The CAA NPPL(M) is a Microlight Licence which has been designed specifically for Microlights by the BMAA, both fixed wing and weightshift. The hours required are 25hrs of which 10 must be solo. Of course in reality it takes a little longer. 30 - 45 hours would be the norm. It is an excellent licence as it concertrates solely on microlight flying. When you are awarded with a CAA NPPL(M), you can also train on Group A aircraft for an extra 9 hours and be awarded a NPPL(A).
I researched flying schools North and South of the boarder before begining my training. I had no interest in Group A as I found the ownership costs prohibative, and I wanted to own an Aircraft rather than hire. Therefore Microlights were for me. Again the cost of a Microlight Licence South of the boarder was more expensive, and the training was comparable to a group A licence.
I trained with Kernan Aviation in Tandragee and was awarded with my licence after 5 months, from October to February, because of my training in Kernan I can land into the tightest of strips without any problems.
Once awarded with the NPPL(M) from the CAA and BMAA I completed a Radio Telephony Licence and already had a Class II Medical. I then validated my UK NPPL(M) with the IAA.
The Microlighting community is very strong in Ireland, there is no boarder, pilots both North and South meet most weekends during the summer at BBQ's and Flyins. If you are training in Ireland on Microlights, join the NMAI, it is an association which represents Microlight pilots. A bimonthly Newsletter is sent out to all members, Flyins are organised during the summer. An up to date diary can be found on the website , where all flyins for the upcoming year can be found. The NMAI also organise events, last year they organised the Island Hop which was a great success , 35 Microlights flew from Birr to the Arann Islands and back. It was an amazing day. Of course it will be happening again next year. Also next year the NMAI are organising a flyout from Ireland to the Microlight Trade Fair in Popham, in the UK. Many Microlights are already signed up for the Adventure. The NMAI also have a special insurance scheme with Onrisk which is available only to NMAI members. The NMAI are also part of the EASA discussion groups, and are working hard at a European and World level for the representation of Irish Microlight Pilots.
So again, if you are already a Qualified Microlight Pilot, or are in the very exciting traing phase, Join the NMAI.
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