Training for the National Private Pilots Licence

Few things in life beat the sense of freedom and accomplishment that come from learning to fly aircraft and microlights, and taking to the skies whenever you please.

Email today for more information or call us on 02838 841492 and begin your journey towards becoming a pilot.

We all work too hard nowadays and life can be very stressful, it helps to make time for ourselves. We believe that there is nothing like taking to the skies to get away from it all. And doing something you have only dreamed of – like piloting a small aircraft – is an extraordinary achievement. 

This can be you.

Kernan Aviation offers flight training up to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) approved British Microlight Aircraft Association NPPL(M) standard.

It is a legal requirement for both instructors and students to be a member of the same club, which in our case, is the Kernan Valley Flying Club based on our airfield.

All training is carried out by CAA approved instructors and costs £110 per hour.  We allow 2 hour time slots for our training to allow time for pre-briefing and post-briefing.

We offer training on a one-to-one basis at the pace dictated by the student, therefore it is difficult to estimate how many hours it will take to get a licence to fly microlights.  It depends on the following:

  • The weather conditions, because flying is a weather dependant sport but we try to make best use of the suitable days.
  • If you are available to fly during the week, you will be able to avoid busy weekends but you can always book in advance either way.
  • Personal finances usually dictate how often you fly but we would recommend you fly regularly to avoid constant revision.

The NPPL(M) licence requires a minimum of 25 hours, 10 hours of which must be solo.  This is a minimum requirement and we have found that it usually takes an average 35 - 45 hours to get the student to the required level, but each person is different and we move at the pace set by the student.

Instruction hours may be logged towards a licence from 14 years of age, pilots may fly solo from 16 years of age and may hold a licence from 17 years of age. There is no maximum age for a pilot.

Email us today for more information or call us on 02838 841492 for a chat.

As well as flying training each student must pass 5 ground examinations and a General Skills Test before they can attain their licence.  The ground school subjects include:

  • Aviation Law
  • Human Performance Limitations
  • Principles of Flight
  • Aviation Meteorology
  • Aviation Navigation

These examinations are mostly multiple choice and we provide the student with all the books and equipment in our student pack that they will need to pass them.  You can do the examinations one at a time as long as they are all completed before the General Skills Test, only Aviation Law needs to be completed before the student can fly solo.  Ground school is also available to obtain these examinations.

Try not to let ground school put you off getting your licence as you will find it relates directly to what you actually doing in your flying training and therefore is easier to take in.

The General Skills Test (GST) is carried out by one of our CAA approved examiners and everything is available here on our airfield. We are one of the few flying schools here in Ireland to provide this service.

At Kernan Aviation we do our best to accommodate any students who have long distances to travel and when possible two or more slots may be booked on one day. There are local bed & breakfast facilities available if any student wishes to stay overnight.

Email us today for more information or call us on 02838 841492 and begin your journey towards becoming a pilot.

For more information visit the British Microlight Aircraft Association website: or the National Private Pilots Licence website: where you can download the syllabus.

Training Packages

Kernan Aviation also offer 5 and 10 hour training packages, just ring 02838 841492 for information.


Do you need a licence to fly a microlight?

In the UK you need a licence to fly a microlight and in most other countries as well. We now have a new licence called the National Private Pilot’s Licence for Microlights – NPPL M.

The licence is issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to a candidate who has completed the course of training and has passed the required flight and ground examinations.

Who can teach me to fly a microlight?

A licence to fly a microlight can only be granted where tuition has been conducted by the holder of a valid CAA instructor rating and a CAA authorised examiner must conduct your General Skills Test. Our instructors, Examiners and Check Test pilots are approved by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the British Microlight Aircraft Association (BMAA) who have listings of all instructors and examiners.

What does the training involve?

The training requires:

(a)  a minimum of 25 hours flying tuition (you will probably need more than that- see below).

(b)  5 ground exams including Air Law, Navigation, Human Performance & Limitations, Metrology and Air Technical.  Most of these are multi-choice examinations and we supply you with the training and study aids you will need to pass them.

(c)  A General Skills Test carried out by a recognised CAA/BMAA examiner.

Do I need special equipment to learn to fly?

 Yes you do, but we can supply you with a student pack which has all the books, charts etc you will need for your lessons.

What are the medical requirements to obtain a licence?

Before undertaking a course of instruction a declaration of fitness form must be countersigned by your doctor. Medical requirements are based on the standards required for a Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) Group 2 licenses for professional driving (HGV and bus licences etc).

Once I have passed my General Skills Test how do I keep my licence current?

The licence is kept current by flying a minimum of 12 hours over two years which must include 12 take-offs and 12 landings plus a 1 hour flight with an approved instructor.  You also need to have a valid medical and have your licence endorsed by an examiner to confirm your flights.

Can I convert from flex wing to three-axis microlight?

Kernan Aviation offers conversion training from flexwing to three-axis microlight, conversion from nose-wheel to tail wheel as well as to different types of microlight.

Can I just have a trial flight?

Yes, of course. We offer gift vouchers for 20 min, 40mi,  60 min and 3 hour trial flights so that it is possible to try out microlight flying before you commit yourself to lessons. During the flight you will get an opportunity to fly the aircraft (under the watchful eye of the instructor) to see just how easy it is to control. We have no doubt that following this experience you will be hooked!

Is there a minimum age to learn to fly microlights?

Hours can be logged towards a licence from 14 years of age, pilots may fly solo from 16 years of age and may hold a licence from 17 years of age. There is no maximum age for a pilot.

 How much does it cost to learn to fly?

The cost of learning to fly depends on the ability of the student, how often you fly and the weather. The minimum hours required is 25 but the average is between 36 and 40, and at £110 per lesson you need to budget for £4500 for tuition fees. There are additional costs eg club membership fees, BMAA membership, student start-up packs, ground school fees etc of approx £500 giving an approximate budget of £5000.

What is the difference between three axis/fixed wing microlights and weight shift/flexwing microlights?

The difference between these types of aircraft is the method that is used to control them in flight. Three axis aircraft look like a conventional aircraft and have control surfaces like those on a conventional aircraft which are operated by a control stick and pedals making it more suitable for flying in more challenging conditions.

Flexwing aircraft have a pod or trike with a triangular wing and use a system called weightshift, which involves the pilot moving the weight of the trike unit and his own weight to control its speed and direction.

At Kernan Aviation we only use the top-of-the range Ikarus C42 three-axis aircraft which looks like a normal aircraft in design and has a heater to keep you nice and warm whatever the season.

We can also offer conversion training from flexwing to three-axis microlight and from Group A to three-axis microlight.

I live a long distance away, can I stay overnight and book lessons for a couple of days to make it worthwhile?

Intensive courses can be accommodated, 1 day, 2 day etc for those living far away with 2 - 3 hours flying per day. There is a choice of accommodation in the local area if it is needed.