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Posted 10/09/2023 in Flight Training

The basics of microlights and light aircrafts.

The basics of microlights and light aircrafts.

Aviation is a vast and fascinating field, offering a range of options for enthusiasts and pilots alike. Two of the most accessible options are microlights and light aircraft. These smaller aviation categories are perfect for anyone wanting to take their first step into flying. This article delves into the essential basics of microlights and light aircraft.

What Are Microlights?

Microlights, also known as ultralights in the United States, are small aircraft designed to carry no more than two people. They are ideal for short distances and generally fly at lower altitudes. With fewer controls and less complexity, they're an excellent entry point for aspiring pilots.

Features of Microlights    

  • Lighter weight: Less than 450 kg    
  • Simpler controls    
  • Lower running costs
  • Usually one or two-seater    
  • Limited fuel and cargo capacity

What Are Light Aircraft?

Light aircraft are slightly more complex and can carry more people than microlights. They are designed for both short and long-haul flights and can handle higher altitudes.Features of Light Aircraft    

  • Heavier than microlights: usually between 600 kg to 12,500 lbs    
  • More advanced controls    
  • Can carry up to 19 passengers    
  • Broader fuel and cargo capacity   
  • More extensive range of use, including commercial applications


Licensing and Training

Both microlights and light aircraft require specific licenses:    

  • Microlight License: Easier and quicker to attain, usually requiring fewer flight hours.    
  • Private Pilot License (PPL): More rigorous and thorough, including both written and practical exams.

Which One is Right for You?

If you're just getting started and want a less expensive and less complicated experience, a microlight might be your best bet. On the other hand, if you're looking for versatility and the ability to carry more passengers, a light aircraft could be more suitable.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to buy a microlight or light aircraft?

Microlights can start from around $15,000, while light aircraft prices vary widely, starting at approximately $100,000.

Are microlights safe?

Microlights adhere to safety regulations and are generally considered safe when operated responsibly.

Can I fly a microlight without a license?

No, you will need a specific license to operate a microlight.


Microlights and light aircraft serve different needs but offer equally thrilling experiences for aviation enthusiasts. Whether you're looking for a simple joyride or a pathway to a piloting career, understanding the basics can help you make an informed choice.