Learning to fly, or thinking of learning? Post your questions, comments and experiences here

Moderator: AndyR

By JackHoare
Cheers for the response.

I am looking into to achieving it that way yeah, I know it's risky business but at the moment I'm just doing some research. There is certainly no shortage of information online that makes the risks apparent. I'd like to continue to own the plane also.

Where I'm confused is which criteria do planes have to meet to be able to be used for PPL training. Do they have to be Group A rated?

I am guessing that there are some aircraft that may be suitable on paper but which some instructors would not be keen on teaching you in (like perhaps a Star Streak Shadow?). Do you think it would be easy enough to find an instructor who would be happy to do the instruction in a Rans S6 or Jabiru 450?

Of course I would need to speak to any instructor/flight school but any general indications/thoughts would be appreciated.
User avatar
By Miscellaneous
JackHoare wrote:I have been through the licence options and the PPL is definitely the way to go for me.

Okay, your'e not looking to fly for a living. Which flavour of PPL? Have you checked those out? :D

You thought about having a medical before committing?
By JackHoare
Haha yeah, just for fun for me.

I live in the UK currently but will one day move back to New Zealand, as I understand I will need an EASA PPL if I want to transfer it over when I move back home.

Yeah I definitely will, I think it is highly likely I would pass but best to be sure!
By Cessna571
My 2p...

The upside of owning your own aircraft is that you can take it away for a weekend, or go to France for a week.

You can fly whenever you like, for as long as you can afford.

It’s cheaper to rent, but it’s not even close to flexible, it involves negotiations and timings, you can’t “be back when you feel”

This is totally different to when you learn.

Learning is done in 1 hour lessons (initially and for quite a while) and then opens out into solo nav exercises which aren’t much longer, and only becomes long (a few hours) for a few flights at the end.

If you have the cash to own and run an aircraft, then you have the cash to walk into a reputable school, say “I want to fly” tell them how quick you want a license (that’s a separate debate) and they’ll facilitate that. AND it will be cheaper.

Then buy and run an aircraft afterwards.

Of course, if money isn’t an issue and you fancy learning in your own aircraft, then why not? Plenty of instructors out there, but equally, why?

The age old question, where are you? I can recommend 2 schools as reputable in the Cambridge / Suffolk areas. Others know reputable schools all over the country.
I can name reputable feral instructors too!
JAFO, Nick liked this
User avatar
By nickwilcock
Neither LAPL(A) nor PPL(A) flight training may be conducted on Annex 1(e) aeroplanes, commonly referred to as 'Microlights'. However, flight training for LAPL(A)/PPL(A) is permitted in aircraft defined as CS-LSA (MTOW 600 kg).

Some aeroplanes (e.g. Rans S6 and Jabiru 450) may be classified either as 'Microlight' or 'Fixed Wing Landplane' depending mainly on their MTOW. Caveat emptor!!

Currently, in simple terms only the owner of a Permit-to-Fly aircraft may be taught to fly in that aircraft. However, the CAA consulted on wider acceptance of flight training in Permit-to-Fly aircraft recently, the results of the consultation have yet to be released. This did NOT include the use of 'Microlights' for LAPL(A) / PPL(A) training.

Once a pilot holds a LAPL(A) or PPL(A), he/she may fly Annex 1(e) aeroplanes after receiving differences training from a qualified microlight instructor.
User avatar
By lobstaboy
What nickwilcocks said.

Why did you choose the Rans and Jabiru as your examples? Was it because they both look relatively cheap to buy? One of the reasons for that is that they are not really suited for learning on (but it's perfectly possible of course).
You would find it easier to go to a microlight school and learn on their aircraft, then decide what to buy.

A microlight qualification isn't a stepping stone to flying more complex aircraft - for that you need to start GA.
By Nick
Things are likely to change soon if/when the microlight weight limit increases to 600kg. Leaving EASA is also going change things.
@nickwilcock nick do you have any hunches how this will pan out?
Personally I wouldn't make any plans for a while, wait and see. There is going to be no training for a long time anyway.

By JackHoare

That's definitely part of the attraction. It seems to me that it would be cheaper to purchase the aircraft for training as then I wouldn't have to hire one from the school? Have read a few stories online of people doing it that way but on here it sounds like that may not actually be the case.

It seemed like a good idea to purchase a plane (if the opportunity arose) and continue training in that.

I'm located in London, I'm looking at the flight schools at Redhill and if anyone has any recommendations that would be appreciated.


Thanks very much for that explanation, that sorts out the nitty gritty of what I was asking.


I chose the Rans and Jabiru as one day I will be moving back to New Zealand, and it seems like it wouldn't be too hard to get one of them when I head back. I'm was also looking into Cessna 150's but I already know they are suitable. I would be lying too if I didn't say the lower purchase price of those two models is attractive also (all other costs aside).

Yeah I think GA is the way to go for me, as I understand it a microlight qualification wouldn't be at all transferable to NZ.


Yeah for sure, just doing the research of the time being and hopefully when thing reopen I'll be a bit more educated on these things.
User avatar
By nickwilcock
Nick wrote:Things are likely to change soon if/when the microlight weight limit increases to 600kg. Leaving EASA is also going change things.
@nickwilcock nick do you have any hunches how this will pan out?
Personally I wouldn't make any plans for a while, wait and see. There is going to be no training for a long time anyway.


Given that the only 600 kg aircraft which can be opted out of the Basic Regulation under Art. 2(8) are those which are not already certified as CS-LSA, it would be far preferable for such aircraft to be termed 'National LSA' and for the UK to adopt its own Modular LAPL which would facilitate NPPL (Microlight) to Part-FCL licence conversion. That way the current upgrade block could be lifted and would also enable 'Microlight' pilots to fly all 600 kg aircraft, not just those permitted under Art2(8), provided that a simple differences training requirement was established.

Don't expect much to change very quickly, if at all, as Johnson's folly of intending the UK to leave EASA will cause significant problems further up the food chain and these will of necessity take priority.
User avatar
@JackHoare - there's an old adage which starts: "If it flies, floats or..."

Anyway, it's usually cheaper to rent. Cheap aeroplanes are like cheap boats and they say a boat is a hole in the water into which one throws money.

I cannot imagine a way in which buying an aeroplane to learn in would make more economic sense than renting. I am always happy to be proved wrong, of course, but no-one has yet done that in thirty-odd years.

Microlights may be different for all I know but I don't get the feeling that you're interested in them anyway.
By Cessna571
Hi Jack,

it’s the other way round, it’s definitely more expensive to RUN an aircraft than it is to hire one.

It’s not like a car. All the cost is in running the thing, not buying it. It’s why they are cheap to buy.

When you hire, you are sharing all the fixed costs.

Every 50 hours you have a 50 hour check.
Every 100 hours you have the full check that usually costs ~£5k.

We had one which was £15k once on a PA28. (No really)

Aircraft are cheap to buy, expensive to run, unless they are permit aircraft.
But if you are new to aviation, you’ll have enough on your plate just learning to fly without becoming a LAA member and learning how to maintain aircraft. That’s a learning curve all of it’s own.

When you drive an old banger around you bought cheaply and haven’t maintained and it breaks down, you pull over.

It’s different in the sky, there are no lay-bys, the mindset has to be different.

Anyway, it’s definitely cheaper to rent for the 50 hours or so that your training will take.

After that, shares in aircraft can give the best of both worlds.
JAFO liked this