Possibly the last ACO Approved Microlight Scholarship

The ACO has since decided that all flight training should be undertaken in powered aircraft, not microlights. Cdt hobbs was awarded the full ACO pilot scholarship wing, and we believe he is the last ACO cadet to have completed the ACO microlight Scholarship. Here in his own words he describes it...

During the period 10-25 August 2008 I travelled to RAF Halton in Bucks to undertake a micro light flying scholarship sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers.
 
I initially believed that a micro light was basically a 'kite with an engine', but luckily I was pleasantly surprised when faced with what can only be described as a mini-plane completed with an enclosed cockpit which took two occupants, sitting side by side.
 
After a pre-flight briefing, it was up in the air for the first of my 10 one-hour flights. The first flight enable me to familiarise myself with the controls and learn the basics of micro light flying, checking out for air hazards, and stating to do shallow turns, which were easy to do. Back on the ground I learnt how to interpret metrological report to check if the weather was suitable for flying, and check the aircraft for damage or fuel or oil leaks every morning.
 
Despite the best efforts of the British weather, which cancelled days 2 and 3, by the end of day 4 I had learnt enough theory to be allowed to take the controls more fully and to deal with a mid-flight stall, which was a pretty thrilling experience!
 
The second week was again disrupted by the weather. This enabled me to study for my air law exam, which I passed with 100% and also to learn some basic micro light maintenance. This involved me helping my instructor and other members of the micro light club stripping down aircraft engines, replacing old or damaged parts and changing the oil of the aircraft, which gave me an insight into what goes on behind the scenes with aircraft, not just flying.
 
Days 9 & 10 were perfect flying weather and I was able to concentrate on take off and landings, which were very difficult and rather daunting at first, so took a few attempts to master them, and the more technical aspects of flying culminating in my going solo on Friday morning.
 
My most lasting impression of the weeks was the immense freedom that flying a micro light gave me, and the memory of circling a hot air balloon and waving to the occupants, when I had the opportunity to fly in an open air micro light, which was amazing to be in, being open to the elements, and going a lot faster than other micro lights I’d flown in.
 
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the instructors and staff or RAF Halton Micro light Club and most importantly the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers for making this fantastic opportunity possible.
 
Thank you
 
Chris Hobbs