how to get a
microlight license in the UK
To fly a microlight
aeroplane solo and unsupervised with or without a passenger you must be in
possession of a NPPL with a microlight
Obtaining the rating requires the following:
That you are at least 17
years of age.
That you are in
possession of a valid medical 'Declaration of Fitness' which must be
countersigned by your own doctor.
This is naturally the
first question a prospective pilot asks because not only is it the
fulfilment of an aim but the cost plays a large part in the sense that the
more hours needed to satisfy the Examiner then the more will a pupil have
to pay out.
Your mind should be very
clear on this issue as although the law lays down minimums for achieving
these aims, they are simply minimums and the actual time taken will vary
very much according to each individual.
For example, microlight
flying being less expensive than conventional flying, has brought back
many people who flew years ago, perhaps during the war. Although any
previous licence may now be invalid, the basic skills will still be there
(like riding a bike).
Another group of persons
who very quickly progress is the skilled radio control modeller who has
developed the sensitivity and know-how commensurate with flying an
These two groups are more
likely to reach solo and licence stage before the newcomer so do not
necessarily make a judgement of your own ability or a budget of your
costings on the laid down minima, it could lead to disappointment.
The important point is to
understand that you will go solo or achieve your licence when you are safe
and competent to do so. Your life and the lives of your future passengers
depend on this philosophy and cannot be measured in hours flown.
Instructing can be a very rewarding job
provided that you have the right mental attitude. In the light aviation
world an instructor must hold a Basic Commercial Pilots Licence and many
instructors do the job as an 'hours- building' operation towards obtaining
their Commercial Pilots Licence and thence on to obtaining an Air
Transport Pilots Licence in order to fly air liners.
At present there is no form of Commercial
Microlight Pilots Licence basic or otherwise so microlight instructors do
the job because it is their chosen way of life, in spite of the vagaries
of the UK weather precluding their chances of ever making a fortune !.
There are two main instructor ratings.
They are Assistant Flying Instructor (AFI) and Flying Instructor (FI). The
latter category is often referred to as QFI (Qualified Flying Instructor)
although this is not an official term.
To be considered for these two ratings you
must satisfy the following conditions.
Have held a PPL Group A or Microlight
for a minimum period of 8 months, but must hold a PPL Microlights
without operational limitations before starting the AFI course.
Have a minimum of 100 hours as Pilot in
Command (PIC) including at least 5 hours PIC on the type of aeroplane to
be used on your AFI Course.
Pass a pre-entry written examination
and Flight Test conducted by a Microlight Flying Instructor Examiner
(FIE) or a Flying Instructor Course Instructor (FIC) within the 6 months
immediately preceding the date of commencement of the course.
Attend an approved course comprising no
less than 40 hours ground and 15 hours flight training under an FIC n
Instructor at a recognised FIC School A pass is also required in a
theory and flying teaching aptitude test with a Microlight Examiner of
Have gained not less than 250 hours
experience as PIC of aeroplanes, gliders or hang gliders of which at
least 200 hours must be on microlights.
Have held an AFI Rating valid for
microlights for at least 12 months and have 100 hours experience
instructing on microlight aeroplanes.
Have passed a Ground and Flight Test
conducted by an FIE (Microlight) In both cases there are concessions for
those who have experience and/or current qualifications in other forms
These are obtainable on application as
they can vary considerably according to the individual concerned.
Normally a club or school giving tuition
will have a Chief Flying Instructor. This is not a rating but an
appointment by the centre concerned and does not signify any special
qualification to the appointee over and above the instructor rating issued
by the CAA.