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 Our Club

The Hampshire Microlight Flying Club was formed in the late 1970s by Mark Henson who became the Chief Flying NetObjects Fusion 12.0Instructor (CFI) of the club and taught many of the current senior club members to fly.
    They were flying lightweight aircraft which were based on the flexwing hang glider design with a small 2 stroke motor attached. Since then the aircraft we fly have improved significantly both in safety and in performance. Modern aircraft are able to cruise in excess of 100mph and have a range of 4 hours or more before needing to be refueled.

The Hampshire Microlight club serves to bring the wealth of experience gained by members of the club over the years together in one place for the benefit of all. Our aim is to promote a friendly and safe environment for members new and old to enjoy the freedom of the skies. GPADE

 Our Aircraft

Microlight aircraft usually sit in one of two camps, Flexwing (Weightshift) aircraft and Fixed wing (3 axis aircraft). There are also some pilots flying autogiro aircraft which are similar to helicopters in appearance.

All microlight aircraft are flying on what is known as a ‘Permit to Fly’. This is a certificate issued annually by the British Microlight Aircraft Association (BMAA) when the aircraft has been examined and test flown by approved inspectors. The permit allows the aircraft owner to fly the aircraft  for recreational purposes only, but it cannot be used to carry fare paying passengers or for any commercial purpose. Most microlight aircraft are maintained by the owner, which significantly reduces running costs, and since one of the attractions of microlight flying is the affordability, this is an essential feature. 

Where We Fly

The Hampshire Microlight club consists of a number of aviation enthusiasts based in and around Hampshire. our official base is Colemore Common, which is a small grass airstrip approximately 5 miles west of Petersfield. very few aircraft are actually based at Colemore though, the rest of us fly from nearby airfields and airstrips, such as Thorney Island, Lee on Solent, and a few private farm strips. We are regular visitors to Sandown Airfield on the Isle of Wight, and other airfields such as Popham, Old Sarum and Headcorn are always popular  destinations. More adventurous pilots may fly to Cornwall, or Wales, or even Scotland and Ireland if the weather allows. There are also some of us who enjoy flights into France and Europe.  

Learning to Fly

To fly a microlight aircraft, the pilot must hold a Pilots Licence for Microlights. This can be a full Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) licence with a microlight rating, or the newer National Private Pilots Licence (NPPL) which restricts the pilot to daytime flights in good weather only. Since most microlight aircraft are only equiped with basic instrumentation, we are unable to fly in cloud or low visibility, and night time flights are not permitted.

Lessons are held at some of our local airfields, with Flexwing aircraft training primarily at Old Sarum near Salisbury. Fixed wing students will find a great range of instructors, based at places like Old Sarum, Popham, Lee on Solent and Headcorn.

under instruction 400Most new pilots need in the region of 40 or 50 hours instruction on type, which will include 10 hours of solo airtime and at least 2 qualifying cross country flights. Pilots also have to pass 5 written exams in subjects such as Navigation, Meteorology and Aircraft Technical.

Although the initial costs are high, the benefits and freedom that the coveted Pilots Licence gives to the holder are well worth the original outlay. Unfortunately there are no easy shortcuts to gaining the licence, Safety is paramount and training should not be rushed.

Some people find that training in Europe has benefits, mainly in that the weather is more reliable, so you are more likely to be able to fly for several days or even weeks consecutively by training outside of the UK. This allows the student to progress more quickly as they don’t have long gaps in their training schedule. If you do train in the UK, you need to accept that the UK weather will undoubtably play its part in the game. It will be frustrating, infuriating sometimes, but we get what we get and learn to put up with it.

Training is carried out all year round. The cold winter months can provide excellent flying conditions, and you will become skilled at wrapping up warm. Summer also can be good, but thermal activity in the height of the day may make the air too rough for the novice pilot to cope with, so early mornings and late evenings become popular.

Once you have your licence, you will need to fly a set number of hours each year to maintain the privileges it affords. Some of these hours will need to be with an instructor, who will make sure your skills are still on form, and you haven’t developed any bad or dangerous habits. The exact number of hours you need vary from time to time and are laid down by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) along with the British Microlight Aircraft Association (BMAA). The rules are there to minimise the risk to pilots and public and must be adhered to. The result is that what was a highly risky activity has become one of the safest forms of transport known to man. It is often said that you are at more risk driving your car to the airfield than you are when you are actually flying.



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