Dave Pilkington is possibly one of the most experienced Aerobatics and Spinning Flight Instructors in Australia. He completed his initial Aerobatic Endorsement in 1972, and has built an incredible amount of accolades and achievements since then. In 1979 he received his 500ft Aerobatic Approval and Formation Aerobatics Approval, and that same year was crowned National Aerobatic Champion in the Advanced Category. He was approved to teach Advanced Aerobatics in the Pitts S-2A aircraft in 1980.
He obtained his Flight Instructor Rating in 1995, and is now a Grade 1 Flight Instructor with examiner authority for Aerobatics & Spinning Training Endorsements. In 2019 he was awarded the RAeS/Australian Flying WINGS Award for Flight Instructor of the Year. He has even published his own book on aerobatic training titled Aerobatics Down Under.
Dave’s aviation career CV includes Vice President of Engineering and Production Flight Test/Demo Pilot for Pitts and Husky aircraft at Aviat Aircraft in the USA, Chief Engineer at Boeing Australia, and a role with GKN Engineering Services working on the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II airframe design. More recently he has worked in part-time roles with GippsAero and Icon Aircraft, and of course Flight Instructing.
We don’t have enough room to list each aircraft type that Dave has flown, but it includes a huge range of both aerobatic and recreational/training planes. He has even home-built and flown his own Laser aircraft and has his own Super Decathlon, which he conducts training in for the Aerobatics and Spinning Endorsement, Aerobatics and Spinning Training Endorsement, and UPRT Training.
We’re thrilled to have Dave training our students – don’t miss your chance to fly with one of Australia’s most prolific aerobatic pilots!
Grade 1 Flight Instructor Stephen Kong was born in Malaysia and grew up in Melbourne with a fascination for planes and aviation. He has been flying since 2013 and completed his flight training right here at Moorabbin Airport.
After completing his training, Stephen spent a number of years working as a Flight Instructor at Moorabbin. His instructor role saw him heavily involved in the training of airline cadets before he eventually joined a major Asian airline himself as a pilot.
As a pilot, Stephen loves the unique views of the world he gets to see from above. He’s looking forward to working with student pilots again, and we are thrilled to have his extensive aviation experience here at Learn To Fly.
Grade 1 Flight Instructor Lawrie Byrnes has a LOT of aviation experience, having been flying for over 50 years! He grew up in Melbourne and was always fascinated with model aeroplanes as a youngster.
It wasn’t until later on when he was being escorted around Vietnam in C130 Hercules aircraft that he truly realised that the pilot life was his calling. His career has seen him flying for regional airlines and charter in an impressive range of aircraft that includes the Mitsubishi MU-2, Douglas DC3, Cessna Citation, Beechcraft 1900 and Piper PA31 Navajo.
Lawrie loves striving for accuracy in his flying, and after his extensive career, he has turned his attention to Aerobatics, Formation and IFR. We’re thrilled to have such an experienced pilot on board to head up our Formation and Aerobatics Endorsement courses.
Originally from Hong Kong, Clement moved to Sydney when he was 18 to study a Bachelor of Aviation Degree, followed by a Flight Instructor Rating in Melbourne.
He made up his mind to become a pilot after being captivated by the roar of the engines, and being pushed back in his seat during take-off in an airliner as a child.
The things Clement loves most about his role include following the progress of his students, and enjoying the incredible scenery that only pilots get to see. He’d love to one day be flying jets or turbo-props for an international carrier.
Josh started his flying training at age 16 but was born with aviation in his blood. He remembers flying around the Victorian Gippsland region in Cessna 172s with his grandfather as a small child, as well as regular trips to some of the larger airports to watch the “big planes” coming and going.
As a Flight Instructor, Josh loves the fact that every day there is something different to teach. He’s also a big fan of the fact that typically, every customer or student leaves with a smile on their face after flying.
Whilst Josh would one day love to fly in a domestic passenger transport role, his ultimate goal is to join the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Born in Sri Lanka, Grade 1 LTF Flight Instructor David Buultjens moved to Australia as a 7-year-old with a dream to one day be a pilot and have the “best office view in the world”.
He started his flight training in 2013 and has now been instructing for nearly 3 years. He loves being able to help those with a passion for aviation to accomplish their flying goals.
Whilst he’s already achieved his childhood dream of having the world’s best office view, he’d love to one day work with a major international airline.
Cameron Mitchell is both our Ra-Aus Chief Flight Instructor for Recreational Aviation, and a Grade 1 Flight Instructor.
Cam was allegedly fairly close to pursuing a career as a Sky Diving Instructor, and we’re glad that he changed his mind to instead teach people how to stay INSIDE the aircraft while it’s flying. His students here at Learn To Fly seem pretty happy about that as well.
Over his 9 year aviation career, Cam has built close to 2,000 hours flying planes (and not jumping out).
Grade 1 Multi-Engine IFR Flight Instructor Jacqui Armstrong has more than 15 years of experience as a pilot. Her career began in 1999 and has seen her fly a range of aircraft in both charter and regional airline roles around Australia.
Jacqui grew up in Melbourne with aviation in her veins, with her father holding a pilot licence. Her grandfather built and flew his own aircraft, which is now on display at the Australian National Aviation Museum at Moorabbin Airport. With a family of her own now, we think there’s a fair chance the tradition may continue!
As a flight instructor, Jacqui loves watching her students’ faces light up when they pass a flight test. Her ideal aviation role is the one that allows her to build her career and spend time with her family. Or the one that allows her to captain the space shuttle into orbit.
Originally from London, Senior Base Pilot and Grade 1 Flight Instructor Nick Harris has been flying for over 12 years. He tells us that it “seemed like a good idea at the time” to become a pilot, but we think that maybe it had more to do with growing up watching the Concorde take off over his house (um, that’s pretty awesome).
As an instructor, Nick loves seeing how excited students get after their first solo, or after passing their flight test.
He hopes to one day fly a Tiger Moth around Australia – and in fact, he’s actually building one at the moment to do just that!
Brendan Morgan is a Grade 1 Multi-Engine IFR Flight Instructor and Flight Examiner with Learn To Fly.
He has a wealth of experience in the aviation sector that includes more than 12,500 hours of flying (including flying Pilatus PC12 aircraft for the Royal Flying Doctor Service), and over 6,000 hours instructing.