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Frequently Asked Questions

Are Microlights safe?

Yes. 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.

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What exactly is a Microlight?

A 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.

Can I have a go to see if I like it?

Absolutely, 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.

Do I need to bring any equipment?

Helmets, 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.

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Is it possible to fly in the winter?

Yes, 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 is worn.

Are there age restrictions?

For 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!

How long will it take to complete a full NPPL (M) License?

Regulations 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.

How 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.

What does the training course consist of?

The NPPL(M) syllabus covers all the lessons covered during your course of instruction.

How 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 general aviation flight training.

When are you open?

Weather permitting Friday-Sunday most weekends, with first flight at 1200 on Sunday. In the summer we can fly in the evenings until 2100.

I'd like to get my license done as quickly as possible, can you arrange this?

We 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.

I have to travel some distance and I'd like to stay overnight, can you recommend a hotel to stay in?

Affordable accomodation is available nearby in the Seagoe Hotel.

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I 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.

How weather dependent is Microlighting?

Fair 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

Experienced 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.

When I finish training do I need to buy my own aircraft? If so how much do they cost to buy, and to run?

Most 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.

Where can I store my Flexwing?

The 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!

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