Most microlight pilots will tell you that they caught the flying "bug" after a trial flight with a qualified instructor.
This area may help give some answers to the questions most frequently asked by those who wish to go down the road of obtaining their own private pilots licence and, ultimately, their own aircraft.
FIXED WING INSTRUCTOR
Mick Smith is our fixed wing instructor, and CFI, at Otherton.
Book a trial flight for an exhilarating experience and a chance of achieving something most people can only dream of.
Book a lesson or trial flight directly with Mick on 07985 575850.
FLEX WING INSTRUCTOR
Terry Dobbins is our recently appointed flex wing instructor at Otherton.
Book a trial flight for an experience of a lifetime in an open cockpit aircraft and enjoy the open skies.
Book a lesson or trial flight directly with Terry on 07403 653920.
How do I get my microlight pilot's licence?
The NPPL(M) licence requires a minimum of 25 hours, 10 hours of which must be solo. This is a minimum requirement and we have found that it usually takes an average 35 - 45 hours to get the student to the required level, but each person is different and we move at the pace set by the student.
Instruction hours may be logged towards a licence from 14 years of age, pilots may fly solo from 16 years of age and may hold a licence from 17 years of age. There is no maximum age for a pilot.
As well as flying training each student must pass 5 ground examinations and a General Skills Test before they can attain their licence. The ground school subjects include:
Human Performance Limitations
Principles of Flight
These examinations are mostly multiple choice and we provide the student with all the books and equipment that they will need to pass them. You can do the examinations one at a time as long as they are all completed before the General Skills Test, only Aviation Law needs to be completed before the student can fly solo. Ground school is also available to obtain these examinations.
Try not to let ground school put you off getting your licence as you will find it relates directly to what you actually doing in your flying training and therefore is easier to take in. The General Skills Test (GST) is carried out by one of our CAA approved examiners and everything is available here on our airfield. We are one of the few flying schools here in Staffordshire to provide this service.
You need to follow a BMAA approved training course with a qualified microlight flying instructor. For a full (unrestricted) microlight pilot's licence you must complete a minimum of 25 flying hours of dual instruction and solo flying - though it's important to emphasise that most people need a fair bit more than this before they're ready to fly safely on their own. You also need to fly two solo cross-country flights, pass a general flying test with an approved examiner and pass five written (multiple choice) exams. More details can be found at the BMAA website at https://www.bmaa.org
It's very difficult to give an exact answer, because so much depends upon your age, aptitude, experience, learning rate and - above all - the weather and the frequency of your lessons. If you can only fly at weekends, you'll probably take a bit longer than those who are available for lessons during the week. We usually reckon on 12-24 months as a rough guide.
How much does it cost?
We usually estimate on a ball park figure of around £3,000 - £5,500 - maybe a bit less or a bit more - spread over the the time period it generally takes to complete the NPPL course with us.
Buying my own microlight?
You are very welcome to use the school aircraft for most of your training. However, using your own microlight is cheaper. Many student pilots buy their own microlight once they have completed a few hours on the school aircraft, so they are ready to fly solo in their own machine.
As you'd expect, we are fully insured for third party and passenger liability, including, of course, student pilot cover. These cover us in the event of a claim, but they don't cover you. We therefore recommend that you have a word with your life insurance provider to check that microlight flying is included in the risks covered by your policy.
Will I need a medical?
A medical examination may not be required. All you need is to complete a simple self-certification process which confirms that you do not suffer from any medical conditions which would prevent you from holding a pilot's licence. A link to the CAA website for information regarding medicals can be found here https://www.caa.co.uk. If you have a prescribed medical condition then you will need a medical with an authorised CAA medical doctor.