Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a licence to fly a Microlight or a Gyrocopter?

Yes. You must have a recognised licence to fly any type of aircraft within Australia.

How much time will it take me to get my licence in a microlight?

The Hang Gliding Federation of Australia (HGFA), our governing body, insists on a minimum of 20 hours instruction before a licence may be issued.

Students with other aviation experience would be able to achieve licence standards in minimum hours. The average student will reach licence standard in about 25 hours.

How much time will it take me to get my licence in a gyrocopter?

For Ab-Initio studends, there is a regulatory requirement of a minimum 20 hours of training which includes a minimum of 17 hours dual, and a minimum of 5 hours solo flying. Of course, there is also the necessary straightforward written exams to be passed as well.

For holders of a fixed-wing or ultralight Pilot Certificate, the training requirements are reduced significantly taking into account their previous experience and require a minimum of 5 hours. Usually it takes about 10 to 15 hours and the mandatory wrtten exams to pass in order to complete the conversion. Generally their endorsements such as cross country and radio are fully recognised by ASRA.

Full details of the requirements can be found in the ASRA Operations Manual via our Links area. http://www.asra.org.au/requirements-to-fly.php

What are the realistic costs involved in getting a licence?

Instruction costs are set out on a separate sheet and much of your overall total cost will depend on whether you will be using your own aircraft or the Instructors trike. However, it is realistic to allow for a total of approximately $5,000.

For comparison, a General Aviation (GA) licence to fly a single engine Cessna-type aircraft will cost in excess of $9,500.

Is there much study involved in gaining a licence to fly?

There is some study involved and your Instructor is only too willing to help you.

You will be required to pass a Pre-Solo exam, a Radio Operators exam and a Basic Aeronautical Knowledge (BAK) exam prior to gaining your licence.

How do I learn the theory required?

Theory is covered in a number of ways. Your Instructor will discuss some topics as you fly and some will be treated in a pre-flight and post-flight briefing.

There will be some theory lessons to attend and you will be encouraged to purchase or borrow some books, which cover the full range of theory requirements.

Your Instructor will guide you in the selection of reading material.

Do I need to be physically strong to fly a trike or a gyrocopter?

Manipulating the control frame on a requires no more then average dexterity or physical strength.

Worldwide, there are many female pilots who can attest that only minimal physical strength is required.

Will I need a medical examination before I can get a licence?

No. Only medical requirements beyond those required for the holding of an Australian Driver’s licence.

However, before you can be granted a passenger-carrying endorsement, you must pass a physical examination conducted by a properly licensed aviation medical practitioner.

Just how safe are Microlight's in comparison to conventional aircraft?

Microlight’s are a safe form of aviation as are gyrocopters. However the pilot should always fly within their means and within the placard of limitations.

The simplicity, superior design and only the highest quality of manufacturing provide an aircraft that is not safe but also the most fun to fly!

Must I join the HGFA, RAA or ASRA?

Yes. Anyone that flies a Microlight within Australia must become a member with a registered organisation.

Why must I join an organisation?

The organisations that register aircraft and licence pilots look after the interests of recreational fliers across Australia. Public Liability Insurance is covered with every member.

Do I need to buy my own Aircraft?

For your early training, you will be using your Instructor’s aircraft.

Once you have progressed to solo standard, your Instructor may allow you to continue using his or her aircraft. However, he or she may need that aircraft trike other students. Now is the time to consider purchasing your own trike.

How much does it cost to buy a a microlight or gyrocopter?

New two-stroke microlights trikes start from $17.000 for a single seater $35,000 for a two seater and can be optioned up to more than $40,000. New four- stroke trikes are available for approximately $60,000-$70,000. Gyrocopters start around $70,000

There are some second-hand microlights and guyrocopters available but do your research there are some lemons you do not need to buy!

Your Instructor can be relied upon to give you the best advice about any decision to purchase an aircraft new or used.

What are the on-going operating costs?

Microlights generally use about 14 to 20 litres of fuel per hour for 2 stroke engines and 9 to 12 litres of fuel per hour for the 4 stroke engines and we allow $10 per hour for maintenance.

Gyrocopters are a little more thirsty with similar maintenance costs.

Who carries out the maintenance and service requirements on Microlights?

Trike owners are allowed to carry out their own work under the supervision of their Chief Flying Instructor (CFI).

What sort of weather is required to fly a Microlight or Gyrocopter?

Microlights are one of the lightest weight aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of only 450kg. They are most fun to fly when there’s less wind but they do have some awesome design features and stability to be able to withstand it when the winds get a little bit stronger.

Gyrocopters due to their low wing loading can handle stronger wind and turbulence more so than most light GA aircraft and as much as a small helicopter.

How long does it take to rig/de-rig a Microlight for transport?

Experienced owners take no more than 45 minutes to pack the wing in its carry bag and put the trike base onto a trailer ready for transport.

At your destination it will take another 45 minutes to re-assemble the trike and be ready for your first flight.

Can I fly my microlight anywhere?

Once you have gained your cross-country endorsement, you may fly anywhere in Australia except into controlled air space.

Controlled air space is the area around international airports where there is a manned control tower and primary radar.