Learn to Fly with Mainair Flying School. Contact 0161-787-9034 for further details.

Learn to Fly

So, you want to learn to fly. What do you do next?

You may have flown with a friend or had a trial flight and got the bug, if not then a good place to start is a one hour trial flights with one of our instructors. It will be a wonderful experience and you will get to take the controls and enjoy the thrill of flying an aircraft.

The next thing most people want to know is what do I need to do to obtain a licence and how much will is cost? It is important to remember, learning to fly is fun! You will learn new skills, travel to new places, meet interesting people and open up a whole new world.

How do I obtain a licence?

We will take you through a comprehensive and detailed course based around your availability. The course is detailed in the NPPL syllabus which can be downloaded here. You are required to do a minimum of 25 hours flying of which 10 hours must be solo which will include two solo cross country flights and a General Skills Test (GST). However, it may take longer, depending on your own pace of learning and the frequency that you fly.

We will give you detailed briefings and expert tuition to make sure that you have understood the lesson and have a firm understanding of the exercise in the aircraft.

There are also 5 theory exams that you are required to take. You can home study, have one to one tuition or take part in our groundschool classes where our instructors will guide you through the various subjects.

The minimum age to start lessons is 14 and from there a student can go solo and 16 subsequently applying for a pilots license at 17 years old.

There are four stages to your flying tuition;

  • Dual flying
    - one of our friendly CAA qualified instructors will teach you how to fly a dual controlled aircraft. Soon you'll be able to control the aircraft in straight and level flight. Then we will teach you to change the level, speed and direction of the aeroplane. Once you are familiar with the controls you will learn about the 'circuit' where all the previous lessons come together and you will then be able to take-off, fly a circuit and, most importantly, land! When you are ready, you will reach the first major milestone, something you will always remember...your first solo flight!

  • Supervised solo flying - under the watchful eye of your instructor you will practice your circuit work and short local flights. Finally a chance to be on your own, a fantastic feeling.

  • Cross-country flying - now you get to fly the aeroplane to new places, using all the skills you have learnt to date and applying the knowledge you have gained from your ground school. Using all your skills to travel to a new airfield is a great feeling of achievement and will only fuel your desire to travel even further afield. Two flights will be to different airfields with your instructor followed by two further flights to the same airfields but this time you will fly solo.

  • General Skills Test (GST) When you are ready you will take your General Skills Test with one of our CAA Examiners. You've done it - you are now a pilot! Crack out the Ray-Bans and apply for Top Gun school.

  • Online Booking System We also operate an online booking system which allows you to book in for a lesson, groundschool or aircraft hire from your laptop, PC or even your smartphone or tablet. Learning to fly couldn't be easier! Please see the sample below.




We will provide all the material you need to learn and it is written in a common sense manner. It will cover aviation law, principles of flight, navigation, meteorology and human performance and limitations. You will also need to learn the 'chatter' so that you can operate the radio in the aeroplane.

All the exam papers are multiple choice answers and are taken at the flying school.

Medical Requirements

A common misconception is that all pilots have to be super fit and have perfect vision but this couldn't be further from the truth. Although it is true you have to have a reasonable standard of fitness you do not have to be a superhero by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) now allow NPPL pilots and students to have a self-delcaration where you fill in a form on the CAA website where you confirm that you believe you meet the medical requirements for a Group 1 Ordinary Driving Licence issued by the DVLA. In theory, if you are fit enough to drive then you are fit enoguh to fly an aeroplane.

For more information and to fill in the form click here.

Lancashire Aero Club

Students who are training at Mainair and who are members of Lancashire Aero Club may also apply for a £150 subsidy towards their General Skills Test (GST). Further benefits include free landings at a number of very popular airport such as Caernarfon, Sleap, Tatenhill, Bagby, Welshpool, Shobdon and many more.

PPLs can also claim back £10 per flying hour up to a maximum of two hours per month from LAC making hiring our aircraft even more affordable.

If you are not already a member then please ask for a membership form from Mainair. You can also visit the Lancashire Aero Club website for further details.

The membership year starts on June 30th. New members joining before that date will be charged a pro rata amount.