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What can you do with a pilot's licence?

What can you do with a pilot's licence? Blog

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Before you decide to get your pilot's licence, it is good to know what you can do with a licence. And whether it is necessary to get one.

Renting a plane

If you have a pilot's licence, you can hire a small plane yourself and act as captain. Which plane you can hire and where depends on the kind of licence you have.

If you have a national licence, for example, you can only rent a plane in the country in which it was issued. If you have a European (EASA) or American (FAA) licence, the possibilities are much broader.

Your class approval, such as microlight (MLA) or single engine piston (SEP) determines which types of aircraft you may fly.


Before you can rent a plane, you often have to be "checked out" by an instructor or other pilot designated by the lessor. The lessor wants to make sure you fly well and know the aircraft.

The checkout flight is also meant to explain you everything about the plane and the local conditions. Often a checkout flight is also a requirement for the insurance of the aircraft. If you have not flown the aircraft or type of aircraft for a certain period of time, you will have to be checked out again.

The conditions that flight clubs and lessors impose on this can vary. It may be that you fly at least once every two months. More complex aircraft often require a minimum number of flight hours.

Is it worth it?

Actually, that's the right question, because what do you want to use your pilot's licence for? Suppose you go on holiday and want to fly yourself. You can then also consider booking a flying lesson and fly with an instructor. That saves you a checkout flight. Moreover, you can divide the tasks between you. The instructor has local knowledge and that saves you preparation and stress. You do not need a pilot's licence for this. The only disadvantage is that your company has to sit in the back.

If you stay abroad for a longer period of time and want to fly more often or want to make distant trips, a licence is interesting.

Is it a pilot's licence?

Even then we recommend that you always start with one or more trial lessons. Getting your pilot's licence is tough, it costs a lot of time and money. It is better to look at it per lesson and after 5 lessons decide if you want to continue.

More information

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Do you want to know more about flying?

Then download our theory book "How an aeroplane flies" completely free of charge. This booklet describes in an accessible way the background of a first flying lesson. So that before or after your lesson you can read back what happened around you. You will read about, among other things:

  • How lift is created and thus how an aeroplane can fly
  • How to make a turn with an aeroplane
  • What the traffic rules on the ground and in the air are
  • And what all the buttons and gauges in the cockpit mean

You can also order the book as a real book on or give it as a present with a flying lesson.

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About Eveline van den Boom

The author of this article is Eveline van den Boom. In 2006, she received her first flying lesson as a birthday present; a beautiful flight over Rotterdam. That tasted like more!

In 2010, she got her PPL licence in Lelystad. In 2011, an aircraft was purchased: an Aero AT-3. This aircraft is still flying in the fleet with callsign PH-EVB.

She wrote the theory books "Theory of Flying" and "Theory helicopter flying". These can be ordered with your flying lesson and are also separately for sale on

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