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Understanding the reality of multi-crew cooperation

Multi-Crew Cooperation (MCC) is a critical aspect of modern commercial aviation, where safety, efficiency, and effective communication are paramount. For commercial pilot students, grasping the intricacies of MCC is essential, as it forms the foundation of successful flight operations in multi-crew environments.;

The essence of multi-crew cooperation

MCC refers to the coordinated effort and teamwork between pilots operating in a multi-crew flight deck. It involves clear communication, mutual support, and a shared understanding of tasks and responsibilities. The primary objective of MCC is to enhance flight safety by leveraging the strengths and skills of each crew member, reducing the likelihood of errors, and improving overall flight efficiency.

Challenges of Multi-Crew Cooperation

Communication Barriers

Effective communication is the cornerstone of MCC. However, pilots often face challenges such as language differences, varying communication styles, and potential misunderstandings. Clear, concise, and standardised communication protocols are essential to overcome these barriers.

Cultural Differences

In the global aviation industry, pilots from diverse cultural backgrounds work together. Differences in cultural norms, values, and communication styles can impact crew dynamics and cooperation. Understanding and respecting these differences is crucial for harmonious and effective teamwork.

Authority Gradient

The concept of authority gradient refers to the perceived difference in authority between the captain and the first officer. An excessively steep authority gradient can discourage first officers from voicing concerns or suggestions, potentially compromising flight safety. Conversely, an overly flat gradient can lead to confusion and a lack of clear leadership.

Workload Management

Balancing tasks and responsibilities between crew members is vital for efficient operations. Unequal distribution of workload can lead to stress and errors. Effective workload management ensures that tasks are shared appropriately, allowing each crew member to focus on their duties without being overwhelmed.

Situational Awareness

Maintaining situational awareness is critical in the flight deck. This involves being aware of the aircraft’s position, status, and external factors such as weather and air traffic. Both pilots must continuously share and update relevant information to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the flight situation.

Tips for ensuring effective multi-crew cooperation

1. Embrace Effective Communication

Clear and effective communication is fundamental to MCC. Use standardised phrases and protocols to avoid misunderstandings. Actively listen to your co-pilot, acknowledge their inputs, and confirm key instructions and information.

2. Foster a Collaborative Culture

Encourage an environment where all crew members feel comfortable sharing their insights and concerns. As a future leader, model openness and approachability. A collaborative culture promotes mutual respect and trust, essential for effective MCC.

3. Understand Cultural Differences

Educate yourself about cultural differences and how they can influence communication and behaviour. Be respectful and open-minded, adapting your approach to accommodate diverse perspectives. This understanding can prevent miscommunications and foster better teamwork.

4. Manage Workload Effectively

Ensure that tasks are distributed fairly and that each crew member understands their responsibilities. Use checklists and standard operating procedures (SOPs) to streamline tasks and reduce the cognitive load. Regularly review workload management strategies during training to build proficiency.

5. Develop Situational Awareness

Maintain continuous situational awareness by sharing and updating information with your co-pilot. Use briefings and debriefings to discuss flight plans, potential challenges, and responses to various scenarios. Practice situational awareness exercises during training to enhance your skills.

6. Practice Decision-Making Skills

Effective decision-making is a critical component of MCC. Engage in scenario-based training to practice making decisions in various situations, both routine and emergency. Develop a systematic approach to decision-making, considering all available information and consulting with your co-pilot.

7. Handle Conflicts Professionally

Conflicts and disagreements can arise in the high-pressure environment of the cockpit. Develop strategies to manage conflicts professionally and constructively. Focus on resolving issues through open communication, mutual respect, and adherence to SOPs.

8. Seek Feedback and Reflect

Regularly seek feedback from instructors and peers to identify areas for improvement. Reflect on your performance after each flight or training session, considering how you can enhance your MCC skills. Continuous learning and self-improvement are key to becoming an effective pilot.

9. Commit to Ongoing Training

MCC skills require ongoing development and refinement. Commit to continuous training and professional development throughout your career. Stay updated with the latest best practices and regulatory changes in the aviation industry.

10. Lead by Example

As a future leader, set a positive example for your co-pilot and other crew members. Demonstrate professionalism, competence, and a commitment to safety. Your leadership will inspire confidence and promote a strong team dynamic.

Understanding and mastering Multi-Crew Cooperation (MCC) is essential for any aspiring commercial pilot. The challenges of effective communication, cultural differences, authority gradients, workload management, and situational awareness are significant but manageable with the right approach. By embracing effective communication, fostering a collaborative culture, understanding cultural differences, managing workload, developing situational awareness, practising decision-making, handling conflicts professionally, seeking feedback, committing to ongoing training, and leading by example, you can ensure effective MCC and excel as a future leader in the cockpit.

For those wondering how to become a commercial pilot, mastering MCC is a crucial step. It not only enhances flight safety but also prepares you to navigate the complexities of a multi-crew flight deck with confidence and competence. As you progress through your pilot training, including instrument flight training, focus on developing these essential MCC skills to build a successful and fulfilling career in aviation.

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Weather briefings and decision-making: Safely navigating weather conditions

Weather plays a critical role in aviation safety, influencing flight operations at every stage from pre-flight planning to post-flight debriefing.

When learning how to become a pilot in Australia, aspiring pilots must develop a thorough understanding of weather phenomena and access to reliable weather information to make informed decisions and mitigate risks.

Weather briefings and decision-making strategies ensure the safe navigating of weather conditions throughout all phases of flight.

Types of weather briefings

Weather briefings ensure pilots have a comprehensive understanding of weather dynamics and its potential impact on a flight’s safety.

Pre-flight briefings, conducted before departure equips pilots with an overview of anticipated weather conditions along the intended flight route. These briefings encompass crucial elements such as wind patterns, visibility, and the presence of significant weather phenomena like thunderstorms, icing conditions, low cloud coverage, fog and precipitation. With this information, pilots can make decisions regarding route selection, altitude adjustments, additional fuel for holding and potential diversions.

In-flight briefings are equally vital, providing pilots with real-time updates on weather developments during the flight. This enables pilots to adapt swiftly to changing weather patterns, mitigate risks, and ensure the safety of passengers and crew. Pilots request updates on weather changes, including the formation of convective weather systems, deteriorating visibility, or unexpected turbulence, allowing them to modify flight plans accordingly.

Post-flight briefings offer pilots the opportunity to reflect on weather conditions encountered during the flight and evaluate the effectiveness of their decision-making process. By reviewing actual weather data and comparing it to forecasts, pilots can identify areas of improvement and refine their strategies for future flights. This retrospective analysis is crucial for enhancing situational awareness, honing decision-making skills, and promoting continuous learning and improvement in aviation safety.

Understanding weather hazards

Aspiring pilots must learn and understand the different weather hazards that can occur to mitigate risks and ensure the safety of flight operations effectively.

Thunderstorms are capable of producing severe turbulence, lightning strikes, and hail. These hazardous conditions can threaten the aircraft’s structural integrity and lead to in-flight emergencies if encountered. Pilots must exercise caution and avoid thunderstorm cells to prevent potential accidents.

Turbulence, whether associated with convective weather systems or occurring in clear air, can cause discomfort for passengers and crew and may result in structural damage. Pilots must anticipate turbulence and take appropriate measures to minimise its impact on the aircraft’s stability and safety.

Icing is another hazardous weather phenomenon encountered during flight, particularly in colder climates or at higher altitudes. Ice accumulation on aircraft surfaces can disrupt airflow, impairing aerodynamics and increasing stall speed. Pilots must be vigilant in identifying icing conditions and employ de-icing or anti-icing systems to mitigate its effects.

Fog presents visibility challenges, reducing visual navigation capabilities and necessitating reliance on instrument flight procedures. Pilots must exercise caution when operating in foggy conditions, maintaining proper situational awareness and adherence to diverting or holding instructions to ensure safe navigation and landing.

Weather decision making

When learning to become a pilot, aspiring pilots are taught about the critical importance of weather decision-making in aviation safety. This process requires pilots to assess and respond to weather-related risks with prudence and foresight.

Pilots must carefully evaluate forecasted weather conditions, taking into account factors such as wind speed and direction, visibility, and the presence of convective weather systems. By analysing weather data from reliable sources and consulting with meteorologists when necessary, pilots can develop a comprehensive understanding of the atmospheric conditions they may encounter during flight.

Personal minimums should also be a part of weather decision-making, as pilots must establish thresholds for weather conditions beyond which they are unwilling to fly. By adhering to personal minimums, pilots can mitigate risks and prioritise safety over schedule pressures or other external factors.

Flexibility and adaptability are essential traits for pilots to modify flight plans or divert to alternate airports as needed in response to changing weather conditions. By remaining vigilant and responsive to weather-related challenges, pilots can make informed decisions to ensure the safety of flight operations.

Weather briefing procedures in flight schools

Weather briefing procedures are an integral part of a pilot course in Australia, ensuring that aspiring pilots are well-equipped to avoid and manage various atmospheric conditions. The training typically begins with an introduction to different types of weather briefings, including pre-flight, in-flight, and post-flight briefings. Students learn to access and interpret critical weather information from reliable sources such as METARs, TAFs, GAFs, weather radar, cams and satellite imagery.

Flight instructors emphasise the importance of pre-flight briefings, guiding students through the process of reviewing weather charts, and NOTAMs to gain a comprehensive understanding of current and forecasted weather along their planned routes. Requesting in-flight weather briefings are also covered, teaching students how to obtain real-time updates and adjust their flight plans as necessary. Post-flight briefings are used to review and analyse the weather encountered during the flight.

Curriculums also include practical exercises and simulations where students apply these procedures in real-world scenarios. This hands-on approach ensures that they develop the skills needed to assess weather conditions effectively and make decisions. By the end of their training, student pilots are proficient in utilising various weather briefing tools and technologies, enabling them to navigate weather-related challenges safely and efficiently.

Weather briefings and decision-making strategies are essential for pilots to safely navigate weather conditions and ensure the safety of flight operations. By understanding different types of weather briefings, accessing reliable weather information, and employing effective decision-making techniques, pilots can mitigate weather-related risks and maintain a high standard of safety in aviation.

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Get the Most Out Of Your Online Flight Training

Online flight training offers aspiring pilots the flexibility and convenience to learn at their own pace and from the comfort of their homes.

However, to maximise the benefits of this mode of learning, it’s essential to approach it with the right strategies and mindset.

Here are ten tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your online flight school classes and prepare effectively for in-person and practical sessions.

1. Establish a Dedicated Study Space

Creating a dedicated study space free from distractions is crucial for effective learning. Ensure your study area is well-organized, comfortable, and equipped with all necessary materials, including your computer, flight training manuals, and other study aids. A quiet and dedicated space helps you focus better and support your overall learning experience.

2. Develop a Study Schedule

Consistency is key to mastering the material. Develop a study schedule that outlines when and what you will study each day. Allocate specific times for different subjects and stick to your schedule as closely as possible. This disciplined approach ensures you cover all necessary topics systematically and stay on track with your flight training in Australia while ensuring you can fulfil other life obligations without sacrificing time and energy for one or the other.

3. Utilize All Available Resources

Online flight lessons often include video lectures, interactive modules, forums, and quizzes. Take full advantage of these resources to enhance your understanding. Watch the videos and read the materials as these may seem like tedious tasks but will ensure you absorb the information you need to succeed in the course. Participate actively in forums, ask questions, and engage with your instructors and peers to clarify doubts and gain deeper insights.

4. Practice Time Management

Online learning requires excellent time management skills. Break down your study sessions into manageable chunks and use tools like calendars and to-do lists to keep track of assignments, quizzes, and exams. Prioritise tasks based on their importance and deadlines to ensure you complete all requirements on time. Do not overwhelm yourself with unrealistic and endless hours of study as this can cause you to burn out and lose interest. Take it one step at a time and keep the workload manageable and spread across days. This will prevent last-minute “cramming” which will not be as effective for your learning as consistent study.

5. Engage in Interactive Learning

Interactive learning techniques such as quizzes, simulations, and virtual reality modules can significantly enhance your understanding of flight concepts. These tools provide practical, hands-on experience that reinforces theoretical knowledge. Engaging in interactive learning helps bridge the gap between online education and real-world application.

6. Review and Revise Regularly

Regular review and revision are essential to retain information and reinforce learning. Set aside time each week to review previously covered material. Use flashcards, summaries, and practice tests to gauge your understanding and identify areas that need improvement. Consistent revision ensures that you are well-prepared for in-person and practical sessions.

7. Prepare for Practical Sessions

While online training covers theoretical aspects, practical flying skills are developed during in-person sessions. Before attending these sessions, thoroughly review relevant theoretical concepts and procedures. Familiarise yourself with the aircraft’s controls and systems through virtual cockpit tours and simulation exercises. Take the time to make yourself comfortable and relax. Being well-prepared for practical sessions allows you to make the most of the hands-on training.

8. Stay Physically and Mentally Fit

Flight training requires both physical and mental fitness. Maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating well, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep. Engage in activities that promote mental well-being, such as meditation and mindfulness. Staying fit ensures you are alert and focused during both online and practical training sessions.

9. Network with Peers and Instructors

Building a network of peers and instructors can provide valuable support and guidance throughout your training journey. Join online forums, social media groups, and virtual study sessions to connect with fellow students. Participate actively in discussions and seek feedback from your instructors. Networking helps you stay motivated and informed about industry developments.

10. Stay Updated on Industry Trends

The aviation industry is constantly evolving, with new technologies and regulations emerging regularly. Stay updated on industry trends by reading aviation journals, attending webinars, and participating in online courses. Staying informed about the latest developments helps you stay ahead in your training and prepares you for a successful career as a commercial pilot.

Online flight training offers a flexible and convenient path to achieving your aviation dreams. By following these tips and tricks, you can maximise your learning experience and ensure you are well-prepared for theoretical exams and practical flying sessions. Remember, discipline, consistency, and active engagement are key to making the most of your flight training program.

Whether you just started learning how to become a commercial pilot, pursuing a recreational pilot’s licence as a hobby or are working through the advanced stages of flight training, these strategies will help you stay focused, motivated, and successful.

Online learning is an opportunity to pursue your passion for flying while juggling other life responsibilities. With the right mindset and preparation, you’ll be well on your way to a rewarding and fulfilling career in aviation.

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Learn To Fly Scholarship Opportunity for Taiwanese Students

Application Link: Apply for the Learn To Fly Scholarship

Following the feedback received during our recent seminar in Taipei, Learn To Fly Melbourne is excited to announce a special initiative tailored specifically for Taiwanese students who aspire to become pilots but face financial hurdles in pursuing comprehensive pilot training.

Understanding Your Needs

We understand that many aspiring aviators in Taiwan may not have the financial means to pay upfront for CPL and Flight Instructor training. Consequently, it’s common for them to consider applying for airline-sponsored Cadet Pilot Programs, which cover the costs of training and assure employment upon successful completion. We listened carefully to your concerns during our seminar.

Scholarship Opportunity

To support your aviation dreams, Learn To Fly Melbourne is thrilled to offer a scholarship to 2 deserving students from Taiwan. This scholarship will fully sponsor the recipients through our esteemed Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) First Solo Program.

Since the FCPP program’s inception in 2017, it has helped over 300 students successfully gain positions with 17 airlines worldwide including Qantas, Qantas Link, Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon, Scoot, Singpore Airlines, CommutAir, SkyWest etc. The program, valued at AUD $9,995 (approximately $215,000 Taiwanese dollars), covers both flight training and airline interview preparation training sessions, equipping you with the skills necessary to excel in Cadet Pilot interviews.

Scholarship Details

  • Scholarship Value: Full tuition fee for the FCPP First Solo Program, AUD$9,995 x 2
  • Additional Costs: Recipients are responsible for their own airfare and accommodation.
  • Application Deadline: 20th July, 2024
  • Program Start: Assessments begin in August 2024
  • Application Link Click here to apply

Requirements

  • From Taiwan
  • Aged 18 -30 years
  • Have a good command of English
  • Be able to pass a CASA Class 2 or Class 5 medical check

We offer:

  • Ground School Theory
  • Airline Interview Coaching Session – a comprehensive airline interview training that has successfully helped over 300 students secure airline jobs since 2017
  • 15 hours of flight training in a Sling 2 aircraft
  • Online Aviation RPL Theory Course
  • Online Aviation English Language Proficiency (AELP) Training
  • 737 Simulation Training

Application Process

  • 1. Online Application
  • 2. Skill Assessment
  • 2. Aptitude Test
  • 3. Final Interview

Application Link: Apply for the Learn To Fly Scholarship

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Commonly Asked Questions about Becoming a Commercial Pilot

Embarking on a career as a commercial pilot is an exciting and rewarding journey filled with challenges and opportunities. Aspiring pilots often have numerous questions about the path to becoming a commercial aviator.

Let’s address the most commonly asked questions about pursuing a career in commercial aviation, to provide some insights and guidance for those considering this career path.

What are the minimum age requirements to become a commercial pilot?

To obtain the license, applicants must be at least 16 years old. However, individuals can start training for their private pilot license at a younger age, typically around 14 – 15 years of age and can do the RPL flight test at 16, PPL at 17 and CPL at 18.

What educational qualifications are needed to pursue a career as a commercial pilot?

A Bachelor is not required for either airline or flight school. For flight school, we require prospective students to have a good command of English and be able to pass skills and interview assessments during the application process.

For airlines and cadet entry, it’ll be similar to flight school’s requirements. For direct entry pilot positions, they prefer a CPL licence with a minimum of flying hours and passing the ATPL theory exams.

How long does it take to become a commercial pilot?

The time it takes to become a commercial pilot varies depending on individual circumstances, such as the type of training program chosen, frequency of flight training sessions, and personal aptitude. On average, it takes around 14 – 16 months to obtain the license through a structured training program.

What is the process for obtaining a commercial pilot license?

The process for obtaining the license involves several steps, including completing the required flight training hours, passing written and practical exams, meeting medical requirements, and gaining experience as a pilot-in-command.

What are the medical requirements for becoming a commercial pilot?

Commercial pilots must hold a valid medical certificate issued by a CASA Designated Aviation medical examiner (DAME). The medical certificate ensures that pilots meet specific physical and mental health standards outlined by aviation authorities, such as the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

Are there any height or weight restrictions for commercial pilots?

While there are no specific height or weight restrictions for commercial pilots, candidates must be able to comfortably operate aircraft controls and safely perform all required duties. Airlines may have their own guidelines regarding physical fitness requirements.

What are the job prospects like for commercial pilots?

Job prospects for commercial pilots vary depending on factors such as economic conditions, industry demand, and individual qualifications. Overall, the demand for commercial pilots is expected to remain strong, particularly in regions experiencing growth in air travel and cargo transportation.

What type of training is involved in becoming a commercial pilot?

Becoming a commercial pilot requires completing both ground training and flight training. Ground training covers subjects such as aerodynamics, navigation, meteorology, and aviation regulations, while flight training focuses on developing piloting skills through hands-on experience in the cockpit. Students are required to progress through Recreational Pilot License (RPL), Private Pilot License (PPL), and Commercial Pilot License (CPL) training. The RPL primarily teaches students the basics of flying an aircraft, while PPL training concentrates on navigation skills. For CPL training, the focus is on accumulating flying hours; students are required to log an additional 60 flying hours before they can undertake the CPL flight test.

Can I become a commercial pilot if I wear glasses or contact lenses?

Yes, individuals who wear glasses or contact lenses can still become commercial pilots, provided their vision meets the minimum standards set by aviation authorities. Pilots can wear corrective glasses to meet the necessary vision standards required for passing vision tests.

What are the differences between a commercial pilot license and a private pilot license?

The license allows holders to fly aircraft for compensation or hire, such as working as a pilot for an airline or charter company. In contrast, a private pilot license permits individuals to fly for recreational purposes and prohibits them from receiving compensation for their services.

Are there any restrictions on international travel for commercial pilots?

Commercial pilots are subject to international aviation regulations and may require additional certifications or training to operate flights across international borders. Individual airlines often have procedures and requirements for international operations.

How often do commercial pilots have to undergo recurrent training and medical examinations?

Commercial pilots are required to undergo recurrent training and medical examinations at regular intervals to maintain their licenses and certifications. The frequency of these requirements varies depending on factors such as the type of aircraft flown and regulatory standards.

What are the risks associated with being a commercial pilot?

Like any profession, commercial piloting carries inherent risks, including exposure to inclement weather, mechanical failures, and human error. However, rigorous training, adherence to safety protocols, and ongoing professional development help mitigate these risks.

Are there any opportunities for career advancement for commercial pilots?

Yes, there are numerous opportunities for career advancement in the field of commercial aviation. Pilots may progress to higher positions within an airline, such as becoming a captain or transitioning to roles in management, training, or corporate aviation.

Pursuing a career as a commercial pilot requires dedication, perseverance, and a commitment to safety and professionalism. By understanding the requirements, training process, and career prospects, aspiring pilots can become a part of the aviation industry. Whether through pilot training courses or direct entry programs, obtaining a commercial pilot license opens doors to exciting opportunities in aviation.

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Navigating behavioural interview questions: Showcasing leadership and problem-solving abilities in aviation

Successfully navigating behavioural interview questions is crucial for aspiring cadet pilots and seasoned professionals alike. These interviews are designed to assess candidates’ abilities to handle real-world situations, with a focus on leadership, problem-solving, and other key competencies essential for success in the cockpit.

Exploring the purpose and format

Behavioural interview questions are designed to elicit specific examples of past behaviour to predict future performance. Rather than hypothetical scenarios, these questions focus on real-life experiences and actions taken in response to various situations. The format typically follows the STAR method, which stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result, allowing candidates to structure their responses in a clear and concise manner.

Crafting compelling STAR responses

To effectively utilise the STAR framework in a behavioural interview, start by reflecting on past experiences that demonstrate key competencies sought by interviewers, such as leadership and problem-solving abilities in aviation contexts. Identify specific instances where you faced challenges or opportunities to showcase these skills.

Structure your responses by describing the Situation you encountered, providing context for the scenario. Outline the Task that was required for the situation and the Actions you took to address it, emphasising your decision-making process and leadership approach. Summarise the Results or outcomes of your efforts, highlighting the impact of your actions and any lessons learned from the experience.

By following this structured approach, you can provide clear, concise, and compelling examples that effectively demonstrate your capabilities and suitability for the role.

Utilising the CAR method

In addition to the STAR method, candidates can utilise the CAR method (Context, Action, Result) to structure their responses to behavioural interview questions. Begin by providing context for the situation or problem you faced, describe the actions you took to address it and conclude by summarising the results or outcomes of your efforts.

Identifying key competencies in leadership and problem-solving

Leadership and problem-solving are critical competencies that directly impact safety, efficiency, and overall operational success. Aspiring cadet pilots must demonstrate their ability to lead teams, make quick decisions under pressure, and effectively solve complex problems.

Highlighting leadership experience and demonstrating problem-solving skills

When discussing leadership experience in a behavioural interview, focus on concrete examples of when you successfully led teams or projects in aviation-related contexts. Whether coordinating flight operations, managing crew members, or overseeing emergency procedures, provide specific details about your role, responsibilities, and the impact of your leadership efforts.

Problem-solving skills are essential for overcoming unexpected challenges and ensuring the safety and efficiency of flight operations. When discussing your problem-solving abilities in a behavioural interview, share stories of when you successfully resolved issues or addressed challenges in aviation settings, such as weather-related delays, mechanical issues or communication breakdowns.

Emphasising collaboration and teamwork

Collaboration and teamwork are essential components of success in aviation, where effective communication and coordination are critical for safe and efficient flight operations. When discussing your collaboration and teamwork skills in a behavioural interview, share examples of times when you worked effectively with colleagues, crew members, or other stakeholders to achieve common goals or solve problems.

Illustrating adaptability and flexibility

Adaptability and flexibility are invaluable qualities that enable pilots to navigate unforeseen challenges and changes in circumstances. When discussing your adaptability and flexibility in a behavioural interview, provide examples of times when you successfully adapted to changing situations, such as last-minute flight schedule changes or equipment malfunctions.

Showcasing decision-making abilities

Decision-making is a critical skill for pilots, who must often make split-second decisions under pressure to ensure the safety and well-being of passengers and crew. When discussing your decision-making abilities in a behavioural interview, share examples of times when you were faced with difficult choices or high-pressure situations, and explain how you approached the decision-making process and the rationale behind your actions.

Lessons learned and skills developed from past experiences

Take the opportunity in an interview to reflect on your personal growth and development as a pilot. Share examples of times when you faced challenges or setbacks, and discuss the lessons learned and skills developed as a result of those experiences. By demonstrating your ability to learn and grow from past experiences, you can showcase your readiness and suitability for the challenges of the aviation industry.

Navigating behavioural interview questions requires careful preparation, self-reflection, and the ability to articulate your experiences and achievements in a clear and compelling manner. By understanding the purpose and format of behavioural interviews, identifying key competencies relevant to aviation contexts, and crafting compelling STAR stories that showcase your leadership and problem-solving abilities, you can effectively demonstrate your readiness and suitability for a career in aviation during a cadet pilot interview or airline pilot technical interview. With the right preparation and approach, you can confidently navigate the challenges of the interview process and position yourself for success in the competitive field of aviation.

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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.

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Learn To Fly Taiwan Cadet Pilot Program Summary 2024

We are thrilled to announce the successful seminar held in Taipei on April 13, 2024, for the Learn To Fly Cadet Pilot Program. This unique program is designed to offer aspiring pilots a robust career pathway in aviation, not only securing their first job post-training but also providing flexible career advancement opportunities.

Program Overview

The Learn To Fly Cadet Pilot Program is open globally but limited to only 5 students for the 2024 intake. This exclusivity ensures personalized training and mentorship, preparing each cadet for a variety of career paths in aviation. Upon completing 250 instructional hours, graduates may choose to continue as flight instructors or apply to work with airlines.

Key Dates For Applicants

  • Application Deadline For Taiwanese Students: May 8, 2024
  • First Skill Assessment: May 11, 2024, in Taipei
  • Aptitude Test: May 25, 2024
  • Final Interview: May 30, 2024

The Process

Interested candidates from Taiwan are encouraged to apply by the deadline through the following link: Learn To Fly Cadet Pilot Program.

This program is designed not only to secure your first job post-training but also to provide flexible career options thereafter. Upon completing 250 instructional hours, graduates have the choice to continue working as a flight instructor or to pursue positions with airlines, among other opportunities.

Program Process

  1. 1. Commercial Pilot Licence Training
  2. 2. Flight Instructor Rating
  3. 3. Work as a Grade 3 Flight Instructor
  4. 4. Contract Review after 250 Instructional Hours

For more information and program requirements, please go to the following link: Learn To Fly Cadet Pilot Program.

For further inquiries or additional information, please feel free to contact us. We are here to support every aspiring pilot in achieving their dreams.

Thank you to everyone who attended the seminar and expressed their interest. We are excited to see what the future holds for our 2024 cadets and beyond.

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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.

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Which CASA Aviation Medical Certificate Do You Need?

Pilots require a current medical certificate that aligns with their license type, involving varying classes for different activities. While there’s no medical requirement when flying with their instructor, student pilots must secure a medical certificate before their first solo flight.

Choosing the right aviation medical certificate is vital for aspiring and current pilots, each with distinct requirements based on their flying goals. Here’s an overview of the types of medical certificates and who needs them:

Class 1 Medical Certificate

Class 1 Medical Certificate is necessary for professional pilots, including those with an Air Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL), Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) and Multi-Crew Pilot Licence (MPL) etc. It typically remains valid for a period of one year, unless specified otherwise.

Class 2 Medical Certificate

Class 2 Medical Certificate is available for Recreational, Private pilots and some of the Commercial pilots. It covers a broader range of flying activities and is slightly less stringent than the Class 1 certificate. Sometimes, commercial pilots can operate under this certificate, subject to specific conditions.

The validity of a Class 2 certificate depends on age: it’s valid for four years for pilots under 40, and two years for those over 40. Additionally, commercial pilots with this certificate can operate commercial flights (without passengers) involving aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of less than 8618 kg.

Learn more about the Class 2 medical certificate here.

Basic Class 2 Medical Certificate

The Basic Class 2 Medical Certificate offers an alternative to the standard Class 2 Medical Certificate for recreational and private pilot licenses. It’s more affordable and has a simpler application process. However, it comes with less medical flexibility than a full Class 2 certificate. Pilots with this certificate are restricted to private day operations under visual flight rules (VFR) and below 10,000 feet, with a maximum of 5 passengers, and can only operate piston engine aircraft with a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of less than 8618 kg. Basic Class 2 doesn’t permit the use of operational or flight activity ratings. The examination can be done by any medical practitioner qualified for commercial motor vehicle driver medicals, and the standards for vision and hearing aids match those of the commercial driver standard. If you don’t meet the standard or have pre-existing conditions, a full Class 2 assessment by a DAME may be required.

Learn more about the Basic Class 2 medical certificate here.

Class 5 Medical Self-Declaration

The Class 5 medical self-declaration in Australia allows recreational and private pilots to self-assess their fitness without needing a formal medical assessment.

This option, particularly suitable for those pursuing a Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL), offers an alternative to the Basic Class 2 medical certificate. To be eligible, pilots must fulfill fitness requirements, pass online training, and adhere to certain operational limitations like flying only in daytime under visual flight rules, not exceeding 10,000 feet, carrying a maximum of two persons, and operating solely within Australian territory. The validity of this declaration varies with the pilot’s age and ranges from one to five years. This self-declaration streamlines the process for entry-level pilots while ensuring safety standards are maintained.

Learn more about the Class 5 medical self-declaration here.

Recreational Aviation Medical Practitioner’s Certificate (RAMPC)

The Recreational Aviation Medical Practitioner’s Certificate (RAMPC) offers an alternative medical certification for recreational pilots. It’s generally more affordable and simpler to obtain than Class 1 and Class 2 certificates, but has stricter medical standards and limitations. With a RAMPC, pilots can operate single-engine piston aircraft under certain conditions, like daytime VFR operations below 10,000 feet and with only one passenger. However, specific restrictions apply, and pilots with certain medical conditions may need to opt for a Class 2 certificate instead, which requires assessment by a Designated Aviation Medical Examiner (DAME) for a more personalized health evaluation in relation to aviation. This certificate provides a pathway for recreational pilots, balancing ease of access with necessary safety standards.

Licence and Medical Certificate Guide

Source from https://www.casa.gov.au/licences-and-certificates/aviation-medicals-and-certificates/classes-medical-certificate#Licenceandmedicalcertificateguide

1Holders of a RAMPC can exercise the privileges of the PPL under the operational limitations of the RAMPC unless the holder has a Class 1 or 2 medical certificate

2CASA EX69/21 – Can exercise the privileges of the PPL under the operational limitations of the Basic Class 2 medical certificate unless the holder has a Class 1 or 2 medical certificate

3CASA EX01/24 – Can exercise the privileges of the PPL under the operational limitations of the Class 5 unless the holder has a Class 1 or 2 medical certificate

4CASA EX66/21 – Part 7 – Foreign cadet pilots (medical certificate for CPL flight test)

Which Medical Certificate Should You Choose?

For student pilots pursuing the Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL), the Class 5 Self Declaration is a practical option. It saves both money and time, as obtaining a CASA medical check in some foreign countries can be costly and challenging. This self-declaration simplifies the process, allowing students to start their training without the need for immediate medical checks. If a student decides to obtain a standard Class 2 Medical certificate later, they will have ample time to do so, ensuring they are ready for their first solo flight without added pressure.

For student pilots aiming for a Private Pilot Licence (PPL), the Class 5 Self Declaration is a convenient initial choice, allowing training to begin promptly. This option provides the flexibility to undergo the Class 2 medical certificate process at a later stage, ensuring there’s enough time to arrange for the required CASA Class 2 medical check. This pathway helps in managing time effectively and alleviates the pressure to complete medical requirements before starting flight training.

However, for students aiming for Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) training, it’s advisable to complete the Class 1 medical examination beforehand. This ensures they meet the necessary health standards for a CPL before investing significant time and resources into training.

CASA Medical Certificates For Student Pilots

Choosing The Right Medical Certificate

Choosing the right medical certificate is a key step in a pilot’s career path, ensuring they meet the necessary health standards for the type of flying they wish to undertake. It’s advisable for pilots to discuss their medical conditions with a medical expert and a flight instructor, especially if they’re aiming for a professional pilot career. Understanding these nuances will help pilots navigate their path in the aviation world with confidence and safety.

What Else Should I Know?

We’ve compiled a few useful posts that might help you out. Wherever you are on your aviation journey, the team at Learn To Fly Melbourne are here to help. We want you to pass your exams and have an excellent career, so please reach out if we can help support you through your course and studies!

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.

Flight Instructor Training Endorsements – All You Need To Know
In this blog, we’ll outline the Flight Instructor Training Endorsements that are available. We’ll also guide you on how each of these endorsements can add value to your role as a Flight Instructor, and your progression as a professional pilot.

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Choosing the Right Pilot Course for You

In the Australian aviation industry, airlines like Qantas place emphasis on practical flying experience and the possession of relevant pilot licenses, rather than academic qualifications such as a bachelor’s degree.

For those aspiring to become pilots, focusing on achieving the Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) through the Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane) and obtaining the Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating (MECIR) through the Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Rating) are key steps. These qualifications are essential for applying to airlines. This career path enables individuals to gain employment in aviation, accrue the required flying hours, and pursue opportunities for progression within airline companies.

With numerous schools offering diploma programs in aviation, selecting the right one can be challenging. It’s essential to consider factors like the quality of training, the types of aircraft used, the success rate of graduates, and the school’s reputation in the industry. Researching and comparing these aspects will help you find a program that aligns with your career goals and learning preferences. It’s also beneficial to seek feedback from current students or alumni to gain insights into their experiences. Ultimately, the right school should not only offer comprehensive training but also support your journey towards becoming a skilled pilot.

VET Student Loans (VSL)


For Australian students, evaluating aviation diploma programs involves considering the availability of VET Student Loans (VSL). These loans offer upfront coverage of tuition fees, benefiting students who face financial challenges. However, it’s crucial to remember that these loans incur a 20% fee and do not cover additional costs, such as fees for retaking failed lessons or flight tests. Despite these limitations, VSL remains a valuable option for aspiring pilots, helping to make pilot training more accessible and manageable financially.

Training Syllabus and Training Aircraft

Another important aspect to consider in aviation diploma programs is the training aircraft and training syllabus. Each flight school follows its own Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) syllabus, and there may be differences in whether they include Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) or Private Pilot Licence (PPL) flight tests. Understanding the specifics of a school’s syllabus is vital to ensure it matches your learning goals.

Additionally, researching the type of aircraft used for training is crucial. If two schools offer similar CPL or Instrument Rating diploma programs at comparable prices, opting for one with newer aircraft featuring modern avionics could provide a better training experience.

Graduates Employment Success Rate

An important consideration in choosing an aviation school is the employment success rate of its graduates. Securing that first pilot job is crucial for building a career, especially after investing significant time and money into training. Research the job placement rate of schools you’re considering. This can involve speaking with current students, attending open days, or looking up graduate success stories. Schools with good reputations often have higher job placement rates, as their quality of training is well-regarded in the industry. This reputation can enhance your prospects of being perceived as a well-trained pilot by potential employers.

Post-Graduation Support

Finally, Effective post-graduation support from aviation schools can significantly enhance your job prospects. Schools that offer seminars on the aviation industry’s current landscape, detailing what airlines seek in pilots and how to gain sufficient flying experience, can provide a tailored career pathway. Additionally, some schools go a step further by providing interview training. This prepares you for airline interviews, equipping you with insights into what airlines look for in candidates and how to present yourself as the ideal choice for them effectively. This support can be a pivotal factor in your aviation career success.

Embarking on an aviation career in Australia involves a careful evaluation of various factors. Prospective pilots must consider practical flying experience and the necessary pilot licenses over academic degrees. Choosing the right aviation school is crucial, with factors like VSL availability, training syllabus, aircraft quality, and the school’s reputation playing pivotal roles. The employment success rate of graduates and post-graduation support offered by the school can significantly influence career prospects. Each element contributes to a well-rounded and successful entry into the aviation industry, making an informed decision essential for aspiring pilots.

What Else Should I Know?

We’ve compiled a few useful posts that might help you out. Wherever you are on your aviation journey, the team at Learn To Fly Melbourne are here to help. We want you to pass your exams and have an excellent career, so please reach out if we can help support you through your course and studies!

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.

Flight Instructor Training Endorsements – All You Need To Know
In this blog, we’ll outline the Flight Instructor Training Endorsements that are available. We’ll also guide you on how each of these endorsements can add value to your role as a Flight Instructor, and your progression as a professional pilot.

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Mastering the Cockpit: Advanced Techniques in Instrument Flight

An instrument rating significantly broadens a pilot’s capabilities and career prospects. It allows pilots to operate under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR), enabling them to fly in a wide range of weather conditions and ensuring safer operations when visibility is limited. This qualification is often a prerequisite for airline applications, as it demonstrates a pilot’s ability to handle complex navigational challenges.

Moreover, for flight instructors, having an instrument rating is advantageous. It not only enhances their teaching capabilities but also prepares them for career advancement opportunities within flight schools, such as training other pilots for their instrument ratings. Therefore, obtaining an instrument rating opens up more job opportunities and is a critical step for pilots aiming to advance in their aviation careers.

Mastering instrument flight involves a comprehensive skill set, each vital for navigating safely in varied flight conditions.

Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) Proficiency

Primarily, proficiency in Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) is critical. IFR governs aircraft navigation and operation in conditions lacking visual cues, demanding a deep understanding of these rules for safe and efficient flight.

Spatial Orientation and Situational Awareness

Equally vital is spatial orientation and situational awareness. Pilots must maintain their spatial orientation using only instruments, constantly aware of their aircraft’s position and trajectory in a three-dimensional space. This skill is crucial in conditions with limited visibility, where pilots rely entirely on instrument readings to navigate.

Proficiency in Aircraft Control

Proficiency in aircraft control is another cornerstone of instrument flight. Pilots must skillfully manage the aircraft’s altitude, speed, and heading, with precision, relying solely on instrument readings. This precision is crucial in maintaining a safe and steady flight path, particularly in challenging weather conditions or congested airspace.

Navigation Skills

Navigation skills also play a pivotal role. Pilots must be adept in using advanced navigation systems like VOR, ILS, and GPS. These systems assist in accurate route planning and adherence, ensuring that the aircraft remains on its intended path throughout the flight.

Interpreting Weather Information

Interpreting weather information is an integral part of IFR operations. Pilots must understand and interpret meteorological data, as weather significantly impacts flight. This knowledge helps in making informed decisions, especially in adverse weather conditions.

Communication Skills

Communication skills are indispensable in instrument flight. Effective communication with air traffic control (ATC) is essential for receiving and understanding instructions and clearances. This ensures a coordinated and safe flight operation within the controlled airspace.

Flight Planning and Management

Flight planning and management involve considering various factors like fuel requirements, altitudes, routes, and alternate airports. Efficient planning is key to a successful flight operation, especially under IFR conditions.

Continuous Learning and Adaptation

Continuous learning and adaptation are crucial in the ever-evolving field of aviation. Pilots must stay updated with the latest technology and regulations, ensuring their skills and knowledge remain relevant and effective.

In summary, successful instrument flight hinges on a blend of technical proficiency, situational awareness, decision-making skills, and continuous learning. These attributes are indispensable for pilots navigating in environments where reliance on visual cues is not possible, ensuring safety and efficiency in modern aviation.

What Else Should I Know?

We’ve compiled a few useful posts that might help you out. Wherever you are on your aviation journey, the team at Learn To Fly Melbourne are here to help. We want you to pass your exams and have an excellent career, so please reach out if we can help support you through your course and studies!

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.

Flight Instructor Training Endorsements – All You Need To Know
In this blog, we’ll outline the Flight Instructor Training Endorsements that are available. We’ll also guide you on how each of these endorsements can add value to your role as a Flight Instructor, and your progression as a professional pilot.

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3 Common Misconceptions About Becoming an Airline Pilot

Navigating the path to becoming an airline pilot in Australia is often surrounded by myths and misconceptions. This blog aims to dispel some of the most common misunderstandings, starting with the belief that a bachelor’s degree is essential. In reality, practical flying experience is far more valued. Additionally, concerns about the affordability of pilot training are addressed with solutions like the VET Student Loans program. Furthermore, we debunk the notion that Australian pilots are confined to working within Australia, highlighting opportunities in the US, Asia, and Europe. By clarifying these misconceptions, we hope to provide a clearer and more encouraging pathway for those aspiring to soar in the Australian skies.

1. I Need A Bachelor’s Degree


The misconception that a bachelor’s degree is necessary to become an airline pilot in Australia is widespread, yet it’s not accurate. Contrary to popular belief, pursuing a degree might not only be unnecessary but also can lead to more expenses and time consumption. Major airlines, such as Qantas, emphasize practical flying experience over academic qualifications. Their recruitment criteria, which can be reviewed on their website, focus on flying credentials and experience without mentioning the need for a bachelor’s or even a diploma.

To be eligible for direct entry pilot positions in airlines, the standard requirements typically include holding a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL), a Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating (MECIR), and passing all the Air Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) theory exams. Additionally, applicants must meet specific flying hours, including a certain number of hours in multi-engine aircraft. These requirements are geared towards practical flying experience and proficiency.

Rather than spending an extra two years at university, aspiring pilots can utilize this time more effectively in the aviation field. For instance, obtaining a Flight Instructor Rating and working as a flight instructor can be a strategic move. This not only allows for the accumulation of valuable flying hours but also provides practical experience and a deeper understanding of aviation. Within two years, while university graduates are just receiving their CPL and MECIR, those who chose the practical route could have already amassed significant flying hours, giving them a considerable advantage in the aviation job market. This approach underscores the importance of practical experience in the aviation industry and highlights an alternative, more direct path to becoming an airline pilot in Australia.

Furthermore, the financial burden of a university degree should not be underestimated. Aviation training itself is a significant investment, and adding university tuition fees on top of that can be financially overwhelming. By directly entering flight training programs, aspiring pilots can allocate their resources more efficiently towards building their flying careers.

2. I Can’t Afford The Training

A common misconception about becoming an airline pilot in Australia is the perceived unaffordability of flight training.

Indeed, the costs associated with training to become a qualified airline pilot can be substantial. However, there are financial supports in place within Australia, such as the VET Student Loans program, which can make this dream more attainable.

Eligible students can apply for these government-funded loans to cover the costs of their flight training. This assistance significantly reduces the financial burden, making pilot training more accessible to a broader range of individuals. The VET Student Loans program is specifically designed to support vocational education and training, and it covers a range of courses, including those in aviation.

By leveraging these loans, aspiring pilots can invest in their education and training without the immediate stress of financial constraints. This opportunity opens up the field of aviation to many who may have previously considered it out of reach due to cost concerns. For more information on eligibility and application details for the VET Student Loans, visit Learn to Fly Australia.

3. I Can Only Work In Australia

A common misconception among aspiring airline pilots in Australia is that their career opportunities are limited to Australia.

However, Australian-trained pilots actually have prospects in various countries, notably Australia and the United States. Australian citizens can utilize the E3 visa to work in the US, and many American airlines actively recruit Australian pilots. There are numerous examples of Australian pilots flying with regional airlines in the US.

Additionally, airlines in Asia often welcome pilots from different countries, and the best way to find out about these opportunities is by checking the airlines’ recruitment websites.

Furthermore, Australian citizens holding dual nationalities have even more options. For instance, those with European passports can apply to many airlines in Europe, where the entry requirements can be less stringent than in Australia. This global mobility significantly broadens the career prospects for pilots trained in Australia, offering them a chance to work in various international aviation markets.

In conclusion, the journey to becoming an airline pilot in Australia is shrouded in misconceptions, but understanding the realities can open doors to exciting opportunities. The need for a bachelor’s degree is a myth; practical flying experience holds more value in the industry. Aspiring pilots should focus on obtaining their CPL, MECIR, and passing ATPL theory exams, while accruing necessary flying hours. Additionally, financial barriers are less daunting with support like the VET Student Loans. Moreover, Australian pilots have global career prospects, not just in Australia but also in the US, Europe, and Asia. These insights offer a clearer path for those dreaming of a career in the skies, proving that with dedication and strategic planning, becoming an airline pilot is an achievable and rewarding goal.

What Else Should I Know?

We’ve compiled a few useful posts that might help you out. Wherever you are on your aviation journey, the team at Learn To Fly Melbourne are here to help. We want you to pass your exams and have an excellent career, so please reach out if we can help support you through your course and studies!

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.

Flight Instructor Training Endorsements – All You Need To Know
In this blog, we’ll outline the Flight Instructor Training Endorsements that are available. We’ll also guide you on how each of these endorsements can add value to your role as a Flight Instructor, and your progression as a professional pilot.

Learn-To-Fly-Melbourne-Youtube-Subscribe-Footer
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6 Things You Can Do With a Private Pilot’s Licence in Australia

Embarking on a journey with a Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL) in Australia opens up a world of possibilities, each as diverse as the landscapes below. This license not only signifies the skill and freedom to pilot an aircraft but also serves as a gateway to unique experiences and adventures. From the thrill of personal exploration to the practicalities of business travel, the privilege of holding a PPL in the vast and varied expanse of Australia offers a range of fulfilling activities. This blog delves into five exciting things you can do with a PPL, showcasing how this licence can transform the way you interact with the world, both above and below.

1. Exploring the Melbourne Landscape

Expanding your adventure as a private pilot in Melbourne, you have the unique opportunity to explore a myriad of breathtaking landscapes from the air. Each flight from Moorabbin Airport is a new journey, whether you’re heading toward the rugged beauty of the Great Ocean Road or the serene Yarra Valley. Picture the vineyards and rolling hills of the Yarra Valley spreading out beneath you, a tapestry of green and gold. Melbourne pilots often speak of the exhilaration of skirting along the Dandenong Ranges, where the lush forests present a stark contrast to the urban sprawl.

The Mornington Peninsula offers a different allure with its blend of calm bays, wild ocean beaches, and quaint coastal villages. Flying along this coastline, you get to appreciate the unique geography that defines Victoria’s beloved peninsula. Melbourne’s weather can be unpredictable, so pilots learn to be adept at interpreting forecasts and making sound judgment calls.

Safety remains a top priority, with seasoned pilots advocating for regular aircraft maintenance and comprehensive pre-flight checks. Beyond the technical aspects, these flights are about the experiences they bring. They are about the quiet moments above the clouds, the shared stories with fellow aviators, and the sense of community among those who take to the skies. It’s about capturing the essence of Melbourne and its surroundings from a perspective few get to experience. Every flight is not just a journey through space but also through the rich tapestry of natural beauty that makes Victoria so unique.

2. Personal and Business Travel

Holding a Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL) in Australia opens up a realm of possibilities, especially in terms of travel, both for personal leisure and business purposes. Imagine the freedom of planning a weekend getaway, flying to a secluded beach or a tranquil spot in the countryside, far away from the bustling city life. With a PPL, you can take off on your own schedule, steering clear of the typical frustrations associated with commercial flights. You have the liberty to explore hidden gems and less-travelled destinations, creating unique and memorable experiences each time you take to the skies.

For business professionals, a PPL is a game-changer in terms of travel efficiency and flexibility. The ability to fly to meetings, conferences, or site visits on your own timeline is an incredible advantage. It bypasses the need to adhere to commercial airline schedules, which can often be restrictive or inconvenient. This autonomy in travel not only saves precious time but also allows for more productivity and can significantly enhance your competitiveness in the business world. The convenience of flying directly to a destination means that business opportunities in remote or regional areas become more accessible, broadening the scope of potential market expansion and networking.

In essence, a Private Pilot’s Licence in Australia is not just a license to fly; it’s a ticket to unbridled exploration and efficiency. Whether it’s for leisurely adventures across diverse Australian landscapes or for making significant strides in business ventures, a PPL offers a unique and liberating way to travel.

3. Joining the Aviation Community

Holding a Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL) in Australia offers more than just flying; it’s an entry into a vibrant, passionate aviation community.

When you join a flying school, you connect with like-minded individuals who share your passion for the skies. The school often host a variety of events, from casual fly-ins to educational workshops, where knowledge, experiences, and stories are exchanged.

Attending aviation events not only broadens your horizons but also keeps you abreast of the latest industry trends and best practices. Networking with other pilots and aviation enthusiasts can lead to lifelong friendships and valuable connections, further enriching your flying experience. This sense of community is one of the most rewarding aspects of holding a PPL, as it provides support, learning opportunities, and a shared sense of adventure.

4. Advanced Pilot Training and Careers

Acquiring a Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL) is often the starting point for aspiring aviators in Australia, paving the way for more advanced certifications and a diverse range of career opportunities. This foundational skill set not only serves as a stepping stone towards obtaining a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) but also opens doors to acquiring specialized skills like a Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating. Each subsequent certification builds on the fundamental knowledge gained from the PPL, deepening a pilot’s understanding of aviation and enhancing their flying capabilities. Pursuing further training means embracing more complex and challenging aspects of aviation, such as advanced navigation techniques, handling different aircraft types, and flying in a variety of weather conditions.

This progression from a PPL to higher qualifications is not just about technical skill enhancement; it’s also a journey towards fulfilling a range of professional roles within the aviation industry. Whether it’s a career as a commercial airline pilot, a charter pilot, a flight instructor, or a role in aerial surveying and photography, each advanced certification opens new career pathways. For those passionate about aviation, the journey from a PPL to advanced pilot credentials offers an exciting, dynamic career with the opportunity to constantly grow, learn, and explore new facets of the skies. With dedication and perseverance, the skills honed during this journey can lead to a rewarding and esteemed position in the diverse world of aviation.

5. Volunteer and Humanitarian Missions


As a holder of a Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL) in Australia, you have the opportunity to engage in meaningful volunteer work and humanitarian missions. A notable example of such initiatives is the Angel Flight program. This admirable organization coordinates flights for medical patients, especially those living in remote areas, who need to travel to healthcare facilities. By volunteering with Angel Flight, you can use your flying skills to make a significant difference in people’s lives, providing essential transport services that can have a profound impact on their health and well-being.

In addition to medical transport, a PPL also allows you to participate in disaster relief efforts, where pilots can play a crucial role in delivering aid and assistance in emergency situations. Environmental conservation projects also benefit from the skills of private pilots, whether it’s conducting aerial surveys of wildlife habitats or monitoring environmental changes. These activities not only provide valuable assistance to the projects themselves but also offer a deeply rewarding experience, allowing you to contribute positively to society and the environment.

6. Have Fun

One of the most enjoyable aspects of having a Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL) in Australia is the sheer joy and freedom of flying, either solo or with friends. Navigating the skies is an exhilarating experience, enjoying the stunning aerial views of Australia’s diverse landscapes.

Apart from leisure flights, you can also partake in exciting flying activities like the Outback Air Race, which is held every two years. This event is not only a thrilling race across the Australian skies but also an opportunity to meet and connect with fellow aviation enthusiasts. Engaging in such activities enhances your flying experience, providing fun, challenge, and a sense of community among pilots. Whether it’s for the thrill of competition or the pleasure of a leisurely flight, the enjoyment factor of flying with a PPL is undoubtedly one of its greatest appeals.

What Else Should I Know?

We’ve compiled a few useful posts that might help you out. Wherever you are on your aviation journey, the team at Learn To Fly Melbourne are here to help. We want you to pass your exams and have an excellent career, so please reach out if we can help support you through your course and studies!

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.

Flight Instructor Training Endorsements – All You Need To Know
In this blog, we’ll outline the Flight Instructor Training Endorsements that are available. We’ll also guide you on how each of these endorsements can add value to your role as a Flight Instructor, and your progression as a professional pilot.

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2024: The Best Time Ever to Launch Your Aviation Career

As we step into 2024, the question of whether to commence flight training beckons with new urgency. In this comprehensive guide, we explore why 2024 is the ideal time to spread your wings. Drawing insights from recent aviation summits in Portugal and Dubai, and understanding the current landscape, we delve into why 2024 stands as a pivotal year for future pilots.

The Diverse World of Flight Training

Flight training attracts two distinct groups: those flying for fun and those aiming for an aviation career. Understanding the motivations and goals of each group is crucial in tailoring the training experience.

For hobbyists, flying is an expression of freedom and passion. Starting flight training requires personal readiness, time, and financial capacity. Flexible training schedules allow for a tailored approach, accommodating training once a week or several times a month. Remarkably, training can begin as early as 14 or 15, leading to an RPL (Recreational Pilot Licence) flight test at 16. This accessibility makes recreational flying a diverse and inclusive field.

For those aspiring to become professional pilots, 2024 emerges as an opportune year. Recent insights from global aviation training summits in Portugal and Dubai highlight a critical shortage of pilots worldwide. This shortage extends beyond airline pilots, including flight instructors, reflecting an industry-wide challenge.

Aspiring Professional Pilots – Why 2024 is Your Year

The global demand for pilots has never been higher. Our recent participation in top aviation summits has revealed a critical shortage of pilots worldwide. This opens a gateway of opportunities for those aspiring to a professional flying career.

The aviation industry is experiencing an unprecedented demand for pilots. Flight schools are struggling with limited resources, including a shortage of instructors and aircraft, with new aircraft deliveries taking up to 2-3 years.

Concurrently, airlines worldwide are expanding their fleets, and the number of aircraft orders placed directly indicates the growing need for pilots. This demand is set to intensify, especially with many current airline pilots nearing retirement over the next decade.

Aviation Opportunities Around the World

Europe’s Growing Demand for Pilots

Europe’s aviation market is undergoing significant change. With a high demand for pilots, airlines in Europe are increasingly open to hiring fresh CPL graduates. This shift presents a unique opportunity for new pilots to enter the industry. The emergence of MPL training programs in Europe is a testament to the innovative approaches being adopted to expedite pilot training.

The U.S. Aviation Market and Opportunities for Australians

The U.S. aviation market is experiencing a hiring boom, with both regional and mainline airlines actively seeking pilots. This has opened doors for Australian pilots, who can work in the U.S. under the E3 visa. However, the requirement of a minimum of 1,500 flying hours means that aspiring pilots need to be well-prepared.

Australia’s Position in the Global Aviation Landscape

In Australia, the demand for pilots has led to flight schools facing challenges in retaining experienced instructors, many of whom are transitioning to U.S. or domestic airlines. This has also resulted in Australian airlines lowering their recruitment requirements from 1,500 total flying hours to 500 total flying hours.

Embarking on Your Aviation Journey

The current pilot shortage is expected to continue for at least another 3-5 years, making 2024 an opportune time to begin flight training.

For students in Australia, the availability of VSL (VET Student Loans) for CPL (Commercial Pilot Licence) and MECIR (Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating) is a significant advantage. This financial support allows students to focus on their training without the immediate burden of tuition fees. This support system is relatively rare globally and provides a substantial advantage for Australian students.

For those committed to a career in aviation, planning and seeking guidance is essential. Prospective pilots should start mapping out their journey, considering the current industry landscape and future trends. After finishing the training, accumulating flying hours is a critical part of a pilot’s journey too.

At Learn To Fly Melbourne, we offer tailored training programs, expert guidance, and a supportive learning environment. Our unique position in the industry, combined with our state-of-the-art fleet and experienced instructors, makes us an ideal choice for aspiring pilots.

2024 – A Window of Opportunity

2024 presents a unique opportunity for both recreational flyers and those aiming for a career in aviation. The global and regional aviation landscapes are ripe with opportunities, and Learn To Fly Melbourne stands ready to guide aspiring pilots towards achieving their dreams. Whether it’s for the love of flying or the pursuit of a professional career, 2024 is your year to take to the skies.

What Else Should I Know?

We’ve compiled a few useful posts that might help you out. Wherever you are on your aviation journey, the team at Learn To Fly Melbourne are here to help. We want you to pass your exams and have an excellent career, so please reach out if we can help support you through your course and studies!

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.

Flight Instructor Training Endorsements – All You Need To Know
In this blog, we’ll outline the Flight Instructor Training Endorsements that are available. We’ll also guide you on how each of these endorsements can add value to your role as a Flight Instructor, and your progression as a professional pilot.

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Becoming a Flight Instructor

Working as a Flight Instructor is one of the most rewarding aviation careers you can choose. The feeling of watching someone you trained fly solo for the first time is like nothing else, trust us. To work as a Flight Instructor, you need to obtain a Flight Instructor Rating (FIR). It’s a rewarding and exciting challenge and a fantastic option for anyone chasing a career in aviation. Let’s take a look at what’s required to become a Flight Instructor, what pathways there are and why you should consider enrolling today.

Learning to Teach

In obtaining a FIR, you will learn the necessary skills and knowledge to teach the pilots of tomorrow to fly. You’ll learn how to deliver the flight training syllabus, typical flight instruction techniques and how to tailor your instruction to different learning styles. You’ll also go further in-depth in areas you’ve already studied as a student. Gain a deeper knowledge of areas such as aircraft systems and operation, regulatory requirements, navigation and human factors. In addition to the theory, Learn To Fly’s FIR course includes 36 hours of Dual Flight Training. Our FIR course can be completed full-time in 12 weeks, or part-time typically over 6 – 12 months.

Where Will an FIR Lead Me?

Obtaining an FIR will allow you to train new students to fly aircraft all around Australia. For students chasing a career in Flight Instruction, the FIR allows you to work in your dream job, passing on your knowledge to eager students. Should you wish to progress further as a Flight Instructor, you may then choose to undertake further study, to conduct more advanced training. Learn To Fly offers a number of advanced training courses, including the Grade 1 & Grade 2 Training Endorsement, allowing you to take on further responsibilities.

For pilots looking for a career more broadly in the aviation industry, getting your FIR is still a smart choice. It will allow you to gain experience within the industry, while you work towards whatever other career you may be chasing. It looks fantastic on your resume, and – most importantly – you get to spend your days and make your money flying. Many airline and commercial pilots hold some level of instruction endorsement, and many intend to return to instruction as an end-of-career move too.

Working as A Flight Instructor

A typical day in the life of a Flight Instructor in Australia is dynamic and filled with various responsibilities. A flight instructor’s schedule can vary, but here’s a general outline of what you might expect.

Flight Instructors begin their day with a thorough weather check to assess flying conditions. This will involve reviewing weather charts, forecasts and NOTAMs. From there, a typical morning would involve pre-flight briefings with students, and discussing the objectives for the day’s lessons. Training flights would then follow, providing guidance to students from the right seat. Upon returning from a training flight, an afternoon may involve classroom time with students to study theory, followed by various administrative tasks.

A Truly Rewarding Career

A career as a Flight Instructor can be a deeply rewarding and fulfilling career path for a number of compelling reasons.

Mentorship

Flight instructors have the unique opportunity to mentor and shape the next generation of aviators. Sharing your knowledge and expertise with aspiring pilots is not only a chance to give back to the aviation community but also to make a lasting impact on individuals’ lives and careers.

Skill Development

As an instructor, you continually refine your own piloting skills and deepen your understanding of aviation. Teaching others requires a comprehensive knowledge of flight theory, aircraft systems, regulations, and decision-making, making you a more proficient and knowledgeable pilot.

Personal Growth

Flight instruction challenges you to become a better communicator, problem solver, and leader. You learn to adapt your teaching style to individual learning needs, which enhances your interpersonal and instructional abilities.

Safety Advocacy

Flight instructors play a crucial role in instilling a strong safety culture in aviation. You impart not just the technical skills but also the safety mindset that is vital for the industry’s continued growth and safety.

Variety and Adventure

Every day as a flight instructor is different. You work with students from diverse backgrounds, tackle various challenges, and experience a wide range of flying conditions. It’s an adventurous career that keeps you engaged and excited.

Job Stability

The demand for qualified flight instructors often remains strong, providing job stability in the aviation industry. Experienced instructors may also have opportunities to advance into positions such as chief instructor or check pilot.

Professional Accomplishment

Graduating successful pilots who achieve their licenses and ratings is a source of great professional satisfaction. Witnessing your students’ progress and seeing them soar as confident, capable pilots is an immensely rewarding experience.

In summary, a career as a Flight Instructor offers the opportunity to combine your passion for flying with a meaningful and impactful role in nurturing the future of aviation. It’s a career that fosters personal and professional growth, instils a strong sense of accomplishment, and allows you to share your love of flight with others. If this is something that sparks your interest, get in touch with Learn To Fly today!

What Else Should I Know?

We’ve compiled a few useful posts that might help you out. Wherever you are on your aviation journey, the team at Learn To Fly Melbourne are here to help. We want you to pass your exams and have an excellent career, so please reach out if we can help support you through your course and studies!

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.

Flight Instructor Training Endorsements – All You Need To Know
In this blog, we’ll outline the Flight Instructor Training Endorsements that are available. We’ll also guide you on how each of these endorsements can add value to your role as a Flight Instructor, and your progression as a professional pilot.

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Pilot Safety Blog – Ballooned, Bounced and Porpoise Landings

Attempting to “stick” a mishandled landing has the potential to lead to significant aircraft damage and the possibility of injury to occupants if a landing known as ballooned, bounced and porpoise landing occurs. Ballooned, bounced and porpoise landings may be triggered by environmental factors; however, excessive approach speed and control inputs by pilots are the determinant factors in the severity of the outcome.

Should a ballooned, bounced and porpoise landing start to develop the pilot must take prompt and decisive action to avoid adverse outcomes. Understanding the dynamics and cause will equip pilots with knowledge on how to avoid, recognise and recover from these types of landing mishaps.

A note on the correct landing technique

Correct landing technique involves the aircraft approaching the runway at just the right speed to permit sufficient lift to be generated to transition from the descending approach flightpath to one that is parallel to the runway (round-out) and to set the landing attitude (flare or hold-off) just above the runway without stalling.

During the hold-off at the correct airspeed, the opportunity for the aircraft to climb or lift off again is limited and the aircraft is likely to settle onto the runway. At higher airspeeds, the aircraft is at risk of climbing away from the runway or lifting off again. At the correct round-out height there is insufficient height to attain a high vertical speed at touch-down that may cause the aircraft to land heavily.

The correct landing technique for an aeroplane with a tricycle undercarriage involves the main wheels contacting the runway first. The Centre of Gravity (CoG) is positioned forward of the main wheels and provides a nose-down moment when the aircraft’s weight starts being supported by the main wheels. The nose-down moment produced by weight and undercarriage acts to decrease the Angle of Attack (AoA) of the wing and improves the likelihood for the aircraft to settle on the runway. This is one of the advantages of the tri-cycle undercarriage.

Ballooned landing

A ballooned landing is an aerodynamically induced vertical departure (climb) away from the runway usually caused by a pilot attempting to land with excess airspeed. At higher airspeeds, a longer period of time is required to “wash off” the airspeed (float) which increases the risk for the aircraft to climb away or lift off again from the runway.

Excess airspeed and floating. Extract from The Airplane Flying Manual (FAA-H-8083-3C). Chapter 9 Approaches and Landings

Mis-timed and excessive nose-up elevator control inputs during the round-out or hold-off at an excessive airspeed will likely cause the aircraft to climb. A sudden increase in head-wind component (a gust) could be the initial cause for a ballooned landing; however, excess airspeed is required, and incorrect pilot control inputs will increase the severity.

During the ballooning climb airspeed is lost, lift decreases, and the aircraft may enter a state where there is insufficient airspeed to effectively maintain control of the aircraft’s descent back to the runway resulting in a hard landing. Attempting to control the balloon with the elevator may lead to the pilot “overcontrolling” and causing the aircraft to nose into the runway or into a series of swoops and dives called Pilot Induced Oscillation (PIO).

Managing a ballooned landing requires perfectly timed and precise control inputs. The safest option is to go around because an incorrectly managed balloon could lead to a hard, bounced or porpoise landing.

Ballooned landing. Extract from The Airplane Flying Manual (FAA-H-8083-3C). Chapter 9, Approaches and Landings

Bounced landing

A bounced landing is a kinetically induced vertical departure from the runway where the aircraft is briefly pushed back up by the action of undercarriage shock absorbers and tyres as they recoil from the runway. Bounces are caused by descending onto the runway at a high vertical speed usually after having rounded out too high or rounding out too late.

Rounding out too high. Extract from The Airplane Flying Manual (FAA-H-8083-3C). Chapter 9 Approaches and Landings

The term bounced landing usually refers to a landing limited to one significant oscillation before settling on the runway. The bounce may be brief, just the time it takes for the aircraft to fall back onto the runway, or they may be sustained in a coupled aerodynamic balloon. A landing involving the nosewheel bouncing off the runway will likely lead to the aircraft pitching up, and with sufficient airspeed, a balloon is likely to follow.

Aerodynamically lifting off after contact with the runway is often referred to as a bounced landing though, more correctly, it is a ballooned landing after touching down. Managing a bounced landing requires perfectly timed and precise control inputs. The safest option is to go around because an incorrectly managed bounce could lead to a hard or porpoise landing.

Bounced landing. Extract from The Airplane Flying Manual (FAA-H-8083-3C). Chapter 9, Approaches and Landings

Porpoise landing

A porpoise landing is an aerodynamic and kinetic series of vertical departures from the runway where the aeroplane bounces and balloons in a series of nose-down impacts and pitch-up rebounds. To an onlooker, the landing resembles a porpoise breaching the surface of the water, diving back in nose first and re-emerging again in a series of graceful and apparently playful leaps. It’s neither graceful nor much fun in an aeroplane. Porpoise landings often follow a ballooned or bounced landing.

Development of the porpoise landing:

1. The pilot attempts to land the aeroplane at excess airspeed.
2. The nosewheel contacts the runway before the mainwheels after a bounce, balloon or failure to round out properly. At flying speed, the wings will be supporting the weight of the aircraft and the nosewheel is more likely to elastically recoil from the ground (kinetic bounce).
3. With the aircraft still flying and free to rotate in the pitching plane, the recoil of the nosewheel leads to a pitch-up attitude change.
4. At an airspeed above the minimum for level flight, the increase in AoA created by the pitch-up attitude change generates additional lift on the wings and the aircraft starts climbing away from the runway (aerodynamic balloon).
5. If the throttle is closed for landing, airspeed will decay rapidly, the lift will decrease, and the aircraft’s trajectory will transition to a descent.
6. As the aircraft starts descending, the natural stability of the aircraft pitches the nose down. This results in a further decrease in lift and leads to the aircraft descending nosewheel first back onto the runway with increased vertical velocity and a harsher bounce.
7. The cycle is then repeated, likely with greater amplitude.

Ground effect contributes by creating a pitch-down moment and allows the aircraft’s wings to develop greater lift for the same pitch attitude and airspeed. The change in longitudinal pitch balance may lead to the nose-wheel touching down before the mainwheels and the increased lift potential may cause the pilot to “over-control” the aircraft trying to find the correct landing attitude.

The amplitude of the first few oscillations usually increases as the pitch up induced by subsequent rebounds increases with higher nosewheel impact forces with each bounce. If the throttle is closed, the amplitude of the oscillations will eventually decay as airspeed decreases (energy dissipates). Power or thrust will add energy to the equation and may increase the amplitude and duration of the oscillations. 

An attempt to control (suppress) a porpoise landing may exacerbate the problem if a Pilot Induced Oscillation (PIO) occurs. In a PIO/porpoise landing the pilot’s corrective control inputs, likely exceeding those required and lagging where they would be effective, become roughly in phase with the aircraft’s natural oscillations and increase in amplitude and duration of the oscillations.

Attempting to manage a porpoise landing is likely not possible. Pilot reaction times, aircraft inertia and delays in the aircraft’s response to control inputs make it almost impossible for a pilot to anticipate and make corrective control inputs. The safest option is to go around with a porpoise landing likely to result in damage to the aircraft.

Porpoise landing. Extract from The Airplane Flying Manual (FAA-H-8083-3C). Chapter 9 Approaches and Landings

Consequences of ballooned, bounced and porpoise landings 

Harsh contact on the nosewheel in a pitch-down attitude may cause substantial damage to the aircraft. The nosewheel briefly bears the weight and downward momentum of the aircraft. This causes the nose oleo and tyre to compress and combined with the aircraft’s nose-down attitude may result in the propeller contacting the runway, leading to severe damage to the propeller and engine.

Very harsh contact on the nosewheel transmits forces through the structure that connects the nose undercarriage to the airframe. Ultimately, the nosewheel undercarriage could collapse.

Additionally, the undercarriage is commonly directly connected to the engine firewall or indirectly through the aircraft’s engine mount. Strong forces and moments generated may damage the engine mounts and firewall. The engine firewall may also support the aircraft’s cockpit control mechanisms. A damaged firewall may compromise or even render the flight controls inoperative.

Delays in going around after a ballooned, bounced or porpoise landing may lead to control difficulties or stalling. After ballooning or bouncing airspeed rapidly decreases. Applying full power after the airspeed has decreased may generate strong yaw and pitch-up moments that may lead to an undesired aircraft state. The aircraft may not have sufficient thrust to effectively overcome drag at low airspeed, the aircraft’s track may diverge from the runway, initial climb performance may be poor and if not properly handled by the pilot, the aircraft may stall.

Proper pilot actions

– Fly the right approach. Do not attempt to land with excessive airspeed. Strictly apply stabilised approach criteria and perform a missed approach and go-around for deviations from flightpath and/or airspeed.

– If the aircraft (all but slightly) balloons during the hold-off, perform a missed approach and go-around. The risk of a landing mishap (bounced–porpoise landing) to follow is too great to risk.

– Round out at the correct height. Perform a missed approach and go-around after rounding out too high or too low. The risk of a hard landing will likely follow.

– If the aircraft does bounce on landing, perform a missed landing and go around from the first bounce. The likelihood of aircraft damage increases with each bounce.

– Should a porpoise landing start to develop, perform a missed landing and go around as soon as possible to avoid further control difficulties and undesired aircraft states.

CASA pilot competencies: control ballooning during flare and control bouncing after touchdown are described in the CASR Part 61 Manual of Standards, Elements A4.1 (b) (i) & (iii) and A4.4. As part of your flight training your instructor will give you training on how to avoid and manage slightly ballooned and bounced landings, and of course missed approaches and go-arounds.

The safest response to ballooned, bounced and porpoise landings, no matter how slight, is to perform a missed approach and go-around.

👉🏻 The Airplane Flying Manual – FREE downloadable FAA publication 👈🏻

What Else Should I Know?

We’ve compiled a few useful posts that might help you out. Wherever you are on your aviation journey, the team at Learn To Fly Melbourne are here to help. We want you to pass your exams and have an excellent career, so please reach out if we can help support you through your course and studies!

Becoming a Flight Instructor
Working as a Flight Instructor is one of the most rewarding aviation careers you can choose. The feeling of watching someone you trained fly solo for the first time is like nothing else, trust us. To work as a Flight Instructor, you need to obtain a Flight Instructor Rating (FIR). It’s a rewarding and exciting challenge and a fantastic option for anyone chasing a career in aviation. Let’s take a look at what’s required to become a Flight Instructor, what pathways there are and why you should consider enrolling today.

How To Finance Your Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL)?
Are you dreaming of soaring through the skies as a commercial pilot in Australia? Obtaining a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) is a thrilling journey and enables you to chase a career in aviation. Undertaking a CPL course can be expensive, but there are plenty of options to help you achieve your dream. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the requirements, costs, and benefits of Learn To Fly’s Commercial Pilot Licence course.


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The Importance of Meteorology for Pilots

Australia’s vast and diverse landscapes offer breathtaking beauty from the air, but they can also present unique challenges to pilots. From arid Outback to rugged coastline, ever-changing weather patterns can significantly impact aviation operations. Let’s explore the importance of meteorology in the Australian aviation industry and why pilots must have a deep understanding of weather patterns to ensure safe and efficient flights.

Meteorology in Aviation: What is It?

Defining Meteorology

Meteorology is defined as the scientific study of the Earth’s atmosphere, focusing on weather patterns, atmospheric conditions, and their effects. In aviation, meteorology plays a pivotal role in understanding the atmospheric dynamics that can impact flight operations. It’s all well and good to be able to operate an aeroplane, but without a strong knowledge of meteorological conditions, flying can be extremely dangerous. It’s like taking a ship to sea with no knowledge of waves, currents and tides.

Why is Meteorology Important?

Safety First

Safety is always top of mind in aviation. Understanding meteorology is crucial for ensuring the well-being of everyone on board. Weather conditions can change rapidly, leading to turbulence, icing, thunderstorms, and more. Pilots must be able to anticipate and respond to these conditions in a controlled, prepared manner to ensure a safe journey.

Efficient Flight Planning

Aside from safety considerations, understanding meteorology has a significant effect on efficiency. A comprehensive knowledge of meteorology allows pilots to plan the most fuel-efficient routes, optimize altitudes, and choose the best time for takeoff and landing. This not only saves time but also reduces operational costs and environmental impact.

Meteorology helps pilots anticipate potential weather-related delays. By staying informed about weather conditions along their route, pilots can make necessary adjustments to their flight plans, such as re-routing or altering altitudes, to minimize disruptions.

Meteorology in Flight School

Meteorology Modules

Flight schools in Australia prioritize meteorology as a core subject in pilot training. Meteorology modules cover a wide range of topics, including weather systems, cloud formation, atmospheric pressure, and more. These modules equip future pilots with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions in the cockpit.

Practical Application

Pilots learn to interpret weather charts, forecasts, and real-time observations. This practical training is essential for making accurate weather-related decisions during flight. Students gain hands-on experience by studying local weather patterns and how they can impact flight operations.

Emergency Preparedness

In addition to everyday operations, meteorology training helps pilots prepare for emergency situations. Being able to navigate through unexpected weather events, such as thunderstorms or icing conditions, is a critical skill that meteorological education fosters.

Meteorology and the Pilot Interview

Knowledge Assessment

When aspiring pilots interview for positions with airlines or charter companies, they can expect to undergo rigorous assessments of their meteorological knowledge. Interviewers may present weather scenarios and ask candidates to explain their decisions. It’s crucial that pilots have a strong grasp of this knowledge is to secure employment. At Learn to Fly, we offer an Airline Interview Coaching Session, specifically designed to help you prepare for these interviews. The coaching session covers the interview process, typical questions and the essential knowledge you need to ace the interview, like meteorology.

Continuous Learning

Meteorology isn’t a subject to master solely for the interview; it’s an area of ongoing learning. Aviators are expected to stay up-to-date with the latest weather data, forecasts, and technology for weather analysis throughout their careers. It’s important not to treat this area of study as a box you need to tick. Allow yourself to be fascinated by the weather, and make yourself want to know more.

Taking Meteorology Seriously

Never Underestimate Weather

Pilots must always remember that weather is a force of nature that cannot be controlled. Ignoring or underestimating weather conditions can have dire consequences. Respect for weather systems and their potential impact is fundamental in aviation.

Continuous Education

Even after flight school and pilot interviews, pilots must continuously educate themselves about meteorology. They should stay informed about evolving technologies, weather tools, and best practices in meteorological decision-making. CASA regularly publish new content regarding weather and forecasting that can help keep you up to date, you can find it on their website.

Collaboration and Support

Collaboration among crew members is vital. Effective communication among pilots, flight dispatchers, and air traffic controllers ensures that everyone is on the same page regarding weather conditions and operational decisions.

Conclusion

Meteorology is not just an academic discipline; it’s a critical skill. Strong meteorological knowledge can make all the difference in aviation safety and efficiency. The ever-changing weather patterns in Australia’s diverse landscape necessitate a deep understanding of meteorology. Whether you’re a student pilot, a seasoned aviator, or someone considering a career in aviation, remember that meteorology is not just a module—it’s your ally in ensuring that you navigate the skies safely and with confidence. So, embrace the skies with your meteorological knowledge, and may your flights always be clear, smooth, and well-informed.

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How to Finance Your Commercial Pilot Licence?

Are you dreaming of soaring through the skies as a commercial pilot in Australia? Obtaining a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) is a thrilling journey and enables you to chase a career in aviation. Undertaking a CPL course can be expensive, but there are plenty of options to help you achieve your dream. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the requirements, costs, and benefits of Learn To Fly’s Commercial Pilot Licence course.

Commercial Pilot Licence Training Overview

Learn To Fly’s CPL training program equips aspiring pilots with the skills and knowledge needed to embark on a career in commercial aviation. Here’s an overview of what the program entails:

Flight Hours

  • 80 Dual Flying Hours: You’ll receive expert guidance and instruction from experienced flight instructors during these dual flying hours.
  • 70 Pilot-In-Command Flying Hours: Take the controls and gain valuable hands-on experience as the pilot in command of an aircraft.
  • 3.2 Hours Simulation Training: Hone your instrument skills in a controlled and simulated environment that will prepare you for real-world scenarios.
  • CPL Flight Test: Your final assessment to demonstrate your readiness for a CPL.

Ground School and Theory

  • Ground School & Briefing: We take your aviation education to the next level with comprehensive Ground School & Briefing sessions. Our state-of-the-art classrooms provide the perfect environment for in-depth instruction, where you’ll delve into crucial aviation topics with our experienced instructors. As part of our diploma course, we also offer specialized RPL, PPL, and CPL theory courses, ensuring you receive a well-rounded education that prepares you for success in the skies. From fundamental principles to advanced flight techniques, our Ground School & Briefing sessions empower you with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in your aviation career.

  • Online Student Portal Access: Train from anywhere with Learn To Fly’s state-of-the-art student portal, offering online theory courses and practice exams.

Finance Options

Learn To Fly offers flexible payment options for their CPL training program:

  • VET Student Loans:

VET Student Loans (VSL) is an Australian Commonwealth Government loan program that provides tuition fee loans to full fee-paying students who meet VSL eligibility requirements, allowing them to obtain qualifications and repay the loan once they earn an income.

This government-backed loan program provides a practical way to fund your training, allowing you to focus on your studies without financial stress.

  • Pay By Instalments: We break down the diploma courses into training modules. Instead of paying the entire course fee upfront, you have the convenience of paying for each training module as it approaches. This approach ensures that your investment aligns with your progress, offering financial flexibility without compromise. It’s one more way we’re dedicated to making aviation education accessible to everyone.

VET Student Loans Assistance

Learn To Fly Australia Pty Ltd (trading as Learn To Fly Melbourne) is proud to be a VET Student Loans approved course provider (RTO 45684) for the following courses:

One exciting aspect of Learn To Fly’s CPL program is the opportunity to enrol in the AVI50222 Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane) course. This opens the door to potential VET Student Loans assistance, providing financial support to eligible students. VET Student Loans help ease the financial burden of CPL training, making your dream of becoming a commercial pilot more attainable.

Is It Worth It?

Pursuing a Commercial Pilot Licence is a significant investment in your future. It’s important to consider the potential benefits and career opportunities it can unlock. With Learn To Fly’s reputable training program, you’ll not only gain the necessary skills but also access to a network of aviation professionals. This network can prove invaluable when seeking job placements and advancing your aviation career.

Unlock Your CPL Journey with Learn To Fly

Obtaining a Commercial Pilot Licence in Australia is an exciting journey that can open the door to a fulfilling career in aviation. Learn To Fly’s comprehensive CPL training program provides aspiring pilots with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in this field. With flexible payment options and the potential for VET Student Loans assistance, your dream of becoming a commercial pilot is within reach. So, take the first step, spread your wings, and soar toward a thrilling career in aviation with Learn To Fly.

Enroll in their CPL program today and make your dream of flying high a reality.

What Else Should I Know?

We’ve compiled a few useful posts that might help you out. Where ever you are on your aviation journey, the team at Learn To Fly Melbourne are here to help. We want you to pass your exams and have an excellent career, so please reach out if we can help support you through your course and studies!

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.

Flight Instructor Training Endorsements – All You Need To Know
In this blog we’ll outline the Flight Instructor Training Endorsements that are available. We’ll also guide you on how each of these endorsements can add value to your role as a Flight Instructor, and your progression as a professional pilot.

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Women in Aviation: Encouraging Diversity in Australian Skies

Breaking Stereotypes: Women in Aviation

When you think of aviation, what comes to mind? Pilots navigating the skies with precision, air traffic controllers orchestrating seamless takeoffs and landings, and engineers designing cutting-edge aircraft—these are just a few facets of this dynamic industry. However, one aspect that deserves more attention is gender diversity in aviation. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the significance of promoting the participation of women in aviation, a traditionally male-dominated field.

A Historical Perspective of Women in Aviation

For decades, aviation has been marked by the perception that it is a predominantly male profession. While pioneering aviators like Amelia Earhart and Bessie Coleman broke through gender barriers in the early 20th century, the aviation industry has been slow to diversify its workforce.

The Current Landscape

Despite significant advancements in gender equality across various sectors, the aviation industry still faces gender disparities. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), women account for just over 5% of airline CEOs worldwide, and female pilots make up only about 5% of the global pilot workforce. These statistics highlight the need for change.

The Significance of Gender Diversity in Aviation

1. Tapping into a Larger Talent Pool

Promoting gender diversity in aviation allows the industry to tap into a broader talent pool. By encouraging more women to pursue careers in aviation, we can unlock a wealth of untapped potential and innovative thinking.

2. Improved Safety and Decision-Making

Diverse teams tend to make better decisions. In aviation, where safety is paramount, diverse perspectives can lead to more comprehensive risk assessments and creative problem-solving. Having a mix of genders in decision-making roles enhances overall safety.

3. Economic Advantages

A more diverse aviation industry can lead to economic benefits. It can help attract a wider customer base and cater to the needs and preferences of a more diverse population. This can result in increased revenue and growth opportunities for airlines, manufacturers, and service providers.

4. Inspiring Future Generations

Visibility matters. When young girls and boys see women thriving in aviation careers, it inspires them to pursue their dreams without limitations. This can have a cascading effect, encouraging more young women to choose aviation as a career path.

Challenges and Solutions

1. Stereotypes and Bias

One of the primary challenges women face in aviation is the persistence of stereotypes and biases. The industry must actively work to eliminate these stereotypes and provide equal opportunities for all.

2. Mentorship and Support

Establishing mentorship programs and support networks within the industry can help women navigate the challenges they may encounter. Having role models and allies can make a significant difference in career progression.

3. Educational Outreach

Aviation organizations, schools, and institutions should actively engage in educational outreach programs to encourage young women to explore aviation-related fields. These programs can include scholarships, workshops, and career expos.

4. Inclusive Policies

Employers in the aviation sector should implement inclusive policies and practices, such as family-friendly policies and flexible work arrangements, to support employees in balancing their personal and professional lives.

The Way Forward: A United Effort

Promoting gender diversity in aviation is not solely the responsibility of women. It’s a collective effort that involves individuals, organizations, and governments working together. Here’s how we can move forward:

1. Encourage Dialogue

Open and honest conversations about gender diversity in aviation can raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities. It’s essential for all stakeholders to engage in these discussions.

2. Set Targets and Goals

Aviation organizations should establish clear targets and goals for gender diversity in their workforce. These targets can provide a roadmap for progress and hold organizations accountable.

3. Invest in Education and Training

Investing in education and training programs that promote gender equality and diversity can prepare the next generation of aviation professionals for a more inclusive industry.

4. Recognize Achievements of Women in Aviation

Celebrate the achievements and contributions of women in aviation. Recognizing their accomplishments can inspire others and reinforce the value of gender diversity.

In conclusion, promoting gender diversity in aviation is not just a matter of fairness; it’s a strategic imperative for the industry’s growth and success. By breaking down barriers, challenging stereotypes, and creating inclusive environments, we can empower women to take flight in aviation careers, ensuring a brighter and more diverse future for the industry we all love.

At Learn To Fly, we actively encourage the participation of women across all of our flight training programs. We are committed to helping shape the next generation of female pilots into ideal candidates for airline, helping to improve the diversity of the workforce. If you’re a woman considering a career in aviation, be sure to check out our Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane). We hope to see you in the skies soon!

What Else Should I Know?

We’ve compiled a few useful posts that might help you out. Where ever you are on your aviation journey, the team at Learn To Fly Melbourne are here to help. We want you to pass your exams and have an excellent career, so please reach out if we can help support you through your course and studies!

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.

Flight Instructor Rating – The Perfect Start For New Commercial Pilot Graduates
What is the best way to get started and set yourself on the right career path for your dream pilot job? In our opinion, it all starts with a Flight Instructor Rating. Let’s find out why!


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Understanding the Rules: Australia’s Aviation Regulations

Australia’s aviation regulations some of the best in the world. Whether you’re beginning flight training or hold any level of pilot license, Australia’s regulatory system works to keep you safe. It’s a robust system, but one that can be tricky to understand. Let’s take a look at Australia’s regulatory system for aviation. We’ll learn the laws that govern us, and gain a better understanding our role in keeping our skies safe.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is the national regulator for all non-military aviation in Australia. CASA’s role is to monitor both commercial and private aviation operations in Australia, issue licenses and -importantly – enforce safety requirements. In essence, CASA’s presence ensures that civil aviation in Australia runs smoothly, safely and in line with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards and practices.

CASA performs its role, governed by two types of legislation; primary legislation and delegated legislation. Let’s explore each of these further.

Primary Legislation

Primary legislation is the laws that have been passed by Parliament. These include the Civil Aviation Act 1988 and the Airspace Act 2007. The Civil Aviation Act 1988 in particular, outlines CASA’s role as aviation regulator. It gives CASA the power to create and enforce regulations in the industry. It also allows CASA to function in an advisory role to parliament, presenting expert advice for future amendments to legislation.

Delegated Legislation

Delegated legislation consists of a variety of regulations, orders and standards that have been issued under the Civil Aviation Act 1988. These pieces of legislation provide the framework for CASA to operate in, and form the rules and regulations that we all must adhere to. There are several pieces of delegated legislation, let’s look at each one.

Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (CASR)

The Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (CASR) is a set of regulations created under the authority of the Civil Aviation Act 1988. These regulations cover a wide range of aviation safety aspects, such as flight operations, pilot licensing, aircraft maintenance, airworthiness standards, and more. CASA enforces CASR by conducting inspections, audits, and assessments to ensure compliance with the regulations. If violations are identified, penalties or sanctions can be issued. CASA also provides guidance and interpretation of CASR through advisory circulars, publications, and consultations with stakeholders.

Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 (CAR)

The Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 is a predecessor to CASR and covers older regulations related to aviation safety. Over time, some provisions have been transferred to CASR, while others remain in effect. CASA enforces CAR in the same manner as CASR, ensuring compliance through inspections and regulatory oversight. CASA may issue exemptions or variations from specific CAR provisions when warranted.

Civil Aviation Orders (CAO)

Civil Aviation Orders (CAOs) are legal instruments issued under the Civil Aviation Act 1988 that provide detailed requirements and standards for various aspects of aviation safety. They cover areas such as aircraft equipment, pilot training, and operational procedures. CASA enforces CAOs by monitoring compliance, conducting inspections, and ensuring that individuals and organizations in the aviation industry adhere to the specific requirements outlined in these orders. CASA periodically review and update CAOs to reflect changes in technology and safety standards.

Airspace Regulations 2007

These regulations pertain to the management and use of Australian airspace. They specify the rules and procedures governing air traffic control, air navigation, and the allocation of airspace for various purposes. CASA plays a crucial role in ensuring compliance with airspace regulations by overseeing air traffic control operations, conducting safety assessments, and promoting safe and efficient use of airspace. CASA also collaborates with other organizations, such as Airservices Australia, to manage and regulate airspace effectively.

Manuals of Standards (MOS)

Manuals of Standards (MOS) are detailed technical documents that provide specific standards and requirements for various aspects of aviation safety, including pilot training, aircraft maintenance, and aerodrome operations. CASA enforces MOS by assessing training programs, maintenance procedures, and other activities against the standards outlined in these manuals. CASA may also issue revisions or updates to MOS to reflect changes in best practices and safety standards.

Airworthiness Directives (ADs)

Airworthiness Directives (ADs) are safety directives issued by CASA to address specific safety issues or concerns related to aircraft, components, or equipment. They require compliance to mitigate identified risks. CASA enforces ADs by issuing directives to aircraft owners, operators, and maintenance organizations, mandating corrective actions or inspections. Compliance with ADs is crucial for ensuring the airworthiness and safety of aircraft in the Australian aviation industry.

Navigating Australia’s Aviation Regulations

Australia has a detailed and robust regulatory framework. It has allowed Australian airspace to become some of the safest in the world, and gives CASA the power to maintain this. All of it means nothing though, if we as pilots do not adhere to the rules. During your flight training, you may find the number of regulations to be daunting. Learn To Fly are here to help. All of our flight training programs, including our Commercial Pilot License (CPL) course, feature a heavy focus on learning the necessary regulations, ensuring that our graduates are compliant, safe and ready to chase their aviation dreams.

What Else Should I Know?

We’ve compiled a few useful posts that might help you out. Where ever you are on your aviation journey, the team at Learn To Fly Melbourne are here to help. We want you to pass your exams and have an excellent career, so please reach out if we can help support you through your course and studies!

Becoming A Flight Instructor – More Important Now Than Ever Before
We’ll discuss some of the benefits that explain why becoming a flight instructor is more important now than ever before.

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.

Flight Instructor Rating – The Perfect Start For New Commercial Pilot Graduates
What is the best way to get started and set yourself on the right career path for your dream pilot job? In our opinion, it all starts with a Flight Instructor Rating. Let’s find out why!

Flight Instructor Training Endorsements – All You Need To Know
In this blog we’ll outline the Flight Instructor Training Endorsements that are available. We’ll also guide you on how each of these endorsements can add value to your role as a Flight Instructor, and your progression as a professional pilot.

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Special Announcement: CASA Aviation Safety Presentation at Learn To Fly Melbourne

Hosted by Tim Penney, CASA Aviation Safety Advisor

We’re thrilled to announce an upcoming aviation safety presentation that you won’t want to miss! Tim Penney, a Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) Aviation Safety Advisor (ASA) and well-known champion of aviation safety, will be gracing us with his knowledge and expertise.

Event Details: Date: Thursday, 19th of October, 2023
Time: 10:00 am
Location: Learn to Fly’s Theory Centre, 19 Second Avenue, Moorabbin Airport
Duration: 90 minutes
Audience: All Learn To Fly students, instructors, and management staff are invited
Cost: Free for all attendees
Presentation Topic: Organisational Safety Culture

The session will explore various aspects of organisational safety culture, providing valuable insights for both novices and experts.

Topics to be covered include:

What is Safety Culture?
How can an organisation obtain a robust Safety Culture?
How to maintain a strong Safety Culture?
The difference between an Error and a Violation
Understanding the concept of Just Culture
Accident case studies that highlight the role of an organisation’s safety culture

Don’t miss this opportunity to deepen your understanding of aviation safety from a trusted authority in the field. Mark your calendars and join us for what promises to be an enlightening experience.

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Learning to Soar: My Journey to Becoming a Skydive Pilot

Hey there! I’m Benson, a 23-year-old who originally hails from the UK but grew up under the skies of Melbourne. Currently, I’m living my airborne dreams in rural Queensland. Beyond my love for aviation, I am a winter sports enthusiast and love to hit the slopes for skiing and ice skating when I can. After completing my academic studies in Melbourne, I trained at Learn To Fly Melbourne and obtained my aviation credentials in 2022.

The Start of My Aviation Dream: Learning to Fly

My journey toward becoming a skydive pilot officially commenced in November 2020, but the foundation for this dream was laid many years prior. From a young age, I was enamoured by the aviation industry. I vividly remember the awe I felt as a child, watching the Concorde make its majestic landing at Heathrow Airport. These early experiences instilled in me a deep-rooted passion for flight, making me realize that I was destined for a career in aviation. Further fanning the flames of my ambition was my father, a World Champion skydiver. He took me along to skydiving drop zones all around the world, allowing me a front-row seat to the incredible synergy between skydivers and their pilots. This exposure not only deepened my fascination with flying but also significantly influenced my decision to specialize as a skydive pilot. Thus, while my formal training began in November 2020, the aspirations and influences fueling this journey have been lifelong.

The Highs of Learning to Fly at LTF Melbourne

My training at Learn To Fly Melbourne was filled with several landmark experiences. I’ve completed the Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Rating) and the Formation Flying Endorsement there, but the Formation Flying Endorsement stands out as a game-changing milestone in my journey to becoming a specialized skydive pilot.

This advanced training enabled me to participate in and contribute to two remarkable Australian skydiving records. Using C208 caravans, we executed a complex two-plane formation and had the exhilarating task of dropping as many as 32 skydivers from the sky in a single pass. These weren’t just any skydiving events; they were historic feats such as the Women’s Total Break Sequential and Skydivers Over Sixty (SOS), which have been captured and immortalized in videos that you can watch here and here. The Formation Flying Endorsement not only honed my skills but also opened doors to unique opportunities that allowed me to make a mark in the skydiving community.

Overcoming Challenges to Becoming a Skydive Pilot

Navigating the journey to become a skydive pilot presented its own set of challenges, especially when it came to juggling the demands of rigorous study schedules, work responsibilities, and maintaining a healthy home life. The balancing act was far from easy, but I was blessed to be surrounded by an incredible support system. My family and friends demonstrated unwavering understanding and support for the high level of dedication and time investment the training required.

Additionally, the community at Learn To Fly Melbourne was instrumental in my success. My flight school peers were nothing short of amazing, providing a collaborative learning environment that turned what could have been solitary hours poring over textbooks into a more engaging and enriching experience. This network of support not only eased my journey but also imbued it with a sense of camaraderie and shared purpose that made overcoming obstacles all the more rewarding.

Learning-to-Soar-My-Journey-to-Becoming-a-Skydive-Pilot-Cockpit
Working as a Skydiving Pilot

The Day-to-Day Life of a Skydive Pilot

Currently, I hold the exhilarating role of a skydive pilot, often affectionately termed as a “Jumper Dumper” in the industry. I have the thrill of taking adventure-seekers up to a staggering 15,000 feet in a C208 Caravan before racing them back down to terra firma.

Though the entry-level requirements for such a position might ostensibly be a Private Pilot Licence (PPL), the reality in Australia is a bit more stringent. Most companies here mandate a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) along with an Instrument Rating, accompanied by a substantial requirement of 500-1000 flight hours specifically for a C208 role. I consider myself fortunate to have met these rigorous standards, which enabled me to step directly into a Pilot-in-Command role with a C208 Caravan, bypassing the typical career progression steps. My journey to this point has been a culmination of hard work, quality training, and the right qualifications and endorsements, making every flight a fulfilling experience.

Working as a Skydiving Pilot – Flying the Caravan 208

The Sky’s the Limit: What’s Next?

Initially, my ultimate aspiration was to become a skydive pilot specializing in flying a caravan, a dream that astonishingly became my reality in a very short span of time. Having achieved this lifelong goal so swiftly, I now find myself with a horizon that’s broadened beyond measure. The sky, both literally and figuratively, is no longer a limit but a canvas of endless opportunities awaiting exploration.

Tips for Aspiring Pilots

  1. 1. NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK! If your ambition is to learn to fly and potentially carve out a career as a skydive pilot, the importance of a well-established network cannot be overstated. Networking is your key to gaining the nuanced understanding and mentorship that textbooks alone can’t provide. Make an effort to connect with seasoned pilots who can offer you a wealth of insights and advice. I was fortunate enough to secure a mentor with an impressive 50 years of flying experience, and that relationship has been an invaluable asset in both my training and career.
  2. 2. Choose the Right Flight School: Each flight school comes with its own unique teaching methodology and fleet of aircraft, so it’s crucial to find a place that resonates with your individual learning style. Different schools have varying approaches to instruction and different types of planes, so take the time to explore your options and identify a school that will provide you with the most tailored and effective learning experience.

3. Be Prepared for Days of Study: The journey to becoming a skydive pilot, or any kind of pilot for that matter, is a multi-faceted endeavour that demands more than just flying skills; it also requires a strong academic foundation. The effort you invest in studying not only enriches your theoretical understanding but also elevates your practical flying experience, making each moment in the cockpit profoundly rewarding.

Bonus Tip

If you’ve just wrapped up your flight training and find yourself struggling to secure that first job, don’t lose heart! Landing your initial gig is often the most challenging hurdle, but with gained experience, a world of better opportunities awaits. Sometimes, taking a role in a more remote location can be the stepping stone you need to accumulate invaluable experience.

Keep the bigger picture in mind, make informed decisions, and stay committed to your long-term goals. For anyone contemplating a life aloft and wondering how to learn to fly, I hope my journey serves not just as a roadmap but also as an inspiration. The path may be long, but the aerial vistas from your eventual destination make every challenge worth overcoming.

Clear skies and high aspirations await you!

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Navigating the Clouds: Mastering Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) Training

You’ve done your basic pilot training and are qualified to fly under Visual Flight Rules (VFR). It’s an incredible feeling having the ability to fly yourself, whether it’s a cross-country trip or just completing circuits. Nothing ruins that feeling more though, than when you get to the airstrip to find low clouds or unsatisfactory visibility. This is where Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) flying comes in, allowing pilots to safely take to the skies, even in adverse weather conditions.

The key to IFR flying, as the name suggests, is the reliance on our flight instruments instead of looking out the window to conduct a safe and successful flight. Following this method, pilots can safely traverse clouds, mist, fog, smoke, and precipitation and even fly at night. Flying under Instrument Flight Rules is a liberating feeling. It’s also a key rating to obtain if you’re looking to pursue a career in aviation. So, what does Instrument Flight Training involve?

Different Ratings, Different Needs

There are actually two types of IFR rating: the Private Instrument Flight Rules (PIFR) rating and the Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating (MECIR). Both allow pilots to operate under Instrument Flight Rules, with slightly different conditions depending on whether you’re intending to fly privately in a single-engine aircraft or something larger. An IFR rating will train you to operate an aircraft solely on its instruments, be it analogue or modern avionics. As you likely already know, your instruments are able to tell you your altitude, heading, speed, pitch, roll and more. This allows trained pilots to understand their position in the air, even when they cannot see. One key aspect of gaining an IFR rating is improving your ability to read and understand your instruments quickly. At Learn to Fly, this is done via classroom learning and simulator training, backed up with in-air sessions.

What Does IFR Involve?

It’s not just about quick and concise instrument readings though. In order to fly under Instrument Flight Rules, more effort needs to go into flight planning than under VFR. This includes route planning, fuel calculations, weather considerations and more to ensure that your flight is safe and that you are able to remain on course, even without the ability to see out the windows. Instrument rating training teaches pilots how to do these things to a higher level, ensuring they’re fully prepared for IFR conditions and whatever they may encounter on an IFR route. Not only is this necessary information for IFR flying, but it’s also transferrable to your VFR flying practices. IFR training makes you a better all-round pilot.

Another key aspect of gaining an IFR rating is refining communication with ATC. Get ready to practice your calls, IFR flying requires a lot of contact with ATC when in controlled airspace. ATC will provide separation guidelines from obstacles and other aircraft while flying IFR. It’s important to be adept at communicating with ATC to make the necessary adjustments to stay clear of obstacles, given that you are often unable to see these obstacles yourself.

Is IFR Flying Safe?

You may think that operating an aeroplane under Instrument Flight Rules sounds more dangerous than VFR flying. This is not necessarily the case. IFR flying is incredibly safe, as it removes an element of human error by relying on ATC to provide separation. It also forces pilots to operate more pre-planned, calculated, and therefore safer. Completing instrument rating training also has a positive impact on the general skills of a pilot. IFR training improves both flying and non-flying skills in preparation for the higher level of operation required for IFR flying.

Where Can I Learn More?

At Learn to Fly, we offer both Private Instrument Flight Rules (PIFR) and Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating (MECIR) courses. You can complete either course in your choice of multiple Cessna, Diamond and Piper aircraft, depending on your needs. In-air training is complemented by theory work, as well as time in our state-of-the-art flying simulators. Our experienced instructors are friendly, knowledgeable and always ready to help you to become the best pilot you can be.

We are able to tailor a training package to suit your flying goals, offering you the best possible outcome for completing your training in a timely, cost-effective manner. No matter where you’re trying to go with your journey as a pilot, Learn to Fly will be able to get you there.

If you’re interested in learning more about our instrument flight training courses, check out our course information for Private Instrument Flight Rules (PIFR) and Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating (MECIR) courses.

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Modern Technology in Pilot Training Courses

Pilot training courses have developed significantly over the years. There was a time when learning to become a pilot simply involved building your own aircraft and figuring out how to keep it in the air. Thankfully, these Wild West days are behind us!

Today’s flight training syllabus is highly regulated and standardised. Immense amounts of research and review have gone into creating a syllabus that equips a student pilot with all the knowledge required to safely and successfully operate an aircraft. Still, we live in a time of rapid technological advancement. Every year seems to come great leaps forward in technology, both in the aviation industry and beyond.

At Learn To Fly, we pride ourselves on staying on the cutting edge of technological advancement. Adopting and implementing modern technology is important to us. It gives our students a strong head start in their budding aviation careers. If you’re looking to become an airline pilot in Australia, you must have a strong familiarisation with the modern technology found within the industry. Let’s look at some of the groundbreaking technology we incorporate in our pilot training courses.

Flight Simulators in Pilot Training Courses

Flight simulation forms an important part of Learn To Fly’s training model. Maintaining a modern, up-to-date simulation offering is extremely beneficial in a training environment. Not only does it offer students a cost-effective training method, it allows for guaranteed training, regardless of the weather. Your training can still progress if you arrive at the airfield to find unfavourable weather conditions.

Flight simulation has come a long way in recent years. Simulators are capable of producing true-to-life simulations of real aircraft, real locations, real weather events and real scenarios. Our impressive on-site simulator fleet includes state-of-the-art Alsim AL42 (Diamond DA42) and TRC472 (Cessna 172) full cockpit synthetic trainers, as well as our fully immersive X-plane simulator with Garmin instrumentation and Virtual-Fly controls.

For airline hopefuls, Learn To Fly has partnered with Flight Experience Melbourne to offer training in their Boeing-endorsed B737-800 simulator.

Learn To Fly is proud to maintain one of the widest ranges of flight simulation offerings to student pilots. If you’re looking for a school that can offer continual training at an affordable price, you’re in the right place.

Advanced Avionics

Of course, simulation can only take a student so far. Real-world experience is vital to training competent pilots. Our fleet of aircraft are equipped with a varying range of avionics, from the traditional ‘six-pack’ to modern, full-glass configurations. Two of our aircraft, the Diamond DA40 and DA42, feature cutting-edge Garmin G1000 full-glass avionics. No matter which of our many pilot training courses you’re looking to undertake, you can be confident that you’ll be learning on a full suite of avionics, equipping you well for your flying future.

We believe in the importance of a well-rounded training experience. Training on modern avionics that a graduate would expect to see in the industry is an integral part of this. Because of this, we are continually assessing our fleet to ensure our avionics offerings are up-to-date and of a standard students would expect when working in aviation.

Continual Advancement

At Learn To Fly, we recognise the importance of continual advancement. As a result, we strive to incorporate modern technology across our flight training methods.

Aviation is an ever-evolving field, with technological advancements occurring at a rapid pace. To produce well-prepared and adaptive pilots, Learn To Fly must stay at the forefront of these changes. Embracing cutting-edge technology ensures that students are trained on the most up-to-date equipment and systems, enhancing their competence and employability.

Moreover, modern technology enhances safety in aviation. Incorporating advanced flight simulators, modern avionics, cutting-edge weather tracking, and more into the training program enables students to develop critical decision-making skills in a controlled environment, reducing the likelihood of accidents and mishaps in real flight situations.

By adopting a continually advancing approach, Learn To Fly has established itself as a beacon for aspiring pilots seeking the latest and best training methods. We are leaders in aviation education and have fostered a reputation for excellence that draws students and instructors alike.

The commitment of Learn To Fly to embracing modern technology in flight training is instrumental in ensuring the safety, competence, and competitiveness of its students. This approach not only benefits the individuals it educates but also contributes to the overall advancement of the aviation industry in Australia and beyond.

What Else Should I Know?

We’ve compiled a few useful posts that might help you out. Where ever you are on your aviation journey, the team at Learn To Fly Melbourne are here to help. We want you to pass your exams and have an excellent career! So, please reach out if we can help support you through your course and studies!

Becoming A Flight Instructor – More Important Now Than Ever Before
We’ll discuss some of the benefits that explain why becoming a flight instructor is more important now than ever before.

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.

Flight Instructor Rating – The Perfect Start For New Commercial Pilot Graduates
What is the best way to get started and set yourself on the right career path for your dream pilot job? In our opinion, it all starts with a Flight Instructor Rating. Let’s find out why!

Flight Instructor Training Endorsements – All You Need To Know
In this blog we’ll outline the Flight Instructor Training Endorsements that are available. We’ll also guide you on how each of these endorsements can add value to your role as a Flight Instructor and your progression as a professional pilot.

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Coen’s Journey to a CPL: A Success Story with Learn To Fly

Hello, I’m Coen Johnston, hailing from the small town of Swan Hill in country Victoria. Growing up with a natural curiosity and a thirst for adventure, I developed a fascination for aviation at a young age. Whether it was building model aircraft or embarking on gliding adventures, my interest in flying continually grew. My passion reached new heights when, at just 17 years old, I had the thrilling experience of flying solo in a Tecnam p2008. It was then that I knew I was destined to pursue a career in the sky.

Starting Off and Finding Learn To Fly Melbourne

At that stage of my life, financial constraints forced me to put my flying dreams on hold. Determined to continue my aviation journey, I completed Year 12 and embarked on a trade as a fitter-turner. I found work at Grizzly Engineering, where I built disc ploughs and honed my skills in manufacturing. As I saved money, my desire to take to the skies again only intensified. My persistence paid off when I discovered Learn To Fly Melbourne. At 19, I was thrilled to find that they were offering a scholarship for a Diploma in Aviation. I eagerly applied, and to my immense joy, I was awarded the scholarship. My flying dreams were once again within reach, thanks to Learn To Fly Melbourne.

Challenges, Triumphs, and The CPL Journey

With a renewed sense of purpose, I relocated to Townsville to embark on my flight training journey, piloting the Cessna 172 and working diligently towards my Private Pilot Licence (PPL) and Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) exams. Townsville became more than a training ground; it was a home where I made lasting friendships and explored some of the world’s most breathtaking landscapes, including Palm Island, the Whitsundays, and Cairns.

Under the watchful eye of my instructor, Brenden Morgan, I faced rigorous tests like engine failures, partial panel flying, and navigation exercises that ranged from dirt strips to bustling international airports. These experiences not only honed my skills but prepared me for the multitude of challenging flights across Australia.

When it was time to finish my CPL, I mace the move to Melbourne, where I faced new obstacles. Transitioning to the Diamond DA40, I had to adapt to the frenetic Melbourne airspace, master the G1000-equipped aircraft, and learn from fresh faces among the instructors. My determination never wavered, and after approximately 25 hours of training in the DA40, I proudly achieved my CPL. My dream of becoming a commercial pilot was finally realized, and it was an unforgettable journey filled with growth, challenges, and triumphs.

Beyond the Licence: A Life in Aviation

My gratitude towards Learn To Fly Melbourne (LTF) is boundless. The support, mentorship, and professional training I received played an integral role in shaping my aviation career, and I wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone looking to pursue their flying dreams. During my time with LTF, I not only broadened my knowledge of aviation but also learned valuable lessons about myself. My passion for flying propelled me forward, but there were undoubtedly moments when the journey became taxing. In those times, special instructors like Josh Best and David Marien were instrumental in guiding me, showing me how far I’d come and keeping my eyes on the destination.

However, as Covid-19 began to impact Australia and my financial resources dwindled after a year of intensive training, I found myself returning to my trade. Yet, the experiences and lessons I gained at Learn To Fly Melbourne remained with me, solidifying my commitment to aviation and my own personal growth.

The pull of aviation was impossible to resist, and I quickly found myself back in the cockpit, earning endorsements in Tailwheel, Low Level, and Retractable Undercarriage. My weekends were consumed with glider towing and ferrying aircraft for friends and brokers. It became an exhilarating and demanding period, filled with thousands of miles of flying, even as I continued to work full-time.

In just one year, I had the privilege of flying to every state and territory in Australia, piloting an array of aircraft ranging from the rugged Savannah bush plane to the sleek single-seat RV3. With around 380 hours under my belt, I knew it was time to take my career to the next level. I pursued and successfully obtained my multi-engine private instrument rating, a milestone that paved the way for my current role as a corporate pilot.

Today, I fly a Private G36 Bonanza for an Agricultural Engineering company in Northern NSW. My flying days are as varied as they are exciting, from delivering parts to remote farm strips for machinery repairs to transporting company directors to their desired destinations. With 560 total flight hours, I relish the experience of piloting a modern, fast aircraft and continue to sharpen my Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) skills. Every day is a new adventure, and my love for aviation continues to soar.

Future Aspirations and a Life Well Flown

Beyond aviation, I’m also passionate about mountain biking and spearfishing, my next goals include upgrading my instrument rating and pursuing my turbine endorsement. As I look to the future, I envision myself at the helm of a fast-turbine aircraft, embarking on thrilling adventures with friends to unexplored destinations.

The world of flying is a unique and rewarding pursuit, demanding a blend of diverse skills and unyielding focus. To anyone considering this path, I extend an enthusiastic encouragement. To learn how to fly is more than a mastery of an art; it is a journey of personal growth and fulfilment. Whether for a career or simply the joy of soaring through the skies, the adventure of aviation awaits, and it is an experience like no other.

Note: This blog has been created based on the personal experience of Coen Johnston, a CPL graduate from Learn To Fly Melbourne. If you’re interested in following a similar path, explore our flight training programs and apply for VET Student Loans for eligible diploma courses today.

What Else Should I Know?

We’ve compiled a few useful posts that might help you out. Where ever you are on your aviation journey, the team at Learn To Fly Melbourne are here to help. We want you to pass your exams and have an excellent career, so please reach out if we can help support you through your course and studies!

Becoming A Flight Instructor – More Important Now Than Ever Before
We’ll discuss some of the benefits that explain why becoming a flight instructor is more important now than ever before.

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.

Flight Instructor Rating – The Perfect Start For New Commercial Pilot Graduates
What is the best way to get started and set yourself on the right career path for your dream pilot job? In our opinion, it all starts with a Flight Instructor Rating. Let’s find out why!

Flight Instructor Training Endorsements – All You Need To Know
In this blog, we’ll outline the Flight Instructor Training Endorsements that are available. We’ll also guide you on how each of these endorsements can add value to your role as a Flight Instructor and your progression as a professional pilot.

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English Language Skills and Radio Phraseology: Effective Communication in Aviation

There are any number of pathways a career as a pilot can take you, from private charters to commercial airlines, cargo flying, to patient transport. One key skill that all of these specialised fields have in common is clear and effective communication. No matter your career, a pilot must be able to quickly and clearly communicate with Air Traffic Control (ATC), ground operations and other pilots. Why is a strong level of English proficiency so important? Let’s find out!

Communication with ATC

As a professional pilot, you’re likely going to spend a good amount of time interacting with Air Traffic Control (ATC). In order to provide safe and efficient air traffic management, ATC relies on radio communication between controllers and pilots. It’s, therefore vitally important for pilots to have a strong grasp of both the English language and the standardised phraseology for operating in Australian airspace.

When communicating with ATC, pilots will need to provide information such as location coordinates, heading and route details and will be required to provide readbacks of important information such as:

  • ATC route clearance
  • En route holding instructions
  • Assigned runway altimeter settings
  • Radio and navigation aid frequency instructions
  • SSR codes
  • Level, direction of turn, heading and speed instructions

Adhering to the accepted standards for communicating with ATC makes Australian airspace some of the safest and most well-managed in the world. During your studies, and even as a fully qualified pilot, you should take some time to practice radio calls and readbacks. Not only will it make you a better pilot, you’ll be making the airspace a safer place.

Communication with Pilots

Being clear and concise is also vital when communicating with other pilots. During takeoff and landing procedures, it is imperative that other pilots in the area are aware of your position and your intention. This allows pilots to coordinate and maintain separation, avoiding potential collisions. In situations where confusion can lead to serious – and even fatal – accidents, it becomes paramount that your radio calls are clearly heard and easily understood.

Communication with Ground Ops

Depending on your career, communicating with additional ground operations may also play an important role in your day-to-day workload. Flying with organisations such as the Royal Flying Doctor Service will require you to communicate with various on-ground entities. At the RFDS, strong communication skills are needed to cooperate with Coordination Centres, as well as potentially communicate with people at destination sites, like farms and stations. While communication here may not be as rigid as required with ATC, a misheard word could mean the difference between a patient getting medical attention in time or not.

Understanding Nuances

Moreso than simply having a strong grasp of the English language, it is imperative that pilots understand the nuances between general English conversation and required phraseology when flying. For example, in day-to-day conversation, a person may say the number “270” as “two-seventy” or “two-seven-oh”. Pilots must say the same number as “two-seven-zero”, in order to avoid confusion. It is a rigid system that is vital for safe flying. Student pilots may feel overwhelmed when learning this specific way of speaking, but veteran pilots will tell you it becomes second nature eventually.

Where Can I Learn More?

For those dreaming of a career in flying, Learn To Fly is here to get you there. Our Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane) course will take you through your Recreational Pilot License (RPL), Private Pilot License (PPL) and Commercial Pilot License (CPL) qualifications, setting you up for an exciting career as a pilot.

Undertaking a Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane) will equip you with the vital language and phraseology skills you need. It will also teach you key piloting skills, including accurate flight planning, safe aircraft operation, operational decision making, enhanced navigation techniques and operation in complex airspace. Enjoy a flexible learning environment at our state-of-the-art training facility at Moorabbin Airport in Melbourne, and chase your aviation dreams!

What Else Should I Know?

We’ve compiled a few useful posts that might help you out. Where ever you are on your aviation journey, the team at Learn To Fly Melbourne are here to help. We want you to pass your exams and have an excellent career, so please reach out if we can help support you through your course and studies!

Becoming A Flight Instructor – More Important Now Than Ever Before
We’ll discuss some of the benefits that explain why becoming a flight instructor is more important now than ever before.

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.

Flight Instructor Rating – The Perfect Start For New Commercial Pilot Graduates
What is the best way to get started and set yourself on the right career path for your dream pilot job? In our opinion, it all starts with a Flight Instructor Rating. Let’s find out why!

Flight Instructor Training Endorsements – All You Need To Know
In this blog we’ll outline the Flight Instructor Training Endorsements that are available. We’ll also guide you on how each of these endorsements can add value to your role as a Flight Instructor and your progression as a professional pilot.

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Elevating Flight Training in Melbourne: Our New Headquarters and Theory Centre

We at Learn To Fly Melbourne are beyond excited to share a significant leap forward in our journey at Learn To Fly Melbourne. We have recently acquired a new 1,000 square meter building that will serve as both our headquarters and a dedicated Theory Centre. Located conveniently at Moorabbin Airport, Melbourne, this new building is a major stride in enhancing our flight training services in Melbourne.

Flight Training Headquarters & Theory Center

As a renowned flight training school in Melbourne, we have always emphasised creating the perfect environment for our trainees. This ranges from our specialised flight operations office to our cutting-edge simulation training facility. With the introduction of our new headquarters, we’re taking another giant leap towards enriching our comprehensive flight training program.

Our new Theory Center is designed to immerse students in a conducive learning environment, where they can delve deep into the complexities of aviation theory. It’s not just about the knowledge – it’s about understanding how it applies in the real world of aviation. Whether it’s meteorology, navigation, or the intricacies of aircraft systems, our theory classes are designed to create competent pilots who are ready to handle the unexpected.

Furthermore, this expansive building allows us room to extend our capabilities. More space means incorporating advanced technologies, diversifying resources, and optimising comfort to further improve our flight training services in Melbourne.

But we also understand that flight training isn’t just about mastering the technicalities – it’s about fostering a sense of community among aspiring pilots. Hence, our new headquarters includes spaces for relaxation, socialising, and networking, allowing our students to share their experiences, learn from each other, and build lasting bonds within the aviation community.

So, why wait? Come and join us at our newly minted headquarters and Theory Centre at Moorabbin Airport. As we continue to redefine flight training in Melbourne, we invite you to be part of the exciting journey at Learn To Fly Melbourne. Here, we are not just teaching you to fly; we are empowering you to soar. We can’t wait to welcome you to your new aviation home!

Are you ready to join the evolving world of aviation?

Chat with 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.

What Else Should I Know?

We’ve compiled a few useful posts that might help you out. Where ever you are on your aviation journey, the team at Learn To Fly Melbourne are here to help. We want you to pass your exams and have an excellent career, so please reach out if we can help support you through your course and studies!

Becoming A Flight Instructor – More Important Now Than Ever Before
We’ll discuss some of the benefits that explain why becoming a flight instructor is more important now than ever before.

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.

Flight Instructor Rating – The Perfect Start For New Commercial Pilot Graduates
What is the best way to get started and set yourself on the right career path for your dream pilot job? In our opinion, it all starts with a Flight Instructor Rating. Let’s find out why!

Flight Instructor Training Endorsements – All You Need To Know
In this blog we’ll outline the Flight Instructor Training Endorsements that are available. We’ll also guide you on how each of these endorsements can add value to your role as a Flight Instructor and your progression as a professional pilot.

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Why You Don’t Need a Bachelor of Aviation to Become a Pilot

Do you think you need a Bachelor of Aviation to become a pilot? Think again. As an aspiring pilot, it’s your job to determine an aviation training pathway that will create the best pilot out of you. As a matter of fact, a Bachelor of Aviation is only one pathway to becoming a pilot – and most pilots will argue that there’s a better pathway. It’s also your job to take into consideration the quality of your training, the time it takes to become a pilot, and the financial cost of your pilot training. Once you’ve considered these factors, you’ll discover why you don’t need a Bachelor of Aviation to become a pilot. Let’s take a look at your options and what a better pathway might look like.

What’s Involved with a Bachelor of Aviation?

Most bachelor programs combine Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) training and Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating (MECIR) training with other university subjects. To become a pilot, you need a pilot licence, flying ratings, and endorsements. This means you can actually study the Diploma of Aviation to gain your CPL, and your Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating. In some regards, it’s a bit like becoming a truck driver: you don’t need a Bachelor’s Degree, you just need your driver licence.

Why Not Get the Bachelor of Aviation?

A Bachelor of Aviation requires three years of aviation training due to the structure. However, a pilot licence doesn’t actually require this amount of time. After 1.5 years of training to gain your CPL and MECIR, you will still need to complete another 1.5 years of university to complete the course.

If your end goal is to be a commercial airline pilot, the big consideration for intake is not a Bachelor Degree – it’s your flying hours and experience. Airlines care about your combined hours, which aircraft you can fly, and your night and multi-engine hours. You only need to look at Qantas’ Pilots and Flight Operations webpage to see there is no requirement for a Bachelor’s Degree. There’s only a requirement for a minimum flying experience.

If you study for the Diploma of Aviation to get your CPL and MECIR, you can start looking for a job immediately. This means you’ll be building your flying experience instead of wasting an additional 1.5 years of study. After 3 years, you can be a far more appealing commercial pilot applicant by completing your Diploma in Aviation, compared to a Bachelor’s Degree.

There are better ways! This is why you don’t need a Bachelor of Aviation to become a pilot.

What If I Really Want a Bachelor’s Degree?

If you really want a Bachelor’s Degree, you should choose something other than aviation. A Bachelor’s in the fields of IT or accounting would be a smarter choice. If COVID or a significant economic downturn occurred, you would be qualified for other industries and it would protect you as a pilot.

What is the Suggested Pathway for Becoming a Pilot?

Now that we’ve covered why you don’t need a Bachelor of Aviation to become a pilot, let’s look at a better approach. There’s one clear pathway that provides the most efficient and effective aviation training. It’s an aviation pathway that many commercial airline pilots successfully followed, reducing the time it takes to become a pilot and reducing the overall cost of training. Here’s what that pathway looks like:

1. Study the Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane) to gain your Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL).

2. Study the Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Rating) to get the MECIR.

3. Study the Flight Instructor Rating. It is one of the easiest ways to get your first pilot job. As a flight instructor, you can build hours a lot quicker than other pilot jobs. (Optional, but highly recommended).

4. Look for a job as a pilot.

5. Study a Bachelor’s Degree in another field, if you really want to. However, do it once you have a job as a pilot so you can build your flying hours and study at the same time.

Are you ready to join the evolving world of aviation?

Chat with 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.

What Else Should I Know?

We’ve compiled a few useful posts that might help you out. Where ever you are on your aviation journey, the team at Learn To Fly Melbourne are here to help. We want you to pass your exams and have an excellent career, so please reach out if we can help support you through your course and studies!

Becoming A Flight Instructor – More Important Now Than Ever Before
We’ll discuss some of the benefits that explain why becoming a flight instructor is more important now than ever before.

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.

Flight Instructor Rating – The Perfect Start For New Commercial Pilot Graduates
What is the best way to get started and set yourself on the right career path for your dream pilot job? In our opinion, it all starts with a Flight Instructor Rating. Let’s find out why!

Flight Instructor Training Endorsements – All You Need To Know
In this blog we’ll outline the Flight Instructor Training Endorsements that are available. We’ll also guide you on how each of these endorsements can add value to your role as a Flight Instructor and your progression as a professional pilot.

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Learn To Fly Safety Corner July 2023 – Incident Trend Analysis

At Learn To Fly Melbourne, our Safety Management System (SMS) conducts incident analysis to identify developing trends as part of its safety risk management process.

Incident analysis carried out over the past 3 months (April to June 2023) has identified aircraft separation issues as an emerging risk.

Recorded Incidents Include:

  • Near collisions. Serious near collisions between aircraft, including instances where the crews of both aircraft did not see each other until moments before or after, the aircraft’s flight paths crossed.
  • Evasive manoeuvres. Pilots have to manoeuvre to maintain/increase separation from other aircraft not complying (or not able to comply) with traffic sequencing instructions.
  • Communication difficulties. Pilots are not able to comply with traffic sequencing instructions, not communicating their intentions or actions.
  • Operational non-compliance. Pilots inadvertently do not (or are not able) to follow/maintain traffic sequencing instructions (cutting aircraft off in the circuit).
  • Separation standards. Pilots not maintaining sufficient separation with preceding aircraft leading to forced go-arounds.
  • Frequency management errors. Pilots reporting ready on the wrong frequency leading to aircraft entering the wrong runway for take-off.
  • Approaches to the wrong runway. Pilots confusing Runway 13 Right (RWY 13R) for RWY 17R.
  • Runway incursions.

Air Traffic Control (ATC) errors. Controllers are late in passing traffic to aircraft and applying inadequate take-off and landing separation standards.

Contributing factors

The limitations of the see and avoid principle;
The complexity of Moorabbin Airport’s runways and procedures;
Traffic volumes at Moorabbin;
Traffic density in the circuit;
The pilot workload in the circuit;
The number of student solo flights operating at Moorabbin with the minimum, but limited levels of experience;
Human factors issues.

Countermeasures

Unless their aircraft is fitted with an ADSB transponder and traffic avoidance technology, pilots will have only the traditional collision avoidance techniques to maintain separation from and avoid other aircraft.

The following pilot skills and knowledge will reduce the risk of aircraft separation issues identified in LTF’s trend analysis.

Maintain an Effective Lookout

It’s crucial that pilots maintain an effective lookout, backed by a thorough understanding of the limitations of the “see and avoid” principle. An effective lookout involves a systematic visual scan of the surroundings, cognizant of factors that might diminish the chances of spotting and accurately interpreting visual targets.

An integral part of this is understanding the physiology of the eye. Visual acuity, for instance, which relates to how well one can see based on the size of and distance from a target, is a fundamental component. So too is one’s field of view and the limitations of peripheral vision, particularly when it comes to distinguishing between moving and stationary targets.

Adapting to shifting light levels (such as from cloud shadows) and the time it takes to refocus from internal to external cockpit references are other key considerations. This also includes understanding the impact of empty field myopia – the eye’s default focus distance when peering into a seemingly endless sky.

Keep in mind that an aircraft maintaining a constant speed on a converging flight path can appear stationary to the crew of both planes. This relative movement, or lack thereof, can skew perception. It’s also important to note that human perception can be limited due to factors like illness, medications, or fatigue.

Environmental conditions can also make visual identification challenging. This includes the clutter of visual background (like an aircraft below the horizon), light levels, sun glare, and the position and elevation of the sun compared to the visual target. Even the visibility offered by the atmosphere plays a role.

Aircraft ergonomics, such as door posts, window sizes, and frames, along with the presence of other crew members, can obstruct vision. The design of the aircraft’s airframe, including the nose’s position relative to attitude and high-wing versus low-wing designs, can also limit visibility.

Also, never underestimate the effect of more straightforward factors, like the contrast between the aircraft’s colour and its backdrop, and the cleanliness of the windscreen. Each of these aspects plays a crucial role in minimising the risk of aircraft separation issues. So, next time you’re in the cockpit, remember to incorporate these principles into your routine scanning techniques to ensure safe and effective flights.

Maintain a Listening Watch

Alerted see and avoid greatly increases the likelihood for pilots of seeing other aircraft. Accurate radio communication identifying an aircraft’s location, altitude and intentions improves the opportunity to see an aircraft by knowing where to look rather than having to scan the whole sky. Information about where to look for an aircraft and where it is going may be included in the following:

  • Aircraft position reports and readbacks;
  • Pilots are broadcasting their intentions;
  • ATC instructions;
  • ATC traffic advisories and alerts.

Effective Communication

In the dynamic environment of aviation, clear and concise communication of your actual position and intentions is paramount. However, situations may arise when things don’t go as planned – you may find yourself unable to comply with an instruction, not understanding an instruction, unable to spot the aircraft you should be following, or unable to accept an instruction. There could also be circumstances when it’s simply not safe to comply with an instruction.

In such instances, it’s essential to communicate your situation to Air Traffic Control (ATC) promptly and accurately. Whether it’s about your inability to adhere to a directive, uncertainty about an instruction, or your inability to visually locate another aircraft, clarity is key.

Do not hesitate to voice your situation. Even if you’re unsure about the standard phraseology, opt for plain English to convey your message. The goal is to ensure that ATC fully understands your situation and can provide the appropriate guidance or alternative instructions to help maintain the safety and efficiency of your flight operations. Remember, effective communication forms the backbone of aviation safety, especially when dealing with unexpected situations in the air.

Expect the Unexpected

Humans are prone to making errors, and pilots are human, so, inevitably, pilots of other aircraft will not operate their aircraft as expected on occasion. Provide a margin for safety so that errors made by pilots of other aircraft or deviations from expectations do not impact your aircraft’s safety.

  • Check for aircraft on approach to land when you are cleared for take-off by ATC.
  • Look out behind for aircraft that could turn early and cut you off on all legs of the circuit.
  • Be prepared to go around in case the landing aircraft ahead of you experiences difficulties.
  • Lookout for aircraft or vehicles along the full length of the runway.
  • Aircraft experiencing difficulties may not be able to operate as they normally would.

Flying predictably improves the opportunity for aircraft to see each other by improving situational awareness. Predictable flying allows other pilots to anticipate where to look to see your aircraft. Fly your aircraft using standard procedures to achieve expected performance, speeds, and the established circuit pattern.

Know Your Aerodrome Procedures

Know your aerodrome operating procedures and the procedures used by helicopters. An understanding of helicopter operating procedures will improve your ability to predict where they will be and your opportunity to see and avoid them.

Helicopter circuit operations occur on the eastern grass when runways 17/35 are operating. The helicopter circuit pattern is inside the aeroplane circuit at 700 feet and is normally close to the airport boundaries.

When runways 13/31 are in operation, helicopters conduct circuit operations from the western triangle, an area south and west of RWY 31 left. Their circuit pattern is on the inside of the aeroplane circuit at 700 feet.

Helicopters arriving from the east either overfly the landing runway threshold not below 500 feet or overfly midfield not below 700 feet for a short western circuit to the helicopter landing areas.

Know the Performance of Your Aircraft and Other Types

Helicopters arriving from the east either overfly the landing runway threshold not below 500

Knowing your aircraft’s performance capabilities compared to other aircraft will improve your ability to predict where they will be in relation to yours and improve your opportunity to see and avoid them.

Multi-engine aeroplanes practising simulated engine failures achieve degraded climb performance and may extend upwind and crosswind legs.

Discuss the performance of other types and categories of aircraft with your instructor.

Human Factors

Human performance limitations and normal human psychological predisposition make pilots prone to error. Human Factors (HF) is the broad study of the risk the human pilot human poses to aviation safety and strategies to minimise the risk. Some examples of HF that may diminish safety include:

  • Fixation;
  • Distraction;
  • Task saturation;
  • Stress and anxiety;
  • Hazardous personal attitudes;
  • Incorrect perceptions and biases;
  • Poor setting, poor priorities and decision-making;
  • Ineffective communication and relationships with others.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASR) Part 61 (flight crew licencing) Manual of Standards (MOS) Non-Technical Standards (NTS-1 and NTS-2) describe non-technical (human or soft) skills pilots must acquire to minimise the risk of the negative implications of the human component of being a pilot. Things you can do to alleviate human error can include:

  • Develop your non-technical skills (situational awareness; assess situations and make decisions; set priorities and manage tasks; etc.);
  • Discuss HF with your instructor when planning flights;
  • Perform a rigorous IMSAFE assessment before flights;
  • Pre-flight preparation and planning help to reduce pilot workload and decrease the likelihood of errors.

Threat and Error Management

Other factors may adversely affect a pilot’s ability to operate safely in the vicinity of other aircraft. Threat and Error Management (TEM) is the process of anticipating factors that may impact the safety of a particular flight. The risk of Treats and Errors can be mitigated with careful pre-flight preparation.

The following threats can impose an additional layer of complexity and impact safety and the opportunity for errors during flight:

  • Fatigue;
  • Visibility;
  • Sun glare;
  • Light levels;
  • Traffic density;
  • Aircraft familiarity;
  • Recent experience;
  • Aircraft serviceability issues;
  • Feeling pressured (external and internal).

Knowing the principles and application of TEM and carefully assessing the likely TEM items that may affect your flight will decrease the likelihood of their having a negative impact on safety.

Your instructor will assist in assessing TEM as part of every solo flight authorisation.

Collision Risk in the Circuit

Collision risk increases in the circuit. The circuit funnelling aircraft to the runway threshold (a fixed point on the ground) in a common traffic pattern based on the runway. The consistency with which the circuit is flown increases the risk of collision between aircraft whose pilots have not seen each other.

Aircraft following you in the circuit likely represent the greater threat. Following aircraft, even slower ones can create a collision risk if they turn early (cut in) on a leg of the circuit. The following aircraft are difficult to maintain visual contact with due to their relative position and aircraft ergonomics. Look behind when down-wind and on base. Look for aircraft on a close or high base when established on final.

There are areas in the circuit with a higher risk of collision. On the final approach, the runway provides lateral and vertical visual cues to permit pilots to fly a more accurate and consistent flight path.

“Heat map” of Moorabbin Aerodrome showing circuit pattern traffic density for the first quarter of 2017. Note the density of aircraft concentrated on the final approaches.

On final, the opportunity to visually acquire aircraft on a converging flightpath will be diminished with the pilot’s attention being strongly focused on the runway to monitor the approach. Make a conscientious effort to look for traffic before joining the final and to scan for traffic throughout the approach to land.

Resources

Resources to assist pilots in developing knowledge to avoid aircraft separation issues.

Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) on Avoiding Collisions

Airservices Australia on Runway Safety

Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) on Collision Avoidance

Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) on Flying Around Melbourne and Moorabbin

Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) on Human Factors

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.

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Group Exercises and Teamwork Assessments in Cadet Pilot Interviews

If you’ve made it to Cadet Pilot interviews, you’ve likely completed half the job. Well done. Now you’ll find that most airline intakes and Cadet Pilot Programs include group exercises and teamwork assessments. The primary reason airlines include group exercises and teamwork assessments in cadet pilot interviews is to evaluate candidates’ pilot skills. Here, we’re going to talk you through what the group exercises might include, how they’re used in assessments, and how you can perform well.

Why Do Cadet Pilot Interviews Include Group Exercises and Teamwork Assessments?

Airlines need to assess your pilot skills if they’re going to recruit you. It’s one thing for an airline to provide you with an individual question or task, and assess your solo performance. However, it’s a whole other evaluation process to see how you can handle yourself in a group or teamwork environment. If you can think from the airline’s perspective, they want to see your ability to communicate, as well as your self-knowledge and how you can operate within a team. After all, that is the exact environment in which you’ll be placed – so they want to recruit the best candidates for the job.

As a commercial airline pilot, you’re expected to be able to work in a team with defined roles but frequently-changing team members. Group exercises and teamwork assessments provide airlines with an environment to assess certain skills, traits and competencies.

What Are the Airline Pilot Group Exercises?

Most group exercises and teamwork assessments in Cadet Pilot interviews are based on the discussion of a topic, issue, or circumstance. You might be presented with a problem, situation, or topic and asked to discuss it as a group. That’s the fundamental exercise to expect.

Does that sound simple? Yes, and no. If you’re put with a group of 6 or 7 other applicants and work well together, that’s great. But how do you handle an introvert who isn’t really participating? How do you contribute if there is an assertive or controlling personality in the group?

Read on and we’ll talk through how you can let your pilot skills shine.

How Do You Pass a Cadet Pilot Group Interview?

Cadet Pilot Interview is an assessment of a pilot’s soft skills. Your problem-solving, leadership, prioritisation, delegation, communication, risk aversion, and so on. Passing the Cadet Pilot Group Interview is a matter of expressing these skills and attributes in a professional manner.

If you can memorise the skills you want to demonstrate and rehearse some ways you can do that, you’ll be working on invaluable preparation for the day.

There are around 15 attributes that most airlines will be assessing in some shape or form. Here they are, in no particular order:

  • Situational Awareness
  • Team Work
  • Delegation
  • Leadership
  • Prioritisation
  • Planning
  • Reliability
  • Communication
  • Problem-Solving
  • Adverse to risk
  • Empathy
  • Motivated / Passionate
  • Customer Minded
  • Flexibility
  • Business Orientated

Keep in mind the interview isn’t just about what you say. It includes how you say it, who you say it to, and also what you don’t say. Your body language will play a large role in the assessment, as will your inclusivity and constructivism with the other candidates.

So that’s how you pass the Cadet Pilot Group Interviews and Teamwork Assessments. But how do you actually perform better than the rest? Let’s take a look.

How Do You Perform Well in a Cadet Pilot Group Interview?

All airlines have a framework of attributes, capabilities and qualities they seek. Many of them are on the above list, but each airline is different. These criteria are formed from what they believe makes the best airline pilots, so that’s what they benchmark you against and look for. You won’t know the specific criteria they are looking for, and each airline will have a slightly different approach. So how do you perform well in your cadet pilot group interviews? Let’s take a look at some common requirements between the airlines to understand.

To perform well, you need practice. The best practice you can complete is after having completed a Future Cadet Pilot Program, so that you can be confident that you’re spending your time practising the right skills appropriately.

As part of the program/course, you should be looking to establish a core set of criteria that you’d like to demonstrate and a strong method as to how you can demonstrate these skills. Keep in mind that you’re going to need to know how to do this in a group format, so these are some of the skills that you will need to master:

  • Let others speak, but make sure you have your say.
  • Demonstrate how you’ve listened to the contributions of the others and used this to construct your own input.
  • Constructively provide alternative points of view or considerations without creating confrontation.
  • If a team member appears to be struggling to speak up or participate in the group exercise, provide them with a comfortable cue to contribute.
  • Learn how to help steer the group discussions to keep them progressing productively.

All of these are soft skills that separate a good commercial airline pilot from a great one. Among the short list of points above are those core skills we spoke about earlier – empathy, leadership, risk aversion, problem-solving, reliability, teamwork, and so on.

Now you’re starting to understand how to excel in the Group Exercises and Teamwork Assessments for Cadet Pilot Interviews! That means you’re ready to take the next step.

How Do I Prepare for Cadet Pilot Interviews, Including Group Exercises and Teamwork Assessments?

The best preparation for Cadet Pilot Interviews is to attend a Future Cadet Pilot Program. This is a course dedicated to preparing you for each Cadet Pilot process. Every element is covered in the course, including preparation for the cadet pilot interview process.

What Else Should I Know?

We’ve compiled a few useful posts that might help you out. Where ever you are on your aviation journey, the team at Learn To Fly Melbourne are here to help. We want you to pass your exams and have an excellent career, so please reach out if we can help support you through your course and studies!

Becoming A Flight Instructor – More Important Now Than Ever Before
We’ll discuss some of the benefits that explain why becoming a flight instructor is more important now than ever before.

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.

Flight Instructor Rating – The Perfect Start For New Commercial Pilot Graduates
What is the best way to get started and set yourself on the right career path for your dream pilot job? In our opinion, it all starts with a Flight Instructor Rating. Let’s find out why!

Flight Instructor Training Endorsements – All You Need To Know
In this blog we’ll outline the Flight Instructor Training Endorsements that are available. We’ll also guide you on how each of these endorsements can add value to your role as a Flight Instructor, and your progression as a professional pilot.

Chat with 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.

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Aviation Theory and Ground School: Essential Knowledge for Flight Training in Australia

Aviation theory and ground school involve your classroom time with an instructor to learn essential knowledge for flight training in Australia. Whilst you might think that theory is boring, it makes the flying part so much more fun and interesting. Throughout your aviation training, every flying lesson will begin in a classroom for a briefing on a theory application. Your time spent in the classroom will make you a better pilot in an aircraft. Let’s explore aviation theory and ground school so that you can understand how to establish essential knowledge for flight training in Australia.

What Is Aviation Theory and Ground School

Aviation theory is the science and textbook content for learning how to become a pilot. Some flight training schools separate ground schools from flight schools, but in Australia, we mostly consider them to be the same thing. In aviation ground school, you’ll study each component and milestone before undertaking practical experience in an aircraft.

The topics you’ll cover will typically include aerodynamics, air law, human factors, aviation instrumentation, weather, and so on.

The Importance of Theory in Flight Training

Every pilot decision and control input should be from the basis of the flight training. As humans, we have natural tendencies that can make us poor pilots. It’s in the theory and ground school that you’ll establish this knowledge and how to overcome these tendencies.

Whilst you might think that time in the cockpit is what builds a pilot, aviation theory and ground school is the actual foundation that pilots live upon. You build up practical experience in and around the aircraft, but this is only useful if you have the theory to apply.

Some very straightforward examples demonstrate the limitations of the human mind and how theory is fundamental to becoming a pilot. For instance, if you found yourself inverted in an aircraft, a common response is to pull back on the stick or yoke and do a half loop to recover. However, this is one of the riskiest manoeuvres you can undertake – particularly at low altitudes. The theory will teach you to turn off the autopilot, adjust power, unload the wings (push forward), roll, and recover to a climb. It sounds simple but is not naturally intuitive without theory and training, particularly in a moment of unexpected rush. Better yet, you won’t just be taught how to recover an aircraft – the theory and flight school will teach you how to prevent such things from occurring.        

Yes, there are components of theory that you need to learn and not all of it will have you jumping out of your seat. However, the more you can absorb the better pilot you’ll become.

What Aspiring Pilots Can Hope to Learn

Given that aviation theory in ground, school teaches you essential knowledge for flight training in Australia, let’s take a look at the subjects. All Australian flight training and aviation licences (RPL, PPL, CPL) cover the following topics as a minimum:

  • Flight rules and air law
  • Aerodynamics
  • Meteorology
  • Navigation
  • Flight Planning
  • Power Plants
  • Aircraft Systems
  • Human Factors

That’s not all though. Within each of these subjects is a range of areas you’ll explore in your flight training course. After each major topic, you’ll then go through a review and then undertake an exam.

Aviation Theory Makes a Better Pilot

If you really want a Bachelor’s Degree, you should choose something other than aviation. A Bachelor’s in the fields of IT or accounting would be a smarter choice. If COVID or a significant economic downturn occurred, you would be qualified for other industries and it would protect you as a pilot.

What is the Suggested Pathway for Becoming a Pilot?

Learning aviation theory in ground school will make your time in the aircraft much more comprehensive and useful. That’s because you already have a fundamental understanding of what to expect and how to act before you step into the aircraft. The classroom theory and practical aircraft experience are both required to become a good pilot. You can’t be a pilot if you only complete one of them, as they work together to bond your understanding of theory and physical experience.

In a classroom environment, you don’t have the pressures of needing to fly a plane or navigate. You’re focused. That means that you are more able to comprehend and digest the information. Similarly, it means you are learning to work with your instructor and other students to master the theory behind aviation. For nearly every learning requirement in your flight training in Australia, you will first learn the fundamentals in the classroom. Following that, you’ll learn to apply the theory in the aircraft.

Considering the knowledge you cover in ground school, it’s easy to understand how it makes a better pilot. If you have never learnt about control surfaces and aircraft behaviour, do you really want to find out in the sky? Definitely not! The point is that you learn something, then apply it.  

Ready To Start Ground School?

Now you know that aviation theory and ground school provide essential knowledge for flight training in Australia. It’s time to start training! Chat with 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.

What Else Should I Know?

We’ve compiled a few useful posts that might help you out. Where ever you are on your aviation journey, the team at Learn To Fly Melbourne are here to help. We want you to pass your exams and have an excellent career! So, please reach out if we can help support you through your course and studies!

Becoming A Flight Instructor – More Important Now Than Ever Before
We’ll discuss some of the benefits that explain why becoming a flight instructor is more important now than ever before.

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.

Flight Instructor Rating – The Perfect Start For New Commercial Pilot Graduates
What is the best way to get started and set yourself on the right career path for your dream pilot job? In our opinion, it all starts with a Flight Instructor Rating. Let’s find out why!

Flight Instructor Training Endorsements – All You Need To Know
In this blog we’ll outline the Flight Instructor Training Endorsements that are available. We’ll also guide you on how each of these endorsements can add value to your role as a Flight Instructor and your progression as a professional pilot.

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Understanding The Basics of Flight: How Planes Work & What Makes Them Fly

In the history of mankind, aircraft have achieved incredible engineering feats. High-speed flights, heavy payloads, and precise maneuvers are accomplished by modern aircraft with remarkable control. By capitalizing on specific forces, pilots harness the ability to propel aircraft through the sky in a controlled manner. The vast operational variety of aircraft designs today stems from their distinct aerodynamic, practical, or utility purposes, necessitating different approaches to managing flight principles. With this in mind, we can now work on our understanding of the basics of flight: how planes work and what makes them fly.

The Laws of Motion

To understand the flight of an aircraft, let’s first take a quick refresher on Newton’s three laws of motion. In short, the three laws of motion can be stated as follows:

1. If an object is not moving, it will not start moving by itself. If an object is moving, it will not stop or change direction unless something pushes it.

2. Objects will move farther and faster when they are pushed harder.

3. When an object is pushed in one direction, there is always an equal resistance in the opposite direction.

Now that we have these motion principles in mind, llet’s look at the Four Main Principles of Flight.

The Four Main Principles of Flight

To help you understand the basics of flight, let’s delve into flight principles. We can summarise airplane flight using four main principles: lift, weight, thrust, and drag. These principles represent opposing forces. Weight is the opposite of lift, while drag opposes thrust. Achieving a balance among these forces ensures successful flight. Now, let’s examine each of the four main flight principles in greater detail.

Lift

Lift is the force that pushes the aircraft upwards. The aircraft’s wings are designed to be an aerofoil, which means that the wing’s shape creates an aerodynamic reaction (lift). This component is especially important for flight, so we will cover this more in a moment.

Gravity (Weight)

Gravity is the opposing force to lift, which pushes an aircraft downwards. Gravity’s direction is not merely downward; it specifically points towards the center of the Earth. Additionally, gravity’s influence varies with an aircraft’s size or mass – larger aircraft experience a greater gravitational impact, necessitating more lift.

Thrust

Thrust propels the aircraft forward, differing from lift and gravitational pull as it involves the mechanical input of energy from an engine or turbine.

Drag

Drag opposes the aircraft’s motion, generated by frictional airflow over its surface, hindering flight. If drag has a factor of ‘1’, the aircraft requires more than a factor of ‘1’ in thrust energy to move forward. Air displacement causes the drag force, as the aircraft must push air aside, resulting in a reactionary force in accordance with Newton’s third law of motion.

Exceptions and Considerations to The Principles of Flight

Now that we’ve explained the principles and basics of flight, we know how an aircraft successfully moves through the sky. That being said, the relationship between these forces can be somewhat utilised in different ways.

Take a glider as an example. While it needs initial thrust and energy to reach altitude, it can sustain forward momentum for extended periods by employing various flight techniques to achieve a balance in the principles of flight. This involves utilizing thermals, leveraging gravitational pull for efficient lift, and minimizing drag to generate momentum. Another option is a hot air balloon, which employs thermal energy for lift and relies on wind for momentum.

Wing Design, Aerofoils & Aerodynamics

Although aerodynamics is a complex science, we can simplify the basics of flight for understanding. Aerofoils and wing designs play a crucial role. Thousands of wings, each designed as a different aerofoil, serve various purposes and adhere to distinct aerodynamic principles. Larger wings generate substantial lift, while smaller ones or those designed for high lift have higher drag. These principles are applied in STOL (short take-off or landing) aircraft.

If you can imagine a cross-section of a wing, most of them follow the same flight principle. That is, when air passes over the wing, the air above the wing travels faster and at a reduced pressure, and the air beneath at a slower pace and higher pressure. With low pressure above and high pressure beneath, naturally, there is a want for the wings of the aircraft to go up and equalise these air zones. Now, there is more than one way of explaining this – and it can become a widely-debated topic – but you can understand why the wing causes the aircraft to experience lift.

Control Surfaces and Aircraft Design

Once an aircraft has sufficient forward momentum to sustain the basics of flight, a pilot then has a variety of controls and control surfaces to enable the pilot to manipulate the aircraft’s motion. These controls involve rolls, yaw, and pitch.

1. Ailerons on the wings allow the pilot to ‘roll’ the aircraft left and right, which is useful for turning the aircraft around the front-to-back axis.

2. The rudder changes the yaw of the aircraft from side to side, which assists in rotating the aircraft around the vertical axis.

3. The elevator changes the pitch of the aircraft, up and down, around the side-to-side axis.

Aircraft also can feature additional control elements, such as flaps, to support controlled flight. Flaps, for example, increase the wings’ surface area to produce additional lift. This is useful for exercises like landing so that aircraft can touch down at slower speeds without gravitational forces overcoming flight.

And That’s How Planes Fly!

Congratulations! You now have a solid grasp of the fundamentals of flight, including how planes operate and the principles behind their ability to fly. If you desire a deeper understanding, the instructors at Learn To Fly Melbourne are eager to assist you and can even arrange a trial flight experience.

Are you ready to join the evolving world of aviation?

Chat with 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.

What Else Should I Know?

We’ve compiled a few useful posts that might help you out. Where ever you are on your aviation journey, the team at Learn To Fly Melbourne are here to help. We want you to pass your exams and have an excellent career, so please reach out if we can help support you through your course and studies!

Becoming A Flight Instructor – More Important Now Than Ever Before
We’ll discuss some of the benefits that explain why becoming a flight instructor is more important now than ever before.

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.

Flight Instructor Rating – The Perfect Start For New Commercial Pilot Graduates
What is the best way to get started and set yourself on the right career path for your dream pilot job? In our opinion, it all starts with a Flight Instructor Rating. Let’s find out why!

Flight Instructor Training Endorsements – All You Need To Know
In this blog we’ll outline the Flight Instructor Training Endorsements that are available. We’ll also guide you on how each of these endorsements can add value to your role as a Flight Instructor and your progression as a professional pilot.

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Transitioning From Recreational Pilot to Professional Pilot

Transitioning from being a recreational pilot to becoming a professional pilot can be the dream for many. For some, this journey becomes apparent because they started flying purely for recreational reasons, but found it to be so exhilarating that it turned into a career aspiration. Others find themselves wanting to transition from being a recreational pilot to a professional pilot because they wanted to try recreational aviation before committing to the career move. Whatever reason you’re here, let’s talk through transitioning from recreational pilot to professional pilot. 

What Type of Professional Pilots Are There? 

There are two categories of professional pilots to cover here. The first professional pilot category is flying instructors. Professional flying instructors have completed their fundamental aviation training to qualify for their pilot licence. Furthermore, professional flying instructors have completed additional aviation training to become a Grade 1, Grade 2 or Grade 3 flying instructor. Each of these grades carries different privileges on what the instructor can oversee and sign-off. 

If you’re looking to read more on becoming a professional flying instructor, we have put together a number of posts that tell you all about it: 

  1. Flight Instructor Training Endorsements – All You Need To Know 
  1. Flight Instructor Rating – A Flying Start To Your Pilot Career 
  1. Pilot Profile: Chun Ki – From Student Pilot to Flight Instructor 
  1. Becoming A Flight Instructor – More Important Now Than Ever Before 
  1. Flight Instructor Rating – The Perfect Start For New Commercial Pilot Graduates 

The second category of professional pilots are commercial licenced pilots who are paid to fly aircraft in a variety of operations. This could include freight, passenger transport operations through a regional airline or an international airline, aerial observation pilots or more. We’ve written up a number of these career options in our post ‘A Guide To Professional Aviation Careers’.  

What Are The Pathways To Transition From Recreational Pilot to Professional Pilot? 

There are a number of ways you can become a professional pilot. If you’re looking to become a flying instructor, then the above posts are the best place to start. If you’re looking to become a commercial pilot who is paid for one of the many professional aviation careers that will become available to you, here are some pathways you can consider. 

#1 Enjoy Commercial Aviation Training at an Aviation Flight School 

If you’ve started training with a flight school, you can actually continue with the process. This can be with your current flight school or you’re able to transfer – Learn To Fly is accepting students all the time from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. 

There are some significant benefits of doing it this way. Firstly, the training is usually less expensive that your other options. Secondly, your training will be based around your experience, background and competency. This means that your background and training will come directly into consideration for your aviation flight training, which saves you both time and money. 

Additionally, you can have the opportunity to start working with your flight school as a flying instructor, which will help build your hours and provide an income. Many of the Learn To Fly instructors have also been students with us! 

You might decide to undertake an RPL, then PPL and CPL pathway, or you might want to undertake your Diploma of Aviation (CPL) or Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Rating).  

#2 Study Aviation Diploma or Bachelor

Some professional pilots may suggest that becoming a pilot through studying a diploma is a good option. This path has some positive aspects. For example, it aims to help you complete the syllabus and become a qualified commercial pilot. It also has a structured and routine approach similar to a university, which may appeal to some.

That being said, there are some downsides to consider, too. Most pilots who have gone down this path will also tell you it’s expensive. Many pilots finish with a significant debt. Secondly, there are absolutely no guarantees of employment when you’re complete. This means it might be tough paying off that debt for a while. 

Depending on where you’re at with your recreational flying, you might not receive credit or Recognition for Prior Learning. This means that you might be starting again, even if you have some aviation training and experience under your belt. 

With all of this in mind, there are some universities that have partnered with aviation training schools such as Learn To Fly to develop a commercial aviation training program that is very popular. For example, you can complete your Bachelor of Aviation through Learn To Fly, which is with Griffith University. This means that you’re undertaking a university course, but can have the benefits of a professional aviation training school and the potential employment opportunities and prospects that come with this. 

#3 Aviation Academies 

There are a number of aviation academies, largely run by airlines like Qantas. The upside is that it’s a valid and viable pathway to becoming a commercial pilot. The downsides are that it’s strictly limited for spaces and you often ‘owe’ the airlines a few years of your career. This is essentially the airline making sure they get their worth from you. A job isn’t guaranteed, either, so you can still carry a debt at the completion of your training. Similar to the university option, you’ll usually start the training from scratch and you may not receive full (or any) credits or Recognition for Prior Learning.  

What Pathway Do I follow?

Only you can decide which pathway is best for you, transitioning from recreational pilot to professional pilot. However, at Learn To Fly, we have all the expertise you could need to help you answer it.  

Chat with 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.

What Else Should I Know?

We’ve compiled a few useful posts that might help you out. Where ever you are on your aviation journey, the team at Learn To Fly Melbourne are here to help. We want you to pass your exams and have an excellent career, so please reach out if we can help support you through your course and studies!

Becoming A Flight Instructor – More Important Now Than Ever Before
We’ll discuss some of the benefits that explain why becoming a flight instructor is more important now than ever before.

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.

Flight Instructor Rating – The Perfect Start For New Commercial Pilot Graduates
What is the best way to get started and set yourself on the right career path for your dream pilot job? In our opinion, it all starts with a Flight Instructor Rating. Let’s find out why!

Flight Instructor Training Endorsements – All You Need To Know
In this blog we’ll outline the Flight Instructor Training Endorsements that are available. We’ll also guide you on how each of these endorsements can add value to your role as a Flight Instructor, and your progression as a professional pilot.

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Advancing Your Flight Skills: A Guide to Multi-Engine Training

‘Advancing Your Flight Skills: A Guide to Multi-Engine Training’ is for pilots wanting to expand their skills. Multi-engine flight training is the next step if you plan to take on more complex aircraft. Multi-engine aircraft have two or more engines. This added complexity requires specialized training to ensure the safety and proficiency of the pilot.

Multi-Engine Rating: A Whole New Aviation World

The multi-engine training path opens up a whole new range of opportunities in aviation. These skills are an essential requirement for a commercial pilot licence. Additionally, there are other benefits, such as engine redundancy and travel capability.

To start multi-engine training, you’ll need to have your Private Pilot Licence (PPL) or Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL).

Multi-Engine Training – The First Step

The first step in multi-engine flight training is ground school. Here, students will learn the basic principles of multi-engine aircraft systems. This engine operation, systems, and emergency procedures. From there, students will move on to flight training in a multi-engine aircraft. This starts with basic maneuvers and gradually works up to more advanced techniques.

Principles and Techniques

An important aspect of multi-engine flight training is mastering the art of engine management. This involves learning to operate and maintain the engines, including starting, stopping and running checks. Additionally, you’ll need to manage the effects of engine failure and learn how to respond.

Another key aspect of multi-engine flight training is mastering the aircraft systems. These are systems such as the electrical, fuel, and pressurization systems. These systems are critical to the safe operation of the aircraft. This means that understanding how they work is essential for maintaining aircraft control in different flight conditions.

The Multi-Engine Training Journey

As you progress through your multi-engine flight training, you will have the opportunity to take advanced courses. This means you can earn additional certifications, such as instructor ratings. These certifications open up a wide range of career opportunities for you. It could be flying for a major airline or working as a charter or corporate pilot.

Multi-Engine Training Challenges

Multi-engine flight training is not without its challenges. It requires a significant investment of time, money, and dedication. Additionally, there is added complexity when compared to a single-engine aircraft. This is because you need to monitor and control multiple engines and be familiar with the different systems. If you are passionate about flying, the rewards of multi-engine training are worth the effort!

What Else Should I Know?

The next step is to download the Multi-Engine Class Rating Course Guide. This has all the fundamental information you’ll need. Once you’ve read this information, get in touch with Learn To Fly Melbourne or fill out the enrolment form.

6 Reasons Private Pilots Should Get Multi-Engine Flight Training
Why private pilots should go for other endorsements and add-on ratings like instrument flight and multi-engine flight training.

Training Beyond The Private Pilot Licence (PPL)
After completing your Private Pilot Licence, you might wonder, “What’s next?” As strange as it may sound, many pilots are still keen to do more training after achieving their initial goals. Realistically, if you want to fly regularly or as a job, learning is ongoing. Let’s take a look at training beyond the Private Pilot Licence.

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Pilot Licence
This post will help you get the most out of your pilot licence in easy steps.

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.

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Aviation English Language Proficiency (AELP)

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has designated English as the standard language for radio communication and procedures in aviation worldwide. As the governing body for all aeronautical communication, ICAO is responsible for enforcing this international standard. However, for non-native English-speaking pilots, this can be an intimidating prospect. Even for those whose first language is English, it can still be challenging. To help you understand and navigate this topic, we will be discussing English Language Proficiency in Aviation. So, read on, and you’ll soon have a better grasp of the subject!

Why do we need Aviation English?

English has been established as the standard language for radio communication and procedures in aviation on a global level. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is tasked with the responsibility of enforcing this standardization across all aeronautical communication. For pilots who do not speak English as their first language, using it can be daunting. However, even those for whom English is their native language may find it challenging. To help you better understand and navigate this topic, we will delve into English Language Proficiency in Aviation. So, keep reading, and in no time, you’ll be well-versed in the subject!

Proficiency Is Key

ICAO places a significant emphasis on achieving English Language Proficiency Level 4 as the minimum operational level for pilots in aviation. Meeting these language requirements is a necessity for pilots who use aeronautical radios. To attain this level of proficiency, pilots must undergo an aviation English Language Proficiency (AELP) test that evaluates their verbal skills in English, specifically in aviation terminology. To hold an AELP as a pilot, you must also possess a Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) with a Flight Radio Endorsement, a Private Pilot Licence (PPL), a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL), or an Air Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL).

What is involved in the English Language Proficiency Test in Aviation?

To start, you must find an approved assessor for the aviation English Language Proficiency (AELP) test. According to CASA’s guidelines, the assessment typically lasts between 20 and 30 minutes.

The evaluation will focus specifically on your pronunciation, sentence structure, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension, and interactions. You will receive a score between 1 and 6 for each category, and the lowest score will be used as your overall rating. To pass the assessment, you must achieve a minimum proficiency level of ‘4,’ as stipulated by ICAO.

The test aims to determine your ability to communicate effectively in both voice-only and face-to-face situations. Additionally, you should be able to discuss common and work-related topics with accuracy and clarity while using appropriate communicative strategies to exchange messages and resolve misunderstandings. You should also be capable of handling linguistic challenges presented by unexpected events or complications in familiar work situations. Lastly, you should use a dialect or accent that is understandable to the aeronautical community.

What Does the Test Involve?

The AELP test mainly consists of questions and audio recordings. During the test, you will receive various passages where English is used in an aviation context, and you will be required to provide responses and interpretations. For instance, you may listen to a two-way communication via a radio and need to comprehend and explain the events that have taken place.

How Does the ICAO Rating Apply?

The performance rating system for the aviation English Language Proficiency test uses a scale of 1 to 6 for each area of assessment. A score of 6 is deemed ‘expert’, 5 is ‘Extended’, and 4 is ‘operational’ – all of which are considered sufficient. However, if you receive a score of 3 (‘pre-operational’), 2 (‘elementary’), or 1 (‘pre-elementary’), you will not pass the test. A minimum score of ‘4’ is required to pass, which means achieving the following outcomes:

  • Pronunciation: Regional or first language influences may sometimes affect pronunciation, but they do not usually impede understanding.
  • Structure: The speaker can usually control and creatively use basic grammatical structures and sentence patterns. Errors may occur in unusual situations, but they rarely impact meaning.
  • Vocabulary: The speaker generally has adequate vocabulary range and accuracy in communicating effectively on common, concrete, and work-related topics. They can often rephrase effectively in unexpected circumstances where vocabulary is lacking.
  • Fluency: The speaker can produce language at an appropriate pace, with occasional loss of fluency when transitioning from rehearsed to spontaneous speech. The use of discourse markers or connectors is limited, and fillers are not distracting.
  • Comprehension: The speaker can usually comprehend common, concrete, and work-related topics accurately, even with varied accents or dialects. However, due to linguistic or situational complications or unexpected events, comprehension may slow down or require clarification.

The following table summarizes the six assessment areas and the corresponding rating system.

The ICAO English Language Proficiency assessment matrix. You must score a minimum of 4 in all columns to pass.

How Often Should I Do The AELP?

Your proficiency in English language for aviation purposes will be retested every 6 years. If you scored a 6, you do not have to retake the test as it does not expire. On the other hand, if you scored a 4, you have the chance to improve your score to a 5 or 6 in your next assessment. However, it is also possible to score lower since each test result is independent of the previous one.

What Is Different Between GELP & AELP?

The GELP (Global English Language Proficiency) test evaluates your proficiency in using English in everyday situations and differs from the language assessment test for aviation purposes. It is intended for individuals who are new to aviation training or who utilize aviation air-band radios, like those holding a Recreational Pilot Licence without a Flight Radio Endorsement, or for those

Is anything Else Should I Know?

At Learn To Fly Melbourne, we’re dedicated to helping you achieve your aviation goals. That’s why we’ve curated some useful posts that could benefit you. No matter where you are in your aviation journey, our team is always available to provide guidance and assistance. We’re committed to your success, so please don’t hesitate to contact us if you require any help with your course or studies!

Becoming A Flight Instructor – More Important Now Than Ever Before
We’ll discuss some of the benefits that explain why becoming a flight instructor is more important now than ever before.

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.

Flight Instructor Rating – The Perfect Start For New Commercial Pilot Graduates
What is the best way to get started and set yourself on the right career path for your dream pilot job? In our opinion, it all starts with a Flight Instructor Rating. Let’s find out why!

Flight Instructor Training Endorsements – All You Need To Know
In this blog we’ll outline the Flight Instructor Training Endorsements that are available. We’ll also guide you on how each of these endorsements can add value to your role as a Flight Instructor, and your progression as a professional pilot.

Chat with 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.

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A Guide To Professional Aviation Careers

Aviation can be an incredible journey for you. You’re allowed to dream and you’re allowed to have fun – that’s why we’ve put together a guide to professional aviation careers!

Aviation is a world filled with opportunity. With opportunities comes the need to make decisions: what is the aviation career path for you? One of the most important considerations in making these decisions is that you don’t have to make one choice. You can actually make multiple. For example, you might choose to fly recreationally, before joining the Australian Defence Forces. Or you might choose to be an instructor whilst you increase your hours on your way to becoming a Royal Flying Doctor Service pilot or a Commercial Airline pilot.

If you’re in the process of thinking about what you’d like to do with your aviation career, here is a brief guide to professional aviation careers to help.

Become A Flying Instructor

The first aviation career option, in our guide to professional aviation careers, happens to be the most attainable option. A flying instructor! Once you complete your basic training, it’s not a huge leap to becoming a flight instructor and getting paid to fly. Once an instructor, you may decide you like it and keep going – many pilots do! But given you’ll be getting paid to fly, you’ll also be increasing your hours and experience which can open doors to other aviation career options.

There are different levels of instructors (mainly Grade 1, 2 and 3), with Grade 1 instructors being the most senior. The difference between each level is what student (or instructor) operations you can sign off. You can find out more about our Flying Instructor courses here.

Fixed Wing Military Pilot

Australia’s defence forces include a range of aviation-based roles that might be the right fit for you. Pairing world-class training and equipment with a supportive team-based career, it’s easy to understand why some people love this option.

Jobs can include a Fixed Wing Pilot, a Fast Jet Pilot, or a range of aeronautical support options.

If you’re aiming for the military, you have the option to start from scratch with your application. That being said, you can also commence your aviation dreams and start learning to fly, then transfer into a military role to continue your education and training. The benefit of the latter is you can try and enjoy aviation before you commit to military requirements and minimum terms of service.

Chartered Flight Operations Pilot

Chartered flights occur every day for one reason or another. From tourism and sightseeing flights to private charters and specialised transport, pilots on chartered flight operations are required to be flexible and available to suit the passengers or cargo.

This career option can be a nice change from RPT flight operations on larger airlines, and chartered flight operations are typically in smaller aircraft which can feel more adventurous. This can also be a great stepping stone if you’re trying to advance your career towards a more specialised or senior aviation position, such as advancing to regional or international airlines.

Additionally, some chartered flight operations are flexible in that you can have another income or profession at the same time, rather than flying full-time. If this sounds like it could be you, then this is a career option to look into!

Regional Airline Pilot

Regional airlines are known for repeat passenger transport operations on small and mid-sized aircraft. You might be flying to Australia’s large airports as well as smaller regional airports. This might include Rex, Air Link, Air North, Alliance Airlines, Hinterland Aviation or another airline. Some of them are much smaller, others are bigger and more frequent.

If your end game is becoming a commercial airline pilot, then this is a very common and sensible option to advance your career towards your goal.

Royal Flying Doctor Service

In our guide to professional aviation careers, this is a big dream for many pilots so we’ll cover it more thoroughly! The Royal Flying Doctor Service is a rich piece of Australian history, dating back over 100 years from when Reverend John Flynn first founded the aeromedical service. The RFDS has five different aircraft in the fleet:

  • 1. The Pilatus PC-12
  • 2. The Pilatus PC-24 (used in SA/NT and WA)
  • 3. The King Air B350 C
  • 4. The King Air B200 C (used in Qld, NSW, Victoria and Tasmania)
  • 5. and the new Beechcraft King Air 360CHW turboprop aircraft (used in QLD).

Being a critical medical aviation service, the Royal Flying Doctor Service has a high standard for its pilots. It’s quite an achievement to become a pilot for the RFDS.

For an aeromedical pilot, the RFDS typically looks for:

  • Hold a current Command Instrument Rating with four or more renewals – preference for Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating
  • Hold a current Australian ATPL or CPL
  • Hold a current Australian Class 1 medical in Single Pilot Operations
  • 4,000 hours of flying time in total
  • 2,000 hours as Pilot in Command
  • 1,000 as Pilot in Command of Multi-engine aircraft
  • 200 hours as Pilot in Command at night
  • 200 hours of instrument time
  • Turbine Experience

For Primary Health Care Pilots (Pressurised Aircraft), they typically look for:

  • Hold a current Command Instrument Rating with three or more renewals – preference for Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating
  • Hold a current Australian ATPL or CPL
  • Hold a current Australian Class 1 medical in Single Pilot Operations
  • 3,000 hours of flying time in total
  • 1,500 hours as Pilot in Command
  • 1,000 as Pilot in Command of Multi-engine aircraft
  • 150 hours as Pilot in Command at night
  • 150 hours of instrument time
  • Turbine Experience
  • Three instrument rating renewals

Additionally, they will typically look for the following:

  • Australian Citizenship, Residency or approved work Visa
  • An Australian Command Multi Engine Instrument Rating, or military equivalent
  • Undergo a pre-employment drug and alcohol test
  • Maintain a current Aviation Security Identification Card (ASIC),
  • Hold a current driver’s licence
  • Hold a Blue Card issued by the Commission for Children and Young People.

Domestic Airline Pilot or International Airline Pilot

Becoming a First Officer on a Boeing 737…what a dream!

Generally speaking, you generally become a domestic airline pilot first and then gain enough experience before turning to international airlines and flights. Gaining entry into domestic and international airlines can be achieved. The best approach is to look at the entry requirements for consideration and then work backwards to understand what it is you need to do.

If there are several thousand hours required for a First Officer position, work back to what positions or jobs you could hold to gain those hours. Don’t give up – stay focussed and you can live that dream.

For an airline like Virgin Australia, a First Officer applicant for a 737 will have:

  • A current Australian ATPL or Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) and passes in all Australian ATPL theory subjects
  • Australian Instrument Rating with MEA, IAP 2D and IAP 3D endorsement- English language proficiency Level 6
  • A valid Australian Class 1 Medical Certificate
  • Have a minimum total flight time of 500 hours with 300 hours in command of a powered fixed-wing aircraft (excluding ICUS), which includes 200 hours in command of a multi-engine aircraft (excluding ICUS), or
  • Have a minimum total flight time of 500 hours with 300 hours in command of a turbine-powered fixed-wing aircraft, or
  • Have a minimum total flight time of 500 hours on aircraft certified for operation by a crew of at least 2 pilots (multi-crew aircraft).

Other Jobs

Still looking beyond our guide to professional aviation careers? There are also other career options throughout the aviation industry that might be worth looking into if they interest you. For example, there are surveillance aircraft that need pilots, ferrying pilots, and test pilots – there are plenty of aviation positions available!

It all starts with getting your licence, then adding your endorsements, and then working towards your dream position step by step. It’s been done before, so you can do it too!

If you’re not sure where to start, or if you’re ready to advance your aviation career to the next level, now is your chance to get in touch with our team at Learn To Fly!

What Else Should I Know?

We’ve compiled a few useful posts that might help you out. Where ever you are on your aviation journey, the team at Learn To Fly Melbourne are here to help. We want you to pass your exams and have an excellent career, so please reach out if we can help support you through your course and studies!

Becoming A Flight Instructor – More Important Now Than Ever Before
We’ll discuss some of the benefits that explain why becoming a flight instructor is more important now than ever before.

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.

Flight Instructor Rating – The Perfect Start For New Commercial Pilot Graduates
What is the best way to get started and set yourself on the right career path for your dream pilot job? In our opinion, it all starts with a Flight Instructor Rating. Let’s find out why!

Flight Instructor Training Endorsements – All You Need To Know
In this blog we’ll outline the Flight Instructor Training Endorsements that are available. We’ll also guide you on how each of these endorsements can add value to your role as a Flight Instructor, and your progression as a professional pilot.

Chat with 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.

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Common Misconceptions About Becoming an Airline Pilot

Flying lessons, cadet pilot interview preparation, and flight training are all part of the process of becoming an airline pilot. But once you’ve been accepted into training, what’s next?

When you think about becoming an airline pilot, you probably have visions of flying worldwide and seeing the sights from above. You might even imagine yourself being able to take off and land anywhere in the world. While these are all great things about being an airline pilot, there are some misconceptions people have about what it’s like to be a commercial airline pilot.

In this blog post, we’ll explore some common misconceptions about becoming an airline pilot.

Myths Debunked: 5 Misconceptions About an Airplane Pilot

The airline industry is one of the most exciting, rewarding, and challenging professions in the world.

An airline pilot flies for an airline. He or she is responsible for flying a large complex aircraft that can safely transport hundreds of people from one place to another. 

Airline pilots are in high demand, but there are misconceptions about what it takes to become an airline pilot.

Here are five myths debunked:

Myth # 1: You have to be wealthy to become an airline pilot

While it’s true that pilot training can be expensive, it’s money well spent. If you go into aviation as a career, you may expect to make 33 times as much money as you put into your education and related costs.

The exams you’ll take to get into aviation schools are similar to those you’ll take to get into any other kind of school; they’re designed to help you learn more about your skills and shortcomings. It’s not as tough as you would think to get into aviation school. The school is equipped to teach you the necessary mechanical and technical skills for the course if you have none already. Tools are available to help you improve your abilities and address your weaknesses.

Also, the Australian Commonwealth Government’s Vet Student Loans (VSL) programme provides financial aid to qualified full-fee paying students so that they may focus on their studies rather than their finances. So, they may go to school, get a job in their field, and pay back their loans over the course of their working life.

Learn To Fly Australia is a VET course provider that is dedicated to helping the future generation of pilots succeed in the aviation industry.

Myth # 2: If you wear glasses, you can’t be a pilot

Some people who wear glasses think that they cannot become pilots. This is a misconception because most airlines have no restrictions on the type of glasses that can be worn when flying. If your vision impairment can be corrected with glasses or contacts, you can legally pilot an aeroplane. The only requirement is that they must not interfere with the flight instruments or vision.

Myth # 3: AUTOPILOT performs the tasks

The notion is so offensive that it threatens the profession of commercial aircraft pilots. However, once at cruising altitude, the plane does not fly itself, despite what many skilled pilots say. There are several instruments and technologies available to help pilots out when they’re in the air. However, it still requires a skilled expert to make the necessary changes depending on the data they’re presented with to keep the plane aloft.

Myth # 4: Establishing a family is challenging

The long hours that pilots put in away from home might be seen as a perk of the work by some or a major drawback by others, depending on their personality. While some people in the aviation industry may spend a lot of time on the go, airlines have made it a priority in recent years to create work schedules that allow pilots to be on duty for multiple days before getting almost as many days off as they are on.

Myth # 5: Becoming a pilot can make you wealthy

Airline pilot salary is not as obscenely high as some people think. However, most pilots employed with an airline are able to make a decent living wage. Even pilots who are towards the end of their careers can still make well over six figures. In Australia, the average pilot salary is $105,756 per year, which is well above the median Australian salary of $65,000.

However, almost all students must take out sizable debts to cover the cost of tuition, and there is no assurance that they will find employment upon graduation. A lot of rookie pilots start with debts of over $130,000.

A Career Path as An Airline Pilot Is Achievable with The Right Training and Commitment!

The aviation community is filled with misconceptions about what it takes to become an airline pilot. There are many requirements and long hours, but it’s not impossible. You just need to be willing to put in the work.

Flying lessons are the first step in becoming a pilot, but they’re not the only ones. To become an airline pilot, you need to be committed to your career and willing to put in the work. You should have a passion for aviation and a desire to learn new things daily. If you can do this, then becoming an airline pilot is not only achievable, but it’s also rewarding!

At Learn to Fly, we offer flying lessons for all experience levels and ages. Our instructors will help you become a better pilot with their knowledge and expertise. We also offer preparations for cadet pilot interviews so that you can get an idea of what it’s like to be an airline pilot from someone who has been there before! Whether you want to be an airline pilot or simply enjoy flying as a hobby, we can help you get there!

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Pilot Profile: Chun Ki – From Student Pilot to Flight Instructor

Chun Ki (Peter) Cheung was born in Hong Kong before he moved to Australia with big dreams of aviation. He started his training at the age of 18, completing his CPL, MECIR and FIR training with Learn to Fly. Upon completion, his aviation employment began immediately – with us, as a Grade 3 instructor! Our PILOT PROFILE: Chun Ki’s post aims to follow Chun Ki’s footsteps so that you can learn from his achievements.

Before beginning his aviation journey, Chun Ki had the option of going to university and completing an aviation degree. But this isn’t always the best pathway to take. Now at the age of 22, Chun Ki has over 1,100 flying hours logged and he will become a Grade 1 instructor within a few months from now. Better still, he now has the choice of completing a part-time or online Bachelor’s degree, or he can focus on flying and in 1 or 2 years’ time he’ll be very eligible for an airline job if he wants one. Or, he could even be a flight examiner by the age of 24 or 25. He has plenty of options and opportunities!

We caught up with Chun Ki to ask about his goals and what he’s learnt during his aviation journey. If Chun Ki’s journey sounds like it could be for you, read on and enjoy PILOT PROFILE: Chun Ki!

When you were looking at your aviation study options, what were the considerations you were weighing?

Chun Ki:  

The big items for me were the qualification I would be obtaining, and the career opportunities thereafter. The most common pathways are usually through university or a private flight school. The question was, ‘are there major differences in the qualifications from both?’. The answer is no – the pilot licence at the end is the exact same piece of paper, regardless of where you obtained it. The next question was ‘which would be better?’. From my perspective, the university degree didn’t contribute much to your flying experience when it comes to employment, and it’s expensive – without any guarantees of employment. This is why the private flying school was the better option for me. 

What led you to study with Learn To Fly (LTF), rather than another option like a university?

Chun Ki:

I was first signing up with LTF under their job guarantee program. Basically, I will be doing all my training with LTF and at the end, I will be employed as a flight instructor under LTF. Becoming a flight instructor is a great way to build up your flying hours before applying to any airline. It also increases your competitiveness among other pilots. I selected LTF rather than university because of the time duration and cost. University is costly and involved a lot of extra assessments and assignments for your Bachelor’s Degree. This also means the duration is much longer, in comparison to a private flight school.  

What are your long-term goals in aviation, and how do you think you’ll be able to achieve it/them?

Chun Ki:

Working for airlines flying the big birds one day! I am building up my hours and widening my range of experience (multiengine hours etc.).

What are your short-term goals in aviation, and how do you think you will be able to achieve them?

Chun Ki:

I am looking to get my Multi-Engine Training Endorsement (META), Instrument Rating Training Endorsement (IRTE) and Grade 1 Flight Instructor Rating before turning 23 years old. It would be a significant milestone in my career. I am spending my spare time looking up the course briefs and information in preparation for actually starting the training. 

Given the aviation journey you’ve followed, what are the main lessons you’ve learned that you think others could benefit from?

Chun Ki: 

Do not let external factors get into your decision-making process, in terms of ‘should you go up or not?’.

When you began, did you have the same goals that you have now? Or have they changed?

Chun Ki: 

Personally, my goals have always been the same. Still, I’ve found new goals have arisen through my training. For example, becoming a better instructor than yesterday.

You could be a flight examiner very soon – do you think you will do that, and if so, what is the attraction for you?

Chun Ki: 

There is still a long way to go. You will need to be a G1 Flight Instructor for at least 12 months, with all other extra hours and requirements. However, I would love to become a flight examiner if I have a chance. I’d love to witness the new generation of pilots growing from flight test to flight test

You started as a G3 instructor, and soon you could be a G1 instructor. What has been beneficial about the training and qualification in your experiences?

Chun Ki:

I was only 19 years old when I was granted my flight instructor rating. Working as a flight instructor is more than ‘just being an instructor’ – It has a huge influence on my personal development and growth in all aspects. For example, I’ve learned how to adjust my approach to different age groups of students. The higher your grade you are, the more responsibilities you have. As a G2, you are able to send First Solo. And for G1, you are able to supervise G3 instructors. (Just FYI, if you are a G3 instructor, you will need to have supervision from a G1 instructor before your flight). I can definitely see myself growing with my job.

In our Pilot Profile we’re always looking for key lessons, Chun Ki! If someone else followed in your footsteps, what are the other opportunities or careers that they might want to consider?

Chun Ki: 

Upon finishing the MECIR, it increases the range of opportunities for employment. Other options I could have taken were becoming a Jump Pilot, or a Charter Pilot up to the north. These are the most common pathways, rather than becoming a flight instructor to build up hours. Not everyone will be interested in instructing people in a way. If you keep your options open, you will find out what is best for you whilst you are still learning.

So there is it! That’s our Pilot Profile on Chun Ki (Peter) Cheung. If you’d like to get in touch with Learn To Fly to start your pilot training, hat with one of our flight training specialists by emailing [email protected] or go to https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour!

What Else Should I Know?

We’ve compiled a few useful posts that might help you out. Where ever you are on your aviation journey, the team at Learn To Fly Melbourne are here to help. We want you to pass your exams and have an excellent career, so please reach out if we can help support you through your course and studies!

Becoming A Flight Instructor – More Important Now Than Ever Before
We’ll discuss some of the benefits that explain why becoming a flight instructor is more important now than ever before.

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.

Flight Instructor Rating – The Perfect Start For New Commercial Pilot Graduates
What is the best way to get started and set yourself on the right career path for your dream pilot job? In our opinion, it all starts with a Flight Instructor Rating. Let’s find out why!

Flight Instructor Training Endorsements – All You Need To Know
In this blog we’ll outline the Flight Instructor Training Endorsements that are available. We’ll also guide you on how each of these endorsements can add value to your role as a Flight Instructor, and your progression as a professional pilot.

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Airspace & Safety Notice For Avalon Airshow 2023

The Australian International Airshow at Avalon Airport will be open to the public from Friday the 3rd to Sunday the 5th of March 2023.


To facilitate flying displays, flight crew practising routines and the arrival and departure of
participating aircraft, the airspace around Avalon Airport will be temporarily restricted for the protection of everyone. Temporary Restricted Areas are in place from Monday, February 20th to Monday, March 6th.

Changes To Airspace and Procedures

There have been changes to the dimensions of the Temporary Restricted Areas (TRA) from previous events and TRA activity times have been extended to include the week preceding the airshow.

Avalon East will not be available for aircraft flying in. Lethbridge Aerodrome (YLED) has been nominated as an alternate with a bus ferry service carrying participants to Avalon. Anticipate a large volume of traffic into and out of YLED from Friday 03/03/2023 to Sunday 05/03/2023.

Temporary Restricted Areas

Temporary Restricted Areas (TRA) will be active from 02 200100 to 03 060700 UTC (12:00 on 20/02/2023 to 18:00 on 06/03/2023).

Check ML FIR NOTAM (YMMM) for changes. C158/23, C160/23 & C161/23 are currently on issue.

Significant Issues

Caution must be exercised navigating in the vicinity of the Avalon TRA to avoid infringing the restricted airspace and to avoid AIRPROX with increased traffic densities.


1. YMAV Class D and overlying Class E become restricted airspace from ground level to FL245.

2. Class E airspace to the north and south of YMAV becomes restricted airspace from 1500ft to FL245.

3. Airspace within 12nm DME west of AV becomes restricted airspace from 1500ft – FL245.

4. Limited terrain clearance west of YMAV in the vicinity of Mount Anakie (Elev. 1306 feet).

5. Large volume of traffic operating into and out of YMAV.

6. Large volume of traffic operating into and out of YLED.

Chat with 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.

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Pilot Theory Exam Preparation

Learning to fly is extremely exciting and rewarding, but there are theory exam checkpoints along the way that are crucial to becoming a great pilot. If exams aren’t your forte, you don’t need to worry! We have summarised everything you need to know here, and we have more helpful content coming your way.

Before we get into our pilot theory exam preparation tips, there’s one key lesson that you should remember before you attempt your pilot theory exams. If you don’t pass an exam, it is not a failure. In fact, it’s an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to improve, to become a better pilot and to master the knowledge that will accelerate you into your recreational or commercial pilot career.

Many pilots will tell you about the errors that they’ve made along the way and the improvements that they caused.

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance it means that you genuinely care about your pilot theory exam results. That’s the first sign that you’re on the way to becoming a great pilot. Now, let’s get you ready for your pilot theory exam preparation.

Lesson 1: It can be done!

Many pilots have flown the skies before you. Do you know what this means? It means that the theory exams are passable, and you can do them too. The first step in exam preparation is knowing that the exams aren’t there to trip you up, but to make sure you know your stuff. If others can do it, so can you.

Setup Your Exam Preparation Timetable

Treat exam preparation like it’s your job. You can set up a weekly timetable, with daily tasks to check off. This helps you achieve a few things. Firstly, it creates a structure for your learning so that you’re not cramming everything into a last-minute panic. Secondly, it breaks things up into smaller tasks so that the study and preparation aren’t so overwhelming.

Finally, it also breaks up your study blocks into reasonable amounts of time. One or two hours of study per day will mean you are much more focused during your study, which helps with information retention. If you try to study too much, for too long, you’ll exhaust your mind and struggle to remember details.

Repetition Is Key

One of the best learning techniques is repetition, so use it to your advantage. A great way to do this in your pilot theory exam preparation is by using practice questions and exams to repeat the process of comprehending a question and forming the correct answer.

In addition to this, you should record your results on the questions and practice exams. Each time you attempt them, you’ll note your progress and improvement. You will also notice the areas where you might need more work. Identifying these areas means you can focus your time improve where you need a bit more practice.

Similarly, you should start to time yourself through the exams. You should be aiming to pass successfully within the allocated timeframe.

Know Your Exam Resources

Are you familiar with the tools and resources you can take for your exams? Do you know how to use them and find information quickly? Some exams have different tools and permitted materials. This can also change slightly if you’re undertaking an internal exam with your school, or if you’re undertaking a CASA exam.

Most pilots agree that you should pick your one set of study materials, and stick with them. Whatever the case, find out what you’re allowed to take into the exam and make sure you’re using those resources the entire way through your exam preparation.

When it comes to exam day, you will have mastered your resources and you’ll be well-positioned to find information and answer questions in a timely manner. When you can do this, it makes the exams much less stressful – you’ll know how to use your tools and equipment (such as a flight computer), and you’ll know where to look to answer your questions.

Know When To Ask For Help

If you’re finding some questions or topics difficult to master, don’t break your study streak with frustration! If you need help, you should always be ready to ask. Depending on what support you need, you have a number of options.

There might be classes at your local school that cover the topic you need help with (for example, meteorology). Or you can ask a fellow flight training student to help you out – and you might be able to help them! For lots of simple things, you can join social media groups and pages – there is a constant stream of students, and perhaps one of them has a way of learning or remembering a topic that will help you.

Another option is to arrange a private or joint tutorial with an instructor – they’re always happy to do so!

Know When To Ask For Help

The only thing as important as your pilot theory exam preparation is taking a break… from your pilot theory exam preparation. Even whilst you’re having a day off, your mind will still have flight training concepts and lessons lurking in the background. Switching off from them occasionally can help you switch them on when you need to. A fresh mind is a productive mind.

Similarly, you should be aiming to study in structured pieces of time. This is somewhat dependent on the topic you’re working on and your personal attention span. If you’re finding that after 45 minutes you’re struggling to focus, it’s time to make a cup of tea and walk outside for a moment, before getting back into the books.

How Much Study Is Enough?

There is passing your exams and really passing your exams. The best pilots always aim for the latter.

There is no minimum or maximum amount of study that is required, it’s simply the amount of time that it takes you to achieve the best that you can. Below are some indicative study time commitments that have been reported amongst some of our students. Again, this isn’t a requirement but it can help give you an indication as to what time commitments you should make if you want to become an exceptional pilot. Ultimately you will need to study for the amount of time that it takes you to achieve the level of preparation that you are comfortable with.

RPL exams – Most people pass with 26 to 50 hours of exam preparation and revision.

  1. PPL Exam – Think in terms of 50 to 75 hours for class, tuition, home study and general reading for each exam.

CPL Exams – Many students report around 75 to 100 hours of class, tuition, home study and general reading for each exam.

ATPL Exam – 50 – 75 hours per subject.

ATPL Flight Planning exam – 55 – 80 hours.

How Much Study Is Enough?

Everyone can excel or struggle with different exams, strengths and weaknesses. Having said that, the exams that take more time and preparation amongst the majority of students are:

1. CPL Performance

2. IREX

3. CPL Meteorology

4. PPL

5. CPL Aircraft General Knowledge

The first two exams are particularly reported as needing more preparation – but with focus and support, you can pass!

Exam Day

Once exam day arrives, there’s only so much you can do – you’ve already done the hard work. Here’s what you should focus on:

  1. 1. Get a good night’s rest.
  2. 2. Have your exam materials ready to go the night before, so that all you need to do is show up.
  3. 3. Eat well and stay hydrated before the exam.
  4. 4. Read each question twice to ensure you understand and look for common traps.
  5. 5. Mark any questions that you might stumble on. Finish everything else, then focus on the tough ones.
  6. 6. Check all of your questions and answers to watch for basic errors.
  7. 7. Don’t be tempted to leave early. Keep checking your work and attempting every question.
  8. 8. When the exam time is over, go and do something fun to get your mind off it. It’s done. Now it’s time to wait and see!

What Else Should I Know?

We’ve compiled a few useful posts that might help you out. Where ever you are on your flight training journey, the team at Learn To Fly Melbourne are here to help. We want you to pass your exams and have an excellent career, so please reach out if we can help support you through your course and studies!

Tips On How To Pass Pilot Theory Exams
Here we give you the scoop on what to expect and provide some tips on how to pass pilot theory exams.

  1. Aviation Schools in Melbourne: Why Learn to Fly is Your Best Bet
    The aviation school you choose will make a big difference in your flight training journey. Here’s why you should learn with the best!
  2. Flight Schools in Australia – How Do I Choose the Right One?
    Here is a breakdown of what kinds of schools are available, and how the different environments can affect what your learning experience will be like. 

Learn To Fly: Flight Training Courses For Every Pilot
We have every aviation course you need, including recreational or commercial. This post discusses the pathways and career options for pilots operating in Australia.

Training Beyond The Private Pilot Licence (PPL)
After completing your Private Pilot Licence you might wonder, “what’s next?” As strange as it may sound, many pilots are still keen to do more training after achieving their initial goals. Realistically, if you want to fly regularly or as a job, learning is ongoing. Let’s take a look at training beyond the Private Pilot Licence.

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Pilot Licence
This post will help you get the most out of your pilot licence in easy steps.

Chat with 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.

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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.

Takeaway

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!

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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.

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Upcoming Learn To Fly Events

Learn To Fly enjoys being involved in the wider aviation community. Throughout the year we participate in or host a range of events.

Learn To Fly In-Person One-On-One Training Consultations HK & Singapore 2023

📆 Singapore 27th JAN – 1st FEB 2023
🕙 11am to 7pm
📍 Level 11, Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 1, 8 Marina Blvd, 018981, Singapore

📆 Hong Kong 3rd FEB – 8th FEB 2023
🕙 11am to 7pm
📍 Level 19, Two Chinachem Central, No. 26 Des Voeux Road, Central, Hong Kong

Come along and learn about flight training at our 2023 Learn To Fly In-Person One-On-One Training Consultations in Hong Kong & Singapore and meet one of our flight school representatives.

We have 1 hour sessions available from 11am to 7pm. Click the link below to reserve your spot:

Book Hong Kong Face-to-Face Meeting

Book Singapore Face-to-Face Meeting

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Past Recent Events:

Learn To Fly Melbourne Open Day | Melbourne Australia | OCT 2022

Seminar: How To Become an Airline Pilot in Singapore in 2022 | Singapore | Oct 1st 2022

In-Person 1-on-1 Flight Training Consultations | Hong Kong | Sept 22-27th 2022

Webinar: Applying for the Cathay Cadet Pilot Program in 2022 | Sept 20th 2022

📆 Stay tuned to our social media for free flight training content, flight school life, and future event announcements at https://linktr.ee/learntoflymelbourne

If you would like to find out more about learning to fly, you can email our flight training specialists at [email protected]. You can also visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and a tour of our Moorabbin Airport training base.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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-Endorsement
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.

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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.

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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%.
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How Do I Apply for Direct Entry to Cathay Pacific?

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

Step 1: CPL with MECIR

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

Step 2: Increase Your Hours

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

Great News!

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

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

Step 3: Gain Endorsements and Experience

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

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

Step 4: Check You’ve Completed All Requirements

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

Step 5: Apply!

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

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

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

Need a Bit More Help?

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

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

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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.

Takeaway

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!

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How Do Autopilot Systems Work On A Plane?

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

What is Autopilot?

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

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

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

When Do We Use Autopilot?

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


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

How Does Autopilot Work?

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

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

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

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

Is Putting the Plane on Autopilot Safe?

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

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

Is Putting the Plane on Autopilot Safe?

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

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

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

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. 2. Choose the right time

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

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

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

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

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

  1. 4. Choose a flight school

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

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

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

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

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

  1. 5. Option to do the theory online?

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

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

Training Videos

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

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

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

Our social media offers free flight training videos and much more – so, give us a follow at https://linktr.ee/learntoflymelbourne

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Answering Some FAQs About Learning How to Fly

Aspiring pilots, welcome!

Learning to fly takes time and effort, but it’s worth it. Not only will you be able to see the world from a whole new perspective, but becoming a pilot also opens up many doors for you—especially if you’re interested in becoming a commercial pilot.

You may have questions about how to get started with this career path and how to become a pilot in Australia, so we’ve put together this blog to answer some common questions we hear at our flying school, Learn To Fly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most-asked questions we get asked on how to become a commercial pilot:

1.    How many years does it take to become a pilot in Australia?

The time to train and obtain your licence will depend on the type of licence and the time you spend working towards meeting your flying requirements.

An Integrated Bachelor of Aviation takes around three years, whereas a Private Pilot Licence (PPL) can take around 4 to 6 weeks (if flying and studying full time). While attending a school to obtain your flying licence, you must complete your practical training for licence type. For a non-integrated course, a minimum of 35 hours of flying experience as a pilot, 10 hours of solo flight time, and 5 hours of cross-country flight time are required to earn a private pilot licence.

On the other hand, the minimum training for an integrated course commercial pilot licence is 140 hours as the pilot, 70 hours as the pilot in command, and 20 hours of pilot in command in a cross-country flight. The necessary training increases to 200 hours as a pilot and 100 hours as a pilot in command for a non-integrated course.

2.    How much does it cost to become a pilot in Australia?

The cost to become a commercial pilot in Australia varies depending on your chosen route. A standard 4-year bachelor’s degree in aviation with a major in Commercial Aviation can cost between AUD40,000 – AUD117.940.

If you’re looking for a more accessible way to pilot a plane, you may want to consider getting your Private Pilot Licence first. This is usually done through an approved flight school like Learn to Fly and will cost anywhere between $8,000 – $25,000.

3.    What qualifications do you need to become a pilot in Australia?

To become a pilot in Australia, you must be 15 years or over. For a commercial pilot in Australia, you must complete an approved course with an aviation college or university. This course will include ground school training, flight theory, and practical exams. You must also pass the CASA medical examination and have your commercial pilot’s licence (CPL) before you can apply to fly commercially.

4.    Are pilots in demand in Australia?

There is a high demand for pilots in Australia. This is mainly because there are not enough pilots to meet the needs of the industry. There are implications in Australia as a result of the worldwide pilot shortage. During the pandemic, airlines throughout the world reduced their staff pilots. The major pilot organisation in Australia, the Australian Federation of Air Pilots, reports that during COVID-19, over 23% of its members were laid off. The airlines are getting back on track sooner than expected, but pilot shortages are causing some problems.

Australia will require an additional 11,000 pilots by 2038, according to the New South Wales government in November 2021, and there will be a rising demand abroad for Australian-trained pilots.

5.    How long does it take to be a commercial airline pilot?

The answer depends on several factors, including the type of certificate you are pursuing and the type of experience you already have. Aspiring pilots need the Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL), Instrument Rating, and 1500 hours of flying time to qualify for the Airline Transport Pilot Certificate, which is required to work for an airline. In some cases, such as with a relevant bachelor’s degree, the minimum required hours might be lowered to 1,000.

It can take 7–10 months to go from having never flown before to having earned a Private Pilot License, an Instrument Rating, and a Commercial Pilot License, and it can take another 1 to 3 years in the workforce before reaching the required 1,500 flying hours.

6.    Can you become a pilot without a degree?

To become a pilot for a major airline, you need not attend a specialised aviation university or even have a degree in aviation. Indeed, big airlines hire people with bachelor’s degrees in any discipline and aren’t picky about what they studied. In reality, the degree serves more as evidence of the applicant’s skills, dedication, and persistence than anything else.

7.    Is becoming a pilot worth it?

The answer to this question is not always easy because it depends on many factors, such as the type of flying you want to do, the level of education needed, and your financial situation. The average salary for a commercial airline pilot ranges from AUD45,000 to AUD200,000 per year. That’s a lot of money, considering you don’t necessarily need a college degree! However, if you decide that flying is not for you, you can become an air traffic controller or even work for an airline management company, which pays equally well.

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Give Your Loved Ones the Gift of Taking to the Skies this Christmas with a Trial Introductory Flight

As the festive season gets underway, many of us will be looking to treat our loved ones to something special. And what better gift than the chance to experience the thrill of flying?

If you’re looking for something that will make them feel like they’re soaring through the clouds, we’ve got just the thing! With a trial introductory flight from Learn to Fly, you can give someone you love an incredible experience and set them on their way to becoming a pilot.

Learn to Fly offers trial introductory flight and solo flight training in a well-maintained training fleet of contemporary and classic aircraft, so no matter what kind of flying experience you want to share with your family members or friends, we can help make it happen. These flights are ideal for anyone who has thought about learning to fly or just wants to try something different.

What is a Trial Introductory Flight?

A trial introductory flight is a fun, low-pressure opportunity to experience flying with qualified instructors. There will be around 45 minutes of actual flying time throughout the lesson. Its purpose is to give you a feel for flying before committing to a pilot licence for either professional or recreational purposes. If you’ve never flown before, a Trial Introductory Flight (TIF) is a great way to get an overview of the basics.

Someone who has demonstrated an interest in aviation, has a strong passion for aviation or is just someone who enjoys experiencing new and exciting things would be thrilled to receive a trial introductory flight experience as a gift.

Why a Trial Introductory Flight is the Perfect Present for the Aviation Enthusiast in Your Life

A trial introductory flight is a perfect gift for an aviation enthusiast. It’s a great way to introduce someone to the world of flying, and it can be an unforgettable experience.

Here are some reasons why:

1.    It’s an experience that they will never forget

An introductory flight is the perfect gift idea for any aviation enthusiast, whether they are young or old. The experience of flying in a modern aircraft can stay with them forever. It is also something that they can cherish for many years to come, as it is unique and very memorable. If you want to give someone an unforgettable gift, then this could be it.

2.    It’s a great way to see what it’s like to fly

The first thing most people do when they become interested in learning how to fly is to go on a trial introductory flight. This gives them the chance to see what it would be like to be at the controls of an aeroplane. They can also get a feel for what it would be like if they were flying it themselves one day.

3.    Builds Confidence

It builds confidence in them and helps them decide whether flying is something they want to pursue further. If they’re not sure about it, they can decide to stop there, but if they enjoy it, this will help them decide whether or not they should opt for solo flight training.

4.    It doesn’t break the bank

One of the main reasons why you should consider getting your loved one a trial introductory flight is because it is budget-friendly. Getting started with this hobby can be quite expensive, especially if you are trying to get practical hands-on experience. A trial introductory flight is much cheaper than buying someone full training and can be booked in advance so that you can surprise your loved one with this unique gift. Moreover, if your loved one already has an interest in aviation, getting them a trial introductory flight is an excellent way to get them started and help them get their feet wet in this exciting field.

5.    There are no age limits

Anyone who loves aeroplanes can enjoy this experience regardless of age or ability level. Some people want to see what it’s like to fly, while others want to learn how to fly for a commercial airline someday. Either way, this is the perfect gift for anyone who admires aviation from afar!

Flying Is the Gift That Keeps on Giving!

You don’t have to wait for Santa Claus to give your loved ones the gift of taking to the skies this Christmas.

Whether it’s a trial introductory flight or solo flight training with Learn To Fly, you’ll watch your loved one’s face light up as they take off from the ground and soar into the sky.

With our budget-friendly packages, your loved one will get an opportunity to take flight with an instructor, and they’ll walk away with a certificate of completion and a newfound confidence in their ability to take on this new challenge.

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Aviation English: 10 Basic Aviation Terms Every Pilot Should Know

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

1. The ICAO Alphabet/International Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet

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

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

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

2. Air Traffic Control

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

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

3. Circuit

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

4. Approach

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

5. Final Approach

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

6. Controlled Airspace

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

As per Airservices Australia:

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. Go-Around (Go Round)

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

8. Visual Flight Rules (VFR)

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

9. Instrument Flight Rules (IFR)

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

10. Pilot’s Operating Handbook (POH)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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FAQs About Obtaining Your Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL)

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

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

What does obtaining my CPL allow me to do?

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

What does getting my CPL involve?

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

What practical and theoretical training do I have to do?

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

Your CPL theory syllabus will include:

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

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

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

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

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

Do I Need to Study the Bachelor of Aviation?

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

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

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

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

Do You Offer Any Finance Options?

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

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

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

I’ve completed my CPL. What Next?

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

Some of our most popular endorsements include:

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

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

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Flight Schools in Australia – How Do I Choose the Right One?

Are you looking to study a pilot course in Australia, but aren’t sure how to choose which flight school to attend? Here is a breakdown of what kind of schools are available, and how the different environments can affect what your learning experience will be like. We’ll also outline some steps for determining which kind of flight school in Australia will best suit your needs.

Large flight schools – the benefits

Large flight schools in Australia are very beneficial for those looking to learn alongside a number of other students. A larger flight school is also going to have more instructors, which means a broader range of expertise. You’ll also have the opportunity to hear more perspectives on what an aviation career is like.

One of the issues that some students may come across when studying a pilot course in Australia is aircraft availability. At a larger flight school, there is likely to be more aircraft available for you to fly in at any given time. In addition, you may also be able to choose between different aircraft types. For example, you may want to try flying a more traditional analogue aircraft like the Cessna 172, but also experience a modern glass cockpit aircraft like the Diamond DA40.

Larger flight schools in Australia are also likely to have more additional facilities available, such as advanced flight simulators, which can accelerate your progress.

The bigger schools tend to be based at larger and busier airports, like Moorabbin Airport. This means that during your training, you will experience higher traffic and more complex aircraft movements, both on the ground and in the immediate airspace. In addition, busier airports are usually in controlled airspace, which means you will be able to get plenty of ATC communication experience.

Large flight schools – the downsides

A potential downside to flying with a large flight school in Australia is that your experience may be less personal. This is because there will be many students all studying at the same time, and you may not have the same instructor for the duration of your course.

Although larger schools have more aircraft and facilities, more students means more demand. There may be times when some facilities, aircraft or instructors may not be available when you want them. Consequently, flexibility is key.

There are also downsides to flying in high traffic environments. The learning curve can be steeper. In addition, you may experience delays due to other aircraft. Delays can occur when you are on the ground waiting to take off, in the aerodrome circuit pattern, or in the training area.

Small flight schools – the benefits

If you are interested in a more personal experience while studying a pilot course in Australia, then a small flight school may be a suitable option. Smaller flight schools will often be able to allow more flexibility in your training. Larger schools usually need to keep a more rigid schedule to ensure that all students are moving at the same pace.

Whilst there are some smaller flight schools at larger airports, there are many located at smaller airfields. At a small airfield, you will experience far less traffic – in fact you may often be one of the only pilots on the runway. This means you can usually take off straight away. Another benefit is the geographical availability of smaller airfields. Around larger cities, you will find many of them, so there may well be one close to where you live.

Smaller flight schools in Australia are sometimes a little bit cheaper to attend as well, since they don’t need to pay the larger fees associated with bigger airports.

Small flight schools – the downsides

A major downside to flying with a smaller school is that there will most likely be fewer facilities available to you during your training. Additionally, they will have a smaller selection of aircraft to train in – meaning you will have less choice of aircraft, and less aircraft availability. It’s unlikely that advanced flight simulators will be available, so you may need to access these at another location.

There will be less instructors available – and being able to find an instructor you connect with is very important. You will likely find that there are far less course options available as well, which can be an issue for more advanced or specific training.

Smaller airfields won’t expose you to complex aircraft movements, higher traffic, or ATC communication. Those wanting to train to Private Pilot Licence (PPL) level and beyond will need experience both flying into other airfields and communicating with ATC. Completing your initial training without exposure to this can make it a bit more daunting later on – whereas it just becomes second nature for pilots that learn with high traffic and ATC comms from the start.

How do you decide which one is right for you?

When you are looking to make the final decision about which flight school in Australia is going to be best for you, one of the most important things is to know what your goal is. Do you want to fly for fun, or fly for a career? Will you need multi-engine experience? Will you need instrument flying experience?

The most important factor is whether the school is going to be able to provide what you need to meet your goals. Check which courses they have available. Check to see what aircraft types they have in their fleet, and how many they have available. Are they able to provide advice on the best path to achieve your goals? Do they have experienced instructors?

For those looking to fly recreationally or for fun, a smaller flight school may be a good option. However, for pilots looking to train beyond PPL level, and especially those wanting a career, we highly recommend a larger flight school like LTF.

If you want to fly for a career, you will need experience with larger airports, larger aircraft, higher traffic environments, and ATC communication. Additionally, learning in a group environment will help to develop the team skills that are required for many aviation career pathways. Even private pilots looking to fly in more conditions, or fly to a wider range of locations, will benefit from what a larger school is able to offer.

Get in touch!

The school that you attend can have a major effect on your learning experience. So be sure to review what your goals are before choosing which pilot course in Australia to study, and which flight school to study it with.

If you have any questions about what kind of experience we can offer you at Learn to Fly, get in touch with our flight training specialists. We’ll be able to help you take that first step to getting in the cockpit!

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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

Flexibility:

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.

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Singapore Airlines Cadet Pilot Programme – Questions & Answers

Following on from our recent seminar on How to Become an Airline Pilot In Singapore in 2022, we have prepared some answers to a range of common questions. These should provide some additional insight into the Singapore Airlines Cadet Pilot Programme as well as Direct Entry.

What is the rate of success for cadet pilot applications? How many people apply and how many get in?

The SIA Cadet Pilot Programme is highly competitive. Information suggests that around 1,000 applicants are submitted per year, with only around 100 cadets accepted. The intake may increase as demand increases, but preparation is still extremely important to ensure your application stands out.

Many Singapore Airlines cadet applications are culled simply due to ineligibility (failure to meet minimum requirements), so taking the time to review the prerequisites is important.

Is age a factor in selecting cadet pilot applicants? Can you be too old?

Singapore Airlines have traditionally preferred cadet applicants within the 26 – 32 years old range. Given the forecasted increase in pilot demand, this may change and they may be willing to look outside that range. We will update this blog if we receive further inside information on current preferences.

Do I need to have maths or science studies to be considered?

Maths and science are 2 areas specifically mentioned by Singapore Airlines in the prerequisites. Applicants with no maths or science studies may be at a disadvantage. We would strongly recommend completing some flight training beforehand to be able to demonstrate your passion for aviation, and your ability to progress as a pilot regardless of no maths/science study. Our Future Cadet Pilot Program is perfect for this.

How long does it take to hear back from Singapore Airlines once you have applied?

The SIA cadet application process is experiencing delays in administration. Whilst information suggests that you should hear back from your initial application in around 2 weeks, this may take longer.

Are group exercises still a part of the interview process?

Group exercises are not being conducted as part of Singapore Airlines’s interview process at the moment. However, there are still be areas of the interview process where you will need to demonstrate strong group or team working skills.

Are Direct Entry First and Second Officer roles also difficult to get into? Would you recommend doing more than the minimum hours required?

Even though direct entry roles are more based on experience and qualifications that you either already have or don’t have, they are still competitive. You will still need to prepare in order to present a strong application, and to present well in the interview phases – which is why we recommend considering a course like the Airline Interview Coaching Session.

Does Singapore Airlines accept Non-Singapore Permanent Residents or Citizens?

At this stage you must be either a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident to be accepted.

If I have no flying experience, do I still have a chance of being chosen as a cadet?

The short answer is yes, but we don’t recommend leaving this to chance, and VERY strongly recommend that you have at least some flying experience prior to applying. If you have already applied, we still recommend looking at doing some flying prior to applying. If you have interviewed and been accepted – even then, we recommend doing some flight training as it will really help you to hit the ground running when your cadet flight training phase commences.

SIA are experiencing delays in their cadet selection and training, which gives you a GREAT opportunity to get in some extra preparation and/or flight training regardless of where in the process you are. We recommend checking out our Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP), which includes both application/interview preparation and practical flight training.

As an added bonus – the Australian Dollar is very low at the time of writing (Oct 2022) – this means that the process of coming to Australia to complete a program like the FCPP is far cheaper than it usually would be for Singapore pilots.

If I have already done PPL training, can I still apply?

Absolutely. We usually recommend training to RPL level, as this shows that you are able to progress through understanding the basics of flying, fly solo, and achieve a licence. To show that you have continued your training as far as PPL level will certainly not disadvantage your application, however Singapore Airlines may want to know why you didn’t progress with CPL, and clarify that you are happy to go back to the start for your cadet training.

Is the technical exam still a part of the process? What’s your advice in studying the technical interview in a short amount of time?

Yes, it will be a part of the interview. Whatever the current exact format, we strongly recommend that applicants should have an established basic knowledge of aerodynamics and general aviation topics. Singapore Airlines has many YouTube videos available, and a well prepared candidate should have watched all of them.

In addition, there are two texts that we recommend for technical knowledge preparation. These are “Ace The Technical Pilot Interview” by Gary Bristow and “Handling The Big Jets” by D.P. Davies

How long will Singapore Airlines be accepting Cadet Pilot applications for?

Given the longer term pilot shortage projections, we believe that there will be an ongoing need for consistent cadet pilot recruitment for many years to come.

Do I have any aviation knowledge for the interview?

We will always recommend obtaining some technical aviation knowledge, and the best way to do this is by enrolling in some flight training.

If you wear glasses, can you still come a SIA cadet pilot?

The pre-requisites state that you must have myopia of not more than 600 degrees and astigmatism of not more than 200 degrees, fully correctable with optical aids. For candidates who have undergone corrective eye surgery, the pre-surgical visual acuity must meet the above requirements. We recommend contacting the CAAS Medical Department or your doctor for case-by-case advice.

Do I need to pass the ICAO English Test before I apply for the cadet pilot program?

You don’t need to have passed the Aviation English Language Proficiency (AELP) exam prior to application, however doing so may well be an advantage, and will at the very least speed up the process. You need to achieve at least ICAO Level 4 – which is a conversational standard of English and easily achievable for most Singapore-born English speakers.

How long does it take to complete the ATPL ground school and exam?

The latest advice we have received suggests that this phase may take up to 7 months.

If you took a lot of training hours to fly solo, could this negatively affect your application?

We all progress at different rates and in different environments. Going solo in itself is a massive achievement, and so we wouldn’t be too concerned about this.

If I completed flight training but it was 5 years ago – will that still be okay?

Having flight training from 5 years ago is certainly better than having no flight training. However, we would recommend doing a refresher lesson if it is possible to do so prior to applying or to the interview.

What is included in the Airline Interview Coaching Session and how long is it?

The Airline Interview Coaching Session includes 8 hours of either face-to-face or live online training. The syllabus includes airline selection process methods, optimal CV presentation, HR interview skills, technical assessment expectations, group exercises and more. Click here to learn more.

Does every applicant get a chance to interview?

No – which is why preparing a solid application is SO important.

What is the top reason people fail the interview?

There are many reasons that can cause applicants to fail the interview process, but they essentially all come down to lack of preparation.

I have recently failed the Singapore Airlines final cadet interview, and can not reapply for 6 months. What would you recommend learning in the meantime?

We would recommend starting your preparation now. Even more-so, we would recommend including some flight training – this would improve your knowledge and skills, AND importantly it would provide evidence of your dedication to an aviation career. A course like the Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) is perfect for this.

How would you foresee the growth of female pilots in the future?

The future for female pilots is very bright. Airlines around the world are proactively encouraging more female applicants. In addition, there are far better support networks available for female pilots at every level today than what have been available traditionally.

Are the training phases full time?

Both the ground school training and the flight training phases are definitely full time. On top of that, both involve absolute dedication. It is common for Singapore Airlines cadets to spend at least 6 days for study, school and practicum, and to take one day off a week for social time.

If I have done some flight training and put it on my CV, will that mean they ask me harder questions?

You should ALWAYS put as much information about the flight training you have completed on your CV. That may be the difference between progressing to interview or not.

We also highly recommend checking out Pilot Kaki’s blog on the Singapore Airlines Cadet Pilot Programme process at https://www.pilotkaki.com/singapore-airlines-interview

Do you have further questions? Would you like to enrol in one of our highly successful Airline Interview Preparation courses? Please get in contact with us.

Our social media offers free flight training videos and much more – so, give us a follow at https://linktr.ee/learntoflymelbourne

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Cathay Cadet Pilot Program – Questions & Answers

We received some fantastic questions during our recent webinar on applying for the Cathay Cadet Pilot Program in 2022. We weren’t able to answer them all live, but we have covered the majority of questions and answers below:

What is the rate of success for cadet pilot applications? How many people apply and how many get in?

Press releases from Cathay have them onboarding 400 cadet pilots before the end of 2023, with the projected ongoing pilot shortage likely to mean that this increased recruitment will continue beyond that. We don’t yet have data on applicant numbers, but we assume they will be very high.

Whilst many Cathay Cadet applications are culled simply due to ineligibility (failure to meet minimum requirements), it remains VERY important to present a strong initial application.

Is age a factor in selecting cadet pilot applicants? Can you be too old?

Age may be a small factor, but historically, Cathay has accepted a fairly broad scope of ages into the program. This ranges from school-leavers, to university graduates, to established adults in other professions looking for a career change.

Do I need to have maths or science studies to be considered?

Maths and science are 2 areas specifically mentioned by Cathay in the prerequisites. Applicants with no maths or science studies may be at a disadvantage. We would strongly recommend completing some flight training beforehand to be able to demonstrate your passion for aviation, and your ability to progress as a pilot regardless of no maths/science study. Our Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) is perfect for this.

How long does it take to hear back from Cathay once you have applied?

We’ve been made aware of delays at all stages of the process due to HR shortages. It is possible that you could experience lengthy delays in hearing back from Cathay. Delays counted in months are not abnormal.

Are group exercises still a part of the interview process?

We understand that group exercises are not currently a part of Cathay’s online interview mode. Even if this is the case, there will still be areas of the interview process where you will need to demonstrate strong group or team working skills. One of the best ways to prepare for this is with group exercises, like those explored in our Airline Interview Coaching Session course.

Will Cathay resume their original cadet interview process?

Taking into consideration the current HR shortages, it is likely that Cathay will opt for a more online-based interview process for some time yet.

Are Direct Entry First and Second Officer roles also difficult to get into? Would you recommend doing more than the minimum hours required?

Even though direct entry roles are more based on experience and qualifications that you either already have or don’t have, they are still competitive. You will still need to prepare in order to present a strong application, and to present well in the interview phases – which is why we recommend considering a course like the Airline Interview Coaching Session.

How long can I expect to be a Second Officer at Cathay Pacific?

The Second Officer position has previously had a time limitation of 5 years imposed by the HK Civil Aviation Department. This may have been subject to some leniency during Covid. Upskilling a pilot whilst maintaining their rank may also bypass the 5 year requirement. However, with the growth and recovery the airline is experiencing, we expect accelerated progression will be likely in order to satisfy demand.

Does Cathay accept Hong Kong Permanent Residents?

Yes – Cathay accepts HKPR for both Cadet Pilot and Direct Entry applications

If I have no flying experience, do I still have a chance of being chosen as a cadet?

The short answer is yes, but we don’t recommend leaving this to chance, and VERY strongly recommend that you have at least some flying experience prior to applying. If you have already applied, we still recommend looking at doing some flying prior to interview. And even if you have interviewed and been accepted – even then, we recommend doing some flight training as it will really help you to hit the ground running when your cadet flight training phase commences.

The current delays Cathay are experiencing in their cadet selection and training offer you a GREAT opportunity to get in some extra preparation and/or flight training regardless of where in the process you are. We recommend checking out our Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP), which includes both application/interview preparation and practical flight training. As an added bonus – the Australian Dollar is very low at the time of writing (Oct 2022) – this means that the process of coming to Australia to complete a program like the FCPP is far cheaper than it usually would be for HK pilots.

If I have already done PPL training, can I still apply?

Absolutely. We usually recommend training to RPL level, as this shows that you are able to progress through understanding the basics of flying, fly solo, and achieve a licence. To show that you have continued your training as far as PPL level will certainly not disadvantage your application, however Cathay may want to know why you didn’t progress with CPL, and clarify that you are happy to go back to the start for your cadet training.

Is the technical exam still a part of the process? What’s your advice in studying the technical interview in a short amount of time?

We believe this is part of the same testing that the CUT-E process is contained within. Whatever the current exact format, we strongly recommend that applicants should have an established basic knowledge of aerodynamics and general aviation topics. Cathay has many YouTube videos available, and a well prepared candidate should have watched all of them. In addition, the two texts from John’s bookshelf provide adequate technical knowledge for your preparation. These were “Ace The Technical Pilot Interview” by Gary Bristow and “Handling The Big Jets” by D.P. Davies

How long will Cathay be accepting Cadet Pilot applications for?

Cathay have a plan to recruit at least 400 cadets by the end of 2023. Given the longer term pilot shortage projections, we believe that there will be an ongoing need for consistent cadet pilot recruitment beyond 2024.

Do I have any aviation knowledge for the interview?

We will always recommend obtaining some technical aviation knowledge, and the best way to do this is by enrolling in some flight training.

If you wear glasses, can you still be accepted for the cadet program?

Many airline pilots wear spectacles or contact lenses when flying. The requirement to wear spectacles is generally not disqualifying for a cadetship or a medical certificate. The candidate should contact the HK CAD Medical Department or their Doctor for case-by-case advice.

Do I need to pass the ICAO English Test before I apply for the cadet pilot program?

You don’t need to have passed the Aviation English Language Proficiency (AELP) exam prior to application, however doing so may well be an advantage, and will at the very least speed up the process. The Cathay requirement is to achieve at least ICAO Level 4 – which is a conversational standard of English and easily achievable for most HK born English speakers.

How long does it take to complete the PolyU ground school and exam?

The latest advice we have received suggests that this phase may take up to 7 months.

If you took a lot of training hours to fly solo, could this negatively affect your application?

We all progress at different rates and in different environments. Going solo in itself is a massive achievement, and so we wouldn’t be too concerned about this.

If I completed flight training but it was 5 years ago – will that still be okay?

Having flight training from 5 years ago is certainly better than having no flight training. However, we would recommend doing a refresher lesson if it is possible to do so prior to applying or to the interview.

What does the Airline Interview Coaching Session include, and how long is it?

The Airline Interview Coaching Session includes 8 hours of either face-to-face or live online training. The syllabus includes airline selection process methods, optimal CV presentation, HR interview skills, technical assessment expectations, group exercises and more. Click here to learn more.

Does every applicant get a chance to interview?

No – which is why preparing a solid application is SO important.

What is the top reason people fail the interview?

There are many reasons that can cause applicants to fail the interview process. Essentially though, they essentially all come down to lack of preparation.

I have recently failed the Cathay final cadet interview, and can not reapply for 9 months. What would you recommend learning in the meantime?

We would recommend starting your preparation now. Even more-so, we would recommend including some flight training. This would improve your knowledge and skills, AND importantly it would provide evidence of your dedication to an aviation career. A course like the Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) is perfect for this.

How would you foresee the growth of female pilots in the future?

The future for female pilots is very bright. Airlines around the world are proactively encouraging more female applicants. In addition, there are far better support networks available for female pilots at every level today than what have been available traditionally.

Are the training phases full time?

Both the ground school training at HK PolyU and the flight training phases are full time. On top of that, they involve absolute dedication. John advises that from his flight training phase time at FTA in Adelaide, Cathay Cadets devoted at least 6 days to study, school and practicum. They generally only took one day off a week for social time.

If I have done some flight training and put it on my CV, will that mean they ask me harder questions?

You should ALWAYS put as much information about the flight training you have completed on your CV. That may be the difference between being offered an interview or not. The questions you are asked in relation to the information on your CV should be relative to what your knowledge level should be.

Do you have further questions? Would you like to enrol in one of our highly successful Airline Interview Preparation courses? Please get in contact with us.

Our social media offers free flight training videos and much more – so, give us a follow at https://linktr.ee/learntoflymelbourne

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Top 5 Tips for Flying Into Moorabbin Airport with LTF Instructor Summer Russell

Our very own LTF Grade 2 Instructor Summer Russell has been featured in the latest Victorian edition of the Australian Women Pilots’ Association (AWPA) newsletter. In her article, she shares her top 5 tips for flying into Moorabbin Airport.

On the AWPA, Summer says:

“I first connected with the AWPA Victorian Branch in 2017 when I was looking for guidance as I begun flight training. With no connections in the industry at the time, they were a huge support for me and have continued to guide and support me to this day. It is such a great network of women – for anybody interested in connecting I could not recommend them more”

Fantastic work Summer! Original AWPA article below:

Summer Russell is a Grade 2 Instructor at Learn to Fly Melbourne. In this issue she runs through some simple, effective tips for flying into Moorabbin Airport.

Moorabbin Airport’s reputation precedes itself. With over 700 aircraft operating out of the aerodrome each day, it is one of Australia’s busiest airports. For those flying into Moorabbin for the first time it can be a daunting experience. But with the right preparation it doesn’t need to be.

Moorabbin is unique in many ways, from its parallel runways, inbound/outbound procedures and circuit operations, to its complex taxi clearances. Taking a pragmatic approach to your preparation is key. As a Flight Instructor working out of the airport, I see these operations daily. After years of experience, there are 5 top tips I have found most useful for those unfamiliar with the aerodrome.

1. Read up

As for any new aerodrome one of the most important pre flight components is to read the airports ERSA page. Due to a multitude of unique operations it is easy to miss crucial information regarding wingspan limitations, noise abatement procedures, inbound points, circuit operations and many more. Reading the ERSA carefully will give you confidence on arrival into Moorabbin.

In addition to the ERSA entry there is also a Melbourne Basin Guide published by CASA which gives a more in-depth discussion of the arrival, departure and circuit procedures.

2. Avoid arriving on the eastern side

Due to the use of parallel runways, aerodrome operations are separated to arrivals and departures east and west. While it is not stated specifically in the ERSA, VFR circuit training is done on the eastern side of the airport. This means there will often be 6 aircraft practicing circuits in addition to other inbound and outbound aircraft.

I suggest, instead of trying to navigate these busy operations, flying for an inbound point on the western side, or requesting an overfly (of which procedures are in line with overfly procedures at most Class D aerodromes) is a much easier alternative.

3. Start listening to YMMB tower prior to arrival at your inbound point

This is something I teach all my students, especially those new to Moorabbin. If you have dual comms available don’t be afraid to monitor the appropriate tower frequency a few minutes prior to your arrival. The frequencies tend to be busy, so it will allow you to gain situational awareness of other inbound and outbound aircraft. In addition, you will know what clearance to expect.

4. Say “unfamiliar” on arrival

This seems like a simple tip. However, it is rare that I hear a pilot state that they are unfamiliar when making initial contact with Moorabbin Tower. No matter how prepared you are for your arrival it is always a good idea to let the tower know that this is your first time at the aerodrome. This allows the controllers to direct you clearly throughout your approach and taxi clearances.

5. If you are unsure, ask!

Too often at Moorabbin pilots will falsely assume they have their traffic in sight, are aligned with the correct runway, or are crossing a taxiway when it is in fact another runway. These mistakes are common, and happen to even the most competent pilots, especially at complex aerodromes such as Moorabbin.

An easy fix for this is to simply ask. If you don’t understand your instructions, don’t see your traffic, or can’t find your runway communicate this to the tower as best you can and they will be there to assist. It is important to remember that Moorabbin is a training airport. Therefore, the controllers are used to pilots who aren’t 100% confident. They are more than happy to help you if you need it.

Our social media offers free flight training videos and much more – so, give us a follow at https://linktr.ee/learntoflymelbourne

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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!

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Becoming an Airline Pilot in Hong Kong in 2023 – Part 1 – Cathay Cadet Pilot

If you have dreamed of flying for Cathay Pacific, you now have a great opportunity to realise those dreams. Cathay have announced a huge airline pilot recruitment drive over the next few years. This includes recruiting and training hundreds of cadet pilots. But how does the Cathay Cadet Pilot Program work, and who can apply? Read on to find out!

Who Can Apply for the Cathay Cadet Pilot Program?

Cadet pilot programs in general are aimed at people who do not have, or have very little, prior flying experience. They are a fantastic opportunity for people who have a passion for aviation as well as the ambition to become an airline pilot.

If accepted, you will complete flight training, with a provisional offer of becoming an airline pilot with Cathay following successful completion.

To apply for the Cathay Cadet Pilot Program, you must:

– Be aged 18 years or older
– Be a Hong Kong Permanent Resident or Citizen
– Have graduated from secondary school with good passes in English language, Mathematics or Science; a degree in any discipline will also be considered provided you meet the secondary school criteria.
– Be physically fit, as well as qualified for a Civil Aviation Department (HKCAD) Class 1 Medical Certificate
– Be able to meet Cathay’s flight deck reach requirements
– Achieve ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) English Language Proficiency level 4 or above
– Have had at least 3 COVID vaccinations

How Do You Apply?

Initial qualification applications must be submitted via the Cathay Pacific website. If you qualify, you will then be invited to submit a formal application: https://careers.cathaypacific.com/jobs/cadet-pilot-cathay-pacific

How Does the Application Process Work?

If Cathay selects you to progress to interview, you can then expect to go through multiple stages. Here’s an overview:

1. Qualify for application
2. Application
3. Vaccination confirmation
4. ICAO confirmation
5. CUT-E aptitude test, maths and working behaviour test
6. HR interview
7. Group exercise interview and flight planning exercise
8. Final interview
9. Medical checks
10. Background check
11. Cadet training sponsorship offer

Update: Recent information suggests that the group exercises are currently not part of Cathay’s online interview mode. However, teamwork and group skills will still form an essential of Cathay’s selection criteria. We strongly recommend that they form a part of your preparation.

In addition, due to HR shortages, there are administrative delays in the application process. You can help your application by getting some of the prerequisites sorted before you apply. This includes the COVID vaccinations, and also the ICAO English test.

How Does the Training Process Work?

The training phase of the Cathay Cadet Pilot Program takes approximately 60 weeks to complete. Here’s how the progression works:

1. Induction Session
2. Ground School
3. Ground School Exam Passed
4. Flying Phase (CPL+MECIR+ATPL)
5. Flying Phase Passed
6. Contract Offered
7. Multi Crew Cooperation & Airline Transition Training
8. Type Rating (B777 / A350 / B747)
9. Line Training

Update: At the moment, the Cathay Cadet Pilot Program process is being affected by staff shortages. This is affecting timelines across the entire process – from application right through to the training phases.

Where Does the Training Happen?

Ground school takes place at Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hong Kong. Following this, there are 2 providers for the flight training phase. These are:

– Flight Training Adelaide based in Adelaide, Australia; and
– AeroGuard based in Phoenix, USA

Following the flying phases, the remaining training takes place in Hong Kong.

Do You Have to Pay for the Training?

Cathay Cadet Pilot Program trainees can take out a loan from Cathay. You then pay this back over a minimum service period once you start working for them. There are living allowances provided at various stages of the training phases. For the phases that take place in Hong Kong, you will be based on campus with meals provided in addition to board.

What Preparation Should You Do Before Applying?

Because you don’t require any prior experience, applying for cadet pilot positions is extremely competitive. Therefore, this means that submitting a strong initial application is very important to get you through the interview stage. In addition, you will need to perform strongly throughout the interview stage.

Preparation is everything, and consequently, the right preparation will make an enormous difference. You don’t require any flying experience to apply – however, we strongly recommend it. This is for 3 reasons.

Firstly, flying experience on your CV shows that you are dedicated and passionate about aviation. Secondly, being able to demonstrate your flying knowledge will benefit you during the interview process. Finally, the flight training process is a fast-paced pressure environment, and if you can’t keep up then there is a chance you may fail. If you are able to go into the flight training phase having already completed some initial training, you won’t find it as stressful, and consequently you will greatly improve your chances of success.

How Can Learn To Fly Help?

Learn To Fly Melbourne’s specialised Airline Interview Preparation Programs have helped hundreds of pilots to achieve success with multiple leading airlines internationally, including the Cathay Cadet Pilot Program. We offer 2 courses:

The Airline Interview Coaching Session guides you through airline recruitment processes, in addition to the various elements and phases that make up the interview. You’ll learn how to present the best possible application, and then perfect the skills required for optimum interview performance using scenarios created from actual airline interview processes.

This session can be taken either in-person or online, and is presented by airline interview specialist John Sabato, who is a former Cathay airline pilot himself.

The Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) is a comprehensive course that combines aviation theory and practical flight training, as well as the Airline Interview Coaching Session. Firstly, it equips you with the knowledge and skills necessary to prepare and submit a high quality application. Then, it allows you to follow it up with confidence throughout the interview stages. And finally, the practical training helps you to excel in the cadet program flight training phase.

The FCPP has 3 package options available:

Lite: 5 flying hours, 2 LTF sim hours, as well as 1 B737-800 sim hour
Solo: 15 flying hours, 2 LTF sim hours, as well as 1 B737-800 sim hour
RPL: 25 flying hours, 2 LTF sim hours, as well as 2 B737-800 sim hours

Want to know more? Schedule a meeting with us or get in contact, and one of our flight training specialists can answer your questions. It’s a very exciting time for pilots who want to fly for Cathay, and therefore the time to start preparing is NOW!

Our next blog with dive into the process for training and applying for Direct Entry Cathay airline pilot roles.

Our social media offers free flight training videos and much more – so, give us a follow at https://linktr.ee/learntoflymelbourne

 

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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! 👇

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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.

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How to Become an Airline Pilot in Australia

When we ask our students what their goals are, most of them tell us that their ultimate flying goal is to become an airline pilot. Maybe this is because so many aspiring pilots gained their fascination of aeroplanes and flying when they were young. And for a lot of youngsters, their first experience of flight came from flying in an airliner. Understanding the pathway towards achieving your goals is so important when learning to fly. So – how do you become an airline pilot in Australia?

There are 2 main pathways towards becoming an airline pilot in Australia. The first involves taking a traditional training pathway and building your flying hours gradually, then applying for “Direct Entry” airline jobs. The second pathway is to be accepted into a cadet pilot program. Read on to find out more about how each pathway works.

Pathway 1 – Commercial Pilot Licence & Airline Direct Entry

The pathway that most people take to become an airline pilot in Australia involves first completing the CASA training to achieve a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL). This can be achieved by completing each of the 3 CASA licences sequentially. Alternatively, you can complete the AVI50222 Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane) course which covers all 3.

Once qualified, pilots add ratings and endorsements (and an Air Transport Pilot Licence), and build their flying hours until they meet the direct entry airline entry requirements.

Here’s an overview:

1. Complete Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL)
2. Complete Private Pilot Licence (PPL)
3. Complete Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL)
OR Complete a Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence)
4. Build Flying Hours and add Ratings & Endorsements
6. Apply for Direct Entry Airline Jobs

What is the Next Step After the Commercial Pilot Licence?

Once you are qualified as a commercial pilot, your next step to become an airline pilot in Australia is to build your flying hours. Airlines in Australia will have minimum flying hour requirements for their Direct Entry opportunities.

In addition, you’ll need to add some Ratings and Endorsements to your CV – most notably multi-engine and instrument flying. You can complete a Multi-Engine Class Rating and Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating (MECIR) as separate courses. Alternatively, you could complete the AVI50519 Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Rating) course, which covers off both things.

What is the Best Way to Build Flying Hours?

There are a number of ways to build your hours. The BEST way is to of course find work as a commercial pilot. However, like airline roles, many other commercial pilot roles will themselves have minimum hourly requirements.

Becoming a Flight Instructor is an excellent solution. You can complete a Flight Instructor Rating straight after obtaining your CPL, and start earning money as a pilot AND building your hours immediately. Flight instructing is actually a great career pathway in itself, and an excellent additional skillset to have regardless of your longer-term goals.

How Many Hours Do I Need to be an Airline Pilot in Australia?

The number of flying hours required for Direct Entry roles varies between airlines, and also changes over time. Therefore, if you are aiming for this pathway then you’ll need to stay informed on the current requirements for your target airline.

An example of the Jetstar Direct Entry A320 First Officer / B787 Second Officer requirements (current as at August 22, 2022) are listed below:

– 1500 hours total aeronautical experience
– 500 hours PIC or FO on multi-engine
– 250 hours PIC (may include 150 hours PICUS)
– Hold an Australian ATPL (Part 61) or CPL with passes in all Australian ATPL subjects
– Hold an Australian Multi-Engine Aeroplane Instrument Rating with a 2D and 3D endorsement
– ICAO English Language Proficiency Level 6 on your Licence
– Current Class 1 medical certificate issued by CASA

You could also look at the requirements of airlines overseas. We’ve recently seen airlines in the USA specifically target Australian-trained pilots, with very achievable minimum hours and some attractive sign-on benefits.

Pathway 2 – Cadet Pilot Program

Most airlines have their own cadet pilot programs, which can be a great way to become an airline pilot in Australia. Essentially, cadet pilot programs offer the opportunity to complete commercial pilot training under an initiative overseen by the airline itself. The aim is for pilots who successfully complete the program to then be offered a job by the airline.

You generally don’t require any flying experience to apply (although having some basic experience may help your application). For this reason, the application process for cadet pilot programs is usually VERY competitive. We offer the Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) course that has been developed specifically to help strengthen your cadet pilot application.

Whilst cadet programs have their obvious benefits, there are some drawbacks. Training is still completed at the cadet’s own cost, and whilst the program is conducted in conjunction with the airline, it doesn’t actually guarantee you a job at the end.

Cadet programs can also require the cadet to make a longer-term commitment to the airline – sometimes for many years.

Other Aviation Careers

There is no doubt that becoming an airline pilot in Australia can offer a very rewarding professional pilot career. Whilst becoming an airline pilot is a popular goal for pilots to aim for, it’s important to note that there are many other fantastic pilot career options available. These include:

– Flight Instructor
– Cargo Pilot
– Charter Pilot
– Agriculture Pilot

Chat to one of our flight training specialists today about your flight training goals, and how we can help you to reach them! Contact us or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and a tour of our Moorabbin Airport training base.

Follow us on social media for free flight training videos and much more at https://linktr.ee/learntoflymelbourne

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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.

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What Qualifications Do I Need to Become a Pilot?

There are many pathways to becoming a fully qualified pilot. There are also plenty of different types of pilots. Therefore, the qualification you choose to pursue — be it a Recreational Pilot Licence or a Diploma of Aviation — really comes down to what your long-term aviation goals are and the amount of time you have to dedicate to your dreams.

Here at Learn to Fly, we think there’s no better job than that of a pilot. Imagine getting paid to explore the skies. Your office is the clouds, your desk chair is the cockpit, not to mention your office view! Now, let’s find out about what qualifications different pilot types need.

Types of pilots

Not all pilots are qualified to control all types of aircraft. Several classifications dictate the type of plane you can fly, how far you can venture from your departure point, and the conditions you are able to fly in.

Firstly, let’s look at the simplest pathway to earning the title of ‘pilot.’

A Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) is the first step in the journey for any pilot. If your main goal is to just get up into the air and experience the sensation of being in control of a small light plane, the Recreational Pilot Licence is for you. This licence is the most basic licence, and RPL holders must stay within 25 nautical miles of their departure aerodrome.

Next in the progression of pilot classifications, we have the Private Pilot Licence (PPL). The PPL builds on skills learned during RPL training, and then adds navigation. The PPL qualification enables you to both plan and conduct flights anywhere in Australia.

Finally, there is the Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL), ideal for those who dream of becoming a professional pilot. Having obtained your CPL, you will be able to pursue a number of different pilot career paths. These include airline pilot, cargo pilot, agricultural pilot, flight instructor, as well as many others.

I want to become a full-time pilot: what do I need to do?

To fly professionally you will need a CPL. One of the best ways to get your CPL and fulfil your dream of becoming a full-time pilot is with a Diploma of Aviation course.

The AVI50219 Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane) course follows CASA’s Commercial Pilot Licence syllabus, with the added bonus of additional subjects to help best prepare you for the competitive aviation industry. Upon completion of the course, students will receive both a Commercial Pilot Licence and a Diploma certification.

The course is run at Moorabbin Airport in Melbourne and takes approximately 60 weeks of full-time study. This includes flight training hours, hours in our state-of-the-art full cockpit flight simulators, and onsite theory classes. Students must be at least 18 years old, meet English language standards, and have passed an aviation medical exam.

Learn To Fly Australia is proud to be a VET Student Loans approved course provider (RTO 45684) for the AVI50219 Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane) course.

Wherever you’re from and whatever your background, the Diploma of Aviation is an excellent option to consider. It provides a fantastic pathway to those looking to pursue their passion and enjoy a full-time aviation career. We also offer the AVI50519 Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Rating) course, which is highly recommended as an additional step before starting your career – as well as an articulation pathway towards achieving the Bachelor of Aviation with Griffith University.

Why Learn to Fly?

Learn to Fly is one of Australia’s leading flight schools. We offer a broad range of courses to meet the needs of every type of aviation student. We are passionate about making flight training affordable and accessible with modern aircraft, state-of-the-art facilities, and highly experienced flight instructors.

Our instructors train everyone from hobbyists to professional pilots:

– Flexible course options to ensure everyone can achieve their aviation aspirations
– Realistic pathways allowing students to achieve their flying goals.
– Diverse international student base
– Student accommodation facilities located just 15 minutes from our Moorabbin Airport training base

For more information about our Diploma of Aviation courses as well as information on how to enrol, contact our Learn to Fly flight training specialists today.

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Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) versus Visual Flight Rules (VFR) – What is the Difference?

If you have researched flying, you have likely heard the terms Instrument Flight Rules and Visual Flight Rules before. Or possibly their abbreviations – IFR and VFR. Essentially, these are 2 different sets of “rules” that determine when you can fly. But what do they mean, and what are the differences?

What Are Visual Flight Rules (VFR)?

Visual Flight Rules (VFR) refers to flights that can occur in conditions that allow the pilot to fly using visual cues outside of the aircraft. The pilot must be able to maintain visual reference to the ground and be able to visually see and avoid obstructions, and other aircraft.

Such conditions are referred to as Visual Meteorological Conditions, or VMC. The required VMC are slightly different in different airspace classes. See the graphic below for more information, taken from CASA’s Visual Flight Rules Guide (VFRG). This is a great online resource that any pilot can download.

Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC) – Source: CASA Visual Flight Rules Guide

What Are Instrument Flight Rules (IFR)?

When VMC are not present and flights cannot be conducted under VFR, then they must be conducted under IFR. Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) are rules which allow properly equipped aircraft to be flown in non VFR-conditions, under what are known as Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC).

IMC are conditions where pilots cannot rely on visual cues, so they need to be able to fly using the aircraft’s instruments. This includes flying after dark, as well adverse weather conditions like heavy cloud and/or heavy rain. As a very broad and general rule, if it’s not VFR, it’s IFR.

Some exceptions can apply, such as Night VFR and Special VFR. Night VFR allows you to fly at night as long as other VMC are present. Special VFR can be requested when some but not all VMC exist for the proposed flight – this is usually used for training flights around an aerodrome and must be approved by ATC.

Flight Planning for VFR and IFR Conditions

As you might expect, flight planning is greatly affected by whether the flight will be conducted under VMC or IMC. Flying VFR affords the pilot far more freedom in planning. The pilot can choose the route and altitude of their flight – of course taking into account other airspace restrictions.

All IFR flights must be planned, with a pre-determined route that has been cleared by ATC. IFR flying involves set procedures for en-route, departure and approach. You will also obviously need an aircraft that meets IFR requirements.

When choosing whether to fly IFR or VFR, pilots generally consider the goals of the flight as well as the conditions. For a training flight that requires flexibility, VFR makes more sense. For longer or more direct flights, pilots may plan for an IFR flight even though conditions are potentially appropriate for VFR. This is due to the efficiency and added safety that IFR flight planning provides.

DA42 Instrument Flying Clouds
A Diamond DA42 above the clouds, during an Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) training flight

Flight Training for Instrument Flight Rules

As mentioned above, most training flights require a level of flexibility. That means that the majority of flight training needs to occur under VFR conditions. Whilst basic instrument flying forms part of initial flight training, it does not allow you to fly under IFR.

To be able to fly under Instrument Flight Rules, you need to obtain an Instrument Rating. Instrument Rating training teaches you how to fly using your instruments, without relying on visual cues outside the aircraft. To start instrument training, you must hold at least a Private Pilot Licence (PPL) or Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL).

Instrument Rating training includes en-route, departure and approach endorsements – which is what you will need to have when planning IFR flights. A lot of instrument training can be done in flight simulators, like our Alsim AL42 full cockpit synthetic trainer. This allows you to fine tune your procedures on the ground.

Our Private Instrument Flying Rating (PIFR) course is great for private pilots requiring IFR. It allows you to choose just the specific endorsements you require. For pilots who want to fly professionally, the Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating (MECIR) is an essential choice as it includes both instrument and multi-engine training.

If you would like to find out more, you can email our flight training specialists at [email protected]. You can also visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and a tour of our Moorabbin Airport training base.

Follow us on social media at https://linktr.ee/learntoflymelbourne

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Flying at Night – Should You Get a Night VFR Rating?

Flying at night is a fantastic experience. Seeing a sprawling ocean of twinkling lights below is quite spectacular, especially if you live in a big city like Melbourne. To be able fly at night, you need to undergo specific training that must be done on top of your standard pilot licence, be that a Private Pilot Licence or Commercial Pilot Licence. There are 2 pathways you can take – the Night Visual Flight Rules (NVFR) pathway or the Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) pathway.

As a leading Australian flight school, Learn to Fly offers a huge range of pilot training courses, including the popular Night VFR Rating, as well as Instrument Rating courses.

Night VFR vs. IFR

The VFR in Night VFR stands for Visual Flight Rules which is a category of flying where flights can occur in meteorological conditions that are clear enough to see in. As a basic guide, pilots must have visual cues available to them during VFR flight.

IFR stands for Instrument Flight Rules. When weather conditions are not appropriate for flying by sight (ie thick clouds), flights may only be able to proceed under IFR. During IFR flights, a pilot relies on their instrumentation rather than visual cues.

Night VFR, therefore, refers to conditions in which a pilot can still have enough visual cues present even though it is dark. Night VFR is generally less common than Night IFR due to the combined added complexities associated with both flying at night and flying VFR. In fact, in CASA’s own words:

            “CASA strongly recommends that NVFR operations take place only in conditions that allow the pilot to discern a natural visual horizon or where the external environment has sufficient cues for the pilot to continually determine the pitch and roll attitude of the aircraft”

Which pathway should you choose?

The pathway you choose should ultimately depend on the type of flying you are intending to do in the future. However, Night VFR training is a lot more straightforward than completing an Instrument Rating, so this may be a consideration.

There are a couple of options for an Instrument Rating. A Private Instrument Flying Rating (PIFR) is a course that you can tailor to the types of instrument flying you want to do. A Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating (MECIR) covers all instrument flying, and also then allows you to fly aircraft with more than one engine.

Instrument Ratings also require all pilots to successfully complete the CASA Instrument Rating Exam (more commonly known as IREX).

Night VFR training is simpler and less costly. However, relying solely on VFR conditions will restrict the number of night time flying opportunities. In addition, the Instrument Rating itself obviously adds to the amount of daytime conditions you can fly in as well!

What to expect when flying at night

Before taking your first night flight, whether you’re in charge of the cockpit or simply accompanying a more experienced pilot, it’s a good idea to read up on what to expect. Firstly, it is worth noting that your aircraft must be adequately fitted in order to fly at night. This is the case regardless of whether the flight is under Night VFR or IFR rules. CASA strictly regulates this, with a number of lights (internal and external), radio equipment, and navigational aids required.

Be aware that it can take up to 30 minutes for your eyes to fully adjust to your surroundings. Before and during this time, it’s important that lighting inside the cockpit remains at an appropriate level. Red cockpit lighting can also help in this regard.

Similar to day flying day flying, the types of conditions you can expect when flying at night will vary dramatically. There may be situations where you are fortunate enough to have a full, unobscured moon to guide you. From a visual perspective, flying in these conditions may not be too different from flying during the day. Cloud cover may mean that your view below is obscured completely – this would obviously be considered an IFR flight. Pilots should always be aware of the conditions they are flying in but this is even more important at night.

Whilst somewhat uncommon, pilots flying at night do sometimes experience what are known as night flying illusions. Autokinesis, the black hole effect, flicker vertigo, false horizons, and sloping terrain illusions are all common illusions that pilots, both beginner and experienced, need to watch out for.

Night flying courses

Check out the links below to find out more about our night flying courses:

Night VFR (NVFR) Rating

Private Instrument Flying Rating (PIFR)

Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating (MECIR)

Flight Instructors can also complete a Night VFR Training Endorsement, that allows them to teach the Night VFR Rating course syllabus to students.

If you would like to find out more, you can email our flight training specialists at [email protected]. You can also visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Flight Instructor Rating – The Perfect Start For New Commercial Pilot Graduates

When you finish your Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) training, you can begin your pilot career. As a new professional pilot graduate though, what is the best way to get started and set yourself on the right career path for your dream pilot job? In our opinion, it all starts with a Flight Instructor Rating. Let’s find out why!

About the Grade 3 Flight Instructor Rating Training Endorsement

As we have discussed in an earlier blog, the Flight Instructor Rating (FIR) course itself just allows you to teach student pilots. You then add Training Endorsements, and they are what determine what types of things you can teach. If you haven’t read that blog, we highly recommend clicking here to check it out.

Why is the Grade 3 Flight Instructor Rating Training Endorsement the Best Way to Start Your Career?

The Grade 3 Flight Instructor Rating Training Endorsement gives you the largest initial scope of what you are able to train. This scope includes basic RPL, PPL and CPL course syllabus. It allows you to teach both theory and practical flight training under VFR conditions.

This means that you can start to build your instructing and flying hours across a broad range of curriculum straight away. While you are doing that, you can gradually add further Training Endorsements that will allow you to expand the type of instructing you can do. This can include more aircraft types, more flight activities, and being able to fly in more conditions. And, you can do this while you are earning money as a Flight Instructor!

Most importantly, as the world recovers from the pandemic, flight training is booming. This means that there are plenty of job opportunities for Flight Instructors. So, as an initial starting point for your pilot career, this is a great move. Let’s take a look at how you can progress your career from there.

Your Career Path as a Grade 3 Flight Instructor
Start: Grade 3 Flight Instructor

Build your flying hours while earning money as a Flight Instructor. Add Training Endorsements to allow you to fly more often.

200 Hours Ab Initio Instructing: Grade 2 Flight Instructor

Once you have at least 200 hours of Ab Initio instructing, you can complete further training and a flight test to become a Grade 2 Flight Instructor. This ups your pay scale and allows further responsibilities, which means you can fly/instruct more, and therefore build hours even faster.

500 Hours Ab Initio Instructing: Grade 1 Flight Instructor

When you have accumulated at least 500 hours of Ab Initio instructing, you can complete the Grade 1 Flight Instructor course. Grade 1 Flight Instructors can supervise Grade 2 and Grade 3 Flight Instructors. Again, this ups your pay and provides more flying opportunities.

12 Months as Grade 1 Flight Instructor: Flight Examiner

When you have worked as a Grade 1 Flight Instructor for at least 12 months (plus at least 1,500 overall hours as Pilot in Command and at least 100 hours of RPL/PPL instructing in the 12 months prior, you can sit a flight test to become a Flight Examiner. Flight Examiners can command impressive fees, making this a potentially lucrative career in itself.

Charter/Private Pilot

The majority of private or charter pilot jobs will have a minimum flight hour requirement, as well as likely requiring extended flying experience (such as multi-engine, instrument flying etc). Working even just as a Grade 3 Flight Instructor will allow you to reach these minimum hours much faster. You will also have the opportunity to complete additional Ratings, Endorsements and Training Endorsements, all while you earn money.

Direct Entry Airline Pilot

If you want to apply for direct entry airline pilot jobs, you will need to meet minimum hourly requirements. Different airlines have different requirements, and as with charter/private pilot jobs they will also likely require extended flying (multi-engine and instrument at a minimum). 

On top of the benefit of being able to earn while you build your hours, airlines regard applicants that have Flight Instructor experience very highly. This is because being a Flight Instructor builds your interpersonal skills, your ability to manage, and your ability to work within a team environment. These are all qualities that airlines desire in a pilot.

Grade-3-Flight-Instructor-Rating
Gain valuable skills and build your flying hours working as a Grade 3 Flight Instructor.

It’s certainly possible to step into a number of professional pilot jobs immediately after completing your CPL. However, it’s important that you give yourself the best possible platform to start from. Starting off with a Grade 3 Flight Instructor Rating Training Endorsement provides you with the widest range of opportunities to grow your skills and experience and, in turn, gives you more career avenues to explore.

You can complete our Flight Instructor Rating course with a Grade 3 Training Endorsement. We also offer a wide range of further Training Endorsements. Email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Thinking of Learning to Fly? Here’s What You Need to Know!

Are you thinking of learning to fly? Regardless of your final goal, it’s important to do your research before you start. There are questions you should ask yourself before looking at flying schools. And then, when you are looking at flying schools, it’s important to know what to look for. In this blog, we’ve put together some handy information to make doing your research easier. Here’s what you need to know.

What is my reason for wanting to learn to fly?

If you are thinking of learning to fly, the first thing to consider is why you are doing it. What is your goal? Are you wanting to simply experience flying, or maybe experience solo flight? Do you want to fly for a career, or fly for fun? If you are flying for fun, how far do you want to fly?

The answer to these questions will help you choose the right course pathway. Also, it will help you choose between flying schools.

If you want to fly for fun but aren’t 100% sure if you’ll like it, you can look at a beginner course. Our beginner courses include the Learn To Fly Starter Set and Learn To Fly First Solo Flight Course. Beginner courses introduce you to flying, without the commitment of a full pilot licence course. Any training you do in a beginner course will be counted if you do decide to continue your training.

If you are ready to commit to a licence, a Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) teaches you the basics and allows you to fly up to 25nm from your departure aerodrome. A Private Pilot Licence (PPL) adds navigation and allows you to fly anywhere in Australia. If you want to fly for a career, you’ll need a Commercial Pilot License / Licence (CPL).

Want to get a taste of flying first before committing to any of the courses? Start with a TIF (Trial Instructional Flight, also known as a Trial Introductory Flight).

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A TIF (Trial Instructional Flight or Trial Introductory Flight) is a great way to start learning to fly!

Should I do a TIF (Trial Instructional Flight) first?

Regardless of your ultimate goal in learning to fly, a TIF (Trial Instructional Flight) is a great first step. A TIF is a short flying experience, often 30 or 60mins in duration. It allows you to take the controls of an aircraft under the guidance of an instructor.

This is great for people wanting to know what it feels like to control an aircraft. You can then decide if you want to continue your training with a beginner or pilot licence course. It can also be handy for pilots that might have already flown, but want to see what flying a different aircraft type is like.

How do I choose between flying schools?

There are many flying schools out there, especially in a large city like Melbourne. Choosing the right one is very important, and could be the difference between your failure and success as a pilot. It will also impact how much you enjoy your flying lessons.

So, how do you choose? Here are some key things to look for when considering flying schools:

1. Convenient location
2. Wide range of courses
3. A range of aircraft to choose from
4. Experienced instructors, including Grade 1 instructors
5. Good facilities, including simulators
6. Flexible training options (on-site and distance/online learning)
7. A range of payment options

We tick all of these boxes above – click here to check out our blog on why you should choose to fly with us.

Our YouTube channel offers a great variety of free online training content, including RPL/PPL flying lessons!

What aircraft should I choose to fly?

There are a few things to consider when choosing which aircraft to fly. There are traditional aircraft like the Cessna 172 or more modern aircraft like the Sling 2 LSA or Diamond DA40.

Traditional aircraft are generally older and have analogue controls/avionics. Modern aircraft are usually fitted out with glass cockpit avionics, which means they include an electronic flight system like the Garmin G1000.

Aircraft availability is worth considering when learning to fly, both during your training and after your training is complete. The aircraft cost is also a factor, as the overall pilot course cost will depend on the cost of the aircraft.

Click here to check out our aircraft fleet.

How much does pilot training cost?

The answer to “how much does pilot training cost” obviously depends on the course you are doing. However, there are other factors to consider as well.

The pilot course cost is generally dictated by the length of the course and therefore how many flying lesson hours there are. Also though, different aircraft cost different amounts to fly and maintain. So, the aircraft you choose will also have an impact on the pilot course cost.

A good flight school will offer payment options. The majority of our courses offer the option to purchase a course package or “pay as you fly”. A course package covers the entire course and has most of your required expenses included. The pay as you fly option is as it sounds – you pay for each flying lesson, theory lesson or exam as you progress.

Many of our course packages can be paid for in interest free instalments via SplitIt. This allows you to split the pilot course cost over monthly payments. Click here to read more about SplitIt.

What are the pilot prerequisites for learning to fly?

Before you start learning to fly, there are pilot prerequisites that you need to meet. These depend on what course you are doing. For example, a pilot licence course will require that you get an Aviation Reference Number (ARN), complete an aviation medical check and meet English proficiency standards.

Age is another consideration. Whilst technically there is no minimum age to attend a flying lesson, you must be at least 15 to fly solo. You must be at least 15 to obtain a Recreational Pilot Certificate (RPC), 16 to obtain your Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL), 17 to obtain a Private Pilot Licence (PPL), and 18 to obtain a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL).

There are no set pilot prerequisites for a TIF (Trial Instructional Flight or Trial Introductory Flight), but there are recommendations to consider, such as your general health.

Are there differences in pilot licences in Australia to pilot licences overseas?

The structure of pilot licences overseas compared to Australia is quite similar. You may however find some differences in the exact names or the terminology. This is something to keep an eye out for when researching about learning to fly in Australia.

The USA, for example, has both a Sport Pilot and Recreational Pilot Certificate or License, and these are comparable to Australia’s Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL), but with some differences. The USA also has the Private Pilot License and Commercial Pilot License which are again very similar to their Australian PPL and CPL. You may find that overseas licences are called “Certificates” in some countries.

Another note on terminology. Pilot licences in Australia are spelt with a “c” rather than “s” like overseas. For example, Commercial Pilot License in the USA, and Commercial Pilot Licence in Australia.

Want to find out more about learning to fly? Get in touch by email to [email protected] or schedule a meeting and school tour at https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting today! Don’t forget to click the button below and subscribe to our YouTube channel where we have a great range of flight training content, as well as free RPL/PPL flying lesson videos!

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Learning Aerobatics in Melbourne – Adrenaline Pumping Fun & Key Aircraft Handling Skills

Aerobatic flying is spectacular to watch, and a huge adrenaline rush if you’re actually in the cockpit! But on top of the excitement, aerobatics and spinning training teaches you some extremely important handling skills, and also builds your confidence as a pilot. If you’re looking to learn aerobatics in Melbourne, we can help!

Let’s take a look at aerobatic flying itself, and what course you need to complete in order to be able to perform aerobatics.

About Aerobatic Flying

What is aerobatic flying? As a general definition, aerobatic flying involves performing manoeuvres that involve aircraft attitudes not used in normal flight. Aerobatics require precise control of the aircraft, and in addition many manoeuvres create high G and negative G forces.

Aerobatic manoeuvres cause enhanced stresses on the aircraft’s structure, or airframe. For this reason, you require an aircraft that is rated for aerobatics, like our 8KCAB Super Decathlon. The Super Decathlon has 4-point safety harness seatbelts, as well as an airframe that is built to withstand aerobatic stresses between +6g and −5g.

To perform aerobatics, you need to know how your aircraft will handle and perform. But you also need to know how your body is going to react to forces it won’t be used to. Knowing how your body responds to different G forces and learning to cope with them when they occur is an important confidence-building tool.

There are other regulations that must be adhered to for aerobatic flying, such as Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC), minimum altitudes, and minimum distances from populated areas or public gatherings. If you’re looking at flying aerobatics in Melbourne, Moorabbin Airport is a great training base, with plenty of favourable weather and suitable staging areas close by.

Aerobatics Courses in Melbourne

If you are looking to learn aerobatics, then the course you will need to complete is the Aerobatics & Spinning Endorsement. As the name suggests, this course teaches you how to handle an aircraft during both aerobatic manoeuvres and spins. You’ll complete ground theory and practical aircraft training, followed by an assessment flight.

Our Learn To Fly Aerobatics & Spinning Endorsement course at a glance:

– 5 Hours Ground School
– 7.5hrs Flight Training
– 8KCAB Super Decathlon Aircraft
– Moorabbin Airport

To be eligible to commence the Aerobatics & Spinning Endorsement course, you need to hold a valid Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL), Private Pilot Licence (PPL) or Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL).

Aerobatics & Spinning Endorsement – Course Process

Ground School

Briefings on flight dynamics, spin theory, airframes, and regulations, as well as physiological considerations including G forces and spatial disorientation.

Lesson 1 – Aerobatics

Learn and perform Loop, Barrel Roll, Aileron Roll, Hammerhead (Stall Turn), and Immelmann manoeuvres.

Lesson 2 – Spinning

Learn aircraft spin behaviour, and perfect successful recovery techniques from partial and fully developed spins.

Lesson 3 – Attitude Recovery

Learn how to detect and recover from the unusual aircraft attitudes created by spinning and aerobatic manoeuvres.

Assessment Flight

The Aerobatics & Spinning Endorsement assessment flight is a supervised solo flight where you will demonstrate all manoeuvres and techniques learnt during the course syllabus

Want to find out more about learning aerobatics in Melbourne? Get in touch by email to [email protected] or schedule a meeting and school tour at https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting today! Don’t forget to click the button below and subscribe to our YouTube channel where we have a great range of flight training content, as well as free RPL/PPL flying lesson videos!

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What to Expect in a Cadet Pilot Interview

Securing a cadet pilot position can be difficult, even for skilled pilots with flight experience. The cadet pilot interview a very competitive process, designed to test every aspect of your suitability. Much like any job interview, you need to prove to your potential employer that you’re the best person for the role.

Don’t let this put you off pursuing your dreams of becoming a commercial pilot. There are plenty of strategies you can employ to help you stand out from the crowd.

Here at Learn to Fly, we believe that preparation is key when working towards a cadet pilot interview. Understanding what to expect from the interview process will give you the best chance possible of demonstrating your suitability and passion. Our Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) is perfect for anyone aiming to secure a competitive role in a cadet pilot scheme. The program covers absolutely everything you need to know and provides you with the tools for a successful interview.

What is a Cadet Pilot Program?

A cadet pilot program is one of the routes available to future pilots to kickstart their commercial aviation career.

These programs are often designed to take those with little to no flying experience from being absolute beginners to experienced professionals. Cadet pilot programs are usually run by airlines and successful applicants will usually be offered a position upon completion of their training. In this sense, cadet pilot programs differ from training courses offered by flight schools. However, they tend to cover similar Commercial Pilot Licence course materials, including practical and theoretical lessons.

In Australia, many of the top airlines offer cadet pilot programs, including Qantas and Jetstar. It’s important to be aware that there are some prerequisites that must be met before applying to a cadet pilot program. You must be at least 18 years old. You must also be capable of holding a CASA Class 1 Medical Certificate and demonstrate minimum levels of English proficiency. Some cadet programs may require that you are a citizen or permanent resident of Australia.

It’s worth checking all of these stipulations before going to the effort of preparing for a cadet pilot interview. 

The Interview Process

It can help to think of the cadet pilot interview process as much like any other type of job interview, if not slightly longer and more intense. Exactly what the process entails will depend on which airline you are applying to. All airlines, however, will be looking for some of the same important traits: passion, commitment, and good instincts.

To start with, you can expect the airline to ask you basic questions about your flight experience and why you want to be a pilot. Don’t be too concerned if you don’t have a lot of experience. After all, these programs are designed to cater to beginners. However, it will certainly help if you have spent at least a few hours exploring the clouds. Learn to Fly’s Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) can help give you that extra competitive edge. It includes flight training and simulation training as well as specific cadet application and interview training.

You’ll also likely be asked to participate in a skills assessment. This may include basic questions designed to demonstrate your maths, physics, and aviation knowledge. In addition to skills-based assessments, airlines are also keen to test your problem solving skills. This may also include group-based activities that test your ability to work in a team environment.

Sitting a cadet pilot interview can seem overwhelming. However, it can help to keep in mind that it’s really no different from any other type of job interview.

Tips and Tricks to Prepare

As the adage goes, preparation is the key to success. Many applicants arrive at their cadet pilot interview with the exact same goals, skills, and set of experiences. Being adequately prepared to answer whatever question is thrown at you can be the difference between you and the rest of the pack.

Learn To Fly’s Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) is unique in that it is designed to provide you with practical experience, theoretical knowledge, and interview training, covering every possible base in preparation for your interview. In addition to the flight and simulation training, you will receive extensive airline interview coaching from a highly experienced airline pilot.

We know what each airline looks for in their cadets. We will work with you to ensure you present as a motivated, diligent individual that aligns with the specific qualities they like to see.

We’re confident that our Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) covers every aspect of a cadet pilot interview. This means that you’ll go into the interview room knowing exactly what to expect. To learn more, contact one of our flight training specialists today.

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Top Tips to Prepare You for Solo Flight Training

Your first solo flight training experience is an incredibly exciting moment. It can also be quite nerve-wracking though. It’s natural that you might feel a little anxious about what’s about to happen. After all, you’ll be the one in complete control of the cockpit. If anything unexpected happens, it will be your skills and cool, calm head that needs to find a solution.

However, most people find that once they’re safely up in the air, that anxiety turns to complete exhilaration. You’ve been training for this moment for a while now. You know what you are doing, and you’ve finally achieved your dream of flying an aircraft solo!

Here at Learn to Fly, we’ve provided countless students with the skills and confidence they need to safely take to the skies in a solo capacity. In fact, we’ve built a whole course around it — our very popular Learn to Fly First Solo Flight Course. As part of your training, our experienced team will provide you with several strategies you can implement to make solo flight training as enjoyable as possible. Here are some of the top tips:

Be patient

Depending on your age, skills, background, and experience, getting to the point where you feel comfortable undertaking solo flight training may take some time. This is completely understandable; remember how strange it felt getting behind the wheel of a car for the first time without an instructor? And your feet were firmly planted on the ground!

Be patient with yourself and your instructor when preparing for your first solo flight. Flying is a difficult skill. It requires physical finesse and a certain level of theoretical knowledge. Building this skillset takes time. With patience though, along with passion, dedication, and support from the right flying school, you’ve got the best chance of getting there.

Ask questions

Learn to Fly’s First Solo Flight Course is specifically designed to develop your skills to the point where your instructor feels comfortable letting you take to the skies on your own. It involves 15 flight training hours, and these will be flown with an instructor by your side until you are ready.

You should aim to ask as many questions as possible about the plane you’re in, the role and responsibilities of a pilot, and how to handle unexpected, emergency situations. There is no such thing as a silly question. In fact, you’ll be left feeling pretty silly if you don’t ask something and are later left still wondering when you’re in control of the aircraft.

Learn to Fly’s team of experienced and dedicated instructors are as passionate about teaching as they are about flying. They’ll be more than happy to answer any and all of your questions, so ask away!

Don’t rush

Mistakes are usually made because we don’t give ourselves enough time to fully think through a situation. This is true in all contexts but is particularly important regarding solo flight training.

Your flight instructor will only okay you to fly solo if they truly believe you are ready. Once you’ve got that tick of approval, you can be confident that your skills and knowledge are up to the task of being in command of the cockpit.

The trick is to not let nerves get the better of you. Your instructor has confidence in you, so you should have confidence in yourself. Don’t allow anxiety to dictate how quickly you move through your pre-flight checklist. And don’t let nerves tell you that you’re going to have difficulty making the landing. Trust in your training and knowledge, and everything will go smoothly.

If you find yourself rushing, take a moment to look out the window, enjoy the view, and acknowledge that you’re a solo pilot. Not many people can say they’ve had that experience!

Enjoy yourself!

Finally, remember to enjoy yourself. You’ve put in a lot of time, effort, and study to get to this point. Maybe this is the fulfilment of a lifelong dream. Or perhaps it’s only the first step in going on to obtain your Recreational Pilot Licence, Private Pilot Licence, or Commercial Pilot Licence. Maybe one day you’ll be piloting a jet airliner, and you will look back and remember that very first time you took to the skies on your own!

Here at Learn to Fly, we are passionate about helping our students fulfil their dreams. We know that flying can be both exciting and overwhelming, which is why we recommend our First Solo Flight Course for those looking to commence solo flight training. The course is designed to provide you with all the practical and theoretical skills required to safely take-off, handle the aircraft in the air, and then safely touch down again. Our students come from a wide variety of backgrounds and are equally as passionate as you about achieving their aviation goals.

Solo Flight Training Student Pilot

Contact our friendly team today to find out more about our course options and programs.

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US Airline Jobs for Australian Pilots – What Are the Pilot Prerequisites?

Becoming an airline pilot is the ultimate dream for many people thinking about a career in aviation. Being a pilot in Australia, many have found that the Australian airline market is competitive. But what about airline jobs overseas? And what are the pilot prerequisites?

It’s no secret that Australia is seen by the rest of the world as a fantastic place for pilot training. This means that commercial pilots that have trained and qualified here in Australia already have an advantage when looking at roles in other countries. So, what makes US airline pilot jobs such a great opportunity?

The US airline pilot shortage

As the world starts to reopen post-Covid, US airline pilot jobs provide a very real and achievable career opportunity for Australian pilots. Recently we have seen articles from major US carriers like United and American Airlines talking about having to cancel services and routes simply because they don’t have enough available pilots to fly them.

As air travel was so severely disrupted during the pandemic, many airline pilots were stood down, while other more senior pilots opted to accept packages and retire. Consequently, many of these pilots are not returning to the industry. This, coupled with the speed at which air travel has bounced back, has quickly created a significant shortage of pilots.

US airlines have always been quite proactive in looking at Australian pilots. Now especially though, being a pilot in Australia means that you may well be in demand as a pilot in the USA! For Australian Citizens, getting an E-3 visa to work in the USA is also quite a straightforward process.

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As a result of the US airline pilot shortage, many planes have been left grounded.

What are the pilot prerequisites for US airline pilot jobs?

Different airlines in the USA have different pilot prerequisites depending on the role. As an example, Commutair are currently actively recruiting Australian pilots for direct entry First Officer roles with the following requirements:

1. Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate or Commercial Multi-Engine Land Pilot’s License with current Instrument Rating

2. Current First Class Medical

3. FCC Radio Operator’s Permit

4. Valid Australian Passport

5. Meet FAA ATP minimums (1,500 total flying hours),and at least:
– 100 hours night flying
– 75 hours instrument flying
– 200 hours cross country flying
– 50 hours multi-engine flying

There are other requirements you will need to meet such as the ATP theory exam, which is typically done before line check. There is also aircraft type training for successful applicants. But these things are usually organised by the airline.

With those additional requirements aside, you could potentially meet the pilot prerequisites with as little as 1,500 flying hours.

What is the E-3 visa process?

The E-3 Specialty Occupation visa allows Australian Citizens to work in “specialty occupations” in the USA. To be eligible for an E-3 visa you must demonstrate that you:

– Are a national of Australia
– Have a legitimate offer of employment in the United States
– Possess the necessary academic or other qualifying credentials
– Will fill a position that qualifies as a specialty occupation

An aviation Bachelor or Diploma would likely automatically qualify you for meeting the necessary academic qualifications. However, “qualifying credentials” can also include relevant work experience. So, if you meet the pilot prerequisites required for acceptance into the US airline job itself while being a pilot in Australia, you will likely meet this criteria based on “equivalent experience”.

The visa application process will be initiated by the employer once you have accepted their job offer.

What is the best way to meet USA airline job pilot prerequisites?

If you think that flying for an airline in the USA sounds like a good career move, we can help you to get there. Here’s how:

1. Complete a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) or AVI50219 Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane) course. Approx 12 months

2. Complete a Multi Engine Command Instrument Rating (MECIR) or AVI50519 Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Rating) course. Approx 6 months

3. Complete a Flight Instructor Rating (FIR) course. Approx 4 months

4. Build your flying hours while working as a Flight Instructor (this way you can get paid while you build hours, and instructing experience is always viewed in high regard by airline employers)

5. Complete an Airline Interview program like the Airline Interview Coaching Session. This highly successful course will help you to prepare your application and also to prepare for the interview itself

We also have a wide range of Ratings and Endorsement courses available. Adding Ratings and Endorsements to your licences can greatly increase the number of hours during which you can fly. For Flight Instructors, you can add Training Endorsements that allow you to instruct in a wider range of flight scenarios.

Want to learn more? Get in touch by email to [email protected] or schedule a meeting and school tour at https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting today!

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Frequently Asked Questions About Flight Training

If you’ve never flown a plane before, the idea of being the person in control of the cockpit might seem like a far off dream. Pilots are cool, calm, and collected — it can seem like they were born to take to the skies. In reality, they’ve just spent a lot of time training and have the confidence, skills, and knowledge to take on any and all situations. Anybody new to flying will have a lot questions about flight training.

Before even signing up to flight training in Australia, it pays to do your research. The pathway to achieving your goal can be quite different depending on what that goal is. Here at Learn to Fly, we’ve helped countless people with a range of different goals fulfil their dream of taking to the skies.

For some, a Trial Introductory Flight (TIF) is all they need to tick an item off their bucket list. For others, their goal of flying for fun might see them looking towards a Private Pilot Licence. If you want to fly professionally one day, a Commercial Pilot Licence or Diploma of Aviation is your pathway to success.

Whatever your aviation aspirations are, Learn to Fly is here to help. Here, we answer some of the most common questions about flight training. If, after reading this article, you still have any questions, you can always get in touch with one of our flight training specialists.

How old do I have to be to fly?

This is by far one of the most common questions that people ask. Here at Learn to Fly, we’re proud to offer a full range of flight packages and experiences designed to help people of all ages achieve their dreams.

As per regulations set out by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), you must be at least 15 to fly an aircraft solo. You can commence flight training prior to this, but until you are 15 you will always need to fly with an instructor. You need to be 16 to obtain a Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL), 17 to obtain a Private Pilot Licence (PPL), and 18 to obtain a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL).

If you are younger than 15, our Trial Introductory Flight (TIF) is the perfect opportunity to experience what it is like to fly a plane before deciding on whether you want to commit to further training. We also offer a range of simulation packages, which provide an enjoyable, realistic experience for all ages.

What are the steps to becoming a professional pilot?

This is one of the most common questions about flight training. To fly professionally, you will need to obtain your CPL. To start on CPL training you must first have completed and obtained your RPL and PPL.

For pilots who are yet to start any training, a great option is the AVI50219 Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane) course. This course includes RPL, PPL and CPL training as well as additional learning aimed at better preparing pilots for entering the industry once they graduate. This course is also approved for VET Student Loans (VSL) for eligible students. This means that you can train now, and only need to start paying back your course fees once you are earning money.

Once you have obtained your CPL, you are able to work professionally as a pilot. Depending on what kind of pilot role you want to work in, it may be of benefit to complete further training, like an Instrument Rating for example.

Learn To Fly has a range of additional Rating and Endorsement courses that allow you to upskill and give yourself the best chance at landing your dream pilot job.

Are there any prerequisites I must meet to fly?

As mentioned, CASA has a minimum age limit on who can undertake solo flights. There are a number of other prerequisites that must be met before completing flight training in Australia. These include a medical check, security clearance, Aviation English Language Proficiency (AELP) test, and registering for an Aviation Reference Number (ARN) with CASA.

You can contact Learn to Fly if you have any questions about how to meet the requirements to fly.

What aviation careers are available to me?

Many people become pilots with the dream of flying for an international airline, but that is not the only option. In reality, there are actually a wide range of career paths that pilots can choose from. You might choose to ferry cargo from one airport to another. Perhaps you’re interested in pursuing a career in the medical aviation industry, which is a very worthy endeavour. There are also always openings for agricultural pilots.

One of the best pilot career options is to become a Flight Instructor. Becoming a Flight Instructor is a rewarding career path on its own. In addition, it can be a fantastic stepping stone to another role, as it allows you to build flying hours and experience while you earn money.

Learn to Fly is passionate about helping all our students achieve their dreams, while also opening up doors that you may not have previously considered.

How much does flight training cost?

The answer to this question depends on a number of different factors. The cost of a course will depend largely on the number of flying hours it requires. Aircraft choice is another factor in determining how much training will cost.

If you are an international student, you will need to factor in the cost of your student visa plus living in Australia on top of your course fees.

Learn To Fly offers a range of payment options on our courses. We offer inclusive flight packages to give you a better indication of the overall cost upfront, and many of these can be split into interest-free monthly instalments. There is also the option to “pay as you fly”. Our Diploma courses have been approved for VET Student Loans (VSL) for eligible students.

We are dedicated to making flight training in Australia accessible to as many people as possible. We strive to make flight training more affordable, making it easier to achieve your dreams. Flying is a wonderful experience, and regardless of what your flying goals are, we look forward to welcoming you to our school. If you have any questions about flight training, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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Soar into the New Year with a Trial Introductory Flight

Oftentimes, the dreams on our bucket list never quite make it to reality. Maybe they require you to quit your job and move to a country on the other side of the world. Perhaps fulfilling a lifelong ambition requires too much time, money, or simply seems completely unrealistic. Well, as another new year approaches, one dream that CAN be fulfilled is taking the controls of an aircraft! Learn to Fly’s Trial Introductory Flight (TIF) gives you a first-hand experience of what it’s like to pilot a light aircraft.

This awesome experience can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. By choosing Learn to Fly, you can also complement the experience with a range of additional features and add-ons.

What to expect

Here at Learn to Fly, we know that some people undertake a trial flight as a one-off experience, perhaps to tick another item off their bucket list. Others may be considering a career as a professional pilot but first want to really make sure that this is a calling they feel passionate about and can see themselves succeeding in.

As such, our trial introductory flights are designed to suit a wide range of audiences. The flight will start with your instructor giving an introduction to the type of plane you will be flying in. At Learn to Fly, we have the resources at our disposal to provide you with a choice of what aircraft you want to go up in — the Foxbat OR Sling, or the Diamond DA40.

Following the introduction, where the pilot will outline how the controls work, you will be taken through a pre-flight checklist. This is the standard procedure that all pilots follow every time they fly, the trial introductory flight being designed to capture as closely as possible the real thing.

Now, it’s time to take to the skies. The pilot will, of course, be the one to control take-off, but having shown you a few basic manoeuvres, they may even let you have a go at putting your hands on the controls.  

At Learn to Fly, we offer trial introductory flights of either 30 or 60 minutes — it’s completely up to you how long you want to spend exploring the clouds.

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Take the controls and fly the aircraft yourself in our Trial Introductory Flight

Eligibility

Unlike some other types of flight training, there is no age limit on a trial introductory flight. This experience is designed for everyone!

However, you may be asked if you have any pre-existing health conditions that could interfere with your ability to safely control a plane or put other flight occupants at risk.

If you really enjoy your trial introductory flight experience, ask your Learn To Fly flight instructor about further training. The flight incorporates actual flying lesson content, meaning your time in the air will count towards additional training.

How to Book

Booking your trial flight couldn’t be easier. Simply visit the Learn to Fly website and select your plane, flight length, and preferred date. If you want to give a friend or loved one the ultimate present, we also offer a gift certificate option.

Add-ons

We know many of our trial flight participants have dreamed about this moment their whole life. With that in mind, we’ve put together a range of add-ons designed to make the day even more memorable.

While your time spent soaring amongst the clouds will no doubt remain firmly implanted in your memory, our video packages provide you with the perfect opportunity to relive your trial flight. All our aircraft are fitted with GoPro mounts, which allows your friends and family to join you in the skies.

For those wanting to go a step further, we even offer a 360 degree video option. This gives you a fully interactive recap of your flight from all angles!

For a small fee, we can also provide you with a laminated certificate, commemorating your very first flight! All the important details are featured, including your name and the flight details. Imagine how special this piece of paper will become once you’re fulfilling your life’s dream of piloting commercial airliners!

Finally, if the trial flight experience leaves you hungry for more, why not try our 737 Simulation? The simulator uses real instruments and systems to accurately capture what it’s like to be an international airline captain. What an experience!

The best way to start the new year is seeing what life is really like amongst the clouds. Contact Learn to Fly today to learn more about our trial introductory flight options and book yourself in for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity today.

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Fulfill Your Dream of Flying with a Diploma of Aviation

Many of us wonder what it might be like to be in the cockpit of a plane. Well, dream no more. Studying for a Diploma of Aviation with Learn To Fly will provide you with the knowledge, skills, and qualifications to become a certified pilot. Next time you’re jetsetting from Melbourne to New York, you could be the one in control of the plane!

Of course, obtaining a Diploma of Aviation takes considerable time and effort, as does going on to become an airline pilot. However, all who have studied with Learn to Fly would agree that it’s certainly worth the many hours you put in. After all, most of these hours will see you soaring through big blue skies or among the clouds. What more could you ask for?

Continue reading to learn a little more about what to expect from the Diploma, who is eligible, and how to apply.

AVI50219 Diploma of Aviation program summary

There are quite a few courses out there that offer pilots the opportunity to obtain their Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL), which is what you need to earn a living from flying. So what makes the AVI50219 Diploma of Aviation different?

Don’t let your beginner status get in the way of your dream to fly for a career. The 150 flying hour training syllabus will teach you everything you need to know to go from complete beginner to experienced pilot.

Upon successfully completing the course, you will receive both a Commercial Pilot Licence and a Diploma certification. However, the program is not just about you having the right pieces of paper. It not only teaches you all the practical skills you need to know to take to the skies with confidence. This includes flight planning, safe and accurate aircraft operation, operational decision making, navigation techniques, and how to safely operate in a busy and congested flight space.

The Diploma of Aviation flight training program follows the Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s Commercial Pilot Licence syllabus, and then the extended syllabus prepares you for actually working in the aviation industry. This means that the Diploma requires the participant to undertake theory classes and exams across a broad range of subjects, from aerodynamics to meteorology. Upon successful completion, you will be fully qualified and present as a highly competitive candidate to obtain your dream pilot job.

As a professional pilot, you may be responsible for the safety of a number of crew and passengers. Having finished the Diploma, you will have confidence in your skills and ability to make informed decisions to ensure the safety and security of all.

Eligibility

The Diploma is aimed at people with little to no flight experience. However, that doesn’t mean that just anyone can apply. There are prerequisites to ensure your safety and the safety of others around you.

You must be at least 18 years old to commence the program. Whilst Learn to Fly welcomes international students from all over the world, there is still an English language requirement. You must also organise an Aviation Reference Number.

How to apply

The application process for the AVI50219 Diploma of Aviation is relatively simple. It is also designed to make sure you are aware of the course demands. To start with, you must first check that you meet all eligibility requirements, as outlined above. You can then complete an Expression of Interest form. This will request some basic information about your aviation experience, career aspirations, and understanding of the obligations of a pilot.

Once this EOI is approved (more information may be requested by the selection committee), you can then complete the enrolment form. Your journey to becoming a qualified pilot will commence with a student orientation and induction session.

Why Learn to Fly?

With so many flight schools out there, why sign up with Learn to Fly?

Well, as a highly established and experienced flight school in Melbourne, we believe our passion for providing affordable and accessible flight training truly sets us apart. We understand that the cost of flight training can often be a prohibitive factor in people achieving their dreams. As such, we strive to provide high-quality, accessible training that enables you to reach your goals in an efficient manner.

Our fleet includes an array of different planes, including the single-engine Diamond DA40 and the twin-engine Diamond DA42. Our state of the art training facilities in Moorabbin are unparalleled and large enough to accommodate a significant number of students at one time. We have provided training to people from all types of backgrounds. Our graduates have gone on to achieve great things in the aviation industry. Our wide range of additional courses also allows you to expand your skillset and abilities.

The Diploma of Aviation is one of the best pathways to achieving your flying dreams. So, contact us today to take the first step towards your dreams of becoming a commercial pilot!

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Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) Training – What to Expect

To be able to fly a plane for a career, you first need to progress through Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) training. In this blog we outline what to expect from the course.

Is this the right time to start training?

With a roadmap out of lockdown finally in place and borders likely to open in the upcoming months, most of us have started dreaming about taking to the skies again. Whether it’s to spend the sunny Christmas and New Year holidays on the stunning beaches of Cairns or on the gorgeous Phillip Island, we all have big plans for the summer break!

But with Australia getting ready to travel in large numbers again, the prospect of a pilot shortage again looms. Many pilots have retired or been stood down during the pandemic, and it’s predicted that a lot of them may not return to flying. If you’ve been thinking about a career as a pilot, this is good news, and now is the time to start training towards your dreams!

Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) training prerequisites

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has strict rules and regulations for future pilots looking to gain a Commercial Pilot Licence. This is to ensure the safety of the pilot, the passengers flying with them, as well as those on the ground. Before you can successfully get your licence, you must meet the following criteria:

– Be at least 18 years of age at the time of CPL issue (you can start training at any age but must be at least 15 to fly solo).
– Complete in-flight training. For a CPL, this equates to at least 150 command hours, with 70 flown solo.
– Complete Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) and Private Pilot Licence (PPL) training (you will progress through this syllabus as part of the CPL course).
– Pass the CPL theory exams
– Pass the CPL flight test with a CASA accredited testing officer.

Medical requirements

A healthy pilot is a safe pilot. When flying commercially, it is not just your wellbeing you are responsible for. You’re also responsible for every other passenger and crew member in your plane. As such, it is important for you to meet certain CASA mandated medical requirements before you can get your CPL.

Before you commence your Commercial Pilot Licence flight training, it is essential for you to get a Class 1 medical certificate. This test typically tests your vision, hearing and heart health, as well as any family history for heart problems. You will need to answer questions about your general health and any medication you may be taking. You may also need to provide urine and blood samples. The purpose of this test is to ensure you are physically and mentally capable of piloting an aircraft.

Once you successfully attain the Class 1 medical certificate, this certificate will be valid for one year. The certificate requires regular renewal, for which you will have to provide updated medical results. Testing frequency is based on your age. For example, an ECG test will be first required at the age of 25, then at 30, then every two years until you turn 40, after which you will need to get tested annually.

Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) training process

Even if you have never previously piloted a plane or stepped inside the cockpit of a plane, you may still excel at becoming a commercial pilot. Learn to Fly’s CPL training program takes you through the basics of flying a plane, from learning about aerodynamics and the characteristics of the plane you are going to fly, through to learning new languages like radio speak and textual weather and learning new advanced maneuvering techniques.

Our Commercial Pilot Licence course will set you up for your career as a professional pilot. You will progress through the following training process:

Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL):

The first step to getting started on your commercial pilot career is successfully getting your Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL). This course will take you through the fundamentals of aerodynamics, basic manoeuvering, how to manage stalling and what to do in emergency situations. Once you have an RPL, you will be able to fly with up to 3 passengers within 25 nautical miles from your departure point.

Private Pilot Licence (PPL):

Second, you will progress through the requirements of getting a Private Pilot Licence (PPL). This course builds upon the skills you learnt in the previous course. It then takes them a few steps further by teaching you more navigation skills. You will also develop an understanding of Class C and Class E airspace procedures. This will enable you to fly further than 25 nautical miles. With a PPL, you can fly anywhere within Australia carrying up to 5 passengers.

Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL):

Finally, you will move on to your Commercial Pilot Licence training. In this course, you will learn more advanced aviation theory, conduct more navigation exercises and work on building your command hours. Getting a CPL means you are now a fully qualified commercial pilot and can use your skills to build a career.

With a Commercial Pilot Licence, you can choose out of several career options. From being a charter pilot, commercial airline pilot, flight instructor to an agricultural flying operator, the sky’s the limit for you!

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Commercial Pilot Licence training prepares you for a career as a professional pilot

Not sure if a career in aviation is for you? Try our Trial Introductory Flight (TIF) to get a taste of flying. See the world as a pilot sees it!

Want to find out more about Commercial Pilot Licence training? Email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Flight Instructor Training Endorsements – All You Need To Know

When you first complete a Flight Instructor Rating course, you will also need to complete at least 1 Flight Instructor Training Endorsement. So what are Flight Instructor Training Endorsements? In this blog we’ll outline the Flight Instructor Training Endorsements that are available. We’ll also guide you on how each of these endorsements can add value to your role as a Flight Instructor, and your progression as a professional pilot.

What are Flight Instructor Training Endorsements?

Flight Instructor Training Endorsements are endorsements that allow you to instruct specific flight training syllabus. Essentially, a Flight Instructor Rating alone teaches you how to instruct pilots. The training endorsements then dictate exactly what you are able to instruct on. So when you complete a Flight Instructor Rating, CASA requires that you also complete at least 1 training endorsement.

Most new trainee Flight Instructors opt to complete a Grade 3 Training Endorsement first. Read on to find out why, and to look at what other endorsements are available from there.

Grade 3 Training Endorsement

There are 3 levels of Flight Instructor, starting at Grade 3 and progressing through to Grade 1 (the most senior). A Grade 3 Training Endorsement allows you to instruct student pilots for the basic RPL, PPL and CPL course syllabus. It allows you to teach both theory and practical training. You are only able to instruct under VFR conditions, and on aircraft that don’t have features that require additional training (such as multi engine).

To achieve Grade 2 and Grade 1 status, there are minimum instructing hour requirements. So, you need to start at Grade 3. It is possible to start with a specific training endorsement (like an Aerobatics & Spinning, Multi Engine or Design Feature Training Endorsement for example). However, that would ONLY allow you to teach the syllabus for that specific endorsement’s scope. And therefore, starting with the Grade 3 Training Endorsement gives you far greater scope to instruct initially.

From there, you can add further training endorsements that will allow you to teach extended course syllabus on more aircraft, for more flight activities, and in more conditions.

Design Feature Training Endorsement

Some aircraft have design features that require additional endorsements. This includes Tailwheel Undercarriage, Manual Pitch Propeller Control (MPPC) also known as Constant Speed Unit (CSU), and more. Just having the relevant Design Feature Endorsement doesn’t allow you to instruct on that feature, which is why you need a Design Feature Training Endorsement. Once you hold a Design Feature Training Endorsement, you can instruct for any of the Design Feature Endorsements you hold.

Multi Engine Training Endorsement

As the name suggests, the Multi Engine Training Endorsement allows you to instruct students in multi engine aircraft for the Multi Engine Class Rating course syllabus. Having this flight instructor training endorsement obviously allows you to instruct on more aircraft, which in turn increases your potential to earn and build hours. To commence this course you need at least 50hrs multi engine flying experience.

Aerobatics & Spinning Training Endorsement

The Aerobatics & Spinning Training Endorsement allows you to teach the syllabus for aerobatic and spinning flight activities. Aside from being a LOT of fun for most pilots, knowing how to handle an aircraft in these situations is a great skill to keep current.

Night VFR Training Endorsement

Obtaining a Night VFR Training Endorsement means that you can instruct the syllabus for the Night VFR Rating course. This obviously allows you to increase the number of hours available to fly and instruct in. Plus, flying at night is pretty spectacular, especially in a city like Melbourne!

Instrument Rating Training Endorsement

Just as obtaining an Instrument Rating opens up a whole new world of flying, an Instrument Rating Training Endorsement opens up a whole new world of instructing. If you are looking to build flying hours, being able to instruct Instrument Rating syllabus is essential. This is even more important if your main training base is in an area prone to inclement weather. On top of that, instrument flying and instructing experience is very highly regarded when you are applying for roles to progress your career – especially airline pilot roles.

Grade 2 Training Endorsement

Progressing your Flight Instructor grade affords you more training privileges and allows you to earn a higher wage. Before you can move on from being a Grade 3 Flight Instructor, you need to accumulate at least 200hrs of Ab Initio instructing. You can then complete the Grade 2 Training Endorsement course.

As a Grade 2 Flight Instructor, you can approve first solo flights and conduct flight reviews for Ratings. You can also assess Knowledge Deficiency Reports (KDRs) for licence and rating grants, and grant endorsements on RPLs.

Grade 1 Training Endorsement

Grade 1 Flight Instructors are the highest level of instructors. As a Grade 1 Flight Instructor, you can expand your capabilities even further by supervising Grade 2 and Grade 3 Flight Instructors when they conduct flight training. Your wage will also increase again. To complete a Grade 1 Training Endorsement course, you must first have completed at least 500hrs of Ab Initio instructing.

Do you want to take your instructing career even further? Achieving Grade 1 Flight Instructor status can also allow you to consider becoming a Flight Examiner. To apply to become a Flight Examiner, you:

– Must have been a Grade 1 Flight Instructor for at least 12 months
– Need to have at least 1,500hrs as Pilot in Command overall; and
– Must have completed at least 100hrs of RPL/PPL instructing in the previous 12 months

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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.

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Private Instrument Flight Rating (Private IFR) – Should You Get It?

Flying under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) conditions alone can be quite restrictive for private pilots. Planning around light and weather heavily reduces the amount of time you can fly, especially if you are flying in a place with changeable weather like Melbourne. Having said this, there may only be a handful of situations that require instrument flying privileges, and so completing a full Instrument Rating course might not really be required. The good news is that the Private Instrument Flight Rating (also known as Private IFR or PIFR) course allows you to choose exactly which instrument flying endorsements you need.

This means that obtaining a Private IFR is far faster and less expensive than undergoing full Instrument Rating training. So, is this the right option for you? Read on to find out!

What is the difference between Visual Flight Rules (VFR) and Instrument Flight Rules (IFR)?

VFR and IFR refer to the meteorological conditions that a pilot operates under. The specific rules for each are determined by CASA, and are based on Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC) minima.

Basically, VFR means that weather (and light) conditions are clear enough for you to fly and navigate entirely visually. So, you must be able to clearly see visual references on the ground. You also need to see clearly enough to avoid other obstacles in the air (including clouds).

Any conditions outside of what CASA determines to be VFR are considered to be IFR. This is because they require you to use your instruments to fly, rather than being able to fly by visual reference alone.

DA40 Rainbow Private IFR
A Private IFR allows you to fly in more conditions than what VFR allows.

What is a Private Instrument Flight Rating (Private IFR)?

The Private IFR course can be completed in single or multi-engine aircraft. To commence the course you need to hold a Private Pilot Licence (PPL), Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) or Air Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL). You’ll also need to have passed your CASA Instrument Rating Examination (IREX) before progressing with the flight training syllabus.

A Private Instrument Flying Rating authorises the holder to act as a pilot in command of flights under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) in a single-pilot aircraft with MTOW of 5700kg or less. However, in its most basic form, a Private IFR still restricts the holder to flying in VFR conditions only when flying under Lowest Safe Altitude (LSALT). So to solve this issue, there are a range of endorsements that you can add. You can base these on the type of flying you want to do, and also the aerodromes you will likely be flying to/from.

What Endorsements can you add to your Private IFR?

Endorsements allow you to conduct specific flight activities under IFR conditions including en-route navigation procedures, approach and arrival procedures, departure procedures and night flying.

En-route Navigation Endorsements

En-route navigation endorsements allow you to fly under IFR conditions using ground-based navigation aids. They include:

– NDB En-route (for eligible aircraft)
– VOR / LLZ En-route
– GNSS En-route

Approach Endorsements

Instrument approaches are set procedures that allow you to approach an aerodrome under IFR conditions. They apply from the start of the approach through to either when you land or reach a point where are able to continue the landing visually. They include:

– STAR
– NDB Approach (for eligible aircraft)
– VOR / LLZ Approach
– DME or GNSS Arrival Procedure
– RNP ACHP 2D / RNAV Approach
– ILS Approach

Departure Endorsements

An endorsement is required to be able to take off and depart an aerodrome under IFR conditions. There are some aerodromes that have specific departure procedures though, and these are known as Standard Instrument Departure (SID) procedures. A Non-Standard Instrument Departure (NSID) Endorsement can cover IFR departures for all aerodromes that don’t have specific procedures. You will need a separate SID Endorsement for each different aerodrome that has specific procedures.

Night IFR Endorsement

A basic PIFR will only allow you to fly under IFR conditions in the situations granted by your en-route, approach and departure endorsements during daylight. So, to be able to fly at night, you will need to add a Night IFR Endorsement.

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Flying at night is an amazing experience – you can add a Night IFR Endorsement in our Private IFR course.

What does the LTF Private IFR course include?

A full Instrument Rating course will train you in the vast majority of the endorsement options mentioned above. But you might not need ALL of those things. Subsequently, this is where the PIFR can be a great option.

We utilise practical aircraft training as well as training in our state-of-the-art Alsim AL42 or TRC472 flight simulators. Integrating simulation allows you perfect your techniques on the ground and make the most of your time in the real aircraft.

LTF’s Standard PIFR course package includes:

– 10Hrs Dual Flight Training
– 9Hrs Dual Simulation Training
– Ground School and Briefings
– IREX Theory Course Online Subscription
– VOR/LLZ, GNSS, NDB En-route Navigation Endorsements*
– RNP 2D Approach Endorsement (RNAV)
– NSID (Non-standard Instrument Departure) Endorsement
– 2 Approach Endorsements (STAR, NDB, VOR/LLZ, DME/GNSS, ILS)*
– 1.5Hrs PIFR Flight Test Solo Hire
– PIFR Flight Test Fee

The following aircraft are available from our fleet for this course:

Cessna 172
Diamond DA40
Piper Seminole
Diamond DA42

*NDB not available for Diamond DA40/DA42

We offer a Standard + Night PIFR package as well that includes all of the above plus a Night IFR Endorsement. We can also offer face to face IREX theory classes for those would would prefer to learn in person. In addition to this, we are able to offer packages for additional PIFR individual endorsements.

Do you want to find out more about our Private IFR course? Email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Learn To Fly Student Life: Starting Flight Training in Melbourne

So you’ve made the decision to learn how to fly! It’s a decision you won’t ever regret. Flying is a wonderful experience, and knowing how to pilot an aircraft is an amazing skill. But the learning journey itself is something that you should enjoy, and choosing the right flying school makes all the difference. Our students love flying with us, and so we thought we would give you some insight into Learn To Fly student life.

This blog looks at your first day, when you arrive at our Learn To Fly Melbourne training base.

Arriving at Learn To Fly Melbourne

Do you remember your first day at school, or at a new job? New place, new people, feeling a little unsure? As you get older, ‘first days’ get a little easier, but they can still be daunting.

On your first day when you arrive, you’ll be greeted by our HR team who will welcome you and take you through our enrolment procedures. They’ll show you around our state-of-the-art facilities and give you a bit of information about Moorabbin Airport and the surrounding area.

We’re lucky to have a lot of great retail, food and transport options available nearby. This makes things a lot easier, especially if you are new to Melbourne. We have a lot of international students, and many of them have only just recently arrived in Australia. Having some local knowledge really helps, and this is your opportunity to ask about anything you need to know.

You’ll be spending a lot of time at LTF’s training facility while you become a pilot, so we want you to feel like this is home. Learn To Fly student life starts the moment you step through the door!

Meeting Your Flight Instructor

Having the right flight instructor is so important. The right instructor will bring out the best in you, and make your flight training journey enjoyable right from the start. Flight instructors are as much a part of Learn To Fly student life as the students themselves.

Our LTF instructor team has a huge amount of flying experience, from diverse backgrounds around the world. We have Grade 1 instructors through to Grade 3, as well as instructors with specific skill and knowledge areas such as IFR training, multi-engine training – even down to aerobatics and formation flying.

Just as important as flying knowledge and experience is an instructor’s ability to connect with you. Everybody has different learning styles, so you need an instructor that you can connect with. At LTF you will be allocated a primary instructor and a secondary instructor to look after you and your training progress. But if it turns out that there’s another instructor that may be better suited, our large team means that you’ll have the opportunity to change.

On your first day you will meet your primary instructor, and they’ll have a chat to you about your flight training journey. They’ll show you through the features of our online student portal, and how our training model works – including our huge range of online training options.

Moorabbin Airport and the LTF Flight Training Fleet

There’s a lot to learn about the airport you will be training at, and Moorabbin Airport is quite complex. With a complex taxiway and runway layout, high aircraft movements, and ATC tower, there’s definitely more to learn here than at many other aerodromes.

Whilst this may seem daunting at first, it’s actually going to be a huge benefit to your learning. And don’t worry, your flight instructor has got your back! On your first day they’ll spend time going over the layout and procedures with you. Of course, you’ll learn more in your first lesson.

The LTF flight training fleet has a great range of modern and traditional aircraft. This means you can choose between learning on analogue instruments or in a glass cockpit aircraft with advanced Garmin avionics and screens. If you are beginning your Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) training, you can choose between the sporty Sling 2, the modern Diamond DA40, or the classic Cessna 172. We also have the A22LS Foxbat for RA-Aus RPC training.

It’s likely that you will have already chosen which aircraft you are going to fly before you start, but it’s good to know that you can always change throughout your training.

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The Moorabbin Airport layout is complex, but a fantastic place to learn.

Your First Flying Lesson

Do you want to know what the BEST part of Learn To Fly student life is…? That’s really easy. It’s FLYING!

When you start flight training, your first lesson will be Effects of Controls and Straight and Level Flying. Your instructor will brief you in one of our briefing rooms, before showing you how to pre-flight check your aircraft. And then it’s time to head towards the runway, and begin your love affair with the sky!

Student Culture at Learn To Fly

One of the things that we are really serious about – other than safety of course – is ensuring that we create an inclusive learning environment, and a just culture. What that means is that we engage in open and honest conversations at all levels, from our students all the way up to our CEO and Chief Flying Instructors.

Our students and our flight training team support each other, and we have seen many fantastic friendships form over the years. Learn To Fly student life is a lot of fun, and we can’t wait for you to be a part of it!

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Learn To Fly student life is fun!

If you are interested in finding out more about our learning to fly with us, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Getting a Night VFR Rating: What You Need to Know

Night flying is a great skill for a pilot to have in their arsenal. A Night VFR or Night Visual Flight Rules Rating allows you to fly your aircraft at night. You do however, need other VFR weather conditions to be present.

It gives you the freedom of not being limited by time when flying cross-country. You can also take passengers flying to see the beautiful city lights of Melbourne from the sky. It’s a sight not to be missed!

Not only is flying at night exciting and thrilling, but having this skill also generally makes you a better pilot. Here’s a quick look at getting a Night VFR Rating on your pilot licence and what you should expect:

Eligibility Criteria:

In order to successfully get a Night VFR rating, the pilot must have:

– A Private Pilot Licence at the minimum, but can also have a Commercial Pilot Licence or Air Transport Pilot Licence,

– At least 10 hours of night flight time training under a supervisor, either in an aircraft or in an approved flight simulator,

– At least 5 hours of dual cross-country night flight time training included in the above 10 hours,

– Successfully cleared the Night VFR flight test.

Why Get a Night VFR Rating

Melbourne winter days are short, with the winter solstice this year clocking just 9 hours and 53 minutes of daylight. Having a Night VFR Rating gives you the flexibility to make longer trips. This is especially handy during the short daylight hours in winter. You can start your flight before sunrise and end it late without having to cut your trip short before sunset. Furthermore, you could even end the day by taking in magnificent views of the city from the air.

Air traffic also tends to be lower in the nighttime, which means you will have a smoother, easier flight. And if you are flying on a night with a full moon, it will not be much different than flying in the day owing to all the light coming from the moon!

Finally, for pilots who aim to fly commercially, having a Night VFR rating and a significant amount of night command time is a necessity, as commercial pilots often need to fly at night. Many airlines looking for professional pilots require the pilot to have at least 100 hrs of flight time at night in order to even be considered for the position!

What to expect from Learn to Fly’s Night VFR Rating Course

Enrolment and Orientation

When signing up for our Night VFR Rating Course, you will get a Training Starter Kit. This will contain all relevant course materials. It will also contain detailed information on the processes of your course and access to shared online resources.

On the day of orientation, you will be introduced to your instructor. They will take you around the airport, airspace and our facilities. You will also get to learn about the processes Learn to Fly follows.

Night VFR Ground School

Once you have successfully settled in, the first part of the course will include some ground training and instructions. These are typically conducted in the form of theory classes where you will learn of the fundamental concepts of a Night VFR Rating. You will also learn what to expect during the actual night circuit training.

Night VFR Flight Training

In this step of the course, you will learn different landing techniques, approaches and what to do in emergency situations. You will also familiarise yourself with common navigational aids. These include NDB (non-directional beacon) and VOR (Very high-frequency omnidirectional range) as well as the use of pilot activated light (PAL) and other runway lighting equipment.

Night Solo Training

Once you have successfully mastered the last step, your instructor will determine if you are ready for your first solo night flight. The first solo flights will involve circuit flying. Once these have been mastered, you will then move on to navigation training. This form of training makes you a more independent pilot, as it involves planning and executing a number of navigational flights at night, helping you prepare for the next and final step.

Night VFR Flight Test

Approximately 3 hours in duration, the Night VFR Flight Test is conducted in a CASA approved aircraft under the supervision of a CASA approved instructor. This test will include take-off and landing as well as navigation skill assessment and the correct use of navigational aids. Finally, the test will also assess some nighttime emergency procedures and how prepared you are to handle them. Once you successfully pass this test, you then get your Night VFR Rating. Congratulations!

Why Choose Learn to Fly

At Learn to Fly, all of our flight training courses, including the Night VFR Rating course, involve simulation training. This allows students to become familiar with the controls and behaviour patterns, procedures and systems of the aircraft they choose whilst still on the ground. We have a range of simulators available. This includes full cockpit synthetic trainers like the Alsim AL42, replicating the cockpit of our Diamond DA42 twin-engine aircraft.

Learn To Fly offers an innovative training model, so you can continue learning online even while you are at home. We have state-of-the-art facilities at our Moorabbin Airport base in Melbourne, experienced instructors, and a range of aircraft to choose from.

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Being able to see the city lights at night from above is just one benefit of a Night VFR Rating.

To find out about our Night VFR Rating course, email [email protected]. You can also visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour. For more great flying tips and the latest flying videos, click below and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

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Why Should You Do Your Flight Training With Learn To Fly Melbourne?

Welcome to Learn To Fly Flight Training. Our goal is to make your pilot journey as simple as possible, so you focus on the enjoyment of flying. We train professional pilots, and pilots who just want to fly recreationally. We have a huge range of courses available, from beginner programs all the way through to obtaining your Commercial Pilot Licence. In addition to this, we have advanced ratings and endorsements, and even airline interview preparation.

But there are plenty of flight schools out there. So, why should you choose Learn To Fly for your flight training?

Innovative Training with CASA Part 142 Accreditation

We are constantly innovating our Learn To Fly flight training model to provide students with flexibility, and more opportunities to learn. Embracing modern technology, we utilise modern flight simulation, and the theory components of many of our courses can now be studied online. Our Moorabbin Airport training base facilities are state-of-the-art, enhancing your learning experience.

In addition to this, our modern online portal allows students to track their course progress and access essential course materials and content from wherever they are, including 360 degree virtual cockpit environments.

As a CASA Part 142 accredited flying school, we are able to offer an integrated training syllabus. This means that you can study your theory and practical flight training concurrently. Integrated training saves you time and allows you to reach your flying goals faster.

Our training model is goal focused, whether you want to fly professionally or for fun. If you are hoping to work as a pilot, our aviation training and career specialists can customise your training to suit your career goals.

Emphasis on Safety

At Learn To Fly Melbourne, safety is and always will be our number one priority. A cornerstone of our operation is to ensure that we maintain a positive and transparent safety culture.

A part of the safety culture at LTF is the acknowledgement that flight training does involve risk. It is therefore vital that students and instructors alike are well educated about these risks, and the processes involved in risk minimisation. Our support team includes dedicated Safety Managers that oversee all aspects of our operation.

This focus on safety has been present since the school’s founding, and its importance only grows as we continue to expand.

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Our modern and well maintained aircraft fleet caters for a wide range of flight training requirements.

Modern Aircraft Fleet and Flight Simulators

Learn To Fly’s aircraft fleet provides students with a range of options for most of our flight training courses. We are the only flight school in the state of Victoria offering training in modern glass cockpit Diamond aircraft, and our fleet includes single engine Diamond DA40s as well as twin-engine Diamond DA42s.

The sporty Sling 2 is a fantastic beginner aircraft, and we operate the largest fleet of these in Australia. We also offer more traditional aircraft with analogue avionics like the classic Cessna 172 and Piper Seminole. In addition to this, we have an A22LS Foxbat for RA-Aus programs, and a Super Decathlon for aerobatics, spinning and tailwheel training.

All of our aircraft are stringently maintained in line with our safety policies. We have our very own maintenance hangar located next to our main training facility.

We have a range of simulator options, and integrate flight simulation into our innovative training model. Alongside our state-of-the-art Alsim AL42 (Diamond DA42) and TRC 472 (Cessna 172) full cockpit synthetic trainers, we have a full motion Xplane simulator with aircraft controls and Garmin avionics.

Professional Experienced Instructors

The best instructors bring out the best in you. Our Learn To Fly flight training team is highly experienced, with a diverse range of aviation backgrounds from multiple countries. We have Grade 1, 2 and 3 instructors, as well as instructors certified to teach a huge range of additional ratings, endorsements and advanced training endorsements. In addition to this our team includes in-house Flight Examiners. This means that you can complete many of your flight tests on-site.

Experience has shown us that student pilots find the process of completing their training and entering the aviation industry difficult. Our support staff includes aviation career specialists who can guide you on your pilot pathway beyond graduating from your training, and even assist with airline applications.

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The best flight instructors bring out the best in you.

Airline Interview Specialists

Want to know the secret weapon for success in airline interviews? It’s us. We have a range of programs specifically developed to help you not only prepare for airline interviews, but to then pass them with flying colours.

Airline Check and Training Captain Darren McPherson from ACS Aviation Consulting Services is our aviation career specialist. His airline interview preparation programs are highly successful, helping hundreds of pilots to be accepted into wide range of airlines around the world. Our success stories have joined their new airlines at Cadet level as well as First and Second Officer direct entry roles.

International Flying School

Learn To Fly is an international flight school that offers flight training in Melbourne, Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Our innovative training model means that we are able to offer distance learning options on a broad range of courses. This makes our reach truly global.

Our home training base is located Melbourne’s Moorabbin Airport, one of Australia’s busiest airports with >250,000 aircraft movements per year. This makes it an excellent place to learn. Our student pilots are able to master a greater scope of experience than at smaller aerodromes.

In addition, we have partnered with airlines based in a number of countries. This offers global career options to our students and graduates.

To find out more about Learn To Fly Flight Training, email [email protected]. You can also visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour. Click below to subscribe to our YouTube channel for regularly updated flying lessons and flight training content.

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What to Expect from a Trial Introductory Flight (TIF)

Learning how to fly can be as scary as it is exhilarating. If you’ve been on the fence about whether flying is for you, why not book yourself a Trial Introductory Flight (TIF) to get a taste of what flying is like before you move on to getting your Recreational Pilot’s Licence (RPL), Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL) or Commercial Pilot’s Licence (CPL).

What is a Trial Introductory Flight (TIF)?

A TIF is exactly what it sounds like. A low-stakes, fully supervised opportunity to take to the skies in a trial flight with a licenced instructor to see if flying is really something you want to do.

The very first flight you take sitting in the cockpit will undoubtedly be something to remember all your life. But before investing in a long, expensive flight training course, it is important to be absolutely sure flying is something you truly want to do, whether recreationally or commercially. This is where a Trial Introductory Flight comes in handy. Most future pilots can tell if they want to continue learning how to fly after this first TIF based on the knowledge they get during the experience.

What to expect from your TIF

Pre-flight briefing and inspection:

Your Trial Introductory Flight will start with a brief but thorough introduction into the workings of an airplane. You’ll learn about aerodynamics and what to expect during your flight. After this, your instructor will conduct a thorough physical pre-flight inspection of the plane with you. You are welcome—and invited—to ask the instructor any questions that may come to mind and to participate in the pre-flight inspection. The more you know about the aircraft, the better of a pilot you will be!

Duration of flight:

The typical TIF lasts around 30 to 60 minutes.

Hands-on training:

During the flight, the highly trained instructors will demonstrate flying methods, manoeuvres and skills. You’ll then be able to attempt them yourself under full supervision. This is a great, low-stakes way of getting a feel of being in the cockpit and flying a plane yourself. It can also be an excellent method to treat someone who has always expressed a desire to fly but doesn’t want to commit to getting a flying licence.

Final assessment:

Want to know how you went and whether you have a future in the aviation industry? No worries! After the flight is over, your instructor will conduct a full debriefing session to talk about how you did, your ability to follow instructions, understand directions and complete tasks. While most of these skills can be further perfected in the more thorough, detailed licence programs, it can be useful to get an idea what your chances of success are if you ever decide to pursue it professionally.

Who should try a Trial Introductory Flight?

Anybody! Taking a TIF is a fantastic opportunity to see the land from the lens of a pilot in a cockpit. You’ll experience the thrill of flying a plane without any long-term commitments. Fairly inexpensive, it is also a terrific present to give to the airplane enthusiast in your life, or to get them started on a career in aviation. Flight time during your trial introductory flight can also count towards getting a pilot licence should you decide to pursue it any further. The possibilities are limitless!

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A Trial Introductory Flight is a great way to take the controls and get a feel of what it’s like to be a pilot.

Take to the skies today by booking your very first Trial Introductory Flight (TIF) and experience a world like no other! Want to chat to a flight training expert? Email [email protected]. You can also visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour. For more great flying tips and the latest flying videos, click below and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

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Bachelor of Aviation – Learn To Fly Launches Articulation Pathway with Griffith University

Learn To Fly is proud to announce a new articulation pathway with Griffith University for students wanting to complete a Bachelor of Aviation program.

Australia’s Most Recognised Aviation Program

Griffith University is one of Australia’s most prestigious universities and offers Australia’s largest and most recognised aviation teaching program. For over 25 years, Griffith has worked closely with aviation industry experts to develop programs that meet the demanding requirements of current and future pilots. They are known worldwide for providing exceptionally well trained and high-quality commercial pilot graduates.

With strong industry ties as well as a large presence in aviation research, the Griffith University Bachelor of Aviation program is the perfect stepping-stone to your career as a pilot.

About the Bachelor of Aviation Course

A Bachelor of Aviation qualification is the perfect preparation for becoming a professional pilot. Your comprehensive training includes theory in a range of subjects as well as simulation training.

Choosing this pathway for your aviation training can mean that you are able to be ready to start working professionally in a wider range of aviation jobs sooner.

The Ideal Pathway to Becoming a Professional Pilot

Completing the AVI50219 Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane) and AVI50519 Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Rating – Aeroplane) courses with Learn To Fly Melbourne allows you to apply for the Griffith University Bachelor of Aviation program via Advanced Standing (with 80 credit points). The diploma courses can be completed in 18 months at Learn To Fly’s Melbourne training base at Moorabbin Airport.

Griffith’s Bachelor of Aviation program requires a total of 240 credit points for completion. This takes most full-time articulation students another 18 months to complete, based on 15-20 hours per week of scheduled classes. What this means is that you could potentially complete 3 highly regarded aviation qualifications (Commercial Pilot Licence, Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating and Bachelor of Aviation) within just 3 years.

When you graduate from this training pathway you will be ready to start your career as a pilot. In addition, these 3 qualifications could mean that there are many more job opportunities available to you.

Extend Your Career Advantage Even Further With Learn To Fly

To be able to participate in formation flying, you’ll need a Formation Flying Endorsement. The

Learn To Fly offers a wide range of additional flying courses. You can complete these courses concurrently whilst studying for either the Diploma courses or the Bachelor of Aviation program. These courses can improve your standing as an applicant to potential employers even further. They will also give you the training to be able to consider a wider range of commercial pilot roles post-graduation.

It’s no secret that aviation employers industry-wide hold applicants with a Flight Instructor Rating (FIR) in high regard. Our Flight Instructor Rating (FIR) course is seen as one of the most comprehensive flight instructor courses in Melbourne.

If you are considering a career as an airline pilot, then you should definitely consider our Airline Interview Preparation courses. Facilitated by international Airline Check and Training Captain and aviation career specialist Darren McPherson from ACS Aviation Consulting Services, these courses have helped nearly 200 pilots to achieve success in their applications to a range of renowned airlines around the world.

Bachelor Of Aviation Student

To register your interest in the Bachelor of Aviation articulation pathway, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Formation Flying – A Thrilling Experience For Any Pilot!

Formation flying is a unique experience and one that captivates even the most accomplished of pilots. There is something undeniably exciting and almost surreal about flying side by side with another aircraft so close by or moving as one through turns and other manoeuvres.

Even from the ground, seeing aircraft flying together is captivating. From the cockpit, it’s something else altogether. Looking across and seeing your wingman right there with you, close enough to see the facial expressions of the other pilots, it’s just such a great buzz!

Read on to learn a bit more about why it’s such a fun and rewarding experience for any pilot!

What is Formation Flying?

Formation flying is when 2 or more aircraft fly close together in an organised manner. There is a designated lead aircraft, and the other aircraft are known as the “wingmen”. Yep, just like “Top Gun”. It is actually worth noting, as jokes aside, flying in formation has been developed over time mostly for military purposes.

These days formation flying is commonly used for aerial displays and air-to-air photography.

There are a number of different formation types or “orders”, and depending on the number of aircraft, the formation can also be arranged into multiple groups, known as “elements”. Some of the more common formation orders include Echelon, Line Abreast and Line Astern.

Formation flights must be well planned and briefed prior to departure, to discuss what formation types and manoeuvres will be involved. A detailed briefing is obviously also important to discuss safety considerations and emergency procedures.

What Skills Do You Need For Formation Flying?

Apart from being a lot of fun, flying in formation is also a great activity for honing your pilot skills. Flying close together with other aircraft requires a high level of concentration and precise control inputs. You need to know your aircraft and how it performs at various speeds and angles of the bank.

It also requires excellent communication and of course, a level of understanding and teamwork between pilots. These are all skills that are of great benefit to any pilot.

Can Anybody Fly In Formation?

To be able to participate in formation flying, you’ll need a Formation Flying Endorsement. The course teaches you how to maintain and change positions in a range of formation types. You’ll also learn how to take off and land in formation, perform manoeuvres together in unison, and perform other manoeuvres such as the exciting break and rejoin.

Formation Flying Endorsement

Learn To Fly’s Formation Flying Endorsement Course

Learn To Fly’s Formation Flying Endorsement includes all ground theory as well as 6 hours of flying. To be eligible to complete the course you will need to hold a valid RPL, PPL or CPL. Since we need at least 2 aircraft flying for the practical side of things, we recommend completing the course with another pilot.

We offer this course in a Sling 2 or Diamond DA40 aircraft from the LTF fleet, but there is also the option to complete it in your own aircraft! We have just recently completed a Formation Flying Endorsement with other than YouTube aviation legend Stef Drury, in his Cirrus SR22.

Contact [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Should You Do Your Flight Training in a Cessna 172?

Planes are beautiful pieces of machinery. They take us up above the clouds and help us travel great distances in a short period of time. With so many planes out there nowadays, you may wonder which one is the best one to learn in. If you ask around at flight schools or among pilots, there is a good chance they will tell you that flight training in a Cessna 172 is the best way to go.

This single-engine plane is easily the most popular plane in the world. There have been more than 44,000 Cessna 172 ‘Skyhawks’ manufactured since 1956, and they are still in production today. Impressively, while there have been some technology upgrades since the original, the overall design is remarkably similar to the original. The latest models have integrated cockpit avionics like the Garmin G1000 which has an improved graphical interface, powerful hardware, high-resolution displays, increased functionality for situational awareness, and wireless technology.

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Pilots love the Cessna 172

The Best Plane in the World?

Most pilots that have done their flight training in a Cessna 172 find that the ease and simplicity of operation make it a great beginner plane, regardless of whether it’s a new or old C172 model.

The Cessna 172’s high wing design is also a stand out feature. This design is different to much other training aircraft, as the wings are above the fuselage rather than below it. This gives greater visibility of the world outside the plane for beginner pilots. Also, the higher wings allow for a larger door and better access to getting into the cockpit. 

The Cessna 172 is a fantastic aircraft to learn how to perfect your takeoffs and landings. It’s sometimes even jokingly nicknamed the “Land-O-Matic” by pilots. The tricycle landing gear layout means that the centre of gravity sits in front of the main wheels. If you are learning and your landing is crooked the centre of gravity will naturally pull the plane straight. The C172 also has a great balance between speed and stability in flight. It is a lot easier to recover from spinning situations than a lot of other training aircraft. This is obviously a great attribute for an aircraft to have for beginner pilots.

Here at Learn to Fly we love seeing our students learn and grow in arguably the best light plane ever made. When you are learning to fly in a trusted aircraft design, and a plane you feel comfortable in, you can focus more easily on the more advanced concepts of flight training. When you are ready to become a pilot, Learn to Fly has you covered with flight training with a Cessna 172. Enquire with us on how to make it happen today!

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The classic Cessna 172 on the tarmac at Moorabbin Airport

To find out more, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Pilot Job Guarantee Program: Are You Ready For Take-off?

The Learn To Fly Pilot Job Guarantee Program is your pathway to the runway, clearing your aviation career for take-off. Successful applicants are guaranteed a Flight Instructor role and at least 300 flying hours. This means that you’ll be ready to step into a career as a commercial pilot.

But how does the LTF Pilot Job Guarantee Program work, and are you eligible to apply? We will answer those questions and more in this blog. We will also chat to Chun Ki (Peter) Cheung, our Pilot Job Guarantee Program graduate, to learn about his story and hear how he is going in his Flight Instructor role.

About the Learn To Fly Pilot Job Guarantee Program

Eligibility: To be eligible for the Pilot Job Guarantee you must be between 18 and 35 years old. You must have little to no previous flying experience. You will also need to meet the English proficiency and CASA medical requirements.

Process: Accepted candidates will progress through CPL training (which includes RPL and PPL as well). You will then complete a Flight Instructor Rating (FIR). Following that, you will be able to start work as a Flight Instructor at Learn To Fly.

Your Pilot Career: Whilst we guarantee that you will at least pass 300 flying hours whilst working as a Flight Instructor at LTF, it doesn’t end there. There are many options to widen your career choices by completing a range of ratings and endorsements as you go. You could choose to upgrade your instructor status. Or you could look at some of our Airline Interview Preparation courses and start getting ready for airline applications.

Click here for more detailed information on the Pilot Job Guarantee Program, including full eligibility requirements.

Why Apply for the Learn To Fly Pilot Job Guarantee Program?

With the recent global COVID19 pandemic, the job landscape for pilots especially has become far more difficult to navigate. The industry will bounce back, but when will that be? The requirement for flight training will rapidly expand in the coming years. However, this still doesn’t guarantee everybody a job as a Flight Instructor when they finish their training.

The Learn To Fly Pilot Job Guarantee Program allows you to bypass that crucial first worry of wondering whether you can get a job when you finish CPL training. As you grow your skills, knowledge and flight hours as a Flight Instructor while working with LTF, you will find yourself in greater demand as a commercial pilot.

Of course, training and working with us means that you will also have access to our state-of-the-art facilities as well as our comprehensive and modern aircraft fleet, and our team of highly experienced Flight Instructors. This gives you the best start to your career possible!

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Meet Learn To Fly Pilot Job Guarantee Program graduate Peter Chun Ki Cheung

Meet Our Pilot Job Guarantee Program Graduate: Chun Ki (Peter) Cheung, Age 20

Why did you want to become a pilot?

I always captivated and fascinated by the sky. Why should we be limited to the ground when there is so much more to explore in the sky? I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and one day I told myself that flying is what I want to do!

Tell us about your pilot journey:

Originally from Hong Kong, I went to Melbourne Australia straight after I graduated from high school when I was 18. I was offered a university degree after I finished school, but my real dream was to become a pilot! There is a lack of training facilities in Hong Kong, so I decided I would learn in Melbourne. I booked accommodation and a flight, and I just went! It was a bit scary to just do it. But fear doesn’t stand a chance if you have a huge passion and a dream to chase.

I was accepted into the LTF Pilot Job Guarantee Program, and started my flight training with LTF in July 2018. I started and flew my first solo, RPL and PPL in the Sling 2 aircraft. Then I moved to the Diamond DA40 to complete my CPL and FIR. My Multi-Engine Class Rating was completed in a Piper Seminole, and my MECIR in a Diamond DA42.

How have you found moving from student to Flight Instructor?

I am so excited to move from being a student at LTF myself, to being able to teach the next student pilots. Like many pilots my dream is eventually to work for an airline. However, I am enjoying every step that I am going through to get there. At the moment, I am focused on how to be a great Flight Instructor, like those who taught me at LTF!

Wherever my career takes me, starting with the Learn To Fly Pilot Job Guarantee Program was perfect. If you have a dream to fly, you should apply. An 18-year-old with no flying experience can move to a new country and do all the above, so why not you too?!

To register your interest in the Learn To Fly Pilot Job Guarantee Program, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Preparing For Airline Pilot Interviews – Student Pilot Journal Part 4

Student Pilot Mickey Wu travelled from Taiwan to Melbourne to train with us at Learn To Fly Melbourne. Despite not being able to fly for 3 months due to Covid lockdown, he managed to complete a CPL, MECIR, Multi-Engine Class Rating, and 5 ATPL exams. Now back in Taiwan, Mickey talks about preparing himself to be the best possible candidate for airline pilot interviews.

“What kind of pilots are the airlines looking for?”

People are called by the sky for different reasons. Some people want to be an instructor to pass down the fun of flying, while some simply fall in love with flying and want to keep it for themselves. For me, I want to be an airline pilot.

In order to prepare myself as an employable airline pilot, I decided to ask myself a few questions every day. The first thing I asked myself is:

“What kind of pilots are the airlines looking for?”

Before I started my training, I consulted a few experienced airline captains. One of them told me a story about a candidate that they interviewed years ago. This candidate built 300 hours within 8 months, and got his CPL and MECIR. And he knew all the settings and speeds of the Boeing B777 and Airbus A320, which were the aircraft in the fleet at the time.

“If we don’t hire him, we are making a big mistake”

That was the comment from one of the interviewers. I want to be just like this candidate.

Looking for a pilot job is about a mindset. We are hired to help solve problems. As Steve Jobs once said in an interview:

“Good employees are self-managed. They know the system well, and they know what they can do with the system. You put them together and they just know what to do”

I believe that applies to aviation as well. They don’t actually expect us to know everything. But having said that, the least we can do is to make them believe that we have the potential. And that brings us to the second question I asked myself.

“What can I do to make myself irresistible?”

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A well prepared airline pilot interview could see you sitting in a cockpit like this.

“What can I do to make myself irresistible?”

Based on the anecdote that the captain told me, airlines are looking for someone who knows what to do already. Or who knows enough to take the initiative and work the rest out. So how do we make ourselves closer to that standard to prepare for airline pilot interviews?

The systems on a big jet airliner are different from that of General Aviation training aircraft. A good thing to start with is the ATPL subject “Aerodynamics & Aircraft Systems (AASA)”. CASA uses the Boeing B727 as an example, so the candidates are able to have more tangible material to work on.

It’s similar to the Aircraft General Knowledge theory (CSYA) for CPL, except that AASA is for larger jets. So if you have finished the 7 CPL theory exams and are just building your flying hours, AASA theory is definitely worth spending your time on. AASA and the Boeing B727 syllabus can give you a good general idea about the operation on a big jet airliner.

Realistically, the manual of the actual aircraft we are hired to fly will be the most useful tool to make us more eligible. After passing the CPL flight test, there will be a long period of time during which you are getting ready to apply for airline jobs. This is the phase I am in right now. So now is the time to do some research on the fleet of the airlines I am hoping to apply to, and get familiar with the aircraft inside and out.

While I am preparing myself to be an eligible candidate for airline pilot interviews, the next question I ask myself every day is:

“Is what I am doing now taking me closer to my goal?”

“Is what I am doing now taking me closer to my goal?”

In order to fly properly, we always monitor our altitude, heading, and speed. We are constantly making corrections. Likewise, when we are shaping ourselves to be an employable pilot, it’s a great idea to monitor ourselves constantly. This allows us to keep everything on the right track.

I always try to compare myself to airline cadets. As my friend in Eva Air (Taiwanese Airline) told me, life during their training was pretty intense, and it felt quite similar to serving in the military. They get up at six or seven in the morning for self-study, and the classes are scheduled from eight to five in the afternoon. They will do some exercise after the class and end the day with more self-study. That’s five days a week.

If that is what it takes to succeed as an airline cadet, then this is what I will do to prepare myself to be an eligible airline pilot interview cadidate. So when I was in Melbourne, I kept a fixed schedule, pretending as though I was in the military or studying as an actual airline cadet. I even did this during the 3 month Covid pandemic lockdown in Melbourne.

I made my schedule six days a week, because honestly, if I were as good as those cadets then I would have been one of them. But I was not. So I figured that I would have to work at least a little bit harder than they did. I got up early and studied, cooked, and then studied more. Sometimes the daily Covid announcements kept me company in the afternoon. Sometimes it was the Taipei Tower on Live ATC.

Does it work? I don’t 100% know yet. We’ll find out. But I have faith!

We would like to thank Mickey for contributing these journals on learning how to fly, and on preparing for airline pilot interviews. To get an even greater advantage over other applicants, check out our Airline Pilot Interview Preparation courses hosted by Airline Check and Training Captain Darren McPherson.

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Captain Darren McPherson teaching his airline pilot interview students.

Contact [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Some Tips For Learning How To Fly – Student Pilot Journal Part 3

Student Pilot Mickey Wu travelled from Taiwan to Melbourne to learn how to fly. He returned home to Taipei having completed a CPL, MECIR, Multi-Engine Class Rating, and 5 ATPL exams. In his third journal instalment, Mickey talks about finding the right attitude for straight and level flying, and teaching his mum how to fly using a simulator!

Challenge Accepted

Written on January 15th, 2021

Let’s bring the storyline back to the current day. Well, current at the time of writing. January 2021 in Taipei, Taiwan.

I bought a used set of Logitech controls and Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. I wanted to stay sharp. The practice was alright, but without expecting to do so, I actually ended up teaching my Mum how to fly. I found that teaching someone how to fly is not an easy task. The reaction of the aircraft after each input has become second nature to me, but it’s not like that for those who are just starting to learn.

Me: “Mum, this is not straight and level flying. Are you going up or down?”

Mum: “……down.”

Me: “Good. So do you push the control or do you pull to fix it?”

Mum: “……push.”

Me: “Okay, let’s see what will happen.”

Mum (five seconds later): “Hey Mickey, the houses are getting bigger and bigger really quick!!!”

Me: “Tell me about it.”

Warning on the screen two seconds later: “You just damaged your landing gear.”

Just the landing gear?! Wow, that is forgiving!

My instructor once said that sometimes you have to let go and let the learner see the consequence of his or her action or inaction. Obviously, they didn’t let me learn this in a real aircraft, and so my landing gear (and the houses) were safe!

But it’s interesting to see that the way my Mum and I learn things is so similar. Like mother like son. But I have faith in her. My goal is to take her to her first solo on Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. I give it two months. Challenge accepted!

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Challenge accepted! Mickey is teaching his mum how to fly using MS Flight Sim 2020!

The Right Attitude

Written on January 17th, 2021

The “attitude” of an aircraft is an abstract idea to me. It can look like it is straightforward on the aircraft’s artificial horizon, but in terms of the real visible horizon, it’s quite intangible. But it’s obviously very important when learning how to fly, especially for straight and level flying.

LTF Instructor Shannon taught me to judge the attitude with the position of the visible horizon in relation to the dashboard. For instance, on a cruise climb in a Sling 2 we position the horizon on the dashboard. To climb at Vy (t