Private Pilots Licence

Private Pilot Licences are issued by the Civil Aviation Authority in accordance with the aviation rule “part 61”.

There is a minimum flight time requirement of 50 hours to a specified syllabus followed by a flight test with an examiner. It is also necessary to pass 6 written exams and one in oral English. A class 2 medical must be taken with a Civil Aviation Authority approved doctor. The minimum age to hold a PPL is 17, although it is practical to start lessons at 15. A detailed syllabus is shown in AC61-3 on the CAA website

How Much?

Assuming you qualify in the absolute minimum training time and self study for the exams the costs would be:

51 hours flying Tecnam P2008LSA @ NZ$210/hr 10,710
100 hours instructor time @ NZ$ 30/hr 3,000
Medical Estimate NZ$ 650
Study material; landing fees Estimate NZ$ 600
Exam fees Estimate NZ$ 750
Flight examiner fee Estimate NZ$ 500
Licence issue NZ$ 230
Club membership NZ$ 140
Minimum cost to obtain a PPL NZ$ 16,580
Aircraft are charged when the engine is running determined by a “Hobbs” meter
Instructor time is charged for the “lesson” including briefings, debriefings aircraft check out, solo supervision etc.

How much training you require is difficult to estimate as everyone learns at a different rate and the syllabus is extremely intensive. The Civil Aviation Authority booklet “How to be a Pilot”, states that many students require 60–70 hours before being ready to take the test. It is extremely unlikely that you will achieve it in the 50 hour minimum.

For a full Private Pilot Licence we suggest you budget $25,000.

We realise this is a lot of money and we do our best to arrange your training in a cost efficient way and ensure you get good value.

What happens next?

First, we would have a meeting and show you what the Club offers. It would be a good opportunity to have an introductory lesson to get an impression of the aircraft and your instructor. This meeting is free of charge and there is no commitment to take things further.

If you wanted to proceed we would draw up a “learning plan”. It is an understanding of your requirements and how they are going to be met. For example, you might intend coming three afternoons a week. Knowing that we can agree which afternoons are mutually convenient and plan accordingly.

Before spending large sums on the flying, it is sensible to take the medical examination. Should you not meet the PPL medical requirements you could consider training for a Recreational Pilot Licence or Microlight certificate instead. To arrange a medical contact the Kerikeri CAA approved doctor Peter Vujcich (027) 548 7961 and ask for a CLASS 2 medical if you want to be a private pilot, or a CLASS 1 if you have aspirations to be a commercial pilot.

A typical lesson involves you pre-reading the exercise to be flown prior to arrival. At the Aero Club, you will be given a pre-flight briefing which covers a précis of the reading to reinforce what you have read and clarify any uncertainties you may have. You will then prepare the aircraft for flight—initially with your instructor, but fairly early on by yourself. The exercise will then be flown followed by a debrief and completing the student record. A typical lesson will last about two hours with one hour flying.

You are encouraged to get involved in studying for the ground exams as soon as possible and you are required to have passed the Law and Radio before going solo. This reduces the risk of an incident due to something basic—like not knowing the rights of way. Studying from books can be a bit daunting, especially for those who left school a long time ago! The Club offers a lecture program and individual tutorials to assist those who prefer a classroom environment.

The first part of the flying program gets you to the stage where you can fly the machine. At some point, usually during the first 20 hours, you will go on your first solo—flying the aircraft around the aerodrome on your own.

Subsequent lessons are a mixture of “dual” and “solo” flying; building your skills and experience and ability to deal with emergencies.

Towards the end of the course—after you have passed all the exams—you will start flying to other aerodromes. You are now (nearly) a pilot!

The final stage is to book a flight test with a Testing Officer where you will be required to demonstrate all the skills you have learned in your training.

Text Books

There are pdf handouts for the specific briefings, lecture notes for the ground school aircraft checklists and pilot manuals which will be issued at appropriate times throughout the course free of charge.

The recommended textbooks for the course are: Private Pilot Licence Kit (5 books); The Flight Training Manual;  Aviation Medicine and other Human Factors for Pilots.  These are available from Waypoints Aviation.  You may be able to buy them second hand from Trademe or friends.

The Club does have some secondhand books depending on a availability. Speak to your instructor about this.