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Posted 11/09/2023 in Buying Guides

How to choose the right microlight or light aircraft.

How to choose the right microlight or light aircraft.

Entering the world of aviation is an exciting endeavor. Whether you're pursuing a lifelong dream of becoming a pilot or simply seeking a thrilling hobby, you'll need to choose between different types of aircraft. The most common options for beginners are microlights and light aircraft. So, how do you decide which is right for you? In this article, we’ll guide you through the key considerations to help you make an informed choice.

Define Your Goals

Before diving into specifications and models, it's crucial to define what you hope to achieve:    

  • Leisure Flights: If your main objective is leisurely flying at lower altitudes, a microlight is a good fit.    
  • Professional Use: If you're thinking of commercial use or long-haul flights, a light aircraft might be more suitable. 
  • Training: Are you looking to learn the ropes before scaling up? Both microlights and light aircraft offer training programs.

Consider the Budget


  • Purchase Cost: Starts at approximately $15,000.    
  • Maintenance: Generally lower.   
  • Fuel Costs: More economical.

Light Aircraft:

  • Purchase Cost: Starts at around $100,000.    
  • Maintenance: Significantly higher.    
  • Fuel Costs: More substantial.

Look at the Specifications    

  • Weight: Microlights weigh less than 450 kg, while light aircraft can weigh up to 12,500 lbs.    
  • Speed: Light aircraft generally offer higher speeds.    
  • Range: Light aircraft can cover greater distances.    
  • Passenger Capacity: Microlights usually seat 1-2 people; light aircraft can seat up to 19.

Licensing Requirements

Microlight License: Requires fewer training hours and simpler exams. Private Pilot License (PPL): Requires more comprehensive training and exams.

Test Fly Models

Always test fly multiple models before making a purchase. This will give you a firsthand experience of the aircraft's performance, handling, and comfort level.

Reviews and Recommendations

Look for reviews and get recommendations from seasoned pilots. Online forums, aviation schools, and industry publications are excellent sources.

Safety Measures

Both types of aircraft adhere to strict safety guidelines. However, ensure any aircraft you consider comes with all safety measures intact and meets federal guidelines.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the biggest advantage of a microlight?

Lower cost and simpler operation make microlights an excellent choice for beginners.

Can I upgrade from a microlight to a light aircraft later?

Absolutely, many pilots start with microlights and move to light aircraft as they gain more experience and certifications.

How do I finance an aircraft purchase?

You can explore loan options or join an aviation club to share the costs.


Choosing between a microlight and a light aircraft comes down to your goals, budget, and what kind of flying experience you desire. With this guide, you'll be well-equipped to make a decision that ensures many happy hours in the sky.