Microlight Flying Training
Learning to fly is an extremely rewarding and fulfilling challenge. In around 25 hours of flying time you could join the ranks of the privileged few who spend their spare time in the sky and be a qualified microlight pilot!
Training for your National Private Pilot’s Licence (NPPL) with a Microlight Class Rating must be with a UK Civil Aviation Authority flying instructor entitled to instruct on microlights. The minimum age to start training is 14. However, you have to be at least 16 to go solo and 17 in order to be granted your NPPL. There is no upper age limit to starting your training although you will need a medical declaration from your GP stating that you are fit to fly. It is highly recommended that you obtain the medical before commencing training, as you’ll need it in order to go solo.
There are two types of licence you can be issued – restricted and un-restricted.
Restricted Licence – After 15 hours total flying time under instruction, you could be eligible for the issue of a Restricted NPPL(m). 7 of these hours have to be solo. The restricted licence has the following limitations:
• The pilot cannot fly more than 8 nautical miles from the departure aerodrome
• The pilot cannot carry any passengers
• The pilot can only fly when the cloud base is not lower than 1000 feet above ground level (AGL) and visibility not less than 10km
• Flying is restricted to the UK only
Unrestricted Licence – The minimum flying time under instruction is 25 hours, 10 of which have to be solo hours. Out of these flying hours, 5 hours must’ve been navigation flight time and 3 hours solo navigation flight time.
There are flying theory subjects one has to master in order to be issued with an NPPL(m). There are five subjects in total:
• Aviation Law
• Human Performance & Limitations
• Aircraft Technical
There are written examinations in these subjects which must have been passed within 24 months of applying for your licence. In addition to these written exams, there is an oral exam to test your knowledge of the aircraft type you’ve been training on. This is usually taken at the same time you take your General Skills Test (GST).
General Skills Test (GST)
The General Skills Test (GST) is designed to test your ability to fly all the manoeuvres you’ve learnt during your training. It essentially tests your skills at handling the aircraft. Your ability to correct stalls, taking off and landing and other key areas of piloting a microlight will be put to the test.
Issue of NPPL (m)
So in summary, in order to be granted the privileges of an NPPL (m) you will need to:
• Pass a General Skills Test after a minimum of 25 training hours (15 for restricted)
• Passed flying theory subjects
• Be declared fit to fly by your GP