General Aviation

Published on September 6th, 2020 | by Mark Dwyer

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FunFly Aerosports Flying Club Approved for Flight Training

FunFly Aerosports Flying Club based at Limetree Airfield has become the newest flight training organisation in the country following approval by the Irish Aviation Authority last week. The Club was formed earlier this year with the objective of giving members access to affordable flying and flight training. At present the Club has a fleet of three modern ICP Savannah S aircraft – EI-ICP built in 2018, EI-GHR built in 2019 and EI-GRI built in 2020. All three aircraft are available to fly by members who already have a full licence while EI-GHR and EI-GRI are also approved as training aircraft for the National PPL(A) and National LAPL(A). Membership is open to PPL holders who would like to fly modern, high-performance short take-off and landing aircraft, and also those who would like to learn how to fly for recreational purposes.

The Clubhouse and hangars at Limetree Airfield

What Courses are on Offer?

We recently published an article about the new National PPL(A) and National LAPL(A) licences. Both of these licences are available at FunFly Aerosports. The National PPL(A) takes a minimum of 45 hours while the National LAPL(A) takes a minimum of 30 hours. For pilots who already hold a valid licence, instructor checkouts are available for those who would like to simply join up and fly the aircraft. The fleet is made up of a mix of Group A and Microlight aircraft however if you hold an EASA licence with SEP rating, you can count hours on either the Group A or Microlight versions to revalidate your SEP rating by experience. There is also a conversion course available for pilots with existing microlight licences (Irish & UK) with the option of converting to the National LAPL(A) or the National PPL(A).

The Team

The club was established by a team of four with diverse backgrounds and experience. This has allowed FunFly to build its flying courses in accordance with international best practice and takes advantage of technology to deliver the highest standard of training to students. The Club is led by Accountable Manager Mark Brereton who is well known in the General Aviation industry in Ireland. He is also currently the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of the National Microlight Association of Ireland (NMAI) had has built many aircraft over the last few years including SkyRangers, X-Airs, Savannahs and Venturas. John Deegan is the Limetree Airfield Accountable Manager and is responsible for ensuring the airfield complies with the standards required for flight training. John is also the Chief Engineer for the club fleet with authority to maintain and repair all aspects of work on the fleet of aircraft. John is also an experienced helicopter engineer in the Irish Air Corps. The Safety Manager for the Club is Padraic O’Reilly who oversees all aspects of safety with the club. Padraic is an experienced helicopter pilot, instructor and examiner and draws on his vast experience in previous safety roles to deliver the highest level of safety in the club. The instructional team is led my Mark Dwyer, an experienced instructor and examiner on both single engine and multi-engine multi-pilot jet aircraft. Mark has taken many of the concepts currently used in commercial pilot training and applied them at FunFly to help deliver the highest quality of training to club members. He is aided by Padraig Tyrrell and Ned Reilly, both experienced pilots and instructors. Together, the instructional team have over 10,000 hours of flying experience.

ICP Savannah S

The ICP Savannah S is a development of the earlier Savannah. The ‘S’ model was launched about 10 years ago and is a much more refined version of the aircraft featuring a much more rounded fuselage, vortex generators across the leading edge and a bigger cabin. The Savannah has been a huge success since its launch and over 2,500 have been built. It’s available as factory built or amateur built – both models are identical. The FunFly fleet all feature the Rotax 100hp version giving fantastic performance, ideal for Irish farm strips. All three aircraft are fitted with iPad SkyDemon Navigation, Mode S Transponders and 8.33 kHz radios. With 78 litre tanks, they have a range of about 5 hours at 90 mph. EI-GRI and EI-GHR are both fitted with the standard centre stick configuration while EI-ICP is fitted with dual sticks. The Savannah has fantastic and very safe low speed handling, ideal for Ireland. Stall speeds are around 30mph thanks to the design of the wing and vortex generators. Low speed handing is still maintained by powerful flaperons. See more information about the aircraft here.

Membership

Membership is open to new students and also to existing licence holders. For more information visit www.funfly.ie , call Mark Brereton on 087 6617115 or email info@funfly.ie . Introductory flights are available if you’d like to try it before committing to membership. Limetree Airfield is located outside Portarlington, just off the M7 less than an hour from Dublin.

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About the Author

Mark Dwyer

Mark is an airline pilot flying the Boeing 737 for a major European airline. In addition he is also a Type Rating Instructor, Type Rating Examiner and Base Training Captain on the B737. Outside of commercial flying Mark enjoys flying light aircraft from the smallest 3 Axis microlights up to heavier singles. He is also an instructor and EASA Examiner on single engines and a UK CAA Examiner. He flies the Chipmunk for the Irish Historic Flight Foundation (IHFF). Mark became the Chairman of the National Microlight Association of Ireland (NMAI) in 2013 and has overseen a massive growth in the organisation. In this role he has worked at local and national levels. In 2015, Mark won ‘Upcoming Aviation Professional Award’ at the Aviation Industry Awards sponsored by the IAA. Mark launched this website back in 2002 while always managing the website, he has also been Editor and Deputy Editor of FlyingInIreland Magazine from 2005 to 2015.



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