NPPL – for motor gliding and towing
The National Private Pilot Licence (NPPL) is a recreational private pilots licence that can have up to three class ratings attached to it;
- Self Launching Motor Glider – known as SLMG
- Simple Single Engine Aeroplane – known as SSEA
NPPL training does not need to take place at an ‘approved’ or ‘licenced’ training school or club – many gliding club sites are suitable for NPPL flight training.
NPPL privileges can only be exercised if the class rating is valid and the pilot complies with the medical requirement
Until EASA licensing becomes a requirement in the UK (see Pilot Licencing), the NPPL SLMG is the qualification currently available to pilots of self-launching gliders, which includes diverse types such as the DG400, T61 Falke, Grob 109 and Stemme. The key point in each case is that they are gliders and they self launch!
The requirements to convert from BGA certified glider pilot to NPPL SLMG are detailed in the ‘Licensing Allowances’ publication on the NPPL website. Training can be carried out by a CAA approved Flight Instructor with unrestricted SLMG or TMG instructor privileges.
If your club cannot offer you NPPL SLMG training, we recommend that you consider one of the SLMG training operations that offer part-time or full-time tailored SLMG training. These include;
There are a growing number of microlights that can tow gliders and therefore are of interest to glider pilots. The requirements to convert to NPPL Microlight are detailed in the ‘Licensing Allowances’ publication on the NPPL website. Conversion training can be carried out by Flight Instructors (Microlights), Flight Instructors (Aeroplanes) with Microlight privileges, and Class Rating Instructors (Aeroplanes) with Microlight privileges. Including:
- Jonathan May via firstname.lastname@example.org in an Ikarus fitted with a tow hook
A significant number of aeroplane pilots also utilise the NPPL. Adding SSEA to an NPPL SLMG is quite straightforward. The requirements to convert to NPPL SSEA are detailed in the ‘Licensing Allowances’ publication on the NPPL website. Conversion training can be carried out by a Flight Instructor (Aeroplanes) or Class Rating Instructor (Aeroplanes).
There are a number of suitably qualified instructors who make themselves available to BGA club members who wish to convert from SLMG to SSEA, including;
- Paul Whitehead Yorkshire GC
- Derren Francis – Bicester GC
- Andrew Roch – London GC
- Jonathan May – MotorGlide/Cotswold GC
- (Please contact the BGA office if you are an FI(A) or CRI(A) and wish to add your name)
Please note that from 8 April 2018, pilots of EASA aircraft will be required to hold an EASA Part-FCL licence. The NPPL can be transitioned to the equivalent Part-FCL licence.