Swift Light Flight is a Microlight Flight Training School and Club based at Shobdon Airfield, set in the beautiful countryside of Herefordshire. Whether it’s flight training you are looking for, or an exciting air experience flight for yourself or as a gift, look no further than Swift Light Flight!
Shobdon is a relaxed and friendly place to learn to fly and we welcome aspiring microlight pilots. The airfield is sufficiently busy with all types of aviation to give our students an appreciation of larger, more procedural airfields, but don’t worry – we won’t drop you in the deep end! We specialise in taking new students and showing them the delights of learning to fly, and gradually you will become more and more proficient until the day we wave you off on your own.
Firstly, for a description of microlight aircraft, go here. We give lessons and experience flights in both fixed wing and flexwing microlight aircraft
We deliver Pilot Training to a very high standard complying with the Microlight Training Syllabus for the National Private Pilots Licence (NPPL). We welcome student pilots who have never flown before. For experienced pilots, we offer Type Conversions, Differences Training, Advanced Courses and Pilot Revalidation, with safety being a high priority in all microlight training. We currently offer training on fixed wing Ikarus C42b, Thruster T600N and flexwing P&M GT450 912 aircraft – see here.
Modern Microlights – What are they like?
We are often asked how far can you fly in a microlight aircraft? You might be surprised to learn that modern microlights can cruise at 80-100mph and have a range of several hundred miles at a time. Both fixed and flexwing aircraft are regularly flown across to Europe by their enthusiast pilots – often in groups going on holiday together or to an aviation event. In 1998 Brian Milton famously flew a flexwing microlight around the world!
More modestly, it is perfectly possible to fly from Shobdon to any other UK airfield that admits microlights (no, not Heathrow) or indeed across the channel to France – it would need a little planning, and you’d need to make a fuel stop (as you would in your car). Modern microlights can use normal petrol from a filling station (called ‘Mogas’ in aviation terms) or UL91 available at many aerodromes. Typical fuel consumption is around 9 – 14 litres per hour and you may have a 60 – 70 litre fuel tank – and bear in mind you can usually ‘go as the crows flies’, or at least take a far simpler route than going by road. As an example, it is straightforward to fly from Shobdon to the Isle of Wight for lunch, and be back for a late afternoon tea! No traffic jams – just the freedom of the sky.
Fixed or Flexwing?
It’s a difficult decision. You can try an experience flight in both and then make up your mind. Briefly, the fixed wing aircraft is generally very similar to a ‘conventional’ light aircraft in both looks and performance. In fact, many customers are surprised to find that our Ikarus C42 is a microlight at all – it just looks like a ‘normal’ aeroplane.
In contrast, the flexwing is very different. It is a more visceral experience. You are closer to the wind and in direct contact with the wing. you can really ‘feel’ the freedom that flexwing flying brings. However, it does not have creature comforts! it is quite cramped for two and the very necessary flying suit and helmet can put some potential flyers off the idea. It still has ample performance and range, is capable of over 100mph and is economical to run. Ultimately, it really depends upon what you want to gain from your flying – both are exciting – the difference is similar to comparing a car with a motorcycle.
Pilot training is great fun, but a serious business that requires commitment from both student and instructor, and some study that we will guide you through. We are proud to take would-be flyers and make them into safe and competent pilots perfectly able to take a passenger with them to wherever they want to fly – and get home again.
Pilot training courses are tailored to our student’s needs and abilities. We train aspiring pilots according to the NPPL (M) training syllabus provided by the BMAA and approved by the CAA – see details here. Accommodation is available on site with a café and bar. We can provide a complete NPPL (M) licence training course on fixed wing or flexwing aircraft, as well as training package offers, including accommodation.
Will I have to use the radio?
Having to learn to use radio communication puts off some aspiring pilots. Whilst it is true to say you do not have to fly with a radio fitted to the aircraft, the scope of your potential destinations is severely restricted without. We will not expect you to use the radio during the early stages of your training. Gradually, as you become more proficient and your ‘workload’ decreases, we will introduce your radio messages. Ultimately, you can achieve your radio operator’s licence alongside your pilot licence with our help.
Gift Vouchers and Experience Flights
Book an exciting experience flight today for yourself or a friend and start your new life in the air – go to our Gift Voucher page here. The time you spend with us on your experience flight can go towards the total hours required for your licence. Go here for what to expect on your Experience Flight.
And once you have your Licence?
To help keep the cost of microlight flying to a minimum, Swift Light Flight has a number of syndicate aircraft options, so you can fly as soon as you have your licence – go to our Contact Us page here to make enquiries.