Take Instructing to New Heights
When you complete your initial Flight Instructor Rating, you also need to complete it with at least one training endorsement. Most pilots choose to complete the Grade 3 Training Endorsement, as this offers the widest initial scope to be able to instruct. The following training endorsements are available.
To become a flight instructor, you need to complete a Flight Instructor Rating (FIR) course. To be eligible to commence the FIR course you must hold either a PPL, CPL or ATPL plus at least 200 flying hours (including 100 as PIC). CASA requires that flight instructors have completed a Principles and Methods of Instruction (PMI) course plus at least 1 training endorsement in addition to completing an instructor training course and passing the instructor rating aeronautical examination.
A training endorsement allows you to instruct someone for specific pilot authorisations. At Learn To Fly Melbourne, we offer Grade 3, Grade 2, Grade 1 Training Endorsement; Multi-Engine Training Endorsement; Instrument Rating Training Endorsement; Aerobatics & Spinning Training Endorsement; Design Feature Training Endorsement and Night VFR Rating Training Endorsement.
Flight instructors can teach student pilots and conduct flight and theory training for pilot licences, ratings and endorsements, with limitations. There are 3 levels of flight instructor, known as grades; flight instructors will start at grade 3 and can complete further training to advance towards grade 1. Flight instructors are able to complete training endorsement courses that allow them more flight training privileges, including conducting training for specific ratings, endorsements and flight activities, as well as sending students solo and conducting flight reviews.
Becoming a flight instructor is an enormous benefit to your professional development as a pilot as well as your career. Learning how to effectively teach different personalities and different learning styles is a worthy life skill on its own, and applying it to flight training scenarios, in turn, enhances your own flying knowledge and skills. Flight instructors are in demand in the aviation industry worldwide and that demand will only continue to grow. In addition, a flight instructor role allows you to get paid while you build your flight hours towards being eligible for other opportunities like direct entry airline pilot roles.
An excellent option for flight instructors that want the opportunity to build more multi-engine flying hours, a Multi-Engine Training Endorsement allows you to teach the syllabus for the Multi-Engine Class Rating course.
Grade 3 Training Endorsement allows you to teach RPL, PPL and CPL syllabus. This offers the greatest initial instructing scope for new instructors.
Progressing to Grade 2 and Grade 1 status allows instructors to grow their flight training capabilities and expand on their privileges, including sending students solo, assessing KDRs, granting licence endorsements, and supervising other instructors.
An Instrument Rating Training Endorsement allows you to conduct Instrument Rating flight training. This means you can continue building overall flight hours in more conditions and helps to maintain your instrument flying proficiency.
The Aerobatics & Spinning Training Endorsement allows you to instruct the aerobatics and spinning training syllabus. Aside from being a lot of fun, these flight activities are important for maintaining your ability to handle abnormal aircraft situations.
If you are looking to build your flying hours faster, being able to fly at night is a huge advantage. The Night Visual Flight Rules (VFR) Training Endorsement allows you to train and conduct flight reviews for the Night VFR course.
Some aircraft have features that require additional training, such as a tailwheel undercarriage, retractable undercarriage, and manual pitch propeller control (MPPC). A Design Feature Training Endorsement allows you to teach the syllabus for any design feature endorsements you hold.
PMI, FIR, Interview Training
Senior Captain Darren McPherson has over 30 years and 18,000 hours of flying experience. He joins us as a highly valuable associate consultant through his business ACS – Aviation Consulting Services.
Starting his career as an aero club boy, Captain McPherson is an great example of what can be achieved through perseverance and dedication. He currently flies the Airbus A330 and A350 aircraft with a major international airline.
We are extremely lucky to have his wealth of knowledge on board here at Learn To Fly. Captain McPherson facilitates our Airline Interview Preparation programs and in just over 2 years has helped more than 100 students to get their first airline job.
Head of Operations | Grade 1 Instructor
Multi-Engine, CPL, Formation & more
Originally from London, Senior Base Pilot and Grade 1 Flight Instructor Nick Harris has been flying for over 12 years. He tells us that it “seemed like a good idea at the time” to become a pilot, but we think that maybe it had more to do with growing up watching the Concorde take off over his house (um, that’s pretty awesome).
As an instructor, Nick loves seeing how excited students get after their first solo, or after passing their flight test.
He hopes to one day fly a Tiger Moth around Australia – and in fact, he’s actually building one at the moment to do just that!
FIR Training Manager | Grade 1 Instructor
Multi-Engine, FIR & more
Grade 1 Multi-Engine IFR Flight Instructor Jacqui Armstrong has more than 15 years of experience as a pilot. Her career began in 1999 and has seen her fly a range of aircraft in both charter and regional airline roles around Australia.
Jacqui grew up in Melbourne with aviation in her veins, with her father holding a pilot licence. Her grandfather built and flew his own aircraft, which is now on display at the Australian National Aviation Museum at Moorabbin Airport. With a family of her own now, we think there’s a fair chance the tradition may continue!
As a flight instructor, Jacqui loves watching her students’ faces light up when they pass a flight test. Her ideal aviation role is the one that allows her to build her career and spend time with her family. Or the one that allows her to captain the space shuttle into orbit.
Flight examiner | Grade 1 Instructor
Multi-Engine, FIR & more
Brendan Morgan is a Grade 1 Multi-Engine IFR Flight Instructor and Flight Examiner with Learn To Fly.
He has a wealth of experience in the aviation sector that includes more than 12,500 hours of flying (including flying Pilatus PC12 aircraft for the Royal Flying Doctor Service), and over 6,000 hours instructing.
Safety Manager | Grade 2 Instructor
Multi-Engine, IFR, FIR & more
Grade 2 Multi-Engine IFR Flight Instructor Ahmed Ibrahim has been flying for over 20 years. As a child growing up in Cairo, Egypt, he always wanted to be a pilot and loved looking down at the terrain far below every time he flew.
Ahmed has always enjoyed instructing and teaching throughout his career. 5 years ago he decided to combine his hobby and passion to become a full-time instructor.
As an ultimate pilot career goal, he would love to one day own his own flying school teaching next generation ATPLs and specialising in high-performance aircraft instruction.
Grade 1 Instructor
Multi-Engine, Formation, Aero & more
Grade 1 Flight Instructor Lawrie Byrnes has a LOT of aviation experience, having been flying for over 50 years! He grew up in Melbourne and was always fascinated with model aeroplanes as a youngster.
It wasn’t until later on when he was being escorted around Vietnam in C130 Hercules aircraft that he truly realised that the pilot life was his calling. His career has seen him flying for regional airlines and charter in an impressive range of aircraft that includes the Mitsubishi MU-2, Douglas DC3, Cessna Citation, Beechcraft 1900 and Piper PA31 Navajo.
Lawrie loves striving for accuracy in his flying, and after his extensive career, he has turned his attention to Aerobatics, Formation and IFR. We’re thrilled to have such an experienced pilot on board to head up our Formation and Aerobatics Endorsement courses.
Grade 2 Instructor
FIR, RPL, PPL, CPL & more
LTF Grade 2 Flight Instructor Hamish Smillie has been flying for 5 years now and can remember 2 distinct moments in his childhood that drew him to want to fly. The first was watching an F4 Phantom fighter jet screaming into life from 50 feet away at the 1992 Avalon Airshow, and the second was having the amazing experience of being in the cockpit of a Qantas Boeing B747 on approach and landing into Singapore’s Changi Airport!
He loves being able to share his passion with other pilots and as a Flight Instructor, he gains a huge feeling of achievement from being able to mentor students from their very first flight right through to their first solo flight, and eventually their CPL and first aviation job.
Hamish would one day love to be a Check and Training Captain with Qantas on any of their aircraft types.
Grade 1 Instructor
Aero, FIR, RPL, PPL, CPL & more
Shannon was born in Sri Lanka and moved to Greymouth on the West Coast of New Zealand at age 10. He always remembers having a love for aviation, but in particular, remembers his interest in “seeing the world from a different perspective” being sparked by an unusual looking Dornier Do 228 aircraft that used to land near his house often.
Following the Christchurch earthquakes he began a plumbing apprenticeship, but soon felt the call of the sky and decided to study for a Bachelors Degree in Aviation. He first flew in a SkyFox Gazelle then transitioned over to train on Diamond aircraft, which he has been flying since 2015.
As a Flight Instructor, Shannon finds it hugely rewarding to watch eager students turn up for their first flight, progress through their training, and eventually transition into their first job in aviation. He’d one day love to become a Check and Training Captain with a major flag-carrying airline.
RAAus CFI | Grade 1 Instructor
RPC, RPL, PPL, CPL, FIR & more
Cameron Mitchell is both our Ra-Aus Chief Flight Instructor for Recreational Aviation, and a Grade 1 Flight Instructor.
Cam was allegedly fairly close to pursuing a career as a Sky Diving Instructor, and we’re glad that he changed his mind to instead teach people how to stay INSIDE the aircraft while it’s flying. His students here at Learn To Fly seem pretty happy about that as well.
Over his 9 year aviation career, Cam has built close to 2,000 hours flying planes (and not jumping out).
Grade 1 Instructor
Multi-Engine, IFR & more
Alex Hartkopf has been flying for over 12 years and has amassed close to 3500 flight hours during that time. Growing up in Melbourne, Alex was always fascinated by planes, and that curiosity grew even further when his father took him and his cousin up for a joy flight when he was 7 years old.
He loves the social aspect of working at a flight school and being in an environment where everybody shares the same passion for aviation. Alex hopes to progress his career towards becoming a Flight Examiner, and then one day flying for an airline.
Training Manager | Grade 2 Instructor
Multi-Engine, IFR, CPL & more
Josh started his flying training at age 16 but was born with aviation in his blood. He remembers flying around the Victorian Gippsland region in Cessna 172s with his grandfather as a small child, as well as regular trips to some of the larger airports to watch the “big planes” coming and going.
As a Flight Instructor, Josh loves the fact that every day there is something different to teach. He’s also a big fan of the fact that typically, every customer or student leaves with a smile on their face after flying.
Whilst Josh would one day love to fly in a domestic passenger transport role, his ultimate goal is to join the Royal Flying Doctor Service.