GS Aviation Europe Ltd. Flexwing and fixed wing (3 axis) microlight training near Marlborough, Wiltshire
Frequently asked questions (FAQ'S)
What is a Microlight aircraft?
A Microlight is an aircraft that can be either fixed wing or flexwing, and at G.S Aviation we offer the best selection of Microlight aircraft you will find anywhere in the south of England. To be classified as a Microlight the aircraft has a maximum weight not exceeding 450kg, this weight includes aircraft, pilot, passenger, fuel and luggage.
What is the difference between a flexwing and a fixed wing Microlight?
A flexwing is an open cockpit aircraft. It comprises a tandem seat trike that is suspended underneath a hang glider type wing. This is the aircraft if you are looking for that wind in your hair feeling, and is an airborne motorcycle.
A fixed wing is an enclosed cockpit aircraft. It comprises side-by-side seating and looks like a conventional light aircraft. This is the choice if you want the luxury of a heater and the security of having a door between you and the outside world.
What will I need to bring with me for my trial flight?
All you will need to bring with you for your trial flight is yourself and your voucher. We advise you wear sensible clothing and footwear but we will provide a flying suit, headset and helmet.
Where can I go on my trial flight?
Where you go on your trial flight will depend on the length of your voucher. If you live near to the airfield we can most probably fly you over your house so you can take a photograph. We are also close to Avebury stone circle, Silbury hill, West Kennet long barrow and a few of Wiltshire's white horses. If you opt for a 60-minute flight we can cover a total distance of approximately 50 miles.
Are all your instructors qualified?
All of our instructors are qualified to British Microlight Aircraft Association and Civil Aviation Authority standard and are frequently tested to ensure they are meeting the standard required. They have many years experience, and are career Microlight instructors.
Is there a weight limit for flying Microlights?
Each type of Microlight has a seat loading and so the weight limit will depend on the aircraft type that you fly in. As a guide a maximum permitted weight would be approximately 110 kilos. If you are in any doubt don't hesitate to give us a call.
What are the age limitations for flying?
There is no age limit for a trial flight provided that the person is able to listen, understand and comply with the instructors briefing. If the person is under 17 years old then we will require parental or guardian consent prior to flying.
The minimum age that someone can begin their training is 14 years old provided that they are tall enough to reach all of the control systems. Although they can begin dual instruction aged 14 they cannot fly solo until they are 16 years old. Once they have completed all of the flying exercises and written exams required they can complete a flight test at 17 years old and will then obtain an NPPL Microlight licence.
There is no maximum age for learning to fly.
What if the weather is unsuitable on the day of my flight?
If the weather is unsuitable on the day of your flight then we will re-book you for another time that is suitable for you. It is important to call our office number (01672 515535) on the morning of your flight to ensure the weather is suitable at the airfield as it may be good where you are but poor here. Alternatively if the weather doesn't look good where you are it may be suitable for flying at the airfield, so do call.
What if my voucher expires?
If your voucher expires we will extend the expiry date on a voucher if a flight has been cancelled due to poor weather for example, provided that a booking has been made with us prior to the original date passing and that the company supplying the voucher agree to extend it. If there is no attempt to make a booking with us prior to the expiry date then we may not extend the voucher.
Can I extend the flight time on my voucher?
You can extend the flight time of your voucher when you call our office to make your booking and they will let you know the options available. It is important to mention extending the flight time at this stage so that we can book the aircraft and instructor for a longer period.
What are the medical requirements for the grant of an NPPL M or Microlight licence?
The medical is a declaration of fitness and is signed by your doctor. There are two groups on the medical form: Group 1 will be signed if the doctor satisfies his/herself that you are fit to fly only solo or with another qualified pilot. Group 2 will be signed if they satisfy themselves you are fit to fly with unlicensed passengers. The medical requirement is the same as would be needed to drive a heavy goods vehicle.
How many hours will I need to fly before I can go solo?
There is no minimum hours requirement before you can fly solo under the supervision of an instructor. The decision to let a student fly solo will be made by the instructor provided that the student has satisfactorily completed all of the flight exercises up to and including exercise 12 and 13 (take-offs, circuit flying, emergencies in circuit and landings) and that the instructor is happy to let the student do so.
What are the minimum hours required for the grant of an NPPL M or Microlight Licence?
There are two types of licence:
The minimum hours required for a restricted licence is 15 of which 7 hours must be flown solo. You will also need to pass a flight test and 5 written exams, these are Air Law, Aircraft Technical, Meteorology, Navigation and Human Performance and Limitations. The restrictions on this licence are that you can only fly when the cloud base is above 1000 feet, the wind no stronger than 15 knots, visibility no less than 10 kilometres and you must fly no further than 8 nautical miles from your departure aerodrome. You can only carry passengers once you have completed 25 hours total flying time of which 10 hours must be solo, you will then need an examiner to sign your pilot's logbook to confirm this has been completed. If you wish to upgrade to the unrestricted licence then you will be required to complete the navigation training.
The minimum flying hours required to be granted the unrestricted licence is 25, within this time, 15 hours must be dual instruction and 10 hours solo instruction. Navigation flying forms part of the required hours, meaning you will need to complete at least 3 cross country flights with out landings at other aerodromes. At least 1 flight will be dual with an instructor and 2 will be solo. A flight test with an examiner must also be completed, as well as 5 written exams; these are Air Law, Aircraft Technical, Meteorology, Navigation and Human Performance and Limitations. Once all of this has been completed you are free to fly with passengers when and wherever you like provided the weather and routing are suitable of course!
Do I need to buy my own aircraft once I have completed my licence?
Once you have completed your licence you have three options available to you:
The first is to buy a share. As a shareholder in one of our aircraft you will buy a share then pay a monthly fee and an hourly 'wet' fee when you fly. The monthly fee covers tie-down/hangarage, insurance, maintenance and the aircraft's annual Permit. The hourly fee will be for the use of the aircraft including fuel and oil. This is a great option as you get to fly the most modern touring aircraft at a fraction of the cost of buying one yourself as well as not having to worry about the maintenance. Literally book, turn up and fly!
The second option is that you buy your own aircraft .You need to bear in mind that if you do this there are costs involved including tie-down/hangarage, insurance, maintenance, fuel, oil and its annual inspection and check flight known as its Permit to Fly. If you plan to fly very regularly then this is a good option however if you fly once every 2-3 weeks then is this really viable?
The third and final option is aircraft hire. We at G.S Aviation do not hire our fleet of aircraft, as we like to know who is flying them and feel that if a person has a share in it then they are more likely to look after the aircraft and admit to any mishaps! Aircraft hire is available but in very few places and make sure all of the paperwork is up to date prior to flying.
How fast do Microlights fly?
Microlights fly at different speeds depending on the aircraft type. Some older models fly at 45mph and some of the latest at 120mph! Our fleet fly at between 60mph and 100mph and use modern 4 stroke engines from 80hp to 100hp similar to a family car.
How high do Microlights fly?
Microlights tend to fly at between 1000 and 4000 feet for cross-country flying. It is possible to fly much higher than this but once above 10,000 feet the pilot and passenger would require oxygen. A Microlight has been flown over Mount Everest in the past! The official world record set by a UK pilot, flying a GT-450 flexwing is 24,258ft (7395m)
Are microlights safe?
Microlights are extremely safe, you are much more likely to have an accident in your car! There are more than 4500 Microlights flying safely in the U.K
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