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Learn to Fly with
FlyLight Airsports

Flylight operates a centre of excellence for microlight flying & hang-glider tuition in the UK, and are one of the largest schools in the country. Our highly competent and professional staff include a World Champion. We are priviliged to be based at the outstanding facilities at Sywell Aerodrome in Northamptonshire, less than 20 minutes from the M1.

Our CAA-approved instructors can train you in your choice of fixed or flexwing microlights, from initial trial lesson, through to final General Skills Test and licence application. We also offer advanced training for existing pilots in radio telephony, competition preparation, microlight instructor training and examination, etc.
 

Our unique facilities

  • Complete microlight tuition based on student's own aircraft or a school fleet of Quantum, GT450 and Eurostar aircraft
  • 3 Grass runways
  • Hangarage
  • Pilot shop and club lounge Permanent manned radio control tower
  • Permanent fuel installation, selling unleaded specifically for microlights.
  • Permanent fire staff and trained first-aiders
  • Hotel accommodation
  • Restaurant and bar

What is a Microlight aircraft?

The Microlight aircraft
A microlight aircraft is a category of aeroplane which by definition:

  • Has a maximum take off weight not exceeding 450kg
  • Has either; a wing loading not exceeding 25kg per sq M, or a stalling speed not more than 65Kph (41Mph).
  • Can carry a maximum of 2 persons.

The advantages of this formula over conventional aircraft are many and include:

  • Economy of operation and purchase
  • Easily transportable and some types can be rigged and ready to fly in under 30 minutes
  • They can be flown safely from small fields
  • Maintenance is simple and can be done by the owner - subject to certain conditions

There are two general types of microlight aircraft; Flexwing and Fixed-wing

Check out our Trial Flights and Gift Vouchers page

Flexwing

The flexwing (also known as a weightshift or trike) has a wing reminiscent of a hang-glider with a trike unit containing the engine, seats and landing gear suspended below. Flexwings are the most numerous kind of microlight. They are traditionally at the lower end of the price scale, can be towed on a simple trailer and stored in a normal garage. All flexwings are open cockpit.

Flylight currently have both P&M Quantum and GT450 machines available for training purposes. The Quantum is a good mid-performance flexwing, with a degree of comfort and security that have made it a favourite with flying schools around the world. The GT450 is one of the latest breed of high-performance touring microlights, capable of 80mph cruise speeds and long-distance touring flights using its 100Hp Rotax 912S engine.

Fixed Wing

The fixed wing (also known as a three axis) microlight resembles a conventional light aeroplane in both looks and control systems. They tend to be more expensive and bulky to store than their flexwing counterparts, but are not as weather restricted and have the option of closed cockpit. Also a licence gained on a fixed wing microlight can be cross-credited towards the grant of other aviation licences.

Flylight's fixed wing training aircraft is the Cosmik Aviation Eurostar. With a cruise speed in the region of 100mph, the Eurostar offers a high performance touring machine, along with the easy handling and short field capability of more traditional microlights.

Flylight also offers part-share syndicate ownership of some of its Eurostar fleet, allowing qualified pilots to continue to enjoy the luxury end of the microlight market with minimal financial outlay.

Microlight Training

A National Private Pilot Licence (NPPL) Microlight licence is required to fly microlights, and can be gained by training with a qualified flying instructor in accordance with a CAA (civil aviation authority) syllabus of training. The minimum requirements are:-

  • 25 hours total flying time to include:
  • 10 hours solo consolidation including two qualifying cross country flights of 40 nautical miles.
  • A restricted licence is available with reduced requirements (15hrs total, to include 7hrs solo flying), but will limit you to flying in the local area. In either case, you will need to pass a General Skills Test and an oral exam, which is much akin to a driving test. In addition to this you will need to pass 5 multiple choice exams in the following subjects:
  • Principles of flight
  • Air law
  • Navigation
  • Meteorology
  • Human factors

This may all sound a little onerous but in practice it is fascinating and good fun. A microlight licence is simpler than a conventional aircraft licence and can be gained in approximately 2/3 the flying time and 1/2 the cost. Don‘t be frightened of the exams either, although thorough they are easily and enjoyably learnt and our 100% pass rate serves to prove this point.

The above licence requirements are minimums and do not guarantee a pass, everyone learns at different rates and times may vary. However anyone with determination and a little application should be able to "win their wings".

Tuition Costs

There are two general routes to follow for training:-

  • On the school aircraft
  • On your own aircraft

On a school aircraft is the most convenient method, there is of course no need to outlay the cost of an aircraft to learn to fly, and during the initial lessons you may decide that the sport is not for you. However once convinced that you do want to continue, having your own aircraft to train on will save a considerable sum of money. In addition your aeroplane is always available, at times a school aircraft may not be.

Tariff
Trial lesson (using school aircraft) 30mins: £75.00 1hr: £125.00
Flexwing
(Quantum or GT450)
Eurostar
Flying tuition per flying hour
(includes an additional briefing and debriefing, total lesson time approx. 2 hours)
£112.00 £120.00
10 hours flying using school aircraft £1075.00 £1152.00
Full Course Fee
(includes 25hrs tuition, 5 exams, GFT, and 10hrs ground schooling.
Any extra time required can be paid for pro-rata)
£3150.00 £3370.00
Using your own aircraft
New aircraft purchased through Flylight POA
Own aircraft dual tuition per hour £85.00
Solo supervision per hour (training for licence only) £40.00
Ground tuition and exam charges
Ground school individual tuition per hour
(reduced rates for group ground school)
£30.00 per hour
Written exam charges per paper £35.00 each
General flying test
(including oral exam) + hourly flying rate
£75.00 plus an hourly charge for aircraft
All prices include VAT at 20%

Flylight Airsports Club

Flylight Microlight Flying Club is a social club which offers to members:

  • Focal point for organising fly-ins / fly-outs on a regular basis
  • Club outings (participation in alternative sports)
  • Club meetings with guest speakers
  • Use of club room and facilities on the airfield
  • Free landing fees to residential aircraft
  • Reduced landing fees to all club members
  • Discounts on aircraft, servicing and accessories
  • Free help and advice
  • Contact and knowledge sharing with experienced pilots

It's a legal requirement that student pilots and instructors are members of the same club. All members should read and abide by club flying orders.

Club Fees

Individual Membership – £120.00pa
Training Membership while using school aircraft – £80.00pa

We are lucky in having the use of the superb facilities of Sywell Aerodrome. Obviously this is a privileged position and we demand the highest standards of airmanship and respect from club members.

We run an active club for students and qualified pilots which includes trips to various major Fly-ins around the country and abroad.

We also have a good social diary with alternative activities such as skiing, roller blading, 10 pin bowling, go karting and many more. Membership includes use of Sywell Aerodrome's facilities and flight services.

Flight Radiotelephony Training & Examinations

Looking for Flight Radiotelephony Operator’s Licence training and examinations?
We can help whatever your requirements are:

  • Do you need help with studying for your Radiotelephony Written & Practical examinations?
  • Are you just in need of an Authorised CAA RTF Examiner to complete your Written & Practical Exams with?
  • Refresher training on practical Radiotelephony, even if you already hold a licence?

Here at Sywell Aerodrome, in Northamptonshire, we offer all aspects of RT Courses and Examining for the issue of the Flight Radiotelephony Operator's Licence (FRTOL), whether you fly microlights, light aircraft, helicopters, hot air balloons, paramotors, or you are not a pilot but require an RT licence.

We can help, whether you want one-on-one ground school, or would prefer to join a group on a course designed to take you through the whole subject, both theory & practical, leading to completing the two examinations.

Our RTF Examiner has many years of experience taking students through from the basics to the standard required to pass the exams necessary to obtain a FRTOL. All training is done in a friendly environment and designed to support you through the whole process whatever your level of experience.

Our aim is not for you to just obtain your FRTOL, but also to enjoy the learning process and to be confident and competent to use it once you have it.

www.radiotelephony.co.uk

Booking Lessons

Each flying lesson is booked as a two hour slot that allows for one hour flying and time for briefing / debriefing etc. In order to get the required day and time, it is best to book as far in advance as possible - especially for intense courses. Weekends tend to book up further in advance to weekdays. Sometimes there are cancellations so it is often worth a last minute phone call to check if we can accept your booking.

In order to be fair to everyone the slots are for specific times, if for instance the weather is unsuitable for your slot then we will endeavour to find you another slot if possible but you may not get to fly. It is worth a call to check on the weather or any aircraft unservicabilities on the day of your booking. If the weather is unsuitable then you may take your allocated slot as ground-school instead.

We ask that if for some reason you have to cancel that you let us know as soon as possible in order that someone may take over your slot. Failure to turn up without cancelling may result in you being charged - be warned! We ask you also to arrive at least 15 minutes before your booking in order to wind down and mentally prepare for the lesson. Arriving late may result in your lesson having to be shortened.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Medical Requirements?
A declaration of fitness form must be countersigned by your G.P. and cannot be issued to anyone suffering from :- Epilepsy, Fits, Severe head injury, Recurrent fainting, Giddiness or Blackouts, High blood pressure, Coronary artery disease, Insulin controlled diabetes, any Psychiatric disorder or any other disorder liable to cause incapacitation.

Are they safe?
In a word yes. All Microlight training aircraft have to be built by civil aviation authority (CAA) approved companies to rigorous airworthiness standards. Only safety checked and released materials can be used in their construction.

Due to their light weight and low minimum speeds microlight aircraft have very good forgiving characteristics. Recent official statistics from the CAA showed that microlight aircraft to be the safest form of private aviation in the UK in terms of serious accidents divided into hours flown.

However any aircraft is only as safe as the pilot who flies it, therefore thorough training and a high degree of common sense are both vital in the making of a safe pilot.

Can I have a short go to see if I like it?
We offer a thirty minute or a one hour trial lesson to give you a taste of this sport. If you decide to continue this time will count towards the licence.

Is it possible to fly in winter?
Some of the best flying is during the winter! It is of course colder, but providing you wear sensible clothing the temperature is not a problem.

Is there a minimum age?
For training to count towards a licence the minimum age is 14. Solo flights can be made from age 16, and the minimum age to hold a licence is 17.

Is there a weight limit?
This depends a little on aircraft type, but in general the maximum body weight is 90 Kg (14.5 stones). We may be able to accommodate heavier people - call us for details.

Does the weather affect training?
Unfortunately yes, fair weather is required especially during training where you will want to be concentrating on learning to control the aeroplane before having to deal with the techniques required for different types of weather. In general the conditions required for training are:-
Wind speed no more than 15 to 20 mph
Visibility greater than 5 Km in flight
Cloud base above 1000 feet
Preferably no rain, though it is quite possible to fly in light rain it is a very miserable experience in an open cockpit.
In short the weather required for flight to be enjoyable and worthwhile for training is about the same as you would want for an enjoyable walk in the countryside.

When are we open?
Flylight operates seven days a week all year round. Lessons can be taken on an individual basis or as a full time course or part course. Accommodation is available on the aerodrome at the Aviator Hotel, or nearby in a choice of B&B's, caravan or camping.


Professional Servicing

Our staff includes senior BMAA inspectors, experienced check pilots and fully-qualified Rotax engineers (both for 2 and 4-stroke power units) We can service your 2-stroke or 4-stroke engine on the bench or on your microlight. We carry out routine 10hr, 25hr, 50hr, 100hr, 200hr or 500hr engine and gearbox services, shock load tests, as well as permit inspections and check flights. All servicing work is completed along with a detailed service report of the work carried out. We only use genuine Rotax spares.

General Labour Prices
General maintenance/ repairs per hour £35.00 (+ VAT)
On-site Mileage rate £0.75 per mile (inc VAT)
Prices are subject to change without notice

For a more detailed quote of your servicing needs, or a full price list, please contact our engineering department directly on (01604) 644222.

 

Hang Glider Training

Here’s your chance to fly with the birds in a specially designed tandem hang glider. Our flights are designed to take you to a height of 3000ft towed behind a CAA approved tug microlight, in the company of one of our experienced BHPA qualified tandem hang gliding instructors.

You can choose between taking a flight to 3000ft or if the conditions allow on the day, you can experience our premier flight experience to "One Mile" (5280ft) above the earth's surface. Our mile high flight includes your very own in-flight video in a presentation case and a "been there done that" T-Shirt.

After an introduction to the equipment and a pre-flight briefing, you will be harnessed into the hang glider with your instructor. The microlight will start, and begin towing the glider and it’s occupants into the air for a thrilling ride, gaining height, all the while taking in the views overlooking Sywell Aerodrome. Once the towline is released you and your instructor will glide free and silent in complete awe of the spectacular views overlooking the beautiful Northamptonshire countryside... an experience only shared with the birds. You may even take the controls and fly the hang glider yourself or enjoy the thrill of limited aerobatics before your instructor lines up for a gentle rolling landing on wheels.

As many of our customers have pointed out, this is a completely unique experience, hanging on the outside of an aircraft, head down with nothing but the rush of the wind over the face... And as one said, “Rather like flying like Superman”!

This makes an ideal gift and a video of your flight can also be included for the 3000ft flight.

The hang glider is equipped with its own undercarriage which eliminates the need for running on take off and landing and is therefore suitable for all age groups and people with disabilities. Maximum weight is around 15stone (95 kilos) for the aerotow experience and 13stone (82 kilos) for the Mile-high.

Total flight time between 20-40 minutes depending on height and meteorological conditions on the day of your flight. 

Check out our Trial Flights and Gift Vouchers page