Frequently Asked Questions about Flight Training
Will I get my licence after 45 hours?
The 45 hours flight time is a minimum legal requirement. In reality, the time required
to reach the necessary standard varies depending on the abilities of each student.
Realistically, most pilots qualify at between 50 to 55 hours.
How often should I fly?
The simple answer is "as often as possible". As the gap between each lesson
increases, so does the amount of time required to revise and re-learn skills, so for
example, one lesson per week is preferable to a lesson every 6 weeks.
Will I always have the same instructor?
We do our best to ensure that you have the same instructor all the way through your
flying training. If your instructor is not going to be available for you, we will always try
to let you know in advance (even flying instructors have to have holidays!). As your
flying training progresses, it can be beneficial to fly with different instructors
What are the advantages of learning in the UK rather than the USA?
On gaining your licence, you will already be familiar with the UK airspace,
procedures and weather. However, if you've learnt in the airspace, procedures and
climate of another country, it will take time to gain experience of the factors affecting
flight in and around the UK. At MAK our instructors are always on hand to
answer any questions and offer advice.
How much will it cost to learn to fly?
Please see our Price List for training packages and aircraft rental rates.
I'm not very good at maths, is that a problem?
The short answer is no. All the calculations required for the EASA PPL are fairly
simple and are well explained in the course books. In addition, the Flight Computer
(a sort of "calculator for pilots") does all the difficult work for you.
How often should I study?
As with flying, the simple answer is "as often as possible". In reality, a few hours a
week of self-study, coupled with theory sessions with your instructor, is sufficient for
the average student.
Can I get past exam papers for revision?
There are several excellent publications which provide the student pilot with not only
complete sets of typical CAA exam questions, but also detailed explanations of the
What happens if I fail an exam?
First of all, don't worry...even the most gifted of pilots has failed exams! Normally,
your instructor will not recommend you for an exam until you are ready for it. If you
do fail, your instructor will help you improve your weak spots and then you can re-sit
the exam. Each exam can be taken 3 times.
Can I fly in all weathers?
The basic EASA PPL allows you to fly by day under Visual Flight Rules (VFR), that
is, clear of clouds and in sight of the ground. Later in your piloting life, you can take
further ratings which will allow you to fly both at night and above the clouds.
Where can I fly?
The EASA PPL is an internationally recognised licence and subject to local rules is
usable world wide. However, the NPPL is only recognised for flights in UK airspace and by
prior arrangement with some other European countries.
Can I take passengers?
After you have received your EASA PPL) licence you can take passengers, but you
cannot charge them for the flight. However, you can share the cost equally between
How expensive is it to hire an aeroplane?
Aeroplane hire charges are from chock-to-chock, which means from the time the
aircraft starts to taxi and when it comes to a halt at the end of the flight, so you only
pay for chock-to-chock time. For weekends away, only the actual flying time would
be charged (subject to a minimum flying time). Our terms and conditions give full
details of our current prices and hire conditions.
How fit must I be to learn to fly?
For the EASA PPL a medical must be passed with an authorised Aviation Medical
Examiner (a list and further information is available on the CAA Website). For the
NPPL the student must complete a medical declaration with his GP. In both cases
the medical certificate must be issued before any solo flight can take place. There is
no upper age limit, providing you continue to pass the medical requirements.
Spectacles can be worn and many disabilities do not prevent people from flying
When can I fly?
MAK Aviation Flight School is usually open seven days a week, 9:30AM to 6:00PM (or
sunset). In the summer, this is often extended into the evening. In winter, opening
can be extended to allow night flying training to take place with prior arrangements.
What sort of aircraft can I fly?
You can fly any single engine aeroplane up to 5700Kg. There are many aeroplanes
of varying degrees of complexity within this category. As you progress on to each
new aircraft or level of complexity, you will require "conversion to type" and
"difference training" if necessary.
How difficult is it to fly?
In many ways, flying is similar to driving a car except that you now have up and
down in addition to left and right, also, you no longer have a reverse gear(!) so
thinking ahead and anticipation become much more important. The natural world has
a greater impact on flying than driving, so you need to have a better understanding
of the weather. Navigation is also a bit different (there are no road signs in the sky!)
and is a skill which will be acquired as your training progresses. And finally, while driving,
you are insulated from the world. However, in an aeroplane you must communicate with
Air Traffic Control using the radio.
What can I do after I gain my licence?
The possibilities are almost endless, but here are a few of the things that other
members have gone on to: conversion to more complex aeroplanes (including twin
engine aeroplanes); take instrument and night ratings; aerobatics; air racing, etc.
members regularly go further afield to Scotland, Ireland or even the Continent.
What about safety?
All MAK Aviation's aircraft are certified under the EASA Certificate of airworthiness - the
same as a holiday jet. This means that all our aeroplanes are maintained to the
highest of professional standards. Our training aeroplanes are amongst the most reliable
and popular light aircraft in the world.
How do I keep current?
To retain your EASA PPL, you must fly at least 12 hours during every two years
(including a minimum of one hour with an instructor - to make sure you're 'up to
speed'). You must also maintain an up-to-date medical.
MAK AVIATION FLIGHT SCHOOL
London Elstree Aerodrome | Borehamwood | Herts WD6 3AW | tel: 020 8236 9308
© MAK Aviation 2018