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Weird as it might seem, I'm not 100% sure what airplanes I can fly with an EASA PPL(A) license. During the training the instructors would tell me that I can fly airplanes up to 2000 kg MTOW and 5 passengers or so, but I think they are wrong and this applies only to the (old) national rules (Germany in this case).

The license states that I have a SEP (land) class rating. I have searched through the EASA rules (a cumbersome task on its own) and nowhere could I find a weight or passenger limit, nor a specific definition of what exactly qualifies as a SEP.

So the question is, what aircraft am I entitled to fly with my PPL(A) license? Do aircraft with specificities such as a retractable gear fall into the same category? Please also point to the source of the applicable legislation.

By the same token, may I/may I not fly light aircraft such as e.g. a K-10 Swift?

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  • $\begingroup$ It sounds like your instructors (or you?) mixed up the rules for PPL(A) and LAPL(A). $\endgroup$ – Monolo Sep 2 '15 at 9:06
  • $\begingroup$ PPL EU-FCL SEP entitles you to fly any aircraft with a single piston engine. No turbines, no jets, but on the other hand... as far as EASA is concerned, no weight or pax restrictions. These come into play for the LAPL. $\endgroup$ – SentryRaven Sep 2 '15 at 13:32
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You can fly any airplane with PPL even B737 if you own one. Well to fly B737 you will need IR, ATPL exams as it's multi crew airplane, MCC and TR. I don't know if it makes sense but you can put everything on PPL if you want.

You only have SEP so you only can fly SEP airplane. SEP is just any airplane with single piston engine. But CAA can decide to require TR for any aircraft if they consider it to be complex...

If you get IR and TR and you can fly private jets without problem with PPL. But you see that to get everything you will need to know the same theory as for ATPL license.

As for K-10 Swift it's Ultra Light aircraft. Regulations differ by country I think. In my country CAA doesn't issue ultralight licenses but ultralight planes association. General rule is that you will need difference training.

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  • $\begingroup$ So the point is there is no weight and passenger limit for SEP per se. However there is implied limit simply because anything above certain weight requires TR as does, if I remember correctly, anything with a turbine and anything above 12 passengers requires multiple engines. $\endgroup$ – Jan Hudec Sep 25 '15 at 12:11
  • $\begingroup$ I don't want to look like I come here, ask a question, and then leave without a trace... There is a reason why I cannot accept your answer. Note that you say SEP is any airplane with single piston engine, but then go on to imply that somehow a K-10 Swift does not fall into this category... The question still holds: what requisites does an airplane need, so that it can be flown with an EASA PPL(A)? $\endgroup$ – Keta Oct 29 '15 at 15:22
  • $\begingroup$ K-10 Swift is ultralight and CAA doesn't issue licenses for them. Well SEP is any airplane with single piston engine minus exceptions. $\endgroup$ – Andrius Nov 2 '15 at 9:53
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With an EASA PPL(A) you can fly single engine piston aircraft, for example the Cessna 172 or the tiger moth

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome. Could you provide references to sustain this answer (links to authoritative documentation)? $\endgroup$ – mins Sep 24 '15 at 22:04
  • $\begingroup$ Tiger Moth would require tail wheel endorsement in addition to the SEP that's granted with the EASA PPL. $\endgroup$ – jwenting Jun 25 '19 at 6:03
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My understanding is that if you are not flying for commercial purposes the PPL has no limits on the aircraft weight or complexity. You must however have a Type Rating for the aircraft beyond Sep if required.

I have flown a few fast jet types on a PPL with a CAP632 which can be issued by any qualified instructor if they are satisfied you have met the military training standards. Hope that helps.

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I was wondering about the same and here is what I found.

Yes, for LAPL license holders, when switching to another airplane within the same class rating (don't mix it up with type rating) the familiarization training shall be performed and signed off by instructor. It's stated in the "FCL.135.A LAPL(A) — Extension of privileges to another class or variant of aeroplane" section of the "Part FCL".

Before the holder of an LAPL can exercise the privileges of the licence on another variant of aeroplane than the one used for the skill test, the pilot shall undertake differences or familiarisation training. The differences training shall be entered in the pilot’s logbook or equivalent document and signed by the instructor.

There is no such requirements for PPL(A) holders.

Further away there is the section "FCL.700 Circumstances in which class or type ratings are required" which has class rating SEP (land) with many aeroplanes: SEP (land), SEP (land) with variable pitch propellers, SEP (land) with retractable undercarriage etc.

aeroplanes All those are aeroplanes. The D to the right means that

Whenever (D) is indicated in one of the lists mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (c), it indicates that differences training in accordance with FCL.710 is required.

Ok, going down to the "FCL.710 Class and type ratings — variants" where we have

In order to extend his/her privileges to another variant of aircraft within one class or type rating, the pilot shall undertake differences or familiarisation training.

I don't know why aircraft is used in this section instead of aeroplane, but later again it's explained as

(a) Differences training requires the acquisition of additional knowledge and training on an appropriate training device or the aircraft.

(b) Familiarisation training requires the acquisition of additional knowledge.

Conclusion: the minimum required is "Familiarisation" which is just "acquisition of additional knowledge" which has no any requirements for legal sign off or so.

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