AOPA Basic Aerobatic Certificate / EASA Aerobatic Rating

What is the AOPA Basic Aerobatic Certificate?

Satisfactory completion of this course will enable the applicant to obtain the recognised AOPA Basic Aerobatic Certificate as well as the EASA AR.  AOPA and the British Aerobatics Association (BAeA) have designed the syllabus in order to encourage those pilots who wish to become proficient in the basic aerobatic manoeuvres to undertake training through a properly structured formal course. 

This Certificate indicates that the holder is competent to safely fly aerobatic manoeuvres for which they have been cleared.  The manoeuvres learnt will also enable the student to take part in the Beginners' events organised by the BAeA.  Ultimate High students who have passed the course will be able to fly those manoeuvres as aircraft captain, subject to normal currency/ aircraft conversion requirements.

What does the course cover?

The course consists of a minimum of 8 hours' dual flying with a qualified instructor.  Pilots with some aerobatic experience may qualify for a reduction in the flying hour requirement.  The theoretical knowledge section of the course (see below) consists of a minimum of 8 hours.

Can anyone do the course?

Students may commence the course at any time after qualifying for a PPL or NPPL although we recommend that pilots have a minimum of 50 hours P1.  For the EASA Aerobatic Rating (effective from June 2018), pilots require a minimum of 40 hours PIC since licence issue. 

At the end of the course, students are required to have their competence assessed in the air by one of our AOPA registered instructors;  it should be noted that this test flight is additional to the 8 hours required for the course.  When the test has satisfactorily been completed, it should be sent off to AOPA accompanied by a small fee, who will then issue a certificate.  This can then be sent to the CAA for the issue of the EASA Aerobatic Rating.

Overseas students are welcome - we have no additional requirements for overseas students from non-EASA regulated countries.  If unsure, you should contact your country's general aviation services directly to check if the AOPA Basic Aerobatics Course is recognised in your country.

EASA Aerobatic Rating

From June 2018, in order to undertake Aerobatic flights in an EASA aircraft, an EASA Licence & Aerobatic Rating is required:

FCL.800 Aerobatic rating

(a) Holders of a pilot licence for aeroplanes shall only undertake aerobatic flights when they hold the appropriate rating.

(b) Applicants for an aerobatic rating shall have completed:

(1) at least 40 hours of flight time completed after the issue of the licence;
(2) a training course at an ATO, including:
      -  theoretical knowledge instruction appropriate for the rating;
      -  at least 5 hours* of aerobatic instruction in the appropriate aircraft category.
(c) The privileges of the aerobatic rating shall be limited to the aircraft category in which the flight instruction was completed. The privileges will be extended to another category of aircraft if the pilot holds a licence for that aircraft category and has successfully completed at least 3 dual training flights covering the full aerobatic training syllabus in that category of aircraft.

The AOPA Basic AerobaticCertificate is recognised as an EASA Aerobatic Rating, and can be added to an EASA licence.  Further current information can be found on the CAA website.

* The 5 hours of aerobatic flying is considered equivalent to the 8 hours "chock to chock" flying time required for the AOPA Basic course.

Flight Training - Basic Manoeuvres assessed at the end of the course

  • Loop
  • Aileron (Ballistic) Roll
  • Barrel Roll
  • Slow (level) Roll
  • Stall Turn
  • Half roll of the top of a Loop
  • Half Cuban Eight (rolling on down line) or Half Loop up, half Barrel Roll down (Quarter Clover rolling downwards)

Theoretical Knowledge

1. Technical Subjects
     -   Legislation affecting aerobatic flying
     -   Airframe and engine limitations - revision
     -   Stalling & spinning - principles of flight

2. Physical Limitations
     -   Body stresses - 'g' forces  
     -   Disorientation
     -   Airsickness

3. Limitations Applicable to the Specific Aeroplane Type
     -  Load factors
     -  Airspeeds
     -  Engine (including inverted flight limitations)

4. Emergency Drills
     -   Use of parachutes
     -  Aircraft abandonment

5. Aresti System
     -   Notation for basic aerobatic manoeuvres - www.arestisystem.com

Aircraft:

The AOPA Basic Aerobatic Certificate is conducted in the T67 Firefly.  We do not offer this course in the Extra300 as it is not a good basic aerobatics teaching aeroplane;  it does not teach you about energy management and therefore potentially develops bad habits for aerobatics in standard aerobatic aircraft. 

It is always possible to do a couple of trips in the Extra300 at the END of any of our courses if you would like.  You will then appreciate more fully this amazing aircraft!  Flights in the Extra300 can usually be decided upon once you have started your course.

More info:

  • Courses normally start on a Monday and continue through to Friday.  Due to busy schedules and the considerable amount of ground briefing, we are unable to offer weekend aerobatic training.
  • Upon completion of the course, students are required to have their competence assessed in the air by one of our AOPA registered instructors;  it should be noted that this test flight is additional to the time required for the course.  When the test has satisfactorily been completed, it may be sent off to AOPA accompanied by a small fee, who will then issue a certificate.
  • Students may commence the course at any time after qualifying for a PPL or NPPL; we recommend that pilots normally have a minimum of 50 hours P1.
  • Click here for latest prices and FAQ

What next?

Yes, you can combine the AOPA Basic Aerobatic course in the T67 Firefly with our Advanced PPL course.  This combined course is 15 hours of flying (normally 18 hours if done separately).

Progress beyond the AOPA Basic Aerobatic Certificate depends upon students' objectives.  Ultimate High can further develop students' aerobatics through Standard, Intermediate and Advanced aerobatic manoeuvres, which can include sequences, Competition aerobatics and even display flying.