About Us


Welcome to my blog! Left-Downwind is the ramblings of Mark Smith, a Microlight owner and pilot based at the Ulster Flying Club in Newtownards, Northern Ireland.

Ulster Flying Club logo on the clubhouse

I started my NPPL(M) lessons in January 2017. On 3rd July 2017, after completing all written exams and a flight test, I was told that I was fully competent to control an aircraft safely and signed off!

Of course, I’d need an aircraft to fly. Not wanting to join a busy group with lots of others, I decided to form my own with 4 people. We were all students of NiMicrolights and together found a beautiful Jabiru UL-450. After sweet-talking the LAA inspector, William McMinn, we brought the plane from a very small grass field in Watnall, England to her new home of Newtownards, Co. Down.

G-CNAB on the apron.

I’ll be using this site to talk about a few things including:

  • Microlight Ownership
    • Maintenance
    • Tips
  • Flight logs
  • NPPL Training and tips
  • Whatever else I feel like!

I’ll just be adding content as it comes, mostly so I don’t forget stuff (especially maintenance related!), and I really hope others find it useful as well.

If you do, please spread the word to your friends and family, I will greatly appreciate it. Please feel free to get in touch - I’d love to come to your air strip, say hello and consume all your tea and biscuits :)

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