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Teaching people to fly is one of the most challenging but also most rewarding careers you can have. The sense of satisfaction seeing students progress through the syllabus, overcome obstacles and achieve milestones such as their first solo and gaining their NPPL is unrivalled. Combine that with the best office views in the world it is a career choice that we would definitely recommend.

The course not only gives you the skills needed to teach students how to fly it also allows you to master teaching ground school, giving briefings and providing constructive feedback to students after their lessons. This in turn makes you a better pilot and will develop your decision making, risk aversion and people skills.


Initially you will train to be a Flight Instructor (Restricted) otherwise known as an FI (R). This means you will be able to teach students under the supervision of a Flight Instructor however you will not be authorised to release first solo flights. In order to enrol on a FI (R) course you must meet the following criteria:

  • Hold a pilot's licence with a Microlight Class Rating,

  • If the licence is an NPPL it must be without operational limits,

  • Have at least 100 hours as pilot in command 5 of which must be on microlights,

  • Have flown at least 5 hours as pilot in command on the aircraft control type to be used on the FI(R) course

  • Be reasonably competent with flying the aircraft from the instructor seat before starting the course

  • Pass a pre-entry exam and flight test

The FI (R) course consists of a minimum of 40 hours ground school and 15 hours of flight training however the actual length of the course depends on the ability of the student. Statistics from the BMAA show that 55 hours ground school and 20 hours flight training is closer to the average achieved by FI (R) students.

Following completion of training an FI (R) student must sit an exam with a Flight Instructor Examiner in order to have the rating added to your licence.

Following  a period of 10 months as an FI (R) and having had at least 100 hours teaching in microlights you will have become eligible to sit a test to remove the restriction and become an FI. This consists of giving a ground briefing, a flight and a de-brief to a Flight Instructor Examiner (FIE). The FIE will act as student and will also test you on the ground school subjects to gauge your level of knowledge. On successful completion of this exam you will be issued with an FI rating and you will no longer need to be supervised by an FI whilst working.

More information can be found from the BMAA.


  • Pre-entry written test - £50

  • Pre-entry flight test - £130 plus aircraft hire charge

  • Ground school - £45 per hour (minimum of 40 hours)

  • Flying - £148 per hour from brakes off to brakes on. (Minimum 15 hours)

  • Touch and go - £4.70 each

  • CAA fee

  • BMAA fee

Before enrolling on an FI (R) course you must be a member of the BMAA.

If you are interested in becoming a Flight Instructor please fill in the form below and we will be in touch with more information.

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