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.


6 Reasons Private Pilots Should Get Multi-Engine Flight Training

It’s a major accomplishment to earn your private pilot’s licence. The pilot’s licence results from the student’s dedication to learning everything there is to know about the specific aircraft type. However, with only a private pilot’s licence and no further ratings, the pilot is restricted in what they may perform.

If a pilot doesn’t have instrument flight training, for instance, he or she may only be able to take off on particular days when the conditions are favourable. A pilot without multi-engine flight training can only operate a single-engine aircraft.

This blog will discuss why private pilots should go for other endorsements and add-on ratings like instrument flight and multi-engine flight training to expand their aviation skills and knowledge.

Reasons Why You Should Get Your Multi-Engine Rating

The ability to operate aircraft with more than one engine requires a special endorsement called a “multi-engine rating,” which certified pilots can get. Anyone aiming for a career as a professional airline pilot should have this rating, as most large regional and national airlines employ multi-engine aircraft.

Here are six other reasons that make multi-engine flight training worth it:

1.    Two are better than one

Multi-engine aeroplanes are more stable in flight than single-engine aeroplanes because of the redundancy built into the system. Having more than one engine means that if one fails you still have power available from the other engine(s). This increases your chance of surviving accidents and incidents that would otherwise result in loss of control and/or crash landings.

2.    It’s faster

With two engines, you can climb faster and cruise at higher speeds, which means better time management on cross-country flights and less fuel burned on shorter hops. The weekend getaway in a private aircraft is a welcome respite for many busy pilots. The sooner you get there, the better off you will be. Time spent in transit can be minimised by using a multi-engine plane. Commercial or not, a multi-engine plane will get you to your destination faster than a single-engine plane.

3.    Provides the opportunity to fly larger, more spacious aircraft

Your little, single-engine plane is great for day excursions, but what if you want to start taking your friends and family along, too? There may not be enough room for you, your friends, and all their stuff.

When comparing single-engine to multi-engine aircraft, you’ll see that the latter is significantly larger and can carry more cargo and passengers. 

4.    Availability of a Wider Range of Aircraft

Adding a multi-engine rating to your pilot certification opens up a new selection of aircraft for you to rent or own.

There is a broader variety of options. This allows you to pick the plane that is ideal for you. Further, there are no airspace limitations to worry about. You wouldn’t have to settle for just one because of your pilot’s licence. Because of this chance, you’ll be able to take your plane somewhere that usually wouldn’t be safe for a single-engine plane. If you have a deep-seated drive for adventure and a love for flying, then multi-engine training is the way to go.

5.    More Career Opportunities in the Future

You will have a better chance of getting hired as a pilot by airlines and charter companies.

The more credentials you have under your belt and the more time you’ve spent in the cockpit, the easier it will be to advance in the aviation industry. Given that instrument flight training and multi-engine rating is essential to your professional advancement, you may as well obtain them now to put yourself in a stronger position for the future and to demonstrate to potential employers that you are eager to expand your skill set.

6.    You’ll Improve Your Flying Skills

Multi-engine planes are more complicated to fly than their single-engine counterparts. They have more moving parts, more systems that could fail at any moment, and require careful attention by the pilot at all times to stay safe in flight.

Your flying skills will improve substantially simply by learning how to fly these aircraft properly. You’ll learn how to handle different situations that may occur during flight with ease, which will make you a better pilot overall!

Multi-Engine Flight Training Is Essential For Commercial Pilot Licence Holder

Most persons considering getting a multi-engine rating have previously earned at least their private pilot’s licence. You could also have your commercial pilot licence and instrument flight training under your belt. Multi-engine training will give you the skills and confidence you need to fly independently.

No minimum number of flying hours is necessary to earn a multi-engine rating. Schedule an oral examination and trial ride once you have completed training with an instructor to master the required abilities and emergency recovery procedures. You may acquire a rating that will greatly increase your options and enhance your flight potential with as few as ten to fifteen hours of flight experience. Learn to Fly offers multi-engine flight training in the modern Diamond DA42 aircraft with a G1000 glass cockpit and the Piper PA44 Seminole. We have a fleet of well-maintained aircraft that spans the range of teaching possibilities, from ultra-modern jets to classic biplanes. We are Victoria’s only Diamond aircraft flying school, providing training on the Garmin G1000 avionics glass cockpit-equipped Diamond DA40 and Diamond DA42. We also have a Cessna 172, a Piper Seminole, an 8KCAB Super Decathlon, and a Foxbat A22LS in our fleet.

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.


Split Your Flight Training Costs into Interest-Free Instalments from Learn To Fly and SplitIt

Want to make learning to fly more affordable? Split your flight training costs with interest-free instalment payments at Learn To Fly!

Flight training can be an expensive process, especially if you are looking to obtain a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) and make flying your career. At Learn To Fly, we are committed to making flight training more affordable and accessible to more people. This is why we have introduced SplitIt, which allows you to split your flight training costs over multiple interest-free payments.

What Is Splitit?

SplitIt is a buy now, pay later solution that lets customers split their payments into manageable parts using a Visa or Mastercard, without paying interest.

Unlike another buy now pay later providers, SplitIt uses your existing Visa or Mastercard credit card levels to cover payments. This means you don’t need to be pre-approved for a line of credit in order to split your flight training costs.

How Do I Use SplitIt?

SplitIt allows you to split your flight training costs for courses that cost between $3,000AUD and $20,000AUD. The following instalment options are available based on the cost of the course:

Course PriceNo. of Instalments
$3,000 – $6,0002 Instalments
$6,001 – $10,000Up to 3 Instalments
$10,001 – $14,000Up to 4 Instalments
$14,001 – $17,000Up to 5 Instalments
$17,001 – $20,000Up to 6 Instalments

If you are making your purchase online via our online store, you can simply select SplitIt as the payment option and you will be prompted to enter the relevant details.

If your course is not available on the website, or you are confirming your enrolment directly through a Learn To Fly staff member, then we are able to set up SplitIt manually for you.

Since SplitIt does not use a pre-approved credit process, you will need to have the entire purchase amount available on your nominated credit cards at the time of purchase. You can choose to nominate more than one different credit card as well if you do not have the total amount available on the one card.

You will pay the first instalment, and then each instalment will be deducted on designated monthly dates.

There is no need to “sign up” to SplitIt. At the point of sale, you will be given login details to the SplitIt portal using your email address, and you can track your instalments through there.

Example – Using SplitIt To Split Your RPL Flight Training Costs

You want to complete the Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) course in a Diamond DA40 aircraft. The total course cost is $15,700.

  1. You can choose SplitIt as the payment method, and split the total cost into 8 equal instalments.
  2. You will need to have $15,700 available on your credit card (or have that total available on multiple cards)
  3. Your first payment will be only $3,140 ($15,700 divided by 5 and rounded up)
  4. You will then pay $3,140 per month on the designated date until the total payment has been made

I think you will agree that being able to split your flight training costs into $3,140 per month is much more manageable than paying $15,700 upfront!

Flight Training Student

How Much Does SplitIt Cost To Use?

Using SplitIt to split your flight training costs is absolutely free. There are no sign-up fees, and payments are 100% interest-free. SplitIt charges a merchant fee for each instalment, but Learn To Fly will cover that cost.

Whilst SplitIt only requires that you have the entire purchase amount available on your chosen credit card at the time of purchase, you do need to ensure that you have the instalment amount available from then on. If you do not, then the instalment may overdraw your account and result in fees from your bank.

To find out more about how to split your flight training costs with SplitIt, 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.


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!

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How to Get the Most Out of Your Pilot Licence

If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to fly but needed to know where to start, you’re in the right place. This post will help you get the most out of your pilot licence in easy steps.

Earning Your Pilot Licence

When you earn your pilot’s licence, you’ll be able to do more than just fly a plane. But getting there can be confusing. There are so many licences, each with its own rules and regulations. Which is right for me; a Recreational Pilot Licence to a Commercial Pilot Licence?

That’s why we’re here to help! We know that starting as a pilot can feel like an overwhelming experience—but it doesn’t have to be. To get the most out of your pilot’s licence, see if flying is something that interests you.

Take a Trial Introductory Flight – An introductory trial flight experience is provided by Learn To Fly for individuals who have never flown before but are curious about whether or not they would enjoy flying before getting a pilot’s licence. This is a great way to get started with flying! It gives you a chance to experience what it feels like to be in the cockpit without any pressure. It also allows you to try out different aircraft and decide which works best for YOU.

Go on a Solo Flight Training – Once you’ve completed your trial introductory flight, consider taking on solo flight training next! You can take flying lessons from an accredited flying school like Learn To Fly or enrol in an aviation diploma program. With solo flight training under your belt, you can start flying solo trips around town or across the country.

If you’ve taken the above steps and are sure about learning how to fly, getting a Recreational Pilot Licence is the next step!

Tips for Making the Most of Your Pilot’s Licence

Getting your pilot’s licence is a huge achievement, and you should be proud of yourself for taking the time to pursue your dream. But don’t stop there! You’ve worked hard to get your licence, so it’s time to start using it.

But before you take off, here are some tips for making the most of your pilot’s licence:

  • Get Familiar with Your Aircraft

Before you even start solo flight training in your new aircraft, become familiar with it. Study its systems, inspect it for damage and make sure that everything works properly. This way, you’ll be able to avoid accidents and other mishaps.

  • Take Lessons from a Professional Flight Instructor

If you’re just starting as a pilot, you must get lessons from a professional flight instructor at least once or twice weekly for at least six months. You can take a trial introductory flight first to see if you like the instructor and his teaching style. The best instructors are patient, friendly, and willing to explain things clearly.

  • Practice Makes Perfect

The best way to become a better pilot is by practising. Practice on a flight simulator and fly different kinds of aircraft in various weather conditions. You can even practice landing at other airports. The more time you spend practising, the more comfortably you fly solo.

  • Establish Reasonable Goals

Expecting to start working as a pilot professionally so quickly is unrealistic, even if you are your school’s most driven student pilot. You will need some time to become a pilot since flying an aeroplane comes with a learning curve; nevertheless, if you properly prepare and firmly commit to achieving your objectives, you will be able to do it within a fair amount of time.

  • Maintain a Regular Training Schedule

Even if it could be ideal to finish two to three sessions every week, it’s important to remember that everyone learns at their speed. It is in your best interest to establish a regular lesson schedule, regardless of the number of sessions you finish in a given week. If you keep up with your training consistently, rather than dabbling in it here and there, you will have a much higher chance of retaining the material you learn and improving your abilities.

  • Practice in Flight Simulators

Flight simulators allow you to practice flying without actually getting into an aircraft. You can simulate all kinds of situations, from takeoffs and landings to emergency landings and more advanced maneuvers like aerial acrobatics or flying low over mountainous terrain. While these simulators will never replace real-world practice, they are a great way to hone your skills before heading out into the air with an instructor or by yourself.

  • Expand Your Knowledge Constantly

One common mistake many pilots make is assuming they have mastered flying an aeroplane. This is especially true if you are taking classes to complete requirements after having spent years in the air. But don’t assume you’ve mastered flying simply because you’ve done it before. Always be willing to learn something new and have an open mind. If you go into your pilot training program with an open mind and a willingness to learn, you will benefit far more than if you assume you already know everything.


The first step to getting the most out of your pilot licence is ensuring you’re with the right school. At Learn to Fly, we offer a wide range of trial introductory flights and solo flight training options to help you figure out what kind of experience is right for you. If you want to get started on the path toward earning your pilot licence, enrolling in our Recreational Pilot Licence program is the first step to take!

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!

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Aviation Schools in Melbourne: Why Learn to Fly is Your Best Bet

Every year, dozens of new pilots graduate from aviation schools in Australia. With the proper training and guidance, you could be one of them. The only question is: how to become a commercial pilot?

Multiple aviation schools in Melbourne offer training for commercial and private pilots, air traffic controllers, and ground crew personnel. It’s about finding the program that fits your budget and learning style.

If you’re looking for the best way to learn how to become a pilot in Australia, we recommend taking advantage of our free guide—where we’ll walk you through Melbourne’s best flying school ‘Learn To Fly’ to get your pilot’s licence in Australia!

Why Choose Learn to Fly?

The aviation industry offers some of the most exciting and rewarding careers. It’s not just flying but taking charge of your future, building a career you love, and travelling the world. ‘Learn To Fly’ offers a range of courses to help you. Whether you’re an absolute beginner or a pilot just looking to improve your skills, we can help.

That’s right—there are more options than ever for aspiring pilots who want to become pilots in Australia. Whether you’re looking for a full-time or online certification course, there are plenty of reasons to get started on your career path as a professional pilot today with Learn to Fly!

Here are just some of them:

Safety First Training

The first and most important thing when it comes to learning how to fly is safety. Flying is a dangerous activity, and therefore you must have the right training and instruction before getting into a plane and taking off. At Learn To Fly, we focus on providing only the highest quality training for our students and ensuring they can get their licences as fast as possible without compromising safety. We are continually working to improve the efficacy of our preventative measures, which is why we have undertaken these actions to establish various rules and procedures about solo operations.

Highly Qualified Instructors

Another reason Learn To Fly is one of the best providers of flying lessons in Australia is that we employ highly qualified instructors with years of experience teaching people how to fly, including commercial pilots, private pilots, military pilots, and even glider pilots! This means that not only will you get excellent instruction from someone who knows what they’re doing but also knows exactly what it takes to become a pilot.

A Wide Range of Aircrafts Available to Use For Training

For most of our flight training programs, students can choose from various aircraft in Learn To Fly’s extensive inventory. With both single- and twin-engine Diamond DA40s and DA42s in our inventory, we are the only flying school in Victoria to offer instruction in modern glass cockpit aircraft.

We run the most extensive fleet of Sling 2s in Australia, so you can trust that you’ll be in good hands. Every one of our aircraft undergoes meticulous maintenance following our various safety protocols. Next to the leading training site, we have our very own maintenance hangar.

Affordable Prices

One of the most significant barriers for people who want to learn how to fly is cost – tuition fees at most schools start around $40,000 per year and go up from there! But at Learn To Fly Australia, we offer affordable lessons that fit various budgets. Our introductory flights start at $1415! You can try out a lesson before committing.

We offer great rates on training packages, as well as flexible payment options so you can get started without breaking the bank.

The Employing of a Responsible Flight Instructor

To go solo, a learner must first receive many recommendations from their teacher attesting to their competence. The student’s regular teacher will ensure this, but the stage check instructor will double-check everything before the student’s first solo. This is when the Flight Instructor comes in once the time has been set for the student’s solo flight.

Our flight instructors are highly qualified pilots with thousands of flying hours under their belts who examine flight plans, verify the weather, and inspect risk assessments. Furthermore, they perform the role of ground teachers by keeping an eye on the student’s route while in the air to ensure everything is going according to plan. 

The flight instructor maintains touch with ATC during the flight, enabling timely transmission of any necessary messages to the pilot. The solo flyer can be called back to base if the instructor notices anything that could cause concern.

At Learn to Fly, one of the leading aviation schools in Melbourne, we have helped hundreds of aspiring pilots get their pilot licences in Australia and get started on their aviation careers. You can be next! Simply get in touch with us for more information on how to apply.