Explore

Professional affordable training

About
Learn To Fly

Here at Learn To Fly Melbourne, we believe that learning to fly should be within your capacity and budget. Our mission is simple: to make flight training more affordable and more accessible.

Using modern aircraft, state-of-the-art facilities and highly experienced flight instructors, we provide you with cost-effective training that allows you to reach your flying goals faster. We are currently the only Victorian flight school to offer flight training in Diamond aircraft, with our fleet including both the single-engine Diamond DA40 and twin-engine Diamond DA42.

We train everyone from novices through to advanced pilots. Most importantly, our flexible course options and dedicated team help to make your flight training process as simple as possible, from the time you start building flying hours on day one. There has never been a better place to start your flight training journey. We have partnered with industry experts and several major airlines globally to offer our students flexible, realistic and achievable career pathways in aviation.

Moorabbin Airport

Training Facilities

Our home base is at Melbourne’s Moorabbin Airport, a Class D controlled airspace and one of the busiest flight training airports in Australia. Our state-of-the-art training facility covers 4,000sqm including classrooms, simulator rooms, direct airside access, 20 aircraft parking spaces, and our own maintenance hangar. We can accommodate more than 150 student pilots training with us at the same time. Explore our Learn To Fly Melbourne Campus through a full 360 degree Virtual Tour. To look around, click and drag your mouse.

The best. To Bring out the best.

Our Flight Training Team

To bring out your best as a pilot, you need the best training from the best instructors and support staff. Our Learn To Fly flight training team comes from a diverse range of aviation backgrounds with extensive experience and unsurpassed knowledge across all areas of flying and instructing. We have Grade 1, 2 and 3 flight instructors as well as instructors that specialise in advanced training for additional ratings and endorsements. We also have aviation career specialists who can help guide you on your pathway beyond your initial training.

Stephen Kong

Grade 1 Instructor

Training:
RPL, PPL, CPL & more

X

Stephen Kong

Grade 1 Instructor

Grade 1 Flight Instructor Stephen Kong was born in Malaysia and grew up in Melbourne with a fascination for planes and aviation. He has been flying since 2013 and completed his flight training right here at Moorabbin Airport.

After completing his training, Stephen spent a number of years working as a Flight Instructor at Moorabbin. His instructor role saw him heavily involved in the training of airline cadets before he eventually joined a major Asian airline himself as a pilot.

As a pilot, Stephen loves the unique views of the world he gets to see from above. He’s looking forward to working with student pilots again, and we are thrilled to have his extensive aviation experience here at Learn To Fly.

Lawrence Byrnes

Grade 1 Instructor

Training:
Multi-Engine, Formation, Aero & more

X

Lawrence Byrnes

Grade 1 Instructor

Grade 1 Flight Instructor Lawrie Byrnes has a LOT of aviation experience, having been flying for over 50 years! He grew up in Melbourne and was always fascinated with model aeroplanes as a youngster.

It wasn’t until later on when he was being escorted around Vietnam in C130 Hercules aircraft that he truly realised that the pilot life was his calling. His career has seen him flying for regional airlines and charter in an impressive range of aircraft that includes the Mitsubishi MU-2, Douglas DC3, Cessna Citation, Beechcraft 1900 and Piper PA31 Navajo.

Lawrie loves striving for accuracy in his flying, and after his extensive career, he has turned his attention to Aerobatics, Formation and IFR. We’re thrilled to have such an experienced pilot on board to head up our Formation and Aerobatics Endorsement courses.

Shannon Thiele

Grade 1 Instructor

Training:
Aero, FIR, RPL, PPL, CPL & more

X

Shannon Thiele

Grade 1 Instructor

Shannon was born in Sri Lanka and moved to Greymouth on the West Coast of New Zealand at age 10. He always remembers having a love for aviation, but in particular, remembers his interest in “seeing the world from a different perspective” being sparked by an unusual looking Dornier Do 228 aircraft that used to land near his house often.

Following the Christchurch earthquakes he began a plumbing apprenticeship, but soon felt the call of the sky and decided to study for a Bachelors Degree in Aviation. He first flew in a SkyFox Gazelle then transitioned over to train on Diamond aircraft, which he has been flying since 2015.

As a Flight Instructor, Shannon finds it hugely rewarding to watch eager students turn up for their first flight, progress through their training, and eventually transition into their first job in aviation. He’d one day love to become a Check and Training Captain with a major flag-carrying airline.

David Buultjens

Grade 1 Instructor

Training:
RPL, PPL, CPL & more

X

David Buultjens

Grade 1 Instructor

Born in Sri Lanka, Grade 1 LTF Flight Instructor David Buultjens moved to Australia as a 7-year-old with a dream to one day be a pilot and have the “best office view in the world”.

He started his flight training in 2013 and has now been instructing for nearly 3 years. He loves being able to help those with a passion for aviation to accomplish their flying goals.

Whilst he’s already achieved his childhood dream of having the world’s best office view, he’d love to one day work with a major international airline.

Cameron Mitchell

RAAus CFI | Grade 1 Instructor

Training:
RPC, RPL, PPL, CPL, FIR & more

X

Cameron Mitchell

RAAus CFI | Grade 1 Instructor

Cameron Mitchell is both our Ra-Aus Chief Flight Instructor for Recreational Aviation, and a Grade 1 Flight Instructor.

Cam was allegedly fairly close to pursuing a career as a Sky Diving Instructor, and we’re glad that he changed his mind to instead teach people how to stay INSIDE the aircraft while it’s flying. His students here at Learn To Fly seem pretty happy about that as well.

Over his 9 year aviation career, Cam has built close to 2,000 hours flying planes (and not jumping out).

Jacqui Armstrong

FIR Training Manager | Grade 1 Instructor

Training:
Multi-Engine, FIR & more

X

Jacqui Armstrong

FIR Training Manager | Grade 1 Instructor

Grade 1 Multi-Engine IFR Flight Instructor Jacqui Armstrong has more than 15 years of experience as a pilot. Her career began in 1999 and has seen her fly a range of aircraft in both charter and regional airline roles around Australia.

Jacqui grew up in Melbourne with aviation in her veins, with her father holding a pilot licence. Her grandfather built and flew his own aircraft, which is now on display at the Australian National Aviation Museum at Moorabbin Airport. With a family of her own now, we think there’s a fair chance the tradition may continue!

As a flight instructor, Jacqui loves watching her students’ faces light up when they pass a flight test. Her ideal aviation role is the one that allows her to build her career and spend time with her family. Or the one that allows her to captain the space shuttle into orbit.

Alex Hartkopf

Grade 1 Instructor

Training:
Multi-Engine, IFR & more

X

Alex Hartkopf

Grade 1 Instructor

Alex Hartkopf has been flying for over 12 years and has amassed close to 3500 flight hours during that time. Growing up in Melbourne, Alex was always fascinated by planes, and that curiosity grew even further when his father took him and his cousin up for a joy flight when he was 7 years old.

He loves the social aspect of working at a flight school and being in an environment where everybody shares the same passion for aviation. Alex hopes to progress his career towards becoming a Flight Examiner, and then one day flying for an airline.

Nick Harris

Head of Operations | Grade 1 Instructor

Training:
Multi-Engine, CPL, Formation & more

X

Nick Harris

Head of Operations | Grade 1 Instructor

Originally from London, Senior Base Pilot and Grade 1 Flight Instructor Nick Harris has been flying for over 12 years. He tells us that it “seemed like a good idea at the time” to become a pilot, but we think that maybe it had more to do with growing up watching the Concorde take off over his house (um, that’s pretty awesome).

As an instructor, Nick loves seeing how excited students get after their first solo, or after passing their flight test.

He hopes to one day fly a Tiger Moth around Australia – and in fact, he’s actually building one at the moment to do just that!

Brendan Morgan

Flight examiner | Grade 1 Instructor

Training:
Multi-Engine, FIR & more

X

Brendan Morgan

Flight examiner | Grade 1 Instructor

Brendan Morgan is a Grade 1 Multi-Engine IFR Flight Instructor and Flight Examiner with Learn To Fly.

He has a wealth of experience in the aviation sector that includes more than 12,500 hours of flying (including flying Pilatus PC12 aircraft for the Royal Flying Doctor Service), and over 6,000 hours instructing.

Alexey Khodakovskiy

Grade 2 Instructor

Training:
RPL, PPL, CPL & more

X

Alexey Khodakovskiy

Grade 2 Instructor

Originally from Yekaterinburg in Russia, Alexey grew up around aircraft and had his first flying lesson in 2005.

Aviation runs in his family, and while he has had breaks in flying over the years, his heart has remained firmly within the industry through subsequent operational roles with OzJet and Tigerair.

Now a Grade 2 Flight Instructor at Learn To Fly, Alexey loves the self-development opportunities his roles provides, as well as being able to help students to achieve their goals. He’d one day love to work as either a flight examiner or a training and checking captain for an airline.

Raymond He

Grade 2 Instructor | RAAus Instructor

Training:
RPC, RPL, PPL, CPL & more

X

Raymond He

Grade 2 Instructor | RAAus Instructor

Grade 2 Flight Instructor Raymond He is Melbourne born and raised, he has been flying for nearly 4 years.

Like many pilots, he was instantly hooked on flying after experiencing the thrill of take-off in an airliner as a child.

As a Flight Instructor at LTF, Raymond loves to teach people something they’re passionate about and then see them progress through their training, whilst also expanding his own aviation knowledge. He’d one day love to be sitting in the left seat of a jet airliner sipping on some coffee.

Hamish Smillie

Grade 2 Instructor

Training:
FIR, RPL, PPL, CPL & more

X

Hamish Smillie

Grade 2 Instructor

LTF Grade 2 Flight Instructor Hamish Smillie has been flying for 5 years now and can remember 2 distinct moments in his childhood that drew him to want to fly. The first was watching an F4 Phantom fighter jet screaming into life from 50 feet away at the 1992 Avalon Airshow, and the second was having the amazing experience of being in the cockpit of a Qantas Boeing B747 on approach and landing into Singapore’s Changi Airport!

He loves being able to share his passion with other pilots and as a Flight Instructor, he gains a huge feeling of achievement from being able to mentor students from their very first flight right through to their first solo flight, and eventually their CPL and first aviation job.

Hamish would one day love to be a Check and Training Captain with Qantas on any of their aircraft types.

Clement Suen

Grade 2 Instructor | RAAus Instructor

Training:
RPC, RPL, PPL, CPL, NVFR & more

X

Clement Suen

Grade 2 Instructor | RAAus Instructor

Originally from Hong Kong, Clement moved to Sydney when he was 18 to study a Bachelor of Aviation Degree, followed by a Flight Instructor Rating in Melbourne.

He made up his mind to become a pilot after being captivated by the roar of the engines, and being pushed back in his seat during take-off in an airliner as a child.

The things Clement loves most about his role include following the progress of his students, and enjoying the incredible scenery that only pilots get to see. He’d love to one day be flying jets or turbo-props for an international carrier.

Alex Di Gregorio

Grade 2 Instructor

Training:
RPL, PPL, CPL & more

X

Alex Di Gregorio

Grade 2 Instructor

Melbourne born and raised, Alex grew up with a love for all things aviation and started flying in 2016.

As a Grade 2 Flight Instructor at Learn To Fly he enjoys watching his students go solo for the first time, pass their exams and ultimately achieve their aviation dreams.

Alex is loving his role as a Flight Instructor at the moment, but future pilot career aspirations include possibly flying with an airline or the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Jed Joven

Grade 2 Instructor

Training:
RPL, PPL, CPL & More

X

Jed Joven

Grade 2 Instructor

Jed grew up right next to the international airport at Cebu in the Philippines. When he saw an aircraft’s lights on final approach, he’d hop on his bike and rush to the airport fence to see the landing. He caught the aviation bug at a very early age, and also spent many hours on flight sims.

After moving to Melbourne at age 16, Jed spent as much time flying on weekends as he could whilst finishing high school, and then went on to complete the Swinburne aviation program where he obtained a degree in aviation. He loves the dynamic environment that being a flight instructor offers, and the fact that he gets to teach what he loves most.

8 years into his pilot career and as a flight instructor, Jed loves teaching others about what he loves most, and his future career aspirations include becoming a cargo pilot and/or flying turbo-props around the Philippines.

Ahmed Ibrahim

Safety Manager | Grade 2 Instructor

Training:
Multi-Engine, IFR, FIR & more

X

Ahmed Ibrahim

Safety Manager | Grade 2 Instructor

Grade 2 Multi-Engine IFR Flight Instructor Ahmed Ibrahim has been flying for over 20 years. As a child growing up in Cairo, Egypt, he always wanted to be a pilot and loved looking down at the terrain far below every time he flew.

Ahmed has always enjoyed instructing and teaching throughout his career. 5 years ago he decided to combine his hobby and passion to become a full-time instructor.

As an ultimate pilot career goal, he would love to one day own his own flying school teaching next generation ATPLs and specialising in high-performance aircraft instruction.

Joshua Best

Training Manager | Grade 2 Instructor

Training:
Multi-Engine, IFR, CPL & more

X

Joshua Best

Training Manager | Grade 2 Instructor

Josh started his flying training at age 16 but was born with aviation in his blood. He remembers flying around the Victorian Gippsland region in Cessna 172s with his grandfather as a small child, as well as regular trips to some of the larger airports to watch the “big planes” coming and going.

As a Flight Instructor, Josh loves the fact that every day there is something different to teach. He’s also a big fan of the fact that typically, every customer or student leaves with a smile on their face after flying.

Whilst Josh would one day love to fly in a domestic passenger transport role, his ultimate goal is to join the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Nigel Pratt

RAAus Flight Instructor

Training:
RPC & RPC Cross Country

X

Nigel Pratt

RAAus Flight Instructor

Melbourne born and bred, Learn To Fly RA-Aus Flight Instructor Nigel Pratt thought about becoming a pilot as a young boy but didn’t actually fly in a plane until he was 19 years old when he took a commercial flight to Sydney. Watching the ground fall away was such a huge buzz that he had to start training for a Private Pilot Licence.

Nigel completed his PPL training in 1977 and flew for fun for about 7 years in Australia, the UK and South Africa before life and a career in the medical world intervened. In 2012 he decided it was time to get back into flying, which eventually resulted in him completing an RAAus Flight Instructor Rating with Learn To Fly in 2017.

As part of our RA-Aus instructor team now, Nigel loves the challenges of working in a dynamic environment and imparting his knowledge on future pilots. His goal in flying is simple – to keep doing it and enjoying it until he’s unable to get into the cockpit anymore!

William Thomas

Ground School & Grade 3 Instructor

Training:
RPL, PPL, CPL and more

X

William Thomas

Ground School & Grade 3 Instructor

William Thomas grew up in a small farming town in regional Western Australia and was always fascinated with both the beauty of flying and the technical side of aviation. He started flying at age 15 and given his location, was able to build some very unique experiences flying over some of Australia’s most remote and barren areas with minimal navigational aids.

As a Flight Instructor, William enjoys challenging his own knowledge and learning along with his students. He finds the ability to pass on his experience very rewarding and loves seeing students grasp complex problems and progress through their training.

William hopes to experience a variety of operations in his pilot career including multi-engine IFR instructor, flying for the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and eventually a major airline.

Freddy Fuentes

Grade 3 Instructor

Training:
RPL, PPL, CPL and more

X

Freddy Fuentes

Grade 3 Instructor

Grade 3 Flight Instructor Freddy Fuentes was born in Santiago, Chile, and moved to Australia when he was 3 years old. It was on a family trip back to Chile at age 5 that he caught the aviation bug and wanted to follow his dreams to become a pilot.

He completed his CPL training in 1993, but the collapse of Ansett Airlines in Australia at that time flooded the market with highly qualified pilots and made it very hard to enter the industry. If you’re born to fly, you’re born to fly – so after 25 years away Freddy decided to rekindle his dream to be a pilot, and enrolled with us at Learn To Fly in 2018. He has now completed his Flight Instructor Rating with us, and we are very excited to have him join our team.

Freddy loves the 3-dimensional freedom of movement that flying offers, and is looking forward to sharing his knowledge with the next generation of pilots. As a dream pilot role, he’d love to one day find himself flying seaplanes around the Whitsunday Islands on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Summer Russell

Grade 3 Instructor

Training:
RPL, PPL, CPL and more

X

Summer Russell

Grade 3 Instructor

LTF Grade 3 Flight Instructor Summer Russell grew up west of Melbourne in the city of Geelong, and began her pilot journey at the start of 2018. During her final year at high school she went on a Trial Introductory Flight out of Lethbridge Airport, and was immediately hooked on flying.

After finishing her school studies she went on to complete a Diploma of Aviation, immediately followed by a Flight Instructor Rating course with us here at Learn To Fly. As an Instructor, Summer looks forward to passing on her knowledge to the next generation of pilots as they grow and learn, beginning their own aviation journeys.

Excited to see where her pilot career takes her, she would one day love to join a major airline. At this early stage though, Summer is keen to focus on making the most of each rewarding step as she builds her flying skillset, and enjoying the unique perspective of the world that only a pilot gets to see every day.

Chun Ki (Peter) Cheung

Grade 3 Instructor

Training:
RPL, PPL, CPL & More

X

Chun Ki (Peter) Cheung

Grade 3 Instructor

Chun Ki started flying in July 2018, right here at Learn To Fly. We have watched him progress through his CPL training, followed by a Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating and Flight Instructor Rating. He is the first student to have joined the team having completed every single part of their training with us, and we are very excited to have him on board.

Originally from Hong Kong, Chun Ki has always been fascinated by the sky. After initially starting to study a different degree after high school, he realised quickly that his dream was to become a pilot. At age 18, on his own, he bought himself a plane ticket to Melbourne, organised accommodation, and booked in to start training with LTF – and the rest is history!

Whilst becoming an airline pilot in the future is the long-term dream, right now Chun Ki is focused on enjoying every step of his journey as he continues to learn. We look forward to watching his career grow as well!

Kevin Lam

Student Services Officer

Role:
Reception Duties

X

Kevin Lam

Student Services Officer

Student Services Officer Kevin Lam is also a student pilot, currently completing his Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) with Learn To Fly. Originally from Hong Kong, he developed an interest in flying while on trips with his family, and finally got the chance to experience taking the controls of an aircraft for himself when he was in high school.

Once he has completed his CPL, Kevin hopes his career as a pilot will lead him towards the airlines, and his ultimate goal is to be a Captain for Cathay Pacific.

Nicholas Perrett

Student Recruitment Manager

Role:
Recruitment, Student Welfare

X

Nicholas Perrett

Student Recruitment Manager

Nicholas Perrett grew up in Brisbane and his first involvement with aviation was using his pocket money to buy a LEGO Airport set when he was 12 years old. Living under one of the Brisbane Airport flight paths, he often looked up in wonder at these giant engineering marvels cruising overhead and got his first taste of flying on a Qantas Mystery Flight to Sydney in a Boeing B767.

Nicholas studied commercial photography at Griffith University before taking on a career in property valuations that saw him travel extensively throughout Australia. Some 20 years later he has revisited his early interest in aviation and is currently studying a Bachelor Degree in Aviation Management, whilst also taking on the role of Student Recruitment Manager at LTF.

As well as looking forward to working with our student pilots, Nicholas hopes to start flying himself and achieve his own Private Pilot Licence in the near future. His long term career ambitions include working with a major airline like Qantas in a high-level management role or to procure the next generation of their aircraft fleet.

Rob Embury

Digital Marketing Manager

Role:
Digital Marketing

X

Rob Embury

Digital Marketing Manager

Rob Embury has been interested in aviation since childhood, attending airshows with his grandparents and building model planes with his dad.

He studied Multimedia Design at university and has worked in marketing roles for nearly 15 years, with a particular interest in social media and digital content creation. Outside of digital marketing, Rob has a passion for landscape and weather photography. He runs regular photography tuition workshops and tours and travels to Tornado Alley in the USA each year to chase and document storms.

Learn To Fly’s Digital Marketing Manager role combines digital content creation, photography and aviation together – so it couldn’t really be any more of a perfect fit!

Darren McPherson

Interview Consultant

Training:
PMI, FIR, Interview Training

X

Darren McPherson

Interview Consultant

Senior Captain Darren McPherson has over 30 years and 18,000 hours of flying experience. He joins us as a highly valuable associate consultant through his business ACS – Aviation Consulting Services.

Starting his career as an aero club boy, Captain McPherson is an great example of what can be achieved through perseverance and dedication. He currently flies the Airbus A330 and A350 aircraft with a major international airline.

We are extremely lucky to have his wealth of knowledge on board here at Learn To Fly. Captain McPherson facilitates our Airline Interview Preparation programs and in just over 2 years has helped more than 100 students to get their first airline job.

Sarah Steele

RTO Manager | Charter Pilot

Role:
RTO & Student Management

X

Sarah Steele

RTO Manager | Charter Pilot

Sarah Steele grew up in Townsville Queensland and was drawn to aviation through a love of maths and physics, as well as the fact that it looked like a fun and exciting career path.

She obtained her CPL in 2012, adding a Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating (MECIR) in 2018, and lists flying charters over to the islands off Townsville in a twin-engine Piper Chieftain as being some of her favourite moments in her pilot career so far.

Sarah joins Learn To Fly and Diamond Airline Academy as our RTO Student Manager, and will also head up our charter operations. She’ll be completing a Flight Instructor Rating with us in the near future to add yet another feature to her aviation skill set, and her long-term career goal is to captain a Boeing 777.

Ahmed Ibrahim

Safety Manager | Grade 2 Instructor

Training:
Multi-Engine, IFR, FIR & more

X

Ahmed Ibrahim

Safety Manager | Grade 2 Instructor

Grade 2 Multi-Engine IFR Flight Instructor Ahmed Ibrahim has been flying for over 20 years. As a child growing up in Cairo, Egypt, he always wanted to be a pilot and loved looking down at the terrain far below every time he flew.

Ahmed has always enjoyed instructing and teaching throughout his career. 5 years ago he decided to combine his hobby and passion to become a full-time instructor.

As an ultimate pilot career goal, he would love to one day own his own flying school teaching next generation ATPLs and specialising in high-performance aircraft instruction.

Joshua Best

Training Manager | Grade 2 Instructor

Training:
Multi-Engine, IFR, CPL & more

X

Joshua Best

Training Manager | Grade 2 Instructor

Josh started his flying training at age 16 but was born with aviation in his blood. He remembers flying around the Victorian Gippsland region in Cessna 172s with his grandfather as a small child, as well as regular trips to some of the larger airports to watch the “big planes” coming and going.

As a Flight Instructor, Josh loves the fact that every day there is something different to teach. He’s also a big fan of the fact that typically, every customer or student leaves with a smile on their face after flying.

Whilst Josh would one day love to fly in a domestic passenger transport role, his ultimate goal is to join the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Nick Harris

Head of Operations | Grade 1 Instructor

Training:
Multi-Engine, CPL, Formation & more

X

Nick Harris

Head of Operations | Grade 1 Instructor

Originally from London, Senior Base Pilot and Grade 1 Flight Instructor Nick Harris has been flying for over 12 years. He tells us that it “seemed like a good idea at the time” to become a pilot, but we think that maybe it had more to do with growing up watching the Concorde take off over his house (um, that’s pretty awesome).

As an instructor, Nick loves seeing how excited students get after their first solo, or after passing their flight test.

He hopes to one day fly a Tiger Moth around Australia – and in fact, he’s actually building one at the moment to do just that!