How Do I Undertake Flight Training More Efficiently?

At $6 – 8 per minute in the aircraft, aviation training can seem expensive. There are a number of ways to save on money, and here’s we’ll focus on training efficiency. Training efficiency means two things. Firstly, you save money. Secondly, it means you can sooner achieve competency and minimum course requirements – which means you save time! For your entire aviation journey, recreational or professional, it’s important to ensure you’re getting the most out of your money.

So, let’s answer a question – how do I undertake my flight training more efficiently?

Preparation Is Key

When you’re in the cockpit and paying by the minute, you can make every second count by preparing for the lesson. On YouTube alone, there are video explanations and tutorials for almost every facet of flying. If you speak with a student who completed their course 10 or 20 years ago, they’ll tell you that the volume of educational content available to you today far outweighs what was available to them. If you’re unsure about a topic, such as how lift is generated, a brief Google search will provide you with a clear explanation at your fingertips.

To help our students train more efficiently, we have created free aviation training videos in English and Cantonese on our YouTube Channel – check it out!

Lesson Video Briefings

For our Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) and Private Pilot Licence (PPL) students, Learn To Fly provides a video briefing before each lesson. The briefing gives them an understanding and expectation of what they will be doing in the lesson, prior to their arrival at Learn To Fly.

For example, if they are going to undertake a Climbing and Descending lesson, they need to understand why the aircraft can climb and descend, and what they need to do in the aircraft during climbs and descents. By watching the video briefings and searching through learning content, they have more time to prepare for the lesson and absorb the information. This also means that there’s less to try to absorb and understand on the day, which means they can focus on the tasks at hand.

By focusing on the tasks at hand, they can learn and master skills more efficiently. If you think about it, anything you can learn outside of paid time (classroom or cockpit) means you save time and money during your lessons!

Video Tutorials

In addition to coursework and curriculum-based content, we also cover other video topics to help you with efficiency with your experiences in and around Learn To Fly. For example, we have videos that discuss and present the Moorabbin Airport Inbound and Outbound procedures, how to refuel the aircraft – we even have videos showing how to conduct a pre-flight check for every aircraft in our fleet!

Online Theory Courses

In addition to our video tutorials and lesson briefings, we have more in-depth course information in our Online Theory Courses. These are online aviation training courses we have tailored towards students who are completing training for their RPL, PPL, CPL and Instrument Rating.

We understand that it’s hard to make the time for theory and training each week, particularly those with commitments such as a full-time job. So, we have created the Online Theory Courses to allow students to focus on their theory lessons anytime, anywhere!

What Else Can Help Me With My Aviation Training, Managing Costs and Efficiency?

We’re glad you asked! Depending on your aviation goals, there are lots of considerations – but we have produced a number of easy-to-read tutorials to walk you through these options and considerations. Here are some other topics that are worth exploring to help you out. As always, you can reach out to us anytime at Learn To Fly – we’re here to help!

  1. The Benefits of Online Flight Training Courses
    Read about saving by completing your aviation theory online.

  2. Split Your Flight Training Costs into Interest-Free Instalments from Learn To Fly and SplitIt
    Balancing the financial aspect of studying can be a big task. Here, we’ll talk you through an interest-free option to assist with your education.

  3. Aviation Schools in Melbourne: Why Learn to Fly is Your Best Bet
    The aviation school you choose will make a big difference to your aviation journey. Here’s why you should learn with the best!
  4. Learn To Fly: Flight Training Courses For Every Pilot
    Whether you’re looking at recreational or commercial aviation, we have a course for you. Here are the pathways and career options for pilots operating in Australia.

Top Tips to Prepare You for Solo Flight Training
We cover the best advice to get you solo – read on for everything you need to know!

Chat to one of our flight training specialists to get your pilot training off the ground. Email [email protected] or go to https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.


How Do I Pay For My CPL Flight Training?

If a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) is your aviation goal, you might be sitting there wondering ‘how do I pay for my CPL flight training?’. In the last article, we covered the flight training cost options for RPL and PPL, but here in ‘Part 2 – CPL’ we’ll answer your question with options on how to pay for your Commercial Pilot Licence. Here goes!

How Much Will My CPL Cost?

You should be thinking in terms of around AUD$80,000 for your Commercial Pilot Licence.

Is ‘There A Buy Now, Pay Later; option?

In Part 1 where we looked at RPL and PPL payment options, we explored the ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ model where Learn To Fly has partnered with Splitit to provide financial flexibility. This means students can spread payments over multiple months, without incurring interest. The limit on the Splitit option is AUD$20,000, so it won’t cover the full cost of your CPL training. That being said, there is another way of paying for your CPL flight training through the VET Student Loans program.

Paying with a VET Student Loan

Vet Student Loans (VSL) is an Australian Commonwealth Government loan program that provides eligible full fee paying students with assistance in paying their tuition fees for approved courses of study. This allows students to obtain qualifications, and then gradually repay the loan over time whilst working in their chosen career. Read more about it, here.

As Learn To Fly Melbourne is an approved VET Student Loans provider, we offer VET Student loans for all our Diploma programs. We do this with the goal of enabling financial assistance to prospective pilots – like you! Our Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane) covers all of the training that you need to complete your CPL.

What Other Training Can I Do Under VSL?

The limit of a VET Student Loan is $83,949 (2023) for one approved course, or $162,336 (2023) in total if you are completing more than one eligible AVI course. For example, you could complete your Commercial Pilot Licence (AVI50222 Diploma Of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane)) and you could also complete your Instrument Rating (AVI50519 Diploma Of Aviation (Instrument Rating)).

The AVI50519 Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Rating) course combines multi-engine and instrument training, which is a compulsory requirement for many aviation careers, including that of an airline pilot. The syllabus offers Multi-Engine Class Rating and Multi-Engine Instrument Command Rating (MECIR) training, which is completed in both simulators and real aircraft.

How Do I Check My Eligibility For a VET Student Loan?

To be eligible for a VET Student Loan, you must:

  • – Be an Australian Citizen or
  • – A New Zealand Citizen with a Special Category Visa (SCV) or
  • – A Permanent Humanitarian Visa holder who will be residing in Australia for the duration of the – course
  • – Be studying a VET Student Loans eligible course
  • – Meet student entry procedure requirements
  • – Meet Tax File Number requirements
  • – Present Unique Student Identifier (USI) number
  • – Have not exceeded your HELP loan limit
  • – Have not exceeded the VET Student Loans course cap
  • – Submit a request for a VET Student Loan via the Government’s eCAF System (including all required information) on or before the first census date and no less than two (2) business days after enrolling
  • – Confirm engagement and progression to continue to access the loan throughout the course

You can assess your eligibility using the eligibility tool, here.

What Else Is Worth Consideration?

As well as the financial implications, it’s important to make sure you’re well-informed before you undertake your CPL flight training. Here are some other topics that are worth exploring to help you achieve your aviation goals:

  1. FAQs About Obtaining Your Commercial Pilot Licence
    Find answers to the most commonly asked questions from former CPL students.

  2. The Benefits of Online Flight Training Courses
    Read about saving by completing your aviation theory online.

  3. Flight Schools in Australia – How Do I Choose the Right One?
    Make sure you’re choosing the best flight school to achieve your aviation dreams.

  4. Aspiring Career Pilots – Here’s Why You need a Diploma of Aviation
    If you’re looking to fly commercially, this is a great place to learn about course options.
  5. How to Become an Airline Pilot in Australia
    Understand the pathways and career options for commercial pilots operating in Australia.

Chat to one of our flight training specialists to get your pilot training off the ground. Email [email protected] or go to https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.


How Do I Pay For My RPL and PPL Flight Training?

It’s always the big question for future pilots – how do I pay for my flight training? In this article, we’ll cover RPL (Recreational Pilot Licence) and PPL (Private Pilot Licence). If you’d like to know about CPL (Commercial Pilot Licence), then stay tuned for Part 2!

Flight Training Costs and Factors

If you’re in the planning phases for your flight training, it’s really important to know and understand the costs and affordability of flight training and pilot licences. First and foremost, your type of pilot licence is the first factor in the cost. This means it’s important to know what pilot licence you are aiming to achieve and what your goal is. Your goal options are RPL, PPL or CPL. Let’s take a look at some costs:

  1. Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) will cost around AUD$13,000 – $15,000.
  2. Private Pilot Licence (PPL) will cost AUD$30,000 – $33,000.
  3. Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) will cost around AUD$80,000. We’ll cover this one in our next article.

Keep in mind that this pricing is a simple reference guide. Considerations that can influence the price include the aircraft you choose to train in, the school you fly with and also your own training performance. You might check off training elements within the minimum hours required, but sometimes you might require additional hours to master a certain aspect of aviation – it is all competency-based.  

If your goal is to fly for fun, then an RPL or a PPL are great options. But what if you don’t have $15,000 for RPL or $30,000 for PPL – what do you do? The good news is there are a few options to provide you with flexibility so that you have answers to ‘how do I pay for my flight training’?

Option 1:  Pay As You Go

This is a common option because it’s very convenient. If you have a full-time job and other commitments, it might mean you can train once every week or fortnight. This means your training gets spread out a bit, which can help your cash flow. Rather than paying for your RPL or PPL up-front, you can pay for lessons and training as you complete them. This means you might be paying less than AUD$1,000 per month, which makes the cost much more affordable.

Option 2: Fly Now, Pay Later

Perhaps you have the time to train more frequently, but you don’t have AUD$15,000 or $30,000 available to pay up-front. We have a ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ (BNPL) option that means you can pay for your training in bite-sized instalments. To offer this option, we have partnered with Splitit. Splitit will cover up to AUD$20,000 of your flight training.

What is Splitit?

You can choose SplitIt as the payment method, and split the total cost into 2- 6 equal instalments.

You will need to have enough credit available on your credit card (or have that total available on multiple cards). Splitit is our partnered ‘buy now, pay later’ (BNPL) solution provider. They let customers split payments into manageable portions using VISA or Mastercard – without paying interest.

SplitIt is a bit different to other BNPL providers in that they use your existing VISA or Mastercard credit card levels to cover payments. This means that you don’t need to be pre-approved for a line of credit in order to split your flight training into smaller portions.

For example, you can arrange a ‘buy now, pay later’ option for an RPL Sling Aircraft Training Package, which totals $12,395. This would be portioned into 4 x monthly instalments of $3,099. If you have one month’s holiday and want to complete more training during that month, you can pay for your training via Splitit, train as much as you want, and then pay them later.

It’s a great option for spreading out the cost, without incurring interest. Read more about this option here.

What Else Is Worth Consideration?

We’ve produced a number of blogs to help make flight training understandable and accessible. Here are some other topics that are worth exploring to help you achieve your aviation goals:

  1. The Benefits of Online Flight Training Courses
    Read about saving on training costs by completing your aviation theory online.

    Flight Schools in Australia – How Do I Choose the Right One?
    Make sure you’re choosing the best flight school to achieve your aviation dreams.
  2. Get a Feel for Flying with a Trial Introductory Flight
    A trial flight is the best place to start if you’re unsure. This means you can jump into an aircraft with an instructor and make an informed decision about your options. It’s a great option before you commit to ongoing training!

    FAQs About Obtaining Your Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL)
    If your goal is to gain your RPL, then this is a great article to answer the most common questions asked by former RPL students.
  3. What is the Difference Between RPL and PPL?
    Understand the difference between a Recreational Pilot Licence and a Private Pilot Licence, to help make a decision about what is best for you.

To find out more about how to pay for your flight training, or to find out about our flight training courses, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

You can get more pilot flying tips by subscribing to our YouTube channel. We have RPL/PPL flying lessons, aircraft pre-flight check videos, and more. Click the button below to subscribe!


Becoming A Flight Instructor – More Important Now Than Ever Before

There are a number of reasons why becoming a flight instructor is more important now than ever before. The aviation industry has evolved and changed significantly throughout the recent pandemic years. Not only is it important to fill in gaps in the aviation sector, but there are huge opportunities for anyone looking to join or expand in the industry. This includes becoming a flight instructor! Let’s look at why ‘now’ is the time. Plus, we’ll discuss some of the benefits that explain why becoming a flight instructor is more important now than ever before.

Why Now?

During the pandemic, many airline pilots lost their jobs after the industry was largely shut down. For pilots who already had a flight instructor rating or those that completed the endorsement during the pandemic, the skillset and qualification acted as a backup source of employment and created job security for them.

Since airlines will need more airline pilots and train more students as well, the demand for flight instructors will be higher than ever. Many schools have to hire extra instructors to cope with the demand. This gives you an opportunity to get your first pilot job!

Once you start working, in 6 – 9 months’ time, you should be able to get an upgrade to become a Grade 2 instructor. In another 12 months, you should become a Grade 1 instructor. Fast forward another 6 months and you should be able to get into the airlines!

Job Security

The simple addition of the flight instructor rating means you are diversifying your skillset and job prospects, which protects you and your income. Experience as a flight instructor can help you to build a pretty solid foundation for your future aviation career! 

A pilot who holds a flight instructor rating and has gone to an airline would usually be a Grade 1 or Grade 2 instructor. These pilots can easily find a flight instructor position. We’ll talk through this in more detail shortly.

Become Appealing To The International Market

Many airlines from the U.S. are looking for airline pilots in Australia, since Australian pilots can get an E3 visa and work in the US. This opens up another door for many Australian pilots. To catch this opportunity and meet their requirements, the best way is to get a flight instructor rating and work as a flight instructor. This will help you to accumulate flying hours in a relatively short period of time.

Open Up Your Options

If you are not interested in going to an airline, you can choose to stay and continue to work as a flight instructor and look at alternative career avenues. For example, you could eventually become a flight examiner, or you can have many other options across education and training, transport, public administration, safety and compliance.

Becoming A Better Pilot

Grade 1 and Grade 2 Training Endorsements are an essential part of a Flight Instructor’s progress, expanding on crucial knowledge and concepts, as well as granting additional privileges. To develop and improve as a pilot, teaching and training are critical skills to be able to take your abilities to the next level.

What Can A Grade 2 and Grade 1 Instructor Do?

With a Grade 2 Training Endorsement, you can approve first solo flights, conduct flight reviews for ratings, assess student knowledge deficiency reports (KDRs) for licence and rating grants, and grant endorsements on Recreational Pilot Licences (RPLs).

A Grade 1 Training Endorsement expands on that even further, allowing you to supervise both Grade 2 and Grade 3 Flight Instructors, and deliver instructor training for the Grade 2 Training Endorsement.

How To Complete Grade 1 and Grade To Training Endorsements

All you need to do is book in! A Grade 2 Flight Training Package with Learn To Fly includes:

  • – 5.5 dual flight training hours with an instructor
  • – 1.5 hours solo aircraft hire for your Flight Test
  • – 6 hours of ground school and briefings

A Grade 1 Flight Training Package with Learn To Fly includes:

  • – 5.5 dual flight training hours with an instructor
  • – 1.5 hours solo aircraft hire for your Flight Test
  • – 6 hours of ground school and briefings

For the duration, you can think in terms of 2 – 4 weeks full-time flying and studying (4 – 5 days per week), or 1 – 2 months part-time (1 – 2 days per week). For both training packages, you can currently book in to learn in our Sling 2, Cessna 172 or a Diamond DA40. You can download the Course PDF here to learn all about it, or click here to start the enrollment process!

Flight Instructor Training Endorsements allow you to grow your capabilities as an instructor.

Becoming a Flight Instructor is a great way to build your flying skill set. It’s also a great move for your pilot career, as you can earn money while building your experience and your flying hours in preparation for your next career move. As far as job availability goes, Flight Instructor roles are in demand and will continue to be well into the future.

Want to know more about Learn To Fly’s Flight Instructor Rating or Flight Instructor Training Endorsement courses? Email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

Keen to read on? Check out our other blogs, Flight Instructor Training Endorsements – All You Need To Know and Flight Instructor Rating – A Flying Start To Your Pilot Career.


Becoming an Airline Pilot in Hong Kong in 2023 – Part 2 – Cathay Direct Entry Officer

Welcome to Part 2 where we cover Cathay Pacific Direct Entry! In Part 1 of ‘Becoming an Airline Pilot in Hong Kong in 2023 – Cathay Cadet Pilot’, we introduced you to the Cathay Cadet Pilot Programme. Now we will look at Direct Entry into an airline pilot career with Cathay Pacific.

Direct Entry First Officer, Direct Entry Second Officer

The Cadet Pilot Programme is offered to students with little or no flying experience. Cathay Pacific also recruits pilots as Direct Entry First Officers and Second officers. The requirements for both of these pilot careers can be found here. Read on and we’ll tell you all about it!

Cathay Pacific’s Perfect Opportunity

For some students, the Cathay Pacific Cadet Pilot Programme has an interview process that proves quite difficult. Students who don’t perform well under the interview conditions won’t be offered a position within the programme. If this sounds like you, there’s no need to panic! These two direct-entry pilot positions provide these students with the perfect opportunity to prove themselves.

What Are the Benefits as a First Officer or Second Officer?

Glad you asked! At present (July 2022 data), the target annual salary is based on achieving target annual block hours, a total of HKD 837,000 and a Monthly Allowance of HKD 20,000 for a First Officer. For a Second Officer, you’ll receive all of the above with a remuneration package of HKD 546,000 and a monthly allowance of HKD 14,000. First Offers and Second Officers receive a list of other benefits in addition to their remuneration package, listed below.

  • 28 Days of annual leave;
  • Discounted Travel for you and eligible dependents;
  • Medical Coverage for you and eligible dependents;
  • Global Children’s Education Allowance (for eligible officers);
  • Discretionary Year-End Bonus and Profit Share Payment for eligible officers;
  • Company Contribution to a pension scheme; and
  • – A Typical Hong Kong Tax Rate at around 17%.
How Do I Apply for Direct Entry to Cathay Pacific?

The best objective is to fulfil the requirements for both the Direct Entry positions. Second to this, you should look to exceed the minimum requirements where possible. That will make you more appealing for direct entry! Let’s run through these requirements and what you can do to be a high achiever.

Step 1: CPL with MECIR

The first step you’ll need to take is self-studying your Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL). Within this process, you should gain your Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating (MECIR) and complete your ATPL theory. This will typically take 18 – 24 months to complete.

Step 2: Increase Your Hours

Whilst Cathay Pacific only requires a minimum of 250 flying hours for Direct Entry Second Officer, the success rate of pilots with 500 hours is higher – they’re simply more experienced. For a First Officer, Cathay Pacific requires a minimum of 1,500 hours (with a preference for 3,000 hours). As a CPL holder, you will be qualified to work as a General Aviation (GA) pilot and accumulate your flying hours.

Great News!

There is great news for this, too – there are plenty of job opportunities in Australia for Hong Kong citizens! Hong Kong citizens can apply for the Working Holiday Visa to work legally in Australia. The Hong Kong/Australia Working Holiday Scheme has no quota restriction for Hong Kong youths travelling to Australia under the Scheme.

You can learn more about the Working Holiday Visa in Australia here.

Step 3: Gain Endorsements and Experience

The more ratings and endorsements you have, the more job opportunities will become available to you. One of the most obvious endorsements is your Flight Instructor Rating (FIR). An FIR will allow you to work as a Flight Instructor, which opens up a variety of job opportunities around Australia. That’s just the start!

If you’d like to view different types of jobs currently available, have a look at the Australian Federation of Air Pilots website. There are plenty of aviation opportunities that will help to increase your hours!

Step 4: Check You’ve Completed All Requirements

Check you’re eligibility for an HK ATPL on conversion (according to DCA607). On top of that, you’ll need a valid Class 1 Medical Certificate, ICAO English Language Proficiency (Level 4 or higher) and your COVID-19 vaccination certificate. You’ll receive priority consideration if you’re a Hong Kong permanent resident, too.

Step 5: Apply!

Finally, you’ve landed a job and you’re getting paid to gain all of those flying hours. Moreover, you can start your application for the Direct Entry Positions into Cathay Pacific. The application process starts here.

Learn To Fly Can Help You Brush Up on Those Interview Skills

Our Learn To Fly Airline Interview Coaching Sessions are designed for students like you! These sessions will help you be your best for the Cadet Programme or Direct Entry. You’ll have the choice of face-to-face or live online, with the time to support your learning and development to help you nail that interview.

Need a Bit More Help?

Schedule a meeting with us or get in contact, and one of our flight training specialists can answer your questions. The aviation industry needs pilots, which makes it a very exciting time for pilots who want to fly for Cathay! The time to start preparing is NOW!

Our social media offers free flight training videos and much more! Follow us at https://linktr.ee/learntoflymelbourne


How Do Autopilot Systems Work On A Plane?

Let’s cover the basics and FAQs on how autopilot systems work on a plane.

What is Autopilot?

Autopilot systems on a plane involve computerised control inputs into the aircraft, reducing the workload on the pilot(s). Autopilot uses software to combine sensing elements, command elements and output elements. These monitor the aircraft and apply automated control for flight.

Software installed on an integrated computer designed to oversee and stabilise the altitude, speed, pitch and heading for the aircraft. By reducing the need for pilots to continuously fly the aircraft, it is less exhausting and intensive. The plane can often fly more efficiently – particularly over longer distances.

Autopilot systems on a plane can either maintain and hold their settings, such as straight and level. Alternatively, they can perform a cruise descent or a pre-programmed flight plan. Once a flight plane is entered, the autopilot software will oversee the multi-waypoint routes with integrated turns, climbs, descents and speeds.

When Do We Use Autopilot?

In commercial aircraft, it’s common to engage autopilot once the aircraft exceeds 500 to 1,000 feet above ground level. In general aviation (GA) and visual flight rules (VFR), pilots often turn autopilot on for navigational purposes.

Despite autopilot capabilities, pilots must retain full control of the aircraft through take-off and landing. That being said, modern autopilot systems are capable of allowing automated landings. Autopilot is also capable of disengaging and signalling to a pilot to take control of the aircraft.

How Does Autopilot Work?

In an aircraft fitted with autopilot, there are three categories of components that allow for software to oversee flight control. Central to this system is an autopilot computer to host software and a flight controller module for the pilot. Together, the computer and flight controller module form the command elements (plus radio and/or GPS navigation, if fitted).

The software monitors the aircraft’s sensing elements. This includes the directional and turn-and-bank indicator gyros, altitude indicator and altitude control. The software monitors aircraft positional indicators, heading and attitude. By monitoring the sensing elements, the control elements can then provide commands to the output elements. Any control inputs are sent to the output elements via electric signals to apply the appropriate corrective action.

 In 3-axis autopilot, the output elements include three servo actuators that control the ailerons, rudder and elevators. These motorised features can be controlled by the computer in the context of GPS and sensing elements. For example, if the wings are not level, the system receives a signal from the plane’s various indicators to apply corrective action. These then provide feedback to the computer so that the software can continuously monitor the aircraft.

Autopilot provides an aircraft with a system that oversees the flight components such as airspeed indication, accelerometers and navigation technology. When a pilot enters flight route information, the computer monitors the altitude and speed requirements along the route. This is using single-axis, two- or three-axis systems to control ailerons, rudders and elevators.

Is Putting the Plane on Autopilot Safe?

Aircraft should include a backup system in case autopilot fails. A pilot should always be on standby to take control of the aircraft if or when it is necessary. The safest combination for flight is a pilot who knows both the capabilities and limitations of the fitted autopilot system.

Autopilot is highly capable of detecting abnormal operations and analysing conditions and the required solutions. By making the necessary adjustments, the autopilot can reduce human error and ensure flight safety. Similarly, at any point, the pilot is capable of overriding the autopilot system and taking manual control of the aircraft.

Is Putting the Plane on Autopilot Safe?

Although autopilot makes an aircraft quite capable of automated flight, it requires human/pilot oversight for safety and best performance. This means its role in an aircraft is being a tool to assist the pilot’s workload management and control efficiencies. Similarly, a pilot can arguably fly better with autopilot. This makes a combination of pilot and autopilot safe for flight.

We hope this helps you understand how autopilot systems work on a plane!

Did you know that we have free flight training videos available on our YouTube channel? Check out the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe, so you get notified when new videos go live! 👇

Top 5 Tips for International Students to Prepare for Their Flight Training in Australia

Australia is a top destination for flight training international students due to having great terrain, coastlines and uncongested airways. If you’re an international student preparing for flight training in Australia, here are our top 5 tips!

Australia is the perfect training destination, offering an amazing lifestyle whilst you train. Flight training in Australia has gained popularity due to the highly recognised pilot training courses and student support. This all creates a high-quality airline pilot – which could be you.

If you’re limited in time, it’s important that you complete some preparation before coming to do flight training in Australia. This will help to ensure you make the most of your aviation training time.

Top 5 Tips: Flight Training Australia
  1. 1. Setting the Goal

Your goal is the most important part to start with. This defines the aviation training pathway that you take in Australia and how you will achieve the goal.

Perhaps this means you want to fly for fun. Maybe you’d like to fly your first solo or enjoy aviation training with the Australian experiences on offer. You can be in the company of other aviation students enjoying the same benefits!

Deciding on your goal will ensure you are best prepared for your flight training in Australia.

  1. 2. Choose the right time

Once you’ve decided on your goal, the next step is researching your training pathway. This will ensure you get the most out of your aviation training in Australia. Considerations include how long you need to stay in Australia and how many flying hours you actually need.

Another consideration for your flight training is timing – which month is best? Australia’s weather seasons include summer in December, January and February. Australia’s winter is June, July and August. You can fly all-year-round, but weather is always a consideration. In the northern states such as Queensland and Northern Territory, summer months are their ‘wet season’. Meanwhile, these months make for excellent flying conditions in Melbourne, Victoria, for example.

  1. 3. Choose the right airport fit for your training purpose

Once you know your preferred timing, you’ll need to decide which airport is best for your needs. A non-controlled aerodrome makes training somewhat easier, with less traffic, less radio work and lower fees. However, you would miss out on learning how to speak to Air Traffic Control (ATC) and more in-depth situational awareness skills. A controlled airport, such as Moorabbin, Melbourne (YMMB), offers a more professional learning environment. You’ll likely note a higher level of training and experience on offer, but it can be more expensive.

TIP: If you want to become a professional pilot, a controlled airport will be better for you

  1. 4. Choose a flight school

Selecting the right school can mean you’re training more efficiently, to a higher level, or simply in a great location. Overseas students have limited time in Australia, so consider your available time for Australian aviation training.

For example, flight training can have a lot of interruptions. Weather is always a factor, but often you can complete classroom and theory when the weather isn’t suitable for flying. However, there will come a time when your practical training is delayed due to inclement weather. Aircraft maintenance and instructor availability are other factors.

When you’re deciding on a school, have a look at its aircraft fleet and instructors. A great flight training school will have a range of aircraft with different training and endorsement options. That school might also have a flight training team of high-quality Grade 1, Grade 2 and Grade 3 instructors, too. Better yet, an administration team to support both you and the flight training team is an added bonus.

Given the different categories of flight instructors, it’s important to understand their background: Can they conduct a flight test? Can they oversee the endorsement(s) you’d like to complete? Are they experienced? The best Australian flight training provider will have sufficient aircraft and instructors efficiently reach your aviation goals.

TIP: If a school has more aircraft than instructors, you’ll have fewer cancellations!

  1. 5. Option to do the theory online?

By studying online, it’s possible to utilise your time in Australia to focus on your practical flight training component. Learn To Fly provide RPL (Recreational Pilot Licence), PPL (Private Pilot Licence) and CPL (Commercial Pilot Licence) theory courses online. All of these courses are designed to prepare you to pass your theory exams. All of these theory courses are able to be completed before commencing your flight training in Australia.

If you choose this pathway, it can save you both time and money. For example, the CPL theory can take around 4 – 6 months to complete in Australia. If you complete our online CPL theory course before arrival, you’ll save 4 -6 months in time, food and accommodation. This is the time you can spend flying planes!

Training Videos

Learn To Fly have created a comprehensive suite of learning and support materials. We want to ensure you can complete your aviation training to the highest standard, with all questions answered. In addition to high-end training aircraft, instructors and course materials, we produce a large range of training videos. They’re FREE of charge, so you can watch the videos anytime on our Learn to Fly YouTube Channel.

If you follow all of this, you’re taking the right steps in preparing yourself for flight training in Australia!

So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with us today! Our team would be pleased to answer any questions to start your journey of flight training in Australia.

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Aviation English: 10 Basic Aviation Terms Every Pilot Should Know

Brushing up on your aviation English? We’ve compiled 10 basic aviation terms that every pilot should know. Aviation English is the international language used by members of civil aviation across the world. If you aim to communicate effectively, you’ll need to use clear, concise language to coordinate with controllers and other pilots.

1. The ICAO Alphabet/International Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet

The first on our Aviation English list is the alphabet itself. You can use this internationally-used phonetic alphabet to communicate efficiently and avoid misunderstandings between pilots and tower operators.

Let’s improve your Aviation English right now. The ICAO phonetic alphabet includes code words assigned to the entire 26 letters of the alphabet. Here’s the list so that you can practice:

Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel, India, Juliett, Kilo, Lima, Mike, November, Oscar, Papa, Quebec, Romeo, Sierra, Tango, Uniform, Victor, Whiskey, X-ray, Yankee, Zulu.

2. Air Traffic Control

Air Traffic Control is a vital team of aviation specialists who monitor and manage aviation traffic. This includes all active aviation traffic – ground, inbound and departure. Air traffic controllers have a primary role in managing safe and orderly traffic flow inside and between airports.

There are three categories of air traffic controllers who work cooperatively to achieve this: tower controllers, terminal controllers and en route controllers. To help them do their job, it’s vital that pilots have clear, concise and confident communication skills in Aviation English.

3. Circuit

A circuit refers to the arrival and departure procedures of an airport or aerodrome. The circuit itself includes a take-off leg, a crosswind leg (perpendicular to the runway), a downwind leg (parallel to the runway), a base leg and then the final leg. The En Route Supplement Australia (ERSA), developed by Airservices Australia, is a primary source of information on airport procedures in circuits (or ‘in pattern’). Upon arrival, departure or inside the circuit, clear aviation English is paramount to safe and efficient flying.

4. Approach

The approach of an aircraft is the process and patterns within which the pilot manoeuvres the aircraft in anticipation of landing at its destination. An aircraft’s approach can be achieved through Visual Flight Rules (VFR) or Instrument Flight Rules (IFR). On approach, you follow a series of predetermined waypoints and altitudes to oversee the safe arrival on the destination runway.

5. Final Approach

A final approach is the last ‘leg’ of flight, generally before landing on the designated runway. The final approach may be a ‘straight in’ approach from a multi-waypoint inbound flight, or it may be a final approach as a continuation of the base leg in the circuit.

6. Controlled Airspace

Australian airspace architecture works on a system of classes. Classes A, C, D and E are all forms of controlled airspace. These classes are actively monitored and managed by Air Traffic Control (ATC).

As per Airservices Australia:

Class A: A high-level en route controlled airspace is used predominately by commercial and passenger jets. Only  IFR flights are permitted, and they require an ATC clearance. These flights are provided with an air traffic control service and are positively separated from each other.

Class C: This is the controlled airspace surrounding major airports. Both IFR and VFR flights are permitted and must communicate with air traffic control. IFR aircraft are positively separated from both IFR and VFR aircraft. VFR aircraft are provided traffic information on other VFR aircraft.

Class D:  This is the controlled airspace that surrounds general aviation and regional airports equipped with a control tower. All flights require ATC clearance.

Class E: This mid-level en route controlled airspace is open to both IFR and VFR aircraft. IFR flights are required to communicate with ATC and must request ATC clearance.

Class G: This airspace is uncontrolled. Both IFR and VFR aircraft are permitted, and neither requires ATC clearance.

Note: At towered airports, the class of airspace may change subject to the time of day.

7. Go-Around (Go Round)

A go-around is the abortion of an aircraft landing due to unfavourable circumstances. These circumstances could be the result of wind and weather conditions, visibility, aircraft performance or even as a result of an unserviceable runway. Upon closely approaching the runway for landing, a pilot performs a ‘go-around’ by applying power and cancelling the landing by continuing to fly another circuit for another attempt.

8. Visual Flight Rules (VFR)

Visual Flight Rules (VFR) include flights in conditions where the pilot uses visual references as a primary navigation and control technique for managing the aircraft. These Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC) change, subject to the airspace. The Visual Flight Rules Guide by CASA is a useful tool for pilots who are preparing for VFR flights.

9. Instrument Flight Rules (IFR)

When VFR conditions are not met, Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) apply to the pilot and aircraft. Under IFR conditions, the aircraft must be adequately equipped for IFR conditions (Instrument Meteorological Conditions, IMC), and the pilot must have appropriate training and endorsements.

10. Pilot’s Operating Handbook (POH)

The Pilot’s Operating Handbook (POH) is the pilot’s manual for the aircraft and operation. For a pilot looking to maintain skills and knowledge whilst operating the aircraft, the POH is fundamental. It’s a document developed by the aircraft manufacturer with all information considered important for the safe and effective operation of that aircraft.

At a minimum, a typical POH for aircraft will include the following:

  • – General information: An introduction to the POH, definitions and summary of performance specifications (gross weight, top speed, cruise, range, rate of climb, stall speeds, total fuel capacity, total unusable fuel, fuel types and engine power.
  • – Operational Limits: Airspeed limitations, ceiling, flight load factors, prohibited manoeuvres, passenger weight limitations, powerplant limitations, indicator markings etc.
  • – Emergency Procedures: Recommended procedures for fire, electrical failure, voltage regulator failure, malfunctions, emergency landings and unusual flight conditions.
  • – Normal Procedures: Preflight inspection, engine start, taxiing, take-off (normal, obstacle, soft field), climb, cruise, descent and approach, landing (normal, obstacle, balked), shutdown.
  • – Flight Performance: Airspeed calibration, stall speeds, take-off and climb performance, landing performance, cruise performance.
  • – Weight and Balance Equipment List: Operating weights and loading, installed equipment list, sample loading problems, loading graphics, flight envelope.
  • – Description of Aircraft and Systems: Powerplant summary, aircraft specifications, aircraft three view, instrument panel, electrical system, fuel system.
  • – Aircraft Group Handling and Servicing: Torques, fuel, oil, coolant, spark plugs, exhaust, tyres and tubes, wing removal/installation, towing, tie-down, cleaning and care.
  • – Supplements: Additional information, such as a flight training supplement.

The POH will also include contact information for the manufacturer and support, compliance standards (design, construction, airworthiness, POH standard) and a revision summary for the POH.

Every pilot should aim to develop and expand their vocabulary to include commonly-used terminology in the industry and profession.

That’s a wrap! We hope these ’10 basic aviation terms every pilot should know’ are useful in improving your aviation English!

Did you know that we have free flight training videos available on our YouTube channel? Check out the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe, so you get notified when new videos go live! 👇

FAQs About Obtaining Your Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL)

These Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) FAQs are the perfect place for any pilot to start. Imagine getting up and heading to work, knowing that flying will be on the agenda today. Imagine replacing the everyday drone of keyboards and office phones with the rumble of an aircraft engine starting up. Look out your window next time you’re at work – wouldn’t the view be better from 5,000, 10,000 or 30,000 feet?

They say to do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life, so if you’re looking to turn your love for aviation into a career, it’s time to get your Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL). Let’s answer some FAQs.  

What does obtaining my CPL allow me to do?

The biggest Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) FAQ! Obtaining a Commercial Pilot Licence allows you to fly professionally, meaning you can get paid to fly. It allows you to explore the wide range of different career paths a pilot might take. From flying scenic charters to doing mail runs to remote outback communities, from crop-dusting in the agricultural industry to captaining flights on the world’s biggest airlines, all of these exciting careers begin in the same place; obtaining your CPL.

What does getting my CPL involve?

To begin your CPL, you must have already completed your Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) and your Private Pilot Licence (PPL). These licence programs will teach you how to fly a plane and how to navigate between two locations efficiently and safely. Once you have these qualifications, you’re ready to start your CPL training.

What practical and theoretical training do I have to do?

The first step in obtaining your CPL is to complete the theory component. There are 7 CPL theory exams that you must pass to move onto the flight training component, covering important areas of knowledge for a career in aviation.

Your CPL theory syllabus will include:

  • – Aircraft General Knowledge
  • – Meteorology
  • – Flight Rules & Air Law
  • – Navigation
  • – Human Factors
  • – Aerodynamics
  • – Performance
  • With your theory completed, it’s time for the fun stuff; flight training. Here you’ll get into the cockpit of the Diamond DA40 (and the AL42 Flight Simulator) for a number of training elements, including navigational exercises and a refresher on instrument flying. You’ll also have to build your hours up both with an instructor and solo. You’ll need to log at least 150 flying hours in total before your flight test, 70 of which need to be flown solo as a Pilot in Command (PIC).

With your hours logged, you’re almost there! Your instructor will take you for one final navigational flight to ensure you’re ready for the CPL flight test. The final flight test will require you to demonstrate all the skills you’ve learned and is completed with the CASA testing officer. Upon completion of this final step, you’ll be awarded your Commercial Pilot Licence – your first step into a career in aviation!

Can I Study CPL in Australia if I’m From Overseas?

Absolutely you can! Learn to Fly offers a Diploma of Aviation qualification, through which international students can apply for a student visa to study in Australia.

The pilot training industry in Australia is widely regarded as being of world-class standard, with pilots coming from around the world to study here. What’s more, the uncrowded skies and predominantly sunny weather make Australia an ideal spot for you to do your training!

Do I Need to Study the Bachelor of Aviation?

No. In fact, we don’t recommend you begin your flight training by doing a Bachelor of Aviation – it’s usually far more expensive and will take you longer to achieve your goals.

If you’re looking to begin a career in aviation, especially in the airline industry, we strongly suggest you take the following pathway:

  1. 1. Study & obtain your Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL)
  2. 2. Study & obtain your Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating (MECIR)
  3. 3. Study & obtain your Flight Instructor Rating (FIR)
    1. This will allow you to work as a flight instructor, a fantastic addition to your resume
  4. 4. Once you’ve obtained the above qualifications, you can now undertake the Bachelor of Aviation while accumulating flying hours at the same time.

By following this pathway, at the end of 4 years, you will not only have a CPL, MECIR & Bachelor’s Degree, but also an FIR and a few hundred flying hours to your name. You’ll be ready to apply to airlines immediately.

Do You Offer Any Finance Options?

We sure do! We offer VET Student Loans for all our Diploma programs to enable financial assistance to prospective pilots.

VET Student Loans (VSL) is an Australian Commonwealth Government loan program that provides eligible, full-fee-paying students with assistance in paying their tuition fees for approved courses of study. This allows students to obtain qualifications and then gradually repay the loan over time whilst working in their chosen career.

Learn to Fly is a proud VSL-approved course provider. You can read more information here.

I’ve completed my CPL. What Next?

Need more than the above Commercial Pilot Licence FAQs? Well, like any job, building your skills will make your resumé more appealing to aviation employers. More ratings and endorsements mean you’re a more appealing candidate. There is a wide range of ratings and endorsements you can pursue to boost your employability – all while learning important new skills.

Some of our most popular endorsements include:

These should answer the most commonly asked Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) FAQs! There is a wide range of incredible training options on offer at Learn to Fly. Whether you’re looking to jumpstart your aviation career or take it in a new direction – we’ve got the solution for you.

Did you know that we have a free pilot licence and flying lesson videos available on our YouTube channel? Check out the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe, so you get notified when new videos go live! 👇