless the early lessons were provided by a LAPL-only FI then there could be no legitimate reason for refusing the application for a PPL.

You've obviously got some different experience on this, could you share please.


AFAIK it's to do with the fact that the CAA's interpretation of various arcane EASA rules is that in order to teach a student for the PPL the FI must hold CPL-level TK. The LAPL, however, can be taught by an FI who does not have this additional TK qualification. One can argue about the wisdom of that ruling; it has been argued elswhere on these forums. But them's is the rules.

So, if an ATO allowed a student to transfer from a LAPL course to a PPL course half-way through that course then there is in theory at least the possibility that some of his hours might have been taught by an FI who was qualified to teach the LAPL but not the PPL. Therefore in theory at least those hours wouldn't count towards the total required to qualify for the PPL. The logic breaks down, of course, when one remembers that the content of the early part of both syllabi is precisely the same! So, for example, if a LAPL-only FI is qualified to teach Ex 10 stalling to a LAPL student, you might well ask why in hell is he not qualified to teach precisely the same lesson to a PPL student..? Which takes us right back to the issue of why the PPL-teaching FI had to have CPL-level TK in the first place.

Frustrating isn't the word. I don't make up the rules and, as it happens, I don't agree with some of them. But them's is the roools...

As to your point about how would the CAA know. Well that's another issue...
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By PaulB
#1674403
This is indeed a farcical situation. AIUI the CPL TK requirement is ICAO, so presumably LAPL gets round it by being sub-ICAO?

How we get common sense to prevail is another matter.
By Bathman
#1674409
It actually gets worse

A course is a course

So if you had a student who was training for a PPL but then after 20 hours decided he wanted to do a LAPL instead then that is a different course.

So none of the training towards the PPL can count towards the LAPL the would have to start again.

Its the same for the NPPL to (pulled from their website)

Q Can I elect to change, during the course, from the NPPL SSEA course to an EASA LAPL(A) or EASA PPL(A) course?
A Following discussion with other Member States, CAA have confirmed that it is not possible to change course to an EASA LAPL or PPL and obtain credit for training from an incomplete NPPL course.
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By PaulB
#1674411
Bathman wrote:A course is a course


But is it? There are many (for example) university courses, where the courses lead to different degrees, but have modules shared with other courses. Why can the same not apply to LAPL/PPL? [1]

For example what exactly is the difference in the syllabus for (say) ex 10 (picking one at pseudo random) for LAPL & PPL? Would you expect any differences in content/delivery of ex 10 when taught by LAPL only FI and PPL FI?

[1] I realise that the answer is probably ICAO
#1674536
Flyin'Dutch' wrote:Reality is that in everyday GA flying 95% of pilots can do 100% of the time what they want to do with a LAPL.

The vast majority of people getting an IMC only let it lapse, a small minority does the 2 yearly revalidation test so they can use it 'in anger' although that rarely if even happens, an infinitisemaly small number does use the rating as an IR. They would be better off with a full IR for which you then need a PPL.


That may be so (I don't have the stats) but it need not be so. Personally speaking I think that the IMC rating is an excellent rating which provides you a massive increase in capability for a relatively modest investment in terms of time/cost. What @Flyin'Dutch' hints at is, of course, correct though. Such ratings are only useful if you keep them current, and that takes more work than just keeping them valid. He's also correct when he says that the majority of fair-weather GA pilots get by for the majority of the time on the skills that they would have obtained from a LAPL.

However, if you do want to stretch you wings then the PPL provides you the foundation from which to do so. Once you start stretching them, who knows what you might end up with.

By way of illustration I was a purely recreational pilot for many years. Then I started flying myself to business meetings within the UK because I loved flying and I was sick of motorways. I quickly realised that the weather was a real limiting factor and so I obtained an IMCR so that I could fly even more and drive even less. Then I started flying myself to meetings in Europe (where the IMCR isn't valid) and so I obtained an IR. In the meantime I became an instructor and in due course an examiner, collecting a CPL along the way. Frankly none of that was planned, envisaged or even dreamed of when I obtained my PPL as a youngster. So, keep an open mind on where your flying might take you... You don't need to be limited by the edge of the majority's envelope. :D
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By cloudChaser
#1674752
Hey David,
Thanks for your awesome reply!!
I very much like the idea of eventually becoming a part-time instructor and having the opportunity to expand the PPL if desired seems like a good argument to go for that! I'd also like to gain the extra knowledge the PPL course offers!
You might of just persuaded me!!
Thank you,
CC