getting 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
Obtaining the rating
requires the following:
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
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
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
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
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
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 Instructors.
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 of flying.
These are obtainable on
application as they can vary considerably according to the individual
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.