Pilot Coaching Scheme

The Pilot Coaching Scheme

The LAA is a CAA Declared Training Organisation (DTO).  Our enjoyment of flying, and the ability to share that with others carries with it a responsibility to maintain good standards of flying and airmanship. The Pilot Coaching Scheme (PCS) provides Coaches to assist you not only with specific courses, but with any general training need.

Time to fly?

Statistics show that for LAA aircraft the transition of a new pilot onto the type is a frequent source of accidents, more so than the aircraft's initial test flying phase. The same is true of the first flight of any unfamiliar aircraft, whether it is a home-built, vintage, or microlight. You do not have to go it alone. The LAA has the Pilot Coaching Scheme - all Coaches are current CAA and JAR-FCL certified Class Rating Instructors, Flight Instructors, or Flight Examiners. They’re also your trainer, confidante and mentor throughout the process of you learning to fly your aircraft.

Most LAA coaches have completed all differences themselves applicable to LAA types, so they can provide your differences training or familiarisation training - though naturally, before doing so they may need the opportunity to fly the aircraft sufficiently to acquaint themselves with the individual model concerned.

Licence Revalidations and Renewals

LAA Coaches can provide the “one hour with an Instructor” flight at any time in the second year of your licence revalidation period, and then sign the revalidation if you have already flown the required hours. They all hold UK 'R' examiner privileges, so can also revalidate ratings on UK PPLs and NPPLs once all the requirements have been completed even if they have not flown with you.

All Coaches are allowed to do Renewal Training under the LAA DTO to assist pilots to prepare for their GST to get their lapsed licence back.

Differences training

"Differences Training" requires the acquisition of an additional knowledge and training on any appropriate device, or on the aircraft. It requires both ground and flight training and must be endorsed as having been completed by a suitably qualified Flight Instructor or Class Rating Instructor.

Familiarisation Training

Before flying any type or variant of aircraft which you’ve not flown before, within the Single-Engine Piston (SEP) class, you must complete "Familiarisation Training". This is the correct modern terminology for what would previously be described as being "Checked Out" on a new type.

"Familiarisation Training" requires the acquisition of additional knowledge, either through self-study of appropriate material about the aircraft such as the Pilot Operating Handbook, Pilot’s notes, etc, training with a suitably qualified instructor, or, particularly in the case of a single seat aircraft, a verbal brief from a pilot already familiar with the type.

With multi seat aircraft, while it may be helpful to fly with another pilot already familiar with the type, pilots should note that only qualified instructors are authorised to provide training, including familiarisation training and this could lead to difficulties if an accident were to occur that was supervised by any pilot other than a qualified instructor.

In addition, when first transitioning to flying types or variants of aircraft which include various specific more demanding or unusual features, that he or she has not previously experienced as pilot in command, a pilot must also have differences training with a qualified instructor to teach them to safely deal with the feature or features concerned.

Whilst differences training with an instructor is mandatory, we also recommend you include ground and flight training with an instructor as part of your familiarisation training.

Photography (mostly) Neil Wilson

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