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The latest microlight statistics

The 2021 microlight instructor seminar was held virtually on 22nd March. The latest microlight licencing and instructor statistics were presented, and most of them have been reproduced below for your interest.


Licence application statistics:

  • The number of licence applications dropped dramatically in 2020, likely as a result of COVID-19

  • However, the number of licence applications appear to be slightly declining year-on-year

  • Total applications 2002-2020 = 7,438

  • Average applications per year 2002-2020: 391

  • Average applications per year 2010-2020: 361 of which 306 were ab-initio applications

  • Between 2010-2020, 3.7% of applications came from women

NPPL Microlight licence application statistics

Ratio of fixed-wing to flexwing applications:

  • The number of flexwing licence applications continues to decline

Ratio of fixed-wing to flexwing licence applications (NPPL Microlights)

BMAA member status at licence application:

  • The number of licence applicants that were members of the BMAA at the time of application has continued to grow.

  • The number of applicants converted to members by BMAA (since 2015): 107

General statistics about licence applicants (latest):

  • Average age when beginning microlight training: 43

  • Average time taken to complete NPPL: just over two years

  • Average total hours to complete NPPL: 56 hours 27 minutes

  • Average solo hours to complete course: 13 hours 7 minutes

  • Between 2010-2020, 3.7% of applications came from women

  • Average applications returned or delayed for serious errors 2002-2020: 28%

Licence applications that are delayed through errors or omissions:

  • The proportion of licence applications that are delayed is increasing


Percentage of pilot licence applications delayed through errors or omissions on the application

Microlight instructor statistics:

  • The number of new microlight instructors declined in 2020

Microlight Flight Instructor Restricted Certificate statistics
  • The number of instructors upgrading from FI (R) to FI status (commonly referred to as QFI) also declined sharply in 2020

  • The average amount of time spent as an FI(R) before upgrading to FI status: 18 months

Microlight Flight Instructor upgrade applications

Accident statistics:

  • 72% of accidents (26/36) in 2020 were caused by pilot error or human factors.


Other statistics (last updated 2019):

  • 17-20 year olds held the highest proportion of female applications at 9%

  • 17-20 year olds completed with the lowest average flight time

  • 60-70 year olds took on average 72 hours to complete training.

  • 40-50 year olds held the highest proportion of flex-wing applications.

  • Oldest student was 85yrs old.

  • Longest course of training recorded was 30 years

  • Most training completed before application was 315 hours 25 mins

  • 5.5% of applicants take more than 100 hours.


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Unknown member
Apr 19, 2021

Very interesting stats, however the bmaa’s insistence That syndicate members must all be BMAA members will slant the figures. I would like to know about the decline in flexwing instructors if you have the stats.

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