Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some common questions that people ask about Microlight flying in Ireland.

If you have a question that is not covered below please feel free to contact us at info@nmai.ie

 

  • What is a Microlight?

    A Microlight is merely a name for a low cost-light aircraft. It is capable of flight just like any other. To be classified as a Microlight the aircraft has a maximum weight not exceeding 450kg or 472.5kg for a microlight with a airframe mounted total recovery parachute system, these weights must include aircraft, pilot, passenger, fuel and luggage (MTOW).

    There are two main types of microlight, Fixed Wing and Flexwing.

    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 a door between you and the outside world.

    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.

    Powered parachute microlights – these fly under a paraglider type canopy wing these have a shrouded propeller (i.e. a protective guard around the propellor which prevents it interfering with the lines attaching the paraglider canopy).

    The technical definition of a Microlight Aircraft is:
    JAR1.1 defines a microlight as an airplane having no more than two seats,
    Vso (stall) not exceeding 35 knots (65 km/hr) CAS and a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of no more than:

    (i). 300 kg for a land plane/helicopter, single-seater; or
    (ii). 450 kg for a land plane/helicopter, two-seater; or
    (iii). 330 kg for an amphibian or floatplane/helicopter single-seater; or
    (iv). 495 kg for an amphibian or floatplane/helicopter two-seater, provided that, where operating both as a floatplane/helicopter and as a land plane/helicopter, it falls below both MTOM limits, as appropriate;
    (v). 472.5 kg for a land plane, two-seater equipped with an airframe mounted total recovery parachute system;
    (vi). 315 kg for a land plane single-seater equipped with an airframe mounted total recovery parachute system;

  • 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 the maximum you should weigh to fly a microlight would be approximately 110 kilos.

  • Is Microlighting expensive?

    Defiantly not! Microlight flying is by far the cheapest and most fun form of flying. Lessons vary in price from school to school and the type of microlight you choose to fly. See our schools section and give them a shout to get the latest pricing.

     

  • How much is it to buy a microlight?

    Presently you could pay up to €40,000 for a new, top of the range aircraft or buy a second hand one for as little as €3,000.  A good “starter” aircraft tends to cost anywhere from €3,000 to €8,000 depending on make, model, hours and engine type.

    It is recommended to get your second hand aircraft checked out by someone qualified to do so before handing over your hard earned cash.

  • How much does it cost to run a Microlight?

    Hourly costs of running your own microlight can vary slightly depending on the aircraft type. For example an X’Air 582 can cost as little as €30 per hour to run – including insurance & fuel costs!

    (Petrol @ 1.65 Per Litre – June 2012)

  • Do I need a License to fly?

    Yes, you need to learn some theory and most importantly learn to fly the aircraft to be legal & safe! There are many microlight flight schools all over Ireland

    Minimum requirements and costs for training vary depended on were in Ireland you learn and it is recommended that you speak to a microlight pilot or join the NMAI forum to get feedback from existing pilots on which route will suit your budget and needs best.

    A minimum of 30 hrs training in the South or 25 hrs if training in the North, of which at least 10 hrs must be solo.

    The quality of instruction can vary so its important to seek advice from existing pilots to discuss their training experiences before handing over your hard earned cash!

  • How much training is required?

    At the moment to fly microlight aircraft in Ireland you need:
    · Class 2 medical from an Irish Aviation Authority approved GP – Click here for a list of doctors.
    · RT (Radio Transmission) license in the English language
    · A minimum of 30 hrs training in the South or 25 hrs if training in the North, of which at least 10 hrs must be solo.

  • How much does training cost?

    At present most microlight instructord are typically charging about €120 per flying hour.
    Prices vary between schools. Services can vary too.
    Don’t be put off by the price initially, compare what you are getting for your money.

    Picking a good flight school to learn in is a very important step; the NMAI forum is a good place to get feedback from existing microlight pilots that recently trained.

  • Where can I get a class 2 medical certificate?

    For a full list of Aero Medical Examiners click here.  (This link Take you to The Irish Aviation Authority Website)
    Beware of costs, make sure to price around.

  • Do I need have my aircraft insured?

    Yes. Under law you must have insurance. Costs depend your logged hours, aircraft type and on what level of cover you take. A policy that covers minimum legal requirements costs around €250 – €300 per year.

  • I have a UK licence, can I fly in Ireland?

    Yes and No,

    If you are a UK resident with a UK NPPL(m) with at least 50 hours total logged along with a valid UK medical you can fly in Ireland without a validation. See www.iaa.ie for more information.

    If you are a ROI resident with a UK NPPL(m) you will need to get your licence converted to a Irish PPLm before you can fly in the ROI. To do this you will need to have at least 50 hours logged and a valid class 2 medical certificate. Contact the NMAI for more information.

    The NMAI will accept an application to convert a foreign microlight license into an Irish microlight license or have a foreign license validated for use in the state.
    The license, medical & RT certificate plus any other relevant documentation are sent to the NMAI, which are reviewed, and then forwarded to the IAA for issue.
    It is recommended that you apply through the NMAI (it’s a routine procedure for us).
    Applications directly to the IAA can take a very long time, and there have been other unforeseen problems too.

  • Are there many instructors in Ireland?

    At present there are a few fixed wing and flex wing microlight instructors scattered throughout the whole of Ireland.  See the schools section for more information

    The quality of instruction can vary so its important to seek advice from existing pilots to discuss their training experiences before handing over your hard earned cash!

  • What are the basic rules for microlight flying?

    – A microlight cannot over-fly an assembly of people or fly over a congested area ever.
    – Cannot perform aerobatics,
    – Cannot exceed a turn of 60º (unless the aeroplane manual gives a lower limit),
    – Cannot fly at night and must be in sight of the ground at all times.
    – The aircraft must have a valid permit to fly.

  • Are there many microlights in Ireland?

    Presently, there are approximately 150+ microlights scattered around the country, a mixture of fixed wing and flexwing. The best place to go and get a close up look and a spin if your lucky is at a fly-in. See Flying In Ireland events for more info.

  • What is a “Fly-In”?

    A microlight Fly-In is the term given to a group of microlighters flying from all over and sometimes abroad, to an airfield to meet up and have some craic. It can be a weekend event, were there’s a BBQ, some beer, some war stories, and if your unlucky some karaoke! The next day they all leave for home – back to reality!!!

  • What is the performance of a microlight?

    Most microlight aircraft can land safely in airfields that you wouldn’t dream of bringing a Cessna 172 into, giving you access to more than 200+ active microlight airfields in Ireland.

  • What fuel does a microlight use?

    Most microlights can use normal unleaded petrol or ‘Mogas’ for short. Aviation ‘Avgas’ fuel can also be used as an option on some microlight aircraft.

  • What is the Difference between a Weight shift,3 Axis & Powered Parachute Microlight

    The difference between these types of aircraft is the method that is used to control them in flight.

    Three axis aircraft look like a conventional aircraft and have control surfaces like those on a conventional aircraft which are operated by a control stick and pedals making it more suitable for flying in more challenging conditions.

    Flexwing aircraft have a pod or trike with a triangular wing and use a system called weightshift, which involves the pilot moving the weight of the trike unit and his own weight to control its speed and direction.

    Powered parachute microlights – these fly under a paraglider type canopy wing these have a shrouded propeller (i.e. a protective guard around the propellor which prevents it interfering with the lines attaching the paraglider canopy).

    Some of the above microlight classes may be operated in seaplane or amphibian versions