The Permit to Fly is an airworthiness regime that allows individual aircraft to be built by you, rather than a certified manufacturer, and/or maintained by you rather than an approved maintenance organisation. All sounds a bit complicated doesn’t it but the fact is that aircraft are really quite agricultural as far as technology goes, they’re certainly far less complicated than even a budget car. Learning how to carry out your own maintenance will not only save you a packet, it’s fun too. Any work you do, other than basic maintenance, is of course inspected and has to be signed off by an LAA Inspector, and he’s certainly not an ogre either, he’s there to help and advise not wag his finger and make life complicated. You may not think you know one end of a spark plug from the other but you’ll soon learn with fellow members and owners always ready to lend a hand.
The range of aircraft available on an LAA permit goes from single-seat WW1 replicas, up to four-seat, state of the art 200+ mph touring aircraft, with everything in between, and includes microlights and gyroplanes as well as homebuilts, kitbuilts, vintage and classic aeroplanes. Effectively there is something to suit everybody and every pocket, whether you are looking for cost effective flying – with a group share in a two-seat classic type like a Jodel you could easily be flying for under £40 an hour – or you want a high performance type that simply isn’t available from contemporary manufacturers – a two-seat Van’s RV8 for instance that will allow you to cruise at 180 mph and is also aerobatic. You really are spoilt for choice!