Ground School

Preparation for my first three exams, Air Law, Operational Procedures & Communications

Posted by Owain Abraham-Williams on Tuesday 15th March 2016

This evening I was back at the club, but not to fly. Instead Nick was giving me exam crammer sessions. We went through Air Law, Operational Procedures and Communications. For each one Nick showed me a presentation and discussed various aspects of each subject while I furiously took down notes!

Nick is also one of the students at the club, but he now holds his Private Pilot Licence (PPL) and is building up flying hours and revising for more exams so he can get his Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) and become an airline pilot. He said that helping students out with their exams helped keep him sharp revising for his.

After the sessions I bought a series of Question & Answer books to help my self-paced study and gauge my readiness for sitting the exams. I hope to be ready in a week or two.

There are a total of 9 theory exams that you must pass before you can take the skills test (the flying version of a driving test). These are:

  • Air Law
  • Operational Procedures
  • Principles of Flight
  • Meteorology
  • Navigation
  • Communications
  • Human Performance & Limitations
  • Aircraft General Knowledge
  • Flight Performance & Planning

Some clubs insist you pass the Air Law exam before you can fly solo, but this isn’t a legal requirement. However, all the exams must be passed within an 18-month time limit; you’ll have to resit any exams older than that. Once you have passed them, you have 24 months before you need to pass your skills test.