Learn to Fly

Whether you are new to flying or a proficient pilot looking for advanced skills training, Exodus is the place to come. Led by Rob Grimwood, winner of the World Air Games and multiple World, European & UK champion, with experienced competition pilots Richard Higton and Edward Warnell, you'll be inspired by their enthusiasm and benefit from their vast array of experience and skill. Check them out here

Much of this section is aimed at the newcomer to microlight flying. But, if you're looking to extend your flying skills or thinking about passing on your knowledge and passion to new pilots, please take a look at our pages on 'Advanced Flying Skills Courses' and 'Instructor Courses'.

Get your pilot's licence

At Exodus we train for a NPPL Microlight licence following the BMAA (British Microlight Aircraft Association) syllabus, which is approved by the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority). The minimum requirement is 25 hours total flying time, including 10 hours of solo flight and two qualifying cross-country flights of at least 40 nautical miles.

You can also qualify for a Restricted Licence that restricts you to local area flying only. This requires just 15hrs total flying (7 hours solo) with no navigation elements and can be a useful way of getting airborne for those with a limited budget or time.

For either licence, you will need to pass 5 multiple-choice exams, although most of the knowledge is covered in the pre- and post-flight briefings and during lessons, with the rest covered in special ground school sessions. The exams cover:

  • Principles of flight
  • Air Law
  • Navigation
  • Meteorology
  • Human Factors

Age and Medical Requirements

Put simply, if you are fit enough to drive a car you are fit enough to fly. But, you can do it all before you learn to drive as training can begin at 14 years of age with solo flights from 16. All that is needed is an online declaration of fitness (here) that is valid until you are 70 and can be renewed every 3 years after.


What's involved

Training is on a one-to-one basis in 'two hour' slots: each hour of flying being accompanied by thorough pre- and post-flight briefings with your instructor. As everyone learn at their own speed, each training programme is individually tailored to the student’s advancing skill levels until the student is able to fly competently without input by the instructor. Solo flights can then be carried out under close supervision from the instructor on the ground.

At all times, our emphasis is not just that all our students achieve their licence: it is on ensuring that we produce the best and safest pilots.

Lessons are offered on both school aircraft and a students’ own aircraft. We also offer conversion courses to allow you to fly both fixed and flex wing aircraft.

Flex wing training

For flex wing training, we provide helmet, headset, flying suit and gloves. You are advised to wear suitable clothes for being outside for the time of year. Trousers and flat shoes are a necessity. In a flex wing aircraft the pilot sits in the front and the passenger in the back. The aircraft has been adapted so that the student flies from the front and the instructor is able to fly from the back seat when required. Students begin flying from the very first lesson, gradually flying for more of the flight as skills level increases.

3-axis instruction

In the Nynja and Eurostar, the pilot and passenger sit side by side. It has a dual control system so the aircraft can be flown from either seat and control of the aircraft passes between student and instructor.

Headsets are provided and the school's planes are fitted with very efficient heaters, so flying all-year-round in shirtsleeves in entirely possible!

Tuition Costs

Further information on the costs involved may be found on our special Flight Training Costs, which is always kept up-to-date.


The Syllabus

Phase One: Familiarisation Exercises and Foundation
Exercise 1 - Air Experience - The First Lesson
Exercise 2 - Aircraft Familiarisation
Exercise 3 - Preparation for Flight and Action After
Exercise 4 - Effects of Controls
Exercise 5 - Taxiing

Phase Two: Basic Flight Manoeuvres
Exercise 6 - Straight & Level Flight
Exercise 7 - Basic Climbing and Descending
Exercise 8 - Performance Climbing and Descending
Exercise 9a - Turning Flight
Exercise 9b - Climbing and Descending Turns

Phase Three: Slow Speed Handling
Exercise 10a - Critically Slow Airspeed
Exercise 10b - Stalling
Exercise 11 - Spin Avoidance

Phase Four: Take-Off, Landing and Circuit Flying
Exercise 12 – Circuit Training
Exercise 13 - Advance Take-Off & Landing Technique

Phase Five: Advanced Handling
Exercise 14 - Advanced turning
Exercise 15 - Unusual Attitudes

Phase Six: Operational Hazards, Emergency Procedures and Unexpected/Unplanned Occurrences
Exercise 16a - Forced landings
Exercise 16b - Precautionary Landings
Exercise 16c - Operation at Minimum Level
Exercise 16b - Action in the Event of Fire
Exercise 16e - Systems Failures

Phase Seven: Solo Flight Training
Exercise 17a - First solo
Exercise 17b - Solo Circuit, Local Area Orientation & General Handling Consolidation

Phase Eight: VFR Navigation
Exercise 18a - Pre-Flight Planning
Exercise 18b - En-Route Navigation, Departure & Arrival Procedures
Exercise 18c - Navigation at Minimum Level and/or in Deteriorating Conditions
Unsure of Position & Lost Procedures

Phase Nine: Preparation for the General Skills Test and Ground Oral Exam
Exercise 19a - Dual revision for GST
Exercise 19b - Revision for the Aeroplane Technical Part 2 Ground Oral Exam
Exercise 19c - Documentation Review

Human Factors, Aerotechnical, Airlaw, Aviation Meteorology & Navigation

Radio Licence

Many people are surprised to find out that radios are not 'mandatory' in microlights. Airfields throughout the UK accept non-radio aircraft, but most pilot's do equip their aircraft with radios. Students training with Exodus will quickly become familiar with the calls involved in flying from Plaistows and are encouraged to take and pass the radiotelephony courses necessary to hold an operator’s licence. Exodus can arrange a course run by a very experienced local flight instructor and examiner covering both the theory and a short practical exam.


Exodus Airsports Flying Club Membership

By law, all student microlight pilots must be a member of the same flying club as their instructor.

For your first introductory lesson, this is included free of charge. Should you carry on with flight training, full annual membership costs £50.

Membership benefits include:

  • FREE take offs and landings at Plaistows Airfield
  • 5% discount on Ozee flying suits, gloves, and accessories
  • 5% discount on Lynx and MicroAvionics headsets and helmets
  • 5% discount on parts required for maintenance and/or repair, including oil
  • Special prices on new microlight purchases