IAA Website - Thursday, October 1, 2020 10:42 PM

What is a Microlight?

Aircraft often known as "microlights" can be defined as one designed with not more than two seats and which has a Maximum Take-Off Mass (MTOM) not exceeding:

  • 300 kg for a single-seater landplane
  • 315 kg for a single-seater landplane equipped with an airframe mounted total recovery parachute system 
  • 450 kg for a two-seater landplane
  • 475 kg for a two-seater landplane equipped with an airframe mounted total recovery parachute system 
  • 330 kg for a single-seater amphibian or floatplane/helicopter
  • 345 kg for a single-seater amphibian or floatplane/helicopter equipped with an airframe mounted total recovery parachute system 
  • 495 kg for a two-seater amphibian or floatplane/helicopter
  • 520 kg for a two-seater amphibian or floatplane/helicopter equipped with an airframe mounted total recovery parachute system 

and for aeroplanes, having the stall speed or the minimum steady flight speed in landing configuration not exceeding 35 knots calibrated air speed (CAS).

Microlight Aeroplane Classes

Microlight aeroplanes come in three different types (referred to as "Classes") ;

(a) Three-axis microlights - these are controlled by conventional ailerons on the wings and elevators and a rudder at the tail;
(b) Weight-shift flexwing microlights - these have a delta shaped hang-glider type wing and are controlled by shifting the aeroplane's centre-of-gravity;
(c) Powered parachute microlights - these fly under a paraglider type canopy wing these have a shrouded propeller (i.e. a protective guard around the propeller which prevents it interfering with the lines attaching the paraglider canopy). See IAA Aeronautical Notice G.13 for information regarding this type of aircraft.

Some of the above microlight classes may be operated in seaplane or amphibian versions

Airworthiness Requirements

An operator shall not permit an aircraft to fly or attempt to fly unless there is in force in respect thereof a Certificate of Airworthiness issued or validated under the law of the state in which the aircraft is registered or, for microlights registered in Ireland, unless a permit in writing (Flight Permit) has been granted by the IAA to fly the aircraft.

Single-seater microlights may avail of the Flight Permit published in IAA Aeronautical Notice A.112 subject to the conditions published thereon.

Otherwise, the National Microlight Association of Ireland Ltd. (NMAI) and the Irish Microlight Association (IMA) are approved by the Irish Aviation Authority to certify maintenance and make recommendations to the IAA for the issue of Flight Permits.

Maintenance may be certified by designated persons authorised by the NMAI, IMA or by other organisations in accordance with IAA AN A15.

More information is available on Airworthiness Advisory Memorandum 06.

Visiting Ireland

It is IAA policy to allow foreign registered aircraft, without an EASA/ICAO Certificate of Airworthiness, operate in Ireland on a temporary basis. Flight Permits, or equivalent, are only valid for operations within the State of Registration. Microlights registered in the European Union are welcome to visit Ireland for up to 28 days per visit without any additional airworthiness documentation. Details on this is available on IAA AN A19.

For longer stays, or for aircraft which do not meet the requirements of the notice, please submit a completed application form AWSD.F.138C to the IAA. For validation of a non-ICAO Pilot Licence/qualification which doesn't meet the criteria in IAA AN P21, please submit a completed application form RPPL.F.155A to the IAA.

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