what is a Microlight?
microlights cover a wide range of machines; everything
from the hang glider-like flexwings (aka weightshifts or
trikes) to machines which look like, and sometimes
outperform, traditional light aircraft.
The UK definition of
a microlight is -
aeroplane means an aeroplane designed to carry not more than two
persons which has:
maximum total weight authorised not exceeding:
- 300kg for a single seat landplane
- 450kg for a two seat landplane
- 330kg for a single seat amphibian or floatplane, or
- 495kg for a single seat amphibian or floatplane
(b) either a wing loading at the maximum weight authorised not
exceeding 25kg per square metre or a stalling speed at the maximum
weight authorised not exceeding 35 knots calibrated
is a Small Light Aeroplane?
The term Small Light
Aeroplane was a legal definition used to cover heavier microlights such
as the Jabiru. It has now been superseded by the single microlight
definition above, so there is no longer officially such a thing as an
sorts of licences are there for Microlights?
are two types. A National Private Pilots Licence (Microlights Unrestricted) is a full licence. With
one of these, a pilot may fly anywhere within the
regulations. There is also a restricted licence;
the lower level of experience required means that you may
not carry a passenger and may not fly more than eight
miles from the home airfield. Lower weather
limits also apply to restricted licences.
administers this law?
the UK, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) administers
flying regulations, but part of the responsibility for issuing the NPPL
lies with the BMAA for microlight
ratings and with a company called NPLG
for Single Engine Piston (SEP) and Self-Launched Motor Glider (SLMG)
Cloudbase offers instruction towards both the Microlight and the
for the SEP syllabus and here
for the Microlight one.
is needed to get a full licence?
gain your National Private Pilot's Licence (Microlights
Unrestricted) you must complete a minimum of 25 hours
training of which ten hours must be solo flying; this
includes five hours navigation flying of which three must
be solo. There is a General Flying Test (the GFT)
to take and some exams for which we provide ground school
is needed to get a restricted licence?
can achieve your restricted licence with 15 hours of
training - eight hours dual training and seven hours solo.
This allows you to become a pilot quicker (and more
cheaply) and to take the restrictions off at a later date.
You can choose to skip the restricted licence and go
directly for the full version if you wish.
long does it take to get a licence?
The time it takes to qualify for your licence will
depend on how fast you develop the flying skills you'll
need. It helps if you fly regularly since that minimises
the amount of re-learning you'll have to do at the start
of each lesson. The first big milestone will be your
first solo flight. After that you'll be building up your
hours and your skills, practising more advanced
manoeuvres and navigation and preparing for your GFT.
exams do I have to take?
There are five exams which you need to pass to
gain your licence:
- Air Law
- Aeroplanes Technical
- Human Factors and
also need to take the Radio Telephony exam if you intend to use a
radio in flight, which in practice you will need to do.
may sound daunting, but they are actually quite
straightforward. Cloudbase sells the books you'll need
and runs evening lectures which cover each of the
subjects in detail, after which you can take the exam
itself. The test papers consist of multiple-choice
questions so there's no essay-writing to do!
are the medical requirements?
medical requirements are much more straightforward than
those for heavier aircraft. You sign a declaration of
fitness on a standard form which Cloudbase can supply and
then simply have it countersigned by your own doctor. If
you are fit enough to drive, you are probably fit enough
to fly. If you have any condition which may make it
unsafe for you to fly, you should discuss this with your
doctor. If you are still uncertain you can contact a CAA
anyone make an income from Microlight flying?
under UK law because a Microlight may not be used for
commercial gain. They are strictly for hobby use,
for example they cannot be used to transport goods or
passengers if money changes hands. The exception to
this, of course, is where a Qualified Flying Instructor
is teaching a student to fly.
hours count towards a Group A PPL?
CAP 53 allows some
microlight flying hours to be taken into account if you decide to train
for a light aircraft PPL: "Hours
flown in a 3 Axis Microlight may be counted towards the
requirements for the grant of a PPL(A) group A licence." This
concession is limited to 10% of your microlight hours, up to a maximum
of 10 hours.
Microlights be hired?
under UK law. This means that to learn to fly a
Microlight students can either; own their own aircraft,
own a share in a syndicated aircraft or join a flying
club. At Cloudbase Aviation, we use the club to
foster an environment where students can learn quickly as
well as to share the costs of learning to fly.
else does the Cloudbase Aviation Club do?
will find our Microlight Club a particularly active one with over 100 flying
members. Fly outs are a regular feature and are listed on the
club's web site.
Members take turns to suggest venues and to arrange events.
Cloudbase Aviation Microlight Club members have flown all around the UK
as well as to France, Spain and Ireland in club aircraft.
the social side, we regularly meet for meals out and take
the opportunity to bring our families along. We
have had excellent bowling nights, Laser-quest shoot-out
nights and go-karting nights! During the summer
months our friendly flying club makes for a great day out
for you and your family. Our Club B B Q's are not
to be missed! Visits to the airfield ATC and to an
aeroplane hanger at Gatwick have also been organised.
look forward to meeting you.