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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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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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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 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. It also saves you money, as integrated training can be offered GST-free.

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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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 and 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). You will then 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 and a full process overview.

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 in a Sling 2 aircraft. I flew my first solo, RPL and PPL in a Sling 2, moving to the Diamond DA40 aircraft 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 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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Flight Instructor Rating – A Flying Start To Your Pilot Career

After completing your Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL), you are ready to start your career as a pilot. Whilst there are a range of exciting pathways that await you, the best way to give your pilot career a flying start is by completing a Flight Instructor Rating (FIR) course. In this blog we will talk about the Flight Instructor Rating course itself, and why it is such a great way to give your pilot career the flying start it needs.

What Is A Flight Instructor Rating?

The Flight Instructor Rating (FIR) course teaches you all the necessary skills to conduct flight training and develop the next generation of future pilots. Our course includes 35 hours of flight training as well as comprehensive ground briefing training so that you will be able to effectively instruct in both practical and theoretical settings.

The syllabus includes:

1. PMI Theory

Principle and Methods of Instruction (PMI) is an important part of the syllabus, as it teaches you how to teach. You’ll build your confidence as both a person and a pilot, learning how to effectively deliver training in the classroom and in the air to range of personality types, and to students with different learning profiles. It also includes a mandatory CASA PMI exam.

2. Flight Instructor Rating Ground Theory

Ground theory involves conducting long briefs, pre-flight briefings, formulating lesson plans and using training aids (like multimedia/PowerPoint) to conduct interesting and effective lessons based on real flight training syllabus and utilising the techniques learnt during PMI. Students receive detailed feedback from classmates and highly experienced flight instructors throughout.

3. Flight Instructor Rating Practical Flight Training

During practical flight training students will conduct 35 hours of dual flight instructor training that includes a highly experienced instructor role playing as your student. You need to demonstrate that you are able to analyse student responses, provide appropriate feedback and determine when to take corrective measures, as well as conducting pre-flight briefings and post-flight debriefings.

4. Aerobatics/Spinning Endorsement & Optional Qualifications

The LTF course includes aerobatics and spinning endorsement manoeuvre training in an aerobatics-rated aircraft. You can also opt to include additional training endorsements like Multi-Engine, Instrument rating, and/or Night VFR.

Flight Instructors at Learn To Fly
Improve your pilot knowledge and skills with a Flight Instructor Rating

How Can The Flight Instructor Rating Kickstart Your Career?

Obtaining a Flight Instructor Rating (FIR) is a rewarding and exciting challenge for any pilot. The skills you learn will not only make you an effective flight trainer, but a better pilot in general. On top of that, a FIR can really open up your pilot career opportunities, and not just in flight training. Here’s how:

1. Get Paid To Build Flight Hours

Many popular pilot career options require that have a minimum number of flight hours under your belt. This includes airlines, private and commercial charter work and air ambulance roles to name a few. Becoming a Flight Instructor is one of the easiest and quickest ways to build your flight hours in preparation for the next step in your career. And the best part about it? You actually get paid to do it!

2. More Job Opportunities

A Grade 3 Flight Instructor role is an easy role for you to step into straight away after your training. Job availability is also generally higher than many other pilot jobs. We have a number of LTF instructors who completed our Flight Instructor Rating course, then joined our flight training team. Flight Instructor work is also a highly desirable asset to have on your resume when you are looking at the next step in your career – airlines in particular will look for it.

3. Professional Development

While working as a Flight Instructor you will have varied training experiences. You can also further expand your qualification and skillset by completing additional ratings, endorsements, and training endorsements. On top of that, you can progress yourself as a trainer by moving up to Grade 2, Grade 1 and even Flight Examiner level.

4. More Job Security

With the 2020 COVID19 pandemic, aviation was thrown into chaos. During this time, Flight Instructors saw far greater job security than other pilot roles. If you have a Flight Instructor Rating but have moved on in your career to other things, there is nothing stopping you from coming back to flight training if you need to. We saw many experienced pilots (including airline pilots) stepping back into instructor roles during the pandemic.

Can Flight Instructing Be A Career?

1. Grade 1 & Grade 2 Flight Instructor

You will start as a Grade 3 instructor after completing your Flight Instructor Rating, but you can progress your career by moving on to Grade 2 and then Grade 1 status respectively. As you progress through each grade you can take on more roles and responsibilities, which also expands the options available to build flying hours.

2. Additional Training Endorsements

While working as a Flight Instructor, you have the opportunity to undertake a range of training endorsements, allowing you to teach students in more varied flight activities including Night VFR, Multi-Engine, Instrument Rating, Aerobatics & Spinning and Design Features. This even further expands the ways in which you can build hours.

3. Grade 1 & Grade 2 Training Endorsements

Grade 1 and Grade 2 Training Endorsements offer you even more flexibility in your role as a Flight Instructor, by allowing you to teach other flight instructors at higher levels. They also allow you to take on more supervisory roles within a flight school.

4. Flight Examiner

Once you have been a Grade 1 Flight Instructor for a year and meet certain other CASA requirements, you can apply to become a Flight Examiner. Being a Flight Examiner means that you can conduct final licence flight tests for student pilots. This increases your earning capacity and gives you another avenue to diversify in your flight training career.

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Becoming a Flight Instructor opens up a wide range of aviation career options

To register your interest in a Flight Instructor Rating with Learn To Fly, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Things to Know Before You Start Flight Training

So you want to be a pilot? That’s awesome! You won’t regret embarking on this rewarding and exciting career. Before you even get to sit in the cockpit and take the controls, there are lots of considerations, particularly around choosing the right flying school. Let’s take a look at things to know before you start flight training.

We’re sure you are aware that becoming a pilot is full of challenges and requires hard work. If it were easy, everyone would do it! Pilot training will test your limits of knowledge, persistence and patience – in a good way.

There are dozens of reasons to do your pilot training in Australia. Australian pilot qualifications are internationally recognised and highly regarded because our education and training standards are some of the highest in the world. We also boast:

– Being a world leader in aviation safety
– Consistently good weather 
– Visa options that allow students to also work up to 20 hours a week
– A safe, and politically and socially stable environment to live and learn in

Make sure you love flying!

Enrolling in a flight training course is a commitment, both financially and time-wise. Before you start flight training, it’s a great idea to try it out first. A Trial Introductory Flight (TIF) is an excellent way to get the feel of being in the cockpit of a small aircraft, and trying your hand at taking the controls for some basic manoeuvres under the guidance of an instructor.

We also have beginner courses like the Learn To Fly Starter Set available. These will get you flying and give you enough experience in the air to be able to decide whether it’s for you. All of the training and flight time in these courses can also actually count towards a licence if you decide to commit to a more extensive training.

What are your pilot goals?

Knowing what you want to achieve from your flight training is an important consideration. Do you want to fly for fun, or do you want to think about flying for a career?

The answer to this question will impact the direction you take with your training. Make sure you choose a flying school with a range of courses to cater for your aviation goals. Make sure you talk to the flying school before you start flight training so that they can help you to choose the right path.

What aircraft should I fly?

The cost of pilot training courses is in part reflective of the type of aircraft in their fleet. You can select the training that fits your budget according to not only your pilot aims but the kind of aircraft you want to learn in. 

A quality flying school will have different types of aircraft in their fleet to not only suit different budgets, but also to allow for varied flying experiences. Some pilots prefer to train in aircraft with all of the modern technology equipped (like glass cockpit, auto-pilot etc), whilst others gain more out of flying an aircraft where the majority of functions are performed completely manually.

A good flying school will allow their pilots to experience different aircraft, and to “progress” to other aircraft during training. They’ll also have flight simulation options available for extended learning whilst on the ground.

Another very important factor to consider before you start your flight training is the availability of aircraft. Make sure you choose a flying school with a big enough fleet to cater for their students during busy periods, and when aircraft require scheduled maintenance.

Learn To Fly offers a range of aircraft covering both single and multi-engine flight training. Our fleet includes the Sling 2, Cessna 172, Diamond DA40, Piper Seminole, Diamond DA42, Super Decathlon and RA-Aus Foxbat. Check it out here.

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Before you start flight training, find a flying school with a well maintained and varied aircraft fleet.

What other facilities do I need?

Remember, you won’t be spending ALL of your time in the air! Every training course has a theory component to it. A good flying school will have modern facilities that provide a good learning and study environment on the ground as well as in the sky.

A school with online training options will allow you to keep learning from wherever you are. This means you can use those spare moments to revise knowledge or sharpen your skills at home instead of watching Netflix!

Flight simulators now form an important part of training. They are actually a great way to hone your skills in realistic flight environments whilst never having to leave the ground. Utilising simulators well can save you money. This allows you to maximise your time in the actual aircraft and reducing the chance of you having to repeat lessons.

Learn To Fly has a range of hi-tech simulators. This includes the full cockpit Alsim AL42 (Diamond DA42) and TRC 373 (Cessna 172) synthetic trainers, as well as the full motion Xplane simulator with Garmin avionics.

Are there different types of flight instructors?

The best flying schools will have Grade 1, 2 and 3 Flight Instructors. Whilst Grade 1 instructors are generally the most experienced by flying hours, an instructor’s flying background is made up of much more than just hours.

Flight Instructors with endorsements and ratings such as Multi-Engine or Instrument Flight Rating are a great asset to your training too, so it’s important to look at the instructors’ range of flight experiences and not just the flying hours.

Besides qualifications, you want an instructor who is enthusiastic, adaptable and professional. You’ll be spending a lot of time together, so you need to get along and connect with their teaching style. Your instructor should be able to give honest, constructive feedback at all times to help you become an better pilot.

FLIGHT TRAINING BOOKING TIP: Book extra sessions in as a back-up in case of cancellations due to weather, or aircraft and instructor availability. Be as flexible as possible and take every opportunity to fly.

What is ICAO English proficiency?

The International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) establishes certain principles and arrangements to facilitate safe and collaborative international civil aviation, including English proficiency standards. English is the chosen international language of civil aviation. Essential to your pilot training from the point of enrolment onwards, you must be able to communicate in clear English.

ICAO English proficiency testing is recognised in 192 countries which is great for international students wanting to transfer their licence to their home country. Aviation English standards are considerably higher in Australia, so you will be confident in your abilities.

There are English language requirements that you need to meet before you start your flight training, regardless of whether you are from a “native” English Speaking country. Check out the CASA website for more information.

Does it matter what airport I train at?

Location, location, location is so important in many life choices, and your flight school is no different. Is the flight school location easy to get to by public transport or do you need a car? How far from the city is it? Can they arrange accommodation if you are from interstate or overseas? These are all important questions to think about before you start your flight training!

Your flight school might be at an aerodrome, but is it near a major airport?

Different locations mean different aerodrome classifications. This can affect where and how often you can fly. For example, a Class G aerodrome has no air traffic control (ATC), meaning less practice on those vital radio calls allowing you to develop your aviation communication skills.

A flight school near a major airport may seem logical, but that also means operating in more restricted airspace, and therefore potentially having to go to other airports to practice your circuits.

LTF’s main training base is at Melbourne’s Moorabbin Airport, which is a Class D controlled airspace and one of the largest flight training airports in Australia. It has an advanced runway setup and a high volume of aircraft movements – which makes it perfect for learning aspects of flight training that smaller airports simply can’t offer. It’s also very well located with plenty of public transport options nearby.

Moorabbin Airport Flight Training
Moorabbin Airport in Melbourne is a great place to train to become a pilot.

When is the best time to fly?

The best time to fly in Australia is generally from Spring through Summer and Autumn, as that period offers more daylight hours and less chance of inclement weather. The state of Victoria also has “Daylight Saving” time from October through to April which allows you to fly until much later (up to 9pm in Summer).

It is beneficial to your flight training to experience a variety of flyable weather conditions – and the changeable climate at LTF’s Melbourne base is perfect for that.

Before you start flight training, chat to one of our flight training specialists. Email [email protected] or go to https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Learn to Fly at a Hong Kong Flight School

Google data shows us that many of you are searching for a Hong Kong flight school. While our main flight training base is located at Moorabbin Airport in Melbourne, Australia, we also have facilities in our Singapore and Hong Kong flight schools to help you get your pilot career off the ground.

Studying the flight theory components locally before progressing on to the practical flight training component can save you a lot of time and money.

The Current Status of Aviation

There is more than one way to fly a plane for a living! 

Up until a few years ago, getting a pilot job was more difficult for overseas students. The Australian Federation of Air Pilots (AFAP) shows us that there are now far more General Aviation pilot jobs being listed. Many of these are open to international pilots who can legally work in Australia. 

There is much speculation and misinformation about the airline industry’s future and pilot training in general. Now is a great time to become a pilot with opportunities broadening as commercial airlines relax their application criteria and demand for pilot instructors and charter pilots increases.

There are many opportunities for pilot hopefuls in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia looking to pursue a flying career.

Plan with an Experienced Training Facility

If you’re in the early stages of searching for pilot training in Hong Kong, consult with an industry specialist. A Hong Kong flight school like ours will provide you with accurate and current information to help you choose the pilot pathway that suits your career aims, study capacity and budget.

Like any major study undertaking, do thorough research to ensure you are receiving a quality education with experienced instructors and value for money at a leading Hong Kong flight school.

Hong-Kong-Student-Pilots

Student and Tourist Visas

Overseas students looking for a Hong Kong flight school can obtain a student visa to complete their practical flight training with Learn To Fly in Melbourne, Australia. We are pleased to have many international students at our school. We also have many graduates who have gone on to have successful pilot careers.

Pilot hopefuls looking at this option need to ensure they meet the criteria for Australian visa entry. They also need to satisfy the relevant course entry requirements. These can include: 

– English proficiency
– Medical check
– Age 
– Aviation security check

The Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL), Private Pilot Licence (PPL) and other programs that can be completed in under 3 months may be completed on a tourist visa.

For the Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL), which takes at least 12 months full time, students will most likely require a student visa. We can assist students in contacting registered migration agents to help with the application process. Visit the Australian Home Affairs website for further information on specific visa requirements.

The Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Visa

The Australian TSS Visa recognises skills that are in demand and grants visas to applicants for sponsored work in Australia. The demand for pilots, charter pilots and flight instructors in major cities has left many regional and rural flying schools with a shortage.

Some of these areas include larger regional cities. If you are willing to work there, you may well find that a flying school can sponsor you for full-time employment on a TSS visa. This will give you more experience and allowing you to build your flight hours.

Working Holiday Visa

Citizens of many countries like Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia are eligible for an Australian Working Holiday Visa. Working Holiday Visa holders need to change employers every 6 months. However, as a potential option, for example, you can easily become a flight instructor in that amount of time. Grade 2 Flight Instructors can work without supervision and are therefore in greater demand.

There are many great opportunities for student pilots from Hong Kong to complete their theory training locally. They can then complete their flight training in Australia. We boast many international graduates who have gone on to have fantastic pilot careers. We also have a range of online training options available.

Hong-Kong-Pilot-School

To find out more please email [email protected]. You can also go to https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Pilot Flying Tips for Successful Flights

What are some tips for successful flights? Our instructors are a wealth of knowledge, so we asked them for their best pilot flying tips!

Across Australia and around the world, thousands of recreational and commercial pilots complete successful flights with accidents thankfully being rare. When accidents do occur, investigations often reveal that standard processes and simple practices weren’t carried out. In aviation, this is known as “human factors”.

There’s a lot to take in when you are learning how to fly, and sometimes the most simple of advice can help to make your flying safer and more enjoyable. So, here are some pilot flying tips from our experienced LTF flight instructor team!

Planning

Prior planning prevents poor performance. Adages like these become cliche for a reason. Have a thorough flight plan. Know your radio calls and frequencies, the landing airport layout, to making sure you ate recently, (take snacks and water, always) and are well-rested before take off. 

Other essential planning tips for a successful flight include:

– Knowing the current weather and forecast on the route and at aerodromes
– Being aware of the aerodrome conditions and aircraft suitability
– Knowing ATC rules and procedures for that flight and NOTAMs

Pilot-Flying-Tips
Pilot flying tips: Planning is so important.

Familiar Territory

Flying can throw enough curveballs at a pilot without creating additional ones through oversight and inexperience. Recognisable and accustomed situations are ways of further minimising risk and avoiding threat situations.

Some examples of what we mean by that:

Flying in a new aircraft? Fly it in good conditions and in a familiar place.
– Pick the best day to head to a new destination.

No matter how long you have been flying, one of the best pilot flying tips is to carry out one cockpit task at a time. Multitasking means spreading your attention thinly and potentially missing something. Another one of our pilot flying tips is that even if you have been in an emergency and survived (high five by the way), practice your emergency procedures.

Not Flying is OK!

It’s OK to decide not to fly when things happen like a change in weather, you forgot something or are running late. We know how much you want to get up there, but you can choose to fly another day if things aren’t aligning and subsequently putting pressure on your flight plan. 

Good piloting comes from an honest assessment of all the factors that enable the safest flight experience. If you decide to push ahead, keep a cool head in situations like if the aerodrome is busy, and don’t succumb to passenger pressure or your own get-there-itis.

Know the Rules

Non-compliance is a contributing factor to many accidents, particularly fatal ones. Whether it is validity, memberships, operating in VMC conditions or one of the abundance of rules and regulations, they play heavily in tips for successful flights. 

Being compliant is pivotal to safety, and the rules and regulations have come about not just from the fatal mistakes of past pilots but because our skies are increasingly busy with aircraft.

Brief Your Passengers

Whilst you’re the one behind the controls, an important pilot flying tip is to brief your passengers even if they are friends or family who fly with you regularly and in the same or similar aircraft. It’s good practice to always run through:

– No smoking in or near the aircraft 
– Seatbelt adjustments
– Emergency procedure including life jacket and emergency equipment location
– Stowage of luggage and personal items.

Tell your passengers always to let you know if they aren’t feeling well, if they notice something with the aircraft or have questions during the flight. Check in with them throughout the trip (even short ones).

Evaluate and Improve

Being in the sky is one of the most vulnerable places on Earth. Very experienced pilots have failed before as frequently as novices. Experience can be your greatest asset or your blind spot by way of complacency or worse, cockiness. Soar to great heights but keep your ego grounded on terra firma.

Evaluate after every flight. You should be looking to improve something every flight. Professionals across all sectors, through to elite athletes all look at their last performance and see what can be improved. 

Never stop learning. Write your own notes and study them. Doing a flight check with someone different every year is a great habit to get into in between your biennial flight reviews.

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!

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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Basic Pilot Navigation Skills – PPL Training

If you have already learnt the fundamentals of flying and are hoping to obtain your Private Pilot Licence (PPL) or even a Cross Country Endorsement (for RA-Aus RPC holders), then learning basic pilot navigation skills is the next thing on your agenda.

The majority of the PPL syllabus centres around navigation, and you will learn both basic techniques and advanced skills to allow you to conduct flights to and from anywhere in Australia.

Whilst technology has provided us with incredibly powerful tools to assist with navigating in an aircraft, learning and understanding the principles is still extremely important for any pilot.

The Fundamentals of Navigating an Aircraft

Since there are no roads in the sky, navigating from Point A to Point B can potentially be a lot more difficult in the air to what it is on the ground.

The concepts of using maps, a compass, and landmarks or geographical features as navigational tools have been around since well before the first flight ever happened – but they are still central to navigating an aircraft today.

The core syllabus for learning basic pilot navigation skills includes:

Maps and Charts

Student pilots learn about the different types of maps that exist, what aviation-specific maps and tools are available, and how to use them correctly. They will also need to have a detailed understanding of the terminology, symbols and scales used in aviation maps and charts.

Some of the maps and charts used for navigating an aircraft include:

– Visual Terminal Charts (VTC)
– Visual Navigation Charts (VNC)
– World Aeronautical Charts (WAC)
– Jeppesen Airways Manual Low Altitude Charts
– Jeppesen Low-Altitude En-Route Charts and Area Charts

PPL-Navigation
Maps and charts are essential tools for basic pilot navigation skills.

The Earth, Positioning, Distance, Direction and Time

The concepts for the most basic pilot navigation skills come from understanding the shape of the Earth, and how location positioning conventions have been applied to it. Student pilots will learn how co-ordinates for a specific point are determined, and look at key features including:

– Latitude and longitude
– The Poles
– The Equator
– Cardinal Points
– Great Circles and Rhumb Lines
– Time (Including Coordinated Universal Time UTC)

Understanding Velocity

The concepts relating to velocity and its effects on navigating an aircraft is sometimes referred to as the “Velocity Triangle”. Basically, this compares the direction and speed properties of a moving aircraft to the direction and speed properties of the wind to determine the effects on an aircraft’s track, and end destination.

To understand these concepts and perfect navigation solutions to the problems they pose, students learn about:

  • Speed & Velocity
  • Heading and bearing
  • Track and Track Made Good (TMG)
  • Vectors
  • Indicated, calibrated and rectified airspeed
  • Plotting
  • Using Navigation Computers

Flight Planning

The next phase of basic pilot navigation skills involves applying the previously learnt concepts to the planning of flights, which include a number of waypoints or stops. Additional factors are included at this stage such as:

  • Airspace classes
  • Fuel planning
  • Altitudes
  • Weather forecasts

There’s a lot to take in when you are learning how to fly, and sometimes the most simple of advice can help to make your flying safer and more enjoyable. So, here are some pilot flying tips from our experienced LTF flight instructor team!

Practical navigation exercises

Of course the most fun part of learning basic pilot navigation skills is putting them into practical use!

Integrated PPL syllabus will combine theory and practical flying as you go, gradually building to more complex navigational flight exercises as more concepts are learnt and grasped.

Many of the concepts and calculations that student pilots learn relating to navigation can nowadays be effectively managed or guided by computerised avionics. At Learn To Fly, we have fully analogue aircraft as well as aircraft with the latest Garmin G1000 technology.

We believe it’s essential for a pilot to understand and be able to apply concepts without the aid of computers, but it is also important for them to learn what technology is available and how it can reduce the potential for human factor errors.

Navigational-Flight
With some basic pilot navigational skills, you can extend your flying range and enjoy some stunning scenery.

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!

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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The Most Common Student Pilot Mistakes

In our last blog, we asked our instructors for their top tips on how to make the most out of your time at a flying school. In this blog, we asked them what they thought were some of the most common student pilot mistakes.

Studying to become a pilot isn’t easy, and there are plenty of opportunities for error when learning how to master the controls of an aircraft. Making mistakes is a part of learning anything. This blog has tips helps you to avoid some of the biggest ones when flying.

Being underprepared

According to our instructors, the most common student pilot mistake relates to preparation. Many student pilots make the mistake of thinking that they know more than what they actually do know, and then find themselves out of their depth.

Preparation is crucial, and it’s impossible to over prepare. Poor preparation commonly sees students struggling with exams, or wasting valuable flying hours going over things that they should already know.

Not using checklists

Australia has one of the best aviation safety records in the world.

Students will confirm their pre-flight checklist items before takeoff such as checking the auxiliary fuel pump, setting the altimeter and exercising the propeller. However, a mistake students often make regarding preparation is not using their flight checklists.

Not conducting a pre-landing checklist is another common student pilot mistake. One that can result in failing their final flight test. Checklist items may feel like second nature, and you have the information in your head, but you must manually go through them every time.

Student-Pilot-Checklist
One of the most common student pilot mistakes is not using your checklists properly – they are there to keep you safe and make your flight more enjoyable!

Impatience

There is no fast track to becoming a pilot, and nor should there be.

Flying is a distinguished skill that takes time to learn. Whilst there may be key competencies that you can pick up quickly, the process overall needs patience. Many students tend to want to jump ahead, and find it frustrating when things aren’t moving faster.

This results in misaligned over-confidence and rushing through components that require more attention. It can also make students disillusioned with their pilot pathway when they aren’t grasping things through lack of practice.

Not looking outside the cockpit

Just like driving a car, it’s important to look out the window when piloting an aircraft. Inexperienced pilots can unknowingly find themselves staring at the flight and screen controls rather than picking up visual and audio cues that indicate the performance of the aircraft, traffic and weather.

Students must remember to develop and hone their pilot instincts. This means not constantly relying on the flight controls to provide the information they need, and being continually aware of what is happening in the sky around them.

Lack of radio communication skills

Airports and their airspace are constantly busy. Communication over radio is rapid-fire and can be daunting for new students. Reluctant students can become hesitant to jump in during quiet moments over radio, and don’t communicate sufficiently with ground crew and air traffic controllers.

Clear and direct communication skills are essential for professional pilots. Practice your scripts when contacting the controller, and develop your skills to ensure you are confident and clear in your radio communication.

Not bribing your instructors with coffee

Believe it or not, this was actually the top response – every single instructor agreed that their students not buying them coffee was the most common mistake that they see during training.

We’re totally joking. But are we…? 😉

Student-Pilot-Coffee
Don’t forget to buy your instructor a coffee occasionally!

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!

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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