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60 year old ex Army Pilot getting back in the air?

Hi All,

I ceased flying with the AAC in 2000. I now want to get flying again. EASA, LAPL, NPPL, etc etc confusing to say the least and what’s going to happen in 2018.? Lots of advice needed please.

I believe I can (just) get a Class 2 medical if required and want to be able to fly (fixed wing probably) in UK with the odd hire perhaps in Europe with no more than a couple of passengers. I had around 3000 mil flying hours, mostly single pilot operations in those days, 85/90% rotary hours (Scout, Gazelle, Lynx) but some fixed wing time on chipmunk and Slingsby T76, master green mil IR and a VIP rating.

I appreciate that this is all ancient history and not likely to be given any accreditation but it shows where my experience level is. I’m currently based in Shropshire.

So fellow aviators where do I start? All advice gratefully received.

So, do you still hold any form of license (even with an expired medical)? If so, I would think it shouldn’t be too difficult to get you back in the air. Welcome back!

There is a very simple solution to this. As an Ex Service pilot, the olnly licence that can have any credit is the NPPL, the allowances are listed here. Once you have an NPPL it is straight forward to convert it to a LAPL which may give sufficient privileges for European use. Alternatively, the LAPL can be upgraded to a full PPL.
Going directly for the EASA licences attracts no credits for previous experience. There is a deadline for obtaining a NPPL and for conversion so don’t waste any time getting started.

Last Edited by Tumbleweed at 21 Jun 22:43

Tumbleweed’s document is also here

Welcome to EuroGA, APC 300 and don’t waste any time…

The NPPL takes about 5 weeks to get, on some recent reports, but that was for people already known to the CAA. The LAA sends the NPPL application on to the CAA which issues it.

You can start the NPPL with a medical self declaration as a backup in case there are any Class 2 medical issues. Below 2000kg the self declaration is completely unconditionally tied to the DVLA Group 1 (car driving) medical requirement – yes; a wonderful concession – so if you can drive a car (a GP is authorised to decide this) you can fly day VFR in the UK. It is only 2000-5700kg that a long list of grounding conditions comes into operation and these need AME involvement. You need the SSEA Rating to fly normal certified aircraft and this is due to end April 2018.

A search here on “NPPL” digs out past threads.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Thank you all,

No existing/lapsed licence unfortunately. I must admit, I regret never doing a licence when actively flying with the AAC. I will read the credit papers that were in the links very closely, but from a brief read I fear that my previous experience/expertise is too long ago (stopped flying in May 2000). I will just have to content myself that I’m starting from a point where my underpinning knowledge will help me with the coursework and exams.

I understand the need for some urgency here. Also in other forums there is a lot of confusion re medical self certification and or the ease/usefulness of some licence upgrades on the starting point (NPPL).

Please keep the advise coming guys. I’m deternimed to get this moving as soon as I can. Many thanks.

Hold on – you were flying in the Army, but no license? Out of interest – how does that work?

APC300, I hope you decide to get involved, and looking on the bright side if you have to so the full course with your experience you will quickly be able to go and have some fun, maybe just some longer solo cross countries visiting a few airfields.

Everyone seems to say the aero club at SLEAP is good.

Darley Moor, Gamston (UK)

Hi – for the NPPL, as a QMP, not current within last five years, you will need to pass all ground exams and then training as required to pass the NPPL GST. You can do this on a NPPL med declaration. It is then a paper conversion to a LAPL with a LAPL medical declaration, as long as you convert by April 2018. This is by far the most efficient route for you. I am Head of Training for all RAF Flying Clubs so feel free to message and I can point you in the direction of a friendly military club who can help, usually at good rates. I am guessing Cosford would be nearest for you. All the best

Now retired from forums best wishes

173driver – in the U.K. military pilots are not required to hold a licence, it is a UK ANO exemption and military regulations apply instead.

Now retired from forums best wishes

Balliol wrote:

173driver – in the U.K. military pilots are not required to hold a licence, it is a UK ANO exemption and military regulations apply instead.

Interesting, didn’t know that, thanks! Also pleased to see I’ve been promoted to 17*3*driver

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