Learning to Fly

Guidance for those wishing to gain a pilot's licence

So you want to learn to fly?

In the UK there are many different types of recreational flying available, whether it is the traditional light aircraft, microlights, gliders, helicopters, balloons or even gyrocopters, there are many options to choose from that suit a range of interests and budgets. 

Learning to fly is often one of the most rewarding things you will ever undertake. It is also a serious commitment, both on your time and money so it’s important to do your research and make informed decisions about your training.

Generally your training will include:

  • Ground training and exams in different subjects
  • Dual flying lessons with an instructor
  • Solo flying training
  • Flight test

Some useful sources of information are:  

  • Flying magazines – many publish useful guides on learning to fly
  • Flying associations, clubs and schools
  • Online forums for pilots/flying

Minimum age requirements:

  • 16 years old to hold a licence for a glider or balloon
  • 17 years old to hold a licence for aeroplanes or helicopter

Medical Standards - prior to starting training for any pilot’s licence it is worth considering the medical standards required.

Professional Flying - if you are interested in finding out more about making a living as a pilot click here.
If you want the exact requirements then you can download the CAA publication CAP 804 Flight Crew Licensing: Mandatory Requirements, Policy and Guidance.