View Full Version : Can I fly a Microlight

11th Mar 2009, 13:52
I've been getting conflicting advice. I have a ppl(a), can I fly a three axis micolight on my existing ticket, some are saying all I need is some differences training. But others that I need to get a microlight endorcement. Can anyone clear this up for me.



Genghis the Engineer
11th Mar 2009, 18:04
Differences training signed off in your logbook by a Microlight FI.

If you want chapter and verse, the BMAA's phone number is 01869-338888 and the licencing guru is Roy Hart.


11th Mar 2009, 18:29
Actually there is no legal requirement for differences training, and certainly no need for a signature in the logbook. All you need is familiarisation training. Legally you could just climb in and go but as microlights are quite different then a little instruction is essential. As it is a single engine piston aeroplane it is covered by your SEP Class rating.

Mickey Kaye
11th Mar 2009, 18:43
Whopity your a man who always seems to know.

Am I correct in thinking that for a BCPL (A) with AFI (restricted) rating who would like to instruct in 3-axis microlights then from a legal point of view I don't have to do anything at all and could simply go an instruct on one.

11th Mar 2009, 19:25
Certainly on my old CAA PPL A it's allowed (or was) ... But the rules chance so frequently, I've lost track now?


11th Mar 2009, 21:32
I found this on the BMAA website FAQ's:

Holders of other Pilot Licences may be entitled to fly microlights as a privilege of another rating. The CAA and JAR PPL with an SEP rating also allow the holder to fly microlights.

There's no mention of differences training, but then it is only a brief comment.

11th Mar 2009, 22:16
Am I correct in thinking that for a BCPL (A) with AFI (restricted) rating who would like to instruct in 3-axis microlightsLegally yes however, as the microlight syllabus is considerably different from the SEP syllabus I would advise you to obtain some guidance from those who teach regularly on microlights, your students would most likely be tested by a microlight examiner. You should also have a reasonable level of microlight experience, 5 hours is recommended for different types but I suggest a little more would be sensible.

"Differences Training" was originally listed in JAR-FCL but it disappeared! It has never been in the ANO except for the SSEA Class on a NPPL!

11th Mar 2009, 22:59
I think we've discussed this here before and what we found out then is that LASORS 2008 section C1.1 notes that differences training would be required, but this is not something that comes from the ANO. And since the ANO is the relevant legal text, you would not legally require differences training.

12th Mar 2009, 00:05
Actually there is no legal requirement for differences training, and certainly no need for a signature in the logbook. All you need is familiarisation training. Legally you could just climb in and go but as microlights are quite different then a little instruction is essential. As it is a single engine piston aeroplane it is covered by your SEP Class rating.

Absolutely right (Whopity usually is :ok:).

Perhaps worth adding though that hours in a microlight will NOT count towards the hours required to revalidate an SEP (land) class rating on the basis of experience.

12th Mar 2009, 02:19
Czech Republic went one step further: a regular PPL(A) (issued per JAR-FCL1) automatically serves as a CPL for microlights/ultralights, giving you the right to fly them for profit.

12th Mar 2009, 09:56
It has recently been noted in the U.S. that Insurance Statistics are showing an increase in LSA ( Light Sport Aircraft ) accidents by more experienced pilots flying these aircraft, than new pilots starting and continuing only on LSA's.

They do need different techniques, and some dual would be an advantage, if not mandatory. One of the biggest differences is in lack of inertia, If you pull the power off over the hedge, they won't continue to glide in like the heavy iron, but will drop out of the sky very quickly.

In NZ, one needs a Microlight Certificate ( not Licence, for some quirk of International nomenclature ) issued by one of the 3 Microlight organisations, but after that the cert. can be kept permanently valid providing that all aspects of the PPL are also valid. The med. standards are as for an aged drivers' licence renewal. If, at age 75, the Dr. will let you drive home - you can fly a Microlight !

Holders of a GA CPL can fly a microlight for hire and reward - if they also have the required M/light cert.

One also needs a regular Radio Licence if one wants to fly into Controlled Airspace, or more than 50 nm from take off point, but there are many Nordo fields on NZ, so many are quite happy to remain within the 50 nm rule.

Sorry I can't answer your question ! just thought you might be interested !

Mickey Kaye
12th Mar 2009, 10:06
Whopity another question.

Would a PPL(a) examiner be able to GFT/NFT any microlight students that I teach?

Genghis the Engineer
13th Mar 2009, 01:31
With a passing rant about why LASORS manages to be over 70Mb....

The holder of a UK JAR-FCL licence with SEP rating
may also subject to completion of differences training
with an appropriately qualified flying instructor, exercise
the privileges of their licence on microlight aeroplanes
and SLMG’s in UK airspace only, without the necessity of
obtaining a NPPL (the normal licence for such aeroplanes).
However, any experience gained in microlight aeroplanes
or SLMG’s cannot be counted towards the flying
experience necessary to revalidate the SEP rating.

Holders of JAR-FCL licences which contain appropriate
Instructor Ratings (and Examiner Authorisations) may
exercise the privileges of the ratings/authorisations
included in their licences on Microlight aeroplanes
and SLMG’s but shall first undertake any necessary
differences training.

And a brief further rant about common sense. In the UK, prior to the rules above coming in, we used to see 1-2 perfectly serviceable microlights each year written off by experienced bigger aeroplane pilots who refused to recognise the differences and get properly trained for them. There are sufficient differences between how microlights are flown and operated from "Group A" that a reasonable amount of "total immersion" time is sensible for a normal pilot, and I'd argue vital for an instructor or examiner - regardless of legal minima.

Once you are happy turning up at a farmstrip, making your own decisions about flying, judging condition of the grass, doing everything on the aeroplane yourself including taking out and cleaning the spark plugs and removing the carb bowl for a water check, departing non-radio, navigating a 45 knot aeroplane in a 15 knot crosswind, operating a Rotax engine which has no carb heat or mixture control, with a return to base at 500ft for the last ten miles because it's the only way to make a reasonable groundspeed against the headwind - you should be fine!


25th Mar 2009, 10:07
Thanks for the advice guys, gone and bought myself a nice little microlight so hope to have lots of fun this spring and summer flying round the scottish highlands.

Genghis your right, farmstrip flying is very different to what I'm used to, but I'm looking forward to learning all the in and outs, I belong to a club with quite a few members who are experienced in my new type and they've been very keen to show me the ropes.

Thanks again.


crap pilot
25th Mar 2009, 15:03
I had somebody ask me a question last week that I didnt know the answer to. He has a PPL(a) and is now thinking of flying microlights. I know that he can just go and fly a 3 axis microlight legally but if he didnt want to fly group a anymore what would be the easiest way of letting his PPL lapse but still be able to fly microlights?

26th Mar 2009, 08:07
#16 CP:
i have been looking at this myself, having a SEP (A) rating recently expired, and thinking about buying a ML or LAA permit aircraft rather than a group share.
as i understand it, as long as i have a current medical or NPPL doctors certificate, i need to train for as many hours as necessary to pass a skills test in a micro, then convert my licence to a NPPL with micro rating. no need to take exams again.

would appreciate confirmation of this, as ever, the rules always seem dificult to follow:}

Genghis the Engineer
26th Mar 2009, 08:54
Answering the three posts above.

(1) I'm not sure.
(2) Roy Hart at the BMAA* will know.
(3) BMAA Office number is 01869-338888
(4) Could whoever phones first post the answer here!


* British Microlight Aircraft Association

26th Mar 2009, 09:36
I spent a great deal of unpaid time and trouble putting together the NPPL Cross-Credit document, so please see http://www.nppl.uk.com/documents/NPPLXCREV08_000.pdf rather than pestering the BMAA or CAA with questions which you can probably answer for yourselves.

For example:

4.2 Pilots with expired licences or ratings
Credit shall be given for holders of expired CAA-issued JAR-FCL Pilot Licence (Aeroplanes) and UK PPL( A) licences or ratings as follows:

a. Where a Microlight class rating or Microlight privileges included in such licences has expired by not more than 5 years, the licence holder shall hold a valid NPPL medical declaration or JAA Class 1 or 2 medical certificate and pass the NPPL GST in a Microlight

ALL SEP Class Ratings include Microlight privileges; the CAA, however, require that people conduct some training before exercising them.

So the person with a lapsed SEP Class Rating who now wants to fly Microlights but doesn't want to fly SEP Class aircraft again merely needs to obtain a NPPL Medical Declaration, pass the Microlight GST (which includes an oral examination), then apply for a NPPL with Microlight Class Rating.

26th Mar 2009, 10:00
many thanks for that BE.
i had read and understood the section you highlighted earlier this week, and appreciate the confirmation that i had it right.

it just seems from reading these and other fora, that you think you have read and understood the rules, only for some bright spark to provide contrary evidence from somewhere else.

i`m off to book a lesson!

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