Additional Courses for Fixed Wing Aeroplanes
This rating allows you to fly during official night, which is defined as the period between 30 minutes after sunset and 30 minutes before sunrise. This rating can be invaluable if you get delayed during a flight and need to land at night, rather than having to divert to a different airport. It is also a requirement to hold a night rating in order for the grant of a commercial pilots licence.
The night rating is a 5-hour course which includes a minimum of 1 hour of navigation and 5 solo take-off and landings as Pilot in Command (P1). The night rating does not expire, however in order to carry passengers at night you must have performed one takeoff/landing at night in the proceeding 90 days (unless you hold a valid IR which makes you exempt from this rule).
Instrument Rating (Restricted)
The IR(R) allows you to pilot your aircraft in slightly worse weather conditions than the basic PPL. However, it must be stressed that this licence is designed to allow you to depart into better weather or land should the weather change en-route and is more of a ‘get out of jail card’. It is not a licence to takeoff, cruise and land in poor weather. The IR(R) is a UK rating but may be added to an EASA licence as an Instrument Rating (Restricted). The rating introduces instrument procedures and builds on the work already undertaken during the PPL.
The requirements to start the IR(R) course are an issued PPL with 10 hours Pilot in Command, which must include 5 hours of cross-country navigation.
The IR(R) course consists of 20 hours ground school and a minimum of 15 hours airborne training, of which 10 hours must be by sole reference to instruments.
You will also need to take and pass both a written theoretical examination and practical flight examination. The rating is valid for 25 months and in order to revalidate you must pass a practical flight test.
Multi-Engine Piston (MEP) Rating
The basic PPL allows you to fly single engine piston aircraft, in order to fly multi-engine (twin) aircraft you must undertake an MEP rating and must have at least 70 hours of PIC in Aeroplanes.
The MEP rating consists of a 6-hour course which includes not less than 2 hours 30 minutes of dual instruction under normal operations and 3 hours 30 minutes dual instruction in asymmetric flight.
You will also need to take and pass a theoretical written and practical flight test.
The MEP rating is valid for 12 months and in order to revalidate you must pass a practical flight test.
Usually this course is only undertaken on the route to commercial flying, but can still be done for interest purposes! Click here to see more.
PPL Instrument Rating (PPL/IR) Rating
The IR rating allows you to operate an aircraft in much worse weather conditions than a basic PPL and is designed to allow you to conduct a whole flight in poor conditions compared to the IMC rating.
It also allows you to enter class A airspace and is valid across all European states.
The IR consists of 55 hours (multi-engine) 40 of which can be completed in the FNPTII simulator, and you will be required to take and pass IR theoretical exams in the following subjects:
- Air Law/Operations Procedures
- Aircraft General Knowledge
- Flight Performance and Planning
- Human Performance Limitations
- Communications (IFR)
The IR rating is valid for 12 months and in order to revalidate you must pass a practical flight test either in a simulator or aircraft (this alternates each year).