The National Private Pilot Licence
To fly a microlight in the UK, you will need a National Private Pilot Licence, with a rating which covers microlight aircraft. This licence is issued by the Civil Aviation Authority, and is called an NPPL(M). An NPPL holder may add more ratings if he or she wants to fly different aircraft, for example motor gliders (SLMG) or larger aircraft up to 2000kg (SSEA).
While the NPPL(M) is technically a UK-only licence, most European countries will accept it to fly microlights in their airspace.
Clearprop! can train you for the NPPL(M)
To make things even more complicated, there are currently 2 types of microlight ratings available to you – the Restricted and the Full. The vast majority of our students do the FULL licence, but we offer both:
NPPL Restricted Microlight Rating
A minimum of 15 hours flying instruction of which 7 hours must be solo. The solo hours must be completed within the 9 month period prior to applying for the licence. A general skills test (GST) must be passed; this is carried out by an authorised instructor holding an ‘Examiner’ appointment.
Flying on a restricted rating means that you cannot take off when:-
The surface wind exceeds 15 knots
The cloud base is below 1,000 feet
The in-flight visibility is below 5 nautical miles
You must not fly outside a radius of 8nm from your departure airfield
You cannot carry passengers until you have logged at least 25 hours flight time (10 hours as Pilot in Command)
NPPL Full Microlight Rating
In addition to the requirements for the restricted Microlight Rating, a further 10 hours of flying must be obtained of which at least 5 hours must be navigation training under the supervision of a qualified instructor. During the navigation training you must complete 2 solo cross country flights of at least 40 nautical miles each. During each of these solo flights a landing must be made at an airfield at least 15nm from take off.
A pilot may go straight for the unrestricted licence from the start in which case the navigational cross country requirements must be completed within the 9 month period prior to applying for the licence.
Current PPL(A) / JAR Licence Holders
Under recent JAR regulations you are now required to take conversion training – particularly with flexwing microlights, where the control input is directly opposite to that which you have been accustomed! See the Conversion page for more info, and don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions.