LAPL vs PPL – Light Aircraft & Private Pilot’s Licence

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In this video I summarise the similarities and differences between the LAPL and the PPL.

That is, the Light Aircraft Pilot’s Licence and the Private Pilot’s Licence.

If you’re unsure of the differences and therefore which licence you need, then watch this video to the end as it may clear up some of the confusion.

The right licence for you will depend on your aviation aspirations.

If you intend to fly for recreational purposes under VFR in the UK with perhaps occasional trips over to continental Europe then the LAPL is ideal.

Theoretically it will take less time and expense to gain due to less stringent requirements.

On the other hand if you want to fly privately, perhaps under IFR, and maybe continue flight training to begin a career then the PPL is probably your best option.

The LAPL was introduced by EASA to enable aspiring aviators to gain a licence with a shorter syllabus and less strict medical requirements than those of the PPL.

The PPL is a globally recognised private pilot’s licence whereas the LAPL is particular to Europe.

The only additional ratings that a pilot can add to the LAPL are the Night rating and an Aerobatic rating.

The additional ratings that a pilot can add to the PPL are Night, Aerobatic, Multi Engine, and Instrument ratings.

Both licences allow the holder to fly single engine aircraft.

The LAPL allows the holder to fly aircraft with a MTOW (Maximum Take-off Weight) of 2,000 kg with a maximum of 3 passengers.

The PPL allows the holder to fly aircraft with a MTOW (Maximum Take-off Weight) of 5,750 kg with a maximum of 19 passengers.

You can tell from those figures that all LSA (Light Sport Aircraft) and the majority of single engine training aircraft would be accessible to the holder of an LAPL.

For example, with a current LAPL you could fly yourself and three passengers in a Cessna 172 to France and back.

The PPL specifies the single-engine aircraft privilege within the SEP rating which is valid for two years.

The LAPL specifies the single-engine rating within the licence itself.

The LAPL is valid for life but as with all licences and ratings you have to maintain currency by flying a minimum number of hours every year.

To maintain your LAPL you need to fly 12 hours in the last 24 months as Pilot in Command including 1 hour with an instructor.

Continued in the video…

If you want to check every detail of licencing then please visit:

and check the sections entitled ‘Learning to fly’ and ‘Pilot licences ratings and medical certificates’

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