The Private Pilot’s Licence – What YOU NEED to know!!

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45 Hours @ £180/h = £8,100
Test Fee & Admin (including aircraft hire) = £700
Radio Licence = £200
Medical = £200
Study Materials = £250
Equipment (headset, map etc) = £500
Flying club membership = £150

Landing fees and written exam fees may be included in your hourly rate but if not they will be around £15 and £30 respectively

I’ve wanted to be a pilot for as long as I can remember. I was always that kid with his hands and face pressed up against the glass in the departure lounge watching the planes take off and land. Screw the guided tour of Pompeii, this was by far the most exciting part of the holiday.

It wasn’t until I was 23 years old I was in a position to finally get behind the propeller, and I’ve never looked back. In October 2016 I passed my PPL Skills Test and I am so glad I decided to chase my dream.

A few things you need to know before getting started:


All in all it’s going to set you back about £10k. It might sound like a lot but spread it over a few years to make it less painful.

Ground School

At the time of writing this there at 9 written exams you must study for and pass before gaining your license. It may sound like a lot but they are not overly difficult if you study for them. There is a good amount of knowledge to learn, it’s all really useful and (some of) it is pretty enjoyable.

Go Shopping (I like

Things you will definitely need:

• Headset – get a decent one.
• Kneeboard
• A Map/Chart of your local area
• Log Book
• Safety Checklist for your training aircraft

Things I highly recommend:

• A GoPro, Suction Cup mount and a cable connecting the radios to the GoPro
• Good quality flight bag
• Good quality sunglasses
• A4 notepad for writing up lesson notes

I can’t emphasise enough the benefit of using the Go Pro during flight training.
When learning something new, there were numerous times where I physically did not have the capacity to fly the aircraft, manage the radios, learn the new skill and hear everything the instructor was saying all at the same time.

Having the lesson filmed allowed me to go home, watch it and actually listen to everything being said.

It may cost about £500 to get all the bits and pieces, but trust me when I say this investment will give you a huge return in terms of learning speed and actually save you money on repeating lessons in the future.


You will need to pass a Class 2 medical before being allowed to fly solo, so if you are at all worried about this, get it out the way before commencing your training.

First Steps

Find out where your local flying club is and pick up the phone. Let them know you are interested in learning to fly and they will talk you through the process. Chances are they will then book you in for an ‘Experience Flight’ to see whether it’s for you.

For anyone towards the East of , look no further than Tayside Aviation. They have schools based at Fife and Dundee Airports and based on my experience they are a first class training organisation.

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