Variable Pitch Propeller Differences Training


Differences Training is a mandatory requirement before undertaking flight in aircraft that include any of the specified "Official Differences" categories. Training must be performed by an instructor who already has that "difference" signed off themselves. Differences Training is recorded in your log book, with an official CAA certificate (sticker) recording the completion of training, signed by the instructor.

Variable Pitch Propeller aircraft may only have one more lever, and one more dial, but you'd be surprised how much time it takes for a fixed pitch propeller pilot to adjust to the new regime.

We firmly believe you should "learn on the ground, practice in the air" for this (and other) training in order to save yourself time and money.

Consequently, as part of the training, we'll spend some time explaining why variable pitch propellers are used, how they work (including the CSU), and how you should operate them, and what happens if they go wrong, and the action to take.

You shouldn't forget that this type of propeller is generally used on aircraft with more power - so part of the training will also involve how to handle an aircraft with more performance than you may historically have been used to.

Typically, the conversion lasts around 3 hours to ensure you have grasped the different procedures (and performance where necessary). Although there is no legal minimum training time before sign-off, we will only certify your difference training once we are satisfied of your competence. Some people take more time, and some people take less! It's down to the individual concerned.

See below for further information.


Training Syllabus

Our syllabus not only conforms to the officially required trianing, but we also show you some tips, tricks and best practices to ensure you get the very best out of your time spent with us.

  • Fixed Pitch Propeller Theory Revision
  • Variable Pitch Propeller Theory
    • including CSU
  • Engine and Propeller Management
    • Instrumentation
    • POH
    • Square Rule
    • Over-square Rule
    • Mixture and Leaning
  • Procedures and Techniques
    • Starting
    • Climbing
    • Cruise (various settings)
    • Descents
    • Approaches & Landings
    • Go-arounds
    • NEW Checks to include
  • Emergency Procedures
    • Failure modes and pilot actions
    • Glide Performance


Remember that you are being instructed by an instructor with an enviable reputation for delivering results to you. Our personal objective is to make sure you land with a smile on your face. If you don’t – we haven’t done our job properly.

There are three options for our instructional charges; £50 per hour, £150 per half-day, or £250 per full day.

If you want us to come to you, just add our travelling and accommodation (at cost).

The aircraft costs are extra; you can use your own aircraft, hire from a training organisation local to you, or hire from a training organisation local to us.


Where can I do this course?

We are more than happy to come to you wherever you are! However, we normally operate in Essex, with relatively easy access to the airfields in the area. We teach (and examine) regularly (either as part of a club or freelance) at Earls Colne, Andrewsfield, North Weald, Duxford, Crowfield and Cambridge. There are numerous smaller airfields available such as Elmsett, Clacton, Rougham and Great Oakley within easy reach. Southend and Stapleford are also possible.


Which Aircraft can I use?

You can use your own or syndicate aircraft, which in some ways, is better since you'll become really familiar with it as part of the course!

If you belong to a flying club already, most organisations are happy for us to instruct in their aircraft if that's an option you'd like to pursue.

If you need to hire an aircraft locally to us, we have access to a variety of aircraft types and training organisations. Please feel free to contact us for more detailed information.