Advanced Skills Courses

Here at Swift Light Flight we are working to make your flying more interesting, challenging and rewarding by providing additional training once you have achieved your licence. All too often, once you have gained your licence and completed a few flights to other airfields, it soon starts to get a bit ‘stale’. We can help you add to those skills you have already acquired. Come along and enjoy the challenge of flying out to smaller farm strips, together with the necessary pre-flight planning. We guarantee you’ll be tired but thrilled at the end of this short course. It has the added benefit of satisfying the training requirement for your NPPL revalidation.

Farm strip skills

Strip skills course – fixed or flexwing

1.5 days, includes 1 x overnight accommodation in large static caravan on site. The caravan is six-berth, so bring your friends or family too. There’s plenty to see and do around Shobdon if flying doesn’t appeal to them – see here.


Begins afternoon on day 1

Afternoon session 1 – briefing for Shobdon and familiarisation circuits using northside grass runway (long, wide and easy): 45 mins airtime

Session 2 – briefing and circuits using southside grass runway (shorter, narrower and more challenging) : airtime 1 hr

Total airtime : 1 hr 45 mins

Briefing for away landings inc runway orientation and altimeter setting


Day 2

Summarise briefing, Q & A and PPR for destinations

Pre-flight inspection and away landings at several farm strips in Herefordshire, Wales, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire – as time and conditions allow

Take packed lunch in pod bag/cockpit storage.

3.5 hours airtime


£650 using school fixed wing aircraft. Includes the one night accommodation and tea/coffee and packed lunch on Day 2.

£620 using school flexwing aircraft. Includes the one night accommodation and tea/coffee and packed lunch on Day 2.

Your own aircraft can be used if suitable – contact us here to discuss.

Accommodation can be arranged for the second night if required at cost.

 

Pricing 2018

swift light flight logo for pricing

Here are our charging rates and pricing for 2018. Remember that the hourly rate for flight training relates to aircraft time, so the pre-flight briefing and post-flight debriefing are included at no extra cost.

Hourly rate for dual training in Fixed wing:  £115 – Ikarus C42 or Thruster

Hourly rate for dual training in Flexwing:  £110 – GT450

Supervised solo in fixed or flexwing: same rate as dual training

Dual/solo training in own aircraft: £75/hr

Ground school: £30/hr

Examinations: £25 each

General Skills Test and Ground Oral Examination: £200  plus aircraft hire at £75/hr where applicable

Pilot revalidation: 1 hour at £100 (in school fixed or flexwing) £75 in own aircraft (if suitable).  Includes Shobdon landing fee – see details here

Permit renewals: from £100

 

 

Pilot Revalidation

To revalidate an NPPL by experience, a microlight pilot must spend a minimum of 1 hour with a flight instructor in every 24 month revalidation period.

We know that many licensed pilots are apprehensive about having to fly with an instructor, but it’s all part of the CAA’s requirements, so why not make it as enjoyable (dare we say ‘fun’) and useful as possible.

We are happy to fly with you in your own aircraft (provided it is suitable), or you can choose to fly in one of our flexwing or fixed wing aircraft. We’ll sit down with you and discuss your needs and wants, and any concerns you might have. For prices, go here

Better to come to Shobdon and spend your instructional hour with one of our sympathetic instructors than to leave it too long and have to revalidate with an examiner doing a GST all over again!  Remember, your required instructional hour can be arranged anytime during your 24 month revalidation period. You could even come on our ‘Strip Skills’ course and have some real fun while you were complying with the training requirement.

Both microlight instructors at Shobdon are ‘Revalidation Examiners’ and are authorised to sign-off your licence or logbook.

To encourage pilots to spend their revalidation hour with us at Shobdon, we will pay your landing fee*.

*One-off landing fee, fixed or flexwing, when undertaking a full hour instructional flight with Swift Light Flight. For more information, please contact us here.

Microlight Pilot Training

One of the greatest thrills anyone can experience is to pilot their own aircraft and take members of their family or friends with them. Learning to fly comes a close second! The training is great fun and you’ll make new flying friends for the rest of your life. Better still, flying microlights costs just a fraction of the expense normally associated with aviation.

Here at Swift Light Flight we have two CAA approved instructors who can train you to become competent ‘microlight’ pilots through the entire NPPL (National Private Pilot’s Licence) course up to ‘examination’ standard, together with the necessary ground school training and written exams.I'm having fun training to fly

We train aspiring pilots on modern fixed and flexwing aircraft – you just have to choose which one takes your fancy here.

To help you decide, you can split a 1 hour experience flight between two aircraft. It isn’t practical to split a 30 minute flight between two aircraft – by the time you’ve done your checks and taxiied down to the runway, it’ll be time to come back!

One of the advantages of learning to fly microlights, when compared with larger light aircraft,  is the reduced training syllabus requirement. That’s not to say standards are lower – simply that there is no Instrument Flight Training involved, which reduces both air time and ground school study.

Flexwing training

A copy of the NPPL Microlight syllabus is here.

There is also a recently introduced ‘self-declaration’ on-line medical procedure, so no need to be signed-off by your GP. In essence, if you are fit to drive your car, then you are deemed fit to fly – link to NPPL website here.

Although you will see we charge by the hour, that is actually just the flight time. A lesson includes a pre-flight briefing and post-flight debrief all included, so a 1 hour lesson actually takes about 2 hours – longer when it includes teaching the pre-flight aircraft inspection – but the student only pays the 1 hour flight time price, so it represents excellent value for money!

So, what are you waiting for? Treat yourself or a friend to an experience flight by buying a gift voucher here – then you’ll really have something to look forward to and, afterwards, memories for a lifetime!

 

Gaining Your Pilot’s Licence

Details of the NPPL (M) licence are here, and the NPPL Microlight Training Syllabus is here. To give you a quick summary of the training requirements, the minimum hours needed to obtain an NPPL microlight pilot’s licence are 15hrs flight training, of which 7 hrs must be solo. There are 5 written (multiple choice) examinations, plus a ‘General Skills’ flight test and a ‘Ground Oral Examination’ which is like an interview where you are asked technical questions about the aircraft you have flown during training.

However, that is called a ‘restricted’ licence and means that you cannot initially take a passenger with you, and your flying is limited to certain weather conditions and distance from your take-off point.

An ‘unrestricted’ licence requires a minimum of 25 flight training hours of which 10 must be solo. In addition, there is a requirement (within the 25 hr total) for 5 hrs navigation training, 3 of which must be solo, incorporating 2 cross-country flights where you land out at other airfields. There are also the 5 written exams, General Skills Test and Ground Oral Examination. That might sound rather daunting, but in fact it’s really great fun and we are here to help you through the whole process.

Once completed and your licence in your hands, you have ‘the keys to the sky’.

SPOILER ALERT

Can you really do it in those minimum times? Probably not. If you have an extensive background in gliding or hang gliding, you might. Likewise, if you have a background in flying from a young age, such as Air Cadets, you stand a good chance learning the principles quite quickly.  Flexwing Instructor Steve Hannaford says “There are certainly pilots I have met who have achieved their licences in 25 – 30 hrs. Unfortunately, age can be a significant factor in your speed of learning, particularly with the skills needed for the landing technique. I have been told, as a guide, you need one hour of training for each year of your age.

To give you an example, I achieved my PPL for single engined light aircraft in 1990, when I was 36 years old. I was solo in 7 hours and gained the licence in 44 hrs (the minimum requirement then was 42 hrs). I started my flexwing flight training when I was 62 years old. It took over 20 hrs to go solo and over 50 hrs to gain the licence.

BUT I was a much better pilot for doing the additional hours, and was far more capable of dealing with difficult situations than when I held my previous Private Pilot’s Licence. During my flexwing training I became quite frustrated and even thought of giving up, such was my slow progress. However, I now look back on my training as some of the best flying times of my life. My message to you is to treasure each and every training hour, and if it takes longer than you hoped, don’t start ‘hour counting’, it is very destructive, takes the fun out of your training and dramatically slows your advancement. If you budget for an hour for each year of your age (bearing in mind the minimum hours required), that will be a good start.”

The written examinations are straightforward and the study is enjoyable. The 5 subjects are: Air Law (you need to achieve a pass in this examination before we let you go solo), Human Performance Limitations, Aircraft Technical, Meteorology, and Navigation. There is one book that covers most of the syllabus, and you’ll be surprised how much you learn. We also provide ground school tuition, and you will need instruction on navigation techniques as a minimum – we don’t want you getting lost!

So, go ahead and buy an experience flight here. You know you’ll be in good hands with flying instructors who can take you from your first experience flight right through your training until you have that wonderful NPPL (M) licence in your hands. Then we can help you acquire your own aircraft or join a syndicate and share one – and it doesn’t stop there. We are on hand to help and advise you as you grow as a pilot. We can provide advanced training, aircraft maintenance and permit renewals, as well as your pilot revalidation every 24 months.   Continue reading “Gaining Your Pilot’s Licence”

Our Instructors

So, you want to learn to fly!  Our Instructors are here to make sure you achieve your ambitions and have the most fun while you are on your journey. Here’s who you will meet at Swift Light Flight, as well as plenty of other happy microlight flyers at Shobdon Airfield.

Steve Eyers

Steve Eyers - Chief Flying InstructorChief Flying Instructor – Fixed and Flexwing

Following a brief period managing a café theatre in London’s west end, Steve entered partnership in a contemporary furniture design making business. Following a move to Shropshire with the furniture business, Steve learnt to fly, qualifying for an NPPL microlight licence in 2004

“ I eventually decided to follow the dream of becoming a microlight flying instructor in 2009” and took up an assistant instructor job at Shobdon

“As often seems to happen to me, and almost on my first day as an assistant flying instructor, I was offered ownership of the school. As the only other alternative was not to have a job, I took the offer”

Following his upgrade to FI and the addition of ground examiner, Steve added a Flexwing conversion and started to instruct on the GT 450 in addition to the 3-axis machines. Steve also holds a JAR FCL although he says this is rarely used.

Steve is a BMAA inspector and has received IRMT training to work on Rotax 912 engines


Steve Hannaford

Steve Hannaford - Flexwing InstructorFlying Instructor – Flexwing

Steve (or ‘other Steve’ as he is known) had a fire service career spanning 15 years  and was then a forensic fire investigator until his recent retirement.

He gained his first Private Pilot’s Licence in 1990 flying Piper Cherokees. In 2016, Steve decided that flying microlights, and particularly flexwings, was the way he wanted to go in the future, and so he gained his NPPL (M) from scratch and then his Instructor Certificate for flexwing flying.

Over the past 40 years Steve has been an instructor in the fire service, a lecturer on fire investigation techniques, and a tutor to aspiring Expert Witnesses on their role to the courts, so no surprise that he would want to become a flying instructor!