The first step in taking up flying, as a career or just for pleasure, is to undertake a Trial Instructional Flight, or TIF, Please see out Trial Flight Page for details.
During the initial stages of flight instruction you will always be with a flight instructor. You will be taught the basics of flight in preparation for your first solo flight in the circuit area (rectangular pattern flown around an aerodrome), but will be familiarised with the local training area, usually a ten mile area around the airport. During this time you consolidate your training and build flying experience. Most likely, you will be ready to fly solo after approximately 15-20 hours of instruction. However each subsequent solo flight must be authorised by your instructor.
Before you can fly solo –
- you will need to pass the required medical checks Class 2 minimum
- you must be at least 16 years of age
- and be capable of reading, writing, speaking and understanding the English language. GELP (General English Language Proficiency) test carried out
- You will also need to obtain an ARN (Aviation Reference Number) from CASA, supply photographs and identification documentation, and complete a security check. We will guide you through these steps.
Your first solo flight will involve practising take-offs and landings, and general flying within the airport circuit. This is basically a consolidation of everything that you have learned to date, such as operation and effect of controls, straight and level flying, climbing and descending, turning, take off and landings for which your instructor found you competent to do on your own. You will also have practised engine failures and have been found competent in the unlikely event of an emergency.
From this point on, you will focus on preparing for your first area solo where you will demonstrate your ability to fly solo outside the airport circuit but still within the training area.
Your first solo in the training area will involve practising simulated engine failure during which you will exercise your own judgement, simulate radio calls and trouble checks as well as passenger briefs. It will also include a short navigation exercise to and from the local training area to enable you to demonstrate some chart reading skills.
As you progress, you will learn to fly the aircraft in all situations in preparation for your Recreational Pilots Licence(RPL). Before you can undertake this test you first need to pass the RPL(H) theory examination (conducted on site). You will also need at least 25 hours flight time which includes 5 hours as pilot in command.