A Guide to your RPL (Recreational Pilots License)

RAF-Photo-Winner-Jamie-Walter

A guide to your RPL

G’day everyone in the Aviation Forum Community! Many of you don’t know me but my name is Luke and I’m a Recreational Student Pilot. You all have a passion for aviation and some of you may be interested in becoming a pilot, so I’ve decided to create a detailed and educational thread about getting your RPL. This thread will contain a variety of information regarding about an RPL, what it is, how to get one and the requirements to have one. I hope you’ll find this thread detailed and enjoyable.


What is an RPL? 50%20pm

Learning to fly is an exciting journey every young pilot travels on. Right from your Trial Introductory Flight [TIF] all the way through to your first solo, the feeling of being amongst the clouds never gets old. A great way to start this journey is through your RPC *[Recreational Pilots Certificate]*and then shortly your RPL and so on. But how do I become an RPL student and what are the requirements to become one? Your RPL is the first and most affordable pathway to achieving your Pilots Certificate, you’re able to start your flying journey weather your 14 or even 80 years old, perform your first solo flight at the age of 15, your RPL is a gateway to limitless opportunities. You can achieve your Recreational Pilots Certificate in as little as 20 hours and soon after your RPL! This license is not as expensive as you first think, it’s one of the cheapest pilot qualifications anyone can receive.
Please note the information which is being presented in this thread may be slightly different for different countries.


Where can I do my RPL?

This Pilot Licence is one of the most common licences to achieve. The great thing about this qualification is that it can be done at practically any airport in the world. This license is most common at your local airport. Whether it’s landing on grass strips, dirt strips or tarmac, all recreational aircraft can land/take-off on different types of surfaces.


Steps to Achieving my RPL

This information may be different from the type of country you live in or even states. However, there is an average of 22 lessons needed to complete an RPC [Recreational Pilots Certificate] and an average of 30 hours needed to complete your RPL.


Lesson 1 Effects of Controls and Pre - Flight Preparation

This is your very first lesson and steps towards your RPC. This lesson involves basic information on Pre - Flight Inspection i.e what to look for, to check the fuel and what to look for and basic knowlege of aeronautical manoeuvres, i.e taxing, left turn, right turn, ascending and descending. Before most if not every lesson you’ll have around a 20-30 minute briefing showing what you’ll be covering in a lesson, for example in the first lesson you’ll be covering basic aircraft knowlege and the forces of flight.

Lesson 2 Further Effects of Controls, Aerodrome Orientation and Introduction to Radio

Similar to your previous lesson you’ll have a 20-30 minute briefing on what you’ll be covering in the flight. Introducing checklists and an introduction to radio, meaning you’ll be introduced to ATC with or without Tower control. You’ll continue to learn the basic effects of flight and further aeronautical manoeuvres.

Lesson 3 Straight & Level

This lesson is pretty straight forward, you’ll be given a briefing of what you’ll encounter and what you’ll be doing whilst in flight. You’ll be continuously shown the different types of checklists and paying close attention to the take-off procedure, ATC calls, climbing procedure and where you’ll be given a demonstration on flying straight and level. Once you’re allocated in the training area you will take control and your instructor will show you basic instruments such as the altimeter and speed indicator and where you should be looking to verify with yourself that you’re flying straight and level.

Lesson 4 Climbing

As said previously this lesson is in the name. You’ll be given a briefing on climbing procedures and the correct speed and attitude [you heard me right, attitude] {pitch of the aircraft} in which your aircraft will climb. The speed and climbing rate depends on what type of aircraft and weather factors. In this lesson, you’ll be shown and instructed to announce basic ATC calls [this is different if you have a control tower or not], such as taxi and take-off.

Lesson 5 Descending

You’ll have a 20minute briefing which will consist of the pre-flight check, taking off procedures and descending. You will be introduced to P.A.T, you will use this method when ascending, descending etc. P = Power [adjust your power, idle or full], A = attitude [the pitch in which you’ll descent or ascend] and lastly T = Trim [Trimming the aircraft so you’re in a comfortable position]. Your instructor will also show you the basics of an all glide approach and landing.

Lesson 6 Turning (Bank angle of 30

As previous, you’ll have a 20-minute briefing on the flight ahead. You’ll perform the pre-check, taxi and take-off while being closely observed. You’ll initiate the climbing procedures in which you did the previous lesson and your instructor will demonstrate a turn of 30◦. You’ll be introduced to pre-turning procedures and where to look out for traffic and commence 360, 180, 90 and even climbing turns.

Lesson 7 Stall Recovery

After you’ve finished your briefing, you’d complete the pre-flight check. Soon after, you’d make the taxi call and taxi out to the desired runway and you’d take-off [with instructor supervision]. Now, I know stalls may sound horrible and believe me you’ll think this lesson is more frightening and worse then it sounds. Once you’re at your desired altitude, you’d reduce speed back to idle and as the nose goes down you’d continue to pull the nose until the nose is facing up and you begin to slowly descend. This isn’t bad at all, you just feel like you’re slowly descending with the nose pointing up. To get out of the stall all you have to do is push the nose forward and you’re out of the stall… That is it! After you’d put the throttle on 100% and you’ll prepare for another one. This is different for every flight school but this may be the lesson you begin to land the aircraft.

Initial Circuits. Take-off & landing - All glide approaches

You’ll have a short briefing about the above and preparation for circuits. You’d prepare the aircraft and continue out all the necessary procedures. Your instructor most likely will do a demonstration of a circuit firstly before you try, you’ll follow him through on the controls and he’ll show you procedures, ATC calls and how to land properly etc, you’d most likely do full stops and then taxi out again and take-off and repeat it multiple times. You’d take-off normally after 300ft you’d retract the 1st notch of flaps, then 400ft switch the fuel pump off, once you’re over or at about 500ft you’d begin to make your crosswind turn, after crosswind you’ll turn onto downwind and level off at a circuit altitude of 1,000ft. He’ll take you through pre-landing procedures and once you’re past the end of the runway in which you’re landing on you’ll pull back the throttle to idle, 1st notch of flaps, call base, turn final and he’ll instruct you throughout the landing process. Once touched down, you’ll most likely vacate the runway and do another 4-5 circuits.

Lesson 9 Circuits

You most likely won’t have a briefing for this one as it’s the same thing as the last one, the only thing new is touch n goes instead of full stops. You’d prepare the aircraft and continue out all the necessary procedures. Your instructor most likely will do another demonstration of a circuit firstly before you try, you’ll follow him through on the controls and he’ll show you procedures, ATC calls and how to land properly etc, you’d most likely do a couple of full stops, taxi out again and take-off and then he’ll introduce you touch n goes just to jog your memory.

Lesson 10 Introduce Emergencies & Go around Procedures

Again, you’ll have a short briefing about the above and preparation for emergency scenarios. You’d prepare the aircraft and continue out all the necessary procedures. Once in the air, your instructor will just run you through go-around procedures using the necessary ATC calls. He’ll also introduce to you other emergency procedures mainly consisting or a forced landing and memorising the checklist. This means that you have to land as quickly as possible by following the necessary procedures.

Lesson 11 Circuits until solo standard

This one is pretty straight forward, you’ll prepare the aircraft and have a briefing as normal. You will have an instructor in the cockpit with you however, you’ll most likely continue doing circuits until your instructor thinks you’re up to your solo standard and preparation.

Lesson 12 Circuits to a full stop being observed

This one is pretty straight forward, you’ll prepare the aircraft and have a briefing as normal. You’ll continue to do circuits with an instructor observing you not assist you in any way. If he thinks you’re ok to proceed you’ll proceed to the next type of lesson, if not you’ll continue to do that lesson over and over again.

Lesson 13 Circuits Touch and Go being observed

This one is pretty straight forward, you’ll prepare the aircraft and have a briefing as normal. You’ll continue to do circuits with an instructor observing you not assist you in any way. This time you’ll be doing circuit touch n goes being observed, if he thinks you’re fine to continue you’ll continue, if not you’ll repeat that lesson.

Lesson 14 Solo Circuits Until 2 hours solo

This is an exciting lesson! You’ll prepare the aircraft and have a briefing as normal. You’ll continue to do circuits without and instructor in the cockpit. However, don’t be surprised if he brings out a deck chair and just watches you from the runway ;). Again if he thinks you’re fine you’ll continue onto the next lessons.

Air LegislationExam

Lesson 15 Training Area Flying to and from an Airport

You’ll do a briefing as planned. You’ll be flying with an instructor and he’ll guide you to a Northern or Western training airport where you’ll land, taxi out and take-off again. Then you’ll fly back to your home airport. This shows/teaches you real-world ATC with other Pilots and what it’s like to fly to and from active airports.

Lesson 16 Southern or Eastern training Area

This is pretty much the same lesson as the previous except it’s to and from another different airport.

Lesson 17 Steep 45 Bank Angle Turns & Spiral Dive Recovery

You’ll cover a briefing, as usual, perform a pre-flight check, taxi out and take-off towards your respective training area. Once in that training area, your instructor will go over a similar lesson to lesson 6 except introducing steeper turns. He’ll demonstrate a spiral dive and show you how to recover as it’s easy to fall into them when completing such a steep turn.

Basic Aeronautical Knowledge Exam

Human Factors Basic Knowledge

Lesson 18 Forced Landings without power

You’ll cover a briefing, as usual, perform a pre-flight check, taxi out and take-off. Your instructor will introduce forced advanced forced landing procedure without power.

Lesson 19 Forced Landing with Power

You’ll cover a briefing, as usual, perform a pre-flight check, taxi out and take-off. This lesson is a replica as the last, however, the procedures may be different from the last lesson.

Pre-Licence (Flight Assessment)

Lesson 21 Solo Revision. Training Area

You’ll cover a briefing, as usual, perform a pre-flight check, taxi out and take-off towards your respective training area. This lesson is a summary of your training needed to pass your Flight Test.

Flight Test!!


Please note, some of the requirements, lessons and information presented in this thread may vary depending on the country or state you’re apart of. One last thing, Recreational Aircraft are aircraft which normally hold 2 people including the pilot.


I hope you found this thread informative and enjoyable if you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me or ask a question below.
Remember, a good pilot is always learning,

Luke :wink:

Sources and Links

Title Photo Jamie Walter, Ram Island Farm, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

*The following rules and regulations apply to students within Australia and the Queensland State.

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Hey Luke! Thanks for the post. Do you mind adding which country these rules and lessons apply to so that users don’t get confused?

Thanks

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No problem!

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