( 1 ) Much cheaper to learn to fly in a microlight
If you are budget conscious (who isn’t!) then fixed-wing microlight flying is very likely going to be within your reach. A typical GA flying school in GA aircraft like Cessna or Pipers will cost you anywhere between £10,000 and £15,000 to get your licence. Depending on your learning ability and how often you can fly, you can get your microlight licence for just £4,000. Even if your budget can stretch to a full PPL, you may end up with two-thirds of that to spend on flying once you have your licence!
( 2 ) Much cheaper to maintain your licence
Once you have your licence, to hire an aircraft will cost you around £120 an hour. In GA aircraft that can cost between £150 and £250 an hour. Add in the various medical fees, renewal fees and similar, the fixed-wing microlight licence works out around +30% cheaper year on year.
( 3 ) More airfields due to short field landing capability
Depending on the aircraft you’re flying you may only need around 200 metres in which to safely land. This just isn’t possible in GA aircraft. This means you have a much wider field of opportunity for when you can fly into throughout the UK. There are hundreds of farm strips, private airfields and small flying clubs in which you can only enjoy with a microlight. None of this is accessible to you as a GA pilot. This really opens the possibilities once you have your licence and always gives you something new to try.
( 4 ) Arguably more skill involved
Many GA pilots are likely to argue this controversial statement, but we master flight without fancy gadgets in a very light aircraft. Arguably, that means our skill at flying is more in-line with glider pilots. If you’re thinking of moving from microlights into GA in the future than the skills and airmanship you learn will be invaluable to you in both experience and skill set.
( 5 ) Enjoy the scenery at low speed
At an average cruise speed of 70 knots (around 80 mph) you get to enjoy the scenery at a slower pace of flight. We’re recreational pilots, not commercial pilots. We’re interested in enjoying the time in the aeroplane rather than thinking about how quickly we’re going to get to our destination. Fixed-wing microlights allow us to enjoy the experience for longer and take in the sights. It also means you have more time to make decisions than GA pilots flying at higher speeds.
( 6 ) Travel a long distance
Microlights are surprisingly economical. From Popham airfield in Hampshire where we at Airbourne Aviation flying school are based, you can get to the very west coast or very east coast on just one tank of fuel. You travel further than you think including to France and back!
( 7 ) Very reliable engines with standard aviation fuel
Microlights use the latest in modern engine technology. They’re not only super reliable but easy to maintain and very economical. The fuel they use is widely available at many big and small airfields across the UK allowing you easy, reliable and safe access to anywhere in the country.
( 8 ) Many are closed cockpit aircraft
You can get rid of thoughts of open, windy cockpits as many fixed-wing microlights have closed cockpits with doors and windows. Our C42 microlights have doors and roof over your head alongside cockpit heating! You and your passenger can fly in total comfort without having to be exposed to the elements.
( 9 ) Low landing fees everywhere
Many airfields across the UK offer very low landing fees to microlights. This is because we’re light, have low landing and take-off runs and don’t take up too much room on the apron when parked either. From as little as £4 a landing we’re in the cheapest category of aircraft. Prices vary from location to location, but you will not be paying the much higher fees for GA aircraft!
( 10 ) Less medical restrictions
Alongside Group A medical sign off there’s also a ‘self-declaration’ process available to microlight pilots. This cuts the cost of expensive trips to the Doctor to get paperwork signed, cuts down the paperwork and makes flying accessible to those whom may not be able to due to the much more stringent medical requirements of GA flying.
( 11 ) Less exams to work through
For a full PPL you’ll have to sit through 9 exams. With the microlight licence, you only have to work through 5 exams. These include Air Law, meteorology, human performance & limitations, aircraft technical and air navigation. So, there’s less stress from tests and less ground school required to achieve your licence.
What are you waiting for?
Still not sure? Book a trial flight available from as little as £65 from Airbourne Aviation and we can show you what a joy fixed wing microlight flying is.