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Private Pilot Licence (PPL)

Flying is fun, challenging and rewarding. It is a fast, safe and cost-effective way to travel.

In New Zealand, there are no minimum educational requirements to start aviation training. An understanding of Mathematics and Physics is helpful.

LearntoFlyNZ offers a unique programme in that unlike other training organisations in the South Island we are based within the mountains. In less than half an hour's flying time it is possible to experience both coastal flying, (the West Coast is only 50 miles to the West of Wanaka), with the true mountain flying in the Southern Alps along the way. 

Once airborne from Wanaka, you can be experiencing mountain flying and will quickly become accustomed to the characteristics of the surrounding terrain. The variety of flying in the region and the diverse opportunities you will experience are completely unique.

You won't have any of the delays encountered in controlled airspace at major centres. However, with International airports such as Queenstown, Dunedin and Christchurch within a short distance, you will be taught the skills required to fly in a busy controlled environment.


Private Pilot Licence requires a minimum of NZ CAA Class 2 medical certification. As long as you have a good overall standard of health you will have no problems with this. The examination can be done in Wanaka, Cromwell or Queenstown. To avoid possible disappointment, later on, make sure you pass the medical before doing too many flights/lessons.


Early lessons cover the basics like Straight and Level flight, Climbing and Descending. Most students will take their first solo flight after 10-15 hours of flight training. There is a requirement of minimum 50 hours to gain a PPL.

Your Instructor will normally go through a briefing before and/or after each lesson, going through the logistics of your flight. You can take your lessons as often as you like with most flights being around 50 minutes, to begin with, although adding in the time for briefings and pre-flight inspections, initial lessons will take 1.5 to 2 hours. As flying is a skill, it depends upon your abilities, knowledge, and effort placed towards acquiring the qualification. 


For your PPL you need a minimum of 50 hours total flight time which is divided as follows:

  • 15 hours Solo Flight Time - this includes the time you use for cross-countries when you are pilot in command (without an instructor)

  • 15 hours Dual Flight Time – Flight with your Instructor

  • 10 hours Cross-Country Flight Time – you’ll be shown how to calculate heading, time to destination, ground speed, fuel used etc, on flights to destinations such as Dunedin, Alexandra, and Twizel both dual and solo.

  • 5 hours Instrument Flight Time – by using a hood, we simulate flying the aircraft using instruments with your Instructor guiding you through it.

5 hours Terrain Awareness (Mountain Flying) 


For your PPL there are six theory subjects you with need to pass

  • Human Factors

  • Meteorology

  • Air Technical Knowledge & Principles of Flight

  • Navigation

  • Flight Radio

  • Law

These are mainly multi-choice with the pass mark of 70%. On completion of all your exam, you will be required to pass an English Proficiency test.

Once you have learnt your PPL the next license you can work towards is your Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL)

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