Adding a Variable Pitch Propeller to your pilots licences

Official Differences training is required for aircraft that have a Variable Pitch Propeller. This training needs to encompass both theory and practical/flying elements with an instructor.

Flying lesson with a variable pitch propeller

An aircraft with a Variable Pitch Propeller (VPProp) systems has a significant difference in performance in all phases of flight. Mostly, the instruction for the VPProp rating will be given to pilots converting from SEP aeroplanes with fixed pitch propellers to SEP or MEP aeroplanes with VP propellers and constant speed units (CSU). The system on some older types may not include a CSU and we will ensure that all of the system differences and handling techniques, introduced by the new type, are properly covered in the training given.

Differences Training completed, for an SEP aeroplane, does not provide equivalent qualification on MEP aeroplanes.

All Aeroplanes

Training will cover, but not be limited to:

  • Principle of operation and effect on performance;
  • System construction and function;
  • Propeller system limitations;
  • Engine limitations and instrumentation.
  • Operation of throttle, mixture and propeller controls, including pre-flight checks and normal handling during:
  • Start up and taxying;
  • Take-off and climb;
  • Cruise at various power settings and speeds;
  • Low speed handling and stall/spin recovery;
  • Approach and go-around;
  • Landing and shut down.

In-flight failures, within the propeller system, including:

  • Loss of oil pressure;
  • Loss of governor control;
  • Overspeed;
  • Underspeed.

Emergency handling, during:

  • Engine failure after take-off/go-around;
  • Engine failure during other phases of flight, including approach and landing;
  • Effect of engine failure on glide performance.

Why do I need differences training to fly an aeroplane with a @VP Prop'?

Flying lesson in a tail wheel aeroplane

Well there are 2 main reasons really, one is safety, you will be flying an aeroplane that has some Fundamental Differencies, Ergonomicly, Cockpit layout, Instruments & location, Taxiing, Taking off, General handling, Stalling, Landing are all different in an aeroplane with a VPProp. The other reason, is legislation. see CAA CAP 804 CAA CAP 804 says in Section 4 Part B, Subpart 1 Page 189"Before the holder of a Pilots Licence 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.” & Section 4 Part H, Subpart 1 Page 263 "In order to extend his/her privileges to another variant of aeroplane within one class or type rating, the pilot shall undertake differences or familiarisation training."

Differencies Training can only be carried out by an instructor. familiarisation training can be self taught, provided by an aircraft owner or friend etc...

If you'd like to know more, please feel free to contact us and we'd be happy to answer your questions.