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AOPA Radio Navigation Certificate Course

Not ready to train for an IMC/IR(R) Rating? Extend your PPL Radio Navigation training with this course . Only available through the AOPA Corporate Members listed below.

The AOPA Radio Navigation Course has been structured to encourage pilots who hold either a UK Issued Part-FCL PPL or a UK NPPL to obtain formal training in radio navigation procedures for use under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) in accordance with the privileges of their licence.

Additionally, for holders of a UK Issued Part-FCL PPL, the course of training can be taken as a progressive step towards obtaining a UK IMC/IR(R) Rating. 

This means that a PPL holder who has qualified for the AOPA Radio Navigation Certificate may be exempt from up to five hours instrument training of the Applied Stage of the IMC course (without time limit).

Completion of Core Course in Ground Training, comprising a minimum of 10 hours, five hours training to be given by an instructor competent to give radio navigation instruction and the remaining five hours through self study under supervision.

  •     Basic Radio Principles
  •     Morse Code
  •     Basic principles of Radio Navigation Aids
  •     Pre-Fight & Aerodrome Departure Procedures
  •     Aeronautical Information Publications
  •     Flight Planning
  •     Use of En-Route Radar Services
  •     Use of GPS

The course will consist of a minimum of five hours flight training, of which one hour may be conducted in a Flight Navigation Procedures Trainer or a flight simulator approved by the CAA. 

Flight training will be conducted by an Instructor, authorised by the UK CAA, whose Licence has had the Applied Instrument Limitation rating removed.

  • Use of Radar Services
  • Use of GPS as an additional navigation aid.

In addition, each candidate will select three of the following four radio navigation aids for ground and flight training; VOR, DME, ADF and VHF/DF.

Completion of Radio Navigation Skill Test to be conducted in flight by a Flight Examiner authorised by UK CAA who has been approved by AOPA.

Skill Test Requirements

On completion of the course the candidate will be required to have his/her competence assessed in flight by a Flight Examiner who is authorised by the UK CAA, and has been approved by AOPA.

A VFR dead reckoning navigation leg of not less than 25 nm using any of VOR, DME, ADF or VDF for fixing backed up by map reading; GPS may be used to confirm fixes. Direct tracking to/from navigation beacons will not be allowed.

A diversion leg of at least 20nm must then be flown using only radio aids for navigation except for visual identification of the final destination, GPS may be used as the main aid but must be backed by at least one fix using other radio navigation aids.

In the course of the whole flight all other tasks listed on the Skill Test form will be assessed.

The training in the navaids selected will be in conformity with the knowledge and competence in Radio Navigation required for those sections of the syllabus for the UK IMC rating.

A candidate wishing to obtain the certificate can commence the course at any time after qualifying for a Private Pilot’s Licence and a Flight Radio Telephony Operator’s Licence. 

There are no minimum pre-entry hour or calendar time requirements nor is there a calendar time requirement to complete the course of training. 

The application form contained in the syllabus must be completed by the candidate, the instructor(s) conducting the course and the Examiner. These are available from your training provider

The completed form is to be sent to AOPA by post or email and an online payment of £15 for non-members  to cover administration and issue of certificate. For AOPA members this fee will be £10.