I have been speaking to a couple of local flying schools. Originally, I was going to train on a Piper Tomahawk to obtain an LAPL. But after explaining to one of them my goals, (just flying for fun, no career aspirations) they suggested an NPPL would be more appropriate.

They explained that it would cost about half the amount (in money and time) to obtain and that their Ikarus C72s are safer, easier and more fun to fly anyway.

I am on board with all of this but I think I would like the freedom to fly in IMC in the future, they said I can add an instrument rating to an NPPL and that I can convert to an LAPL in the future if I want to anyway, is this the case? I have looked on the CAA website, but it's all a bit confusing right now.

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    $\begingroup$ From what I've read, you cannot have an IR(R) (instrument rating) on an NPPL or LAPL. Both the NPPL and LAPL are VFR only licenses. NPPL also cannot have night-flying privileges. $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Oct 25 '18 at 14:17
  • $\begingroup$ That's what I said when you posted on this the other week; just do an NNPL. 99% of private pilots fly alone or with 1 passenger, day VFR. An instrument rating is a waste of money if you aren't going professional or are planning to get a sophisticated ac. You aren't going to want to go IFR anywhere in a basic single engine airplane. To have any real utility, an IFR equipped airplane needs to have deicing or it is stuck below the freezing level, which in the UK and northern Europe keeps you below 5000 ft much of the year and pretty much grounds you in winter... unless it's VFR. $\endgroup$ – John K Oct 25 '18 at 18:17
  • $\begingroup$ Also, if you really want to become a superior pilot from a skills perspective, do a glider license first. $\endgroup$ – John K Oct 25 '18 at 18:17
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnK Really feel you're overstating some points there. While much doesn't matter, Private flying is hardly constrained to one passenger and a night rating is super useful in Winter due to early sunset. However, I feel your biggest oversight is the IR(R) which most definitely doesn't need a FIKI aircraft to take advantage of. I bet most UK GA pilots rarely venture 5k+ anyway. $\endgroup$ – Dan Oct 25 '18 at 18:37
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    $\begingroup$ Anyway, if the NNPL is revoked and not replaced with something else, you would then just carry on with training as if it never existed in the first place. You don't have to start over. Stop over thinking stuff to death and just go have fun. $\endgroup$ – John K Oct 29 '18 at 12:56

Available Ratings:

You can add class ratings to the NPPL to allow you to fly microlights, self-launching motorgliders (SLMGs) and simple single-engine aeroplanes (SSEAs).

The above are the only available ratings for an an NPPL. An NPPL (and LAPL) is strictly a VFR license, therefore you could not get rated for IMC. However, you can continue your training to receive your PPL, at which point you could recieve a rating for IMC, which would be your IR(R), or Instrument Rating Restricted.

Most flight instructors will provide basic IMC training just in case you find yourself in a bad situation, which can happen to even the most cautious pilots.

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  • $\begingroup$ this is where the confusion comes in. I don't think any hours from microlights count towards a LAPL. So a 1,000 hour NPPL pilot would still need to do minimum hours and training in a Class A to get an LAPL or PPL.... I think. $\endgroup$ – Cloud Oct 25 '18 at 16:16
  • $\begingroup$ Are you sure that an LAPL can get an IR(R) or IR rating? The things I've read indicate otherwise, although I haven't gone through the EASA regulations to verify. $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Oct 25 '18 at 17:59
  • $\begingroup$ @RonBeyer No, my bad - edited to include LAPL as VFR license. You can recieve basic IMC training with your LAPL though. $\endgroup$ – M28 Oct 25 '18 at 18:13

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