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UK Civil Aviation Regulations

These are published by the CAA on our UK Regulations pages. EU Regulations and EASA Access Guides published by EASA no longer apply in the UK. Our website and publications are being reviewed to update all references. Any references to EU law and EASA Access guides should be disregarded and where applicable the equivalent UK versions referred to instead.

LAPL/PPL skill test

The Aircrew regulations require applicants for pilot licences and most ratings to pass a skill test.

The skill test is to demonstrate that while acting as pilot in command (PIC) of the relevant aircraft type you can competently carry out the procedures and manoeuvres that you have been taught during your training course. The skill test is taken with an examiner.

In simple terms, it is the aviation equivalent of your driving test.

You must have passed the relevant theoretical knowledge exams before taking a skill test for the issue of a licence or rating.

The organisation or person responsible for your training (this should be the head of training) will make the recommendations for you to take the skill test, and this will only be after you have completed your theoretical training. Your training records will be made available to the examiner.

Conduct of test

You will need to fly the aircraft from a seat in which you can act as PIC and carry out the test as if there is no other crew member.

You must demonstrate to your examiner that you have carried out the appropriate checks and duties for the aircraft on which you are taking your test, including identification of radio facilities. During pre-flight preparation, you will need to determine power settings and speeds, and calculate performance data for take-off, landing and approach in compliance with the operations or flight manual for the aircraft you are using.

Your flight examiner may ask you to repeat any manoeuvre or procedure once during your test.

The examiner will not assist with flying the aircraft in any way unless it is necessary for safety reasons or to avoid unacceptable delay to other traffic.

If you terminate your skill test during the flight and your examiner considers your reason to be inadequate, you will have to retake the entire test. If the examiner considers the reasons to be valid, you will only need to complete the sections that you have not already completed and any other mandatory sections.

Pass criteria

The skill test will include a number of sections, representing the different phases of flight, depending on the aircraft category. These may include phases such as 'pre-flight and departure', 'general airwork', 'en-route procedures' and 'approach and landing procedures'.

Failing an item within a section will result in failure of that section. If you fail one section, you can repeat it, but if you fail in more than one section you will fail the test. If you have to repeat a section, and you subsequently fail a section that you had passed previously, you will fail the test.

If you fail the test twice, you will need to have further practical training before you can take it again.

Further guidance may be obtained from:

CAA Standards Document 19(A): Guidance for applicants taking the LAPL and PPL Skill Test (Aeroplanes)

CAA Standards Document 19(H): Guidance for applicants taking the LAPL and PPL Skill Test (Helicopters)


All relevant European regulations such as Part- ARO, ORO, CAT, SPA, NCC, NCO, MED are available on the link shown below.

For Flight Crew Regulations please refer to the consolidated version Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011.

For other regulations such as Part-ORO, Part-ORA, please check the Air Operations regulations.

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