British Microlight Aircraft Association

Microlighting has taken huge leaps in the 35 years since these aircraft first appeared. Modern weight-shift microlights, derived from the original hang gliders, can reach 100mph in level flight, while carbon fibre fixed-wing microlights can carry two people at up to 150 knots.

At the other end of the scale, footlaunched aircraft (most commonly paramotors) are the simplest, cheapest form of powered aviation. The most recent innovation has seen the deregulation of lightweight singleseat aircraft – which are intrinsically safe due to their low energy – cause a renaissance of interest in design and development.

UK microlight pilots Brian Milton and Colin Bodill have flown all around the world, but just within Britain there is much for microlight pilots to enjoy. The Fly UK Rally takes competitors to all corners of the UK in three days of dawn to dusk flying. The Isle of Wight Rally has become an annual pilgrimage to Sandown and brings those who love the sport together while raising money for charity. Many pilots are happy just to take to the skies on a summer evening and enjoy the simple pleasure of local flying.

Microlighting is also an extremely competitive international sport. Since the first FAI World Championships in 1985, British crews have brought home medals from international competitions to a greater extent than any other nation, with an impressive and unrivalled history of individual and team gold medals. A major factor in this success is the British National League, a series of up to eight competitions held throughout the summer, at which novices fly in the company of World Champions and can quickly learn the skills needed to become a member of the British Microlight Team. Like conventional microlights, the British Paramotor Team is now earning more than its fair share of medals in international competitions.

The sport has developed its own unique style with both factory-built and kit-built aeroplanes. Microlights are a key part of the sport aviation sector in the UK and overseas. While they are small they have proved to be serious and reliable flying machines within the financial reach of
almost everyone. Today there are over 4,000 microlights on the UK register, and the BMAA has some 4,000 members. The Association is also a founder member of the European Microlight Federation, which represents almost 40,000 European microlight pilots and actively works
to protect their interests.

The BMAA provides a wide range of services to its members including processing pilots licence applications and annually revalidating aircraft permits to fly. Its technical office provides design approvals to manufacturers and individuals. Pilot and instructor training is undertaken to a syllabus agreed between the BMAA and CAA.

The BMAA website provides access to a wealth of technical information and details of affiliated clubs and schools.


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