Microlight Aircraft fall into two categories, fixed-wing (3-axis) or flexwing (weightshift). We teach on an EV97 Teameurostar UK fixed-wing aircraft.
Microlights are generally used for pleasure flying, and having relatively low operating costs has allowed people from all walks of life to own and operate their own aircraft. The development of microlights over the years has taken them from being very basic flying machines into sophisticated, yet simple aircraft. With the exception of the single-seat deregulated category they must comply to recognised air worthiness standards including holding a valid Permit to Fly air worthiness document. This Permit has a validity period of 12 months. To renew/revalidate this the aircraft must be inspected by a qualified inspector, and have a check flight, which can be done by the owner, before applying for the new Certificate of Validity, which is attached to the permit.
Owners may carry out routine maintenance on their aircraft, subject to certain conditions, but any modifications (even simple ones) need to go through an approval process via the BMAA. All aspects of Permit Validity, modifications etc. are processed on behalf of its members by the British Microlight Aircraft Association(BMAA).
‘Microlight aeroplane’ means an aeroplane designed to carry not more than two persons which has:
(a) A maximum total weight authorised not exceeding:
(b) a stalling speed, or minimum steady flight speed in the landing configuration, at the maximum total weight authorised not exceeding 35 knots calibrated airspeed.
To fly a microlight aircraft in the UK you are required to hold a National Private Pilots Licence with a Microlight class rating, issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). To obtain this licence you must undergo training with an authorised CAA instructor and complete a flying and ground training syllabus. You must also complete all the necessary elements and examinations. more....
When you are issued with your licence it will have a microlight rating attached to it. Although your licence will last your lifetime the rating is only valid for 24 months and must be revalidated prior to expiry to avoid further testing. As well as having a valid rating you must hold a current medical certificate to fly legally.
To revalidate a Microlight aircraft class rating attached to an NPPL(A), the holder shall complete the following during the 24 month validity of the current certificate of revalidation for the rating:
(a) Complete a General skill test; or
(b) Fly at least 12 hours flight time to include:
Where the holder has not undertaken the flying training specified above a certificate of revalidation may be issued but it shall be endorsed “single seat only”
The minimum age to hold a licence is 17 years, although training may start from the age of 14 years and first solo can only be completed after reaching the age of 16 years. If the student is less than 18 years of age a parent or guardian will need to sign a consent form.
There is no maximum age to hold the licence, but some insurance policies may have maximum age limits, so always read the small print!