Microlight Pilots Licence… What does it involve?

If you are reading this then you are probably thinking about learning to fly. What is involved in gaining your microlight pilot licence is described in some detail below, but may sound a bit intimidating to an outsider to aviation. It is all too easy to put off starting until the future. Learning to fly is a journey and every journey must start with the first step

Where do I start? Well that’s easy, just give us a call to discuss, drop us an email, or purchase a trial flight in our on line shop, book a date and time that suits you, then come along and find out what its all about. The Trial Flight is actually your first step. Exercise-1 of the training syllabus and counts towards your overall training time.

To obtain the National Private Pilot’s License with microlight class rating, or as it is more commonly referred to, the NPPL(M), There are a number of requirements that need to be met in order to satisfy the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

There are also set requirements that must be met in order to add the SSEA rating to your NPPL. This rating enables you to fly the more traditional aircraft up to 2000KG and with 4 persons on board. Additional training is required to satisfy the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) York Yorkshire Leeds West North 

The following is a very high level summary of the NPPL microlight pilot licence requirements and also those needed to add your SSEA rating. For full details of phases, exercises and elements, please feel free to contact us or you can click on this link to view the NPPL syllabus:

National Private Pilots Licence Syllabus (2019) – (Opens in a new tab)

Option 1 – NPPL (M)

The NPPL (M) unrestricted microlight pilot licence consists of both flight and ground based activities. The minimum requirements before applying to the CAA for your NPPL (M) license are:

  • Flight time under instruction – 25 hours in total, which has to include the following:-
  • Flight time solo – 10 hours
  • Total navigation flight time – 5 hours
  • Solo navigation flight time – 3 hours

The solo navigation hours must include EITHER Two Qualifying Cross-Country Flights, each having a minimum total flight distance of 40nm, with a landing at another site which is at least 15nm measured in a straight line, from the take off site where the flight began. OR A single flight of at least 100nm, with 2 landings at other sites, each of which are more than 15nm, measured in a straight line, from the point of take-off and from the take-off site from which the flight began.

You will need to hold a valid medical declaration / certificate in order to fly solo. We recommend you obtain this as early into your training as possible.

There are 5 ground based written exams that you need to pass:

  • Air Law
  • Meteorology
  • Navigation
  • Aeroplane Technical
  • Human Performance & Limitations

Once you have completed the minimum requirements and you have met the required standards, you will be ready to take a General Skills Test (GST) and Ground Oral Exam with a CAA approved Examiner.

Subject to passing the tests, you will be ready to submit your application to the CAA for your very own pilots licence.

Please note: The hours quoted are the CAA minimums. The number of hours required will depend on age and aptitude, good hand to eye coordination will reduce time taken. On average it can take your age in numbers of hours to reach the required standard, eg: if you are 50 years old it may take you 50hrs to complete your training.

Option 2 – NPPL (M) Restricted

The NPPL (M) restricted microlight pilot licence consists of both flight and ground based activities but is less demanding and therefore a cheaper alternative to gaining a pilots licence.

You always have the option to remove the restrictions and upgrade to the full, unrestricted licence, with additional training.

The minimum requirements before applying to the CAA for your NPPL (M) restricted license are:

  • Flight time under instruction – 15 hours in total, which has to include the following:-
  • Flight time solo – 7 hours

You will also need to hold a valid medical declaration / certificate in order to fly solo. We recommend you obtain this as early into your training as possible.

There are 5 ground based written exams that you need to pass:

  • Air Law
  • Meteorology
  • Navigation
  • Aeroplane Technical
  • Human Performance & Limitations

Once you have completed the minimum requirements and you have met the required standards, you will be ready to take a General Skills Test (GST) and Ground Oral Exam with a CAA approved Examiner.

Subject to passing the tests, you will be ready to submit your application to the CAA for your very own pilots licence.

NOTE: The restricted licence means:

  • The pilot must not fly more than 8nm from the departure airfield.
  • The pilot must not fly when the cloud base is lower than 1000ft above ground level (AGL) and/or visibility is less than 10KM.

Remember…  you can always upgrade to the full, unrestricted licence, with additional training when you feel ready.

NPPL SSEA Rating

The NPPL SSEA rating consists of both flight and ground based activities but is quite straight forward to achieve. You will still be able to use your self declaration medical.

The minimum additional requirements to obtain you SSEA rating are:

  • 3 hours additional flight training, which has to include the following:-
  • Instrument appreciation – 1 hour
  • Stall and Spin awareness – 2 hours
  • Navigation Skills Test (NST)
  • General Skills Test (GST)

There are also the ground based elements:

  • Aircraft (General) & Principles of flight examinations

Once you have the SSEA rating on your NPPL you can fly a combination of microlights and light aircraft (up to 2000kg & 4 seats) in order to keep your validity. Further details on obtaining the SSEA rating and cross crediting can be found here…

Cross Crediting and & Ratings NPPL (Revision 09) – (Opens in a new tab)

PPL and LAPL Licence holders

As a result of recent changes to EASA rules, hours flown on 3-axis microlight aircraft can now be counted towards the revalidation requirements for EASA PPL and LAPL licences.

Student & Passenger Weight Limit

*** The maximum weight of a student or passenger that we can legally accommodate is 100kg / 15st 10lb. ***