Mastering Instrument Flight in Challenging Weather Conditions

Instrument flight demands precision, skill, and unwavering focus, especially when the elements prevent clear visibility. Aspiring pilots, seasoned aviators, and enthusiasts alike must understand the critical importance of mastering instrument flight techniques to ensure safe and confident flying, even in adverse weather conditions.

Partial Panel Flying

Partial panel flying refers to a reduced set of flight instruments available due to instrument failures mid-flight. Pilots undergo training to recognise and manage these failures can arise unexpectedly due to technical glitches or adverse conditions. Pilots must swiftly identify the failed instruments and adjust their approach accordingly in such situations.

Key instruments for partial panel flying include the airspeed indicator, altimeter, and vertical speed indicator. These instruments provide crucial data on speed, altitude, and climb or descent rates. With the absence of the horizon reference from the attitude indicator, pilots must rely on basic principles of attitude control.

A significant challenge in partial panel flying is maintaining situational awareness and adaptability. Pilots must constantly monitor remaining instruments, cross-checking their readings for accuracy. They should also be prepared to adjust flying techniques based on changing conditions. For instance, if the altimeter indicates a climb but the airspeed reduces, lowering the nose and reducing the pitch angle may be necessary to avoid climbing too steeply.

Enhancing situational awareness involves leveraging all available resources, including radio navigation aids, GPS systems, and external visual cues. Effective communication with air traffic control and other aircraft further aids in maintaining awareness.

Unusual Attitude Recovery

Unusual attitude recovery is a critical skill that all pilots must master to handle unexpected situations where the aircraft deviates from its normal flight parameters. Unforeseen circumstances such as severe turbulence, sudden wind gusts, or spatial disorientation can lead to unusual aircraft attitudes, challenging even the most experienced pilots. In these moments, swift and precise recovery techniques are essential to returning the aircraft to a stable flight path and mitigating potential risks.

An unusual attitude refers to any situation where the aircraft is not flying in a stable configuration. This could involve extreme pitch angles (nose-up or nose-down), bank angles (tilted to one side), or combinations of both. Such deviations from normal flight can be disorienting and potentially dangerous if not corrected promptly.

To effectively correct the issue, the first step is to recognise that the aircraft is in an unusual attitude. This requires keen situational awareness and a thorough understanding of the aircraft’s normal flight envelope. Pilots must be able to quickly identify deviations from expected pitch and bank angles by cross-checking their instruments and assessing visual cues. Pilots must analyse the situation once the unusual attitude is recognised and determine the appropriate action. This involves assessing factors such as airspeed, altitude, vertical speed, and the direction of the turn. Pilots must also consider external factors such as weather conditions and terrain proximity. With a clear understanding of the situation, pilots can execute the appropriate recovery technique to return the aircraft to a stable flight path. Recovery techniques vary depending on the specific attitude of the aircraft but generally involve a combination of control inputs to adjust pitch, roll, and power settings.

Effective recovery from an unusual attitude requires manual flying skills, situational awareness, and decision-making under pressure. Pilots must remain calm and focused despite the potentially disorienting nature of the situation and execute the recovery procedure with precision.

Precision Approach Procedures

Precision approach procedures are fundamental components of instrument flight operations, enabling pilots to navigate to the runway safely and accurately in low visibility conditions. These procedures include Instrument Landing System (ILS) and GPS-based approaches, which demand meticulous execution and a high level of proficiency to ensure a smooth and precise landing.

Regardless of the specific approach procedure used, pilots must master precise altitude, speed, and course control techniques to execute flawless approaches. Key elements of precision approach procedures include:

  •  Vertical Profile Management: Pilots must accurately manage the aircraft’s altitude to follow the prescribed descent path provided by the glide slope or GPS vertical guidance. This requires precise control inputs to ensure the aircraft remains on the correct glide path towards the runway threshold.
  • Lateral Course Tracking: Maintaining alignment with the runway’s centreline is crucial for a successful landing. Pilots must monitor the aircraft’s lateral position relative to the localiser or GPS course and make corrections as necessary to remain on track.
  • Airspeed Control: Proper airspeed management is essential for maintaining stability and control during the approach phase. Pilots must adhere to the recommended approach speed while considering factors such as wind conditions, aircraft configuration, and descent rate.
  • Configuration Management: Configuring the aircraft for landing involves extending flaps, lowering landing gear, and adjusting power settings to achieve the desired approach profile. Pilots must sequence these actions effectively to ensure a smooth transition from the approach phase to the landing phase.
  • Decision Making: Pilots must make timely decisions based on available information and conditions to ensure the safety of the flight. This includes evaluating weather conditions, monitoring aircraft performance, and assessing runway conditions to determine whether to continue the approach or execute a missed approach procedure.

To execute these procedures with confidence, pilots undergo extensive training and recurrent practice to develop the necessary skills and proficiency.

Datalink Weather Interpretation

Datalink weather interpretation provides pilots with real-time information through advanced avionics and datalink weather systems. This technology allows pilots to access crucial weather updates during flight, enabling them to make informed decisions promptly.

Integrating datalink weather systems into modern aircraft avionics has transformed how pilots navigate adverse weather conditions. Pilots gain valuable insights into atmospheric conditions along their route by receiving up-to-date weather data directly into the cockpit. This includes information on precipitation, turbulence, icing, thunderstorms, and other hazards that could affect the safety of the flight.

Accurate interpretation of datalink weather information is essential for pilots to make effective decisions during flight. Pilots must analyse the data carefully, considering factors such as the location, intensity, and movement of weather phenomena. Pilots can proactively plan and execute appropriate strategies to mitigate risks and ensure the safety of the aircraft and its occupants.

Strategies for Safe and Confident Flying:

  • Thorough Pre-Flight Planning: Before departure, conduct comprehensive pre-flight planning, considering weather forecasts, alternate routes, and potential hazards. Utilise resources such as aviation weather briefings and flight planning tools to mitigate risks and ensure preparedness for challenging weather conditions.
  • Continuous Training and Currency: Instrument flight proficiency requires regular practice and ongoing training. Enrol in instrument flight training programs and recurrent training courses to maintain proficiency and stay aware of industry best practices. Consider pursuing advanced certifications such as a diploma of aviation to enhance knowledge and skill development.
  • Effective Communication: Clear and concise communication is paramount, especially in challenging weather conditions. Maintain open communication with air traffic control (ATC) and fellow crew members, conveying intentions, requests, and situational updates promptly and accurately to facilitate safe and efficient operations.

Mastering instrument flight techniques, including partial panel flying, unusual attitude recovery, precision approach procedures, and datalink weather interpretation, is essential for safe and confident flying in challenging weather conditions. Through dedication, training, and proficiency, pilots can navigate adverse conditions with precision and confidence, ensuring the safety and well-being of all onboard.

Building Your Hours: Creative Ways to Gain Flight Time for a CPL

Aspiring commercial pilots understand the significance of amassing flight hours, a prerequisite for obtaining their Commercial Pilot License (CPL) and pursuing an aviation career. However, accumulating the required flight time can be both financially daunting and logistically challenging but there are innovative and cost-effective strategies to help aspiring pilots reach their flying goals.

Volunteer Flying Organisations

Volunteering with flying organisations presents a unique avenue for aspiring pilots to gain invaluable flight experience while contributing to noble causes. Volunteer organisations offer a diverse range of flight opportunities that go beyond traditional flight training scenarios.

Participating in volunteer flying missions may involve transporting patients to medical facilities, delivering vital medical supplies to remote areas, or conducting search and rescue missions in collaboration with local authorities. These tasks provide pilots with hands-on flying experience and instil a sense of purpose and fulfilment as they contribute to the well-being of individuals and communities in need.

Flying with volunteer organisations exposes pilots to a variety of flight conditions and scenarios, enhancing their skills and adaptability in different environments. Pilots may encounter challenging weather conditions, navigate unfamiliar airspace, and coordinate with ground personnel during mission operations, all of which contribute to their overall growth and proficiency as aviators.

Aerial Photography and Surveying

Partnering with local businesses or government agencies to offer aerial photography and surveying services presents pilots with a lucrative opportunity to accumulate flight hours while generating income. Pilots gain valuable flying experience in diverse environments by using their skills for aerial mapping, pipeline inspections, or real estate photography.

Aerial photography and surveying missions often involve flying over varied terrain and navigating through different airspace, providing pilots with practical experience in flight planning and execution. Pilots learn to adapt to changing conditions and effectively communicate with clients to meet their needs.

Engaging in aerial photography and surveying projects allows pilots to build their observational skills and develop a keen eye for detail. Pilots acquire valuable technical expertise that enhances their competency as aviators by capturing high-resolution images and precise measurements.

Beyond the flight experience gained, offering aerial photography and surveying services can be financially rewarding. Pilots can secure steady work while simultaneously building their flight hours and advancing their career prospects in the aviation industry by establishing partnerships with local businesses or government agencies.

Work as a Charter Pilot

Working as a charter pilot offers aspiring commercial pilots the opportunity to accrue flight hours while pursuing their Commercial Pilot License. Charter pilots often fly a variety of routes and aircraft types, gaining valuable experience in different flying conditions and environments. This diverse exposure enhances their skills and proficiency, accelerating their journey towards meeting the flight hour requirements for a CPL. Charter flying also allows pilots to develop customer service skills and professionalism, essential attributes for a successful career in commercial aviation. Overall, working as a charter pilot provides a practical and rewarding path towards achieving CPL qualifications.

Flight Instruction

Earning a flight instructor rating (CFI) opens doors to a rewarding career path while simultaneously allowing you to log flight hours. Teaching aspiring pilots through a CPL course and private pilot training enhances their flying skills and contributes to the aviation community. CFI-rated pilots gain valuable experience in teaching, communication and aircraft operation, all essential for a successful aviation career.

Aircraft Ferrying

Aircraft ferrying offers pilots a lucrative opportunity to accumulate flight time. Ferrying aircraft between locations or delivering new aircraft from manufacturers provides valuable cross-country flight experience, enhancing pilots’ skills and versatility. By offering ferrying services for aircraft owners or flight schools, pilots gain exposure to diverse aircraft types and navigation challenges, further enriching their flying experience.

Aircraft Ownership and Partnership

Exploring aircraft ownership or partnership presents pilots with a flexible approach to accumulating flight hours. By forming partnerships or investing in shared ownership arrangements with fellow pilots, individuals gain greater control over scheduling flights and can tailor their flying experience to meet CPL requirements. Owning or co-owning an aircraft offers pilots the freedom to plan flights according to their availability and preferences, providing consistent access to flying opportunities. Additionally, shared ownership arrangements distribute the costs associated with aircraft ownership, making it a cost-effective option for pilots seeking to build flight time while enjoying the benefits of aircraft ownership.

International Flying Opportunities

Exploring international flying opportunities provides pilots with a rich cultural experience while accruing flight hours. Engaging in humanitarian missions or joining flying clubs abroad offers exposure to diverse aviation practices and cultural perspectives. Volunteer flying organisations often facilitate international programs tailored to pilots, allowing them to contribute to meaningful causes while expanding their aviation skills. Additionally, international flight schools may offer specialised training programs designed to meet CPL requirements, providing pilots with valuable cross-cultural experiences and enhancing their competitiveness in the global aviation industry.

Earning enough flight hours is a crucial step for any aspiring pilot pursuing a Commercial Pilot License. While it can be expensive and challenging, exploring innovative and cost-effective strategies opens doors to exciting career opportunities in the aviation industry. By leveraging volunteer flying organisations, aerial photography services, flight instruction, and other creative avenues, aspiring pilots can gain the necessary experience to pursue their dreams of becoming commercial aviators.

Night VFR Rating: Learn How To Fly At Night

Flying at night is one of the most challenging aspects of aviation. It can be intimidating and even terrifying, but it doesn’t have to be. If you know what to expect and how to prepare, flying at night can be a beautiful experience.

A pilot’s skill set would be significantly enhanced by the addition of night flying. You can take to the skies at night if you have your Night VFR rating with your pilot licence.

Night VFR training is an excellent way for pilots to get comfortable with night flying and be able to do so safely. When travelling across the country, you won’t have to worry about being constrained by time thanks to this training.

When you’re learning how to fly at night, there are some things that you need to know about flying at night that will help you understand what’s going on.

This blog will guide you on what you need to know about night flying and some tips for preparing yourself and your aircraft. This knowledge will help you feel confident in your ability to fly safely at night!

Night VFR Rating

Night flying is one of the most challenging skills a pilot can learn. It requires a combination of skill, knowledge, and experience that can only be acquired over time.

Learning the ins and outs of night visual flight regulations and requirements, human factors, weather, and atypical night operations from an accredited aviation school is essential for safe night flights. Learn to Fly helps students learn the basics of night flying, flight planning, and navigation in the Night Rating course.

A VFR (visual flight rules) rating permits you to fly as the pilot-in-command after sunset. After completing the VFR night rating, you can fly in Australia at night. Many students move to this level after acquiring their private pilot licence.

Travelling at night provides greater freedom when planning long journeys that may not be finished during daylight. Flying at night is also often more pleasant since there is less air traffic.

An additional perk is increasing your nighttime experience. Night flying is a major deterrent for many airline pilots looking to further their careers. The industry standard for airlines is 100 hours. We recommend getting your night rating if you want to make a living as a pilot.

Flying at night takes more concentration than flying during the day, so it’s important to be well-rested before you fly. You should also be familiar with your aircraft’s instruments and systems and have practised reading them under all lighting conditions.

If you’re interested in adding a Night VFR rating, read on to find out a brief rundown of things you should be aware of.

Nighttime Flying: What You Need to Know

The CASA requires you to have a valid medical certificate before flying. A private and commercial pilot certificate only allows you to fly during the day. You’ll need an instrument and a VFR rating to fly at night.

If you’re a pilot, nighttime flying can be one of the most thrilling experiences in your life. Flying at night is a challenge for novice and experienced pilots because of the many obstacles that must be overcome before taking off into the dark sky.

The best time to fly is when the weather is good. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible. If you have to fly at night, here are some tips and tricks you’ll need to know:

Check Your Weather Forecast

The most important thing to do when planning a nighttime flight is to check the weather forecast. Make sure you know how far in advance you need to check the forecast so that you can plan accordingly. You also want to make sure that there are no storms or other dangerous conditions predicted.

Plan your route carefully

Make sure there’s no chance of losing sight of landmarks along your route, such as lakes or rivers. Also, ensure that the area isn’t too flat — it’s easier for pilots to lose orientation when flying over flat ground than over hilly terrain.

Get to know some nighttime flying illusions

Illusions of flight at night are widespread and potentially lethal if not addressed promptly. Master the art of recognising and overcoming how your senses might mislead you when the lights go out.

Don’t forget to bring extra lights

If you plan on flying at night, make sure to have a flashlight (or two), a headlamp, and batteries. You shouldn’t skimp on pre-flight and post-flight inspections just because it’s late. Use red light if possible; it will aid your eyes in adjusting to the dark and provide the clearest visibility.

Record nighttime

Night flying is like any other ability; the more you do it, the better you get at it. To keep your CASA certification relevant, you must regularly log nighttime. To remain current and legally transport people at night in general aviation, pilots must have completed at least three nighttime takeoffs and three full-stop nighttime landings during the preceding ninety days.

Make a strategy to prevent pilot burnout

Pilots are more likely to become exhausted at night than during the day, all else being equal. Once the sun goes down, our circadian rhythms kick in, and we begin to feel sleepy. Combating pilot weariness and staying attentive requires planning.


Nighttime flying is a great way to expand your horizons and challenge yourself. But it’s important to know what you’re getting into to make the most of your experience and stay safe.

The Night VFR Rating is a great way to improve your skills in low-visibility conditions, and it’s something that can help you advance your career as a pilot.

At Learn to Fly, you can choose from Night VFR Rating, Night VFR Training Endorsement and Private Pilot Training, as well as several other courses, including commercial pilot training and flight instructor rating.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up now!

The Benefits of Online Flight Training Courses

Are you interested in undertaking a flight training course, but aren’t sure you will be able to attend all of your classes in person? Luckily, Learn to Fly has many online training courses available. During the pandemic, students were unable to come to our training base to study or fly, but we didn’t want them to lose their progress or fall behind. We also wanted to provide an opportunity for our overseas students to start or continue their aviation study.

So, we got to work on making the theory components for all of our pilot licence courses available online. We also added additional options like online virtual cockpit procedural trainers, along with a huge range of free flying lesson videos on our YouTube channel.

Online flight training allows students to study theory and concentrate on their studies without giving up their jobs or family responsibilities during courses. For overseas students, it offers a chance to study without needing to move to Australia until they are ready to fly. There are many other reasons why Learn to Fly champions online flight training. Have a read below to learn more!

The Benefits of Online Theory


With online training, students can complete their studies at their own pace as there isn’t a set schedule, this means there is no obligation to commit all their time to the course and they are fully free to continue work if they so desire. In-person classes are hosted on a schedule, which means that students generally need to arrange their life around the course, instead of the other way around.

We offer absolute flexibility, with online subscription to pre-recorded theory session videos that can be watched at any time. Alternatively, we also offer live online classes which can be attended from anywhere in the world – however they do still have a schedule.

Gentler on the Wallet:

For a variety of reasons, online aviation courses can be less expensive. For those in Australia, there are no travel costs getting to and from the flight school. Those overseas students benefit even more as they don’t need to afford the costs associated with living in Australia while they complete the course.

Collaborative Work:

For those choosing the virtual classroom option, there is the opportunity to connect with people from all around the world. This gives students a chance to network with other passionate aviation students who bring their own perspectives and intelligence to the theory content. This can result in increased cultural awareness and an improvement in communication, which is of course a key skill for pilots.

No Travel Requirements:

As previously stated, those working overseas have no requirement to move to Australia during the theory portion of their studies, meaning they can get their education without the stress of living in a new country while doing so.

While the actual in-air flight training does need to take place on-site, it gives students some extra time to either save up or prepare for the travel to Australia.

What Online Flight Training Options Does Learn To Fly Offer?

Virtual Classroom:

Scheduled group classes presented using the Zoom Meeting online platform, with additional 1-on-1 online instructor theory hours included. The virtual classroom option also includes 12 months of access to online subscription.

Online Subscription:

All classes are available by secure student portal to watch at your own pace, with discounted instructor theory hours available for extended learning. Online subscription packages include 12 months of access to videos.

Online Cockpit Procedural Training:

Using some of the latest online training innovations, students can access a virtual cockpit that can recreate an in-person training environment. On the virtual platform, students can view a 360-degree version of a cockpit and complete procedural training in it at any time on a computer, smartphone or tablet. While the best learning will happen in an actual cockpit, Learn To Fly’s online Cockpit Procedural Training offers accurate cockpit representation with popup detail videos that allow you to practice your procedural training completely online. Some of the procedures include pre-flight checks and normal, abnormal and emergency checklists. The virtual cockpit platform ensures that when it comes time to be in the actual environment, you are familiar with the surroundings and the procedures.

Free Flight Training Videos:

On Learn to Fly’s Youtube channel we provide course outlines, pre-flight check instructional videos for our aircraft as well as free full RPL and PPL flying lesson videos presented by an experienced LTF Flight Instructor in both English and Chinese. This is an outstanding source of flight training information and is available online for free to be viewed at any time.

Social Media:

We are very active on social media and you can find us on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and of course YouTube. Our social media channels feature a range of content that is both instructional and entertaining, and can also give you a bit of insight into what pilot life at Learn To Fly is all about.

So if you are interested in starting a career in aviation but aren’t sure if you are ready to commit to attending classes in person, or perhaps you live outside of Australia and need some time to prepare, consider Learn to Fly’s online flight training options. Book an online meeting to chat with one of our flight training specialists for more information.

Get a Feel for Flying with a Trial Introductory Flight

Have you always dreamed about flying but aren’t sure how it will feel once you’re in the air? Now is the perfect time to get behind the controls on a trial introductory flight. A Trial Introductory Flight (TIF) is an experience that has been created to give you a good idea of how it feels to fly a light aircraft, and also to give you a look at how flight training courses at Learn to Fly are run.

Lots of people will do a TIF as an amazing once-off experience. However, it does also count as part of the CASA flying syllabus. This means that if you do decide to take flight training further, you will have already taken the first step. You can then continue towards getting your Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL), Private Pilot Licence (PPL) or Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL).

What You Will Experience on a Trial Introductory Flight

The first steps of your Trial Introductory Flight do, of course, start on the ground. Your instructor will take you through an in-depth explanation on how the aeroplane you are flying functions, along with a discussion of aerodynamics and what to expect during your flight. After this, you will accompany your instructor on their pre-flight examination of the aircraft where you are encouraged to ask any questions you may have. Even if you’re not intending to begin a career as a pilot, you will gain a whole lot more from the experience if you ask questions and are ready to learn.

Once you get settled into the cockpit and are cleared for takeoff, you will take to the sky with your highly trained instructor. They will lead you through some flying methods, manoeuvres and skills. Then, you will then get the chance to take the controls and perform those same manoeuvres, under the watchful eye of your instructor. They can take the controls back at short notice at any time. It’s a great way to get in the air and see how you feel in control of the aircraft, while still knowing that you are fully safe.

Do You Need Any Experience?

Not at all! The trial flight is for beginners, so you do not need to know anything about aircraft or have any previous flight training course experience, or even any flight theory knowledge. The whole point of the TIF is for people without any flight experience to get an idea of how it feels being up in the air. This way, you can give it a go with no fears or lengthy training. There is no need to study before your TIF – your instructor will teach you everything you need to know.

What Planes Will You be Able to Fly?

Sling Aircraft Sling 2 LSA

The Sling 2 LSA is an aircraft built from aluminium, designed by Sling Aircraft Ltd. The Sling 2 LSA aircraft was initially designed to be a cross country and recreational aircraft. However, due to its amazing and tight handling, it has become a well loved training aircraft. It sports near 360-degree panoramic visibility, 7-hour fuel range and high-performance design.

Aeroprakt Foxbat A22LS

The Aeroprakt A-22 Foxbat is an ultra-light two seater aircraft with a simple to understand 3-axis control system. Transparent doors of the aircraft provide outstanding visibility. The combination of simple controls and low stall speed make the Foxbat an excellent aircraft for first flights.

Cessna Skyhawk 172

The Cessna 172 Skyhawk has four seats and is used primarily for training and/or private aviation. It’s also the most popular aircraft ever built, with over 44,000 being produced worldwide since its creation in 1955, and new models still in production today.

Diamond Aircraft DA40

Designed in Austria, the Diamond DA40 aircraft is a modern and reliable four-seater aircraft. It is constructed from lightweight material, with glass G1000 cockpit avionics. The aircraft provides a great balance between performance and durability, making it a perfect training aircraft.

So, Why Not Give it a Go?!

We are ready to give you the thrilling experience of flying a plane for the first time! We also want to make absolutely sure the experience is a memorable one. This is why we also offer some additional add-ons for your flight. These include a GoPro or 360 degree video, or a certificate to commemorate your time in the air.

If you have ever wanted to know what it feels like to fly a plane, and are looking for a way to take the controls without commitment, a Trial Introductory Flight is a great place to start. Get in contact with our friendly team today to book yourself a session!

FAQs About Obtaining Your Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL)

Always wanted to fly recreationally, but not sure how to take steps and make it a reality? The Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) is your first pilot licence, and where every pilot’s aviation training journey begins.

During a recreational pilot training course you will learn the fundamentals of how to taxi, take off, fly, and safely land an aircraft. The course consists of both practical and theoretical training, eventually flying solo, and finally completing the RPL flight test.

Once you have your RPL, you can continue with further training if you want. The next licence is the Private Pilot Licence (PPL) and then, if you want to fly professionally, you can continue on to Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) training.

The following frequently asked questions give you some more insight into the RPL process and requirements.

What are the general requirements for being able to obtain a Recreational Pilot Licence?

To obtain a Recreational Pilot Licence, you need to:

– Be at least 16 years old
– Have a current CASA issued medical certificate
– Build 20 hours in flight training with a flight instructor and 5 hours solo flying
– Pass an aeronautical theory exam and a flight test in a CASA approved aircraft in the presence of a CASA approved flight examiner.

Whilst you must be 16 years old to obtain the licence, you can actually start the training earlier than that. You must be at least 15 years old to fly solo (without an instructor).

How long is the training process?

The time it takes pilots to complete the RPL varies. Generally, if you decide to complete full time recreational pilot training (meaning flying and studying 4-5 days per week) you could be finished with your training within 4-6 weeks. Part time training will depend on exactly how much time you have available, but flying 1-2 days per week you will likely be finished in approximately 4-6 months.

What does a Recreational Pilot Licence allow me to do?

A Recreational Pilot Licence allows you to fly a single-engine aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of 1500kgs up to 25nm from your departure aerodrome, in Visual Flight Rules (VFR) conditions. You can carry up to three passengers, as long as you hold at least a Class II medical certificate.

If you are looking to fly further or carry more passengers, you will need to continue on to Private Pilot Licence training.

What theoretical training do I have to do?

You will need to complete the Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) Theory course, which is broken in to the following subject areas:

– Aerodynamics
– General Aircraft Knowledge
– Human Factors
– Meteorology
– Air Law
– Navigation
– Flight Planning and Performance

You don’t have to complete the theory and practical syllabus at the same time. It’s possible to complete the RPL theory as a standalone course and then organise to complete the practical RPL flight training components separately.

We offer our standalone RPL theory course in a range of delivery methods including face to face or online. Completing the theory course online often works well for overseas pilots, as they can study theory in their home country and then only have to come to Australia to complete the practical flight training.

How do I maintain my licence?

After being approved for your licence, you are required to have a flight review with an Instructor every 2 years. If you are planning on flying with a passenger, you must have completed 3 take-offs and landings in the last 90 days.

It is of course recommended that you fly regularly (at least one hour per month). This is so you can ensure your general handling skills and emergency procedures are maintained. It’s essential that you keep your flight skills fresh to make sure you are safe in the air.

Are there any medical requirements?

There are some medical requirements for recreational pilots, but less than what is required to be a professional pilot. CASA requires that you obtain a medical certificate, but there are options.

You can fly on what is known as a Basic Class 2 medical certificate. This must be issued by an appropriate medical practitioner. The standards for this are similar to those required to drive a motor vehicle commercially. A Basic Class 2 medical certificate does have some operational restrictions though. To avoid this you require a standard Class 2 medical certificate, which must be issued by a Designated Aviation Medical Examiner (DAME).

There may be further medical requirements you need to meet if you have pre-existing health conditions or are over the age of 75.

For more information on recreational pilot training, get in touch with one of our Learn to Fly Flight Training Specialists. We can help to find the best way to get your flight training journey started.

Did you know that we have free Recreational and Private Pilot Licence 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! 👇

Aspiring Career Pilots – Here’s Why You Need a Diploma of Aviation

With so many different types of aviation qualifications out there, which one should you choose? And which Melbourne flight school do you approach? These can be tricky questions to answer, so let us help you out.

If you simply want to get airborne and experience the thrill of piloting your own plane, then a Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) is where you start. It comes with some restrictions such as the type of plane you are qualified to fly and how many nautical miles you can travel from your departure aerodrome. Building on that is the Private Pilot Licence (PPL) which adds on navigation training, enabling you to fly anywhere in Australia.

But if you aspire to fly planes professionally, then you’ll need a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL). This can also be achieved by completing a Diploma of Aviation, which is a fantastic option. But why is completing a Diploma such a good option for aspiring career pilots? Read on to learn more!

Understanding your Options

At Learn To Fly’s Melbourne flight school, we pride ourselves on not simply training pilots, but producing future captains. We offer two Diploma of Aviation courses – the AVI50222 Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane) and the AVI50519 Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Rating) course. Please note that the course code for the Commercial Pilot Licence Diploma has changed recently from AVI50219 to AVI50222.

The Diploma of Aviation courses commence at several intakes throughout the year – January, April, July and October. Applications for the October 2022 cohort have just closed, with enrolments now open for the January 2023 intake.

As approved courses on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS), both the AVI50222 and AVI50519 courses allow overseas students to apply for a student visa. Completing the required training to obtain a CPL in Australia is very difficult to achieve for overseas students without this visa.

AVI50222 Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane)

If you wish to make flying your career, then the AVI50222 Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane) is the course for you. The training requires little to no experience prior to course commencement, and follows CASA Part 142 syllabus. In addition to the standard CASA training syllabus, the course features extra modules designed to better prepare students for entering and working in the aviation industry.

Throughout the course you will achieve a Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL), Private Pilot Licence (PPL) and finally the Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) and Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane).

AVI50519 Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Rating) course

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 airline pilot.

The syllabus offers CASA Part 142 Multi-Engine Class Rating and Multi-Engine Instrument Command Rating (MECIR) training, which is completed in both simulators and real aircraft. Receive instruction in our world class ALSIM AL42 simulator, which is a full cockpit synthetic trainer replicating the Diamond DA42 aircraft.

As with the AVI50222 course, there is additional learning included that specifically helps students to better transition from training to actually working as a professional pilot. Holding a Commercial Pilot Licence is a prerequisite for commencing this Diploma.

VET Student Loans (VSL)

Both of our Diploma courses have Vet Student Loans (VSL) available to support eligible students. This is a Commonwealth program that assists suitable candidates with a loan to cover tuition fees and the ability to repay the funds gradually once employed. You can find out more on our VSL page here: https://learntofly.edu.au/vet-student-loans/

Further Training – Griffith University Bachelor of Aviation

Students that have completed both the AVI50222 and AVI50519 Diploma of Aviation have the opportunity to join the renowned Griffith University Bachelor of Aviation program with advanced standing via an articulation pathway.

Our 2 Diploma courses allow you to obtain 80 credit points, meaning that you only need a further 160 to obtain the Bachelor of Aviation. Essentially, this pathway gives you the opportunity to complete 5 highly-regarded aviation qualifications (Commercial Pilot Licence, MECIR, 2 x Diploma of Aviation and Bachelor of Aviation certificates) in just 3 years.

A World of Piloting Possibilities

For local students, the option to apply for VSL makes an aviation career more accessible. For overseas students, the ability to apply for a student visa allows them to study more easily in Australia. Regardless of your background, a Diploma of Aviation will open up a world of piloting possibilities to you.

The qualifications themselves are well highly regarded within the industry, and the additional training provided on top of the standard pilot licence syllabus to better prepare you for your career is a great advantage to have. If you have a dream of a career in the skies flying as a professional pilot, then make it a reality and visit our Melbourne flight school to learn more about enrolling in a Diploma of Aviation.

Learn To Fly: Flight Training Courses For Every Pilot

Here at Learn to Fly, we’re passionate about helping all people achieve their aviation dreams. While some of our students are driven to pursue a professional full-time career as a pilot, others may have piloting a single solo flight as one of the top items on their bucket list. Whatever your aviation journey looks like, Learn to Fly is here to support you with our broad range of flight training courses.

Continue reading to learn a little more about the programs we offer, and questions you should ask yourself when deciding on which type of flight training in Australia is right for you.

Beginner Programs

Ready to kick start your aviation journey? How exciting! Learn to Fly offers a number of different flight training courses that are perfect for beginners.

Trial Introductory Flight

Sitting in the cockpit of a light plane is quite different to being a passenger back in economy. Whether you aspire to be behind the controls yourself one day or just want to experience what it feels like to sit alongside a qualified pilot, our Trial Introductory Flight is the perfect way to get started. 

Learn to Fly Starter Set

The Learn to Fly Starter Set is perfect for those who want to get an idea of what it feels like to actually fly a plane before committing to a more comprehensive flight training program. With three package options available, all flying hours will be documented in your logbook and will count towards future flight training. Should you decide you want to continue on your aviation journey, you will have developed excellent basic skills and have already ticked off your first few flight hours! 

Learn to Fly First Solo Flight Course

You’ll never forget your first flight as pilot-in-command. Learn to Fly’s team of experienced instructors will provide you with the skills and confidence you need to feel comfortable in control of the cockpit. We’ll teach you the fundamental aviation skills that allow you to take off, climb, turn, fly straight and level, descend, and land. The goal is for you then to take to the skies solo and put what you have learnt into practice!

Pilot Licence Courses

In Australia, the aviation industry is governed by CASA, or the Civil Aviation Safety Authority. CASA offers a range of licences designed to suit the aviation needs of each and every type of pilot.

In line with this, Learn to Fly’s range of pilot licence courses are comprehensive and will provide you with the skills, experience, and flight training hours you need to successfully obtain your desired licence.

Our Pilot Licence Programs include:

Recreational Pilot Certificate (RPC)
Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL)
Private Pilot Licence (PPL)
Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL)
Indian DGCA Syllabus Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL)
ICAO Pilot Licence Conversion

Ratings and Endorsements

Once you successfully obtain your desired pilot’s licence, the journey isn’t over. A range of ratings and endorsements are available to extend your skills. These enable you to fly different aircraft, partake in more types of flying activities, or fly in more weather and light conditions.

Learn to Fly’s portfolio of Rating and Endorsement programs include:

Flight Instructor Rating (FIR)
Night Visual Flight Rules (NVFR) Rating
Private Instrument Flight Rating (PIFR)
Multi-Engine Class Rating
Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating (MECIR)
Formation Flying Endorsement
Aerobatics and Spinning Endorsement
Tailwheel Undercarriage Endorsement (TWU)
Upright Prevention & Recovery Training (UPRT)
Instrument Proficiency Check (IPC) Refresher Course

Diploma of Aviation Courses and Bachelor of Aviation Pathway

If flying as a full-time professional career is your goal, there are many pathways available to get you there. In addition to pilot licence programs, Learn to Fly offers Diploma of Aviation flight training courses.

AVI50222 Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence — Aeroplane)

Aimed at students with little to no flight experience, our AVI50222 Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence — Aeroplane) course is a comprehensive training program. Students progress through CASA RPL, PPL and CPL syllabus. There is also additional learning on top of the CASA syllabus. This helps students to be better prepared to take on a professional role in the aviation industry following graduation.

AVI50519 Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Rating)

Learn to Fly’s AVI50519 Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Rating) combines the Multi-Engine Class Rating and the Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating (MECIR) syllabus. These are both critical qualifications. The training teaches you to fly an aircraft with more than one engine, and under Instrument Flight Rules. If becoming an airline pilot is your goal, this training is a necessity.

Bachelor of Aviation (Griffith University) Articulation Pathway

We are thrilled to offer an articulation program for students wanting to study Griffith University’s renowned Bachelor of Aviation program. By completing both the AVI50222 and AVI50519 Diploma of Aviation courses, you will be eligible to apply for the Griffith University Bachelor of Aviation program with advanced standing (80 credit points).

This pathway offers the ability to complete 5 highly-regarded aviation qualifications in just 3 years. These are the Commercial Pilot Licence, Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating, 2 x Diploma of Aviation, and Bachelor of Aviation.

Airline Interview Preparation

Much like any job application process, an airline interview can be a nerve-wracking experience. The secret to success for many applicants has been our airline interview preparation programs. These include the Future Cadet Pilot Program and Airline Interview Coaching Session.

Tailored to your needs, these courses provide crucial learning on how to best prepare for a successful interview and application process.

Theory Courses

Being a successful pilot requires a mix of practical skills and theoretical knowledge. But it’s not always practical for pilots to study both together. Learn to Fly’s range of standalone theory courses are offered in a range of delivery methods including in-person or online.

Our Theory Courses include:

Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) Theory Course
Private Pilot Licence (PPL) Theory Course
Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) Theory Course
Instrument Rating Examination (IREX) Theory Course
IPC Theory Revision Course
Principles & Methods of Instruction (PMI)
Human Factors Awareness Training Course
Pilot Fatigue Management Awareness Training

As one of the most comprehensive providers of flight training in Australia, Learn to Fly has courses to assist everyone from complete beginners to highly experienced pilots. We offer a well maintained and diverse fleet of aircraft, state-of-the-art facilities including full cockpit flight simulators, and Learn To Fly Melbourne experienced instructors. Contact one of our flight training specialists or book a meeting today to learn more about our programs, and to take the next step of your aviation journey.