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PPL FI without CPL theory

But I guess it was a totally different time back then.

When Dublinpilot and I landed at Corfu in Sept 2014 (from Corsica) next to us parked up an F-reg Robin (actually perhaps the first French pilot I have ever seen anywhere near that far from home) whose pilot proudly showed us a road atlas with which he flew there from France

He was not the first to do this in recent times.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Yes, but the difference is I have no sympathy for people doing this nowadays.

Last Edited by boscomantico at 29 Jan 22:34
Mainz (EDFZ), Germany

Without the CPL theory, one is effectively restricted to LAPL training (as Bosco said).

The instructor training course – 5 weeks, full-time – is very tough, and a huge investment in terms of effort, time and money. I was sponsored by an aéroclub, so I did my training in April 2013 at the ENAC in France (rather than at one of the private schools).

There were 10 student instructors on my course, 5 of us were PPLs without CPL TK. Of those 5, 3 were effectively asked to leave and ‘come back later’, 2 of us managed to finish the course and pass the flight test at the end.

But, back in April 2013, France was ‘hit’ by the new EASA PART FCL regulations. My FI course started before the transition date, but finished afterwards, so I am restricted to LAPL training (since I don’t have CPL TK).

My qualification has proved to be a total chocolate teapot. LAPL uptake in France is effectively zero. The LAPL seems to be viewed as a ‘second-class’ qualification. The clubs I’ve had contact with don’t want to be bothered with LAPL instructors – and why should they? No one, either at club or DGAC level, knows exactly what are the privileges of a LAPL instructor – or at least no one will put it in writing. Result? The clubs are nervous of doing something ‘wrong’ and the LAPL instructor is pretty much limited to handling and circuit training with ab initios (arguably the riskiest part of training).

It’s hugely frustrating and doesn’t make any sense at all :(

So, having been ‘sold’ an FI qualification which I thought I would actually be able to use, I am now forced to go back a step to do a CPL TK.
No bad thing, I hear you say, and I don’t entirely disagree.
But I now have to find a further €3500 – €4000 to get the CPL TK (course fees, exam registration fee, accommodation, travel) plus attendance at ground school of course.
All to instruct in clubs for no payment at all, weekdays, weekends, evenings, bank holidays…

But, and I have to say this loudly and clearly in case someone who knows me is reading this – I DON’T MIND THAT (instructing on a voluntary basis). I instruct because I love it, not because I want to get rich (ha!).

I’m just a little bitter that my LAPL qualification has proven so worthless.

Voilà!! Back to the drawing board…..

Last Edited by Jojo at 30 Jan 07:41

I’m just coming to the end of my FI course. I started the CPL’s in June just so that I could teach PPL. The CPL TK provider convinced me to upgrade to ATPL which I did. It’s all a ballache but doable with lots of reliance on QB’s to shortcut the amount you have to retain.

Interestingly enough there’s a 250 TK question bank that is assumed knowledge as part of your AoC (assessment of competence) for the FI rating.

Oxford and Bidford

In the UK, if the regs changed like that halfway through a course, you would sue the CAA – as the licensor of the training organisation.

Provided you met the course requirements, you are entitled to end up with the qualifications which were advertised when you embarked on the course. No question about this at all. It applies to every training course which is formally licensed by the govt.

You wouldn’t have to sue. A letter from a solicitor would do it.

It is within the power of the national CAA to grandfather somebody – and 10,000 tons of precedent of grandfathering FIs over decades. The “CFI” who did my PPL skills test and IMCR training never passed any CPL stuff and never had any instrument instruction. Grandfathered all the way.

There are also parallels in the pilot test world. I can’t go into detail openly but in years past some people were issued with checkride certificates written out by examiner(s) who were at the time disqualified from performing checkrides. They successfully sued the national CAA in question.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I remember from my FTO (one of the big “ATPL sausage factories” according to Peter) that every time there was a regulatory change (i.e. every few months), they had to specifically deal with students already enrolled so the CAA could apply the grandfather/transition rules to them. An ATPL course can go 3 years.

To me it looks like you got treated incorrectly with your LAPL downgrade.

Well, let’s hope the DGAC is reading…

We’ve actually been right to the top to try and get a “dérogation”, but no one wants to know. We are just a handful of instructors caught in a sort of no (wo)man’s land….

Ainsi va la vie.



What about taking the CRI qualification? At least this would allow instruction of any qualified PPL including differences training. Min 3 hours flight instruction and a test. Easier than getting the CPL TK and immediately useful.

I am surprised you are allowed to teach ab initio for PPL. On what basis is this permitted?

EGBJ, United Kingdom

I’m already allowed to instruct anyone who already has a PPL, including differences training.

I teach ab initio for LAPL and the French ‘Brevet de Base’….I then hand over to another instructor who takes the student through to the PPL test. Don’t ask, the rules and regs look like this:

I don’t think they know what a CRI is here in France


Hello all - I think I know the answer to this, but if anyone can confirm, please, it would be helpful:

If I do my CPL ATO course in the UK, as I am doing (with CATS), can I then sit the exams anywhere I want to? My ideal plan would be to complete the ‘training’ (huh, slogging through the QB at home!) with CATS and then sit the exams here in France….

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