Pilot licence rolling recency or revalidation guidance

Updated 7th June 2022

Sailplane pilot licensing is straightforward in that there is only one licence – the SPL. The SPL can include privileges to fly powered sailplanes including TMGs.

GA powered aeroplane pilot licensing is very complicated as there are at least four licences available in the UK.

The following detail is provided to assist pilots in understanding the rolling recency or revalidation requirements required for each licence’s basic privileges.

Warning – in each case, please note that the relevant regulation is the definitive source of information. Each regulation (eg SFCL, FCL, the ANO) includes requirements applicable to additional privileges and ratings as well as acceptable means of compliance, guidance, and explanatory detail. The source regulations are available here.

Definitions (from the regulation)

‘Sailplane’ means a heavier-than-air aircraft that is supported in flight by the dynamic reaction of the air against its fixed lifting surfaces, the free flight of which does not depend on an engine.

‘Touring Motor Glider’ means a specific class of powered sailplane having an integrally mounted, non-retractable engine and a non-retractable propeller. It shall be capable of taking off and climbing under its own power according to its flight manual

‘Aeroplane’ means an engine-driven fixed-wing aircraft heavier than air that is supported in flight by the dynamic reaction of the air against its wings.

Sailplane Pilot Licence (SPL). Part SFCL refers.

SFCL.160 SPL – Recency requirements

a. Sailplanes, excluding TMGs. SPL holders shall exercise SPL privileges, excluding TMGs, only if in the last 24 months before the planned flight they:

(1) completed, on sailplanes, at least five hours of flight time as PIC or flying dual or solo under the supervision of an FI(S), including, on sailplanes, excluding TMGs, at least:

(i) 15 launches; and

(ii) two training flights with an FI(S); or

(2) passed a proficiency check with an FE(S) on a sailplane, excluding TMGs; the proficiency check shall be based on the skill test for SPL.

b. TMGs. SPL holders shall exercise their TMG privileges only if in the last 24 months before the planned flight they:

(1) completed at least 12 hours of flight time as PIC or flying dual or solo under the supervision of an FI(S), including, on TMGs, at least:

(i) six hours flight time;

(ii) 12 take-offs and landings; and

(iii) a training flight of at least one hour total flight time with an instructor; or

(2) passed a proficiency check with an examiner; the proficiency check shall be based on the skill test as specified in point SFCL.150(b)(2).

c. SPL holders with privileges to fly on TMGs who also hold a licence including the privileges to fly on TMGs in accordance with the provisions of Part-FCL shall be exempted from complying with paragraph (b).

d. The completion of the dual flights, the flights under supervision and the training flights as specified in paragraphs (a)(1) and (b)(1), as well as the proficiency checks as specified in paragraph (a)(2) and (b)(2) shall be entered in the logbook of the pilot and signed by the responsible FI(S) in the case of paragraphs (a)(1) and (b)(1), and by the responsible FE(S) in the case of paragraphs (a)(2) and (b)(2).

e. Carriage of passengers. SPL holders shall carry passengers only if in the preceding 90 days they have carried out as PIC, at least:

(1) three launches in sailplanes, excluding TMGs, if passengers are to be carried in sailplanes, excluding TMGs; or

(2) three take-offs and landings in TMGs, if passengers are to be carried in a TMG. For carrying passengers at night in a TMG, at least one of those take-offs and landings shall be carried out at night.

PPL(A) SEP aeroplane licence. Part FCL refers

A PPL(A) requires revalidation on a 24 month cycle which requires the licence to be signed by an approved person.

FCL.740.A Revalidation of Part-FCL class and type ratings – aeroplanes

1. For revalidation of single-pilot single-engine piston aeroplane class ratings or TMG class ratings the applicant shall:

(i) within the 3 months preceding the expiry date of the rating, pass a proficiency check in the relevant class in accordance with Appendix 9 with a Flight Examiner;

or

(ii) within the 12 months preceding the expiry date of the rating, complete 12 hours of flight time in the relevant class, including:

  • 6 hours as PIC; and
  • 12 take-offs and 12 landings; and
  • refresher training of at least 1 hour with a flight instructor (FI) or a class rating instructor (CRI). Applicants shall be exempted from this flight if they have passed a class or type rating proficiency check or skill test in any other class or type of aeroplane.

2. When applicants hold both a single-engine piston aeroplane-land class rating and a TMG rating, they may complete the requirements of (1) in either class or a combination thereof, and achieve revalidation of both ratings.  Note- this only applies to REVALIDATIONS. A renewal requires a Licence Skills Test in each class.

 AMC 4.1.1 states: The requirements for a training flight with an FI or CRI, referred to in FCL.740.A(b)(1)(ii), may be satisfied by receiving instruction totalling at least 1 hour from one or more instructors in the course of a maximum of three flights.

UK AMC 4.1.2 states: The CAA has issued an exemption for a pilot licence issued by the CAA that includes a Single Engine Piston class rating or Touring Motor Glider class rating, which may be revalidated subject to the condition that, within 12 months preceding the expiry of the rating the applicant shall:

  • complete 12 hours of flight time in Single Engine Piston aeroplanes or Touring Motor Gliders, including 6 hours as pilot in command and 12 take-offs and 12 landings; and
  • pass in an aeroplane, a skill test or proficiency check for any class, type, instrument or mountain rating or an assessment of competence for any Flight Instructor, Class Rating Instructor or Instrument Rating Instructor certificate included in the applicant’s aeroplane pilot licence.

The 90-day rule applies when carrying passengers. The licence holder must have completed within the previous 90 days, three take-offs and landings as sole manipulator of the controls in the same type or class to be used on the flight. If carrying passengers at night, one of those takeoffs and landings must also have been at night, unless an instrument rating is held.

LAPL(A) aeroplane licence. Part FCL refers

FCL.140.A LAPL(A) as amended — Recency requirements

a. Holders of an LAPL (A) shall only exercise the privileges of their licence when they have completed, in the last 24 months, as pilots of aeroplanes or TMG:

(i) at least 12 hours of flight time as PIC or dual, including 12 take-offs and landings; and

(ii) refresher training of at least 1 hour of total flight time with an instructor

b. Holders of an LAPL(A) who do not comply with the requirements in (a) shall:

(i) undertake a proficiency check with an examiner before they resume the exercise of the privileges of their licence;

or

(ii) perform the additional flight time or take-offs and landings, flying dual or solo under the supervision of an instructor, in order to fulfil the requirements in (a).

AMC1 FCL.140.A: Training flight items should be based on the exercise items of the proficiency check, as deemed relevant by the instructor, and depending on the experience of the candidate. For aeroplanes and helicopters, the briefing should include a discussion on TEM with special emphasis on decision-making when encountering adverse meteorological conditions or unintentional IMC, as well as on navigation flight capabilities.

LAPL privileges integral to other licences: Holders of other licences wishing to exercise LAPL privileges only need to hold a valid LAPL medical (or higher) but must maintain validity of any class ratings in accordance with FCL.740.

The 90-day rule applies when carrying passengers. The licence holder must have completed within the previous 90 days, three take-offs and landings as sole manipulator of the controls in the same type or class to be used on the flight.

UK PPL aeroplane licence. The ANO refers

A UK PPL requires revalidation on a 24 month cycle which requires the licence to be signed by an approved person.

ANO 2016 Revalidation of UK PPL class and type ratings – aeroplanes

1. For revalidation of single-pilot single-engine piston aeroplane class ratings or TMG class ratings the applicant shall:

(i) within the 3 months preceding the expiry date of the rating, pass a proficiency check in the relevant class in accordance with Appendix 9 to this Part with an examiner;

or

(ii) within the 12 months preceding the expiry date of the rating, complete 12 hours of flight time in the relevant class or (for SEP) 3-axis microlight, including:

  • 6 hours as PIC;
  • 12 take-offs and 12 landings; and
  • refresher training of at least 1 hour with a flight instructor (FI) or a class rating instructor (CRI). Applicants shall be exempted from this flight if they have passed a class or type rating proficiency check or skill test in any other class or type of aeroplane.

2. When applicants hold both a single-engine piston aeroplane-land class rating and a TMG rating, they may complete the requirements of (1) in either class or a combination thereof, and achieve revalidation of both ratings.

Note- this only applies to REVALIDATIONS. If a renewal, there has to be a Licence Skills Test in each class.

If flying on a UK PPL, a pilot may fly with one other person who is also a pilot qualified on class or type, without having met the requirements of the 90 day rule. The other person must be informed of the fact that the pilot in command is not current to carry passengers and must also make it clear they are the pilot in command. This is known in the ANO as the ‘recent experience exception’.

UK NPPL aeroplane licence. The ANO refers

Definitions:

“SSEA” means a simple single engine aeroplane, being a single engine piston aeroplane with a maximum take-off weight authorised of not more than 2,000kg and which is not a microlight aeroplane or an SLMG.

Self-launching motor glider” (SLMG) means an aircraft with the characteristics of a non-power-driven glider, which is fitted with one or more power units and which is designed or intended to take off under its own power.

An NPPL requires revalidation on a 24 month cycle which requires the licence to be signed by an approved person.

ANO 2016 Revalidation of UK NPPL class ratings – aeroplanes

To revalidate an SSEA, Microlight or SLMG class rating attached to an NPPL(A), the holder must complete the following during the 24 month validity of the current certificate of revalidation for the rating:

a. A General Skill Test; or

b. At least 12 hours flight time to include:

(i) at least 8 hours as pilot in command;

(ii) at least 12 take-offs and 12 landings;

(iii) at least 1 hour of flying training with an instructor entitled to give instruction on aeroplanes of that class;

(iv) at least 6 hours flight time in the 12 months preceding the validity expiry

General Skill Test: Must be completed with a Flight Examiner holding the appropriate rating and qualification.

Single seat: Where the holder has not undertaken the skill test or the flying training specified, but has completed all the other experience requirements, a certificate of revalidation may be issued but must be endorsed “single seat only”. AIC W089/2011 states that a further certificate of revalidation can be issued without the ‘single seat only’ endorsement, but with the same expiry date, when the training flight has been completed.

Holders of more than one Class Rating: 3.9.1.2 Where the holder wishes to revalidate more than one class rating, they may carry out the requirements above in any of the relevant classes but must have at least 1 hour PIC or 1 hour dual instruction in each of the classes as part of the 12 hours flight time.

Validity: The new certificate is valid for 24 months from the end of the month which includes the expiry date of the existing certificate, except where the certificate is validated by a NPPL General Skill Test more than 3 months before the expiry date of the existing certificate, in which case the new certificate is valid for 24 months from the end of the month in which the test was taken.

If flying on a UK NPPL, a pilot may fly with one other person who is also a pilot qualified on class or type, without having met the requirements of the 90 day rule. The other person must be informed of the fact that the pilot in command is not current to carry passengers and must also make it clear they are the pilot in command. This is known in the ANO as the ‘recent experience exception’.