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Private Pilot Licence

You've got your wings

A Private Pilot Licence or PPL enables to you fly anywhere in Australia with passengers in the aircraft type you are qualified for (clearances/ airspace permitting).

You need to be a minimum of 17 years of age to hold a PPL. Once you have completed either an RPL or the appropriate solo time you will then commence PPL navigation training.


Navigation Excercises

The navigation exercises teach you the practical skills and airmanship required for flying safely to distant locations: managing fuel and flight logs; radio communication and transitions through different air space and control zones; unplanned diversions (due to weather etc.); conducting circuits at unfamiliar aerodromes; landing on different types of surfaces; and being able to make safe decisions regarding weather, tropical flying and deteriorating conditions.


You will conduct several navigation exercises, both under instruction and solo, around Far North Queensland to reinforce and consolidate your skills in preparation for the Private Pilot Licence flight test. Your navigation exercises will take you to some interesting places such as Mt Garnet, Undara and many other unique locations.

PPL Requirements

You need to be a minimum of 17 years of age to hold a PPL.

Prior to undertaking the PPL test, you must have acquired a minimum of 40 hours of flight time as a pilot – inclusive of:

  • 5 hours of general flight time as pilot in command

  • 5 hours of cross country flight time as pilot in command

  • 2 hours of instrument flight time


You are also required to pass the CASA PPL theory examination, which can be completed with us at the North Queensland Aero Club.


PPL Flight Test

For the flight test, you will demonstrate your skill to the Flight Examiner by departing for a round trip with two or more landings / turning points en route.


During the test you will show your ability to divert to an alternative location, carry out emergency procedures and demonstrate competent planning and management of the flight (observing all procedures and rules – navigation, radio work, and general airmanship) before successfully completing the flight.

Here at the NQAC our Chief Flying Instructor is also our in house examiner, holding the appropriate CASA approval for flight testing. This means in most cases PPL Flight Tests will be conducted by the NQAC.

A student who successfully completes PPL flight test will be issued with a Private Pilot Licence by CASA, which authorises you to fly anywhere within Australia, solo or with private passengers in daytime visual weather conditions. You will no longer require your instructors permission to undertake a flight as pilot in command and you will be able to privately hire NQAC aircraft to do this.

After receiving your PPL you may decide to undertake further training for various aircraft endorsements and/or ratings.

The steps to achieving

Step 1: Trial Introductory Flight. Your first experience in the pilot’s seat and the start of your aviation career.

Step 2: Ab-Initio training. Your initial lessons will cover the basics, including operation of the aircraft and its controls, flying straight and level, climbing, descending, turning, stalling, and take-offs and landings.

Step 3: First Solo Flight. Once you have mastered the basics, you will be sent off for your first solo flight! This usually occurs at about the 15-20 hour mark for the average student, but will differ depending on your individual abilities. A first solo usually consists of a single circuit flown around the airport before landing again.

Step 4: Recreational Pilot Licence or Area Solo Training. You go back to the training area and learn more advanced techniques to ensure you are 100% competent to take passengers around the local area. More solo flying follows.

Step 5: RPL Flight Test (Optional). Once you have met the prerequisites you are eligible to sit the RPL flight test and earn your Recreational Pilot Licence. If you are moving to a PPL this is not essential, though it does give you the ability to go to the training area solo and practice additional movement as you would like.

Step 6: Navigational PPL Training. After the RPL phase, you will begin navigation training in the larger Cessna 172 or Piper Cherokee. This involves long-duration flights to interesting, remote locations such as Undara, Einasleigh, Lakeland and Wrotham Park.

Step 7: Private Pilot Licence Flight Test. You will complete a PPL flight test with our in house examiner. Upon successful completion of the flight test, you will hold your private pilot’s licence and be able to fly wherever you like!


Hours & Cost

Private Pilot Licence


*involves 70 hours of flying in either a Cessna 172 or PA-28. This includes the costs for the RPL. Hour requirements may differ subject to student competency.

Medicals and Theory Exams

To hold the PPL and fly solo, you will first need to pass an aviation medical from a Designated Aviation Medical Examiner (DAME), and also sit two theory exams. We will guide you on where and how to do all of this.

There will be one final theory exam prior to obtaining your PPL. Again, we will give you guidance on when to sit these exams and what you need to study. If you put your mind to it, it’s easy!

PPL Endorsements

Many PPL holders choose to train for additional endorsements improving their skills and opening up a wider variety of aircraft and types of flying.

We can provide the training for many PPL endorsements including MPPC and Instrument Ratings.

Contact us for more information on adding an endorsement to your Private Pilot Licence.

Want more information?

Frequently Asked Questions

Can the PPL be used in overseas countries?

Yes, your PPL will be a CASR Part 61 Private Licence meaning it can be used in other parts of the world that are also Part 61 (ICAO) contracting countries.

Your aviation career is cleared for takeoff

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