Want to experience the joys of flight but not sure that you want to make the investment of time and money involved in getting a Private Pilot’s Licence? There is an alternative. Australia’s growing microlight community can get you flying your own aircraft for far less than the $25,000 it frequently costs to achieve a PPL from scratch.
Microlights take a variety of forms, but can be commonly separated into powered hang gliders equipped with a flexible Rogallo wing airfoil, and powered parachutes held up by a collapsible parachute and a propeller. Both are most commonly built on a tricycle-shaped fuselage, with room for either a solo pilot or a pilot and one passenger. Both only need a very short runway for take-off and landing due to their low flight speeds and light weights.
A short and fast road to accreditation
Technical details aside, a microlight is an extremely small, three or four-wheeled powered vehicle capable of short (under five hours) flight. They’re fun, simple to learn and easy to fly, making them the perfect introduction for anyone looking to step into a cockpit for the first time. With ranges in the hundreds of kilometres and the legal ability to fly up to 10,000 feet in some areas, they are a fantastic way to experience flight on a budget.
To fly a microlight, you must receive a Recreational Pilot Certificate from the Recreational Aviation Authority. This doesn’t involve nearly the investment of time or money as a Private Pilot’s Licence – generally, total cost will be between $5,000 and $6,000. Prospective pilots must participate in a minimum of 20 hours general flying training, including 5 hours as pilot in command. Even better news, you can start as young as 15 as long as you are declared medically fit (the same standard required for a driver’s licence).
Get a taste for aviation
Microlight flight is the perfect way to dip your toes into piloting. If you’re not certain whether or not flight is for you, many microlight schools offer trial flights. Trust us, once you get up there and see the world from thousands of feet above, you’re going to want more.
Once you’ve made the choice to become a microlight pilot, ensure you have the proper gear every time you take to the air and get the right helmet from Pilot Communications. Send us a message to find out more.