Are there any age restrictions for pilots or passengers?
Pilots must be at least 14 years old for lessons to count towards a licence, 16 years old to go solo and 17 years old to gain a licence.
There is no lower age limit for flying as a passenger in law, but it is important that the passenger be able to understand and follow safety instructions. We therefore don’t take people up for experience flights until they’re at least 14 years old.
Are there any height and weight restrictions for pilots or passengers?
Pilots must weigh at least 55kg but no more than 100kg to fly in one of our aircraft.
Our tallest fixed-wing student so far is 6’5″; he folds into our SkyRanger quite comfortably.
For the flexwings, 6’2″ is fine, but 6’4″ is a bit cramped for the pilot. There is more room for passengers’ legs, so being very tall is less of a problem if you are only coming for an experience flight.
Our smallest pilot is 5’3″, and can reach the controls on both fixed wing and flexwing with appropriate cushions.
There are no official lower limits for height or weight for passengers, but they must be large enough that they can be strapped in safely.
How high can microlights fly?
Microlights are not permitted to fly higher than 10,000 feet without the use of oxygen. However, most air experience flights and lessons are conducted at 1,500 – 3,000 feet, depending on weather conditions.
Are there any medical requirements?
Before flying solo, a pilot must make an online declaration of medical fitness via the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) website.
The CAA states:
Pilots must not make a pilot medical declaration if they do not reasonably believe that they meet the medical requirements for a Group 1 (Car) Licence issued by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and in addition, comply with the following requirements.
You may fly an aircraft no greater than 2000kg Maximum Take-Off Mass provided you are not taking medication for any psychiatric illness. If you are taking medication for a psychiatric illness you must consult an AeroMedical Examiner and apply for a LAPL (or higher) medical certificate.
Essentially, if you are allowed to have a car driving licence and you are not taking any mental health medication, then you are fit to fly a microlight. If you either aren’t fit to drive a car, or you are taking mental health medication, all is not necessarily lost. If you can obtain a medical certificate, you may still be able to fly microlights – but if you would like to learn to fly and you think you will need to go down this route, let us know as soon as possible.
How far can a microlight fly?
Microlights have been flown to Australia and South Africa and have even circumnavigated the world. In a typical 1-hour air experience, however, you would probably go 15-20 miles from the airfield.
What sort of people fly microlights?
Microlighting is for people who enjoy adventures. Learning to fly demands patience and perseverance. You need self-confidence and commitment, but the rewards are enormous. It is not necessary to have prior aviation experience. You don’t have to be a fearless ‘gung-ho’ type. Contrary to some media portrayal, microlighting is not a sport for reckless fools hell-bent on short-lived thrills. Sensible, responsible people between the ages of 17 and 80 fly microlights.
How can I get more information?
Give us a call or come to see us. In addition, the BMAA website has lots of useful information.