PPL + LAPL Skill Test

PPL + LAPL Skill Test

Note:  Skill test requirements for the LAPL and PPL are identical

Flight crew regulations require LAPL / PPL applicants for pilot licenses to pass a skill test. 

The skill test is to demonstrate that while acting as pilot in command (PIC) of the relevant aircraft type you can competently carry out the procedures and manoeuvres that you have been taught during your LAPL / PPL training course. The skill test is taken with an examiner. Put simply, it is the aviation equivalent of your driving test. 

You must have passed the PPL theoretical knowledge exams before taking a skill test for the issue of your PPL / LAPL. The Head of Training will make the recommendations for you to take the skill test, and this will only be after you have completed your theoretical training and passed all PPL exams. Your training records will be made available to the examiner.

Conduct of test

You will need to fly the aircraft from a seat in which you can act as PIC, which usually will be the left seat, and carry out the test as if there is no other crew member. You must demonstrate to your examiner that you have carried out the appropriate checks and duties for the aircraft on which you are taking your test, including identification of radio facilities. 

During pre-flight preparation, you will need to determine power settings and speeds, and calculate performance data for take-off, landing and approach in compliance with the operations or flight manual for the aircraft you are using. 

Your flight examiner may ask you to repeat any manoeuvre or procedure once during your test. The examiner will not assist with flying the aircraft in any way unless it is necessary for safety reasons or to avoid unacceptable delay to other traffic. If you terminate your skill test during the flight and your examiner considers your reason to be inadequate, you will have to retake the entire test. If the examiner considers the reasons to be valid, you will only need to complete the sections that you have not already completed and any other mandatory sections.

Pass criteria

The skill test will include a number of sections, representing the different phases of flight, depending on the aircraft category. These may include phases such as 'pre-flight and departure', 'general airwork', 'en-route procedures' and 'approach and landing procedures'. Failing an item within a section will result in failure of that section. If you fail one (1) section, you can repeat it, but if you fail in more than one section you will fail the test. If you have to repeat a section, and you subsequently fail a section that you had passed previously, you will fail the test. If you fail the test twice, you will need to have further practical training before you can take it again. 

Tolerances in flight

For general guidance, the following limits apply during the PPL and LAPL skill test, which are identical. The examiner should make allowances for turbulent conditions and the handling qualities and performance of the aeroplane used: -

  • Height:
    - normal flight ± 150 ft
  • Heading or tracking of radio aids:
    - normal flight ± 10°
  • Speed:
    - take-off and approach +15/–5 knots
    - all other flight regimes ± 15 knots

Section 1 – Pre-flight operations and departure 

Unless annotated (*) exercise to be completed by both LAPL & PPL candidates. 

a. Pre-flight documentation, NOTAM & weather brief 

b. Mass & balance and performance calculation 

c. Aeroplane inspection & servicing 

d. Engine starting & after starting procedures 

e. Taxiing & aerodrome procedures, pre-take-off procedures 

f. Take-off and after take-off checks 

g. Aerodrome departure procedures 

h. ATC compliance and R/T procedures

Section 2 – General Airwork 

Unless annotated (*) exercise to be completed by both LAPL & PPL candidates. 

a. ATC compliance and R/T procedures 

b. Straight and level flight, with speed changes 

c. Climbing: 

i. best rate of climb; 

ii. climbing turns; 

iii. levelling off. 

d. Medium (30° bank) turns 

e. Steep (45° bank) turns PPL: including recognition & recovery from a spiral dive 

f. Flight at critically low airspeed with and without flaps 

g. Stalling: 

i. Clean stall and recover with power; 

ii. Approach to stall descending turn with bank angle 20°, approach configuration; 

iii. Approach to stall in landing configuration. 

h. Descending: 

i. with and without power; 

ii. descending turns (steep gliding turns); 

iii. levelling off.

Section 3 – En-route procedures 

Unless annotated (*) exercise to be completed by both LAPL & PPL candidates. 

a. Flight plan, dead reckoning and map reading 

b. Maintenance of altitude, heading and speed 

c. Orientation, timing & revision of ETA’s and log keeping 

d. Diversion to alternate aerodrome (planning & implementation) 

e. PPL: Use of radio navigation aids 

f. PPL: Basic instrument flying check (180° turn in simulated IMC) 

g. Flight management (checks, fuel systems & carburettor icing etc.) 

h. ATC compliance and R/T procedures

Section 4 – Approach and landing procedures 

Unless annotated (*) exercise to be completed by both LAPL & PPL candidates. 

a. Aerodrome arrival procedures - Collision avoidance (look-out procedures) 

b. * Precision landing (short field landing), crosswind, if suitable conditions available 

c. * Flapless landing 

d. * Approach to landing with idle power (SE only) 

e. Touch and go 

f. Go-around from low height 

g. ATC compliance and R/T procedures 

h. Actions after flight

Section 5 – Abnormal and emergency procedures 

Unless annotated (*) exercise to be completed by both LAPL & PPL candidates. 

This section may be combined with sections 1 through 4 

a. Simulated engine failure after take-off (SE only) 

b. * Simulated forced landing (SE only) 

c. Simulated precautionary landing (SE only) 

d. Simulated emergencies

e. Oral questions

Section 6 – Simulated asymmetric flight and relevant class or type items 

Unless annotated (*) exercise to be completed by both LAPL & PPL candidates. 

This section may be combined with sections 1 through 5 for PPL applicants 

a. Simulated engine failure during take-off (at a safe altitude unless carried out in an FFS) 

b. Asymmetric approach and go-around 

c. Asymmetric approach and full stop landing 

d. Engine shutdown and re-start 

e. ATC compliance, R/T procedures or airmanship 

f. As determined by the FE: any relevant Items of the class or type rating skill test to include, if applicable: 

i. Aeroplane systems including handling of autopilot; 

ii. Operation of pressurisation system; 

iii. Use of de-icing and anti-icing system. 

g. Oral questions

How to Pass The EASA PPL Skill Test: A Guide to Passing the EASA PPL Oral Test and the EASA PPL Flight Test

The 'How to Pass the EASA PPL Skill Test' book offers PPL and LAPL students a very useful insight into what flight examiners are looking for during a PPL / LAPL skill test. 


Flight Examiners’ Manual (FEM)

EASA Flight Examiners Manual FEM - Module 2.1 - LAPL

EASA Flight Examiners Manual FEM - Module 2.2 - PPL

UK CAA Standards Document 19(A)