Private Pilot License (PPL) course, which takes place in Herzliya Airport, is the first step a student pilot encounters, when entering the aviation world. The practical course includes 7 stages: introductory flight, basic flying, solo flights, basic instruments flying, night flying, navigation flights, practice before the final exam and the final exam. In addition to the practical part, the student pilot must study and be examined in theory in the following items:
The PPL course starts in an Introductory Flight where the student pilot experiences for the first time the feeling of flying an airplane on his own and the flight instructor gets impression on the student's skills and talent.
This stage deals with basic flying skills. In the first lessons, the student pilot will study basic flying exercises like flying states transitions, turns, speed change and more. Later on we will study the basic handling of emergency situations. The main part of this stage is practicing flying in the traffic pattern, which includes many take-offs and landings, until reaching the appropriate level to perform the First Solo Flight. This is the peak of this stage. In the solo flight the student pilot, first time in his life, flies when nobody else is in the airplane except himself. He takes-off, perform a full traffic pattern flying and lands, on his own, without a flying instructor!
In this stage the student pilot improves his take-off and landing skills, where he flies solo. Later on, a series of flights, which reminds the basic flying stage, is done, where in this stage the level is higher. Every flying lesson in this stage starts in a dual flying, where the instructor is present in the airplane, teaches and demonstrates, and after that the instructor leaves the airplane and the student pilots continues on his own.
The goal of this stage is to give the student pilot the basic skills required to handle situations where the weather is such that it is impossible to see what is going on outside, also known as "Instruments Meteorological Conditions" (IMC), as opposed to "Visual Meteorological Conditions" (VMC). This stage teaches how to fly the airplane without seeing anything outside, but only according to the instruments in the cockpit.
At this stage the student pilot flies at night for the first time. At night everything looks different. Although the dark areas are black, the visibility at night is usually very good and using the visible lights it is possible to see clearly and high distance. At this stage we will practice take-offs and landings at night, and we will also learn how to handle emergency situations at night, like electrical failure which deepens the emergency situation.
At this stage we go out from the home airport environment for the first time. There are no directional signs in the sky. On the other hand, everything looks clearer and covers bigger areas in the sky. You will learn how to plan a flight and you will fly in such a way that every moment you will know where you are and how to proceed until landing in a different airport, located hundreds of miles away from the departure airport. At this stage we will revert back to solo flights and the student pilot will experience a transportation flight, flying on his own to a different airport. Many student pilots think that this is the most fun part of the PPL course.
At this stage we will summarize the entire PPL course. We will refresh our skills in professional performance of the basic maneuvers, as well as emergency handling. Then, the student pilot will be tested by an examiner from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), who will verify the proficiency and give the Private Pilot License.