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Logging dual hours

Hi All,

I recently setup a trial lesson for a friend of mine, and was a bit shocked to find that although they flew with an instructor, they could not log the hour as dual.

The instructor cited new rules and regulations which puzzled me. When I started to learn to fly a couple of trial lessons that I had counted towards the training requirement of 45.

Has something changed recently under EASA? Can national CAAs differ policy on this?

I was under the impression that any flight with an instructor, when they are acting as an instructor, can be logged dual.

Is this not the case.



When you say training flight, do you mean a flight with an instructor before the person has decided to start PPL training? I.e. he/she doesn’t have a student’s license yet?

LSZH, LSZF, Switzerland

Yes, exactly. They had been flying with me and decided they might want to learn, so I setup the lesson with one of the instructors. So they hadn’t decided to start ppl training, just to go for the first lesson and then decide.

You mention though a student licence. Do those exist? I never had one, I just trained and then sent evidence, application form and a cheque to my CAA.

I think I had one in Switzerland and it was mandatory. It’s been 10 years though, so I am not perfectly sure.

I also don’t know the answer to your question. I had only 30 minutes flight before I started PPL, so I didn’t bother to even ask.

LSZH, LSZF, Switzerland

Student licenses do exist – i would be surprised if in this day and age they let you do your solo nav without any sort of paperwork :-)

(As a matter of fact i got ramp checked last Friday in Beaune LFGF – total traffic maybe 5 planes per day if that – very nice but very thorough).

Last Edited by Shorrick_Mk2 at 27 Jul 22:43

In the UK a trial lesson (actually exercise 3 on the syllabus) should definitely count towards PPL hours. EASA has just introduced the concept of ‘introductory flights’ in a club environment (could be done by a non instructor) which wouldn’t count though – are you sure the pilot was an FI as it could be this?

Now retired from forums best wishes


I expected the rules to be similar in all EASA member states because of the European Level issued licences.

I checked CAP804, and couldn’t find a reference to a student licence. The only thing that I could find was FCL.050, which has a catch all about recording flight time, according to methods established by the competent authority.

So I would guess that it depends on the individual state. So I guess you need a student licence in Germany and Switzerland but not the UK.

But this would then imply that a European Licence doesn’t actually exist, because each member state can choose it’s own additional regulations.

I wonder which is the easiest country to get a ppl in terms of this.

Edited because I crossed with Balliol…

Yes there was definitely an instructor. The flight took place in Germany, so I am thinking that there is a local implementation of EASA Regs, that has caused this.

I am not complaining, just trying to understand why.

Last Edited by italianjon at 28 Jul 06:10

Balliol wrote:

EASA has just introduced the concept of ‘introductory flights’ in a club environment

I can´t find anything on this, do you have some link?


I had various trial lessons (UK) with the first about 1975, some fixed wing and some helicopters, and never heard of a student license.

The way it worked was that if you got yourself a logbook (which could be purchased at the flying school, there and then) the trial lesson could be written into it, and count towards the 45 or whatever hours.

In the UK, the trial lesson is a formal lesson (well, in theory, in practice it is often a birthday party for a bunch of people with zero interest in flying and which results in some prebooked lessons being rescheduled!) otherwise the school would need an AOC for A-to-A charter work. Also the “lesson” concept allows the “student” to take the controls, legally.

The USA has a Student Pilot Certificate. Normally this is issued by the AME when he does your initial medical. I had one too… but it turns out it is not valid outside US airspace which incidentally means there is no legal way to do an ab initio US PPL in the UK if you have no other licenses already. The solution is to enrol at a normal school for a JAA/EASA PPL and run with them through all the required solo flights, and (with all those flights being directly admissible towards the FAA PPL) you can drop out of there, and get on with the FAA PPL

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

@Peter, that’s basically what I thought and happened to me when I started in the 90s.

So this must be a local difference. We need someone who knows things inside out for this part of the world…. where are Bosco and Achim

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