L3Harris Airline Academy

How to Become a Private Pilot

Are you looking at how to become a private pilot? At L3Harris Airline Academy, we can help you take the first steps to fulfill your passion for flying.

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Learning to fly and obtaining your Private Pilot Licence (PPL) could be one of the most rewarding challenges you set out to achieve. Not only will becoming a private pilot give you the freedom to command a private small or ‘light’ aircraft with non-commercial passengers, it also lets you visit new places near and far!

What’s more, becoming a private pilot can be a stepping stone to becoming a commercial airline pilot. If after obtaining your PPL, you decide flying for one of the UK or EU’s most iconic airlines is for you, you could embark on our Modular ATPL programme.

How Long Does It Take To Become a Private Pilot?

With L3Harris, your Private Pilot Licence will be split in to 45 hours of flight training, 5 hours of Night Rating as well as PPL theory examinations.

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Stage 1: Experience a Trial Flight

If you have never flown a small aircraft before, now is the time to arrange a trial flight with an instructor. This will help you find out whether you enjoy flying and want to take the leap of faith and start the process to obtaining your PPL.

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Stage 2: Research PPL Training Programmes

After you have experienced a trial flight, research PPL training programmes.

With many flight schools to choose from, it is important to select an academy that will equip you with the knowledge and practical skills to pilot a private aircraft competently. 

At L3Harris Airline Academy, cadets have the unique opportunity to earn their PPL from our Sanford Flight Academy in Orlando, Florida - with travel and accommodation included! 

Our PPL Course

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Stage 3: Entry Requirements

To apply for our Private Pilot Licence course, you must meet criteria such as:

  • 17+ to submit an application
  • Height between 5 ft. 2 in. (157 cm) and 6 ft. 3 in. (191 cm)
  • Fluent in English (spoken and written)
  • If required, obtain / be able to obtain M-1 Student Visa for your flight training in the U.S.A.
  • Obtain / be able to obtain a UKCAA or EASA unrestricted Class 2 Medical depending on your chosen route. Read our guide here

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A training flight

Stage 4: Training

The first step in your training to become a private pilot is to complete nine PPL theoretical subjects with exams. Your PPL theory aims to equip you with the foundational knowledge of aviation. 

How Many Flight Hours Are Needed to Become a Private Pilot?

Your flight training will last approximately 15 weeks and consist of 50 hours in a single-engine aircraft.

Your training will be completed at our flight school in Orlando, Florida.

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Stage 5: Congratulations, You’ve Become a Private Pilot!

Congratulations, you have completed your PPL training. Upon successful graduation from the programme you will obtain:

  • PPL
  • 50 hours total in a single-engine aircraft
  • Night Rating

You can now take your passion for flying to the sky!

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A happy student

Stage 6: What Next?

Your PPL training with L3Harris Airline Academy includes Night Rating which will enable you to use your PPL at night using visual flight rules. You could also use your PPL training as a stepping stone towards further licences and ratings.

  • Integrated ATPL training: This is a structured and direct route to securing your frozen ATPL. Our Integrated ATPL course is designed to prepare you for the role of Co-Pilot with a global airline. The course is approximately 70 weeks long and can be completed in the UK or the EU depending on where you want to train and licence you wish to obtain
  • Hours Building: Should you wish to take the next steps towards a Commercial Pilot Licence or Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL), the next step is to reach 150 hours flight time. We also offer the chance for you to combine a PPL and Hours Building course for a discounted rate

All our training courses

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Please complete the form below to contact our team for more information on our Airline Academy. 

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