The Light Aircraft Pilots Licence (LAPL)
The LAPL is valid for flight throughout Europe using any EASA aircraft registered in the EU.
Most new EASA licences, including LAPLs are non-expiring “lifetime” licences. How you are allowed to use the licence is dependent upon the validity of the RATINGS included in the licence (or MAINTAINING YOUR LICENCE criteria) and the validity of the associated medical certificate (See both below)
A LAPL is obtained through completing an approved LAPL course with an Approved Training Organisation (ATO), or, currently an RTF, that is:
a minimum of 30 hours Flight Training as detailed below
- applicants for the licence shall be at least 17 years of age
- applicants shall demonstrate a level of theoretical knowledge by examination as listed below
- applicants shall have completed a skills test for the relevant aircraft category, class or type.
Flight Training includes:
- At least 30 hours total flight instruction, of which;
- 15 hours of dual flight instruction in the class in which the skill test will be taken;
- 6 hours of supervised solo flight time, including at least 3 hours of solo cross-country flight time with at least 1 cross-country flight of at least 150 km (80 NM), during which 1 full stop landing at an aerodrome different from the aerodrome of departure shall be made.
- Theoretical knowledge examinations
Applicants for an LAPL(A) must demonstrate a level of theoretical knowledge appropriate to the privileges granted, through examinations on the following:
- Air law,
- Human performance,
- Meteorology, and
- Principles of flight,
- Operational procedures,
- Flight performance and planning,
- Aircraft general knowledge, and
LAPL Medical Certificate
It is not necessary to hold a Class 1 or Class 2 medical certificate, as with the PPL, in order to fly using an LAPL:
- (a) A student pilot shall not fly solo unless that student pilot holds a medical certificate, as required for the relevant licence.
- (b) Applicants for and holders of a LAPL must hold a valid Part-MED LAPL Medical Certificate; or a Class 1 or Class 2 Medical Certificate issued in accordance with Part-MED (or JAR-FCL 3) as required for other licences.
NOTE - A UK NPPL Medical Declaration or other national medical is not an acceptable alternative.
The holder of an LAPL may act as Pilot In Command on single-engine piston aeroplanes with a maximum certificated take-off mass of 2000 kg or less, carrying a maximum of 3 passengers, such that there are never more than 4 persons on board of the aircraft.
Holders of a LAPL(A) shall only carry passengers after they have completed, after the issuance of the licence, 10 hours of flight time as PIC.
MAINTAINING THE LICENCE
Within the 24 months prior to an intended flight a holder of a LAPL must have completed in a single engine piston aeroplane:
- (a) at least 12 hours of flight time as PIC, including 12 take-offs and landings; and
- (b) refresher training of at least 1 hour of total flight time with an instructor.
It should be noted that the LAPL is not ICAO compliant, so cannot be used outside the EASA Member States without the formal permission of the National Aviation Authority of the State you wish to fly in.
What are EASA aircraft?
Many aircraft in Europe are classed as EASA aircraft wherever they may have been manufactured or registered. This includes many of the types you'll see around flying schools – like the Cessna range, the Piper PA-28s and PA-38s, Cirrus etc.
In the UK, holders of EASA licences can fly both EASA and UK-registered non-EASA aircraft that are within the ratings included in their licence.
For example: The Cessna 172 is an EASA aircraft. The Tiger Moth is a non-EASA aircraft. Both are single engine piston aircraft. So if you have a Part-FCL licence, like a PPL(A) or LAPL(A) that allows you to fly with a single-engine piston rating you can fly both the Cessna 172 (EASA) and the Tiger Moth (non-EASA). But if you have a national licence, such as the UK NPPL, after April 8th 2015 you can only fly the Tiger Moth.
With some exceptions, the following types of aircraft are defined as non-EASA aircraft and are ruled by national, not European, regulations:
- Light gyroplanes
- Ex-military aircraft
- Foot-launched aircraft
- Vintage aircraft
You do not have to have an EASA licence to fly these types of aircraft as you can fly them if you only have a national licence. (e.g. The NPPL)
The requirements that apply to the Light Aircraft Pilots Licence (LAPL) are significantly different from those that apply to other pilot licences. Reference must be made to Part-FCL and CAP 804.