Today there was an information session about the course to become a ULM or PPL licenses pilot.
The session was really interesting: it's a good chance to figure out what's involved and to have a first impression of what the club itself is like.
For the latter: everyone was really nice and very welcoming. That's not always the case. They were very excited about getting more people involved.
So, the following questions I wanted answered and I did:
Q: Is the course material purely referential or does it contain instructions?
A: It's possible to learn parts of the course by yourself and helped with online resources. But to actually get a license you must attend 75% of the theoretical courses. The good news is: you can spread this over two years of courses.
Q: How do the flying lessons work in practice
A: You can schedule flights with your instructor when you and them are available. Somehow, there would be instructors available 6 days out of 7. You can plan each lesson individually. It can always be your session is cancelled due to the wheather (especially in Belgium)
Q: What's involved in a club membership?
A: It's about € 270 / year. No specific other demands are made for membership.
Q: If you have a ULM license, how many flight hours are required per year to maintain it?
A: Normally 50 hours, but if you can't make that you can avoid your license expiration by taking a flight with an instructor who can confirm you are still capable of flying
Q: Can you do practical lessons with an instructor without following the theoretical courses at the same time: so only do them after some practical experience?
A: It's possible but this particular club doesn't do this.
My plan currently is the following: Start the theoretical course and follow a part of the lessons in class. The material I miss from the classes I must study on my own. It's an equal amount of study but I can arrange time myself and don't miss two evenings at home every week (which would be too much).
There are 120 hours of class time, with a broad range of subjects.
If things go well I can arrange to get club membership and start practical lessons somewhere in the course of next year. I assume many people in the class will have already done that by then.