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Expired SEP to microlight license,

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Expired SEP to microlight license,

Old 21st Jul 2016, 23:05
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: UK
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Expired SEP to microlight license,

Hello all,

I have an EASA ATPL and fly for a uk airline. I recently developed the need to fly a light aircraft again after not touching one for nearly 7 years.

I would like to have a go to see if I would enjoy it again relatively cheaply. Near me there is a microlight school south east uk which I would be interested in trying their 3 axis Thruster. If I did enjoy it and wanted to fly 3 axis microlights regularly what conversion/renewal would I need t do considering I have an over 5 year expired SEP but regularly flying commercially.

Also after renewal/conversion what would be roughly the hourly rates wet to hire a 3 axis microlight like a thruster/shadow/jaribu.

Any help much appreciated,

Mooneyboy is offline  
Old 22nd Jul 2016, 21:38
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Berkshire, UK
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I converted from PPL(H), somewhat out of currency, to NPPL(M) a few years ago. The folk at the BMAA required me to take the air law and aircraft technical exams because of the differences between the two types. Then I had to pass the GST. All of my other stuff carried over, solo hours, navigation, MET and human performance were "tested on the fly" by my instructor as we went along.
rans6andrew is offline  
Old 25th Jul 2016, 20:02
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Thanks for your reply. Looks like I'll try and contact the BMAA to see if they know.
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Old 25th Jul 2016, 21:49
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So long as your SEP Rating is still on the front of your Licence, the simplest way is to Renew the SEP at your local Flying School, and then carry out differences training with an Instructor qualified to give Microlight instruction

Alternatively, go to a Microlight School, and carry out the Training /Test required to have a stand alone NPPL(Microlight) Licence issued on the basis of your expired SEP. This may be a bit cheaper, but will only cover Microlights, not the rest of the SEP class.


Last edited by Mach Jump; 25th Jul 2016 at 21:57. Reason: Added second para.
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Old 27th Jul 2016, 20:27
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My SEP is on the back of my license under expired ratings. I haven't done a trial lesson yet on a microlight but the apparent cheaper cost per hour and contrast into what I fly for work appeals so not too fussed about renewing SEP.
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Old 28th Jul 2016, 14:51
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The cheapest option may still be to renew the SEP, then do differences training on the microlight.

Proficiency check with an examiner will maybe be around 250, less if you can get mates rates on an aircraft and examiner.

Licence fee to the CAA to put it back on the front of the licence around 70

A few hours differences training will probably be 2-300 and you'll be good to go.

Comparing that to trying to get an NPPL(M), even with the allowances the BMAA will give you, it will likely take you longer, and you'll end up having to do a full skills test at the end.
RTN11 is offline  
Old 28th Jul 2016, 23:06
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The best source of the legalities would be the BMAA HQ in Deddington, who always have a couple of people on the staff who are absolutely up to date on this.

Realities of flying - microlights are tremendous fun; you'll encounter excellent low speed handling, often quite impressive performance (particularly field performance), more sophisticated engines than most SEP class aeroplanes, probably slightly less sophisticated instruments.

Payload is limited on the higher performance aeroplanes - basically to two 86kg adults and 90 minutes fuel. Lower performance aeroplanes tend to give you much better payload.

Very few microlights need more than 300m of runway under most circumstances.

Join the BMAA - it's hard to get much done in microlighting without being a member, and the magazine is excellent.

My recommendation is that you find what you want to fly - a sole purchase or syndicate (renting microlights tends to be problematic and I'd not really bother looking down that route), then sort out the conversion onto the aeroplane if you've had a go and decided you like it. There are plenty of schools, and a few freelance instructors who can do that for you. With your experience a couple of days with your own aeroplane and a good instructor will cover everything.

The handing IS different to anything you've flown before - particularly the steep approaches, high speed range, very short times on runways, and availability of very low speeds if you want them. All that takes a bit of quality time to get used to - that you'll need that won't be a reflection on your native ability, just on the amount of time spent flying substantially bigger aeroplanes. Most microlights (but not all) will be slower in the cruise than most SEP class aeroplanes.

I scratch my microlighting itch in a 3-way shared 912 engined flexwing. It cost us 8.5k between three, and we're running it at 40/month each plus fuel - which is about another 20/hr. That is realistic for syndicate costs. Just multiple the monthlies by three for sole ownership.

I used to share a Thruster TST - which is the crudest thing you'll ever find claiming to be a certified aeroplane. It was tremendous fun, and we were IIRC running at about 30/month and 12/hr plus fuel, so similar. The newer T600 models are one of the most downright fun aeroplanes I know - not fast, great on a short field, lovely visibility, great handling.


Last edited by Genghis the Engineer; 28th Jul 2016 at 23:17.
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Old 28th Jul 2016, 23:20
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By the way - two good shop window links...



And you won't rent a Jabiru legally, nor will schools use it - because it's a kitplane. Thrusters are all factory built, so there's no problem. Shadows vary (some were kits, some were factory built), and they're tremendous fun to fly, but a pain in the proverbial to store and look after (whilst rag and tube aeroplanes like the Thruster are relatively pain-free).

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Old 29th Jul 2016, 11:07
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The Jabiru UL-D Information

So you can rent one - although I think most UK schools avoid Jabiru engines in any aircraft!
xrayalpha is offline  
Old 29th Jul 2016, 11:11
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It does say there "no longer available in the UK", and of course "factory built" is shorthand for the far more correct term "Type Approved Permit to Fly".

The Type approved permit list is here: British Microlight Aircraft Association,Type Approval Data Sheets,Sub-Page There's no Jabiru.

And, yes, the engine can be a bit of a struggle at times. I think that around 5-10% of my hours are with a Jabiru engine, and about 50% of my engine failures. That said, with a good one, it's a lovely engine on the Thruster T600 Sprint, for which it seems particularly well suited.

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Old 30th Jul 2016, 23:19
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Thanks for your replies. I'm fully expecting the flying experience to be a bit of a shock to the senses compared to my normal flying but that's what I'm after. Not too fussed about low cruise speeds. I've done long SEP trips to France and Spain before so happy to keep flying to the localish area. Looking on afors.com there certainly looks like on the face of it some very affordable options.

G the E the syndicate costs you mention is what appeals most. Not interested in sole ownership as well aware that some months might not get to fly it and don't want to be lumped with whole cost of an engine rebuild etc. Obviously as long as Mrs Mooneyboy agrees.

I think best thing I get a trail flight first see if I actually enjoy then will look at renewing my Sep then conversion to microlight.

Didn't realise Jabiru engines were unreliable. Will have a Google.

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Old 2nd Aug 2016, 18:49
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MB what part of the county are you?

Last edited by magpienja; 4th Aug 2016 at 18:11.
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Old 4th Aug 2016, 10:39
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Jabiru engines aren't necessarily unreliable. The more recent versions seem to be relatively trouble-free. However they seem to last about half as long as Rotax 4 strokes before needing a thorough overhaul. But being air cooled makes them lighter than the water cooled Rotax types. As with the larger American engines like Lycoming, the Jabirus are more prone to problems arising from shock cooling of the cylinder heads when fully closing the throttle for a prolonged descent.

Jabiru reliability and life seem to lie somewhere between that of the excellent and remarkably reliable Rotax 582 water cooled 2 stroke and the very widely used Rotax 912 series 4 strokes ( over 90% of new designed small SEP types use a 912 with good reason ) which makes the Jabiru a very acceptable power unit. The uncertified Rotax 912 types can go beyond 2000 hours TBO, on condition in permit aircraft.

A good idea to Google for history. I've been a commercial pilot for decades and done private flying behind all the above engines. Friends also seem happy with them.

Last edited by Colibri49; 4th Aug 2016 at 12:00.
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Old 5th Aug 2016, 19:50
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Interesting about what you say on the Jabiru engine. I'll have a closer look.

Magpienja: I'm Bedfordshire so closest for me is microlight school wise is Sandy.
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