Frequently Asked Questions – Part 2
Getting a licence and buying an aircraft.
Do I need a medical?
No, if you meet the DVLA requirements for driving a car then you can fly a microlight. The only exception is if you are taking medication for a psychiatric illness, in which case you’ll need to seek the advice of a Aeronautical Medical Examiner, otherwise there is just a simple self-declaration form to fill in. The form is valid until you are 70, after that you’ll need to re-declare every 3 years.
What’s the maximum weight/height for flying microlights?
The maximum weight is 105kg which is 17 stone. There is no maximum height and there is plenty of headroom in the C-42 but if you are very tall you may find it uncomfortable so please come along and have a sit in the aircraft to try it out for size.
How long will it take to get a licence?
The minimum training time needed to obtain a microlight license is 25 hours, however it is very rare for someone to be able to complete all the training in that time, 35-45 hours of training is more typical so the total cost of training is likely to be in the range of £4500-£5500 including the 5 multiple choice exams which are £30 each.
Most people elect to spread the cost over a year or two of learning but training can be done more intensively it it suits you, this will tend to reduce the total hours needed.
How much will it cost to buy an aircraft?
For older aircraft prices tend to start from around £3000 for a single seater, and £5000 for a 2 seater. The latest aircraft can cost up to around £60,000 brand new.
Most pilots join syndicates around an aircraft to save money and to fly a more modern aircraft than they would be able to afford on their own.
Syndicates typically have a monthly charge of around £30-£60 per month to cover fixed costs such as hangarage and insurance and an hourly cost to cover fuel and usage related maintenance such as engine servicing. Hourly rates tend to be £20-£35 for microlights. Smaller groups tend to have higher monthly rates as the fixed costs are being divided by less people.
The cost of the hourly rate can be shared between pilot and passenger, this is common at Chatteris and means post licence flying in a syndicate effectively costs around £15 an hour, with 50% being as passenger.
Hiring an aircraft
Although more expensive per hour than syndicate flying, hiring is simple and flexible: Just turn up and and fly, with no need to worry about fueling before flight, or cleaning the aircaft afterwards! Hiring is best suited to those with very little spare time, or pilots planing to fly 20 hours or less per year. We have a hire group exclusively for pilots who have learnt to fly with us, it’s £28 per month and £90 per hour.
If you would like to learn more you are welcome drop by the airfield for a chat, but please phone ahead to make sure one of us will be there and on the ground. How to find us.