We love to share the joy of flying!

Shadow Aviation Ltd is a CAA Approved Microlight Flying Training School.

We provide specialist fixed-wing microlight training and Instructor courses in the Ikarus C42.

Our base is the very friendly Compton Abbas Airfield in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the Dorset/ Wiltshire border. The flying school was established in 1993 and became Shadow Aviation Ltd in 2002. We moved to Compton Abbas Airfield from Old Sarum Airfield in 2019.

Fiona Luckhurst

Fiona Luckhurst (CFI)

Fiona started flying in Spain and France in the early 1980s and has been teaching people to fly since 1985. She is a Flying Instructor Examiner and Chairman of the Microlight Panel of Examiners and is also a LAA and BMAA aircraft inspector and a Trustee of the Flying Scholarships for Disabled People.

Kathryn Hutchings

Kathryn Hutchings

Kathryn started flying in 2006 and has been instructing since 2010. She is passionate about all things flying and always keen to learn new flying skills, When not instructing or working in her electrical business Kathryn can be found flying, day or night, a Cessna 172 called Winnie!

Peter Upshall

Peter Upshall

Peter started flying in 2004 and has been instructing since 2011. Professionally he is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer and has worked on underwater systems and submarines, land-based systems and aviation equipment. Peter has a PPL and since retiring in 2016 he has been able to devote more time to his flying and also to building an RV-8 that he hopes to complete during 2023.

Colin Martin

Colin Martin

Colin started flying in 2010 and has been instructing since 2020. Professionally he is a software engineer, having worked on underwater, transportation and lighting systems. He has now left the desk behind in favour of the cockpit and spends most of his time flying the C42. He has previously flown Piper PA28s and motor gliders.

Jamie Colmey

Jamie Colmey

Jamie started flying in 2011, qualifying as an instructor in 2021. Professionally, he retired from the Royal Air Force after 25 years in 2023 and now serves as a part-time Reservist. His passions are flying microlights and old Land Rovers, but it’s flying which accounts for most of his spare time!



CAA Microlight Instructor training

Become a flying Instructor

CAA Microlight Instructor examining

From initial tests to FIC tests

CAA Microlight Examiner authorities

Initial, revalidation and renewals

NPPL M Examining

Revalidations, renewals, ground exams and flying skill tests (GSTs)

Advanced and refresher training

Can be tailored to your needs

Flying training for disabled people

Shadow Aviation Ltd is a flying school provider for the Flying Scholarships for Disabled People charity. The school’s Instructors have been teaching disabled people to fly with modified controls since 1993.

Aircraft Inspections BMAA and LAA

Come to us or we can come to you


To Be A Microlight Flying Instructor

To teach someone to fly is extremely rewarding work. As an Instructor you will share the same ‘highs’ as your student and their sense of achievement when they get their licence. (You will also share the same ‘lows’ as your student, but that is all about being an Instructor).

The work is demanding and the responsibilities on the Instructor great. Below is an extract from the BMAA FI(R)C Syllabus:

“Before taking this major step forward it is essential to understand the very great commitment you are making. In your hands will be the lives of future pilots and everyone they will carry as passengers.

There are no short cuts to competence. The course is demanding in terms of both time and effort. As a FI(R) you will have the responsibility of inspiring trust and confidence in your students. That trust demands both a moral and legal obligation you must meet on each and every occasion.”

Guidance on becoming an Instructor can be found on the BMAA web site:

The Flying Instructor (Restricted) Certificate

The CAA Flying Instructor (Restricted) Certificate allows you to instruct students for the NPPL (A) Microlight Class Rating under the supervision of a Flying Instructor. When you have sufficient experience (100 hours instruction, 250 hours PIC and have held the FI(R) rating for 10 months) you can apply to upgrade, by test, to a full Flying Instructor Certificate.

A FI(R) certificate is valid for 36 months and is type restricted to Three Axis, Flex wing or Powered Parachute control types.

Course Start Requirements

  1. A PPL or NPPL with a Microlight Class Rating without operational limitations. You must have had a Licence for 8 months or more.
  2. A minimum flying experience of 100 hours as PIC, minimum 5 hours of which must be on Microlight aircraft.
  3. Pass two pre-entry tests - a flight test and a written exam. The flight test is to assess whether or not your flying is of a standard to start learning how to teach, rather than having to relearn how to fly. The flight can be conducted with the candidate in the PIC seat. The written exam consists of 50 multiple choice questions on all subjects in the BMAA NPPL (A) M syllabus.
  4. Both pre entry tests are valid for 6 months until start of course.

The student instructor should be reasonably competent with flying the aircraft from the instructor seat before starting the course.

The Flight Instructor (Restricted) Course Syllabus

Full details of the FI(R) course and requirements are contained in CAA CAP 804, the BMAA FI(R) Course Syllabus and the BMAA ‘Instructor and Examiner Guide’.

To summarise:

  1. A minimum of 15 hours flying training
  2. A minimum of 40 hours of ground training which includes teaching methods & techniques, ground course work and pre-flight briefings.

Please note these hours are the minimum requirement. The average is 60 hours for the ground work and 20 for the flying training, especially on complex fixed wing microlights.


Prices current at April 2024 and subject to change prior to course booking
  • Pre-entry flying test £135 plus aircraft hire at current rates
  • Pre-entry written exam £50
FI(R) course on school aircraft C42

15 hours flying training & 40 hours ground school (Minimum requirement)


FI(R) course on school aircraft C42

18 hours flying training & 50 hours ground school (More realistic)


Any additional flying training is charged at £175/ hour and additional ground training at £50/ hour.

Typically, it is realistic to budget something like £6750 for the course to include entry and final exams, BMAA and CAA fees.

A deposit of £750 secures a course and course date, balance payable on start of course.


It is more beneficial to you to complete the course within a reasonably short period of time to ensure continuity. The school’s FIC work can be adapted, within reason, to suit your availability. The course work takes some 20 – 24 days, weather does play its part!

Additional costs to take into consideration

  • Ground study & flying training books
  • BMAA FI(R) course and NPPL (A)M syllabus
  • BMAA Microlight Instructor & Examiner Guide
  • FI(R) Certificate Flight Test by Examiner at conclusion of course, a CAA Fee for issue of the certificate and a BMAA fee for administration.
  • All fees on BMAA web site at https://www.bmaa.org/files/liac_guide_app_a_fees.pdf


Fiona Luckhurst for more details: shadowaviationltd@hotmail.com


April 2024

All prices inclusive, no extras, and subject to change

NPPL M Flying Training

Flying training per hour on school aircraft


Flying training per hour own aircraft


C42 hire per hour (wet)


NPPL M Ground Training & Tests

Ground school per hour


Ground examinations (each)


General Skills Test examiner fee


General Skills Test (Renewal) examiner fee


Instructor Training & Tests

For test fees see the following BMAA document
FI(R) course on school aircraft C42

15 hours flying training & 40 hours ground school (Minimum requirement)


FI(R) course on school aircraft C42

18 hours flying training & 50 hours ground school (More realistic)


FIC Training per hour school aircraft


FIC Ground school per hour


FI(R) course pre entry Flying Test examiner fee


FI(R) course pre entry written test


Inspections & Travel

Permit renewal Inspection


Weight & balance schedule


Labour per hour


Travel rates per mile


Travel per hour


Other costs

Membership to Compton Abbas Airfield

£150.00 / year

Compton Abbas Airfield
  Shadow Aviation
  Compton Abbas Airfield
  Ashmore, Near Salisbury
  SP5 5AP
Full Power
Photo Credits: Peter Upshall - 08 runway view : Mike Nelson photography - airfield overhead