Air Law Exam Notes

These are my personal revision notes that I used when I took the Air Law exam for NPPL(M), they may therefore not be 100% in either accuracy or breadth, please always defer to your instructor or their recommended text.

Why not try our free Air Law Quiz here


UK Body – CAA (Civil Aviation Authority)

ANO – Air Navigation Order, Pilots MUST conform to these.

Microlight definition

MTOW (Maximum Take-Off Weight)

A UK Microlight Aeroplane is one designed to carry not more than two persons and which has a Maximum Total Weight Authorised (MTWA) not exceeding:

600 kg for a single seat and two-seat landplane (Permit to Fly).
650 kg for a single seat and two-seat amphibian or floatplane (Permit to Fly).
Stalling speed at the maximum weight authorised not exceeding 45 knots (Calibrated Airspeed).

Designs certified or started certification/build prior to 19th August 2021:
2 Seats – 450Kg, 472.5Kg with air-frame mounted parachute, 495Kg floatplane.

Single Seat – 300Kg, 315Kg with airframe mounted parachute, 330Kg floatplane.

Stalling speed at the maximum weight authorised not exceeding 35 knots (Calibrated Airspeed).

SSDR – Single Seat Deregulated


Must be registered with CAA.

Must display allocated letters.

3 Categories – Type Approved (all after 1 Jan 1984), Type Accepted & Amateur Built.

Validation Of Airworthiness

Permit to fly annually.

Inspection Annually.

Check flight must be carried out within 2 months of inspection.

Application to the BMAA within 30 days of check flight.

Revalidation is to be completed before a legal flight can take place.

Pilot Medical

The same standard as that required to hold a DVLA Group 1 Ordinary Driving Licence.

Pilots under 70 will need to make the declaration once while pilots over 70 must confirm their declaration every three years.

NPPL Ratings

Microlight (M) and powered parachute (PP)

NPPL(M) Restricted – 15 hours instruction 7 of which must be solo, solo hours must be within 9 months of the date of application for your licences.

GST (General Skills Test) within 9 months of the date of application for your licences.

Exam: Air Law (normally taken before first Solo), Aeroplane Technical, Human Performance Limitations, Navigation & Meteorology. All within 2 years (books say 1 year but this has been changed).


Cloud base greater than 1,000ft, +10Km visibility, within 8Nm of take-off point.

No passengers until 25 hours logged, 10 must be PIC (Pilot in command) and must be endorsed by examiner/instructor.

NPPL(M) Unrestricted – As per restricted but with additional 10 hours of which 5 must be navigation training (min 3 hours solo), during navigation 2 solos cross counties min 40 Nm, different routes, 2 landings (one per cross county) min 15Nm away from take-off.

Navigation within 9 months of license application.

Keeping Your License Valid

Class rating e.g. Microlight (M) valid for 24 months

12 hours within 24 months

8 hours must be as PIC

12 take-off/landings

1 hour instruction

6 off the above hours within 12 months of the date of the license renewal

IF above not met – Retake GST

NPPL(M) Privileges


Always clear of cloud and in sight of land

In flight visibility not less than 1.5Km (was 3Km before 9 December 2014) for fixed wing aircraft operating at 140kt or less

Above 3,000ft

Visibility not less than 5Km

Never less than 1,500m horizontally from clouds.

Never less than 1,000ft vertically from clouds.

Always clear of cloud and in sight of land 

Above 10,000ft other rules apply (most microlights shouldn’t fly at this altitude).

PTF (Permit To Fly) may place greater restrictions on the aeroplane.

 No public transportation or aerial work

Can’t fly over an assembly of people (however can fly over a built-up area subject to height)

No Aerobatics (Max 60° turns, stall for practice are both allowed).

No Night flying.

Personal Flying Log Book

Must be kept for a minimum of 2 years after last flight.

Must record all flights as crew or made for the purpose of renewing a licence.

Hours count from when the aeroplane moves under its own power to engine off.

Must record: Date, aircraft type, reg number, name of PIC or status if not PIC (e.g. PUT), place of departure, time of departure, place of arrival (or local), time of arrival, total hours and activity (e.g. exercise number).

Airworthiness Log Book

Airframe and engine, all incidents, flying hours, engine hours, inspections and maintenance.

Must be logged within 7 days.

Radio Telephony Licences

While training students are exempt from this licence which needs to be taken to operate a radio once qualified.

UK Air Space

FIR (Flight Information Regions) London & Scottish

Above FL245 (24,500ft) UFIR (Upper FIR)

All air space is either controlled or uncontrolled

CTR – Control Zone, Surface to altitude QNH or FL

CTA – Control Area, from a QNH or FL up to a specified FL

Airway – corridor 5NM either side of a centre line joining two places.

TMA – Terminal Manoeuvring Area, area around a large airport.

Flight Plans

Must be filed if crossing a border

Advised to file if flying more than 15nm out to sea.

ATZ Aerodrome Traffic Zone

Extends 2,000ft above QFE (ground level).

2nm radius from the centre of the longest runway or 2.5nm if the runway is over 1850m.

Cannot enter ATZ without permission (Radio or phone BEFORE entering)

MATZ Military Aerodrome Traffic Zone

Extends to 3,000ft above QFE

5NM of the centre of the longest runway.

Panhandle extending area 1,000 – 3,000ft 4nm wide 5NM long.

MATZ have no power but DON’T enter without permission for your own safety.

 Low flying in UK normally takes place by RAF between 250 – 500ft but can be up to 2,000ft.

General flying rules

Stay at least 500ft clear of people (not height distance from), vessels, vehicles and structures. Exceptions; take-off and landings, gliders who are slope soaring and at a performance.

Do not overfly a built-up area below a height that would allow you to glide clear. Must be at least 1,000ft above fixed objects with a 600m horizontal clearance.

Assembly of 1,000 or more people, must be over 1,000ft or must be able to glide clear whichever is greater.

Collision Avoidance In The Air

Aeroplanes give way to airships, gliders and balloons.

Must not pass over, under or cut across until well clear.

Two converging aeroplanes the one on the right is in the right. Unless the other aeroplane is towing.

Approaching another aeroplane head-on both to turn to the right.

Overtaking move to the right.

Note Gliders may turn in either direction!

When following a feature on the ground it is to be kept on your left.

An aeroplane on final has priority

If two aeroplanes are landing at the same time the lower one has priority. But must not be cutting in.

Where you are aware another aeroplane is making an emergency landing you MUST give way.

On the ground

Aeroplanes on the ground must give way to those in the air.

Aeroplanes have right of way of vehicles.

When taxiing head-on both turn to the right.

Two converging aeroplanes the one on the right is in the right.

When overtaking turn to the left and keep clear. However, in 2015 these rules were relaxed to read: Rules on overtaking and giving way are now less specific. Aircraft and vehicles overtaking other aircraft and vehicles can now pass on either the left or the right.

Signals (See pdf of flashcards) 

Print double-sided flipped on vertical edge (default double-sided on my Epson printer). Once you are happy it will print ok I printed it on photo paper and then cut them out and they made good flashcards. Air-Law-flash-cards-signals-double-sided

Air Light Beacons – identification beacon flash 2 letter Morse every 12 seconds, Green if civil red if military.

Aerodrome beacon – alternating colour normally green/red at night or low visibility.

Obstructions in airspace – Must be lit if over 500ft, maybe lit if between 300 – 500 ft.

Flying displays – Need Display Pilot Authorisation from CAA CAP403

Notifiable Accidents

Anyone killed or seriously injured while in or in direct contact.

Aircraft has structural damage or failures that impact its flying strength. Performance, or needs major repairs.

If the aircraft is missing.

Engine and engine accessory failures are not notifiable. Neither is damage to propellers, wingtips, tyres, brakes, small dents and punctures to the skin of the aircraft.

AirProx – All must be reported as soon as possible e.g. radio to Air traffic service at the time if possible.

Dropping things – nothing may be dropped out of an aircraft.

Changes to Aircraft– not allowed unless certified by CAA or manufacture.

Alcohol – 1 unit takes 1 hour to leave the body. Limit 20mg blood, 9 micrograms breath, 27mg urine all per 100ml.

Commercial use – No commercial use of a microlight is allowed other than for instruction.

Charity Flights – Flights may be offered as a prize. All money raised by a flight, 100% goes to the charity or is not allowed.

Reward – The pilot may split the cost of a flight but must contribute. Only the actual flying costs count (hangarage insurance etc may NOT be included)

Good Luck!