City of Swansea, flying light aircraft as a hobby and obtaining a pilots license
The City of Swansea is a coastal city in Wales. it is also the name of a county. Swansea is in the historic county boundaries of Glamorgan. Situated on the sandy South West Wales coast, the county area includes the Gower Peninsula and the Lliw uplands. Swansea had a population of 169,880 in 2001 and is the second most populous city in Wales after Cardiff and the third most populous county in Wales after Cardiff and Rhondda Cynon Taf. During its 19th century industrial heyday, Swansea was one of the key centres of the world copper industry, earning the nickname 'Copperopolis'. People from Swansea are known locally as Swansea Jacks, or just Jacks. The source of this nickname is not clear. Some attribute it to Swansea Jack, the life-saving dog. Swansea's most famous daughter is Hollywood actress Catherine Zeta-Jones who still owns a home in Mumbles. On the literary stage, the poet Dylan Thomas is perhaps the best-known. He was born in the town and grew up at 5 Cwmdonkin Drive, Uplands.
The Light Aircraft Association, formerly known as the Popular Flying Association and before that the Ultralight Aircraft Association, is the representative body in the United Kingdom for amateur aircraft construction, recreational and sport flying of light aircraft. It oversees the construction and maintenance of homebuilt aircraft, under an approval from the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The regime for approving amateur-built aircraft in the United Kingdom differs from that in many other countries, of which the United States is the prime example. Instead of the FAA's Experimental airworthiness category, under which an amateur may design, build and operate (and is ultimately responsible for) an aircraft 'for experimental purposes', the UK CAA is required to investigate any such aircraft's 'fitness to fly' and to issue a 'Permit to Fly' when satisfied. The LAA is approved by the CAA to make recommendations for and to revalidate such Permits.
Pilot licensing or certification refers to permits to fly aircraft that are issued by the National Aviation Authority (NAA) in each country, establishing that the holder has met a specific set of knowledge and experience requirements. This includes taking a flying test. The certified pilot can then exercise a specific set of privileges in that nation's airspace. Despite attempts to harmonize the requirements between nations, the differences in certification practices and standards from place to place serve to limit full international validity of the national qualifications. In addition, U.S. pilots are certificated, not licensed, although the word license is still commonly used. Legally, pilot certificates can be revoked by administrative action, whereas licensing (e.g., a driver's license) requires intervention by the judiciary system. In the United States, pilot certification is regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a branch of the Department of Transportation.