Microlighting remains active in the United Kingdom, though the general economic situation has meant that new aircraft sales are very low. This has a wider influence on second hand aircraft and also spares or accessories, leading to a generally slow sales environment.
There has been little new development during the year. A new Skyranger model and the Eurofox have gained approval, but the UK CAA’s airworthiness requirements remain a barrier to entry.
The single seat Sub-115 class continues to grow with relatively strong sales and new aircraft being introduced to the market. Flylight’s “Dragonfly” has now sold over 80 and production is busy.
Autogyros are also gaining in popularity, though many of the new models for sale are not sub-450kg.
The British Microlight Aircraft Association (BMAA) has
• 3700 active members
• 3000 flying microlights in permit
• 4000 active microlight pilot licences (approximately)
• 110,000 annual flight hours (approximately)
The Light Aircraft Association (LAA) has approximately 800 microlight members.
•40 accidents in 2010
• 1 fatality
So far in 2011
•30 accidents to 01 November 2011
• 1 fatality (in France)
BMAA held six national competitions in 2011 with approximately 40 competitors. The Competitions Commmittee is now actively looking at ways of making competitions more accessible and attractive to new competitors, having had some success in recent years in bringing in new people.
BMAA also restarted the ‘Round Britain Rally’, a distance competition run over 3 flying days with turnpoints all over the United Kingdom. This was a great success with pilots flying long distances with no accidents or incidents.
British competitors remain concerned about the AL1 class; in 2010 many British pilots were ready to fly in AL1 at EMC2010, but a lack of competing countries meant that the championship would not have been valid.
There was one outstanding achievement in 2011. Dave SYKES, a paraplegic wheelchair user, flew solo from England to Australia in 119 days. He has been awarded two BMAA awards and is nominated for the Colibri Diploma.
CIMA - The international Microlight and Paramotor Commission of the FAI