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Fancy flying over Brighton? East Sussex is a glorious part of the country for a flight in an ultralight aircraft, with stunning coastline, rolling countryside and ancient woodlands all connected by a lovely patchwork of fields. Sounds rather idyllic doesn't it? Well, that's because it is.
Richard Foster was a fire fighter in a former life, but he fell in love with flying and now runs this flying school full time. Fanatical about flying, as he says himself, he loves nothing better than 'teaching nervous newbies the art of flying' and, as you might suspect, this teaching comes with a good dose of enthusiasm and humour too, quickly putting you at ease.
The base for Richard, his team and his microlights is Deanland Airfield, just North East of Brighton. Built as a temporary RAF Advanced Landing base in 1943, it was operational until 1944, which may sound like a very short career, but it was a very illustrious one. It is mooted that the very first aeroplane providing cover for the D-Day landings left from Deanland, heading over the Sussex coast and out over the English Channel.
Post-war the airfield was bought by a farmer, who used it privately for him and his aviator friends. In 1991 it was sold to two families who have owned and and run this discrete and charming little airfield not far from the coast ever since. Aimed purely at light aviation, it's the ideal base for microlighting as it's nice and quiet, so no hanging around waiting for a take off slot and the whole crew is really friendly.
As for the fleet of aircraft here in Sussex, they are all lightweight, modern, high-tech Ikarus aircraft which look like a standard aeroplane but are actually classed as microlights.
No matter which of the aircraft you'll be firing up for your flight, you're sure to have a fabulous time in East Sussex. It is a little bit nerve-wracking the first time you clamber into the compact cockpit, but once airborne, you can't help but be wowed by the views. And when you take control (they are very sensitive and light!) your light sport aircraft flight out of Brighton will be a proper first lesson.
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