Derby Aero Club & Flying School

We offer a range of flying training courses, including Trial Flying Lessons, the Private Pilots Licence and advanced courses for PPL holders.

We also offer aircraft hire to already qualified pilots.

Experience the joy of flight - contact us.

Introductory Trial Flying Lessons are available which make ideal gifts.

We have a fleet of aircraft, including Cessna 140, 152, 172 & Beagle Pup 150 aircraft.


Private Pilots Licence

Private Pilots Licence (PPL)

The Private Pilots Licence is typically the first stop for both professional and recreational pilots alike and enables the holder to act as PIC (Pilot in Command/Captain) of a ‘light’ aircraft. Importantly, the PPL is a licence which enables the holder to add further ratings and privileges over time, eg. A night rating or instrument rating, to the licence, unlike the LAPL (Light Aircraft Pilots Licence). It’s both fun and challenging in equal measure and provides the student/holder with the skills to be both safe and skilled in the operation of a small aircraft. It also provides an invaluable foundation for anyone looking for a career as a pilot either straight away, or in the future.


The PPL course comprises the following:

A minimum of 45 hours of training to pass a PPL Skills Test with an examiner. (The flight test)

9 ground school exams;

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

and a Radio Telephony Examination

The Flight Test is a verbal ground test and an airborne flight test covering the PPL syllabus with an examiner. The test typically lasts around 2 hours and is the culmination of the airborne and ground training you will receive on the course.

The 9 ground exam subjects are all covered on the course, with the exams themselves sat online at the aero club. The ground training supplements the airborne training and can be taught at the aero club predominantly on days where the weather is not suitable for an airborne lesson. This saves our students from having to do extra courses elsewhere and is one of the advantages our training program according to our current and former students. Should extra ground school training be requested, we have an experienced instructor team that offers bespoke ground school training on an individual basis.

The radio telephony examination takes the form of a simulated flight covering the radio procedures that the pilot will need to follow on a typical flight. Again, this is a ground-based exam sat at the club with our own ground examiner. Typically taken at the end of the course, this is the culmination of a challenging and rewarding experience, after which the student can apply to the CAA for the issue of their very own Private Pilots Licence.



Light Aircraft Pilots Licence LAPL(A)

The LAPL (Light Aircraft Pilots Licence) was designed as a quicker, cheaper, and less rigorous pilot licence for people who only wanted to experience the joy of flight without adding extra privileges to the licence. The course is shortened to include a minimum of 30 hours rather than 45 hours with a reduced syllabus when compared to the PPL. In addition, the medical requirements needed to use the licence are reduced, and if needs be, it can be upgraded to a PPL should the holder wish to further their training by adding additional privileges to the licence later. The requirement to pass 9 ground school exams is the same for both the LAPL and the PPL, as is the requirement for an RT (Radio Telephony) Exam, and hence the training in this respect follows the same syllabus as the PPL.

Other factors do apply when choosing to undertake flight training for a LAPL rather than a PPL, so for further information, please ‘Contact us’.


IMC Rating

IMC & IRR(A) Rating

The IMC or IR(R) is the Restricted Instrument Rating. This is the course which teaches you the same skills that professional pilots use on a daily basis. As the name suggests, an instrument rating is what you need if you want to fly and navigate the aircraft on instruments, which is an essential skill for flying long distances, or flying in or above the clouds. It also teaches all pilots advanced skills on top of the PPL, which increases safety by allowing a wider range of destination airports and further improves general flying skills. It is as challenging as it is fun, and is an advantage to all pilots alike, however experienced.

The course consists of only 1 ground exam and a minimum of 15 hours flight instruction. Once this has been completed and the required competence is achieved, the student is required to pass a Skills Test with a Flight Examiner and then apply to the CAA to add the rating to an existing PPL or higher licence. All training is conducted by one of our experienced Flying Instructors, with ground school for the ground exam typically conducted at no extra cost.


Tailwheel Training

Tailwheel Training

Tailwheel differences training is another ideal way for a pilot to increase their skills by adding another type of aircraft to their privileges. It is also an essential requirement for all pilots wishing to fly some of the most fun and exciting aircraft that most private pilots love to fly. These aircraft range from vintage aircraft such as a Tiger Moth circa 1930s, to brand new kit-built aircraft such as a Vans RV7/8.

Because this is classed as ‘differences training’ there is no set minimum training requirement or exams. Competence is assessed be the Head of Training or Senior Flight Instructor, and all training is conducted in our brilliant Cessna 140. Due to its 3 runways and quiet local area, Derby Aero Club is an ideal place to get the most out of the course and progress at a safe and advanced pace.

For further information on any course you wish to undertake please do not hesitate to ‘contact us’.

Radio Telephony (RT) Licence

The RT (Radio Telephony) licence is a requirement for the issue of a new UK Issued Pilots Licence. However, there is a shortage of suitably qualified RT Examiners in the UK, and that is likely to remain the situation for the time being. Derby Aero Club has its own RT Examiner and we offer standalone RT courses to both our own students, and those from other training providers, and have been doing so for many years. This is the case for helicopter and fixed wing pilots alike.

If you are a student elsewhere and are having difficulty finding an RT examiner, we can help. Our courses are bespoke to you and we can provide one to one training and the exam itself on site. For more information on RT courses, please ‘contact us’.


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