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

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

Exploring the purpose and format

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

Crafting compelling STAR responses

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

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

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

Utilising the CAR method

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

Identifying key competencies in leadership and problem-solving

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

Highlighting leadership experience and demonstrating problem-solving skills

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

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

Emphasising collaboration and teamwork

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

Illustrating adaptability and flexibility

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

Showcasing decision-making abilities

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

Lessons learned and skills developed from past experiences

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

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

Common Misconceptions About Becoming an Airline Pilot

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

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

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

Myths Debunked: 5 Misconceptions About an Airplane Pilot

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

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

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

Here are five myths debunked:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Myth # 3: AUTOPILOT performs the tasks

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

Myth # 4: Establishing a family is challenging

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

Myth # 5: Becoming a pilot can make you wealthy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chun Ki:  

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

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

Chun Ki:

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

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

Chun Ki:

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

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

Chun Ki:

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

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

Chun Ki: 

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

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

Chun Ki: 

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

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

Chun Ki: 

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

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

Chun Ki:

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

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

Chun Ki: 

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

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

What Else Should I Know?

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

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

Aspiring Career Pilots – Here’s Why You Need a Diploma of Aviation
With so many different types of aviation qualifications out there, which one should you choose? And which Melbourne flight school do you approach? These can be tricky questions to answer, so let us help you out.

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

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


Upcoming Learn To Fly Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

Book Hong Kong Face-to-Face Meeting

Book Singapore Face-to-Face Meeting



Past Recent Events:

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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).

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!


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.


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!


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: 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.


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), 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 than 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 the following:

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

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.

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.