All Microlight aircraft have to be built by civil aviation
authority (CAA) approved companies to rigorous airworthiness
standards. Only safety checked and released materials can
be used in their construction. Aircraft also undergo an annual
MOT-like inspection to ensure that they are airworthy.
However, any aircraft is only as safe as the pilot who flies
it. Therefore, thorough training and a degree of common sense
are essential in the making of a good pilot.
What happens if the engine quits?
You land the aircraft, simple as that! This is usually the first question people ask when enquiring about Microlights. The engines these days are all purpose built for aircraft and very reliable, with 4-stroke engines becoming preferred by aircraft manufacturers and pilots. Quite a bit of your training is devoted to engine failures and the actions to be carried out in the event of one. Microlights can be landed in very short fields if the need arises.
How much do trial flights and lessons cost?
The hour long flying lesson costs £120 with the 40 minute flying lesson costing £85
After your first trial flight, an hour long lesson will cost you £90. That includes briefing and debriefing time, and the hour long flight itself. We try and book students into a 2-hour slot for each lesson
How high can they go?
It depends. All aircraft have a ceiling at which point they cant go any higher, this normally isnt the problem. It gets colder the higher you go and you will need oxygen from 10-12,000 feet and above, depending on the individual. Extremes like this can be overcome with the correct equipment, have a look at Richard Meredith-Hardy's website. He has had some quite high flights, flying over Everest in 2004 and over Kilimanjaro in Africa in 2008.
exactly is a Microlight?
one or two-seat aircraft having a maximum all-up weight including
pilot, passenger and fuel of 450Kg for two-seat and 330Kg
for single-seat aircraft. The wing loading at the maximum
weight authorised must not exceed 25Kg per metre or the stalling
speed must not exceed 40mph-calibrated airspeed.
What are the Medical Requirements?
There is no requirement to have a medical prior to your first lesson (Gift Voucher) Before going solo a declaration
of fitness form must be countersigned by your Doctor.
Medical requirements are based around the standards required
for a Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) Group 2
license for professional driving.
I have a go to see if I like it?
we offer 20,40 or 60-minute flying lessons. The instructor sits in the front but
you can still fly the aircraft from the back seat. If you
then decide that you wish to start training, then these flights
can count towards the hours required to obtain your licence.
I need to bring any equipment?
headsets, flying suits and gloves are all provided for the
student. Some warm clothing worn under the flying suit would
be sensible. A thick pair of socks is always a good idea especially
in the colder weather.
it possible to fly in the winter?
In fact some of the best flying is done in the winter. The
cold shouldn’t be a problem as long as the correct clothing
there age restrictions?
training to count towards a license the minimum age is 14.
Solo flights can be made from age 16, and the minimum age
to hold a licence is 17. There is no upper age limit with
some microlight pilots flying well into their eighties!
long will it take to complete a full NPPL (M) License?
require at least 25 hours of instruction before taking your
General Flying Test, but only those with previous flying experience
are likely to achieve this. As a rough guide the national
average is about 36 hours.
long it takes to get your licence really depends on the individual,
the weather and the frequency of lessons. Generally speaking,
a student that concentrates his\her flight training over a
nine-month period will be more successful than a student that
completes the same amount of hours over eighteen months.
does the training course consist of?
syllabus covers all the lessons covered during your course
much will a course of instruction cost?
Well, we charge £90
for each flying hour, this includes briefing and de-briefing
time. If you get to test standard in the minimum hours needed
then that will set you back £2250. This covers instructor
time, insurance, and fuel. In reality it'll probably take
longer than that, budget for £3250 approx based on 36
hours. Still the cheapest way to fly, try comparing it with
aviation flight training.
are you open?
permitting Friday-Sunday most weekends, with first flight at 1200 on Sunday. In the summer we can
fly in the evenings until 2100.
like to get my license done as quickly as possible, can you
can arrange intensive courses if it suits the student. These
will usually consist of 2-3 flying hours per day, with ground
subjects covered if necessary. Please give us a call if you
would like to arrange a course along these lines.
have to travel some distance and I'd like to stay overnight,
can you recommend a hotel to stay in?
is available nearby in the Seagoe Hotel.
currently fly a light aircraft and would like to move onto
Microlights, what are the requirements?
The conversion requirements
are listed in a document
on the NPPL web site. Most circumstances are covered in the
document, if there is any confusion on what is required then
please contact us.
weather dependent is Microlighting?
weather is required during training where you will be concentrating
on learning to fly the aircraft before having to deal with
the techniques required for marginal weather conditions. In
general the conditions required for training are:
- Wind speed no more than 15 to 20 mph
- Visibility greater than 5 Km in flight
- Cloud base above 1000 feet
pilots can and do fly in more challenging weather conditions.
Training however is usually confined to good conditions so
that the student benefits fully from each lesson.
I finish training do I need to buy my own aircraft? If so
how much do they cost to buy, and to run?
pilots once qualified will either buy an aircraft or will
have bought one during the course of their instruction. Prices
vary dramatically with an old generation second-hand machine
costing around £2000.
The other end of the scale would be an Airborne XY912, with not
much change left over from £27,000. There’s a
whole range of new and second-hand machines in between to
suit most people’s pockets and expectations.
Aircraft share schemes are operated at some airstrips, with
several members joining a syndicate with an initial up-front
payment. The members share the cost of the machine and maintenance
costs. Each hour they fly has an hourly rate to cover maintenance
and hangarage etc.
Recently the rules have changed so that Microlights can be
hired out in the same way that a light aircraft can. Expect to pay about the same hourly rate
for hire as you would for tuition.
Running costs really depend on how much you fly. Generally
speaking though the costs involved are similar to running
a small car.
can I store my Flexwing?
wing can be removed, folded, placed on a trailer (along with
the Trike) and kept in your garage. Alternatively the aircraft
can be housed fully rigged in an aircraft hangar or in a farmer's
shed. This can involve some expense, but is preferable to
rigging and de-rigging the Trike each time you fly.
I’ve passed my test; bought my aircraft and
have somewhere to fly from, what happens next?
You go off and start
enjoying your flying! Flying Microlights isn’t just
about training. Most weekends’ microlight pilots will
be found flying around the country usually in some sort of
flock, dropping into small strips dotted around the country.
It’s a bit more of a social activity than flying light
aircraft; although that doesn’t mean we can’t
compete with them. Microlights have flown around the world,
quite an achievement. Local microlight pilots have flown throughout
Ireland and the UK, some have even made it to the Continent. Check out the Microlight Adventures
section and see how far you could go!