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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 Open Day 2022

📆 Saturday October 29th 2022
🕙 10am to 5pm
📍 Learn To Fly, 22-24 Northern Avenue, Moorabbin Airport VIC 3194

Come along and learn about flight training at our 2022 Learn To Fly Open Day at our Moorabbin Airport training base in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs.

Meet our flight instructors, chat to current students, check out our fleet of aircraft and take a tour of our state-of-the-art flight training facilities.

We have 1 hour sessions available from 10am to 4pm. Click the link below to reserve your spot:

https://calendly.com/learntoflymelbourne/open-day-2022?month=2022-10&date=2022-10-29

Past Recent Events:

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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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!

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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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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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

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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

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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.

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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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Maximise Your Time In The Sky With These Top Flight Training Tips

You’re passionate about aviation, and you’ve made the commitment to learn how to fly. Make no mistake. Becoming a pilot is a huge investment of your time and finances. Like learning anything, you can be certain that the more effort you put in, the more you will get out of it – and the more successful you will be. We asked our Senior Flight Instructors for their top flight training tips.

1. Be well prepared

Just like many things in life, preparation is the key. Study before your lessons the theory course materials and other information available to you. The best student flight training candidates ensure they are well prepared for theory and flight lessons. It reduces the chances of having to repeat parts. Learning to fly isn’t cheap. Being well prepared will save you both time and money.

2. Observe other flights

– Always take the opportunity to join other training flights or sessions when they present themselves.

– Ask if you can come along as an observer and sit in the back seat on other students flights.

– Take notes whenever you can.

The more you are able to learn and build information outside of your own flying time, the faster you will grasp concepts. This can also help avoid the need to pay to fly extra hours to achieve your flight training objectives.

Flight-Training-Tips-Observation-Flight
“Backseating” a flight to observe is one of our instructors’ top flight training tips

3. Be flexible with your schedule

Flexibility with your schedule is very important. There are many factors that can affect both instructor and aircraft availability, and if you are able to adapt to schedule changes then you will get more flight training time.

Always keep an eye on the weather forecast, and the upcoming flight schedule. Communicate regularly with your instructors to make the most of the times that look likely to be good flying conditions.

You should also try to schedule your theory lessons for when the weather is likely to be bad, as your instructors will be on the ground too.

4. Ask lots of questions

If you are completely new to the aviation world, it can feel pretty foreign. It comes with its own technical language, terminology, abbreviations, and that’s just the start.

You may feel uncomfortable asking questions, but you will find that everybody is more than happy to share their knowledge. What may seem like a silly question to you may be something that helps to piece together something far more important that greatly assists your flight training.

Don’t be afraid to ask a question. This gives you access to your instructor’s top flight training tips at any time!

5. Spend time at your flying school

The more time you spend at the school, the more chances you will have to join training flights as an observer at short notice. You can also then take advantage of cancellations and schedule changes where other students weren’t able to be as flexible as you.

It also goes without saying that spending more time around your instructors and the other student pilots will allow you more time to ask questions and share ideas.

6. Make use of flight simulators

Flight simulation technology now provides an exceptionally realistic representation of the cockpit, avionics, flight conditions, and aircraft behaviour. Flight sims form a crucial part of your training, and they are also a very economical way to hone certain skills, and to train for specific non-standard flight situations.

The more time you are able to spend learning your skills in a simulator, the more you can use your time in a real aircraft to put those skills into practice.

7. Fly as often as you can

Practice makes perfect. Repetition allows you to retain information and allow your skills to become second nature. If you don’t fly frequently, you may find that small bits of information have disappeared by the time you fly again, and you may need to repeat certain things.

If you are spending your flying hours going over things you’ve already learnt then you won’t be able to progress your flight training as quickly. Fly as much as you can!

8. Have fun!

This may be the most important point of them all. When it feels like hard work, try to remember why you wanted to fly in the first place. You’re learning to do something that many people dream about, but will never experience for themselves.

Celebrate your successes, be proud of your achievements in an aircraft, and never forget – YOU ARE FLYING!

Principles-and-Methods-of-Instruction-PMI-Learn-To-Fly-Melbourne-Hero
One of the most important flight training tips is to remember that flying is fun!

You can get more flight training 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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Circuit Flying Tips – The Perfect Circuit From Start To Finish

For student pilots, flying repeat circuit pattern procedures around their aerodrome will form a large part of their training. In this blog, we reveal circuit flying tips to help you get it right from start to finish.

What is a “circuit”?

CASA describes standard circuit procedure as follows:

“The standard aerodrome traffic circuit pattern facilitates an orderly flow of traffic and is normally a circuit pattern made with all turns to the left. When arriving at an aerodrome to land, a pilot will normally join the circuit upwind, crosswind (mid-field), or downwind (before mid-downwind). Landings and take-offs should be made on the active runway or the runway most closely aligned into wind. If a secondary runway is being used, pilots using this secondary runway should avoid impeding the flow of traffic on the active runway.”

The circuit pattern is the orderly take-off and landing flow of aerodrome traffic. Maintaining it is crucial to even the most major airports. Procedures will vary locally at different aerodromes that may have other factors to consider (terrain etc).

There are five basic legs to circuits:

– Take-off Leg
– Crosswind Leg
– Downwind Leg
– Base Leg
– Final Leg

While it might seem like a fairly standard or boring flying procedure to many people, circuit flying forms the basis of any pilot’s training.

Circuit flying includes fundamental flying syllabus including take-offs, climbs, climbing turns, medium level turns, straight and level flying, descending, descending turns, slow flying and landing. It’s also crucial to developing your separation skills as the presence of other air traffic is common.

Circuit Flying Pattern
The circuit flying pattern can be split up into 5 flight legs.

The definition of a perfect circuit

According to CASA, a perfect circuit will see the pilot completing the following:

– Take-off and then climb to 500ft (approx 150 metres)
– Turn onto crosswind leg (perpendicular to the extended runway centreline)
– Climb to 1,000ft (approx 300 metres)
– Reference aerodrome for turn point and turn onto downwind leg
– Reduce power, turn onto base and commence descent
– Turn onto final leg and land

There are many factors that can intervene and subsequently make it harder for you to complete that textbook perfect circuit flight. These include:

– Traffic
– Wind
– Light
– Glare

External factors aside, the best method for putting together a perfect circuit is to look at perfecting each of the legs individually.

Departure (take-off) leg

When airborne, find the attitude that allows you your nominated climb speed on full power. As soon as the attitude is established, find a reference point on the horizon and aim at that.

Once you have established your climb to a safe altitude (300ft or above), complete your take-off checks including a glance back to ensure your reference point is maintaining the extended runway centreline. Look for a reference point for your turn, just ahead of your left wing’s leading edge.

A clean take-off and a good setup into your first turn is essential for smooth circuit flying.

Crosswind leg

Begin your turn after you have reached an altitude of at least 500ft, although 750ft is the CASA recommendation. As it is a climbing turn, look to bank the aircraft at a 15 degree angle.

As other aircraft commonly join a circuit pattern on the crosswind eg at circuit height, keep a good lookout for traffic, and then adjust to maintain separation. Once the turn is made, maintain your attitude and power, and look for a reference point for the downwind turn.

Downwind leg

The turn onto downwind is generally made when your aircraft is at 45 degrees to the upwind threshold, onto a suitable reference point so as to track parallel to the runway. Depending on adjustments made for separation, you will either need to be level the aircraft at circuit height (1000ft) before, during or after the turn onto downwind. Lookout is again stressed, as traffic may also be joining the circuit on the downwind leg.

If a downwind radio call is required, it should be made when abeam of the upwind threshold. You should confirm your position in the circuit. Making a visual search by scanning from the threshold back along the final approach to base and then to downwind ahead of you. Identifying other aircraft positions within the circuit.

Maintain straight parallel flight by visually running the runway through the wingtip. Then you can complete your landing checks. Say each one out loud as you do them. Consider a reference point for your turn to base.

Base leg

As you are reaching a point in line with a 45° angle from the threshold, pick your reference point along the wing. Then make the base radio call if required. The best time to make the call is just before commencing the turn, as a turning aircraft is more easily seen by others in the circuit.

Reduce the power (1500-1700rpm as a guide) and then start a medium level (30°) turn. There’s no need to adjust your trim, as you will naturally wash speed in the turn whilst holding height at reduced power. Continue the turn onto your reference point, allowing for drift, until the leading edge of the wing is parallel to the runway.

Before the descending turn onto final, look carefully for traffic, especially along the approach path to ensure no other aircraft are on long final. Try to anticipate the roll out onto the approach (final) leg. This will help to ensure that the wings are level at the same time as your aircraft aligns itself with the runway centreline.

Throughout the turn, the angle of bank should be adjusted to achieve this by about 500ft. Adjust your altitude to maintain the nominated approach airspeed.

Circuit-Traffic
Circuit flying has a number of threats to look out for, and one of the major ones is other traffic.

Final (approach) leg and landing

During the approach, as with all phases of flight where the intent is to maintain a specific airspeed, it is important to emphasise that you should select, hold and trim the correct altitude for the desired airspeed.

When established on final, select full flap at the appropriate time and maintain your airspeed. Or allow it to decrease through attitude adjustment. Avoid extending your flaps during the turn onto final.

Select an aiming point on the runway (commonly the numbers, or the threshold), and then monitor and adjust your power as required to maintain a steady rate of descent to touchdown. If the aiming point moves up the windscreen, increase power – and if the aiming point moves down the windscreen, decrease power.

If you have trimmed the aircraft correctly, then the power adjustments should be small.

Your landing should be one smooth manoeuvre that slows the rate of descent to zero, and the speed to just above the stall speed, as the wheels touch the ground. When you have have assured your landing, often described as “crossing the fence”, close the throttle and progressively raise the attitude of the nose.

Gradually increase backpressure to achieve the correct attitude, so that your touchdown is light and on the main wheels only. Following touchdown on the main wheels, gently lower the nosewheel to the runway using the elevator. Use a reference point at the end of the rudder to keep straight on the runway centreline with your rudder, and then apply your brakes as required.

And there you have it! There will always be factors that require you to adjust things, but if you use this as a guide, then you will be well on your way to perfecting your circuit flying.

You can get more flight training tips by subscribing to our YouTube channel. We have RPL/PPL flying lessons, aircraft pre-flight check videos, and more. Check out our lesson on circuit flying, the 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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