Learn to Fly

MicroLight Training

A licence is required – titled NPPL Microlight licence, 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.

You will also 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 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 ½ 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 minimum’s and do not guarantee a pass, everyone learns at different rates and times may vary. Safety is of course the primary requirement. However anyone with determination and a little enthusiastic application should be able to ‘win their wings’.

Medical Requirements

A  self declaration of fitness form must be completed with the CAA online.   Official training can commence from as young as 14 years of age with solo flights from 16 years of age. There is no upper age limit provided that you can pass the medical requirements – although learning new skills will undoubtedly take a little longer.

Validity Periods

When the licence is applied for you must have passed the GST, completed the navigation requirement and flown at least 10 hours solo in the preceding 9 months. The written exams must be passed within 24 months of applying for the licence.

Training Syllabus Summary

Exercise No

Exercise Description


Aircraft Familiarisation


Preparation for flight and action after


Air Experience


Effects of Controls




Straight and Level






Medium Level Turns


Climbing and Descending turns


Slow Flight



Exercise No Exercise Description
11 Spin Awareness
12 Take off and climb to downwind
13 The circuit approach and landing
14 Advanced Turning
15 Unusual Attitudes
16A Forced Landings with/without power
16B Operation at minimum level
17A First Solo
17B Solo circuit and local area consolidation
17C Dual revision for GFT
18 Pilot Navigation

The solo requirement for the full licence is a minimum of 20 hours


Tuition Costs

There are two general routes to follow for training:-

  • Using the school aircraft
  • Using your own aircraft

Using 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 if you are hooked, having your own aircraft to train on will save some money and your aircraft is always available – at times a school aircraft may not be. This is most useful during the solo stage of your flying training.

Training Fees

For information on Tuition fees and Pricing please visit one of our partners Websites below.

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.

Sunbird Sky – FRTOL Training & Examinations

Booking Lessons

Each flying lesson is booked as a two hour time slot. This allows for one hour flying and time for briefing, aircraft preparation and de briefing etc. In order for you to book the day and time of your choice it is advisable to book as far ahead as possible – especially for intense / full time courses. Weekends are naturally the most popular times and tend to get booked up further ahead than week days. Some times there are cancellations, so it is often worth a phone call if you find yourself available at short notice.

In order to be fair to everyone the slots are for specific times. If for instance the weather is unsuitable during your slot time then we endeavour to find you another slot if possible, but you may not get to fly. It is worth a call before setting off to the airfield to check on the weather suitability, aircraft serviceability and staff illness. If the weather is unsuitable then you may take your time slot for ground school as required instead. 

We ask that if for some reason you have to cancel that you let us know as soon as possible so that we can offer your slot to someone else. Late cancellation or failure to turn up, will result in a cancellation fee being charged – beware!  We also ask you 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 being shortened.

Refunds: we normally only  offer refunds in extenuating circumstances, i.e. Medical incapacitation, loss of job etc. We ask that you do not pay a course fee unless you are sure that you will take the lessons. Refunds will be calculated with lessons at standard rates, less membership fees. An admin charge may be levied, and in the case of a decision to terminate training when a series of lessons have been booked for specific times, a late cancellation fee may be applicable.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.