What are the requirements to start flight training?
We suggest you must be a minimum age of 14 and be able to understand and speak English to start the flight training. Some students start their theory training at the age of 13.
Who can be a pilot?
Anyone can Learn To Fly! Learning to fly is not as hard as you might imagine, however, it does require dedicated time. It will require your mind and your body, giving you new muscle memory skills and knowledge. The good news is that just about anyone can learn to fly, it’s all up to YOU.
Do I need a licence to fly as a student pilot?
You don’t need a licence to fly as a student because while you are learning you will be under the supervision of a flight instructor and your flying school at all times, including when you are flying solo. However, to fly solo you need to have an aviation reference number, which you can obtain from CASA, and you need to provide CASA with your proof of identity. To fly solo, you also need to hold a medical certificate.
Do I need to be studying maths or physics at school?
You do not need to study physics or maths at school to obtain a pilot licence. Having this knowledge certainly does help, but is in no way a requirement. If you wish to become an airline pilot you may need both physics and maths — both are typically entry requirements. You can check individual airline recruiting websites to view a list of requirements.
What are the minimum requirements for airline employment?
For direct entry to most airlines you will require a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) and typically theory credits for the Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL). Airlines will publish their minimum criteria for pilot applications on their website. Some airlines have recently lowered their requirements, students with 250 - 300 hours are able to get a job with big airlines such as Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines.
How old can I start flight training? What are the age limits?
We would recommend students be at least 14 years old, so you can fly solo at 15 and obtain the RPL at 16 and PPL at 17. For the CPL, you need to be at least 18 on the date you get your licence. For younger aviation enthusiasts, we have children’s programs on our flight simulator and offer a number of activities designed to educate and entertain children of all ages. In terms of an upper age limit, you can go flying no matter how old you are as long as you can pass the medical check.
Do I have to have perfect vision to be a commercial pilot CPL? What are the eyesight requirements?
No, as long as your vision can be corrected to 20/20 with glasses or contacts, you will be eligible for a 1st Class CASA Medical Certificate. This makes you eligible to fly as a civilian professional pilot. If you wish to obtain your Commercial Pilot Licence, you will need to conduct a CASA Class 1 Medical Clearance.
I want to become a pilot, how do I get started?
We believe you probably have an ambition or dream to learn to fly, however, you don’t know if you like it or have an aptitude for it or not until you fly once. A Trial Introductory Flight (TIF) is a good starting point. If you are uncertain about learning to fly, or if you just want to get airborne to “feel what it is like” before you commence training, a Trial Introductory flight is an air experience flight; a way of sampling flight training without making any commitment to joining the school.
Do you offer full time courses?
Yes we do, we offer full time courses for both local and international students.
How long does it take to obtain a pilot licence?
A Recreational Pilot Licence typically takes 30 - 35 hours of flight time. A Private Pilot Licence typically takes another 30 - 35 hours of flight time. A Commercial Pilot Licence will take 150 (Integrated) hours or 200 hours (Non-Integrated) of flight time from scratch. The time to obtain the licence is dependant on how frequently you fly, and your commitment to study. We have completed Private Pilot Licences in as little as 3 months.
Is there much home study involved?
For the Recreational Pilot Licence and Private Pilot Licence, a limited amount of study is required in your own time. A Commercial Pilot Licence requires a serious commitment to complete the required exams.
How often do I need to train?
At the minimum, you’ll need to train once per week.
Is there any time limit to finishing the training course and getting the licence?
There is no time limit for both Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) and Private Pilot Licence (PPL).
Is flight training expensive? Can I afford it? How much does it cost?
Most of the students in our programs have normal 9 to 5 jobs and are still able to afford our programs. You won’t have to worry about winning the lottery or taking out excessive loans to pay for our services. For example, a Recreational Pilot Licence training program is around $12,000, if you do it over a year, it will only cost you $1,000 a month. We help you to cut down the cost and make it affordable.
How much time and effort will flight training take?
The best way is to tell us how much time you have available and we will arrange both the theory and the flying sessions for you to personally suit you. The flying can be done from just one session per week through to full time which is 2 sessions a day, 5 – 6 days a week. The length of time to do the theory will depend on you. As an example, full-time RPL theory will take about 5 days. Theory can be done in conjunction with the flying.
Is public transport available?
Yes! The Moorabbin area is served by frequent bus and train services. The bus service has a pick up and drop off point adjacent to the Moorabbin DFO shopping complex. It is a 0.6km walk (5mins) from the Moorabbin DFO bus stop, around the airport perimeter, to Learn To Fly. There are also two railway stations – Mentone and Cheltenham – that are local to Moorabbin airport. Buses depart from both stations to the nearby DFO shopping complex. Always check timetables for schedule details, particularly for weekends and evenings.
Is student accommodation available?
We can organize homestay for international students, it's from $45 per night or $1,000 a month including water, electricity and internet. Student apartments will be available in early 2020. Please contact us for more information.
Will I get air sick?
Air sickness is completely dependant on the individual. Some people will have a tendency to feel air sick initially, but as time passes and you feel more confident in the aircraft the chance of feeling sick is significantly reduced.
What methods of payment does LTF accept?
We require a deposit to book all the training flights. The payment can be made online or by cash, bank deposit, Visa, MasterCard or Amex. There is a 2% surcharge for Amex, Visa and Master Card.
How safe are small aircraft? Is flight training safe?
There is certain amount of risk in everything we do. Flying an aircraft have some degree of risk and for that reason they must be treated with care and respect. If you learn to fly safely with the right and professional instructors then you will go a long way towards reducing that risk. Your safety and that of the aircrafts and its occupants is the most important objective of our instructors. Besides, all of our aircraft are maintained to the highest Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) standards. Flying is safer than driving a car on the road.
Am I covered by insurance?
We provide $5 Million Liability Insurance to cover all the flying operations for students. Also, we provide $15 Million Hangar Keeper's Liability Insurance to cover all the ground operations including incidents and accidents happening within the school and at the apron.
Can I commence flying privately if I already have a lot of time commitments?
The Recreational Pilot Licence only requires a minimum of 25 hours flying time (although most students will take slightly longer). With good coaching, preparation and commitment from you, even if you can only spare a few hours a week (possibly on the weekend), you could have an RPL in 4 to 6 months.
What is Trial Introductory Flight (TIF)?
A Trial Introductory Flight (TIF) is if you are uncertain about learning to fly, or if you just want to get airborne to “feel what it is like” before you commence training, it is an air experience flight; a way of sampling flight training without making any commitment to joining the school. The objective of the TIF is to give you a good and fair sampling of what flying feels like, plus an insight into the flight training process. It is a once off experience; all subsequent flights are on an Approved Syllabus with training toward achieving objectives.
The TIF follows the same sequence as a normal instructional flight:
  1. Pre-flight briefing. You will usually spend a little time in a briefing room going over the flight and what to expect;
  2. Aircraft pre-flight inspection. You will be shown around the aircraft while the instructor does the pre-flight inspection. You will be shown how to get in, how to strap in, and the equipment in the cockpit will be briefly outlined to you.
  3. Flight procedures. Your flight will be in our training area. You will be shown the airfield from the air, the local scenery and points to orientate yourself. You will spend time with control of the aircraft in your hands, under the guidance of the instructor. This will give you a 'feel' for what it’s like to fly.
  4.  Post-flight. debriefing Your instructor will answer any questions you have and underline a few of the main points of the TIF.

The Trial Introductory Flights are conducted in our training aircraft and are 30 minute or 60 minute (most in depth experience) flights (note - ground preparation and transition to and from our flying training area takes approximately 20 minutes). 

Other things you may need to know:

  • Trial Introductory Flights are conducted with the Student and Instructor only. Passengers are not allowed.
  • The take off and landing are controlled by the Instructor only.
  • Clothing should be appropriate for the season and shoes must be of the closed toe style, thongs are not acceptable.
  • The age of participants should be that of a person is capable of beginning training (normally 13 years of age or older).
  • Persons with known medical conditions that may become a safety hazard should not conduct TIF's.
  • English Language must be of a standard that can understand instruction and emergency procedures, in flight, in English.
Are there different types of pilot licences?
Yes, there are different types of licences. You can obtain a Recreational Pilot Certificate (RPC), a Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL), a Private Pilot Licence (PPL) or a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL). A CPL is required if you intend to obtain work as a pilot. Details of paths to each licence can be found in our Courses section.
What is the difference between a Recreational Pilot Certificate (RPC) & Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL)?
The Recreational Pilot Certificate (RPC) is issued by Recreational Aviation Australia (RAAus) whereas the Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) is issued by CASA. The RPC allows you to fly any aircraft under 600kgs (e.g. Sling 2) and take up to 1 passenger whereas RPL allows you to fly any aircraft up to 1500kgs (e.g. Cessna 172 or Diamond DA40) and carry up to 3 passengers. At Learn To Fly Melbourne, we offer both RPC and RPL. Student can choose to achieve their RPL through RPC. Student can gain their RPC through the RPC training program, the RPC is equivalent to an RPL. Once students receive their RPC, they can apply to CASA for the issuance of an RPL by simply filling in a form. Afterwards, to activate the RPL, a flight review on a GA aircraft is needed and this can be done by our sister company – Melbourne Flight Training (MFT).
What is the difference between a Student Pilot Licence (SLP) & Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL)?
A GFPT was a student pilot licence which allowed you to carry passengers and for every flight you needed to be authorised by a qualified fight instructor. Under Part 61, the holder of an RPL is the person responsible for the safety of the flight and they don’t need an instructor to authorise them to fly. RPL holders need to have a separate endorsement to fly in controlled airspace, at controlled aerodromes, use an aeronautical radio and conduct cross country flights.
How do I get a Private Pilot Licence PPL?
You must be at least 17 years old to get your Private Pilot Licence (PPL). You also need to do the following for the category rating you want to get with your PPL:
  • Hold a RPL or you have done an integrated RPL training course;
  • Pass a PPL theory exam;
  • Meet the minimum aeronautical experience requirements;
  • Pass a PPL flight test
How do I get a Commercial Pilot Licence CPL?
You must be at least 18 years old. You also need to do the following for the category rating you want to get with your CPL:
  • Complete flight training
  • Meet the minimum aeronautical experience requirements
  • Pass 7 CPL theory exams set by CASA
  • Pass a CPL flight test
How do I get my Air Transport Pilot Licence ATPL?
You must be at least 21 years old to get your ATPL. You also need to do the following for the category rating you want to get with your ATPL:
  • Hold either a Commercial Pilot Licence or Multi-Crew Pilot Licence with the same aircraft category rating
  • Complete the relevant flight training
  • Learn the theory and pass 7 ATPL theory exams
  • Complete an approved course of multi-crew cooperation training
  • Pass an ATPL flight test
  • Meet the minimum aeronautical experience requirements
What is an aircraft class rating?
An aircraft class rating is a flight crew qualification that authorises the holder to operate aircraft that fits the description of the class rating and are not designated as type-rated aircraft. For example, a Diamond DA42 is a multi-engine aeroplane and is not designated as a type rated aircraft, so it is covered by the multi-engine aeroplane class rating. Part 61 prescribed the following class ratings:
  • Single-engine aeroplane class rating
  • Multi-engine aeroplane class rating
  • Single-engine helicopter class rating
  • Multi-engine helicopter class rating
  • Single-engine gyroplane class rating
  • Airship class rating
What exams must you pass to gain pilot licence?
You are required to pass 3 types of exams; an oral test, written test and practical test for each pilot licence. The practical test is taken with a Flight Examiner. You will train with your flight instructor for the practical test which tests your physical flying skills. Here are the three tests in detail:
  • Written Test: Multiple choice test that covers all areas of aviation knowledge. You may select a ground school course or study on your own for the written test. There are many good books or mock exam questions which can help you prepare for all the tests. Normally, you need to score 70% to pass each theory exam.
  • Oral Test: The day you take your practical test in the actual airplane, your Flight Examiner will conduct an oral interview where you will be asked to explain all the knowledge areas you’ve studied in ground school. This includes: aircraft systems, weather, aerodynamics, air laws, airport operations, airspace designations and operations, charts, aircraft performance, and much more. This will require study and understanding on your part. Your flight instructor will discuss many of these areas with you but you must study and learn the concepts as well.
  • Practical Test: This is the test in the aircraft. You will fly with the Flight Examiner who will ask you to perform all the manoeuvres and skills you have been working on since the beginning of your training. It typically runs for 2 hours. This is where all your training comes together.
Are the licences recognised by other countries in the world?
Private Pilot and Commercial Pilot licences are ICAO licences so they will be recognised by other member states, and there are 191 ICAO member states worldwide. To fly in other ICAO countries a simple validation and check flight is normally all that is required.
Where can I fly when I have my pilot licence?
Having obtained a Recreational Pilot Licence, you can fly within 25 nautical miles of the depart airport. The Private Pilot Licence will be endorsed such that you can fly through any type of airspace in Australia below 18,000ft.
What is a proficiency check and why do I need to have one?
A proficiency check is an assessment of your skills and knowledge in a particular operational area. Pilots are required to undertake proficiency checks to ensure they continue to be competent conducting particular kinds of operations. After gaining a qualification, it is normal for some skills to deteriorate over time. A proficiency check ensures your piloting skills continue to meet the standards described in the Part 61 Manual of Standards, and where applicable, those of your operator. The following proficiency checks are prescribed under Part 61:
  • Instrument rating proficiency check (IPC)
  • Instructor rating proficiency check
  • Examiner rating proficiency check
  • Aerial application rating proficiency check
  • Night vision imaging system proficiency check
Which aircraft require a type rating?
All aircraft that are certified for multi-crew operations have a type rating. Type ratings are also given to specified single-pilot certificated aeroplanes that have performance, complexity or handling characteristics that warrant pilots completing a type specific training course.
What is an aircraft type rating?
An aircraft type rating authorises a pilot to operate a particular type of aircraft. Pilots exercise the privileges of pilot type ratings. If the aircraft is certified for multi-crew operations, both the captain and co-pilot need to hold the pilot type rating for that aircraft. The aircraft operator is responsible for assigning one pilot as the captain and another as co-pilot for a multi-crew aircraft and ensuring both pilots are properly trained and qualified to perform their respective roles.
What is an aircraft class rating?
An aircraft class rating is a flight crew qualification that authorises the holder to operate aircraft that fit the description of the class rating and are not designated as type-rated aircraft. For example, a Diamond DA42 is a multi-engine aeroplane and is not designated as a type-rated aircraft, so it is covered by the multi-engine aeroplane class rating.
I am an Indian student, do you provide DGCA syllabus?
Yes we do, and our aircrafts including Cessna 172, Diamond DA40 and Diamond DA42 are all approved by DGCA so when you convert the CASA CPL licence to DGCA CAPL licence back in India, this can be easily done.
What are the minimum requirements for airline employment?
For direct entry to most airlines you will require a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) and typically theory credits for the Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL). Airlines will publish their minimum criteria for pilot applications on their website. Some airlines have recently lowered their requirements, students with 250 - 300 hours are able to get a job with big airlines such as Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines.
Can I learn to fly at Learn To Fly Melbourne if I am from overseas?
Yes! Provided you can obtain a Visa to allow entry into Australia, and you satisfy several aviation regulatory requirements like an ability to speak English, medical check, age, security check and so on. For Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL), Private Pilot Licence (RPL) and other training programs which are under 3 months training period, students can use tourist visa. For Commercial Pilot Licence, students would require a Student Visa which can be provided by us.
Is student accommodation available?
We can organize homestay for international students, it's from $45 per night or $1,000 a month including water, electricity and internet. Student apartments will be available in early 2020. Please contact us for more information.
If I get a RA Flight Instructor Rating or a Commercial Pilot Licence, will I get a job?
Learn To Fly Melbourne have flight training operations in Melbourne and Townsville. We do hire our students and have flight instructors at these 2 bases who are employed in their first flying job. Besides, our Future Pilot Development Program will offer our students the opportunity to become a flight instructor once they meet all the program elements and have their licences.
Do domestic and international students pay the same price?
International students need to pay a $1500 Enrolment Fee. All other pricing is identical between domestic and international students.
I am an Indian student, do you provide DGCA syllabus?
Yes we do, and our aircrafts including Cessna 172, Diamond DA40 and Diamond DA42 are all approved by DGCA so when you convert the CASA CPL licence to DGCA CAPL licence back in India, this can be easily done.
Can I work In Australia With My Student Visa?

If you are an International Student on a student visa you are permitted to work 20 hours a week.

Do you offer full time courses?
Yes we do, we offer full time courses for both local and international students.
What exams must you pass to gain pilot licence?
You are required to pass 3 types of exams; an oral test, written test and practical test for each pilot licence. The practical test is taken with a Flight Examiner. You will train with your flight instructor for the practical test which tests your physical flying skills. Here are the three tests in detail:
  • Written Test: Multiple choice test that covers all areas of aviation knowledge. You may select a ground school course or study on your own for the written test. There are many good books or mock exam questions which can help you prepare for all the tests. Normally, you need to score 70% to pass each theory exam.
  • Oral Test: The day you take your practical test in the actual airplane, your Flight Examiner will conduct an oral interview where you will be asked to explain all the knowledge areas you’ve studied in ground school. This includes: aircraft systems, weather, aerodynamics, air laws, airport operations, airspace designations and operations, charts, aircraft performance, and much more. This will require study and understanding on your part. Your flight instructor will discuss many of these areas with you but you must study and learn the concepts as well.
  • Practical Test: This is the test in the aircraft. You will fly with the Flight Examiner who will ask you to perform all the manoeuvres and skills you have been working on since the beginning of your training. It typically runs for 2 hours. This is where all your training comes together.
What is a proficiency check and why do I need to have one?
A proficiency check is an assessment of your skills and knowledge in a particular operational area. Pilots are required to undertake proficiency checks to ensure they continue to be competent conducting particular kinds of operations. After gaining a qualification, it is normal for some skills to deteriorate over time. A proficiency check ensures your piloting skills continue to meet the standards described in the Part 61 Manual of Standards, and where applicable, those of your operator. The following proficiency checks are prescribed under Part 61:
  • Instrument rating proficiency check (IPC)
  • Instructor rating proficiency check
  • Examiner rating proficiency check
  • Aerial application rating proficiency check
  • Night vision imaging system proficiency check
What is a flight review and why do I need to have one?
A flight review is an opportunity to receive training that refreshes your flying skills and operational knowledge. Pilots undertake flight reviews to ensure they continue to be competent flying particular types of aircraft or exercising the privileges of an operational rating. After gaining a qualification, it is normal for some skills to deteriorate over time. A flight review ensures your piloting skills remain – or are brought back up – to standard. Flight reviews are also used to meet the International Civil Aviation Organization’s requirement for countries to ensure pilots continue to be competent exercising the privileges of their licences and ratings.
Is there much home study involved?
For the Recreational Pilot Licence and Private Pilot Licence, a limited amount of study is required in your own time. A Commercial Pilot Licence requires a serious commitment to complete the required exams.
How often do I need to train?
At the minimum, you’ll need to train once per week.
Is there any time limit to finishing the training course and getting the licence?
There is no time limit for both Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) and Private Pilot Licence (PPL).
How much time and effort will flight training take?
The best way is to tell us how much time you have available and we will arrange both the theory and the flying sessions for you to personally suit you. The flying can be done from just one session per week through to full time which is 2 sessions a day, 5 – 6 days a week. The length of time to do the theory will depend on you. As an example, full-time RPL theory will take about 5 days. Theory can be done in conjunction with the flying.
How long does each lesson last?
For Recreational Pilot Licence stage, you will normally spend around 2 - 2.5 hours at the airport — 1 hour in the air, the remaining hour split between classroom briefing, aircraft preparation and debriefing. For Private Pilot Licence stage, you may need 4 - 6 hours at the airport — 2 - 4 hours in the air, the remaining hour split between flight planning, classroom briefing, aircraft preparation and debriefing.
Can I take passengers on my lessons?
Once you have passed your Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) you are able to take passengers on most lessons. Lessons where passengers cannot be carried are generally those where simulated emergencies are practiced. We also encourage students to back seat other student's flying lessons, you can learn a lot while sitting in the back seat observing how other pilots conduct their flight operations.
What happens if the weather is bad on the day of my lesson?
Safety is always paramount at Learn To Fly Melbourne. Your instructor is trained to assess weather conditions and determine whether flying would be suitable for your level of experience. There may be times when your instructor “pushes the envelope” and encourages you to fly in less than suitable conditions. This is done so that experience is gained with poor weather conditions and techniques that help maintain a good safety margin. If the weather is really bad, we will contact you to reschedule the lesson.
How much experience does my instructor have?
The Instructor Rating is divided into three classes numbered 1 through 3, class 1 being the highest. An instructor’s progression to a higher class is based on achieving at least the required number of flying instruction hours and satisfactory reviews. Several hundreds of hours are involved! In addition to this, instructors often undertake other ratings and endorsements, fly recreationally and participate in other flying activities. Consequently their total flying hours may be much greater as will be their overall experience. Several Learn To Fly Melbourne’s instructors have total flying hours in the thousands, some in more than tens of thousands!
How safe are small aircraft? Is flight training safe?
There is certain amount of risk in everything we do. Flying an aircraft have some degree of risk and for that reason they must be treated with care and respect. If you learn to fly safely with the right and professional instructors then you will go a long way towards reducing that risk. Your safety and that of the aircrafts and its occupants is the most important objective of our instructors. Besides, all of our aircraft are maintained to the highest Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) standards. Flying is safer than driving a car on the road.
How do I monitor whether my flight training is unfolding satisfactorily?
It’s best to be critical and demanding in regards to your flight training to ensure you are getting the most value from your time and money. There are a few warning signs you can lookout for to ensure your training is unfolding the way it should. Things to watch out for include:
  • Constant rescheduling or cancellation of lessons not due to weather
  • Failure to provide proper briefings
  • Constant changes of Instructor
  • Inconsistency within the school
  • Limited or no time with senior pilots
  • No proper debriefing
  • Poor paperwork
Am I covered by insurance?
We provide $5 Million Liability Insurance to cover all the flying operations for students. Also, we provide $15 Million Hangar Keeper's Liability Insurance to cover all the ground operations including incidents and accidents happening within the school and at the apron.
If I get a RA Flight Instructor Rating or a Commercial Pilot Licence, will I get a job?
Learn To Fly Melbourne have flight training operations in Melbourne and Townsville. We do hire our students and have flight instructors at these 2 bases who are employed in their first flying job. Besides, our Future Pilot Development Program will offer our students the opportunity to become a flight instructor once they meet all the program elements and have their licences.