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The Role of Simulators in Flight Training

Flight simulators have become indispensable tools in the world of aviation training. No matter your particular journey to obtaining a Private Pilot License (PPL) in Australia, you can expect to spend some time in a flight simulator. These advanced devices play a pivotal role in preparing aspiring pilots for the challenges of real-world flying. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the significance of flight simulators. We’ll discover how they function and their evolution and take a look at our own impressive offering of flight simulation experiences.

Understanding Flight Simulators

What is a Flight Simulator?

A flight simulator is a sophisticated training device that replicates the experience of flying an aircraft in safe, controlled environments. It combines cutting-edge technology, realistic controls, and high-fidelity visual systems to create an immersive flight experience for pilots-in-training.

How Flight Simulators Function

Flight simulators operate by mimicking the physics, aerodynamics, and handling characteristics of actual, specific aircraft. They feature replica cockpits with authentic controls, including yokes, pedals, and instrument panels. Visual systems project realistic scenery to simulate flying conditions, while software algorithms calculate and replicate the aircraft’s response to pilot inputs.

The Evolution of Flight Simulators

The history of flight simulators dates back to the early 20th century, with rudimentary devices used to train military aviators. Over the decades, they have evolved into highly sophisticated tools for pilot training. Key milestones in their development include:

  • 1920s: The Link Trainer, invented by Edwin Link, marked the birth of the modern flight simulator. An ingenious invention, the Link Trainer connected control inputs to mechanically operated pneumatic devices that allowed a student to ‘fly’ the simulator without the use of computers or electronics. It was widely used throughout the world’s militaries for basic instrument training.
  • 1960s: The advent of digital computers allowed for more realistic flight simulation. Simulators began to replicate various aircraft types and weather conditions. This allowed for a more complete training experience specific to certain aircraft types.
  • 1980s: Full-motion simulators with hydraulic systems were introduced, providing a more authentic flight experience. As avionics improved into the digital age, simulators began to reflect these changes as well.
  • Present Day: Modern flight simulators boast high-resolution visuals, advanced avionics, and realistic flight dynamics, making them invaluable in pilot training. With the advent of Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), further advancements are expected to be made in the coming years.

Learn To Fly’s Flight Simulator Offerings

When pursuing your PPL with Learn To Fly in Australia, you’ll discover that flight simulation forms an integral part of our innovative and cost-effective integrated flight training model. Here’s a glimpse of their impressive simulator fleet:

1. Alsim AL42 (Diamond DA42) and TRC472 (Cessna 172) Full Cockpit Synthetic Trainers

These state-of-the-art simulators replicate the cockpits of popular aircraft models, the Diamond DA42 and Cessna 172. They provide a realistic and immersive training experience, allowing you to practice procedures, navigation, and emergency scenarios in a controlled environment.

2. X-Plane Simulator

Learn To Fly’s X-Plane simulator is a cutting-edge training tool equipped with Garmin avionics, offering hands-on experience with real-world cockpit instrumentation. The Virtual-Fly controls provide tactile feedback, enhancing the realism of your training sessions.

3. B737-800 Simulator (Partnered with Flight Experience Melbourne)

For those aspiring to become airline pilots, Learn To Fly has teamed up with Flight Experience Melbourne to offer training in their Boeing-endorsed B737-800 simulator. This partnership provides a unique opportunity to familiarize yourself with the type of aircraft used in commercial aviation.

The Advantages of Flight Simulation in Private Pilot License Training

Flight simulation provides a wide range of benefits for student pilots obtaining their Private Pilot License and beyond.

Enhanced Safety

Flight simulators offer a risk-free environment for practising manoeuvres, emergency procedures, and adverse weather conditions, reducing the safety risks associated with in-air flight training.

Cost-Effective Training

Simulator training can be more cost-effective than traditional flight training, as it minimizes fuel and maintenance expenses while maximizing training hours.

Versatile Learning

Simulators can replicate various scenarios, allowing you to practice day and night operations, cross-country navigation, and complex procedures without leaving the ground.

Elevate Your Training with Flight Simulators

Flight simulators are invaluable assets in the journey to obtain a Private Pilot License in Australia. They provide aspiring pilots with the opportunity to hone their skills, build confidence, and enhance their knowledge in a controlled and immersive environment. Learn To Fly’s cutting-edge simulator fleet, including the Alsim AL42, TRC472, X-Plane simulator, and B737-800 simulator, ensures that you receive world-class training that prepares you for the challenges of real-world aviation.

So, if you’re ready to take your first step towards the skies and explore the world of aviation, embrace the power of flight simulation with Learn To Fly. The future of your flying career is just a simulator session away!

What Else Is Worth Consideration?

As well as the financial implications, it’s important to make sure you’re well-informed before you undertake your CPL flight training. Here are some other topics that are worth exploring to help you achieve your aviation goals:

  1. FAQs About Obtaining Your Commercial Pilot Licence
    Find answers to the most commonly asked questions from former CPL students.

  2. The Benefits of Online Flight Training Courses
    Read about saving by completing your aviation theory online.

  3. Flight Schools in Australia – How Do I Choose the Right One?
    Make sure you’re choosing the best flight school to achieve your aviation dreams.

  4. Aspiring Career Pilots – Here’s Why You need a Diploma of Aviation
    If you’re looking to fly commercially, this is a great place to learn about course options.
  5. How to Become an Airline Pilot in Australia
    Understand the pathways and career options for commercial pilots operating in Australia.

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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Safety Above All: Emergency Flight Training in Australia

Undertaking flight training in Australia is an exciting, fun-filled experience. Students are constantly learning about their passion on their way to becoming skillful and knowledgeable pilots. While flying an aircraft is an uplifting and truly fulfilling experience, it is not without its dangers.

Flight training in Australia focuses heavily on safety above all else. It equips students with a strong knowledge of emergency procedures in the hopes that, should an incident occur, they are prepared to handle the scenario. Let’s take a look at some of the key emergency procedures that all pilots should know.

Engine Failure Procedures

Fuel, ignition or mechanical failure can cause an engine failure at any time. Encountering an engine failure can be surprising and extremely stressful. With the right training, however, you can handle an engine failure effectively. First and foremost, it’s important to remain calm. Remember, your aircraft is built to fly. Even with an engine out, you’re not going to drop from the air, you will have plenty of time to assess the situation and make the decisions that will get you out of the incident safely.

Noted flight instructor and author Jim Davis, is an expert when it comes to flight training in Australia. His book PPL: A Practical Book About Flying Safely, lists three immediate actions in the event of an engine failure that will help pilots handle the situation:

Change tanks. Fuel issues causing engine outs can be a simple fix and are the most common cause of engine failure. It might be as simple as changing tanks and resolving fuel flow that gets your engine back online. This is a best-case scenario that may save you from having to perform a forced landing.

Close the throttle. Once you’ve decided that a forced landing is required, closing the throttle will effectively turn your plane into a glider. Engine failures are unexpected events. It can be difficult to determine why an engine has failed, it may have the capacity to come back. This way, should your engine power return for any reason, you won’t have any unexpected bursts of power that could interfere with your approach.

Establish a glide and head towards your best possible landing option. There is a 1 in 360 chance that you’re heading directly toward your best landing spot. The quicker you figure out where you’re going to land the better, so scan for flat, unobstructed terrain and decide on it. Use your excess speed to make the turn, and then establish a glide toward your spot.

Forced Landings

Executing a safe forced landing is a vital skill, there are several key things to remember.

Select Your Field. When it comes to forced landings, field selection is extremely important. Consider factors such as obstacles, terrain, gradient, wind direction and sun when selecting your field. Once you’ve chosen your spot, stick to it. Indecision can be more dangerous than an uneven field.

Plan Your Descent. It’s important to visualize how you’re going to get from where you currently are to your landing point. It can be helpful to pick a feature or two to help keep you oriented as you work your way down. A line of trees, a road or a dam, can be useful to keep you in position as you come in to land.

Make Your Checks. Once you’ve put yourself in a position for a relatively safe forced landing, you can begin to do a round of checks to see if you can find the cause of the issue. Don’t try to do this one-by-one as you’re likely to miss things. Instead, run through your checklist as you would pre-flight to ensure everything is covered.

Call Mayday. If your checks can’t determine the issue and you can’t get the engine running again, it’s time to call Mayday. It’s best to do so at a reasonable altitude for optimum VHF range.

Land With Gear Down. It’s generally accepted that you should land with gear down. It’s the safest option. If the terrain is good enough, the gear will work as intended, but even if the terrain is poor, your landing gear will help with deceleration. In low-wing aircraft, landing with gear down will also keep the fuel tanks from coming in contact with the ground for some time.

Preparation Saves Lives

What’s better than a safe and successful forced landing? Not needing one at all.

A thorough, detailed pre-flight check is likely to pick up on a multitude of issues before you fly. If you’re able to spot those issues on the ground, you can avoid having to deal with them in the air. Always give your pre-flight checks your full and undivided attention. Ensure you address every point in your pre-flight checklist.

At Learn To Fly, we’re dedicated to training safe and skilful commercial pilots. Safety is emphasised throughout our multiple flight training courses, ensuring our students are prepared to handle many emergency scenarios.

What Else Is Worth Consideration?

As well as the financial implications, it’s important to make sure you’re well-informed before you undertake your CPL flight training. Here are some other topics that are worth exploring to help you achieve your aviation goals:

  1. FAQs About Obtaining Your Commercial Pilot Licence
    Find answers to the most commonly asked questions from former CPL students.

  2. The Benefits of Online Flight Training Courses
    Read about saving by completing your aviation theory online.

  3. Flight Schools in Australia – How Do I Choose the Right One?
    Make sure you’re choosing the best flight school to achieve your aviation dreams.

  4. Aspiring Career Pilots – Here’s Why You need a Diploma of Aviation
    If you’re looking to fly commercially, this is a great place to learn about course options.
  5. How to Become an Airline Pilot in Australia
    Understand the pathways and career options for commercial pilots operating in Australia.

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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Pilot Profile: Gabriel Ng – Gaining An RPL

From early on, Gabriel Ng had his sights set on a career in aviation. Flying was always on his mind growing up in Singapore, a global aviation powerhouse. Now 21 years old, Gabriel is the proud owner of a Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) and is enthusiastically studying Aeronautical Engineering with visions of attaining a cadetship back home to continue his journey in the world of aviation.

Beginning the RPL Journey

This is our first aviation medical examination FAQ. You should talk to your Aviation Flight School

Gabriel initially embarked on his flying journey with a few lessons in Singapore, however, the cost factor led him to explore more economical options. That’s when he discovered that Australia could provide the learning experience he was seeking at an affordable level. He began searching for providers and stumbled upon Learn To Fly. The rest, as they say, is history.

With a strong desire to kickstart my aviation career early on, Gabriel aimed to secure his pilot’s license as soon as possible, even though he was still quite young and a fair distance away from being eligible for his country’s cadetship program. Despite this, he wanted to test his abilities by attempting to obtain a pilot’s licence in a remarkably short span of 3-4 months.

Venturing Abroad

Gabriel travelled to Melbourne to begin his Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) flight training, forming a strong bond with his fellow students, instructors and Learn To Fly staff. “It felt like a close-knit family,” he said, reminiscing on his time in Melbourne. He worked hard on his studies, quickly progressing with both theory and practical skills.

All his hard work came to a head when Gabriel completed his first solo on March 23, 2023 at 7:03pm. He remembers the time exactly. “The sky still retained its brightness.” he said “Flying alone for the first time left an indelible mark, making it a truly unforgettable and cherished experience.”

Despite his resounding success at acquiring his RPL, Gabriel was not without challenges along the way. He found that undertaking a solo flight was quite anxiety-inducing, due to the need to successfully complete a meticulous check ride before gaining approval for it. Meeting the rigorous standards becomes crucial for progress, and it was disheartening for him to not meet the solo check ride criteria, leading to missed opportunities for a solo flight, particularly when weather conditions are optimal. He also found Melbourne’s persistently unfavourable weather, characterized by unending low ceiling clouds and rain, a challenge to deal with. Victorian pilots will likely know the feeling of being ready for a flight and being let down by the weather. Gabriel persisted nonetheless, keen to obtain his RPL in a short time.

Future Plans

Currently back in Singapore and serving in the Singapore Army, Gabriel is planning his return to Melbourne in May 2025 to undertake his Private Pilot Licence (PPL) with Learn To Fly. He’s excited to get into the cockpit of our Diamond DA40, and to propel his already budding aviation career even further!

What Else Should I Know?

We hope this helps you answer some FAQs about aviation medical examinations in Australia!

We’ve also 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.

Chat with 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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Answering Some FAQs About Aviation Medical Examinations In Australia

If you’re undertaking aviation training, you’ll soon be looking into undertaking a medical evaluation for your pilot requirements. Here, we’re answering some FAQs about aviation medical examinations in Australia. Aviation medical examinations in Australia are overseen managed through the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). However, whilst CASA is the management body they are not the issuers or undertakers of aviation medical examinations. That part is up to a General Practitioner or Designated Aviation Medical Examiner. Need us to shed some more light for you? Then let’s answer some FAQs about aviation medical examinations in Australia.

What Types of Aviation Medical Examinations Exist in Australia?

This is our first aviation medical examination FAQ. You should talk to your Aviation Flight School about what aviation medical examination is best for your requirements. Aviation medical examinations in Australia can result in three different classes of medical assessment. A Class 3 is the lowest grade of medical examination for aviation. It’s a more general series of tests to ensure a person is healthy for air traffic control and flight service roles. 

Class 3 and RAMPC

There is another option to a Class 3, which is a RAMPC (Recreational Aviation Medical Practitioner’s Certificate). This is a pilot medical certificate that allows limited operations. These limitations include:

  • 1500 kg MTOW
  • VFR
  • <10,000 feet flight ceiling
  • One passenger limit
  • No aerobatic flight

You can read further about these limitations, here.

If you’re aiming to become a commercial pilot licence holder, then the following aviation medical examinations are largely aimed at you throughout your training and career. 

Class 2

The second type is a Class 2 medical certificate. There are two types of Class 2. A Basic Class 2 Medical Examination can be provided by any medical practitioner who does medicals for commercial motor vehicle drivers. It allows for flying of larger aircraft, but with limitations (e.g. no aerobatics or commercial flying). A full Class 2 medical is typically issued for General Aviation Pilots with an RPL or PPL, who are flying privately with an MTOW higher than 1500kg and undertaking further privileges that the pilot licence provides. For training purposes, this can be the perfect option for pilots.

Class 1

A Class 1 medical examination is the most thorough and highest level of health and wellness scrutiny. It is required for commercial pilot licence and ATPL holders.

If you are aiming to become a commercial pilot licence holder, you should consider getting a Class 1 aviation medical examination first. Whilst a Class 2 will allow you to undertake most of your training, the Class 1 is a more thorough examination. This means that if there are any medical reasons that might impact your licence or ability to become a commercially-licenced pilot, you would find out as early as possible.

Is an Aviation Medical Examination Mandatory in Australia for Pilots?

As a pilot, you are required to be medically fit. If you’re a recreational pilot with an MTOW of 600 kg, then you can effectively self-manage your medical similar to a car driver licence. However, a pilot licence is a privilege and comes with a requirement to be medically fit to undertake the privileges and responsibilities of the licence. This is why Class 2 and Class 1 medicals exist and apply. 

If you’re undertaking the Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane) then you will need a Class 1 aviation medical certificate. Talk to your flight school or instructor to ensure you have the appropriate medical requirements for your flight training in Australia.

What Do They Check in an Aviation Medical Examination in Australia?

You can expect urine and blood pressure tests, hearing tests and an overall physical examination. The medical examiner will talk to you about any existing health conditions to understand what effects and impact this might have on your ability to fly. It is important to be open, honest and transparent about your health. This means that any existing health conditions need to be declared and discussed prior to issuing a medical certificate.

What Should I Expect in an Aviation Medical Examination in Australia?

A Class 3 Medical is a basic medical without ancillary tests. For example audiogram, ECG, blood tests and referral for eye examination. A recreational aviation medical practitioner’s certificate allows appropriately licensed pilots to hold a recreational pilot’s licence (RPL) without needing to have a class 2 medical. The RPL is based on a modified unconditional driver’s licence medical certificate for a private motor vehicle.

In a Class 2 medical, applicants must have a basic medical examination but not the additional ancillary tests. For example audiogram, ECG, blood tests and referral for eye examination. 

For a Class 1 aviation medical examination, you must have basic medical and ancillary tests, such as an audiogram, ECG, blood tests for glucose and lipids.  Commercial pilots will also be provided with a referral to a Designated Aviation Eye Examiner (ophthalmologist). Depending on your age at the time of the medical, test requirements can vary.

How Long Does an Aviation Medical Certificate Last in Australia?

Each medical certificate has a different period of validity in Australia.

Class 3 Aviation Medical Certificate

This medical certificate applies to holders of an air traffic control licence or flight service officers, or recreational pilots. The Class 3 medical certificate is valid for two years. A recreational aviation medical practitioner’s certificate allows appropriately licensed pilots to hold a recreational pilot’s licence (RPL) without needing to have a class 2 medical. The RPL is based on a modified unconditional driver’s licence medical certificate for a private motor vehicle.

Class 2 Aviation Medical Certificate

A Class 2 medical standard applies to holders of a private pilot licence, commercial pilot (balloon) licence and flight radio operator licence. A Class 2 medical certificate is valid for four years for applicants less than 40 years of age on the day of issue, and in all other cases for two years.

Class 1 Aviation Medical Certificate

For holders of an air transport pilot licence, commercial pilot licence, multi-crew pilot (aeroplane) licence, you will need a Class 1 medical certificate. Class 1 certificates are valid for one year.

Your flight school in Australia, and CASA, will both need copies of your valid aviation medical certificate. When you renew with another medical examination, you will need to re-supply your medical examination results and certificate with them both. Additionally, you should carry your medical certificate with you as a pilot.

When Should I Apply for my Medical Aviation Examination?

If you’re aiming to complete your Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane), aim to apply for your medical just before commencing your training. The Class 1 medical certificate is valid for 12 months, so this will give you a longer validity period whilst training. 

Additionally, by completing your medical prior to training, you will become aware of any health issues or risks before commencing training.

If you are undertaking general aviation training with an instructor, you may not need your aviation medical right away. Ask your instructor if this is the case. If so, you may be able to apply for your medical aviation examination part of the way through your training and then submit it to CASA with your licence and training documentation. Your instructor can advise you on this based on your circumstances, training and classification of medical certificate.

What Do You Need to Bring to an Aviation Medical Examination in Australia?

You should bring your Aviation Reference Number (ARN), your pilot look book and 100 points of identification. If you have prescription eye wear, bring your eye wear with you. You should bring details of any medication that you are taking, as well as any test results from eyesight, hearing or otherwise that could be relevant.

How Much Does an Aviation Medical Examination Cost in Australia?

This is a popular on our list of ‘FAQs about Aviation Medical Examinations in Australia. Depending on what doctor or clinic you visit, an aviation medical examination in Australia can typically cost between $250 and $300.

How Long is an Aviation Medical Examination Appointment in Australia?

You should expect your aviation medical examination appointment to take approximately 45 minutes to one hour. If you need additional testing, or if you incur wait times, this time allowance may increase. You can discuss your appointment time with your doctor or clinic at the time of booking.

Can A Pilot Wear Glasses in Australia and Pass an Aviation Medical Examination?

Yes. Please bring your prescription details and eye wear to your appointment. Your eyesight is part of your assessment as part of the aviation medical examination.

What Else Should I Know?

We hope this helps you answer some FAQs about aviation medical examinations in Australia!

We’ve also 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.

Chat with 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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Advancing Your Flight Skills: A Guide to Multi-Engine Training

‘Advancing Your Flight Skills: A Guide to Multi-Engine Training’ is for pilots wanting to expand their skills. You will be able to take on more complex aircraft; multi-engine flight training is the next step. Multi-engine aircraft have two or more engines. This added complexity requires specialized training to ensure the safety and proficiency of the pilot.

Multi-Engine Rating: A Whole New Aviation World

The multi-engine training path opens up a whole new range of opportunities in aviation. These skills are an essential requirement for a commercial pilot licence. Additionally, there are other benefits, such as engine redundancy and travel capability.

To start multi-engine training, you’ll need to have your Private Pilot Licence (PPL) or Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL).

Multi-Engine Training – The First Step

The first step in multi-engine flight training is ground school. Here, students will learn the basic principles of multi-engine aircraft systems. This engine operation, systems, and emergency procedures. From there, students will move on to flight training in a multi-engine aircraft. This starts with basic maneuvers and gradually works up to more advanced techniques.

Principles and Techniques

An important aspect of multi-engine flight training is mastering the art of engine management. This involves learning how to operate and maintain the engines, including starting, stopping and running checks. Additionally, you’ll need to manage the effects of engine failure and learn how to respond.

Another key aspect of multi-engine flight training is mastering the systems of the aircraft. These are systems such as the electrical, fuel, and pressurization systems. These systems are critical to the safe operation of the aircraft. This means that understanding how they work is essential for maintaining control of the aircraft in different flight conditions.

The Multi-Engine Training Journey

As you progress through your multi-engine flight training, you will have the opportunity to take advanced courses. This means you can earn additional certifications, such as instructor ratings. These certifications open up a wide range of career opportunities for you. It could be flying for a major airline or working as a charter or corporate pilot.

Multi-Engine Training Challenges

Multi-engine flight training is not without its challenges. It requires a significant investment of time, money, and dedication. Additionally, there is added complexity when compared to a single-engine aircraft. This is because you need to monitor and control multiple engines and be familiar with the different systems. If you are passionate about flying, the rewards of multi-engine training are worth the effort!

What Else Should I Know?

The next step is to download the Multi-Engine Class Rating Course Guide. This has all the fundamental information you’ll need. Once you’ve read this information, get in touch with Learn To Fly Melbourne or fill out the enrolment form.

6 Reasons Private Pilots Should Get Multi-Engine Flight Training
Why private pilots should go for other endorsements and add-on ratings like instrument flight and multi-engine flight training.

  1. Aviation Schools in Melbourne: Why Learn to Fly is Your Best Bet
    The aviation school you choose will make a big difference to your aviation journey. Here’s why you should learn with the best!
  2. Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) versus Visual Flight Rules (VFR) – What is the Difference?
    If you have researched flying, you have likely heard the terms Instrument Flight Rules and Visual Flight Rules. Or possibly their abbreviations – IFR and VFR. Let’s look at what they mean, and what are the differences?

Learn To Fly: Flight Training Courses For Every Pilot
We have every aviation course you need, including recreational or commercial. This post discusses the pathways and career options for pilots operating in Australia.

Training Beyond The Private Pilot Licence (PPL)
After completing your Private Pilot Licence you might wonder, “what’s next?” As strange as it may sound, many pilots are still keen to do more training after achieving their initial goals. Realistically, if you want to fly regularly or as a job, learning is ongoing. Let’s take a look at training beyond the Private Pilot Licence.

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Pilot Licence
This post will help you get the most out of your pilot licence in easy steps.

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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Cadet Pilot Program FAQs: Answering Common Questions and Concerns

Cadet pilot programs are integrated flying, flight theory, and education program and it can provide an excellent entry point into the industry. They’re designed to take trainee pilots with little to no experience and turn them into future First or Second Officer candidates. Assessing a career path is a big deal though, with is why it’s important for us to cover cadet pilot program FAQs. Let’s start answering common questions and concerns that are raised with Cadet Pilot Programs in Singapore. Once you’ve finished reading this, circle back to our Future Cadet Pilot Program course to learn about the next steps.

Which Airlines have Cadet Pilot Programs in Australia? 

Most major airlines in Singapore have some sort of cadet pilot program, from Singapore Airlines through to Scoot. Some of these programs have intakes that are partnered with flight training institutions, like Singapore Flying College. Here are a few Cadet Pilot Programs to be aware of in Singapore:

  • Singapore Airlines Cadet Program
  • Scoot Cadet Pilot Program

Which Cadet Pilot Program in Singapore is the Best? 

This is a very subjective question, but it’s definitely in our cadet pilot program FAQs! The truth is there isn’t necessarily one pilot cadetship that’s better than the rest. Why? It’s because everyone’s pilot journey is somewhat unique and personal, depending on what you want your career to look like. This means that you should really be asking ‘which cadet pilot program is best for me?’.

The answer to this question is still tough, though. You might find that a cadetship with an alternative to your goal airline is a great step. That’s because cadetships are about building your skills, knowledge, and experience, to make you more appealing for the bigger and better airlines.  

You should be looking to secure the best possible cadetship for the career and airline that you want to work with. If you can’t make it work for any reason, then you should seek your second ranked alternative and keep sight of your long-term goal.

Which Age is Best for Cadet Pilot Programs? 

Cadet pilot programs in Singapore generally require you to have the national service done when you commence training. This means you can actually apply after your national service. That being said, there is not really an age limit. Applicants have successfully become pilots in their 30s!

What are the eligibility requirements for Cadet Pilot Programs in Singapore?

In order to be considered as an applicant for most airline cadetships in Singapore, airlines will usually look for the following eligibility requirements:

  1. Singapore citizen or permanent resident;
  2. Finished the national service on commencement of training;
  3. Capable of holding a CAAS Class 1 Medical Certificate;

Due to volumes of applicants, you’ll usually go through a structured screening and skills assessment process as well. The more skills, experience and preparation you have under your belt, the better. At this point in time, it can be very useful to complete a Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) course.

What is the Cost of Cadet Pilot Programs? 

All cadet pilot programs and flight training in Singapore have their own costs, so you’ll need to see individual programs. To give you an indication, you might be looking at around SGD $160,000 – SGD $200,000 at airlines for academic and flying costs. These costs can change, too, so it’s important to keep an eye on them.

The airline will offer you the finance assistance. This would mean that you don’t need the money up-front to pay for your course, and you can pay of the fees once you have a sustainable income. Read the enclosed links here for further information – you should always seek clarity about your individual circumstances.

How to prepare for the Cadet Pilot Interview? 

This is a big topic when we’re faced with cadet pilot program FAQs . A Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) is the best preparation you can complete for a Cadet Pilot Program. It prepares you for all flight training in Australia with a focus on cadet pilot programs everywhere in the world The Future Cadet Pilot Program provides you with the necessary tools to start your aviation journey. Once you complete the FCPP course, you’ll be ready and confident to start working your way to becoming a commercial airline pilot

Aviation knowledge is highly appealing to airlines recruiting for their Cadet Pilot Programs. The FCPP course syllabus features flight training and theory to make you stand out from competing applicants. It’s the perfect recipe for success! 

Within the FCPP course, you’ll receive: 

  • 5 – 25 Flight training hours (dual) 
  • 1 Hour Simulation Training (Boeing 737-800) 
  • 2 Hours of Simulation Training (LTF Simulator) 
  • Ground School and Briefings 
  • Airline Interview Coaching Session 
  • RPL Theory Books 
  • Online RPL Theory Course 
  • Online ICAO English Course and AELP Test 
  • Pilot’s Logbook 
  • Online Student Portal Access 

You can download the course guide here. When you’re ready, schedule a meeting with us to discuss your aviation career goals and how we can help you to get there. You can jump on the Learn To Fly website to chat online or send an enquiry, email us, or whatsapp +65 8668 0591.

What Else Should I Know?

We hope this helps you answer some Cadet Pilot Program FAQs!

We’ve also 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.

Chat with 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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Mastering Navigation: How to Read Maps, Use GPS and Navigate Like A Pro

There are two main reasons you might be reading this. Reason #1 is you have a navigation endorsement on your RPL, PPL or CPL. You might be looking to master the aviation navigation skillset. If so, good stuff! Reason #2 is if you’re thinking of getting your navigation endorsement. Perhaps your training is underway, and you want to be the best pilot you can possibly be. GREAT stuff! For some pilots, navigation feels like the trickiest part of aviation – but it’s not! Navigation is the most adventurous, fun, and rewarding part of being a pilot! If you’re looking to improve your navigation skills, this post will help. Read about Mastering Navigation: How to Read Maps, Use GPS and Navigate Like A Pro.

Start By Covering Aviation Navigation Basics

While examining a VTC (Visual Terminal Chart) or VNC (Visual Navigation Chart), you’ll constantly uncover novel methods for leveraging maps. Whether your maps are in paper or digital format, comprehending the intricate elements of a VTC and VNC is crucial for making optimal navigation choices. Every colour, line, word, and number is on the maps to assist your navigation decisions. Mastering your maps means that you have researched the icons, features and indications across the map. It will mean that you know what they mean and how to use them to your advantage. When training for navigation, it’s not common that every little detail on maps is thoroughly covered, as there’s a lot of additional detail beyond the essentials.

If there is anything on the map that you don’t use or don’t understand, it’s time to sit with an instructor and learn. Every road and railway indicated is a visual reference for your position and tracking. Towns are yellow and have a shape – use the shape to identify features and confirm your position and tracking, for example. You should understand the landforms and topographical features to ensure you log correct LSAs (Lowest Safe Altitudes) and track over terrain appropriately. Are you ready to master more navigation like a pro, across reading maps and GPS? Let’s go!

Amateur Versus Pro Pilots

During map-based navigation planning, novice pilots often rely on terrain, reported cloud levels, and wind conditions. While acceptable for the time being, this approach is common among many pilots. However, aspiring to become an experienced and professional pilot entails delving into deeper layers of the planning process. Remember that weather forecasts can be inaccurate! To illustrate, incorporating weather planning into your intended route would involve considering anabatic and katabatic winds across the terrain. You should also consider thermals, cloud formation, condensation, icing, and visibility concerns. Although these may not be explicitly stated in your weather report, seasoned pilots combine weather, maps, and their expertise.

Monitor Your Flight Path with Maps or GPS and Know Your Track Error Methods

If there’s one thing to take away from ‘ Mastering Navigation: How to Read Maps, Use GPS and Navigate Like A Pro’, it’s this. A good pilot will remember that they need to check their flight path regularly, but a great pilot is constantly referencing and confirming their position along the way, avoiding tracking errors where possible. Using GPS isn’t considered ‘cheating’ in aviation – it’s smart. A good pilot will make use of the tools available to them to be the best pilot they can be, and an experienced pilot also knows and practices how to fly without them!

You can input your entire route into GPS to assist you with your bearings, compass work, altitudes and tracking management. By doing this, the GPS can assist with your pilot workload and essentially make you a safer pilot. 

If you’ve found yourself flying and not making full use of your GPS, you should research tutorials on the instrument/model or ask an instructor to show you its functional capability. If you want to fly and navigate like a professional pilot, you need to know your instruments.

Don’t Be Afraid To Use Autopilot

If your aircraft has autopilot, learn its proper usage. Some pilots think they must handle navigation and control simultaneously, but it’s fine to rely on autopilot when workload affects safety and navigation. Ensure you understand its functionality if it’s installed.

Practice Implementing Diversions in Navigation Exercises

Changing your flight mid-air during navigation can be challenging. Instead of waiting for the perfect opportunity, practice and rehearse these exercises while building your flight hours. When off-track, apply methods like the 1-in-60 rule or dead reckoning for navigating a new route. Soon, you’ll effortlessly glance out the window and estimate the magnetic direction of a township you spot beside your wing.

Pick 3 Features To Confirm Your Location

Professional pilots employ various checks to verify their position, and you should have secondary checks too. For instance, you might observe a lake on the map, matching its anticipated size and shape, alongside a township with a golf course in the expected location. As secondary checks, ensure the town is approximately the anticipated size, your compass shows you’re heading towards the destination from the expected direction, and your estimated arrival time aligns with the anticipated travel distance from your last waypoint.

Aim To Get Better With Every Flight

Have you checked off everything here in ‘ Mastering Navigation: How to Read Maps, Use GPS and Navigate Like A Pro’? With every flight, you’ll learn a new lesson. As an hour-building pilot, you should be aiming to notice and absorb as many of those lessons and findings as possible. At Learn To Fly Melbourne, we have a range of online training courses and resources that are designed to help you self-study and improve as a pilot. Similarly, you can reach out to our team anytime to set up a navigation flight training session in the classroom, cockpit – or both!

What Else Should I Know?

We hope this helps you answer some FAQs about aviation medical examinations in Australia!

We’ve also 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.

Chat with 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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Weather Forecasting for Pilots: Understanding Weather Patterns and Avoiding Dangerous Situations

The sky is a constantly evolving space, with environmental conditions having a significant impact on aviation and pilot decision-making. Pilots are trained to be able to make informed decisions about their flights, avoiding dangerous weather conditions. To effectively do this, pilots need to have a clear understanding of the basics of meteorology, how to read weather maps, and how to utilise weather charts. Here, we’ll cover weather forecasting for pilots: understanding weather patterns and avoiding dangerous situations.

What Should I Be Able to Understand On A Weather Map?

You need to be able to understand the main features of a weather map, and what they mean. This includes:

Isobars

Isobars are the plain lines curving across the map. They connect points with the same mean sea level air pressure (weight per square area of air above). Some isobars have numbers on them showing this value in hectopascals (hPa).

High and Low Pressure Systems

The number shown on high and low pressure systems indicate the central mean sea level pressure. Standard pressure at sea level is defined as 1013 hPa, but there’s no specific value that defines high vs low pressure—it’s all relative to the surrounding environment. A typical high is around 1020 hPa or higher, while a shallow low is usually above 1000 hPa, a moderate low 980–1000 hPa, and a deep or intense low below 980 hPa. An intense cyclone could even have a central low pressure of around 960 hPa or lower.

Fronts

A cold front is the boundary between warm air and relatively cooler air. On the weather map it appears as a blue line with small blue triangles (originally chosen because they look like little icicles). On the weather map warm fronts appear as a red line with semi-circles (originally chosen because they look like a sun rising bringing warmth). Warm fronts progressively displace cool air with warmer air. Just like a cold front, the temperature change can be quite large once a warm front moves through, although it tends to happen more gradually than a cold front.

Troughs

A trough appears on the weather map as a dashed blue line on the chart. It is an elongated area where atmospheric pressure is low relative to its immediate surroundings. Like cold fronts, troughs separate two different air masses (usually more moist air on one side and drier air on the other).

You can read about these basics on the Bureau of Meteorology website, here.

How Do I Avoid Dangerous Weather Situations?

Weather can change quickly. This means that you should never fly in weather you’re unfamiliar with, and you should never fly unless you’re sure that it is safe to do so. To achieve this, you should always rely on as much weather information as possible. We have covered the main weather sources below for you.

Above all, however, you should always check your information and plans with a flying instructor if you have any doubts or questions at all. Similarly, in aviation you may fly through a variety of weather patterns and geographic regions in a single flight. This means it’s imperative that you have correct and current weather information, as well as a thorough understanding of the information.

Where To Access Aviation Weather Information

In order to make informed aviation weather decisions, you’ll first need to ensure you have adequate information and resources to rely upon. Here are some common sources of information that you can refer to. However, note that the most informed decisions will be founded upon multiple sources of information, rather than a singular source.

NAIPs and Airservices

The NAIPs system is overseen by Airservices Australia, the official provider of the Aeronautical Information Service in Australia. This includes the delivery of the Bureau’s aviation meteorological products. Therefore, all information for the purpose of flight planning should be obtained from Airservices Australia.

Radar, Satellite and Weather Maps

Radar, satellite imagery and weather maps are an important part of understanding weather patterns. These visualisation tools help you to understand the behaviour of weather patterns. If you use these tools, you can learn about the weather before, during and after your planned flight. By understanding the weather patterns, you are thinking beyond just the weather forecast, which means you’ll have a more informed understanding of the potential weather you’ll cross.

A mean sea-level pressure analysis, for example, will show you the highs, lows, troughs and fronts. This means you don’t just know what weather is forecast, but you’ll understand why.

Bureau of Meteorology

The Bureau of Meteorology’s Aviation Weather Service provides aviation users with meteorological information necessary for safe and efficient civil aviation operations. The service includes the provision of observations, forecasts, warnings and advisories, and is provided within the technical and regulatory framework of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Grid Point Wind and Temperature Charts

A grid-point wind and temperature (GPWT) forecast provides a text-based display of forecast wind speed and direction and temperature forecasts at specified heights above mean sea level, presented in a gridded format.

Graphical Area Forecasts (GAFs)

A Graphical Area Forecast is a combination of graphical and textual information. This replaces the ARFOR (area forecast) used previously. The graphic is divided into areas that share common weather characteristics, which are detailed in an associated table.

AWIS Services

AWIS services are available at most major airports in Australia via phone or radio. These services provide live aviation weather information and are on a monitored service. An AWIS service won’t allow you to plan very far ahead as it reports current conditions. However, it will help you confirm the weather ahead of you, particularly to assist with runway selection, visibility, and conditions for landing. You will find AWIS information in the ERSA.

Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) Resources

Your EFB, such as OzRunways or AvPlan, integrates into aviation weather data to assist with your flight planning. You should familiarise yourself with your EFB to ensure you know what information is available to you, how the visualisers work, and any limitations of the information (e.g. date and time ranges of validity).

Confirming Weather Forecasts

Any experience pilots will tell you that they always refer to more than one source of weather information. There will be times in your flying career where weather will change beyond the forecast and you may be faced with a decision to make about your planned flight. Beyond the documented weather information we’ve covered, it’s important to understand that you also have additional tools available to you to help inform your choice.

See For Yourself

Regardless of what the weather says, you should always review the live weather yourself – look out the window before flying, and always observe the weather as you fly. You may observe exactly what the weather forecast had told you. If so, that’s great! However, occasionally the weather might appear contrary to the forecast, which is why it’s important to observe yourself.

Aviation Cameras

Many Australian airports have fixed, live weather cameras in place. They are useful as a reference point. However, you should never solely rely on them for flight planning purposes. They should only ever be a secondary or tertiary tool to assist your overall weather and flight planning.

Call Ahead to Confirm

If you’re still unsure of the weather, there is no harm in jumping on the radio or phone to call someone at the destination you’re flying to. There’s not much point calling a day or two before, if you’re looking for live weather information. Again, this shouldn’t be to plan your flight, but it can be useful to confirm the decisions you are making.

Take note, however, that these tools are not official weather forecasting tools. They are merely an additional reference point to help understand the weather you’re flying into. For example, you might ‘see for yourself that your local area appears clear to fly – but if the weather reported an inbound storm, you should definitely reconsider flying.

What Else Should I Know?

We hope this helps you answer some FAQs about aviation medical examinations in Australia!

We’ve also 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.

Chat with 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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Pilot Theory Exam Preparation

Learning to fly is extremely exciting and rewarding, but there are theory exam checkpoints along the way that are crucial to becoming a great pilot. If exams aren’t your forte, you don’t need to worry! We have summarised everything you need to know here, and we have more helpful content coming your way.

Before we get into our pilot theory exam preparation tips, there’s one key lesson that you should remember before you attempt your pilot theory exams. If you don’t pass an exam, it is not a failure. In fact, it’s an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to improve, to become a better pilot and to master the knowledge that will accelerate you into your recreational or commercial pilot career.

Many pilots will tell you about the errors that they’ve made along the way and the improvements that they caused.

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance it means that you genuinely care about your pilot theory exam results. That’s the first sign that you’re on the way to becoming a great pilot. Now, let’s get you ready for your pilot theory exam preparation.

Lesson 1: It can be done!

Many pilots have flown the skies before you. Do you know what this means? It means that the theory exams are passable, and you can do them too. The first step in exam preparation is knowing that the exams aren’t there to trip you up, but to make sure you know your stuff. If others can do it, so can you.

Setup Your Exam Preparation Timetable

Treat exam preparation like it’s your job. You can set up a weekly timetable, with daily tasks to check off. This helps you achieve a few things. Firstly, it creates a structure for your learning so that you’re not cramming everything into a last-minute panic. Secondly, it breaks things up into smaller tasks so that the study and preparation aren’t so overwhelming.

Finally, it also breaks up your study blocks into reasonable amounts of time. One or two hours of study per day will mean you are much more focused during your study, which helps with information retention. If you try to study too much, for too long, you’ll exhaust your mind and struggle to remember details.

Repetition Is Key

One of the best learning techniques is repetition, so use it to your advantage. A great way to do this in your pilot theory exam preparation is by using practice questions and exams to repeat the process of comprehending a question and forming the correct answer.

In addition to this, you should record your results on the questions and practice exams. Each time you attempt them, you’ll note your progress and improvement. You will also notice the areas where you might need more work. Identifying these areas means you can focus your time improve where you need a bit more practice.

Similarly, you should start to time yourself through the exams. You should be aiming to pass successfully within the allocated timeframe.

Know Your Exam Resources

Are you familiar with the tools and resources you can take for your exams? Do you know how to use them and find information quickly? Some exams have different tools and permitted materials. This can also change slightly if you’re undertaking an internal exam with your school, or if you’re undertaking a CASA exam.

Most pilots agree that you should pick your one set of study materials, and stick with them. Whatever the case, find out what you’re allowed to take into the exam and make sure you’re using those resources the entire way through your exam preparation.

When it comes to exam day, you will have mastered your resources and you’ll be well-positioned to find information and answer questions in a timely manner. When you can do this, it makes the exams much less stressful – you’ll know how to use your tools and equipment (such as a flight computer), and you’ll know where to look to answer your questions.

Know When To Ask For Help

If you’re finding some questions or topics difficult to master, don’t break your study streak with frustration! If you need help, you should always be ready to ask. Depending on what support you need, you have a number of options.

There might be classes at your local school that cover the topic you need help with (for example, meteorology). Or you can ask a fellow flight training student to help you out – and you might be able to help them! For lots of simple things, you can join social media groups and pages – there is a constant stream of students, and perhaps one of them has a way of learning or remembering a topic that will help you.

Another option is to arrange a private or joint tutorial with an instructor – they’re always happy to do so!

Know When To Ask For Help

The only thing as important as your pilot theory exam preparation is taking a break… from your pilot theory exam preparation. Even whilst you’re having a day off, your mind will still have flight training concepts and lessons lurking in the background. Switching off from them occasionally can help you switch them on when you need to. A fresh mind is a productive mind.

Similarly, you should be aiming to study in structured pieces of time. This is somewhat dependent on the topic you’re working on and your personal attention span. If you’re finding that after 45 minutes you’re struggling to focus, it’s time to make a cup of tea and walk outside for a moment, before getting back into the books.

How Much Study Is Enough?

There is passing your exams and really passing your exams. The best pilots always aim for the latter.

There is no minimum or maximum amount of study that is required, it’s simply the amount of time that it takes you to achieve the best that you can. Below are some indicative study time commitments that have been reported amongst some of our students. Again, this isn’t a requirement but it can help give you an indication as to what time commitments you should make if you want to become an exceptional pilot. Ultimately you will need to study for the amount of time that it takes you to achieve the level of preparation that you are comfortable with.

RPL exams – Most people pass with 26 to 50 hours of exam preparation and revision.

  1. PPL Exam – Think in terms of 50 to 75 hours for class, tuition, home study and general reading for each exam.

CPL Exams – Many students report around 75 to 100 hours of class, tuition, home study and general reading for each exam.

ATPL Exam – 50 – 75 hours per subject.

ATPL Flight Planning exam – 55 – 80 hours.

How Much Study Is Enough?

Everyone can excel or struggle with different exams, strengths and weaknesses. Having said that, the exams that take more time and preparation amongst the majority of students are:

1. CPL Performance

2. IREX

3. CPL Meteorology

4. PPL

5. CPL Aircraft General Knowledge

The first two exams are particularly reported as needing more preparation – but with focus and support, you can pass!

Exam Day

Once exam day arrives, there’s only so much you can do – you’ve already done the hard work. Here’s what you should focus on:

  1. 1. Get a good night’s rest.
  2. 2. Have your exam materials ready to go the night before, so that all you need to do is show up.
  3. 3. Eat well and stay hydrated before the exam.
  4. 4. Read each question twice to ensure you understand and look for common traps.
  5. 5. Mark any questions that you might stumble on. Finish everything else, then focus on the tough ones.
  6. 6. Check all of your questions and answers to watch for basic errors.
  7. 7. Don’t be tempted to leave early. Keep checking your work and attempting every question.
  8. 8. When the exam time is over, go and do something fun to get your mind off it. It’s done. Now it’s time to wait and see!

What Else Should I Know?

We’ve compiled a few useful posts that might help you out. Where ever you are on your flight training 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!

Tips On How To Pass Pilot Theory Exams
Here we give you the scoop on what to expect and provide some tips on how to pass pilot theory exams.

  1. Aviation Schools in Melbourne: Why Learn to Fly is Your Best Bet
    The aviation school you choose will make a big difference in your flight training journey. Here’s why you should learn with the best!
  2. Flight Schools in Australia – How Do I Choose the Right One?
    Here is a breakdown of what kinds of schools are available, and how the different environments can affect what your learning experience will be like. 

Learn To Fly: Flight Training Courses For Every Pilot
We have every aviation course you need, including recreational or commercial. This post discusses the pathways and career options for pilots operating in Australia.

Training Beyond The Private Pilot Licence (PPL)
After completing your Private Pilot Licence you might wonder, “what’s next?” As strange as it may sound, many pilots are still keen to do more training after achieving their initial goals. Realistically, if you want to fly regularly or as a job, learning is ongoing. Let’s take a look at training beyond the Private Pilot Licence.

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Pilot Licence
This post will help you get the most out of your pilot licence in easy steps.

Chat with 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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Night VFR Rating: Learn How To Fly At Night

Flying at night is one of the most challenging aspects of aviation. It can be intimidating and even terrifying, but it doesn’t have to be. If you know what to expect and how to prepare, flying at night can be a beautiful experience.

A pilot’s skill set would be significantly enhanced by the addition of night flying. You can take to the skies at night if you have your Night VFR rating with your pilot licence.

Night VFR training is an excellent way for pilots to get comfortable with night flying and be able to do so safely. When travelling across the country, you won’t have to worry about being constrained by time thanks to this training.

When you’re learning how to fly at night, there are some things that you need to know about flying at night that will help you understand what’s going on.

This blog will guide you on what you need to know about night flying and some tips for preparing yourself and your aircraft. This knowledge will help you feel confident in your ability to fly safely at night!

Night VFR Rating

Night flying is one of the most challenging skills a pilot can learn. It requires a combination of skill, knowledge, and experience that can only be acquired over time.

Learning the ins and outs of night visual flight regulations and requirements, human factors, weather, and atypical night operations from an accredited aviation school is essential for safe night flights. Learn to Fly helps students learn the basics of night flying, flight planning, and navigation in the Night Rating course.

A VFR (visual flight rules) rating permits you to fly as the pilot-in-command after sunset. After completing the VFR night rating, you can fly in Australia at night. Many students move to this level after acquiring their private pilot licence.

Travelling at night provides greater freedom when planning long journeys that may not be finished during daylight. Flying at night is also often more pleasant since there is less air traffic.

An additional perk is increasing your nighttime experience. Night flying is a major deterrent for many airline pilots looking to further their careers. The industry standard for airlines is 100 hours. We recommend getting your night rating if you want to make a living as a pilot.

Flying at night takes more concentration than flying during the day, so it’s important to be well-rested before you fly. You should also be familiar with your aircraft’s instruments and systems and have practised reading them under all lighting conditions.

If you’re interested in adding a Night VFR rating, read on to find out a brief rundown of things you should be aware of.

Nighttime Flying: What You Need to Know

The CASA requires you to have a valid medical certificate before flying. A private and commercial pilot certificate only allows you to fly during the day. You’ll need an instrument and a VFR rating to fly at night.

If you’re a pilot, nighttime flying can be one of the most thrilling experiences in your life. Flying at night is a challenge for novice and experienced pilots because of the many obstacles that must be overcome before taking off into the dark sky.

The best time to fly is when the weather is good. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible. If you have to fly at night, here are some tips and tricks you’ll need to know:

Check Your Weather Forecast

The most important thing to do when planning a nighttime flight is to check the weather forecast. Make sure you know how far in advance you need to check the forecast so that you can plan accordingly. You also want to make sure that there are no storms or other dangerous conditions predicted.

Plan your route carefully

Make sure there’s no chance of losing sight of landmarks along your route, such as lakes or rivers. Also, ensure that the area isn’t too flat — it’s easier for pilots to lose orientation when flying over flat ground than over hilly terrain.

Get to know some nighttime flying illusions

Illusions of flight at night are widespread and potentially lethal if not addressed promptly. Master the art of recognising and overcoming how your senses might mislead you when the lights go out.

Don’t forget to bring extra lights

If you plan on flying at night, make sure to have a flashlight (or two), a headlamp, and batteries. You shouldn’t skimp on pre-flight and post-flight inspections just because it’s late. Use red light if possible; it will aid your eyes in adjusting to the dark and provide the clearest visibility.

Record nighttime

Night flying is like any other ability; the more you do it, the better you get at it. To keep your CASA certification relevant, you must regularly log nighttime. To remain current and legally transport people at night in general aviation, pilots must have completed at least three nighttime takeoffs and three full-stop nighttime landings during the preceding ninety days.

Make a strategy to prevent pilot burnout

Pilots are more likely to become exhausted at night than during the day, all else being equal. Once the sun goes down, our circadian rhythms kick in, and we begin to feel sleepy. Combating pilot weariness and staying attentive requires planning.

Takeaway

Nighttime flying is a great way to expand your horizons and challenge yourself. But it’s important to know what you’re getting into to make the most of your experience and stay safe.

The Night VFR Rating is a great way to improve your skills in low-visibility conditions, and it’s something that can help you advance your career as a pilot.

At Learn to Fly, you can choose from Night VFR Rating, Night VFR Training Endorsement and Private Pilot Training, as well as several other courses, including commercial pilot training and flight instructor rating.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up now!

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How Do I Undertake Flight Training More Efficiently?

At $6 – 8 per minute in the aircraft, aviation training can seem expensive. There are a number of ways to save on money, and here’s we’ll focus on training efficiency. Training efficiency means two things. Firstly, you save money. Secondly, it means you can sooner achieve competency and minimum course requirements – which means you save time! For your entire aviation journey, recreational or professional, it’s important to ensure you’re getting the most out of your money.

So, let’s answer a question – how do I undertake my flight training more efficiently?

Preparation Is Key

When you’re in the cockpit and paying by the minute, you can make every second count by preparing for the lesson. On YouTube alone, there are video explanations and tutorials for almost every facet of flying. If you speak with a student who completed their course 10 or 20 years ago, they’ll tell you that the volume of educational content available to you today far outweighs what was available to them. If you’re unsure about a topic, such as how lift is generated, a brief Google search will provide you with a clear explanation at your fingertips.

To help our students train more efficiently, we have created free aviation training videos in English and Cantonese on our YouTube Channel – check it out!

Lesson Video Briefings

For our Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) and Private Pilot Licence (PPL) students, Learn To Fly provides a video briefing before each lesson. The briefing gives them an understanding and expectation of what they will be doing in the lesson, prior to their arrival at Learn To Fly.

For example, if they are going to undertake a Climbing and Descending lesson, they need to understand why the aircraft can climb and descend, and what they need to do in the aircraft during climbs and descents. By watching the video briefings and searching through learning content, they have more time to prepare for the lesson and absorb the information. This also means that there’s less to try to absorb and understand on the day, which means they can focus on the tasks at hand.

By focusing on the tasks at hand, they can learn and master skills more efficiently. If you think about it, anything you can learn outside of paid time (classroom or cockpit) means you save time and money during your lessons!

Video Tutorials

In addition to coursework and curriculum-based content, we also cover other video topics to help you with efficiency with your experiences in and around Learn To Fly. For example, we have videos that discuss and present the Moorabbin Airport Inbound and Outbound procedures, how to refuel the aircraft – we even have videos showing how to conduct a pre-flight check for every aircraft in our fleet!

Online Theory Courses

In addition to our video tutorials and lesson briefings, we have more in-depth course information in our Online Theory Courses. These are online aviation training courses we have tailored towards students who are completing training for their RPL, PPL, CPL and Instrument Rating.

We understand that it’s hard to make the time for theory and training each week, particularly those with commitments such as a full-time job. So, we have created the Online Theory Courses to allow students to focus on their theory lessons anytime, anywhere!

What Else Can Help Me With My Aviation Training, Managing Costs and Efficiency?

We’re glad you asked! Depending on your aviation goals, there are lots of considerations – but we have produced a number of easy-to-read tutorials to walk you through these options and considerations. Here are some other topics that are worth exploring to help you out. As always, you can reach out to us anytime at Learn To Fly – we’re here to help!

  1. The Benefits of Online Flight Training Courses
    Read about saving by completing your aviation theory online.

  2. Split Your Flight Training Costs into Interest-Free Instalments from Learn To Fly and SplitIt
    Balancing the financial aspect of studying can be a big task. Here, we’ll talk you through an interest-free option to assist with your education.

  3. Aviation Schools in Melbourne: Why Learn to Fly is Your Best Bet
    The aviation school you choose will make a big difference to your aviation journey. Here’s why you should learn with the best!
  4. Learn To Fly: Flight Training Courses For Every Pilot
    Whether you’re looking at recreational or commercial aviation, we have a course for you. Here are the pathways and career options for pilots operating in Australia.

Top Tips to Prepare You for Solo Flight Training
We cover the best advice to get you solo – read on for everything you need to know!

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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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

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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.

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6 Reasons Private Pilots Should Get Multi-Engine Flight Training

It’s a major accomplishment to earn your private pilot’s licence. The pilot’s licence results from the student’s dedication to learning everything there is to know about the specific aircraft type. However, with only a private pilot’s licence and no further ratings, the pilot is restricted in what they may perform.

If a pilot doesn’t have instrument flight training, for instance, he or she may only be able to take off on particular days when the conditions are favourable. A pilot without multi-engine flight training can only operate a single-engine aircraft.

This blog will discuss why private pilots should go for other endorsements and add-on ratings like instrument flight and multi-engine flight training to expand their aviation skills and knowledge.

Reasons Why You Should Get Your Multi-Engine Rating

The ability to operate aircraft with more than one engine requires a special endorsement called a “multi-engine rating,” which certified pilots can get. Anyone aiming for a career as a professional airline pilot should have this rating, as most large regional and national airlines employ multi-engine aircraft.

Here are six other reasons that make multi-engine flight training worth it:

1.    Two are better than one

Multi-engine aeroplanes are more stable in flight than single-engine aeroplanes because of the redundancy built into the system. Having more than one engine means that if one fails you still have power available from the other engine(s). This increases your chance of surviving accidents and incidents that would otherwise result in loss of control and/or crash landings.

2.    It’s faster

With two engines, you can climb faster and cruise at higher speeds, which means better time management on cross-country flights and less fuel burned on shorter hops. The weekend getaway in a private aircraft is a welcome respite for many busy pilots. The sooner you get there, the better off you will be. Time spent in transit can be minimised by using a multi-engine plane. Commercial or not, a multi-engine plane will get you to your destination faster than a single-engine plane.

3.    Provides the opportunity to fly larger, more spacious aircraft

Your little, single-engine plane is great for day excursions, but what if you want to start taking your friends and family along, too? There may not be enough room for you, your friends, and all their stuff.

When comparing single-engine to multi-engine aircraft, you’ll see that the latter is significantly larger and can carry more cargo and passengers. 

4.    Availability of a Wider Range of Aircraft

Adding a multi-engine rating to your pilot certification opens up a new selection of aircraft for you to rent or own.

There is a broader variety of options. This allows you to pick the plane that is ideal for you. Further, there are no airspace limitations to worry about. You wouldn’t have to settle for just one because of your pilot’s licence. Because of this chance, you’ll be able to take your plane somewhere that usually wouldn’t be safe for a single-engine plane. If you have a deep-seated drive for adventure and a love for flying, then multi-engine training is the way to go.

5.    More Career Opportunities in the Future

You will have a better chance of getting hired as a pilot by airlines and charter companies.

The more credentials you have under your belt and the more time you’ve spent in the cockpit, the easier it will be to advance in the aviation industry. Given that instrument flight training and multi-engine rating is essential to your professional advancement, you may as well obtain them now to put yourself in a stronger position for the future and to demonstrate to potential employers that you are eager to expand your skill set.

6.    You’ll Improve Your Flying Skills

Multi-engine planes are more complicated to fly than their single-engine counterparts. They have more moving parts, more systems that could fail at any moment, and require careful attention by the pilot at all times to stay safe in flight.

Your flying skills will improve substantially simply by learning how to fly these aircraft properly. You’ll learn how to handle different situations that may occur during flight with ease, which will make you a better pilot overall!

Multi-Engine Flight Training Is Essential For Commercial Pilot Licence Holder

Most persons considering getting a multi-engine rating have previously earned at least their private pilot’s licence. You could also have your commercial pilot licence and instrument flight training under your belt. Multi-engine training will give you the skills and confidence you need to fly independently.

No minimum number of flying hours is necessary to earn a multi-engine rating. Schedule an oral examination and trial ride once you have completed training with an instructor to master the required abilities and emergency recovery procedures. You may acquire a rating that will greatly increase your options and enhance your flight potential with as few as ten to fifteen hours of flight experience. Learn to Fly offers multi-engine flight training in the modern Diamond DA42 aircraft with a G1000 glass cockpit and the Piper PA44 Seminole. We have a fleet of well-maintained aircraft that spans the range of teaching possibilities, from ultra-modern jets to classic biplanes. We are Victoria’s only Diamond aircraft flying school, providing training on the Garmin G1000 avionics glass cockpit-equipped Diamond DA40 and Diamond DA42. We also have a Cessna 172, a Piper Seminole, an 8KCAB Super Decathlon, and a Foxbat A22LS in our fleet.

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How Do I Pay For My CPL Flight Training?

If a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) is your aviation goal, you might be sitting there wondering ‘how do I pay for my CPL flight training?’. In the last article, we covered the flight training cost options for RPL and PPL, but here in ‘Part 2 – CPL’ we’ll answer your question with options on how to pay for your Commercial Pilot Licence. Here goes!

How Much Will My CPL Cost?

You should be thinking in terms of around AUD$80,000 for your Commercial Pilot Licence.

Is ‘There A Buy Now, Pay Later; option?

In Part 1 where we looked at RPL and PPL payment options, we explored the ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ model where Learn To Fly has partnered with Splitit to provide financial flexibility. This means students can spread payments over multiple months, without incurring interest. The limit on the Splitit option is AUD$20,000, so it won’t cover the full cost of your CPL training. That being said, there is another way of paying for your CPL flight training through the VET Student Loans program.

Paying with a VET Student Loan

Vet Student Loans (VSL) is an Australian Commonwealth Government loan program that provides eligible full fee paying students with assistance in paying their tuition fees for approved courses of study. This allows students to obtain qualifications, and then gradually repay the loan over time whilst working in their chosen career. Read more about it, here.

As Learn To Fly Melbourne is an approved VET Student Loans provider, we offer VET Student loans for all our Diploma programs. We do this with the goal of enabling financial assistance to prospective pilots – like you! Our Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane) covers all of the training that you need to complete your CPL.

What Other Training Can I Do Under VSL?

The limit of a VET Student Loan is $83,949 (2023) for one approved course, or $162,336 (2023) in total if you are completing more than one eligible AVI course. For example, you could complete your Commercial Pilot Licence (AVI50222 Diploma Of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane)) and you could also complete your Instrument Rating (AVI50519 Diploma Of Aviation (Instrument Rating)).

The AVI50519 Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Rating) course combines multi-engine and instrument training, which is a compulsory requirement for many aviation careers, including that of an airline pilot. The syllabus offers Multi-Engine Class Rating and Multi-Engine Instrument Command Rating (MECIR) training, which is completed in both simulators and real aircraft.

How Do I Check My Eligibility For a VET Student Loan?

To be eligible for a VET Student Loan, you must:

  • – Be an Australian Citizen or
  • – A New Zealand Citizen with a Special Category Visa (SCV) or
  • – A Permanent Humanitarian Visa holder who will be residing in Australia for the duration of the – course
  • – Be studying a VET Student Loans eligible course
  • – Meet student entry procedure requirements
  • – Meet Tax File Number requirements
  • – Present Unique Student Identifier (USI) number
  • – Have not exceeded your HELP loan limit
  • – Have not exceeded the VET Student Loans course cap
  • – Submit a request for a VET Student Loan via the Government’s eCAF System (including all required information) on or before the first census date and no less than two (2) business days after enrolling
  • – Confirm engagement and progression to continue to access the loan throughout the course

You can assess your eligibility using the eligibility tool, here.

What Else Is Worth Consideration?

As well as the financial implications, it’s important to make sure you’re well-informed before you undertake your CPL flight training. Here are some other topics that are worth exploring to help you achieve your aviation goals:

  1. FAQs About Obtaining Your Commercial Pilot Licence
    Find answers to the most commonly asked questions from former CPL students.

  2. The Benefits of Online Flight Training Courses
    Read about saving by completing your aviation theory online.

  3. Flight Schools in Australia – How Do I Choose the Right One?
    Make sure you’re choosing the best flight school to achieve your aviation dreams.

  4. Aspiring Career Pilots – Here’s Why You need a Diploma of Aviation
    If you’re looking to fly commercially, this is a great place to learn about course options.
  5. How to Become an Airline Pilot in Australia
    Understand the pathways and career options for commercial pilots operating in Australia.

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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How Do I Pay For My RPL and PPL Flight Training?

It’s always the big question for future pilots – how do I pay for my flight training? In this article, we’ll cover RPL (Recreational Pilot Licence) and PPL (Private Pilot Licence). If you’d like to know about CPL (Commercial Pilot Licence), then stay tuned for Part 2!

Flight Training Costs and Factors

If you’re in the planning phases for your flight training, it’s really important to know and understand the costs and affordability of flight training and pilot licences. First and foremost, your type of pilot licence is the first factor in the cost. This means it’s important to know what pilot licence you are aiming to achieve and what your goal is. Your goal options are RPL, PPL or CPL. Let’s take a look at some costs:

  1. Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) will cost around AUD$13,000 – $15,000.
  2. Private Pilot Licence (PPL) will cost AUD$30,000 – $33,000.
  3. Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) will cost around AUD$80,000. We’ll cover this one in our next article.

Keep in mind that this pricing is a simple reference guide. Considerations that can influence the price include the aircraft you choose to train in, the school you fly with and also your own training performance. You might check off training elements within the minimum hours required, but sometimes you might require additional hours to master a certain aspect of aviation – it is all competency-based.  

If your goal is to fly for fun, then an RPL or a PPL are great options. But what if you don’t have $15,000 for RPL or $30,000 for PPL – what do you do? The good news is there are a few options to provide you with flexibility so that you have answers to ‘how do I pay for my flight training’?

Option 1:  Pay As You Go

This is a common option because it’s very convenient. If you have a full-time job and other commitments, it might mean you can train once every week or fortnight. This means your training gets spread out a bit, which can help your cash flow. Rather than paying for your RPL or PPL up-front, you can pay for lessons and training as you complete them. This means you might be paying less than AUD$1,000 per month, which makes the cost much more affordable.

Option 2: Fly Now, Pay Later

Perhaps you have the time to train more frequently, but you don’t have AUD$15,000 or $30,000 available to pay up-front. We have a ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ (BNPL) option that means you can pay for your training in bite-sized instalments. To offer this option, we have partnered with Splitit. Splitit will cover up to AUD$20,000 of your flight training.

What is Splitit?

You can choose SplitIt as the payment method, and split the total cost into 2- 6 equal instalments.

You will need to have enough credit available on your credit card (or have that total available on multiple cards). Splitit is our partnered ‘buy now, pay later’ (BNPL) solution provider. They let customers split payments into manageable portions using VISA or Mastercard – without paying interest.

SplitIt is a bit different to other BNPL providers in that they use your existing VISA or Mastercard credit card levels to cover payments. This means that you don’t need to be pre-approved for a line of credit in order to split your flight training into smaller portions.

For example, you can arrange a ‘buy now, pay later’ option for an RPL Sling Aircraft Training Package, which totals $12,395. This would be portioned into 4 x monthly instalments of $3,099. If you have one month’s holiday and want to complete more training during that month, you can pay for your training via Splitit, train as much as you want, and then pay them later.

It’s a great option for spreading out the cost, without incurring interest. Read more about this option here.

What Else Is Worth Consideration?

We’ve produced a number of blogs to help make flight training understandable and accessible. Here are some other topics that are worth exploring to help you achieve your aviation goals:

  1. The Benefits of Online Flight Training Courses
    Read about saving on training costs by completing your aviation theory online.

    Flight Schools in Australia – How Do I Choose the Right One?
    Make sure you’re choosing the best flight school to achieve your aviation dreams.
  2. Get a Feel for Flying with a Trial Introductory Flight
    A trial flight is the best place to start if you’re unsure. This means you can jump into an aircraft with an instructor and make an informed decision about your options. It’s a great option before you commit to ongoing training!

    FAQs About Obtaining Your Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL)
    If your goal is to gain your RPL, then this is a great article to answer the most common questions asked by former RPL students.
  3. What is the Difference Between RPL and PPL?
    Understand the difference between a Recreational Pilot Licence and a Private Pilot Licence, to help make a decision about what is best for you.

To find out more about how to pay for your flight training, or to find out about our flight training courses, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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!

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Becoming A Flight Instructor – More Important Now Than Ever Before

There are a number of reasons why becoming a flight instructor is more important now than ever before. The aviation industry has evolved and changed significantly throughout the recent pandemic years. Not only is it important to fill in gaps in the aviation sector, but there are huge opportunities for anyone looking to join or expand in the industry. This includes becoming a flight instructor! Let’s look at why ‘now’ is the time. Plus, we’ll discuss some of the benefits that explain why becoming a flight instructor is more important now than ever before.

Why Now?

During the pandemic, many airline pilots lost their jobs after the industry was largely shut down. For pilots who already had a flight instructor rating or those that completed the endorsement during the pandemic, the skillset and qualification acted as a backup source of employment and created job security for them.

Since airlines will need more airline pilots and train more students as well, the demand for flight instructors will be higher than ever. Many schools have to hire extra instructors to cope with the demand. This gives you an opportunity to get your first pilot job!

Once you start working, in 6 – 9 months’ time, you should be able to get an upgrade to become a Grade 2 instructor. In another 12 months, you should become a Grade 1 instructor. Fast forward another 6 months and you should be able to get into the airlines!

Job Security

The simple addition of the flight instructor rating means you are diversifying your skillset and job prospects, which protects you and your income. Experience as a flight instructor can help you to build a pretty solid foundation for your future aviation career! 

A pilot who holds a flight instructor rating and has gone to an airline would usually be a Grade 1 or Grade 2 instructor. These pilots can easily find a flight instructor position. We’ll talk through this in more detail shortly.

Become Appealing To The International Market

Many airlines from the U.S. are looking for airline pilots in Australia, since Australian pilots can get an E3 visa and work in the US. This opens up another door for many Australian pilots. To catch this opportunity and meet their requirements, the best way is to get a flight instructor rating and work as a flight instructor. This will help you to accumulate flying hours in a relatively short period of time.

Open Up Your Options

If you are not interested in going to an airline, you can choose to stay and continue to work as a flight instructor and look at alternative career avenues. For example, you could eventually become a flight examiner, or you can have many other options across education and training, transport, public administration, safety and compliance.

Becoming A Better Pilot

Grade 1 and Grade 2 Training Endorsements are an essential part of a Flight Instructor’s progress, expanding on crucial knowledge and concepts, as well as granting additional privileges. To develop and improve as a pilot, teaching and training are critical skills to be able to take your abilities to the next level.

What Can A Grade 2 and Grade 1 Instructor Do?

With a Grade 2 Training Endorsement, you can approve first solo flights, conduct flight reviews for ratings, assess student knowledge deficiency reports (KDRs) for licence and rating grants, and grant endorsements on Recreational Pilot Licences (RPLs).

A Grade 1 Training Endorsement expands on that even further, allowing you to supervise both Grade 2 and Grade 3 Flight Instructors, and deliver instructor training for the Grade 2 Training Endorsement.

How To Complete Grade 1 and Grade To Training Endorsements

All you need to do is book in! A Grade 2 Flight Training Package with Learn To Fly includes:

  • – 5.5 dual flight training hours with an instructor
  • – 1.5 hours solo aircraft hire for your Flight Test
  • – 6 hours of ground school and briefings

A Grade 1 Flight Training Package with Learn To Fly includes:

  • – 5.5 dual flight training hours with an instructor
  • – 1.5 hours solo aircraft hire for your Flight Test
  • – 6 hours of ground school and briefings

For the duration, you can think in terms of 2 – 4 weeks full-time flying and studying (4 – 5 days per week), or 1 – 2 months part-time (1 – 2 days per week). For both training packages, you can currently book in to learn in our Sling 2, Cessna 172 or a Diamond DA40. You can download the Course PDF here to learn all about it, or click here to start the enrollment process!

Flight-Instructor-Training-Endorsement
Flight Instructor Training Endorsements allow you to grow your capabilities as an instructor.

Becoming a Flight Instructor is a great way to build your flying skill set. It’s also a great move for your pilot career, as you can earn money while building your experience and your flying hours in preparation for your next career move. As far as job availability goes, Flight Instructor roles are in demand and will continue to be well into the future.

Want to know more about Learn To Fly’s Flight Instructor Rating or Flight Instructor Training Endorsement courses? Email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

Keen to read on? Check out our other blogs, Flight Instructor Training Endorsements – All You Need To Know and Flight Instructor Rating – A Flying Start To Your Pilot Career.

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Split Your Flight Training Costs into Interest-Free Instalments from Learn To Fly and SplitIt

Want to make learning to fly more affordable? Split your flight training costs with interest-free instalment payments at Learn To Fly!

Flight training can be an expensive process, especially if you are looking to obtain a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) and make flying your career. At Learn To Fly, we are committed to making flight training more affordable and accessible to more people. This is why we have introduced SplitIt, which allows you to split your flight training costs over multiple interest-free payments.

What Is Splitit?

SplitIt is a buy now, pay later solution that lets customers split their payments into manageable parts using a Visa or Mastercard, without paying interest.

Unlike another buy now pay later providers, SplitIt uses your existing Visa or Mastercard credit card levels to cover payments. This means you don’t need to be pre-approved for a line of credit in order to split your flight training costs.

How Do I Use SplitIt?

SplitIt allows you to split your flight training costs for courses that cost between $3,000AUD and $20,000AUD. The following instalment options are available based on the cost of the course:

Course PriceNo. of Instalments
$3,000 – $6,0002 Instalments
$6,001 – $10,000Up to 3 Instalments
$10,001 – $14,000Up to 4 Instalments
$14,001 – $17,000Up to 5 Instalments
$17,001 – $20,000Up to 6 Instalments

If you are making your purchase online via our online store, you can simply select SplitIt as the payment option and you will be prompted to enter the relevant details.

If your course is not available on the website, or you are confirming your enrolment directly through a Learn To Fly staff member, then we are able to set up SplitIt manually for you.

Since SplitIt does not use a pre-approved credit process, you will need to have the entire purchase amount available on your nominated credit cards at the time of purchase. You can choose to nominate more than one different credit card as well if you do not have the total amount available on the one card.

You will pay the first instalment, and then each instalment will be deducted on designated monthly dates.

There is no need to “sign up” to SplitIt. At the point of sale, you will be given login details to the SplitIt portal using your email address, and you can track your instalments through there.

Example – Using SplitIt To Split Your RPL Flight Training Costs

You want to complete the Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) course in a Diamond DA40 aircraft. The total course cost is $15,700.

  1. You can choose SplitIt as the payment method, and split the total cost into 8 equal instalments.
  2. You will need to have $15,700 available on your credit card (or have that total available on multiple cards)
  3. Your first payment will be only $3,140 ($15,700 divided by 5 and rounded up)
  4. You will then pay $3,140 per month on the designated date until the total payment has been made

I think you will agree that being able to split your flight training costs into $3,140 per month is much more manageable than paying $15,700 upfront!

Flight Training Student

How Much Does SplitIt Cost To Use?

Using SplitIt to split your flight training costs is absolutely free. There are no sign-up fees, and payments are 100% interest-free. SplitIt charges a merchant fee for each instalment, but Learn To Fly will cover that cost.

Whilst SplitIt only requires that you have the entire purchase amount available on your chosen credit card at the time of purchase, you do need to ensure that you have the instalment amount available from then on. If you do not, then the instalment may overdraw your account and result in fees from your bank.

To find out more about how to split your flight training costs with SplitIt, or to find out about our flight training courses, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Becoming an Airline Pilot in Hong Kong in 2023 – Part 2 – Cathay Direct Entry Officer

Welcome to Part 2 where we cover Cathay Pacific Direct Entry! In Part 1 of ‘Becoming an Airline Pilot in Hong Kong in 2023 – Cathay Cadet Pilot’, we introduced you to the Cathay Cadet Pilot Programme. Now we will look at Direct Entry into an airline pilot career with Cathay Pacific.

Direct Entry First Officer, Direct Entry Second Officer

The Cadet Pilot Programme is offered to students with little or no flying experience. Cathay Pacific also recruits pilots as Direct Entry First Officers and Second officers. The requirements for both of these pilot careers can be found here. Read on and we’ll tell you all about it!

Cathay Pacific’s Perfect Opportunity

For some students, the Cathay Pacific Cadet Pilot Programme has an interview process that proves quite difficult. Students who don’t perform well under the interview conditions won’t be offered a position within the programme. If this sounds like you, there’s no need to panic! These two direct-entry pilot positions provide these students with the perfect opportunity to prove themselves.

What Are the Benefits as a First Officer or Second Officer?

Glad you asked! At present (July 2022 data), the target annual salary is based on achieving target annual block hours, a total of HKD 837,000 and a Monthly Allowance of HKD 20,000 for a First Officer. For a Second Officer, you’ll receive all of the above with a remuneration package of HKD 546,000 and a monthly allowance of HKD 14,000. First Offers and Second Officers receive a list of other benefits in addition to their remuneration package, listed below.

  • 28 Days of annual leave;
  • Discounted Travel for you and eligible dependents;
  • Medical Coverage for you and eligible dependents;
  • Global Children’s Education Allowance (for eligible officers);
  • Discretionary Year-End Bonus and Profit Share Payment for eligible officers;
  • Company Contribution to a pension scheme; and
  • – A Typical Hong Kong Tax Rate at around 17%.
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How Do I Apply for Direct Entry to Cathay Pacific?

The best objective is to fulfil the requirements for both the Direct Entry positions. Second to this, you should look to exceed the minimum requirements where possible. That will make you more appealing for direct entry! Let’s run through these requirements and what you can do to be a high achiever.

Step 1: CPL with MECIR

The first step you’ll need to take is self-studying your Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL). Within this process, you should gain your Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating (MECIR) and complete your ATPL theory. This will typically take 18 – 24 months to complete.

Step 2: Increase Your Hours

Whilst Cathay Pacific only requires a minimum of 250 flying hours for Direct Entry Second Officer, the success rate of pilots with 500 hours is higher – they’re simply more experienced. For a First Officer, Cathay Pacific requires a minimum of 1,500 hours (with a preference for 3,000 hours). As a CPL holder, you will be qualified to work as a General Aviation (GA) pilot and accumulate your flying hours.

Great News!

There is great news for this, too – there are plenty of job opportunities in Australia for Hong Kong citizens! Hong Kong citizens can apply for the Working Holiday Visa to work legally in Australia. The Hong Kong/Australia Working Holiday Scheme has no quota restriction for Hong Kong youths travelling to Australia under the Scheme.

You can learn more about the Working Holiday Visa in Australia here.

Step 3: Gain Endorsements and Experience

The more ratings and endorsements you have, the more job opportunities will become available to you. One of the most obvious endorsements is your Flight Instructor Rating (FIR). An FIR will allow you to work as a Flight Instructor, which opens up a variety of job opportunities around Australia. That’s just the start!

If you’d like to view different types of jobs currently available, have a look at the Australian Federation of Air Pilots website. There are plenty of aviation opportunities that will help to increase your hours!

Step 4: Check You’ve Completed All Requirements

Check you’re eligibility for an HK ATPL on conversion (according to DCA607). On top of that, you’ll need a valid Class 1 Medical Certificate, ICAO English Language Proficiency (Level 4 or higher) and your COVID-19 vaccination certificate. You’ll receive priority consideration if you’re a Hong Kong permanent resident, too.

Step 5: Apply!

Finally, you’ve landed a job and you’re getting paid to gain all of those flying hours. Moreover, you can start your application for the Direct Entry Positions into Cathay Pacific. The application process starts here.

Learn To Fly Can Help You Brush Up on Those Interview Skills

Our Learn To Fly Airline Interview Coaching Sessions are designed for students like you! These sessions will help you be your best for the Cadet Programme or Direct Entry. You’ll have the choice of face-to-face or live online, with the time to support your learning and development to help you nail that interview.

Need a Bit More Help?

Schedule a meeting with us or get in contact, and one of our flight training specialists can answer your questions. The aviation industry needs pilots, which makes it a very exciting time for pilots who want to fly for Cathay! The time to start preparing is NOW!

Our social media offers free flight training videos and much more! Follow us at https://linktr.ee/learntoflymelbourne

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How to Get the Most Out of Your Pilot Licence

If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to fly but needed to know where to start, you’re in the right place. This post will help you get the most out of your pilot licence in easy steps.

Earning Your Pilot Licence

When you earn your pilot’s licence, you’ll be able to do more than just fly a plane. But getting there can be confusing. There are so many licences, each with its own rules and regulations. Which is right for me; a Recreational Pilot Licence to a Commercial Pilot Licence?

That’s why we’re here to help! We know that starting as a pilot can feel like an overwhelming experience—but it doesn’t have to be. To get the most out of your pilot’s licence, see if flying is something that interests you.

Take a Trial Introductory Flight – An introductory trial flight experience is provided by Learn To Fly for individuals who have never flown before but are curious about whether or not they would enjoy flying before getting a pilot’s licence. This is a great way to get started with flying! It gives you a chance to experience what it feels like to be in the cockpit without any pressure. It also allows you to try out different aircraft and decide which works best for YOU.

Go on a Solo Flight Training – Once you’ve completed your trial introductory flight, consider taking on solo flight training next! You can take flying lessons from an accredited flying school like Learn To Fly or enrol in an aviation diploma program. With solo flight training under your belt, you can start flying solo trips around town or across the country.

If you’ve taken the above steps and are sure about learning how to fly, getting a Recreational Pilot Licence is the next step!

Tips for Making the Most of Your Pilot’s Licence

Getting your pilot’s licence is a huge achievement, and you should be proud of yourself for taking the time to pursue your dream. But don’t stop there! You’ve worked hard to get your licence, so it’s time to start using it.

But before you take off, here are some tips for making the most of your pilot’s licence:

  • Get Familiar with Your Aircraft

Before you even start solo flight training in your new aircraft, become familiar with it. Study its systems, inspect it for damage and make sure that everything works properly. This way, you’ll be able to avoid accidents and other mishaps.

  • Take Lessons from a Professional Flight Instructor

If you’re just starting as a pilot, you must get lessons from a professional flight instructor at least once or twice weekly for at least six months. You can take a trial introductory flight first to see if you like the instructor and his teaching style. The best instructors are patient, friendly, and willing to explain things clearly.

  • Practice Makes Perfect

The best way to become a better pilot is by practising. Practice on a flight simulator and fly different kinds of aircraft in various weather conditions. You can even practice landing at other airports. The more time you spend practising, the more comfortably you fly solo.

  • Establish Reasonable Goals

Expecting to start working as a pilot professionally so quickly is unrealistic, even if you are your school’s most driven student pilot. You will need some time to become a pilot since flying an aeroplane comes with a learning curve; nevertheless, if you properly prepare and firmly commit to achieving your objectives, you will be able to do it within a fair amount of time.

  • Maintain a Regular Training Schedule

Even if it could be ideal to finish two to three sessions every week, it’s important to remember that everyone learns at their speed. It is in your best interest to establish a regular lesson schedule, regardless of the number of sessions you finish in a given week. If you keep up with your training consistently, rather than dabbling in it here and there, you will have a much higher chance of retaining the material you learn and improving your abilities.

  • Practice in Flight Simulators

Flight simulators allow you to practice flying without actually getting into an aircraft. You can simulate all kinds of situations, from takeoffs and landings to emergency landings and more advanced maneuvers like aerial acrobatics or flying low over mountainous terrain. While these simulators will never replace real-world practice, they are a great way to hone your skills before heading out into the air with an instructor or by yourself.

  • Expand Your Knowledge Constantly

One common mistake many pilots make is assuming they have mastered flying an aeroplane. This is especially true if you are taking classes to complete requirements after having spent years in the air. But don’t assume you’ve mastered flying simply because you’ve done it before. Always be willing to learn something new and have an open mind. If you go into your pilot training program with an open mind and a willingness to learn, you will benefit far more than if you assume you already know everything.

Takeaway

The first step to getting the most out of your pilot licence is ensuring you’re with the right school. At Learn to Fly, we offer a wide range of trial introductory flights and solo flight training options to help you figure out what kind of experience is right for you. If you want to get started on the path toward earning your pilot licence, enrolling in our Recreational Pilot Licence program is the first step to take!

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How Do Autopilot Systems Work On A Plane?

Let’s cover the basics and FAQs on how autopilot systems work on a plane.

What is Autopilot?

Autopilot systems on a plane involve computerised control inputs into the aircraft, reducing the workload on the pilot(s). Autopilot uses software to combine sensing elements, command elements and output elements. These monitor the aircraft and apply automated control for flight.

Software installed on an integrated computer designed to oversee and stabilise the altitude, speed, pitch and heading for the aircraft. By reducing the need for pilots to continuously fly the aircraft, it is less exhausting and intensive. The plane can often fly more efficiently – particularly over longer distances.

Autopilot systems on a plane can either maintain and hold their settings, such as straight and level. Alternatively, they can perform a cruise descent or a pre-programmed flight plan. Once a flight plane is entered, the autopilot software will oversee the multi-waypoint routes with integrated turns, climbs, descents and speeds.

When Do We Use Autopilot?

In commercial aircraft, it’s common to engage autopilot once the aircraft exceeds 500 to 1,000 feet above ground level. In general aviation (GA) and visual flight rules (VFR), pilots often turn autopilot on for navigational purposes.


Despite autopilot capabilities, pilots must retain full control of the aircraft through take-off and landing. That being said, modern autopilot systems are capable of allowing automated landings. Autopilot is also capable of disengaging and signalling to a pilot to take control of the aircraft.

How Does Autopilot Work?

In an aircraft fitted with autopilot, there are three categories of components that allow for software to oversee flight control. Central to this system is an autopilot computer to host software and a flight controller module for the pilot. Together, the computer and flight controller module form the command elements (plus radio and/or GPS navigation, if fitted).

The software monitors the aircraft’s sensing elements. This includes the directional and turn-and-bank indicator gyros, altitude indicator and altitude control. The software monitors aircraft positional indicators, heading and attitude. By monitoring the sensing elements, the control elements can then provide commands to the output elements. Any control inputs are sent to the output elements via electric signals to apply the appropriate corrective action.

 In 3-axis autopilot, the output elements include three servo actuators that control the ailerons, rudder and elevators. These motorised features can be controlled by the computer in the context of GPS and sensing elements. For example, if the wings are not level, the system receives a signal from the plane’s various indicators to apply corrective action. These then provide feedback to the computer so that the software can continuously monitor the aircraft.

Autopilot provides an aircraft with a system that oversees the flight components such as airspeed indication, accelerometers and navigation technology. When a pilot enters flight route information, the computer monitors the altitude and speed requirements along the route. This is using single-axis, two- or three-axis systems to control ailerons, rudders and elevators.

Is Putting the Plane on Autopilot Safe?

Aircraft should include a backup system in case autopilot fails. A pilot should always be on standby to take control of the aircraft if or when it is necessary. The safest combination for flight is a pilot who knows both the capabilities and limitations of the fitted autopilot system.

Autopilot is highly capable of detecting abnormal operations and analysing conditions and the required solutions. By making the necessary adjustments, the autopilot can reduce human error and ensure flight safety. Similarly, at any point, the pilot is capable of overriding the autopilot system and taking manual control of the aircraft.

Is Putting the Plane on Autopilot Safe?

Although autopilot makes an aircraft quite capable of automated flight, it requires human/pilot oversight for safety and best performance. This means its role in an aircraft is being a tool to assist the pilot’s workload management and control efficiencies. Similarly, a pilot can arguably fly better with autopilot. This makes a combination of pilot and autopilot safe for flight.

We hope this helps you understand how autopilot systems work on a plane!

Did you know that we have free flight training videos available on our YouTube channel? Check out the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe, so you get notified when new videos go live! 👇

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Aviation Schools in Melbourne: Why Learn to Fly is Your Best Bet

Every year, dozens of new pilots graduate from aviation schools in Australia. With the proper training and guidance, you could be one of them. The only question is: how to become a commercial pilot?

Multiple aviation schools in Melbourne offer training for commercial and private pilots, air traffic controllers, and ground crew personnel. It’s about finding the program that fits your budget and learning style.

If you’re looking for the best way to learn how to become a pilot in Australia, we recommend taking advantage of our free guide—where we’ll walk you through Melbourne’s best flying school ‘Learn To Fly’ to get your pilot’s licence in Australia!

Why Choose Learn to Fly?

The aviation industry offers some of the most exciting and rewarding careers. It’s not just flying but taking charge of your future, building a career you love, and travelling the world. ‘Learn To Fly’ offers a range of courses to help you. Whether you’re an absolute beginner or a pilot just looking to improve your skills, we can help.

That’s right—there are more options than ever for aspiring pilots who want to become pilots in Australia. Whether you’re looking for a full-time or online certification course, there are plenty of reasons to get started on your career path as a professional pilot today with Learn to Fly!

Here are just some of them:

Safety First Training

The first and most important thing when it comes to learning how to fly is safety. Flying is a dangerous activity, and therefore you must have the right training and instruction before getting into a plane and taking off. At Learn To Fly, we focus on providing only the highest quality training for our students and ensuring they can get their licences as fast as possible without compromising safety. We are continually working to improve the efficacy of our preventative measures, which is why we have undertaken these actions to establish various rules and procedures about solo operations.

Highly Qualified Instructors

Another reason Learn To Fly is one of the best providers of flying lessons in Australia is that we employ highly qualified instructors with years of experience teaching people how to fly, including commercial pilots, private pilots, military pilots, and even glider pilots! This means that not only will you get excellent instruction from someone who knows what they’re doing but also knows exactly what it takes to become a pilot.

A Wide Range of Aircrafts Available to Use For Training

For most of our flight training programs, students can choose from various aircraft in Learn To Fly’s extensive inventory. With both single- and twin-engine Diamond DA40s and DA42s in our inventory, we are the only flying school in Victoria to offer instruction in modern glass cockpit aircraft.

We run the most extensive fleet of Sling 2s in Australia, so you can trust that you’ll be in good hands. Every one of our aircraft undergoes meticulous maintenance following our various safety protocols. Next to the leading training site, we have our very own maintenance hangar.

Affordable Prices

One of the most significant barriers for people who want to learn how to fly is cost – tuition fees at most schools start around $40,000 per year and go up from there! But at Learn To Fly Australia, we offer affordable lessons that fit various budgets. Our introductory flights start at $1415! You can try out a lesson before committing.

We offer great rates on training packages, as well as flexible payment options so you can get started without breaking the bank.

The Employing of a Responsible Flight Instructor

To go solo, a learner must first receive many recommendations from their teacher attesting to their competence. The student’s regular teacher will ensure this, but the stage check instructor will double-check everything before the student’s first solo. This is when the Flight Instructor comes in once the time has been set for the student’s solo flight.

Our flight instructors are highly qualified pilots with thousands of flying hours under their belts who examine flight plans, verify the weather, and inspect risk assessments. Furthermore, they perform the role of ground teachers by keeping an eye on the student’s route while in the air to ensure everything is going according to plan. 

The flight instructor maintains touch with ATC during the flight, enabling timely transmission of any necessary messages to the pilot. The solo flyer can be called back to base if the instructor notices anything that could cause concern.

At Learn to Fly, one of the leading aviation schools in Melbourne, we have helped hundreds of aspiring pilots get their pilot licences in Australia and get started on their aviation careers. You can be next! Simply get in touch with us for more information on how to apply.

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Top 5 Tips for International Students to Prepare for Their Flight Training in Australia

Australia is a top destination for flight training international students due to having great terrain, coastlines and uncongested airways. If you’re an international student preparing for flight training in Australia, here are our top 5 tips!

Australia is the perfect training destination, offering an amazing lifestyle whilst you train. Flight training in Australia has gained popularity due to the highly recognised pilot training courses and student support. This all creates a high-quality airline pilot – which could be you.

If you’re limited in time, it’s important that you complete some preparation before coming to do flight training in Australia. This will help to ensure you make the most of your aviation training time.

Top 5 Tips: Flight Training Australia
  1. 1. Setting the Goal

Your goal is the most important part to start with. This defines the aviation training pathway that you take in Australia and how you will achieve the goal.

Perhaps this means you want to fly for fun. Maybe you’d like to fly your first solo or enjoy aviation training with the Australian experiences on offer. You can be in the company of other aviation students enjoying the same benefits!

Deciding on your goal will ensure you are best prepared for your flight training in Australia.

  1. 2. Choose the right time

Once you’ve decided on your goal, the next step is researching your training pathway. This will ensure you get the most out of your aviation training in Australia. Considerations include how long you need to stay in Australia and how many flying hours you actually need.

Another consideration for your flight training is timing – which month is best? Australia’s weather seasons include summer in December, January and February. Australia’s winter is June, July and August. You can fly all-year-round, but weather is always a consideration. In the northern states such as Queensland and Northern Territory, summer months are their ‘wet season’. Meanwhile, these months make for excellent flying conditions in Melbourne, Victoria, for example.

  1. 3. Choose the right airport fit for your training purpose

Once you know your preferred timing, you’ll need to decide which airport is best for your needs. A non-controlled aerodrome makes training somewhat easier, with less traffic, less radio work and lower fees. However, you would miss out on learning how to speak to Air Traffic Control (ATC) and more in-depth situational awareness skills. A controlled airport, such as Moorabbin, Melbourne (YMMB), offers a more professional learning environment. You’ll likely note a higher level of training and experience on offer, but it can be more expensive.

TIP: If you want to become a professional pilot, a controlled airport will be better for you

  1. 4. Choose a flight school

Selecting the right school can mean you’re training more efficiently, to a higher level, or simply in a great location. Overseas students have limited time in Australia, so consider your available time for Australian aviation training.

For example, flight training can have a lot of interruptions. Weather is always a factor, but often you can complete classroom and theory when the weather isn’t suitable for flying. However, there will come a time when your practical training is delayed due to inclement weather. Aircraft maintenance and instructor availability are other factors.

When you’re deciding on a school, have a look at its aircraft fleet and instructors. A great flight training school will have a range of aircraft with different training and endorsement options. That school might also have a flight training team of high-quality Grade 1, Grade 2 and Grade 3 instructors, too. Better yet, an administration team to support both you and the flight training team is an added bonus.

Given the different categories of flight instructors, it’s important to understand their background: Can they conduct a flight test? Can they oversee the endorsement(s) you’d like to complete? Are they experienced? The best Australian flight training provider will have sufficient aircraft and instructors efficiently reach your aviation goals.

TIP: If a school has more aircraft than instructors, you’ll have fewer cancellations!

  1. 5. Option to do the theory online?

By studying online, it’s possible to utilise your time in Australia to focus on your practical flight training component. Learn To Fly provide RPL (Recreational Pilot Licence), PPL (Private Pilot Licence) and CPL (Commercial Pilot Licence) theory courses online. All of these courses are designed to prepare you to pass your theory exams. All of these theory courses are able to be completed before commencing your flight training in Australia.

If you choose this pathway, it can save you both time and money. For example, the CPL theory can take around 4 – 6 months to complete in Australia. If you complete our online CPL theory course before arrival, you’ll save 4 -6 months in time, food and accommodation. This is the time you can spend flying planes!

Training Videos

Learn To Fly have created a comprehensive suite of learning and support materials. We want to ensure you can complete your aviation training to the highest standard, with all questions answered. In addition to high-end training aircraft, instructors and course materials, we produce a large range of training videos. They’re FREE of charge, so you can watch the videos anytime on our Learn to Fly YouTube Channel.

If you follow all of this, you’re taking the right steps in preparing yourself for flight training in Australia!

So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with us today! Our team would be pleased to answer any questions to start your journey of flight training in Australia.

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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Answering Some FAQs About Learning How to Fly

Aspiring pilots, welcome!

Learning to fly takes time and effort, but it’s worth it. Not only will you be able to see the world from a whole new perspective, but becoming a pilot also opens up many doors for you—especially if you’re interested in becoming a commercial pilot.

You may have questions about how to get started with this career path and how to become a pilot in Australia, so we’ve put together this blog to answer some common questions we hear at our flying school, Learn To Fly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most-asked questions we get asked on how to become a commercial pilot:

1.    How many years does it take to become a pilot in Australia?

The time to train and obtain your licence will depend on the type of licence and the time you spend working towards meeting your flying requirements.

An Integrated Bachelor of Aviation takes around three years, whereas a Private Pilot Licence (PPL) can take around 4 to 6 weeks (if flying and studying full time). While attending a school to obtain your flying licence, you must complete your practical training for licence type. For a non-integrated course, a minimum of 35 hours of flying experience as a pilot, 10 hours of solo flight time, and 5 hours of cross-country flight time are required to earn a private pilot licence.

On the other hand, the minimum training for an integrated course commercial pilot licence is 140 hours as the pilot, 70 hours as the pilot in command, and 20 hours of pilot in command in a cross-country flight. The necessary training increases to 200 hours as a pilot and 100 hours as a pilot in command for a non-integrated course.

2.    How much does it cost to become a pilot in Australia?

The cost to become a commercial pilot in Australia varies depending on your chosen route. A standard 4-year bachelor’s degree in aviation with a major in Commercial Aviation can cost between AUD40,000 – AUD117.940.

If you’re looking for a more accessible way to pilot a plane, you may want to consider getting your Private Pilot Licence first. This is usually done through an approved flight school like Learn to Fly and will cost anywhere between $8,000 – $25,000.

3.    What qualifications do you need to become a pilot in Australia?

To become a pilot in Australia, you must be 15 years or over. For a commercial pilot in Australia, you must complete an approved course with an aviation college or university. This course will include ground school training, flight theory, and practical exams. You must also pass the CASA medical examination and have your commercial pilot’s licence (CPL) before you can apply to fly commercially.

4.    Are pilots in demand in Australia?

There is a high demand for pilots in Australia. This is mainly because there are not enough pilots to meet the needs of the industry. There are implications in Australia as a result of the worldwide pilot shortage. During the pandemic, airlines throughout the world reduced their staff pilots. The major pilot organisation in Australia, the Australian Federation of Air Pilots, reports that during COVID-19, over 23% of its members were laid off. The airlines are getting back on track sooner than expected, but pilot shortages are causing some problems.

Australia will require an additional 11,000 pilots by 2038, according to the New South Wales government in November 2021, and there will be a rising demand abroad for Australian-trained pilots.

5.    How long does it take to be a commercial airline pilot?

The answer depends on several factors, including the type of certificate you are pursuing and the type of experience you already have. Aspiring pilots need the Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL), Instrument Rating, and 1500 hours of flying time to qualify for the Airline Transport Pilot Certificate, which is required to work for an airline. In some cases, such as with a relevant bachelor’s degree, the minimum required hours might be lowered to 1,000.

It can take 7–10 months to go from having never flown before to having earned a Private Pilot License, an Instrument Rating, and a Commercial Pilot License, and it can take another 1 to 3 years in the workforce before reaching the required 1,500 flying hours.

6.    Can you become a pilot without a degree?

To become a pilot for a major airline, you need not attend a specialised aviation university or even have a degree in aviation. Indeed, big airlines hire people with bachelor’s degrees in any discipline and aren’t picky about what they studied. In reality, the degree serves more as evidence of the applicant’s skills, dedication, and persistence than anything else.

7.    Is becoming a pilot worth it?

The answer to this question is not always easy because it depends on many factors, such as the type of flying you want to do, the level of education needed, and your financial situation. The average salary for a commercial airline pilot ranges from AUD45,000 to AUD200,000 per year. That’s a lot of money, considering you don’t necessarily need a college degree! However, if you decide that flying is not for you, you can become an air traffic controller or even work for an airline management company, which pays equally well.

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Give Your Loved Ones the Gift of Taking to the Skies this Christmas with a Trial Introductory Flight

As the festive season gets underway, many of us will be looking to treat our loved ones to something special. And what better gift than the chance to experience the thrill of flying?

If you’re looking for something that will make them feel like they’re soaring through the clouds, we’ve got just the thing! With a trial introductory flight from Learn to Fly, you can give someone you love an incredible experience and set them on their way to becoming a pilot.

Learn to Fly offers trial introductory flight and solo flight training in a well-maintained training fleet of contemporary and classic aircraft, so no matter what kind of flying experience you want to share with your family members or friends, we can help make it happen. These flights are ideal for anyone who has thought about learning to fly or just wants to try something different.

What is a Trial Introductory Flight?

A trial introductory flight is a fun, low-pressure opportunity to experience flying with qualified instructors. There will be around 45 minutes of actual flying time throughout the lesson. Its purpose is to give you a feel for flying before committing to a pilot licence for either professional or recreational purposes. If you’ve never flown before, a Trial Introductory Flight (TIF) is a great way to get an overview of the basics.

Someone who has demonstrated an interest in aviation, has a strong passion for aviation or is just someone who enjoys experiencing new and exciting things would be thrilled to receive a trial introductory flight experience as a gift.

Why a Trial Introductory Flight is the Perfect Present for the Aviation Enthusiast in Your Life

A trial introductory flight is a perfect gift for an aviation enthusiast. It’s a great way to introduce someone to the world of flying, and it can be an unforgettable experience.

Here are some reasons why:

1.    It’s an experience that they will never forget

An introductory flight is the perfect gift idea for any aviation enthusiast, whether they are young or old. The experience of flying in a modern aircraft can stay with them forever. It is also something that they can cherish for many years to come, as it is unique and very memorable. If you want to give someone an unforgettable gift, then this could be it.

2.    It’s a great way to see what it’s like to fly

The first thing most people do when they become interested in learning how to fly is to go on a trial introductory flight. This gives them the chance to see what it would be like to be at the controls of an aeroplane. They can also get a feel for what it would be like if they were flying it themselves one day.

3.    Builds Confidence

It builds confidence in them and helps them decide whether flying is something they want to pursue further. If they’re not sure about it, they can decide to stop there, but if they enjoy it, this will help them decide whether or not they should opt for solo flight training.

4.    It doesn’t break the bank

One of the main reasons why you should consider getting your loved one a trial introductory flight is because it is budget-friendly. Getting started with this hobby can be quite expensive, especially if you are trying to get practical hands-on experience. A trial introductory flight is much cheaper than buying someone full training and can be booked in advance so that you can surprise your loved one with this unique gift. Moreover, if your loved one already has an interest in aviation, getting them a trial introductory flight is an excellent way to get them started and help them get their feet wet in this exciting field.

5.    There are no age limits

Anyone who loves aeroplanes can enjoy this experience regardless of age or ability level. Some people want to see what it’s like to fly, while others want to learn how to fly for a commercial airline someday. Either way, this is the perfect gift for anyone who admires aviation from afar!

Flying Is the Gift That Keeps on Giving!

You don’t have to wait for Santa Claus to give your loved ones the gift of taking to the skies this Christmas.

Whether it’s a trial introductory flight or solo flight training with Learn To Fly, you’ll watch your loved one’s face light up as they take off from the ground and soar into the sky.

With our budget-friendly packages, your loved one will get an opportunity to take flight with an instructor, and they’ll walk away with a certificate of completion and a newfound confidence in their ability to take on this new challenge.

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Aviation English: 10 Basic Aviation Terms Every Pilot Should Know

Brushing up on your aviation English? We’ve compiled 10 basic aviation terms that every pilot should know. Aviation English is the international language used by members of civil aviation across the world. If you aim to communicate effectively, you’ll need to use clear, concise language to coordinate with controllers and other pilots.

1. The ICAO Alphabet/International Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet

The first on our Aviation English list is the alphabet itself. You can use this internationally-used phonetic alphabet to communicate efficiently and avoid misunderstandings between pilots and tower operators.

Let’s improve your Aviation English right now. The ICAO phonetic alphabet includes code words assigned to the entire 26 letters of the alphabet. Here’s the list so that you can practice:

Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel, India, Juliett, Kilo, Lima, Mike, November, Oscar, Papa, Quebec, Romeo, Sierra, Tango, Uniform, Victor, Whiskey, X-ray, Yankee, Zulu.

2. Air Traffic Control

Air Traffic Control is a vital team of aviation specialists who monitor and manage aviation traffic. This includes all active aviation traffic – ground, inbound and departure. Air traffic controllers have a primary role in managing safe and orderly traffic flow inside and between airports.

There are three categories of air traffic controllers who work cooperatively to achieve this: tower controllers, terminal controllers and en route controllers. To help them do their job, it’s vital that pilots have clear, concise and confident communication skills in Aviation English.

3. Circuit

A circuit refers to the arrival and departure procedures of an airport or aerodrome. The circuit itself includes a take-off leg, a crosswind leg (perpendicular to the runway), a downwind leg (parallel to the runway), a base leg and then the final leg. The En Route Supplement Australia (ERSA), developed by Airservices Australia, is a primary source of information on airport procedures in circuits (or ‘in pattern’). Upon arrival, departure or inside the circuit, clear aviation English is paramount to safe and efficient flying.

4. Approach

The approach of an aircraft is the process and patterns within which the pilot manoeuvres the aircraft in anticipation of landing at its destination. An aircraft’s approach can be achieved through Visual Flight Rules (VFR) or Instrument Flight Rules (IFR). On approach, you follow a series of predetermined waypoints and altitudes to oversee the safe arrival on the destination runway.

5. Final Approach

A final approach is the last ‘leg’ of flight, generally before landing on the designated runway. The final approach may be a ‘straight in’ approach from a multi-waypoint inbound flight, or it may be a final approach as a continuation of the base leg in the circuit.

6. Controlled Airspace

Australian airspace architecture works on a system of classes. Classes A, C, D and E are all forms of controlled airspace. These classes are actively monitored and managed by Air Traffic Control (ATC).

As per Airservices Australia:

Class A: A high-level en route controlled airspace is used predominately by commercial and passenger jets. Only  IFR flights are permitted, and they require an ATC clearance. These flights are provided with an air traffic control service and are positively separated from each other.

Class C: This is the controlled airspace surrounding major airports. Both IFR and VFR flights are permitted and must communicate with air traffic control. IFR aircraft are positively separated from both IFR and VFR aircraft. VFR aircraft are provided traffic information on other VFR aircraft.

Class D:  This is the controlled airspace that surrounds general aviation and regional airports equipped with a control tower. All flights require ATC clearance.

Class E: This mid-level en route controlled airspace is open to both IFR and VFR aircraft. IFR flights are required to communicate with ATC and must request ATC clearance.

Class G: This airspace is uncontrolled. Both IFR and VFR aircraft are permitted, and neither requires ATC clearance.

Note: At towered airports, the class of airspace may change subject to the time of day.

7. Go-Around (Go Round)

A go-around is the abortion of an aircraft landing due to unfavourable circumstances. These circumstances could be the result of wind and weather conditions, visibility, aircraft performance or even as a result of an unserviceable runway. Upon closely approaching the runway for landing, a pilot performs a ‘go-around’ by applying power and cancelling the landing by continuing to fly another circuit for another attempt.

8. Visual Flight Rules (VFR)

Visual Flight Rules (VFR) include flights in conditions where the pilot uses visual references as a primary navigation and control technique for managing the aircraft. These Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC) change, subject to the airspace. The Visual Flight Rules Guide by CASA is a useful tool for pilots who are preparing for VFR flights.

9. Instrument Flight Rules (IFR)

When VFR conditions are not met, Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) apply to the pilot and aircraft. Under IFR conditions, the aircraft must be adequately equipped for IFR conditions (Instrument Meteorological Conditions, IMC), and the pilot must have appropriate training and endorsements.

10. Pilot’s Operating Handbook (POH)

The Pilot’s Operating Handbook (POH) is the pilot’s manual for the aircraft and operation. For a pilot looking to maintain skills and knowledge whilst operating the aircraft, the POH is fundamental. It’s a document developed by the aircraft manufacturer with all information considered important for the safe and effective operation of that aircraft.

At a minimum, a typical POH for aircraft will include the following:

  • – General information: An introduction to the POH, definitions and summary of performance specifications (gross weight, top speed, cruise, range, rate of climb, stall speeds, total fuel capacity, total unusable fuel, fuel types and engine power.
  • – Operational Limits: Airspeed limitations, ceiling, flight load factors, prohibited manoeuvres, passenger weight limitations, powerplant limitations, indicator markings etc.
  • – Emergency Procedures: Recommended procedures for fire, electrical failure, voltage regulator failure, malfunctions, emergency landings and unusual flight conditions.
  • – Normal Procedures: Preflight inspection, engine start, taxiing, take-off (normal, obstacle, soft field), climb, cruise, descent and approach, landing (normal, obstacle, balked), shutdown.
  • – Flight Performance: Airspeed calibration, stall speeds, take-off and climb performance, landing performance, cruise performance.
  • – Weight and Balance Equipment List: Operating weights and loading, installed equipment list, sample loading problems, loading graphics, flight envelope.
  • – Description of Aircraft and Systems: Powerplant summary, aircraft specifications, aircraft three view, instrument panel, electrical system, fuel system.
  • – Aircraft Group Handling and Servicing: Torques, fuel, oil, coolant, spark plugs, exhaust, tyres and tubes, wing removal/installation, towing, tie-down, cleaning and care.
  • – Supplements: Additional information, such as a flight training supplement.

The POH will also include contact information for the manufacturer and support, compliance standards (design, construction, airworthiness, POH standard) and a revision summary for the POH.

Every pilot should aim to develop and expand their vocabulary to include commonly-used terminology in the industry and profession.

That’s a wrap! We hope these ’10 basic aviation terms every pilot should know’ are useful in improving your aviation English!

Did you know that we have free flight training videos available on our YouTube channel? Check out the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe, so you get notified when new videos go live! 👇

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FAQs About Obtaining Your Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL)

These Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) FAQs are the perfect place for any pilot to start. Imagine getting up and heading to work, knowing that flying will be on the agenda today. Imagine replacing the everyday drone of keyboards and office phones with the rumble of an aircraft engine starting up. Look out your window next time you’re at work – wouldn’t the view be better from 5,000, 10,000 or 30,000 feet?

They say to do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life, so if you’re looking to turn your love for aviation into a career, it’s time to get your Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL). Let’s answer some FAQs.  

What does obtaining my CPL allow me to do?

The biggest Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) FAQ! Obtaining a Commercial Pilot Licence allows you to fly professionally, meaning you can get paid to fly. It allows you to explore the wide range of different career paths a pilot might take. From flying scenic charters to doing mail runs to remote outback communities, from crop-dusting in the agricultural industry to captaining flights on the world’s biggest airlines, all of these exciting careers begin in the same place; obtaining your CPL.

What does getting my CPL involve?

To begin your CPL, you must have already completed your Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) and your Private Pilot Licence (PPL). These licence programs will teach you how to fly a plane and how to navigate between two locations efficiently and safely. Once you have these qualifications, you’re ready to start your CPL training.

What practical and theoretical training do I have to do?

The first step in obtaining your CPL is to complete the theory component. There are 7 CPL theory exams that you must pass to move onto the flight training component, covering important areas of knowledge for a career in aviation.

Your CPL theory syllabus will include:

  • – Aircraft General Knowledge
  • – Meteorology
  • – Flight Rules & Air Law
  • – Navigation
  • – Human Factors
  • – Aerodynamics
  • – Performance
  • With your theory completed, it’s time for the fun stuff; flight training. Here you’ll get into the cockpit of the Diamond DA40 (and the AL42 Flight Simulator) for a number of training elements, including navigational exercises and a refresher on instrument flying. You’ll also have to build your hours up both with an instructor and solo. You’ll need to log at least 150 flying hours in total before your flight test, 70 of which need to be flown solo as a Pilot in Command (PIC).

With your hours logged, you’re almost there! Your instructor will take you for one final navigational flight to ensure you’re ready for the CPL flight test. The final flight test will require you to demonstrate all the skills you’ve learned and is completed with the CASA testing officer. Upon completion of this final step, you’ll be awarded your Commercial Pilot Licence – your first step into a career in aviation!

Can I Study CPL in Australia if I’m From Overseas?

Absolutely you can! Learn to Fly offers a Diploma of Aviation qualification, through which international students can apply for a student visa to study in Australia.

The pilot training industry in Australia is widely regarded as being of world-class standard, with pilots coming from around the world to study here. What’s more, the uncrowded skies and predominantly sunny weather make Australia an ideal spot for you to do your training!

Do I Need to Study the Bachelor of Aviation?

No. In fact, we don’t recommend you begin your flight training by doing a Bachelor of Aviation – it’s usually far more expensive and will take you longer to achieve your goals.

If you’re looking to begin a career in aviation, especially in the airline industry, we strongly suggest you take the following pathway:

  1. 1. Study & obtain your Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL)
  2. 2. Study & obtain your Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating (MECIR)
  3. 3. Study & obtain your Flight Instructor Rating (FIR)
    1. This will allow you to work as a flight instructor, a fantastic addition to your resume
  4. 4. Once you’ve obtained the above qualifications, you can now undertake the Bachelor of Aviation while accumulating flying hours at the same time.

By following this pathway, at the end of 4 years, you will not only have a CPL, MECIR & Bachelor’s Degree, but also an FIR and a few hundred flying hours to your name. You’ll be ready to apply to airlines immediately.

Do You Offer Any Finance Options?

We sure do! We offer VET Student Loans for all our Diploma programs to enable financial assistance to prospective pilots.

VET Student Loans (VSL) is an Australian Commonwealth Government loan program that provides eligible, full-fee-paying students with assistance in paying their tuition fees for approved courses of study. This allows students to obtain qualifications and then gradually repay the loan over time whilst working in their chosen career.

Learn to Fly is a proud VSL-approved course provider. You can read more information here.

I’ve completed my CPL. What Next?

Need more than the above Commercial Pilot Licence FAQs? Well, like any job, building your skills will make your resumé more appealing to aviation employers. More ratings and endorsements mean you’re a more appealing candidate. There is a wide range of ratings and endorsements you can pursue to boost your employability – all while learning important new skills.

Some of our most popular endorsements include:

These should answer the most commonly asked Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) FAQs! There is a wide range of incredible training options on offer at Learn to Fly. Whether you’re looking to jumpstart your aviation career or take it in a new direction – we’ve got the solution for you.

Did you know that we have a free pilot licence and flying lesson videos available on our YouTube channel? Check out the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe, so you get notified when new videos go live! 👇

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Flight Schools in Australia – How Do I Choose the Right One?

Are you looking to study a pilot course in Australia, but aren’t sure how to choose which flight school to attend? Here is a breakdown of what kind of schools are available, and how the different environments can affect what your learning experience will be like. We’ll also outline some steps for determining which kind of flight school in Australia will best suit your needs.

Large flight schools – the benefits

Large flight schools in Australia are very beneficial for those looking to learn alongside a number of other students. A larger flight school is also going to have more instructors, which means a broader range of expertise. You’ll also have the opportunity to hear more perspectives on what an aviation career is like.

One of the issues that some students may come across when studying a pilot course in Australia is aircraft availability. At a larger flight school, there is likely to be more aircraft available for you to fly in at any given time. In addition, you may also be able to choose between different aircraft types. For example, you may want to try flying a more traditional analogue aircraft like the Cessna 172, but also experience a modern glass cockpit aircraft like the Diamond DA40.

Larger flight schools in Australia are also likely to have more additional facilities available, such as advanced flight simulators, which can accelerate your progress.

The bigger schools tend to be based at larger and busier airports, like Moorabbin Airport. This means that during your training, you will experience higher traffic and more complex aircraft movements, both on the ground and in the immediate airspace. In addition, busier airports are usually in controlled airspace, which means you will be able to get plenty of ATC communication experience.

Large flight schools – the downsides

A potential downside to flying with a large flight school in Australia is that your experience may be less personal. This is because there will be many students all studying at the same time, and you may not have the same instructor for the duration of your course.

Although larger schools have more aircraft and facilities, more students means more demand. There may be times when some facilities, aircraft or instructors may not be available when you want them. Consequently, flexibility is key.

There are also downsides to flying in high traffic environments. The learning curve can be steeper. In addition, you may experience delays due to other aircraft. Delays can occur when you are on the ground waiting to take off, in the aerodrome circuit pattern, or in the training area.

Small flight schools – the benefits

If you are interested in a more personal experience while studying a pilot course in Australia, then a small flight school may be a suitable option. Smaller flight schools will often be able to allow more flexibility in your training. Larger schools usually need to keep a more rigid schedule to ensure that all students are moving at the same pace.

Whilst there are some smaller flight schools at larger airports, there are many located at smaller airfields. At a small airfield, you will experience far less traffic – in fact you may often be one of the only pilots on the runway. This means you can usually take off straight away. Another benefit is the geographical availability of smaller airfields. Around larger cities, you will find many of them, so there may well be one close to where you live.

Smaller flight schools in Australia are sometimes a little bit cheaper to attend as well, since they don’t need to pay the larger fees associated with bigger airports.

Small flight schools – the downsides

A major downside to flying with a smaller school is that there will most likely be fewer facilities available to you during your training. Additionally, they will have a smaller selection of aircraft to train in – meaning you will have less choice of aircraft, and less aircraft availability. It’s unlikely that advanced flight simulators will be available, so you may need to access these at another location.

There will be less instructors available – and being able to find an instructor you connect with is very important. You will likely find that there are far less course options available as well, which can be an issue for more advanced or specific training.

Smaller airfields won’t expose you to complex aircraft movements, higher traffic, or ATC communication. Those wanting to train to Private Pilot Licence (PPL) level and beyond will need experience both flying into other airfields and communicating with ATC. Completing your initial training without exposure to this can make it a bit more daunting later on – whereas it just becomes second nature for pilots that learn with high traffic and ATC comms from the start.

How do you decide which one is right for you?

When you are looking to make the final decision about which flight school in Australia is going to be best for you, one of the most important things is to know what your goal is. Do you want to fly for fun, or fly for a career? Will you need multi-engine experience? Will you need instrument flying experience?

The most important factor is whether the school is going to be able to provide what you need to meet your goals. Check which courses they have available. Check to see what aircraft types they have in their fleet, and how many they have available. Are they able to provide advice on the best path to achieve your goals? Do they have experienced instructors?

For those looking to fly recreationally or for fun, a smaller flight school may be a good option. However, for pilots looking to train beyond PPL level, and especially those wanting a career, we highly recommend a larger flight school like LTF.

If you want to fly for a career, you will need experience with larger airports, larger aircraft, higher traffic environments, and ATC communication. Additionally, learning in a group environment will help to develop the team skills that are required for many aviation career pathways. Even private pilots looking to fly in more conditions, or fly to a wider range of locations, will benefit from what a larger school is able to offer.

Get in touch!

The school that you attend can have a major effect on your learning experience. So be sure to review what your goals are before choosing which pilot course in Australia to study, and which flight school to study it with.

If you have any questions about what kind of experience we can offer you at Learn to Fly, get in touch with our flight training specialists. We’ll be able to help you take that first step to getting in the cockpit!

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The Benefits of Online Flight Training Courses

Are you interested in undertaking a flight training course, but aren’t sure you will be able to attend all of your classes in person? Luckily, Learn to Fly has many online training courses available. During the pandemic, students were unable to come to our training base to study or fly, but we didn’t want them to lose their progress or fall behind. We also wanted to provide an opportunity for our overseas students to start or continue their aviation study.

So, we got to work on making the theory components for all of our pilot licence courses available online. We also added additional options like online virtual cockpit procedural trainers, along with a huge range of free flying lesson videos on our YouTube channel.

Online flight training allows students to study theory and concentrate on their studies without giving up their jobs or family responsibilities during courses. For overseas students, it offers a chance to study without needing to move to Australia until they are ready to fly. There are many other reasons why Learn to Fly champions online flight training. Have a read below to learn more!

The Benefits of Online Theory

Flexibility:

With online training, students can complete their studies at their own pace as there isn’t a set schedule, this means there is no obligation to commit all their time to the course and they are fully free to continue work if they so desire. In-person classes are hosted on a schedule, which means that students generally need to arrange their life around the course, instead of the other way around.

We offer absolute flexibility, with online subscription to pre-recorded theory session videos that can be watched at any time. Alternatively, we also offer live online classes which can be attended from anywhere in the world – however they do still have a schedule.

Gentler on the Wallet:

For a variety of reasons, online aviation courses can be less expensive. For those in Australia, there are no travel costs getting to and from the flight school. Those overseas students benefit even more as they don’t need to afford the costs associated with living in Australia while they complete the course.

Collaborative Work:

For those choosing the virtual classroom option, there is the opportunity to connect with people from all around the world. This gives students a chance to network with other passionate aviation students who bring their own perspectives and intelligence to the theory content. This can result in increased cultural awareness and an improvement in communication, which is of course a key skill for pilots.

No Travel Requirements:

As previously stated, those working overseas have no requirement to move to Australia during the theory portion of their studies, meaning they can get their education without the stress of living in a new country while doing so.

While the actual in-air flight training does need to take place on-site, it gives students some extra time to either save up or prepare for the travel to Australia.

What Online Flight Training Options Does Learn To Fly Offer?

Virtual Classroom:

Scheduled group classes presented using the Zoom Meeting online platform, with additional 1-on-1 online instructor theory hours included. The virtual classroom option also includes 12 months of access to online subscription.

Online Subscription:

All classes are available by secure student portal to watch at your own pace, with discounted instructor theory hours available for extended learning. Online subscription packages include 12 months of access to videos.

Online Cockpit Procedural Training:

Using some of the latest online training innovations, students can access a virtual cockpit that can recreate an in-person training environment. On the virtual platform, students can view a 360-degree version of a cockpit and complete procedural training in it at any time on a computer, smartphone or tablet. While the best learning will happen in an actual cockpit, Learn To Fly’s online Cockpit Procedural Training offers accurate cockpit representation with popup detail videos that allow you to practice your procedural training completely online. Some of the procedures include pre-flight checks and normal, abnormal and emergency checklists. The virtual cockpit platform ensures that when it comes time to be in the actual environment, you are familiar with the surroundings and the procedures.

Free Flight Training Videos:

On Learn to Fly’s Youtube channel we provide course outlines, pre-flight check instructional videos for our aircraft as well as free full RPL and PPL flying lesson videos presented by an experienced LTF Flight Instructor in both English and Chinese. This is an outstanding source of flight training information and is available online for free to be viewed at any time.

Social Media:

We are very active on social media and you can find us on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and of course YouTube. Our social media channels feature a range of content that is both instructional and entertaining, and can also give you a bit of insight into what pilot life at Learn To Fly is all about.

So if you are interested in starting a career in aviation but aren’t sure if you are ready to commit to attending classes in person, or perhaps you live outside of Australia and need some time to prepare, consider Learn to Fly’s online flight training options. Book an online meeting to chat with one of our flight training specialists for more information.

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Singapore Airlines Cadet Pilot Programme – Questions & Answers

Following on from our recent seminar on How to Become an Airline Pilot In Singapore in 2022, we have prepared some answers to a range of common questions. These should provide some additional insight into the Singapore Airlines Cadet Pilot Programme as well as Direct Entry.

What is the rate of success for cadet pilot applications? How many people apply and how many get in?

The SIA Cadet Pilot Programme is highly competitive. Information suggests that around 1,000 applicants are submitted per year, with only around 100 cadets accepted. The intake may increase as demand increases, but preparation is still extremely important to ensure your application stands out.

Many Singapore Airlines cadet applications are culled simply due to ineligibility (failure to meet minimum requirements), so taking the time to review the prerequisites is important.

Is age a factor in selecting cadet pilot applicants? Can you be too old?

Singapore Airlines have traditionally preferred cadet applicants within the 26 – 32 years old range. Given the forecasted increase in pilot demand, this may change and they may be willing to look outside that range. We will update this blog if we receive further inside information on current preferences.

Do I need to have maths or science studies to be considered?

Maths and science are 2 areas specifically mentioned by Singapore Airlines in the prerequisites. Applicants with no maths or science studies may be at a disadvantage. We would strongly recommend completing some flight training beforehand to be able to demonstrate your passion for aviation, and your ability to progress as a pilot regardless of no maths/science study. Our Future Cadet Pilot Program is perfect for this.

How long does it take to hear back from Singapore Airlines once you have applied?

The SIA cadet application process is experiencing delays in administration. Whilst information suggests that you should hear back from your initial application in around 2 weeks, this may take longer.

Are group exercises still a part of the interview process?

Group exercises are not being conducted as part of Singapore Airlines’s interview process at the moment. However, there are still be areas of the interview process where you will need to demonstrate strong group or team working skills.

Are Direct Entry First and Second Officer roles also difficult to get into? Would you recommend doing more than the minimum hours required?

Even though direct entry roles are more based on experience and qualifications that you either already have or don’t have, they are still competitive. You will still need to prepare in order to present a strong application, and to present well in the interview phases – which is why we recommend considering a course like the Airline Interview Coaching Session.

Does Singapore Airlines accept Non-Singapore Permanent Residents or Citizens?

At this stage you must be either a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident to be accepted.

If I have no flying experience, do I still have a chance of being chosen as a cadet?

The short answer is yes, but we don’t recommend leaving this to chance, and VERY strongly recommend that you have at least some flying experience prior to applying. If you have already applied, we still recommend looking at doing some flying prior to applying. If you have interviewed and been accepted – even then, we recommend doing some flight training as it will really help you to hit the ground running when your cadet flight training phase commences.

SIA are experiencing delays in their cadet selection and training, which gives you a GREAT opportunity to get in some extra preparation and/or flight training regardless of where in the process you are. We recommend checking out our Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP), which includes both application/interview preparation and practical flight training.

As an added bonus – the Australian Dollar is very low at the time of writing (Oct 2022) – this means that the process of coming to Australia to complete a program like the FCPP is far cheaper than it usually would be for Singapore pilots.

If I have already done PPL training, can I still apply?

Absolutely. We usually recommend training to RPL level, as this shows that you are able to progress through understanding the basics of flying, fly solo, and achieve a licence. To show that you have continued your training as far as PPL level will certainly not disadvantage your application, however Singapore Airlines may want to know why you didn’t progress with CPL, and clarify that you are happy to go back to the start for your cadet training.

Is the technical exam still a part of the process? What’s your advice in studying the technical interview in a short amount of time?

Yes, it will be a part of the interview. Whatever the current exact format, we strongly recommend that applicants should have an established basic knowledge of aerodynamics and general aviation topics. Singapore Airlines has many YouTube videos available, and a well prepared candidate should have watched all of them.

In addition, there are two texts that we recommend for technical knowledge preparation. These are “Ace The Technical Pilot Interview” by Gary Bristow and “Handling The Big Jets” by D.P. Davies

How long will Singapore Airlines be accepting Cadet Pilot applications for?

Given the longer term pilot shortage projections, we believe that there will be an ongoing need for consistent cadet pilot recruitment for many years to come.

Do I have any aviation knowledge for the interview?

We will always recommend obtaining some technical aviation knowledge, and the best way to do this is by enrolling in some flight training.

If you wear glasses, can you still come a SIA cadet pilot?

The pre-requisites state that you must have myopia of not more than 600 degrees and astigmatism of not more than 200 degrees, fully correctable with optical aids. For candidates who have undergone corrective eye surgery, the pre-surgical visual acuity must meet the above requirements. We recommend contacting the CAAS Medical Department or your doctor for case-by-case advice.

Do I need to pass the ICAO English Test before I apply for the cadet pilot program?

You don’t need to have passed the Aviation English Language Proficiency (AELP) exam prior to application, however doing so may well be an advantage, and will at the very least speed up the process. You need to achieve at least ICAO Level 4 – which is a conversational standard of English and easily achievable for most Singapore-born English speakers.

How long does it take to complete the ATPL ground school and exam?

The latest advice we have received suggests that this phase may take up to 7 months.

If you took a lot of training hours to fly solo, could this negatively affect your application?

We all progress at different rates and in different environments. Going solo in itself is a massive achievement, and so we wouldn’t be too concerned about this.

If I completed flight training but it was 5 years ago – will that still be okay?

Having flight training from 5 years ago is certainly better than having no flight training. However, we would recommend doing a refresher lesson if it is possible to do so prior to applying or to the interview.

What is included in the Airline Interview Coaching Session and how long is it?

The Airline Interview Coaching Session includes 8 hours of either face-to-face or live online training. The syllabus includes airline selection process methods, optimal CV presentation, HR interview skills, technical assessment expectations, group exercises and more. Click here to learn more.

Does every applicant get a chance to interview?

No – which is why preparing a solid application is SO important.

What is the top reason people fail the interview?

There are many reasons that can cause applicants to fail the interview process, but they essentially all come down to lack of preparation.

I have recently failed the Singapore Airlines final cadet interview, and can not reapply for 6 months. What would you recommend learning in the meantime?

We would recommend starting your preparation now. Even more-so, we would recommend including some flight training – this would improve your knowledge and skills, AND importantly it would provide evidence of your dedication to an aviation career. A course like the Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) is perfect for this.

How would you foresee the growth of female pilots in the future?

The future for female pilots is very bright. Airlines around the world are proactively encouraging more female applicants. In addition, there are far better support networks available for female pilots at every level today than what have been available traditionally.

Are the training phases full time?

Both the ground school training and the flight training phases are definitely full time. On top of that, both involve absolute dedication. It is common for Singapore Airlines cadets to spend at least 6 days for study, school and practicum, and to take one day off a week for social time.

If I have done some flight training and put it on my CV, will that mean they ask me harder questions?

You should ALWAYS put as much information about the flight training you have completed on your CV. That may be the difference between progressing to interview or not.

We also highly recommend checking out Pilot Kaki’s blog on the Singapore Airlines Cadet Pilot Programme process at https://www.pilotkaki.com/singapore-airlines-interview

Do you have further questions? Would you like to enrol in one of our highly successful Airline Interview Preparation courses? Please get in contact with us.

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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Cathay Cadet Pilot Program – Questions & Answers

We received some fantastic questions during our recent webinar on applying for the Cathay Cadet Pilot Program in 2022. We weren’t able to answer them all live, but we have covered the majority of questions and answers below:

What is the rate of success for cadet pilot applications? How many people apply and how many get in?

Press releases from Cathay have them onboarding 400 cadet pilots before the end of 2023, with the projected ongoing pilot shortage likely to mean that this increased recruitment will continue beyond that. We don’t yet have data on applicant numbers, but we assume they will be very high.

Whilst many Cathay Cadet applications are culled simply due to ineligibility (failure to meet minimum requirements), it remains VERY important to present a strong initial application.

Is age a factor in selecting cadet pilot applicants? Can you be too old?

Age may be a small factor, but historically, Cathay has accepted a fairly broad scope of ages into the program. This ranges from school-leavers, to university graduates, to established adults in other professions looking for a career change.

Do I need to have maths or science studies to be considered?

Maths and science are 2 areas specifically mentioned by Cathay in the prerequisites. Applicants with no maths or science studies may be at a disadvantage. We would strongly recommend completing some flight training beforehand to be able to demonstrate your passion for aviation, and your ability to progress as a pilot regardless of no maths/science study. Our Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) is perfect for this.

How long does it take to hear back from Cathay once you have applied?

We’ve been made aware of delays at all stages of the process due to HR shortages. It is possible that you could experience lengthy delays in hearing back from Cathay. Delays counted in months are not abnormal.

Are group exercises still a part of the interview process?

We understand that group exercises are not currently a part of Cathay’s online interview mode. Even if this is the case, there will still be areas of the interview process where you will need to demonstrate strong group or team working skills. One of the best ways to prepare for this is with group exercises, like those explored in our Airline Interview Coaching Session course.

Will Cathay resume their original cadet interview process?

Taking into consideration the current HR shortages, it is likely that Cathay will opt for a more online-based interview process for some time yet.

Are Direct Entry First and Second Officer roles also difficult to get into? Would you recommend doing more than the minimum hours required?

Even though direct entry roles are more based on experience and qualifications that you either already have or don’t have, they are still competitive. You will still need to prepare in order to present a strong application, and to present well in the interview phases – which is why we recommend considering a course like the Airline Interview Coaching Session.

How long can I expect to be a Second Officer at Cathay Pacific?

The Second Officer position has previously had a time limitation of 5 years imposed by the HK Civil Aviation Department. This may have been subject to some leniency during Covid. Upskilling a pilot whilst maintaining their rank may also bypass the 5 year requirement. However, with the growth and recovery the airline is experiencing, we expect accelerated progression will be likely in order to satisfy demand.

Does Cathay accept Hong Kong Permanent Residents?

Yes – Cathay accepts HKPR for both Cadet Pilot and Direct Entry applications

If I have no flying experience, do I still have a chance of being chosen as a cadet?

The short answer is yes, but we don’t recommend leaving this to chance, and VERY strongly recommend that you have at least some flying experience prior to applying. If you have already applied, we still recommend looking at doing some flying prior to interview. And even if you have interviewed and been accepted – even then, we recommend doing some flight training as it will really help you to hit the ground running when your cadet flight training phase commences.

The current delays Cathay are experiencing in their cadet selection and training offer you a GREAT opportunity to get in some extra preparation and/or flight training regardless of where in the process you are. We recommend checking out our Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP), which includes both application/interview preparation and practical flight training. As an added bonus – the Australian Dollar is very low at the time of writing (Oct 2022) – this means that the process of coming to Australia to complete a program like the FCPP is far cheaper than it usually would be for HK pilots.

If I have already done PPL training, can I still apply?

Absolutely. We usually recommend training to RPL level, as this shows that you are able to progress through understanding the basics of flying, fly solo, and achieve a licence. To show that you have continued your training as far as PPL level will certainly not disadvantage your application, however Cathay may want to know why you didn’t progress with CPL, and clarify that you are happy to go back to the start for your cadet training.

Is the technical exam still a part of the process? What’s your advice in studying the technical interview in a short amount of time?

We believe this is part of the same testing that the CUT-E process is contained within. Whatever the current exact format, we strongly recommend that applicants should have an established basic knowledge of aerodynamics and general aviation topics. Cathay has many YouTube videos available, and a well prepared candidate should have watched all of them. In addition, the two texts from John’s bookshelf provide adequate technical knowledge for your preparation. These were “Ace The Technical Pilot Interview” by Gary Bristow and “Handling The Big Jets” by D.P. Davies

How long will Cathay be accepting Cadet Pilot applications for?

Cathay have a plan to recruit at least 400 cadets by the end of 2023. Given the longer term pilot shortage projections, we believe that there will be an ongoing need for consistent cadet pilot recruitment beyond 2024.

Do I have any aviation knowledge for the interview?

We will always recommend obtaining some technical aviation knowledge, and the best way to do this is by enrolling in some flight training.

If you wear glasses, can you still be accepted for the cadet program?

Many airline pilots wear spectacles or contact lenses when flying. The requirement to wear spectacles is generally not disqualifying for a cadetship or a medical certificate. The candidate should contact the HK CAD Medical Department or their Doctor for case-by-case advice.

Do I need to pass the ICAO English Test before I apply for the cadet pilot program?

You don’t need to have passed the Aviation English Language Proficiency (AELP) exam prior to application, however doing so may well be an advantage, and will at the very least speed up the process. The Cathay requirement is to achieve at least ICAO Level 4 – which is a conversational standard of English and easily achievable for most HK born English speakers.

How long does it take to complete the PolyU ground school and exam?

The latest advice we have received suggests that this phase may take up to 7 months.

If you took a lot of training hours to fly solo, could this negatively affect your application?

We all progress at different rates and in different environments. Going solo in itself is a massive achievement, and so we wouldn’t be too concerned about this.

If I completed flight training but it was 5 years ago – will that still be okay?

Having flight training from 5 years ago is certainly better than having no flight training. However, we would recommend doing a refresher lesson if it is possible to do so prior to applying or to the interview.

What does the Airline Interview Coaching Session include, and how long is it?

The Airline Interview Coaching Session includes 8 hours of either face-to-face or live online training. The syllabus includes airline selection process methods, optimal CV presentation, HR interview skills, technical assessment expectations, group exercises and more. Click here to learn more.

Does every applicant get a chance to interview?

No – which is why preparing a solid application is SO important.

What is the top reason people fail the interview?

There are many reasons that can cause applicants to fail the interview process. Essentially though, they essentially all come down to lack of preparation.

I have recently failed the Cathay final cadet interview, and can not reapply for 9 months. What would you recommend learning in the meantime?

We would recommend starting your preparation now. Even more-so, we would recommend including some flight training. This would improve your knowledge and skills, AND importantly it would provide evidence of your dedication to an aviation career. A course like the Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) is perfect for this.

How would you foresee the growth of female pilots in the future?

The future for female pilots is very bright. Airlines around the world are proactively encouraging more female applicants. In addition, there are far better support networks available for female pilots at every level today than what have been available traditionally.

Are the training phases full time?

Both the ground school training at HK PolyU and the flight training phases are full time. On top of that, they involve absolute dedication. John advises that from his flight training phase time at FTA in Adelaide, Cathay Cadets devoted at least 6 days to study, school and practicum. They generally only took one day off a week for social time.

If I have done some flight training and put it on my CV, will that mean they ask me harder questions?

You should ALWAYS put as much information about the flight training you have completed on your CV. That may be the difference between being offered an interview or not. The questions you are asked in relation to the information on your CV should be relative to what your knowledge level should be.

Do you have further questions? Would you like to enrol in one of our highly successful Airline Interview Preparation courses? Please get in contact with us.

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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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!

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Becoming an Airline Pilot in Hong Kong in 2023 – Part 1 – Cathay Cadet Pilot

If you have dreamed of flying for Cathay Pacific, you now have a great opportunity to realise those dreams. Cathay have announced a huge airline pilot recruitment drive over the next few years. This includes recruiting and training hundreds of cadet pilots. But how does the Cathay Cadet Pilot Program work, and who can apply? Read on to find out!

Who Can Apply for the Cathay Cadet Pilot Program?

Cadet pilot programs in general are aimed at people who do not have, or have very little, prior flying experience. They are a fantastic opportunity for people who have a passion for aviation as well as the ambition to become an airline pilot.

If accepted, you will complete flight training, with a provisional offer of becoming an airline pilot with Cathay following successful completion.

To apply for the Cathay Cadet Pilot Program, you must:

– Be aged 18 years or older
– Be a Hong Kong Permanent Resident or Citizen
– Have graduated from secondary school with good passes in English language, Mathematics or Science; a degree in any discipline will also be considered provided you meet the secondary school criteria.
– Be physically fit, as well as qualified for a Civil Aviation Department (HKCAD) Class 1 Medical Certificate
– Be able to meet Cathay’s flight deck reach requirements
– Achieve ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) English Language Proficiency level 4 or above
– Have had at least 3 COVID vaccinations

How Do You Apply?

Initial qualification applications must be submitted via the Cathay Pacific website. If you qualify, you will then be invited to submit a formal application: https://careers.cathaypacific.com/jobs/cadet-pilot-cathay-pacific

How Does the Application Process Work?

If Cathay selects you to progress to interview, you can then expect to go through multiple stages. Here’s an overview:

1. Qualify for application
2. Application
3. Vaccination confirmation
4. ICAO confirmation
5. CUT-E aptitude test, maths and working behaviour test
6. HR interview
7. Group exercise interview and flight planning exercise
8. Final interview
9. Medical checks
10. Background check
11. Cadet training sponsorship offer

Update: Recent information suggests that the group exercises are currently not part of Cathay’s online interview mode. However, teamwork and group skills will still form an essential of Cathay’s selection criteria. We strongly recommend that they form a part of your preparation.

In addition, due to HR shortages, there are administrative delays in the application process. You can help your application by getting some of the prerequisites sorted before you apply. This includes the COVID vaccinations, and also the ICAO English test.

How Does the Training Process Work?

The training phase of the Cathay Cadet Pilot Program takes approximately 60 weeks to complete. Here’s how the progression works:

1. Induction Session
2. Ground School
3. Ground School Exam Passed
4. Flying Phase (CPL+MECIR+ATPL)
5. Flying Phase Passed
6. Contract Offered
7. Multi Crew Cooperation & Airline Transition Training
8. Type Rating (B777 / A350 / B747)
9. Line Training

Update: At the moment, the Cathay Cadet Pilot Program process is being affected by staff shortages. This is affecting timelines across the entire process – from application right through to the training phases.

Where Does the Training Happen?

Ground school takes place at Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hong Kong. Following this, there are 2 providers for the flight training phase. These are:

– Flight Training Adelaide based in Adelaide, Australia; and
– AeroGuard based in Phoenix, USA

Following the flying phases, the remaining training takes place in Hong Kong.

Do You Have to Pay for the Training?

Cathay Cadet Pilot Program trainees can take out a loan from Cathay. You then pay this back over a minimum service period once you start working for them. There are living allowances provided at various stages of the training phases. For the phases that take place in Hong Kong, you will be based on campus with meals provided in addition to board.

What Preparation Should You Do Before Applying?

Because you don’t require any prior experience, applying for cadet pilot positions is extremely competitive. Therefore, this means that submitting a strong initial application is very important to get you through the interview stage. In addition, you will need to perform strongly throughout the interview stage.

Preparation is everything, and consequently, the right preparation will make an enormous difference. You don’t require any flying experience to apply – however, we strongly recommend it. This is for 3 reasons.

Firstly, flying experience on your CV shows that you are dedicated and passionate about aviation. Secondly, being able to demonstrate your flying knowledge will benefit you during the interview process. Finally, the flight training process is a fast-paced pressure environment, and if you can’t keep up then there is a chance you may fail. If you are able to go into the flight training phase having already completed some initial training, you won’t find it as stressful, and consequently you will greatly improve your chances of success.

How Can Learn To Fly Help?

Learn To Fly Melbourne’s specialised Airline Interview Preparation Programs have helped hundreds of pilots to achieve success with multiple leading airlines internationally, including the Cathay Cadet Pilot Program. We offer 2 courses:

The Airline Interview Coaching Session guides you through airline recruitment processes, in addition to the various elements and phases that make up the interview. You’ll learn how to present the best possible application, and then perfect the skills required for optimum interview performance using scenarios created from actual airline interview processes.

This session can be taken either in-person or online, and is presented by airline interview specialist John Sabato, who is a former Cathay airline pilot himself.

The Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) is a comprehensive course that combines aviation theory and practical flight training, as well as the Airline Interview Coaching Session. Firstly, it equips you with the knowledge and skills necessary to prepare and submit a high quality application. Then, it allows you to follow it up with confidence throughout the interview stages. And finally, the practical training helps you to excel in the cadet program flight training phase.

The FCPP has 3 package options available:

Lite: 5 flying hours, 2 LTF sim hours, as well as 1 B737-800 sim hour
Solo: 15 flying hours, 2 LTF sim hours, as well as 1 B737-800 sim hour
RPL: 25 flying hours, 2 LTF sim hours, as well as 2 B737-800 sim hours

Want to know more? Schedule a meeting with us or get in contact, and one of our flight training specialists can answer your questions. It’s a very exciting time for pilots who want to fly for Cathay, and therefore the time to start preparing is NOW!

Our next blog with dive into the process for training and applying for Direct Entry Cathay airline pilot roles.

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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FAQs About Obtaining Your Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL)

Always wanted to fly recreationally, but not sure how to take steps and make it a reality? The Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) is your first pilot licence, and where every pilot’s aviation training journey begins.

During a recreational pilot training course you will learn the fundamentals of how to taxi, take off, fly, and safely land an aircraft. The course consists of both practical and theoretical training, eventually flying solo, and finally completing the RPL flight test.

Once you have your RPL, you can continue with further training if you want. The next licence is the Private Pilot Licence (PPL) and then, if you want to fly professionally, you can continue on to Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) training.

The following frequently asked questions give you some more insight into the RPL process and requirements.

What are the general requirements for being able to obtain a Recreational Pilot Licence?

To obtain a Recreational Pilot Licence, you need to:

– Be at least 16 years old
– Have a current CASA issued medical certificate
– Build 20 hours in flight training with a flight instructor and 5 hours solo flying
– Pass an aeronautical theory exam and a flight test in a CASA approved aircraft in the presence of a CASA approved flight examiner.

Whilst you must be 16 years old to obtain the licence, you can actually start the training earlier than that. You must be at least 15 years old to fly solo (without an instructor).

How long is the training process?

The time it takes pilots to complete the RPL varies. Generally, if you decide to complete full time recreational pilot training (meaning flying and studying 4-5 days per week) you could be finished with your training within 4-6 weeks. Part time training will depend on exactly how much time you have available, but flying 1-2 days per week you will likely be finished in approximately 4-6 months.

What does a Recreational Pilot Licence allow me to do?

A Recreational Pilot Licence allows you to fly a single-engine aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of 1500kgs up to 25nm from your departure aerodrome, in Visual Flight Rules (VFR) conditions. You can carry up to three passengers, as long as you hold at least a Class II medical certificate.

If you are looking to fly further or carry more passengers, you will need to continue on to Private Pilot Licence training.

What theoretical training do I have to do?

You will need to complete the Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) Theory course, which is broken in to the following subject areas:

– Aerodynamics
– General Aircraft Knowledge
– Human Factors
– Meteorology
– Air Law
– Navigation
– Flight Planning and Performance

You don’t have to complete the theory and practical syllabus at the same time. It’s possible to complete the RPL theory as a standalone course and then organise to complete the practical RPL flight training components separately.

We offer our standalone RPL theory course in a range of delivery methods including face to face or online. Completing the theory course online often works well for overseas pilots, as they can study theory in their home country and then only have to come to Australia to complete the practical flight training.

How do I maintain my licence?

After being approved for your licence, you are required to have a flight review with an Instructor every 2 years. If you are planning on flying with a passenger, you must have completed 3 take-offs and landings in the last 90 days.

It is of course recommended that you fly regularly (at least one hour per month). This is so you can ensure your general handling skills and emergency procedures are maintained. It’s essential that you keep your flight skills fresh to make sure you are safe in the air.

Are there any medical requirements?

There are some medical requirements for recreational pilots, but less than what is required to be a professional pilot. CASA requires that you obtain a medical certificate, but there are options.

You can fly on what is known as a Basic Class 2 medical certificate. This must be issued by an appropriate medical practitioner. The standards for this are similar to those required to drive a motor vehicle commercially. A Basic Class 2 medical certificate does have some operational restrictions though. To avoid this you require a standard Class 2 medical certificate, which must be issued by a Designated Aviation Medical Examiner (DAME).

There may be further medical requirements you need to meet if you have pre-existing health conditions or are over the age of 75.

For more information on recreational pilot training, get in touch with one of our Learn to Fly Flight Training Specialists. We can help to find the best way to get your flight training journey started.

Did you know that we have free Recreational and Private Pilot Licence flying lesson videos available on our YouTube channel? Check out the video below and don’t forget to subscribe so you get notified when new videos go live! 👇

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Learn To Fly Email Contacts

Make a specific enquiry or email an instructor directly by clicking the email addresses below:

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Flight Instructors

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Cam Meyer [email protected]

Elton Malowney [email protected]

Eric Sim [email protected]

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Jed Joven [email protected]

Josh Best [email protected]

Kenny Won [email protected]

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Nick Harris [email protected]

Paul Wydymus [email protected]

Stefano Liucci [email protected]

Stephen Kong [email protected]

Summer Russell [email protected]

Thomas Logan [email protected]

William Thomas [email protected]

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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.

If you simply want to get airborne and experience the thrill of piloting your own plane, then a Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) is where you start. It comes with some restrictions such as the type of plane you are qualified to fly and how many nautical miles you can travel from your departure aerodrome. Building on that is the Private Pilot Licence (PPL) which adds on navigation training, enabling you to fly anywhere in Australia.

But if you aspire to fly planes professionally, then you’ll need a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL). This can also be achieved by completing a Diploma of Aviation, which is a fantastic option. But why is completing a Diploma such a good option for aspiring career pilots? Read on to learn more!

Understanding your Options

At Learn To Fly’s Melbourne flight school, we pride ourselves on not simply training pilots, but producing future captains. We offer two Diploma of Aviation courses – the AVI50222 Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane) and the AVI50519 Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Rating) course. Please note that the course code for the Commercial Pilot Licence Diploma has changed recently from AVI50219 to AVI50222.

The Diploma of Aviation courses commence at several intakes throughout the year – January, April, July and October. Applications for the October 2022 cohort have just closed, with enrolments now open for the January 2023 intake.

As approved courses on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS), both the AVI50222 and AVI50519 courses allow overseas students to apply for a student visa. Completing the required training to obtain a CPL in Australia is very difficult to achieve for overseas students without this visa.

AVI50222 Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane)

If you wish to make flying your career, then the AVI50222 Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane) is the course for you. The training requires little to no experience prior to course commencement, and follows CASA Part 142 syllabus. In addition to the standard CASA training syllabus, the course features extra modules designed to better prepare students for entering and working in the aviation industry.

Throughout the course you will achieve a Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL), Private Pilot Licence (PPL) and finally the Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) and Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane).

AVI50519 Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Rating) course

The AVI50519 Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Rating) course combines multi-engine and instrument training, which is a compulsory requirement for many aviation careers, including that of airline pilot.

The syllabus offers CASA Part 142 Multi-Engine Class Rating and Multi-Engine Instrument Command Rating (MECIR) training, which is completed in both simulators and real aircraft. Receive instruction in our world class ALSIM AL42 simulator, which is a full cockpit synthetic trainer replicating the Diamond DA42 aircraft.

As with the AVI50222 course, there is additional learning included that specifically helps students to better transition from training to actually working as a professional pilot. Holding a Commercial Pilot Licence is a prerequisite for commencing this Diploma.

VET Student Loans (VSL)

Both of our Diploma courses have Vet Student Loans (VSL) available to support eligible students. This is a Commonwealth program that assists suitable candidates with a loan to cover tuition fees and the ability to repay the funds gradually once employed. You can find out more on our VSL page here: https://learntofly.com.sg/vet-student-loans/

Further Training – Griffith University Bachelor of Aviation

Students that have completed both the AVI50222 and AVI50519 Diploma of Aviation have the opportunity to join the renowned Griffith University Bachelor of Aviation program with advanced standing via an articulation pathway.

Our 2 Diploma courses allow you to obtain 80 credit points, meaning that you only need a further 160 to obtain the Bachelor of Aviation. Essentially, this pathway gives you the opportunity to complete 5 highly-regarded aviation qualifications (Commercial Pilot Licence, MECIR, 2 x Diploma of Aviation and Bachelor of Aviation certificates) in just 3 years.

A World of Piloting Possibilities

For local students, the option to apply for VSL makes an aviation career more accessible. For overseas students, the ability to apply for a student visa allows them to study more easily in Australia. Regardless of your background, a Diploma of Aviation will open up a world of piloting possibilities to you.

The qualifications themselves are well highly regarded within the industry, and the additional training provided on top of the standard pilot licence syllabus to better prepare you for your career is a great advantage to have. If you have a dream of a career in the skies flying as a professional pilot, then make it a reality and visit our Melbourne flight school to learn more about enrolling in a Diploma of Aviation.

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How to Become an Airline Pilot in Australia

When we ask our students what their goals are, most of them tell us that their ultimate flying goal is to become an airline pilot. Maybe this is because so many aspiring pilots gained their fascination of aeroplanes and flying when they were young. And for a lot of youngsters, their first experience of flight came from flying in an airliner. Understanding the pathway towards achieving your goals is so important when learning to fly. So – how do you become an airline pilot in Australia?

There are 2 main pathways towards becoming an airline pilot in Australia. The first involves taking a traditional training pathway and building your flying hours gradually, then applying for “Direct Entry” airline jobs. The second pathway is to be accepted into a cadet pilot program. Read on to find out more about how each pathway works.

Pathway 1 – Commercial Pilot Licence & Airline Direct Entry

The pathway that most people take to become an airline pilot in Australia involves first completing the CASA training to achieve a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL). This can be achieved by completing each of the 3 CASA licences sequentially. Alternatively, you can complete the AVI50222 Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane) course which covers all 3.

Once qualified, pilots add ratings and endorsements (and an Air Transport Pilot Licence), and build their flying hours until they meet the direct entry airline entry requirements.

Here’s an overview:

1. Complete Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL)
2. Complete Private Pilot Licence (PPL)
3. Complete Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL)
OR Complete a Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence)
4. Build Flying Hours and add Ratings & Endorsements
6. Apply for Direct Entry Airline Jobs

What is the Next Step After the Commercial Pilot Licence?

Once you are qualified as a commercial pilot, your next step to become an airline pilot in Australia is to build your flying hours. Airlines in Australia will have minimum flying hour requirements for their Direct Entry opportunities.

In addition, you’ll need to add some Ratings and Endorsements to your CV – most notably multi-engine and instrument flying. You can complete a Multi-Engine Class Rating and Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating (MECIR) as separate courses. Alternatively, you could complete the AVI50519 Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Rating) course, which covers off both things.

What is the Best Way to Build Flying Hours?

There are a number of ways to build your hours. The BEST way is to of course find work as a commercial pilot. However, like airline roles, many other commercial pilot roles will themselves have minimum hourly requirements.

Becoming a Flight Instructor is an excellent solution. You can complete a Flight Instructor Rating straight after obtaining your CPL, and start earning money as a pilot AND building your hours immediately. Flight instructing is actually a great career pathway in itself, and an excellent additional skillset to have regardless of your longer-term goals.

How Many Hours Do I Need to be an Airline Pilot in Australia?

The number of flying hours required for Direct Entry roles varies between airlines, and also changes over time. Therefore, if you are aiming for this pathway then you’ll need to stay informed on the current requirements for your target airline.

An example of the Jetstar Direct Entry A320 First Officer / B787 Second Officer requirements (current as at August 22, 2022) are listed below:

– 1500 hours total aeronautical experience
– 500 hours PIC or FO on multi-engine
– 250 hours PIC (may include 150 hours PICUS)
– Hold an Australian ATPL (Part 61) or CPL with passes in all Australian ATPL subjects
– Hold an Australian Multi-Engine Aeroplane Instrument Rating with a 2D and 3D endorsement
– ICAO English Language Proficiency Level 6 on your Licence
– Current Class 1 medical certificate issued by CASA

You could also look at the requirements of airlines overseas. We’ve recently seen airlines in the USA specifically target Australian-trained pilots, with very achievable minimum hours and some attractive sign-on benefits.

Pathway 2 – Cadet Pilot Program

Most airlines have their own cadet pilot programs, which can be a great way to become an airline pilot in Australia. Essentially, cadet pilot programs offer the opportunity to complete commercial pilot training under an initiative overseen by the airline itself. The aim is for pilots who successfully complete the program to then be offered a job by the airline.

You generally don’t require any flying experience to apply (although having some basic experience may help your application). For this reason, the application process for cadet pilot programs is usually VERY competitive. We offer the Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) course that has been developed specifically to help strengthen your cadet pilot application.

Whilst cadet programs have their obvious benefits, there are some drawbacks. Training is still completed at the cadet’s own cost, and whilst the program is conducted in conjunction with the airline, it doesn’t actually guarantee you a job at the end.

Cadet programs can also require the cadet to make a longer-term commitment to the airline – sometimes for many years.

Other Aviation Careers

There is no doubt that becoming an airline pilot in Australia can offer a very rewarding professional pilot career. Whilst becoming an airline pilot is a popular goal for pilots to aim for, it’s important to note that there are many other fantastic pilot career options available. These include:

– Flight Instructor
– Cargo Pilot
– Charter Pilot
– Agriculture Pilot

Chat to one of our flight training specialists today about your flight training goals, and how we can help you to reach them! Contact us or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and a tour of our Moorabbin Airport training base.

Follow us on social media for free flight training videos and much more at https://linktr.ee/learntoflymelbourne

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Learn To Fly: Flight Training Courses For Every Pilot

Here at Learn to Fly, we’re passionate about helping all people achieve their aviation dreams. While some of our students are driven to pursue a professional full-time career as a pilot, others may have piloting a single solo flight as one of the top items on their bucket list. Whatever your aviation journey looks like, Learn to Fly is here to support you with our broad range of flight training courses.

Continue reading to learn a little more about the programs we offer, and questions you should ask yourself when deciding on which type of flight training in Australia is right for you.

Beginner Programs

Ready to kick start your aviation journey? How exciting! Learn to Fly offers a number of different flight training courses that are perfect for beginners.

Trial Introductory Flight

Sitting in the cockpit of a light plane is quite different to being a passenger back in economy. Whether you aspire to be behind the controls yourself one day or just want to experience what it feels like to sit alongside a qualified pilot, our Trial Introductory Flight is the perfect way to get started. 

Learn to Fly Starter Set

The Learn to Fly Starter Set is perfect for those who want to get an idea of what it feels like to actually fly a plane before committing to a more comprehensive flight training program. With three package options available, all flying hours will be documented in your logbook and will count towards future flight training. Should you decide you want to continue on your aviation journey, you will have developed excellent basic skills and have already ticked off your first few flight hours! 

Learn to Fly First Solo Flight Course

You’ll never forget your first flight as pilot-in-command. Learn to Fly’s team of experienced instructors will provide you with the skills and confidence you need to feel comfortable in control of the cockpit. We’ll teach you the fundamental aviation skills that allow you to take off, climb, turn, fly straight and level, descend, and land. The goal is for you then to take to the skies solo and put what you have learnt into practice!

Pilot Licence Courses

In Australia, the aviation industry is governed by CASA, or the Civil Aviation Safety Authority. CASA offers a range of licences designed to suit the aviation needs of each and every type of pilot.

In line with this, Learn to Fly’s range of pilot licence courses are comprehensive and will provide you with the skills, experience, and flight training hours you need to successfully obtain your desired licence.

Our Pilot Licence Programs include:

Recreational Pilot Certificate (RPC)
Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL)
Private Pilot Licence (PPL)
Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL)
Indian DGCA Syllabus Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL)
ICAO Pilot Licence Conversion

Ratings and Endorsements

Once you successfully obtain your desired pilot’s licence, the journey isn’t over. A range of ratings and endorsements are available to extend your skills. These enable you to fly different aircraft, partake in more types of flying activities, or fly in more weather and light conditions.

Learn to Fly’s portfolio of Rating and Endorsement programs include:

Flight Instructor Rating (FIR)
Night Visual Flight Rules (NVFR) Rating
Private Instrument Flight Rating (PIFR)
Multi-Engine Class Rating
Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating (MECIR)
Formation Flying Endorsement
Aerobatics and Spinning Endorsement
Tailwheel Undercarriage Endorsement (TWU)
Upright Prevention & Recovery Training (UPRT)
Instrument Proficiency Check (IPC) Refresher Course

Diploma of Aviation Courses and Bachelor of Aviation Pathway

If flying as a full-time professional career is your goal, there are many pathways available to get you there. In addition to pilot licence programs, Learn to Fly offers Diploma of Aviation flight training courses.

AVI50222 Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence — Aeroplane)

Aimed at students with little to no flight experience, our AVI50222 Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence — Aeroplane) course is a comprehensive training program. Students progress through CASA RPL, PPL and CPL syllabus. There is also additional learning on top of the CASA syllabus. This helps students to be better prepared to take on a professional role in the aviation industry following graduation.

AVI50519 Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Rating)

Learn to Fly’s AVI50519 Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Rating) combines the Multi-Engine Class Rating and the Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating (MECIR) syllabus. These are both critical qualifications. The training teaches you to fly an aircraft with more than one engine, and under Instrument Flight Rules. If becoming an airline pilot is your goal, this training is a necessity.

Bachelor of Aviation (Griffith University) Articulation Pathway

We are thrilled to offer an articulation program for students wanting to study Griffith University’s renowned Bachelor of Aviation program. By completing both the AVI50222 and AVI50519 Diploma of Aviation courses, you will be eligible to apply for the Griffith University Bachelor of Aviation program with advanced standing (80 credit points).

This pathway offers the ability to complete 5 highly-regarded aviation qualifications in just 3 years. These are the Commercial Pilot Licence, Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating, 2 x Diploma of Aviation, and Bachelor of Aviation.

Airline Interview Preparation

Much like any job application process, an airline interview can be a nerve-wracking experience. The secret to success for many applicants has been our airline interview preparation programs. These include the Future Cadet Pilot Program and Airline Interview Coaching Session.

Tailored to your needs, these courses provide crucial learning on how to best prepare for a successful interview and application process.

Theory Courses

Being a successful pilot requires a mix of practical skills and theoretical knowledge. But it’s not always practical for pilots to study both together. Learn to Fly’s range of standalone theory courses are offered in a range of delivery methods including in-person or online.

Our Theory Courses include:

Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) Theory Course
Private Pilot Licence (PPL) Theory Course
Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) Theory Course
Instrument Rating Examination (IREX) Theory Course
IPC Theory Revision Course
Principles & Methods of Instruction (PMI)
Human Factors Awareness Training Course
Pilot Fatigue Management Awareness Training

As one of the most comprehensive providers of flight training in Australia, Learn to Fly has courses to assist everyone from complete beginners to highly experienced pilots. We offer a well maintained and diverse fleet of aircraft, state-of-the-art facilities including full cockpit flight simulators, and Learn To Fly Melbourne experienced instructors. Contact one of our flight training specialists or book a meeting today to learn more about our programs, and to take the next step of your aviation journey.

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What Qualifications Do I Need to Become a Pilot?

There are many pathways to becoming a fully qualified pilot. There are also plenty of different types of pilots. Therefore, the qualification you choose to pursue — be it a Recreational Pilot Licence or a Diploma of Aviation — really comes down to what your long-term aviation goals are and the amount of time you have to dedicate to your dreams.

Here at Learn to Fly, we think there’s no better job than that of a pilot. Imagine getting paid to explore the skies. Your office is the clouds, your desk chair is the cockpit, not to mention your office view! Now, let’s find out about what qualifications different pilot types need.

Types of pilots

Not all pilots are qualified to control all types of aircraft. Several classifications dictate the type of plane you can fly, how far you can venture from your departure point, and the conditions you are able to fly in.

Firstly, let’s look at the simplest pathway to earning the title of ‘pilot.’

A Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) is the first step in the journey for any pilot. If your main goal is to just get up into the air and experience the sensation of being in control of a small light plane, the Recreational Pilot Licence is for you. This licence is the most basic licence, and RPL holders must stay within 25 nautical miles of their departure aerodrome.

Next in the progression of pilot classifications, we have the Private Pilot Licence (PPL). The PPL builds on skills learned during RPL training, and then adds navigation. The PPL qualification enables you to both plan and conduct flights anywhere in Australia.

Finally, there is the Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL), ideal for those who dream of becoming a professional pilot. Having obtained your CPL, you will be able to pursue a number of different pilot career paths. These include airline pilot, cargo pilot, agricultural pilot, flight instructor, as well as many others.

I want to become a full-time pilot: what do I need to do?

To fly professionally you will need a CPL. One of the best ways to get your CPL and fulfil your dream of becoming a full-time pilot is with a Diploma of Aviation course.

The AVI50219 Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane) course follows CASA’s Commercial Pilot Licence syllabus, with the added bonus of additional subjects to help best prepare you for the competitive aviation industry. Upon completion of the course, students will receive both a Commercial Pilot Licence and a Diploma certification.

The course is run at Moorabbin Airport in Melbourne and takes approximately 60 weeks of full-time study. This includes flight training hours, hours in our state-of-the-art full cockpit flight simulators, and onsite theory classes. Students must be at least 18 years old, meet English language standards, and have passed an aviation medical exam.

Learn To Fly Australia is proud to be a VET Student Loans approved course provider (RTO 45684) for the AVI50219 Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane) course.

Wherever you’re from and whatever your background, the Diploma of Aviation is an excellent option to consider. It provides a fantastic pathway to those looking to pursue their passion and enjoy a full-time aviation career. We also offer the AVI50519 Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Rating) course, which is highly recommended as an additional step before starting your career – as well as an articulation pathway towards achieving the Bachelor of Aviation with Griffith University.

Why Learn to Fly?

Learn to Fly is one of Australia’s leading flight schools. We offer a broad range of courses to meet the needs of every type of aviation student. We are passionate about making flight training affordable and accessible with modern aircraft, state-of-the-art facilities, and highly experienced flight instructors.

Our instructors train everyone from hobbyists to professional pilots:

– Flexible course options to ensure everyone can achieve their aviation aspirations
– Realistic pathways allowing students to achieve their flying goals.
– Diverse international student base
– Student accommodation facilities located just 15 minutes from our Moorabbin Airport training base

For more information about our Diploma of Aviation courses as well as information on how to enrol, contact our Learn to Fly flight training specialists today.

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Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) versus Visual Flight Rules (VFR) – What is the Difference?

If you have researched flying, you have likely heard the terms Instrument Flight Rules and Visual Flight Rules before. Or possibly their abbreviations – IFR and VFR. Essentially, these are 2 different sets of “rules” that determine when you can fly. But what do they mean, and what are the differences?

What Are Visual Flight Rules (VFR)?

Visual Flight Rules (VFR) refers to flights that can occur in conditions that allow the pilot to fly using visual cues outside of the aircraft. The pilot must be able to maintain visual reference to the ground and be able to visually see and avoid obstructions, and other aircraft.

Such conditions are referred to as Visual Meteorological Conditions, or VMC. The required VMC are slightly different in different airspace classes. See the graphic below for more information, taken from CASA’s Visual Flight Rules Guide (VFRG). This is a great online resource that any pilot can download.

Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC) – Source: CASA Visual Flight Rules Guide

What Are Instrument Flight Rules (IFR)?

When VMC are not present and flights cannot be conducted under VFR, then they must be conducted under IFR. Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) are rules which allow properly equipped aircraft to be flown in non VFR-conditions, under what are known as Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC).

IMC are conditions where pilots cannot rely on visual cues, so they need to be able to fly using the aircraft’s instruments. This includes flying after dark, as well adverse weather conditions like heavy cloud and/or heavy rain. As a very broad and general rule, if it’s not VFR, it’s IFR.

Some exceptions can apply, such as Night VFR and Special VFR. Night VFR allows you to fly at night as long as other VMC are present. Special VFR can be requested when some but not all VMC exist for the proposed flight – this is usually used for training flights around an aerodrome and must be approved by ATC.

Flight Planning for VFR and IFR Conditions

As you might expect, flight planning is greatly affected by whether the flight will be conducted under VMC or IMC. Flying VFR affords the pilot far more freedom in planning. The pilot can choose the route and altitude of their flight – of course taking into account other airspace restrictions.

All IFR flights must be planned, with a pre-determined route that has been cleared by ATC. IFR flying involves set procedures for en-route, departure and approach. You will also obviously need an aircraft that meets IFR requirements.

When choosing whether to fly IFR or VFR, pilots generally consider the goals of the flight as well as the conditions. For a training flight that requires flexibility, VFR makes more sense. For longer or more direct flights, pilots may plan for an IFR flight even though conditions are potentially appropriate for VFR. This is due to the efficiency and added safety that IFR flight planning provides.

DA42 Instrument Flying Clouds
A Diamond DA42 above the clouds, during an Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) training flight

Flight Training for Instrument Flight Rules

As mentioned above, most training flights require a level of flexibility. That means that the majority of flight training needs to occur under VFR conditions. Whilst basic instrument flying forms part of initial flight training, it does not allow you to fly under IFR.

To be able to fly under Instrument Flight Rules, you need to obtain an Instrument Rating. Instrument Rating training teaches you how to fly using your instruments, without relying on visual cues outside the aircraft. To start instrument training, you must hold at least a Private Pilot Licence (PPL) or Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL).

Instrument Rating training includes en-route, departure and approach endorsements – which is what you will need to have when planning IFR flights. A lot of instrument training can be done in flight simulators, like our Alsim AL42 full cockpit synthetic trainer. This allows you to fine tune your procedures on the ground.

Our Private Instrument Flying Rating (PIFR) course is great for private pilots requiring IFR. It allows you to choose just the specific endorsements you require. For pilots who want to fly professionally, the Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating (MECIR) is an essential choice as it includes both instrument and multi-engine training.

If you would like to find out more, 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.

Follow us on social media at https://linktr.ee/learntoflymelbourne

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Flying at Night – Should You Get a Night VFR Rating?

Flying at night is a fantastic experience. Seeing a sprawling ocean of twinkling lights below is quite spectacular, especially if you live in a big city like Melbourne. To be able fly at night, you need to undergo specific training that must be done on top of your standard pilot licence, be that a Private Pilot Licence or Commercial Pilot Licence. There are 2 pathways you can take – the Night Visual Flight Rules (NVFR) pathway or the Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) pathway.

As a leading Australian flight school, Learn to Fly offers a huge range of pilot training courses, including the popular Night VFR Rating, as well as Instrument Rating courses.

Night VFR vs. IFR

The VFR in Night VFR stands for Visual Flight Rules which is a category of flying where flights can occur in meteorological conditions that are clear enough to see in. As a basic guide, pilots must have visual cues available to them during VFR flight.

IFR stands for Instrument Flight Rules. When weather conditions are not appropriate for flying by sight (ie thick clouds), flights may only be able to proceed under IFR. During IFR flights, a pilot relies on their instrumentation rather than visual cues.

Night VFR, therefore, refers to conditions in which a pilot can still have enough visual cues present even though it is dark. Night VFR is generally less common than Night IFR due to the combined added complexities associated with both flying at night and flying VFR. In fact, in CASA’s own words:

            “CASA strongly recommends that NVFR operations take place only in conditions that allow the pilot to discern a natural visual horizon or where the external environment has sufficient cues for the pilot to continually determine the pitch and roll attitude of the aircraft”

Which pathway should you choose?

The pathway you choose should ultimately depend on the type of flying you are intending to do in the future. However, Night VFR training is a lot more straightforward than completing an Instrument Rating, so this may be a consideration.

There are a couple of options for an Instrument Rating. A Private Instrument Flying Rating (PIFR) is a course that you can tailor to the types of instrument flying you want to do. A Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating (MECIR) covers all instrument flying, and also then allows you to fly aircraft with more than one engine.

Instrument Ratings also require all pilots to successfully complete the CASA Instrument Rating Exam (more commonly known as IREX).

Night VFR training is simpler and less costly. However, relying solely on VFR conditions will restrict the number of night time flying opportunities. In addition, the Instrument Rating itself obviously adds to the amount of daytime conditions you can fly in as well!

What to expect when flying at night

Before taking your first night flight, whether you’re in charge of the cockpit or simply accompanying a more experienced pilot, it’s a good idea to read up on what to expect. Firstly, it is worth noting that your aircraft must be adequately fitted in order to fly at night. This is the case regardless of whether the flight is under Night VFR or IFR rules. CASA strictly regulates this, with a number of lights (internal and external), radio equipment, and navigational aids required.

Be aware that it can take up to 30 minutes for your eyes to fully adjust to your surroundings. Before and during this time, it’s important that lighting inside the cockpit remains at an appropriate level. Red cockpit lighting can also help in this regard.

Similar to day flying day flying, the types of conditions you can expect when flying at night will vary dramatically. There may be situations where you are fortunate enough to have a full, unobscured moon to guide you. From a visual perspective, flying in these conditions may not be too different from flying during the day. Cloud cover may mean that your view below is obscured completely – this would obviously be considered an IFR flight. Pilots should always be aware of the conditions they are flying in but this is even more important at night.

Whilst somewhat uncommon, pilots flying at night do sometimes experience what are known as night flying illusions. Autokinesis, the black hole effect, flicker vertigo, false horizons, and sloping terrain illusions are all common illusions that pilots, both beginner and experienced, need to watch out for.

Night flying courses

Check out the links below to find out more about our night flying courses:

Night VFR (NVFR) Rating

Private Instrument Flying Rating (PIFR)

Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating (MECIR)

Flight Instructors can also complete a Night VFR Training Endorsement, that allows them to teach the Night VFR Rating course syllabus to students.

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

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Flight Instructor Rating – The Perfect Start For New Commercial Pilot Graduates

When you finish your Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) training, you can begin your pilot career. As a new professional pilot graduate though, 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!

About the Grade 3 Flight Instructor Rating Training Endorsement

As we have discussed in an earlier blog, the Flight Instructor Rating (FIR) course itself just allows you to teach student pilots. You then add Training Endorsements, and they are what determine what types of things you can teach. If you haven’t read that blog, we highly recommend clicking here to check it out.

Why is the Grade 3 Flight Instructor Rating Training Endorsement the Best Way to Start Your Career?

The Grade 3 Flight Instructor Rating Training Endorsement gives you the largest initial scope of what you are able to train. This scope includes basic RPL, PPL and CPL course syllabus. It allows you to teach both theory and practical flight training under VFR conditions.

This means that you can start to build your instructing and flying hours across a broad range of curriculum straight away. While you are doing that, you can gradually add further Training Endorsements that will allow you to expand the type of instructing you can do. This can include more aircraft types, more flight activities, and being able to fly in more conditions. And, you can do this while you are earning money as a Flight Instructor!

Most importantly, as the world recovers from the pandemic, flight training is booming. This means that there are plenty of job opportunities for Flight Instructors. So, as an initial starting point for your pilot career, this is a great move. Let’s take a look at how you can progress your career from there.

Your Career Path as a Grade 3 Flight Instructor
Start: Grade 3 Flight Instructor

Build your flying hours while earning money as a Flight Instructor. Add Training Endorsements to allow you to fly more often.

200 Hours Ab Initio Instructing: Grade 2 Flight Instructor

Once you have at least 200 hours of Ab Initio instructing, you can complete further training and a flight test to become a Grade 2 Flight Instructor. This ups your pay scale and allows further responsibilities, which means you can fly/instruct more, and therefore build hours even faster.

500 Hours Ab Initio Instructing: Grade 1 Flight Instructor

When you have accumulated at least 500 hours of Ab Initio instructing, you can complete the Grade 1 Flight Instructor course. Grade 1 Flight Instructors can supervise Grade 2 and Grade 3 Flight Instructors. Again, this ups your pay and provides more flying opportunities.

12 Months as Grade 1 Flight Instructor: Flight Examiner

When you have worked as a Grade 1 Flight Instructor for at least 12 months (plus at least 1,500 overall hours as Pilot in Command and at least 100 hours of RPL/PPL instructing in the 12 months prior, you can sit a flight test to become a Flight Examiner. Flight Examiners can command impressive fees, making this a potentially lucrative career in itself.

Charter/Private Pilot

The majority of private or charter pilot jobs will have a minimum flight hour requirement, as well as likely requiring extended flying experience (such as multi-engine, instrument flying etc). Working even just as a Grade 3 Flight Instructor will allow you to reach these minimum hours much faster. You will also have the opportunity to complete additional Ratings, Endorsements and Training Endorsements, all while you earn money.

Direct Entry Airline Pilot

If you want to apply for direct entry airline pilot jobs, you will need to meet minimum hourly requirements. Different airlines have different requirements, and as with charter/private pilot jobs they will also likely require extended flying (multi-engine and instrument at a minimum). 

On top of the benefit of being able to earn while you build your hours, airlines regard applicants that have Flight Instructor experience very highly. This is because being a Flight Instructor builds your interpersonal skills, your ability to manage, and your ability to work within a team environment. These are all qualities that airlines desire in a pilot.

Grade-3-Flight-Instructor-Rating
Gain valuable skills and build your flying hours working as a Grade 3 Flight Instructor.

It’s certainly possible to step into a number of professional pilot jobs immediately after completing your CPL. However, it’s important that you give yourself the best possible platform to start from. Starting off with a Grade 3 Flight Instructor Rating Training Endorsement provides you with the widest range of opportunities to grow your skills and experience and, in turn, gives you more career avenues to explore.

You can complete our Flight Instructor Rating course with a Grade 3 Training Endorsement. We also offer a wide range of further Training Endorsements. Email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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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).

Trial-Introductory-Flight-Learn-To-Fly-Melbourne-Hero
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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Learning Aerobatics in Melbourne – Adrenaline Pumping Fun & Key Aircraft Handling Skills

Aerobatic flying is spectacular to watch, and a huge adrenaline rush if you’re actually in the cockpit! But on top of the excitement, aerobatics and spinning training teaches you some extremely important handling skills, and also builds your confidence as a pilot. If you’re looking to learn aerobatics in Melbourne, we can help!

Let’s take a look at aerobatic flying itself, and what course you need to complete in order to be able to perform aerobatics.

About Aerobatic Flying

What is aerobatic flying? As a general definition, aerobatic flying involves performing manoeuvres that involve aircraft attitudes not used in normal flight. Aerobatics require precise control of the aircraft, and in addition many manoeuvres create high G and negative G forces.

Aerobatic manoeuvres cause enhanced stresses on the aircraft’s structure, or airframe. For this reason, you require an aircraft that is rated for aerobatics, like our 8KCAB Super Decathlon. The Super Decathlon has 4-point safety harness seatbelts, as well as an airframe that is built to withstand aerobatic stresses between +6g and −5g.

To perform aerobatics, you need to know how your aircraft will handle and perform. But you also need to know how your body is going to react to forces it won’t be used to. Knowing how your body responds to different G forces and learning to cope with them when they occur is an important confidence-building tool.

There are other regulations that must be adhered to for aerobatic flying, such as Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC), minimum altitudes, and minimum distances from populated areas or public gatherings. If you’re looking at flying aerobatics in Melbourne, Moorabbin Airport is a great training base, with plenty of favourable weather and suitable staging areas close by.

Aerobatics Courses in Melbourne

If you are looking to learn aerobatics, then the course you will need to complete is the Aerobatics & Spinning Endorsement. As the name suggests, this course teaches you how to handle an aircraft during both aerobatic manoeuvres and spins. You’ll complete ground theory and practical aircraft training, followed by an assessment flight.

Our Learn To Fly Aerobatics & Spinning Endorsement course at a glance:

– 5 Hours Ground School
– 7.5hrs Flight Training
– 8KCAB Super Decathlon Aircraft
– Moorabbin Airport

To be eligible to commence the Aerobatics & Spinning Endorsement course, you need to hold a valid Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL), Private Pilot Licence (PPL) or Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL).

Aerobatics & Spinning Endorsement – Course Process

Ground School

Briefings on flight dynamics, spin theory, airframes, and regulations, as well as physiological considerations including G forces and spatial disorientation.

Lesson 1 – Aerobatics

Learn and perform Loop, Barrel Roll, Aileron Roll, Hammerhead (Stall Turn), and Immelmann manoeuvres.

Lesson 2 – Spinning

Learn aircraft spin behaviour, and perfect successful recovery techniques from partial and fully developed spins.

Lesson 3 – Attitude Recovery

Learn how to detect and recover from the unusual aircraft attitudes created by spinning and aerobatic manoeuvres.

Assessment Flight

The Aerobatics & Spinning Endorsement assessment flight is a supervised solo flight where you will demonstrate all manoeuvres and techniques learnt during the course syllabus

Want to find out more about learning aerobatics in Melbourne? 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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What to Expect in a Cadet Pilot Interview

Securing a cadet pilot position can be difficult, even for skilled pilots with flight experience. The cadet pilot interview a very competitive process, designed to test every aspect of your suitability. Much like any job interview, you need to prove to your potential employer that you’re the best person for the role.

Don’t let this put you off pursuing your dreams of becoming a commercial pilot. There are plenty of strategies you can employ to help you stand out from the crowd.

Here at Learn to Fly, we believe that preparation is key when working towards a cadet pilot interview. Understanding what to expect from the interview process will give you the best chance possible of demonstrating your suitability and passion. Our Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) is perfect for anyone aiming to secure a competitive role in a cadet pilot scheme. The program covers absolutely everything you need to know and provides you with the tools for a successful interview.

What is a Cadet Pilot Program?

A cadet pilot program is one of the routes available to future pilots to kickstart their commercial aviation career.

These programs are often designed to take those with little to no flying experience from being absolute beginners to experienced professionals. Cadet pilot programs are usually run by airlines and successful applicants will usually be offered a position upon completion of their training. In this sense, cadet pilot programs differ from training courses offered by flight schools. However, they tend to cover similar Commercial Pilot Licence course materials, including practical and theoretical lessons.

In Australia, many of the top airlines offer cadet pilot programs, including Qantas and Jetstar. It’s important to be aware that there are some prerequisites that must be met before applying to a cadet pilot program. You must be at least 18 years old. You must also be capable of holding a CASA Class 1 Medical Certificate and demonstrate minimum levels of English proficiency. Some cadet programs may require that you are a citizen or permanent resident of Australia.

It’s worth checking all of these stipulations before going to the effort of preparing for a cadet pilot interview. 

The Interview Process

It can help to think of the cadet pilot interview process as much like any other type of job interview, if not slightly longer and more intense. Exactly what the process entails will depend on which airline you are applying to. All airlines, however, will be looking for some of the same important traits: passion, commitment, and good instincts.

To start with, you can expect the airline to ask you basic questions about your flight experience and why you want to be a pilot. Don’t be too concerned if you don’t have a lot of experience. After all, these programs are designed to cater to beginners. However, it will certainly help if you have spent at least a few hours exploring the clouds. Learn to Fly’s Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) can help give you that extra competitive edge. It includes flight training and simulation training as well as specific cadet application and interview training.

You’ll also likely be asked to participate in a skills assessment. This may include basic questions designed to demonstrate your maths, physics, and aviation knowledge. In addition to skills-based assessments, airlines are also keen to test your problem solving skills. This may also include group-based activities that test your ability to work in a team environment.

Sitting a cadet pilot interview can seem overwhelming. However, it can help to keep in mind that it’s really no different from any other type of job interview.

Tips and Tricks to Prepare

As the adage goes, preparation is the key to success. Many applicants arrive at their cadet pilot interview with the exact same goals, skills, and set of experiences. Being adequately prepared to answer whatever question is thrown at you can be the difference between you and the rest of the pack.

Learn To Fly’s Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) is unique in that it is designed to provide you with practical experience, theoretical knowledge, and interview training, covering every possible base in preparation for your interview. In addition to the flight and simulation training, you will receive extensive airline interview coaching from a highly experienced airline pilot.

We know what each airline looks for in their cadets. We will work with you to ensure you present as a motivated, diligent individual that aligns with the specific qualities they like to see.

We’re confident that our Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) covers every aspect of a cadet pilot interview. This means that you’ll go into the interview room knowing exactly what to expect. To learn more, contact one of our flight training specialists today.

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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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US Airline Jobs for Australian Pilots – What Are the Pilot Prerequisites?

Becoming an airline pilot is the ultimate dream for many people thinking about a career in aviation. Being a pilot in Australia, many have found that the Australian airline market is competitive. But what about airline jobs overseas? And what are the pilot prerequisites?

It’s no secret that Australia is seen by the rest of the world as a fantastic place for pilot training. This means that commercial pilots that have trained and qualified here in Australia already have an advantage when looking at roles in other countries. So, what makes US airline pilot jobs such a great opportunity?

The US airline pilot shortage

As the world starts to reopen post-Covid, US airline pilot jobs provide a very real and achievable career opportunity for Australian pilots. Recently we have seen articles from major US carriers like United and American Airlines talking about having to cancel services and routes simply because they don’t have enough available pilots to fly them.

As air travel was so severely disrupted during the pandemic, many airline pilots were stood down, while other more senior pilots opted to accept packages and retire. Consequently, many of these pilots are not returning to the industry. This, coupled with the speed at which air travel has bounced back, has quickly created a significant shortage of pilots.

US airlines have always been quite proactive in looking at Australian pilots. Now especially though, being a pilot in Australia means that you may well be in demand as a pilot in the USA! For Australian Citizens, getting an E-3 visa to work in the USA is also quite a straightforward process.

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As a result of the US airline pilot shortage, many planes have been left grounded.

What are the pilot prerequisites for US airline pilot jobs?

Different airlines in the USA have different pilot prerequisites depending on the role. As an example, Commutair are currently actively recruiting Australian pilots for direct entry First Officer roles with the following requirements:

1. Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate or Commercial Multi-Engine Land Pilot’s License with current Instrument Rating

2. Current First Class Medical

3. FCC Radio Operator’s Permit

4. Valid Australian Passport

5. Meet FAA ATP minimums (1,500 total flying hours),and at least:
– 100 hours night flying
– 75 hours instrument flying
– 200 hours cross country flying
– 50 hours multi-engine flying

There are other requirements you will need to meet such as the ATP theory exam, which is typically done before line check. There is also aircraft type training for successful applicants. But these things are usually organised by the airline.

With those additional requirements aside, you could potentially meet the pilot prerequisites with as little as 1,500 flying hours.

What is the E-3 visa process?

The E-3 Specialty Occupation visa allows Australian Citizens to work in “specialty occupations” in the USA. To be eligible for an E-3 visa you must demonstrate that you:

– Are a national of Australia
– Have a legitimate offer of employment in the United States
– Possess the necessary academic or other qualifying credentials
– Will fill a position that qualifies as a specialty occupation

An aviation Bachelor or Diploma would likely automatically qualify you for meeting the necessary academic qualifications. However, “qualifying credentials” can also include relevant work experience. So, if you meet the pilot prerequisites required for acceptance into the US airline job itself while being a pilot in Australia, you will likely meet this criteria based on “equivalent experience”.

The visa application process will be initiated by the employer once you have accepted their job offer.

What is the best way to meet USA airline job pilot prerequisites?

If you think that flying for an airline in the USA sounds like a good career move, we can help you to get there. Here’s how:

1. Complete a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) or AVI50219 Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane) course. Approx 12 months

2. Complete a Multi Engine Command Instrument Rating (MECIR) or AVI50519 Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Rating) course. Approx 6 months

3. Complete a Flight Instructor Rating (FIR) course. Approx 4 months

4. Build your flying hours while working as a Flight Instructor (this way you can get paid while you build hours, and instructing experience is always viewed in high regard by airline employers)

5. Complete an Airline Interview program like the Airline Interview Coaching Session. This highly successful course will help you to prepare your application and also to prepare for the interview itself

We also have a wide range of Ratings and Endorsement courses available. Adding Ratings and Endorsements to your licences can greatly increase the number of hours during which you can fly. For Flight Instructors, you can add Training Endorsements that allow you to instruct in a wider range of flight scenarios.

Want to learn more? Get in touch by email to [email protected] or schedule a meeting and school tour at https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting today!

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Frequently Asked Questions About Flight Training

If you’ve never flown a plane before, the idea of being the person in control of the cockpit might seem like a far off dream. Pilots are cool, calm, and collected — it can seem like they were born to take to the skies. In reality, they’ve just spent a lot of time training and have the confidence, skills, and knowledge to take on any and all situations. Anybody new to flying will have a lot questions about flight training.

Before even signing up to flight training in Australia, it pays to do your research. The pathway to achieving your goal can be quite different depending on what that goal is. Here at Learn to Fly, we’ve helped countless people with a range of different goals fulfil their dream of taking to the skies.

For some, a Trial Introductory Flight (TIF) is all they need to tick an item off their bucket list. For others, their goal of flying for fun might see them looking towards a Private Pilot Licence. If you want to fly professionally one day, a Commercial Pilot Licence or Diploma of Aviation is your pathway to success.

Whatever your aviation aspirations are, Learn to Fly is here to help. Here, we answer some of the most common questions about flight training. If, after reading this article, you still have any questions, you can always get in touch with one of our flight training specialists.

How old do I have to be to fly?

This is by far one of the most common questions that people ask. Here at Learn to Fly, we’re proud to offer a full range of flight packages and experiences designed to help people of all ages achieve their dreams.

As per regulations set out by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), you must be at least 15 to fly an aircraft solo. You can commence flight training prior to this, but until you are 15 you will always need to fly with an instructor. You need to be 16 to obtain a Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL), 17 to obtain a Private Pilot Licence (PPL), and 18 to obtain a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL).

If you are younger than 15, our Trial Introductory Flight (TIF) is the perfect opportunity to experience what it is like to fly a plane before deciding on whether you want to commit to further training. We also offer a range of simulation packages, which provide an enjoyable, realistic experience for all ages.

What are the steps to becoming a professional pilot?

This is one of the most common questions about flight training. To fly professionally, you will need to obtain your CPL. To start on CPL training you must first have completed and obtained your RPL and PPL.

For pilots who are yet to start any training, a great option is the AVI50219 Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane) course. This course includes RPL, PPL and CPL training as well as additional learning aimed at better preparing pilots for entering the industry once they graduate. This course is also approved for VET Student Loans (VSL) for eligible students. This means that you can train now, and only need to start paying back your course fees once you are earning money.

Once you have obtained your CPL, you are able to work professionally as a pilot. Depending on what kind of pilot role you want to work in, it may be of benefit to complete further training, like an Instrument Rating for example.

Learn To Fly has a range of additional Rating and Endorsement courses that allow you to upskill and give yourself the best chance at landing your dream pilot job.

Are there any prerequisites I must meet to fly?

As mentioned, CASA has a minimum age limit on who can undertake solo flights. There are a number of other prerequisites that must be met before completing flight training in Australia. These include a medical check, security clearance, Aviation English Language Proficiency (AELP) test, and registering for an Aviation Reference Number (ARN) with CASA.

You can contact Learn to Fly if you have any questions about how to meet the requirements to fly.

What aviation careers are available to me?

Many people become pilots with the dream of flying for an international airline, but that is not the only option. In reality, there are actually a wide range of career paths that pilots can choose from. You might choose to ferry cargo from one airport to another. Perhaps you’re interested in pursuing a career in the medical aviation industry, which is a very worthy endeavour. There are also always openings for agricultural pilots.

One of the best pilot career options is to become a Flight Instructor. Becoming a Flight Instructor is a rewarding career path on its own. In addition, it can be a fantastic stepping stone to another role, as it allows you to build flying hours and experience while you earn money.

Learn to Fly is passionate about helping all our students achieve their dreams, while also opening up doors that you may not have previously considered.

How much does flight training cost?

The answer to this question depends on a number of different factors. The cost of a course will depend largely on the number of flying hours it requires. Aircraft choice is another factor in determining how much training will cost.

If you are an international student, you will need to factor in the cost of your student visa plus living in Australia on top of your course fees.

Learn To Fly offers a range of payment options on our courses. We offer inclusive flight packages to give you a better indication of the overall cost upfront, and many of these can be split into interest-free monthly instalments. There is also the option to “pay as you fly”. Our Diploma courses have been approved for VET Student Loans (VSL) for eligible students.

We are dedicated to making flight training in Australia accessible to as many people as possible. We strive to make flight training more affordable, making it easier to achieve your dreams. Flying is a wonderful experience, and regardless of what your flying goals are, we look forward to welcoming you to our school. If you have any questions about flight training, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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Soar into the New Year with a Trial Introductory Flight

Oftentimes, the dreams on our bucket list never quite make it to reality. Maybe they require you to quit your job and move to a country on the other side of the world. Perhaps fulfilling a lifelong ambition requires too much time, money, or simply seems completely unrealistic. Well, as another new year approaches, one dream that CAN be fulfilled is taking the controls of an aircraft! Learn to Fly’s Trial Introductory Flight (TIF) gives you a first-hand experience of what it’s like to pilot a light aircraft.

This awesome experience can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. By choosing Learn to Fly, you can also complement the experience with a range of additional features and add-ons.

What to expect

Here at Learn to Fly, we know that some people undertake a trial flight as a one-off experience, perhaps to tick another item off their bucket list. Others may be considering a career as a professional pilot but first want to really make sure that this is a calling they feel passionate about and can see themselves succeeding in.

As such, our trial introductory flights are designed to suit a wide range of audiences. The flight will start with your instructor giving an introduction to the type of plane you will be flying in. At Learn to Fly, we have the resources at our disposal to provide you with a choice of what aircraft you want to go up in — the Foxbat OR Sling, or the Diamond DA40.

Following the introduction, where the pilot will outline how the controls work, you will be taken through a pre-flight checklist. This is the standard procedure that all pilots follow every time they fly, the trial introductory flight being designed to capture as closely as possible the real thing.

Now, it’s time to take to the skies. The pilot will, of course, be the one to control take-off, but having shown you a few basic manoeuvres, they may even let you have a go at putting your hands on the controls.  

At Learn to Fly, we offer trial introductory flights of either 30 or 60 minutes — it’s completely up to you how long you want to spend exploring the clouds.

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Take the controls and fly the aircraft yourself in our Trial Introductory Flight

Eligibility

Unlike some other types of flight training, there is no age limit on a trial introductory flight. This experience is designed for everyone!

However, you may be asked if you have any pre-existing health conditions that could interfere with your ability to safely control a plane or put other flight occupants at risk.

If you really enjoy your trial introductory flight experience, ask your Learn To Fly flight instructor about further training. The flight incorporates actual flying lesson content, meaning your time in the air will count towards additional training.

How to Book

Booking your trial flight couldn’t be easier. Simply visit the Learn to Fly website and select your plane, flight length, and preferred date. If you want to give a friend or loved one the ultimate present, we also offer a gift certificate option.

Add-ons

We know many of our trial flight participants have dreamed about this moment their whole life. With that in mind, we’ve put together a range of add-ons designed to make the day even more memorable.

While your time spent soaring amongst the clouds will no doubt remain firmly implanted in your memory, our video packages provide you with the perfect opportunity to relive your trial flight. All our aircraft are fitted with GoPro mounts, which allows your friends and family to join you in the skies.

For those wanting to go a step further, we even offer a 360 degree video option. This gives you a fully interactive recap of your flight from all angles!

For a small fee, we can also provide you with a laminated certificate, commemorating your very first flight! All the important details are featured, including your name and the flight details. Imagine how special this piece of paper will become once you’re fulfilling your life’s dream of piloting commercial airliners!

Finally, if the trial flight experience leaves you hungry for more, why not try our 737 Simulation? The simulator uses real instruments and systems to accurately capture what it’s like to be an international airline captain. What an experience!

The best way to start the new year is seeing what life is really like amongst the clouds. Contact Learn to Fly today to learn more about our trial introductory flight options and book yourself in for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity today.

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Fulfill Your Dream of Flying with a Diploma of Aviation

Many of us wonder what it might be like to be in the cockpit of a plane. Well, dream no more. Studying for a Diploma of Aviation with Learn To Fly will provide you with the knowledge, skills, and qualifications to become a certified pilot. Next time you’re jetsetting from Melbourne to New York, you could be the one in control of the plane!

Of course, obtaining a Diploma of Aviation takes considerable time and effort, as does going on to become an airline pilot. However, all who have studied with Learn to Fly would agree that it’s certainly worth the many hours you put in. After all, most of these hours will see you soaring through big blue skies or among the clouds. What more could you ask for?

Continue reading to learn a little more about what to expect from the Diploma, who is eligible, and how to apply.

AVI50219 Diploma of Aviation program summary

There are quite a few courses out there that offer pilots the opportunity to obtain their Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL), which is what you need to earn a living from flying. So what makes the AVI50219 Diploma of Aviation different?

Don’t let your beginner status get in the way of your dream to fly for a career. The 150 flying hour training syllabus will teach you everything you need to know to go from complete beginner to experienced pilot.

Upon successfully completing the course, you will receive both a Commercial Pilot Licence and a Diploma certification. However, the program is not just about you having the right pieces of paper. It not only teaches you all the practical skills you need to know to take to the skies with confidence. This includes flight planning, safe and accurate aircraft operation, operational decision making, navigation techniques, and how to safely operate in a busy and congested flight space.

The Diploma of Aviation flight training program follows the Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s Commercial Pilot Licence syllabus, and then the extended syllabus prepares you for actually working in the aviation industry. This means that the Diploma requires the participant to undertake theory classes and exams across a broad range of subjects, from aerodynamics to meteorology. Upon successful completion, you will be fully qualified and present as a highly competitive candidate to obtain your dream pilot job.

As a professional pilot, you may be responsible for the safety of a number of crew and passengers. Having finished the Diploma, you will have confidence in your skills and ability to make informed decisions to ensure the safety and security of all.

Eligibility

The Diploma is aimed at people with little to no flight experience. However, that doesn’t mean that just anyone can apply. There are prerequisites to ensure your safety and the safety of others around you.

You must be at least 18 years old to commence the program. Whilst Learn to Fly welcomes international students from all over the world, there is still an English language requirement. You must also organise an Aviation Reference Number.

How to apply

The application process for the AVI50219 Diploma of Aviation is relatively simple. It is also designed to make sure you are aware of the course demands. To start with, you must first check that you meet all eligibility requirements, as outlined above. You can then complete an Expression of Interest form. This will request some basic information about your aviation experience, career aspirations, and understanding of the obligations of a pilot.

Once this EOI is approved (more information may be requested by the selection committee), you can then complete the enrolment form. Your journey to becoming a qualified pilot will commence with a student orientation and induction session.

Why Learn to Fly?

With so many flight schools out there, why sign up with Learn to Fly?

Well, as a highly established and experienced flight school in Melbourne, we believe our passion for providing affordable and accessible flight training truly sets us apart. We understand that the cost of flight training can often be a prohibitive factor in people achieving their dreams. As such, we strive to provide high-quality, accessible training that enables you to reach your goals in an efficient manner.

Our fleet includes an array of different planes, including the single-engine Diamond DA40 and the twin-engine Diamond DA42. Our state of the art training facilities in Moorabbin are unparalleled and large enough to accommodate a significant number of students at one time. We have provided training to people from all types of backgrounds. Our graduates have gone on to achieve great things in the aviation industry. Our wide range of additional courses also allows you to expand your skillset and abilities.

The Diploma of Aviation is one of the best pathways to achieving your flying dreams. So, contact us today to take the first step towards your dreams of becoming a commercial pilot!

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Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) Training – What to Expect

To be able to fly a plane for a career, you first need to progress through Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) training. In this blog we outline what to expect from the course.

Is this the right time to start training?

With a roadmap out of lockdown finally in place and borders likely to open in the upcoming months, most of us have started dreaming about taking to the skies again. Whether it’s to spend the sunny Christmas and New Year holidays on the stunning beaches of Cairns or on the gorgeous Phillip Island, we all have big plans for the summer break!

But with Australia getting ready to travel in large numbers again, the prospect of a pilot shortage again looms. Many pilots have retired or been stood down during the pandemic, and it’s predicted that a lot of them may not return to flying. If you’ve been thinking about a career as a pilot, this is good news, and now is the time to start training towards your dreams!

Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) training prerequisites

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has strict rules and regulations for future pilots looking to gain a Commercial Pilot Licence. This is to ensure the safety of the pilot, the passengers flying with them, as well as those on the ground. Before you can successfully get your licence, you must meet the following criteria:

– Be at least 18 years of age at the time of CPL issue (you can start training at any age but must be at least 15 to fly solo).
– Complete in-flight training. For a CPL, this equates to at least 150 command hours, with 70 flown solo.
– Complete Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) and Private Pilot Licence (PPL) training (you will progress through this syllabus as part of the CPL course).
– Pass the CPL theory exams
– Pass the CPL flight test with a CASA accredited testing officer.

Medical requirements

A healthy pilot is a safe pilot. When flying commercially, it is not just your wellbeing you are responsible for. You’re also responsible for every other passenger and crew member in your plane. As such, it is important for you to meet certain CASA mandated medical requirements before you can get your CPL.

Before you commence your Commercial Pilot Licence flight training, it is essential for you to get a Class 1 medical certificate. This test typically tests your vision, hearing and heart health, as well as any family history for heart problems. You will need to answer questions about your general health and any medication you may be taking. You may also need to provide urine and blood samples. The purpose of this test is to ensure you are physically and mentally capable of piloting an aircraft.

Once you successfully attain the Class 1 medical certificate, this certificate will be valid for one year. The certificate requires regular renewal, for which you will have to provide updated medical results. Testing frequency is based on your age. For example, an ECG test will be first required at the age of 25, then at 30, then every two years until you turn 40, after which you will need to get tested annually.

Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) training process

Even if you have never previously piloted a plane or stepped inside the cockpit of a plane, you may still excel at becoming a commercial pilot. Learn to Fly’s CPL training program takes you through the basics of flying a plane, from learning about aerodynamics and the characteristics of the plane you are going to fly, through to learning new languages like radio speak and textual weather and learning new advanced maneuvering techniques.

Our Commercial Pilot Licence course will set you up for your career as a professional pilot. You will progress through the following training process:

Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL):

The first step to getting started on your commercial pilot career is successfully getting your Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL). This course will take you through the fundamentals of aerodynamics, basic manoeuvering, how to manage stalling and what to do in emergency situations. Once you have an RPL, you will be able to fly with up to 3 passengers within 25 nautical miles from your departure point.

Private Pilot Licence (PPL):

Second, you will progress through the requirements of getting a Private Pilot Licence (PPL). This course builds upon the skills you learnt in the previous course. It then takes them a few steps further by teaching you more navigation skills. You will also develop an understanding of Class C and Class E airspace procedures. This will enable you to fly further than 25 nautical miles. With a PPL, you can fly anywhere within Australia carrying up to 5 passengers.

Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL):

Finally, you will move on to your Commercial Pilot Licence training. In this course, you will learn more advanced aviation theory, conduct more navigation exercises and work on building your command hours. Getting a CPL means you are now a fully qualified commercial pilot and can use your skills to build a career.

With a Commercial Pilot Licence, you can choose out of several career options. From being a charter pilot, commercial airline pilot, flight instructor to an agricultural flying operator, the sky’s the limit for you!

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Commercial Pilot Licence training prepares you for a career as a professional pilot

Not sure if a career in aviation is for you? Try our Trial Introductory Flight (TIF) to get a taste of flying. See the world as a pilot sees it!

Want to find out more about Commercial Pilot Licence training? Email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Flight Instructor Training Endorsements – All You Need To Know

When you first complete a Flight Instructor Rating course, you will also need to complete at least 1 Flight Instructor Training Endorsement. So what are Flight Instructor Training Endorsements? In this blog we’ll outline the Flight Instructor Training Endorsements that are available. We’ll also guide you on how each of these endorsements can add value to your role as a Flight Instructor, and your progression as a professional pilot.

What are Flight Instructor Training Endorsements?

Flight Instructor Training Endorsements are endorsements that allow you to instruct specific flight training syllabus. Essentially, a Flight Instructor Rating alone teaches you how to instruct pilots. The training endorsements then dictate exactly what you are able to instruct on. So when you complete a Flight Instructor Rating, CASA requires that you also complete at least 1 training endorsement.

Most new trainee Flight Instructors opt to complete a Grade 3 Training Endorsement first. Read on to find out why, and to look at what other endorsements are available from there.

Grade 3 Training Endorsement

There are 3 levels of Flight Instructor, starting at Grade 3 and progressing through to Grade 1 (the most senior). A Grade 3 Training Endorsement allows you to instruct student pilots for the basic RPL, PPL and CPL course syllabus. It allows you to teach both theory and practical training. You are only able to instruct under VFR conditions, and on aircraft that don’t have features that require additional training (such as multi engine).

To achieve Grade 2 and Grade 1 status, there are minimum instructing hour requirements. So, you need to start at Grade 3. It is possible to start with a specific training endorsement (like an Aerobatics & Spinning, Multi Engine or Design Feature Training Endorsement for example). However, that would ONLY allow you to teach the syllabus for that specific endorsement’s scope. And therefore, starting with the Grade 3 Training Endorsement gives you far greater scope to instruct initially.

From there, you can add further training endorsements that will allow you to teach extended course syllabus on more aircraft, for more flight activities, and in more conditions.

Design Feature Training Endorsement

Some aircraft have design features that require additional endorsements. This includes Tailwheel Undercarriage, Manual Pitch Propeller Control (MPPC) also known as Constant Speed Unit (CSU), and more. Just having the relevant Design Feature Endorsement doesn’t allow you to instruct on that feature, which is why you need a Design Feature Training Endorsement. Once you hold a Design Feature Training Endorsement, you can instruct for any of the Design Feature Endorsements you hold.

Multi Engine Training Endorsement

As the name suggests, the Multi Engine Training Endorsement allows you to instruct students in multi engine aircraft for the Multi Engine Class Rating course syllabus. Having this flight instructor training endorsement obviously allows you to instruct on more aircraft, which in turn increases your potential to earn and build hours. To commence this course you need at least 50hrs multi engine flying experience.

Aerobatics & Spinning Training Endorsement

The Aerobatics & Spinning Training Endorsement allows you to teach the syllabus for aerobatic and spinning flight activities. Aside from being a LOT of fun for most pilots, knowing how to handle an aircraft in these situations is a great skill to keep current.

Night VFR Training Endorsement

Obtaining a Night VFR Training Endorsement means that you can instruct the syllabus for the Night VFR Rating course. This obviously allows you to increase the number of hours available to fly and instruct in. Plus, flying at night is pretty spectacular, especially in a city like Melbourne!

Instrument Rating Training Endorsement

Just as obtaining an Instrument Rating opens up a whole new world of flying, an Instrument Rating Training Endorsement opens up a whole new world of instructing. If you are looking to build flying hours, being able to instruct Instrument Rating syllabus is essential. This is even more important if your main training base is in an area prone to inclement weather. On top of that, instrument flying and instructing experience is very highly regarded when you are applying for roles to progress your career – especially airline pilot roles.

Grade 2 Training Endorsement

Progressing your Flight Instructor grade affords you more training privileges and allows you to earn a higher wage. Before you can move on from being a Grade 3 Flight Instructor, you need to accumulate at least 200hrs of Ab Initio instructing. You can then complete the Grade 2 Training Endorsement course.

As a Grade 2 Flight Instructor, you can approve first solo flights and conduct flight reviews for Ratings. You can also assess Knowledge Deficiency Reports (KDRs) for licence and rating grants, and grant endorsements on RPLs.

Grade 1 Training Endorsement

Grade 1 Flight Instructors are the highest level of instructors. As a Grade 1 Flight Instructor, you can expand your capabilities even further by supervising Grade 2 and Grade 3 Flight Instructors when they conduct flight training. Your wage will also increase again. To complete a Grade 1 Training Endorsement course, you must first have completed at least 500hrs of Ab Initio instructing.

Do you want to take your instructing career even further? Achieving Grade 1 Flight Instructor status can also allow you to consider becoming a Flight Examiner. To apply to become a Flight Examiner, you:

– Must have been a Grade 1 Flight Instructor for at least 12 months
– Need to have at least 1,500hrs as Pilot in Command overall; and
– Must have completed at least 100hrs of RPL/PPL instructing in the previous 12 months

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Flight Instructor Training Endorsements allow you to grow your capabilities as an instructor.

Becoming a Flight Instructor is a great way to build your flying skill set. It’s also a great move for your pilot career, as you can earn money while building your experience and your flying hours in preparation for your next career move. As far as job availability goes, Flight Instructor roles are in demand and will continue to be well into the future.

Want to know more about Learn To Fly’s Flight Instructor Rating or Flight Instructor Training Endorsement courses? Email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Private Instrument Flight Rating (Private IFR) – Should You Get It?

Flying under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) conditions alone can be quite restrictive for private pilots. Planning around light and weather heavily reduces the amount of time you can fly, especially if you are flying in a place with changeable weather like Melbourne. Having said this, there may only be a handful of situations that require instrument flying privileges, and so completing a full Instrument Rating course might not really be required. The good news is that the Private Instrument Flight Rating (also known as Private IFR or PIFR) course allows you to choose exactly which instrument flying endorsements you need.

This means that obtaining a Private IFR is far faster and less expensive than undergoing full Instrument Rating training. So, is this the right option for you? Read on to find out!

What is the difference between Visual Flight Rules (VFR) and Instrument Flight Rules (IFR)?

VFR and IFR refer to the meteorological conditions that a pilot operates under. The specific rules for each are determined by CASA, and are based on Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC) minima.

Basically, VFR means that weather (and light) conditions are clear enough for you to fly and navigate entirely visually. So, you must be able to clearly see visual references on the ground. You also need to see clearly enough to avoid other obstacles in the air (including clouds).

Any conditions outside of what CASA determines to be VFR are considered to be IFR. This is because they require you to use your instruments to fly, rather than being able to fly by visual reference alone.

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A Private IFR allows you to fly in more conditions than what VFR allows.

What is a Private Instrument Flight Rating (Private IFR)?

The Private IFR course can be completed in single or multi-engine aircraft. To commence the course you need to hold a Private Pilot Licence (PPL), Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) or Air Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL). You’ll also need to have passed your CASA Instrument Rating Examination (IREX) before progressing with the flight training syllabus.

A Private Instrument Flying Rating authorises the holder to act as a pilot in command of flights under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) in a single-pilot aircraft with MTOW of 5700kg or less. However, in its most basic form, a Private IFR still restricts the holder to flying in VFR conditions only when flying under Lowest Safe Altitude (LSALT). So to solve this issue, there are a range of endorsements that you can add. You can base these on the type of flying you want to do, and also the aerodromes you will likely be flying to/from.

What Endorsements can you add to your Private IFR?

Endorsements allow you to conduct specific flight activities under IFR conditions including en-route navigation procedures, approach and arrival procedures, departure procedures and night flying.

En-route Navigation Endorsements

En-route navigation endorsements allow you to fly under IFR conditions using ground-based navigation aids. They include:

– NDB En-route (for eligible aircraft)
– VOR / LLZ En-route
– GNSS En-route

Approach Endorsements

Instrument approaches are set procedures that allow you to approach an aerodrome under IFR conditions. They apply from the start of the approach through to either when you land or reach a point where are able to continue the landing visually. They include:

– STAR
– NDB Approach (for eligible aircraft)
– VOR / LLZ Approach
– DME or GNSS Arrival Procedure
– RNP ACHP 2D / RNAV Approach
– ILS Approach

Departure Endorsements

An endorsement is required to be able to take off and depart an aerodrome under IFR conditions. There are some aerodromes that have specific departure procedures though, and these are known as Standard Instrument Departure (SID) procedures. A Non-Standard Instrument Departure (NSID) Endorsement can cover IFR departures for all aerodromes that don’t have specific procedures. You will need a separate SID Endorsement for each different aerodrome that has specific procedures.

Night IFR Endorsement

A basic PIFR will only allow you to fly under IFR conditions in the situations granted by your en-route, approach and departure endorsements during daylight. So, to be able to fly at night, you will need to add a Night IFR Endorsement.

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Flying at night is an amazing experience – you can add a Night IFR Endorsement in our Private IFR course.

What does the LTF Private IFR course include?

A full Instrument Rating course will train you in the vast majority of the endorsement options mentioned above. But you might not need ALL of those things. Subsequently, this is where the PIFR can be a great option.

We utilise practical aircraft training as well as training in our state-of-the-art Alsim AL42 or TRC472 flight simulators. Integrating simulation allows you perfect your techniques on the ground and make the most of your time in the real aircraft.

LTF’s Standard PIFR course package includes:

– 10Hrs Dual Flight Training
– 9Hrs Dual Simulation Training
– Ground School and Briefings
– IREX Theory Course Online Subscription
– VOR/LLZ, GNSS, NDB En-route Navigation Endorsements*
– RNP 2D Approach Endorsement (RNAV)
– NSID (Non-standard Instrument Departure) Endorsement
– 2 Approach Endorsements (STAR, NDB, VOR/LLZ, DME/GNSS, ILS)*
– 1.5Hrs PIFR Flight Test Solo Hire
– PIFR Flight Test Fee

The following aircraft are available from our fleet for this course:

Cessna 172
Diamond DA40
Piper Seminole
Diamond DA42

*NDB not available for Diamond DA40/DA42

We offer a Standard + Night PIFR package as well that includes all of the above plus a Night IFR Endorsement. We can also offer face to face IREX theory classes for those would would prefer to learn in person. In addition to this, we are able to offer packages for additional PIFR individual endorsements.

Do you want to find out more about our Private IFR course? Email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Learn To Fly Student Life: Starting Flight Training in Melbourne

So you’ve made the decision to learn how to fly! It’s a decision you won’t ever regret. Flying is a wonderful experience, and knowing how to pilot an aircraft is an amazing skill. But the learning journey itself is something that you should enjoy, and choosing the right flying school makes all the difference. Our students love flying with us, and so we thought we would give you some insight into Learn To Fly student life.

This blog looks at your first day, when you arrive at our Learn To Fly Melbourne training base.

Arriving at Learn To Fly Melbourne

Do you remember your first day at school, or at a new job? New place, new people, feeling a little unsure? As you get older, ‘first days’ get a little easier, but they can still be daunting.

On your first day when you arrive, you’ll be greeted by our HR team who will welcome you and take you through our enrolment procedures. They’ll show you around our state-of-the-art facilities and give you a bit of information about Moorabbin Airport and the surrounding area.

We’re lucky to have a lot of great retail, food and transport options available nearby. This makes things a lot easier, especially if you are new to Melbourne. We have a lot of international students, and many of them have only just recently arrived in Australia. Having some local knowledge really helps, and this is your opportunity to ask about anything you need to know.

You’ll be spending a lot of time at LTF’s training facility while you become a pilot, so we want you to feel like this is home. Learn To Fly student life starts the moment you step through the door!

Meeting Your Flight Instructor

Having the right flight instructor is so important. The right instructor will bring out the best in you, and make your flight training journey enjoyable right from the start. Flight instructors are as much a part of Learn To Fly student life as the students themselves.

Our LTF instructor team has a huge amount of flying experience, from diverse backgrounds around the world. We have Grade 1 instructors through to Grade 3, as well as instructors with specific skill and knowledge areas such as IFR training, multi-engine training – even down to aerobatics and formation flying.

Just as important as flying knowledge and experience is an instructor’s ability to connect with you. Everybody has different learning styles, so you need an instructor that you can connect with. At LTF you will be allocated a primary instructor and a secondary instructor to look after you and your training progress. But if it turns out that there’s another instructor that may be better suited, our large team means that you’ll have the opportunity to change.

On your first day you will meet your primary instructor, and they’ll have a chat to you about your flight training journey. They’ll show you through the features of our online student portal, and how our training model works – including our huge range of online training options.

Moorabbin Airport and the LTF Flight Training Fleet

There’s a lot to learn about the airport you will be training at, and Moorabbin Airport is quite complex. With a complex taxiway and runway layout, high aircraft movements, and ATC tower, there’s definitely more to learn here than at many other aerodromes.

Whilst this may seem daunting at first, it’s actually going to be a huge benefit to your learning. And don’t worry, your flight instructor has got your back! On your first day they’ll spend time going over the layout and procedures with you. Of course, you’ll learn more in your first lesson.

The LTF flight training fleet has a great range of modern and traditional aircraft. This means you can choose between learning on analogue instruments or in a glass cockpit aircraft with advanced Garmin avionics and screens. If you are beginning your Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) training, you can choose between the sporty Sling 2, the modern Diamond DA40, or the classic Cessna 172. We also have the A22LS Foxbat for RA-Aus RPC training.

It’s likely that you will have already chosen which aircraft you are going to fly before you start, but it’s good to know that you can always change throughout your training.

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The Moorabbin Airport layout is complex, but a fantastic place to learn.

Your First Flying Lesson

Do you want to know what the BEST part of Learn To Fly student life is…? That’s really easy. It’s FLYING!

When you start flight training, your first lesson will be Effects of Controls and Straight and Level Flying. Your instructor will brief you in one of our briefing rooms, before showing you how to pre-flight check your aircraft. And then it’s time to head towards the runway, and begin your love affair with the sky!

Student Culture at Learn To Fly

One of the things that we are really serious about – other than safety of course – is ensuring that we create an inclusive learning environment, and a just culture. What that means is that we engage in open and honest conversations at all levels, from our students all the way up to our CEO and Chief Flying Instructors.

Our students and our flight training team support each other, and we have seen many fantastic friendships form over the years. Learn To Fly student life is a lot of fun, and we can’t wait for you to be a part of it!

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Learn To Fly student life is fun!

If you are interested in finding out more about our learning to fly with us, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Getting a Night VFR Rating: What You Need to Know

Night flying is a great skill for a pilot to have in their arsenal. A Night VFR or Night Visual Flight Rules Rating allows you to fly your aircraft at night. You do however, need other VFR weather conditions to be present.

It gives you the freedom of not being limited by time when flying cross-country. You can also take passengers flying to see the beautiful city lights of Melbourne from the sky. It’s a sight not to be missed!

Not only is flying at night exciting and thrilling, but having this skill also generally makes you a better pilot. Here’s a quick look at getting a Night VFR Rating on your pilot licence and what you should expect:

Eligibility Criteria:

In order to successfully get a Night VFR rating, the pilot must have:

– A Private Pilot Licence at the minimum, but can also have a Commercial Pilot Licence or Air Transport Pilot Licence,

– At least 10 hours of night flight time training under a supervisor, either in an aircraft or in an approved flight simulator,

– At least 5 hours of dual cross-country night flight time training included in the above 10 hours,

– Successfully cleared the Night VFR flight test.

Why Get a Night VFR Rating

Melbourne winter days are short, with the winter solstice this year clocking just 9 hours and 53 minutes of daylight. Having a Night VFR Rating gives you the flexibility to make longer trips. This is especially handy during the short daylight hours in winter. You can start your flight before sunrise and end it late without having to cut your trip short before sunset. Furthermore, you could even end the day by taking in magnificent views of the city from the air.

Air traffic also tends to be lower in the nighttime, which means you will have a smoother, easier flight. And if you are flying on a night with a full moon, it will not be much different than flying in the day owing to all the light coming from the moon!

Finally, for pilots who aim to fly commercially, having a Night VFR rating and a significant amount of night command time is a necessity, as commercial pilots often need to fly at night. Many airlines looking for professional pilots require the pilot to have at least 100 hrs of flight time at night in order to even be considered for the position!

What to expect from Learn to Fly’s Night VFR Rating Course

Enrolment and Orientation

When signing up for our Night VFR Rating Course, you will get a Training Starter Kit. This will contain all relevant course materials. It will also contain detailed information on the processes of your course and access to shared online resources.

On the day of orientation, you will be introduced to your instructor. They will take you around the airport, airspace and our facilities. You will also get to learn about the processes Learn to Fly follows.

Night VFR Ground School

Once you have successfully settled in, the first part of the course will include some ground training and instructions. These are typically conducted in the form of theory classes where you will learn of the fundamental concepts of a Night VFR Rating. You will also learn what to expect during the actual night circuit training.

Night VFR Flight Training

In this step of the course, you will learn different landing techniques, approaches and what to do in emergency situations. You will also familiarise yourself with common navigational aids. These include NDB (non-directional beacon) and VOR (Very high-frequency omnidirectional range) as well as the use of pilot activated light (PAL) and other runway lighting equipment.

Night Solo Training

Once you have successfully mastered the last step, your instructor will determine if you are ready for your first solo night flight. The first solo flights will involve circuit flying. Once these have been mastered, you will then move on to navigation training. This form of training makes you a more independent pilot, as it involves planning and executing a number of navigational flights at night, helping you prepare for the next and final step.

Night VFR Flight Test

Approximately 3 hours in duration, the Night VFR Flight Test is conducted in a CASA approved aircraft under the supervision of a CASA approved instructor. This test will include take-off and landing as well as navigation skill assessment and the correct use of navigational aids. Finally, the test will also assess some nighttime emergency procedures and how prepared you are to handle them. Once you successfully pass this test, you then get your Night VFR Rating. Congratulations!

Why Choose Learn to Fly

At Learn to Fly, all of our flight training courses, including the Night VFR Rating course, involve simulation training. This allows students to become familiar with the controls and behaviour patterns, procedures and systems of the aircraft they choose whilst still on the ground. We have a range of simulators available. This includes full cockpit synthetic trainers like the Alsim AL42, replicating the cockpit of our Diamond DA42 twin-engine aircraft.

Learn To Fly offers an innovative training model, so you can continue learning online even while you are at home. We have state-of-the-art facilities at our Moorabbin Airport base in Melbourne, experienced instructors, and a range of aircraft to choose from.

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Being able to see the city lights at night from above is just one benefit of a Night VFR Rating.

To find out about our Night VFR Rating course, email [email protected]. You can also visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour. For more great flying tips and the latest flying videos, click below and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

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Why Should You Do Your Flight Training With Learn To Fly Melbourne?

Welcome to Learn To Fly Flight Training. Our goal is to make your pilot journey as simple as possible, so you focus on the enjoyment of flying. We train professional pilots, and pilots who just want to fly recreationally. We have a huge range of courses available, from beginner programs all the way through to obtaining your Commercial Pilot Licence. In addition to this, we have advanced ratings and endorsements, and even airline interview preparation.

But there are plenty of flight schools out there. So, why should you choose Learn To Fly for your flight training?

Innovative Training with CASA Part 142 Accreditation

We are constantly innovating our Learn To Fly flight training model to provide students with flexibility, and more opportunities to learn. Embracing modern technology, we utilise modern flight simulation, and the theory components of many of our courses can now be studied online. Our Moorabbin Airport training base facilities are state-of-the-art, enhancing your learning experience.

In addition to this, our modern online portal allows students to track their course progress and access essential course materials and content from wherever they are, including 360 degree virtual cockpit environments.

As a CASA Part 142 accredited flying school, we are able to offer integrated training syllabus. This means that you can study your theory and practical flight training concurrently. Integrated training saves you time and allows you to reach your flying goals faster. It also saves you money, as integrated training can be offered GST-free.

Our training model is goal focused, whether you want to fly professionally or for fun. If you are hoping to work as a pilot, our aviation training and career specialists can customise your training to suit your career goals.

Emphasis on Safety

At Learn To Fly Melbourne, safety is and always will be our number one priority. A cornerstone of our operation is to ensure that we maintain a positive and transparent safety culture.

A part of the safety culture at LTF is the acknowledgement that flight training does involve risk. It is therefore vital that students and instructors alike are well educated about these risks, and the processes involved in risk minimisation. Our support team includes dedicated Safety Managers that oversee all aspects of our operation.

This focus on safety has been present since the school’s founding, and its importance only grows as we continue to expand.

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Our modern and well maintained aircraft fleet caters for a wide range of flight training requirements.

Modern Aircraft Fleet and Flight Simulators

Learn To Fly’s aircraft fleet provides students with a range of options for most of our flight training courses. We are the only flight school in the state of Victoria offering training in modern glass cockpit Diamond aircraft, and our fleet includes single engine Diamond DA40s as well as twin-engine Diamond DA42s.

The sporty Sling 2 is a fantastic beginner aircraft, and we operate the largest fleet of these in Australia. We also offer more traditional aircraft with analogue avionics like the classic Cessna 172 and Piper Seminole. In addition to this, we have an A22LS Foxbat for RA-Aus programs, and a Super Decathlon for aerobatics, spinning and tailwheel training.

All of our aircraft are stringently maintained in line with our safety policies. We have our very own maintenance hangar located next to our main training facility.

We have a range of simulator options, and integrate flight simulation into our innovative training model. Alongside our state-of-the-art Alsim AL42 (Diamond DA42) and TRC 472 (Cessna 172) full cockpit synthetic trainers, we have a full motion Xplane simulator with aircraft controls and Garmin avionics.

Professional Experienced Instructors

The best instructors bring out the best in you. Our Learn To Fly flight training team is highly experienced, with a diverse range of aviation backgrounds from multiple countries. We have Grade 1, 2 and 3 instructors, as well as instructors certified to teach a huge range of additional ratings, endorsements and advanced training endorsements. In addition to this our team includes in-house Flight Examiners. This means that you can complete many of your flight tests on-site.

Experience has shown us that student pilots find the process of completing their training and entering the aviation industry difficult. Our support staff includes aviation career specialists who can guide you on your pilot pathway beyond graduating from your training, and even assist with airline applications.

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The best flight instructors bring out the best in you.

Airline Interview Specialists

Want to know the secret weapon for success in airline interviews? It’s us. We have a range of programs specifically developed to help you not only prepare for airline interviews, but to then pass them with flying colours.

Airline Check and Training Captain Darren McPherson from ACS Aviation Consulting Services is our aviation career specialist. His airline interview preparation programs are highly successful, helping hundreds of pilots to be accepted into wide range of airlines around the world. Our success stories have joined their new airlines at Cadet level as well as First and Second Officer direct entry roles.

International Flying School

Learn To Fly is an international flight school that offers flight training in Melbourne, Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Our innovative training model means that we are able to offer distance learning options on a broad range of courses. This makes our reach truly global.

Our home training base is located Melbourne’s Moorabbin Airport, one of Australia’s busiest airports with >250,000 aircraft movements per year. This makes it an excellent place to learn. Our student pilots are able to master a greater scope of experience than at smaller aerodromes.

In addition, we have partnered with airlines based in a number of countries. This offers global career options to our students and graduates.

To find out more about Learn To Fly Flight Training, email [email protected]. You can also visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour. Click below to subscribe to our YouTube channel for regularly updated flying lessons and flight training content.

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What to Expect from a Trial Introductory Flight (TIF)

Learning how to fly can be as scary as it is exhilarating. If you’ve been on the fence about whether flying is for you, why not book yourself a Trial Introductory Flight (TIF) to get a taste of what flying is like before you move on to getting your Recreational Pilot’s Licence (RPL), Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL) or Commercial Pilot’s Licence (CPL).

What is a Trial Introductory Flight (TIF)?

A TIF is exactly what it sounds like. A low-stakes, fully supervised opportunity to take to the skies in a trial flight with a licenced instructor to see if flying is really something you want to do.

The very first flight you take sitting in the cockpit will undoubtedly be something to remember all your life. But before investing in a long, expensive flight training course, it is important to be absolutely sure flying is something you truly want to do, whether recreationally or commercially. This is where a Trial Introductory Flight comes in handy. Most future pilots can tell if they want to continue learning how to fly after this first TIF based on the knowledge they get during the experience.

What to expect from your TIF

Pre-flight briefing and inspection:

Your Trial Introductory Flight will start with a brief but thorough introduction into the workings of an airplane. You’ll learn about aerodynamics and what to expect during your flight. After this, your instructor will conduct a thorough physical pre-flight inspection of the plane with you. You are welcome—and invited—to ask the instructor any questions that may come to mind and to participate in the pre-flight inspection. The more you know about the aircraft, the better of a pilot you will be!

Duration of flight:

The typical TIF lasts around 30 to 60 minutes.

Hands-on training:

During the flight, the highly trained instructors will demonstrate flying methods, manoeuvres and skills. You’ll then be able to attempt them yourself under full supervision. This is a great, low-stakes way of getting a feel of being in the cockpit and flying a plane yourself. It can also be an excellent method to treat someone who has always expressed a desire to fly but doesn’t want to commit to getting a flying licence.

Final assessment:

Want to know how you went and whether you have a future in the aviation industry? No worries! After the flight is over, your instructor will conduct a full debriefing session to talk about how you did, your ability to follow instructions, understand directions and complete tasks. While most of these skills can be further perfected in the more thorough, detailed licence programs, it can be useful to get an idea what your chances of success are if you ever decide to pursue it professionally.

Who should try a Trial Introductory Flight?

Anybody! Taking a TIF is a fantastic opportunity to see the land from the lens of a pilot in a cockpit. You’ll experience the thrill of flying a plane without any long-term commitments. Fairly inexpensive, it is also a terrific present to give to the airplane enthusiast in your life, or to get them started on a career in aviation. Flight time during your trial introductory flight can also count towards getting a pilot licence should you decide to pursue it any further. The possibilities are limitless!

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A Trial Introductory Flight is a great way to take the controls and get a feel of what it’s like to be a pilot.

Take to the skies today by booking your very first Trial Introductory Flight (TIF) and experience a world like no other! Want to chat to a flight training expert? Email [email protected]. You can also visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour. For more great flying tips and the latest flying videos, click below and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

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Bachelor of Aviation – Learn To Fly Launches Articulation Pathway with Griffith University

Learn To Fly is proud to announce a new articulation pathway with Griffith University for students wanting to complete a Bachelor of Aviation program.

Australia’s Most Recognised Aviation Program

Griffith University is one of Australia’s most prestigious universities and offers Australia’s largest and most recognised aviation teaching program. For over 25 years, Griffith has worked closely with aviation industry experts to develop programs that meet the demanding requirements of current and future pilots. They are known worldwide for providing exceptionally well trained and high-quality commercial pilot graduates.

With strong industry ties as well as a large presence in aviation research, the Griffith University Bachelor of Aviation program is the perfect stepping-stone to your career as a pilot.

About the Bachelor of Aviation Course

A Bachelor of Aviation qualification is the perfect preparation for becoming a professional pilot. Your comprehensive training includes theory in a range of subjects as well as simulation training.

Choosing this pathway for your aviation training can mean that you are able to be ready to start working professionally in a wider range of aviation jobs sooner.

The Ideal Pathway to Becoming a Professional Pilot

Completing the AVI50219 Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane) and AVI50519 Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Rating – Aeroplane) courses with Learn To Fly Melbourne allows you to apply for the Griffith University Bachelor of Aviation program via Advanced Standing (with 80 credit points). The diploma courses can be completed in 18 months at Learn To Fly’s Melbourne training base at Moorabbin Airport.

Griffith’s Bachelor of Aviation program requires a total of 240 credit points for completion. This takes most full-time articulation students another 18 months to complete, based on 15-20 hours per week of scheduled classes. What this means is that you could potentially complete 3 highly regarded aviation qualifications (Commercial Pilot Licence, Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating and Bachelor of Aviation) within just 3 years.

When you graduate from this training pathway you will be ready to start your career as a pilot. In addition, these 3 qualifications could mean that there are many more job opportunities available to you.

Extend Your Career Advantage Even Further With Learn To Fly

To be able to participate in formation flying, you’ll need a Formation Flying Endorsement. The

Learn To Fly offers a wide range of additional flying courses. You can complete these courses concurrently whilst studying for either the Diploma courses or the Bachelor of Aviation program. These courses can improve your standing as an applicant to potential employers even further. They will also give you the training to be able to consider a wider range of commercial pilot roles post-graduation.

It’s no secret that aviation employers industry-wide hold applicants with a Flight Instructor Rating (FIR) in high regard. Our Flight Instructor Rating (FIR) course is seen as one of the most comprehensive flight instructor courses in Melbourne.

If you are considering a career as an airline pilot, then you should definitely consider our Airline Interview Preparation courses. Facilitated by international Airline Check and Training Captain and aviation career specialist Darren McPherson from ACS Aviation Consulting Services, these courses have helped nearly 200 pilots to achieve success in their applications to a range of renowned airlines around the world.

Bachelor Of Aviation Student

To register your interest in the Bachelor of Aviation articulation pathway, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Formation Flying – A Thrilling Experience For Any Pilot!

Formation flying is a unique experience and one that captivates even the most accomplished of pilots. There is something undeniably exciting and almost surreal about flying side by side with another aircraft so close by or moving as one through turns and other manoeuvres.

Even from the ground, seeing aircraft flying together is captivating. From the cockpit, it’s something else altogether. Looking across and seeing your wingman right there with you, close enough to see the facial expressions of the other pilots, it’s just such a great buzz!

Read on to learn a bit more about why it’s such a fun and rewarding experience for any pilot!

What is Formation Flying?

Formation flying is when 2 or more aircraft fly close together in an organised manner. There is a designated lead aircraft, and the other aircraft are known as the “wingmen”. Yep, just like “Top Gun”. It is actually worth noting, as jokes aside, flying in formation has been developed over time mostly for military purposes.

These days formation flying is commonly used for aerial displays and air-to-air photography.

There are a number of different formation types or “orders”, and depending on the number of aircraft, the formation can also be arranged into multiple groups, known as “elements”. Some of the more common formation orders include Echelon, Line Abreast and Line Astern.

Formation flights must be well planned and briefed prior to departure, to discuss what formation types and manoeuvres will be involved. A detailed briefing is obviously also important to discuss safety considerations and emergency procedures.

What Skills Do You Need For Formation Flying?

Apart from being a lot of fun, flying in formation is also a great activity for honing your pilot skills. Flying close together with other aircraft requires a high level of concentration and precise control inputs. You need to know your aircraft and how it performs at various speeds and angles of the bank.

It also requires excellent communication and of course, a level of understanding and teamwork between pilots. These are all skills that are of great benefit to any pilot.

Can Anybody Fly In Formation?

To be able to participate in formation flying, you’ll need a Formation Flying Endorsement. The course teaches you how to maintain and change positions in a range of formation types. You’ll also learn how to take off and land in formation, perform manoeuvres together in unison, and perform other manoeuvres such as the exciting break and rejoin.

Formation Flying Endorsement

Learn To Fly’s Formation Flying Endorsement Course

Learn To Fly’s Formation Flying Endorsement includes all ground theory as well as 6 hours of flying. To be eligible to complete the course you will need to hold a valid RPL, PPL or CPL. Since we need at least 2 aircraft flying for the practical side of things, we recommend completing the course with another pilot.

We offer this course in a Sling 2 or Diamond DA40 aircraft from the LTF fleet, but there is also the option to complete it in your own aircraft! We have just recently completed a Formation Flying Endorsement with other than YouTube aviation legend Stef Drury, in his Cirrus SR22.

Contact [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Should You Do Your Flight Training in a Cessna 172?

Planes are beautiful pieces of machinery. They take us up above the clouds and help us travel great distances in a short period of time. With so many planes out there nowadays, you may wonder which one is the best one to learn in. If you ask around at flight schools or among pilots, there is a good chance they will tell you that flight training in a Cessna 172 is the best way to go.

This single-engine plane is easily the most popular plane in the world. There have been more than 44,000 Cessna 172 ‘Skyhawks’ manufactured since 1956, and they are still in production today. Impressively, while there have been some technology upgrades since the original, the overall design is remarkably similar to the original. The latest models have integrated cockpit avionics like the Garmin G1000 which has an improved graphical interface, powerful hardware, high-resolution displays, increased functionality for situational awareness, and wireless technology.

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Pilots love the Cessna 172

The Best Plane in the World?

Most pilots that have done their flight training in a Cessna 172 find that the ease and simplicity of operation make it a great beginner plane, regardless of whether it’s a new or old C172 model.

The Cessna 172’s high wing design is also a stand out feature. This design is different to much other training aircraft, as the wings are above the fuselage rather than below it. This gives greater visibility of the world outside the plane for beginner pilots. Also, the higher wings allow for a larger door and better access to getting into the cockpit. 

The Cessna 172 is a fantastic aircraft to learn how to perfect your takeoffs and landings. It’s sometimes even jokingly nicknamed the “Land-O-Matic” by pilots. The tricycle landing gear layout means that the centre of gravity sits in front of the main wheels. If you are learning and your landing is crooked the centre of gravity will naturally pull the plane straight. The C172 also has a great balance between speed and stability in flight. It is a lot easier to recover from spinning situations than a lot of other training aircraft. This is obviously a great attribute for an aircraft to have for beginner pilots.

Here at Learn to Fly we love seeing our students learn and grow in arguably the best light plane ever made. When you are learning to fly in a trusted aircraft design, and a plane you feel comfortable in, you can focus more easily on the more advanced concepts of flight training. When you are ready to become a pilot, Learn to Fly has you covered with flight training with a Cessna 172. Enquire with us on how to make it happen today!

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The classic Cessna 172 on the tarmac at Moorabbin Airport

To find out more, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Pilot Job Guarantee Program: Are You Ready For Take-off?

The Learn To Fly Pilot Job Guarantee Program is your pathway to the runway, clearing your aviation career for take-off. Successful applicants are guaranteed a Flight Instructor role and at least 300 flying hours. This means that you’ll be ready to step into a career as a commercial pilot.

But how does the LTF Pilot Job Guarantee Program work, and are you eligible to apply? We will answer those questions and more in this blog. We will also chat to Chun Ki (Peter) Cheung, our Pilot Job Guarantee Program graduate, to learn about his story and hear how he is going in his Flight Instructor role.

About the Learn To Fly Pilot Job Guarantee Program

Eligibility: To be eligible for the Pilot Job Guarantee you must be between 18 and 35 years old. You must have little to no previous flying experience. You will also need to meet the English proficiency and CASA medical requirements.

Process: Accepted candidates will progress through CPL training (which includes RPL and PPL as well). You will then complete a Flight Instructor Rating (FIR). Following that, you will be able to start work as a Flight Instructor at Learn To Fly.

Your Pilot Career: Whilst we guarantee that you will at least pass 300 flying hours whilst working as a Flight Instructor at LTF, it doesn’t end there. There are many options to widen your career choices by completing a range of ratings and endorsements as you go. You could choose to upgrade your instructor status. Or you could look at some of our Airline Interview Preparation courses and start getting ready for airline applications.

Click here for more detailed information on the Pilot Job Guarantee Program, including full eligibility requirements.

Why Apply for the Learn To Fly Pilot Job Guarantee Program?

With the recent global COVID19 pandemic, the job landscape for pilots especially has become far more difficult to navigate. The industry will bounce back, but when will that be? The requirement for flight training will rapidly expand in the coming years. However, this still doesn’t guarantee everybody a job as a Flight Instructor when they finish their training.

The Learn To Fly Pilot Job Guarantee Program allows you to bypass that crucial first worry of wondering whether you can get a job when you finish CPL training. As you grow your skills, knowledge and flight hours as a Flight Instructor while working with LTF, you will find yourself in greater demand as a commercial pilot.

Of course, training and working with us means that you will also have access to our state-of-the-art facilities as well as our comprehensive and modern aircraft fleet, and our team of highly experienced Flight Instructors. This gives you the best start to your career possible!

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Meet Learn To Fly Pilot Job Guarantee Program graduate Peter Chun Ki Cheung

Meet Our Pilot Job Guarantee Program Graduate: Chun Ki (Peter) Cheung, Age 20

Why did you want to become a pilot?

I always captivated and fascinated by the sky. Why should we be limited to the ground when there is so much more to explore in the sky? I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and one day I told myself that flying is what I want to do!

Tell us about your pilot journey:

Originally from Hong Kong, I went to Melbourne Australia straight after I graduated from high school when I was 18. I was offered a university degree after I finished school, but my real dream was to become a pilot! There is a lack of training facilities in Hong Kong, so I decided I would learn in Melbourne. I booked accommodation and a flight, and I just went! It was a bit scary to just do it. But fear doesn’t stand a chance if you have a huge passion and a dream to chase.

I was accepted into the LTF Pilot Job Guarantee Program, and started my flight training with LTF in July 2018. I started and flew my first solo, RPL and PPL in the Sling 2 aircraft. Then I moved to the Diamond DA40 to complete my CPL and FIR. My Multi-Engine Class Rating was completed in a Piper Seminole, and my MECIR in a Diamond DA42.

How have you found moving from student to Flight Instructor?

I am so excited to move from being a student at LTF myself, to being able to teach the next student pilots. Like many pilots my dream is eventually to work for an airline. However, I am enjoying every step that I am going through to get there. At the moment, I am focused on how to be a great Flight Instructor, like those who taught me at LTF!

Wherever my career takes me, starting with the Learn To Fly Pilot Job Guarantee Program was perfect. If you have a dream to fly, you should apply. An 18-year-old with no flying experience can move to a new country and do all the above, so why not you too?!

To register your interest in the Learn To Fly Pilot Job Guarantee Program, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Preparing For Airline Pilot Interviews – Student Pilot Journal Part 4

Student Pilot Mickey Wu travelled from Taiwan to Melbourne to train with us at Learn To Fly Melbourne. Despite not being able to fly for 3 months due to Covid lockdown, he managed to complete a CPL, MECIR, Multi-Engine Class Rating, and 5 ATPL exams. Now back in Taiwan, Mickey talks about preparing himself to be the best possible candidate for airline pilot interviews.

“What kind of pilots are the airlines looking for?”

People are called by the sky for different reasons. Some people want to be an instructor to pass down the fun of flying, while some simply fall in love with flying and want to keep it for themselves. For me, I want to be an airline pilot.

In order to prepare myself as an employable airline pilot, I decided to ask myself a few questions every day. The first thing I asked myself is:

“What kind of pilots are the airlines looking for?”

Before I started my training, I consulted a few experienced airline captains. One of them told me a story about a candidate that they interviewed years ago. This candidate built 300 hours within 8 months, and got his CPL and MECIR. And he knew all the settings and speeds of the Boeing B777 and Airbus A320, which were the aircraft in the fleet at the time.

“If we don’t hire him, we are making a big mistake”

That was the comment from one of the interviewers. I want to be just like this candidate.

Looking for a pilot job is about a mindset. We are hired to help solve problems. As Steve Jobs once said in an interview:

“Good employees are self-managed. They know the system well, and they know what they can do with the system. You put them together and they just know what to do”

I believe that applies to aviation as well. They don’t actually expect us to know everything. But having said that, the least we can do is to make them believe that we have the potential. And that brings us to the second question I asked myself.

“What can I do to make myself irresistible?”

Airline-Pilot-Cockpit
A well prepared airline pilot interview could see you sitting in a cockpit like this.

“What can I do to make myself irresistible?”

Based on the anecdote that the captain told me, airlines are looking for someone who knows what to do already. Or who knows enough to take the initiative and work the rest out. So how do we make ourselves closer to that standard to prepare for airline pilot interviews?

The systems on a big jet airliner are different from that of General Aviation training aircraft. A good thing to start with is the ATPL subject “Aerodynamics & Aircraft Systems (AASA)”. CASA uses the Boeing B727 as an example, so the candidates are able to have more tangible material to work on.

It’s similar to the Aircraft General Knowledge theory (CSYA) for CPL, except that AASA is for larger jets. So if you have finished the 7 CPL theory exams and are just building your flying hours, AASA theory is definitely worth spending your time on. AASA and the Boeing B727 syllabus can give you a good general idea about the operation on a big jet airliner.

Realistically, the manual of the actual aircraft we are hired to fly will be the most useful tool to make us more eligible. After passing the CPL flight test, there will be a long period of time during which you are getting ready to apply for airline jobs. This is the phase I am in right now. So now is the time to do some research on the fleet of the airlines I am hoping to apply to, and get familiar with the aircraft inside and out.

While I am preparing myself to be an eligible candidate for airline pilot interviews, the next question I ask myself every day is:

“Is what I am doing now taking me closer to my goal?”

“Is what I am doing now taking me closer to my goal?”

In order to fly properly, we always monitor our altitude, heading, and speed. We are constantly making corrections. Likewise, when we are shaping ourselves to be an employable pilot, it’s a great idea to monitor ourselves constantly. This allows us to keep everything on the right track.

I always try to compare myself to airline cadets. As my friend in Eva Air (Taiwanese Airline) told me, life during their training was pretty intense, and it felt quite similar to serving in the military. They get up at six or seven in the morning for self-study, and the classes are scheduled from eight to five in the afternoon. They will do some exercise after the class and end the day with more self-study. That’s five days a week.

If that is what it takes to succeed as an airline cadet, then this is what I will do to prepare myself to be an eligible airline pilot interview cadidate. So when I was in Melbourne, I kept a fixed schedule, pretending as though I was in the military or studying as an actual airline cadet. I even did this during the 3 month Covid pandemic lockdown in Melbourne.

I made my schedule six days a week, because honestly, if I were as good as those cadets then I would have been one of them. But I was not. So I figured that I would have to work at least a little bit harder than they did. I got up early and studied, cooked, and then studied more. Sometimes the daily Covid announcements kept me company in the afternoon. Sometimes it was the Taipei Tower on Live ATC.

Does it work? I don’t 100% know yet. We’ll find out. But I have faith!

We would like to thank Mickey for contributing these journals on learning how to fly, and on preparing for airline pilot interviews. To get an even greater advantage over other applicants, check out our Airline Pilot Interview Preparation courses hosted by Airline Check and Training Captain Darren McPherson.

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Captain Darren McPherson teaching his airline pilot interview students.

Contact [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Some Tips For Learning How To Fly – Student Pilot Journal Part 3

Student Pilot Mickey Wu travelled from Taiwan to Melbourne to learn how to fly. He returned home to Taipei having completed a CPL, MECIR, Multi-Engine Class Rating, and 5 ATPL exams. In his third journal instalment, Mickey talks about finding the right attitude for straight and level flying, and teaching his mum how to fly using a simulator!

Challenge Accepted

Written on January 15th, 2021

Let’s bring the storyline back to the current day. Well, current at the time of writing. January 2021 in Taipei, Taiwan.

I bought a used set of Logitech controls and Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. I wanted to stay sharp. The practice was alright, but without expecting to do so, I actually ended up teaching my Mum how to fly. I found that teaching someone how to fly is not an easy task. The reaction of the aircraft after each input has become second nature to me, but it’s not like that for those who are just starting to learn.

Me: “Mum, this is not straight and level flying. Are you going up or down?”

Mum: “……down.”

Me: “Good. So do you push the control or do you pull to fix it?”

Mum: “……push.”

Me: “Okay, let’s see what will happen.”

Mum (five seconds later): “Hey Mickey, the houses are getting bigger and bigger really quick!!!”

Me: “Tell me about it.”

Warning on the screen two seconds later: “You just damaged your landing gear.”

Just the landing gear?! Wow, that is forgiving!

My instructor once said that sometimes you have to let go and let the learner see the consequence of his or her action or inaction. Obviously, they didn’t let me learn this in a real aircraft, and so my landing gear (and the houses) were safe!

But it’s interesting to see that the way my Mum and I learn things is so similar. Like mother like son. But I have faith in her. My goal is to take her to her first solo on Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. I give it two months. Challenge accepted!

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Challenge accepted! Mickey is teaching his mum how to fly using MS Flight Sim 2020!

The Right Attitude

Written on January 17th, 2021

The “attitude” of an aircraft is an abstract idea to me. It can look like it is straightforward on the aircraft’s artificial horizon, but in terms of the real visible horizon, it’s quite intangible. But it’s obviously very important when learning how to fly, especially for straight and level flying.

LTF Instructor Shannon taught me to judge the attitude with the position of the visible horizon in relation to the dashboard. For instance, on a cruise climb in a Sling 2 we position the horizon on the dashboard. To climb at Vy (the abbreviation for the best rate of climb), the horizon goes through the top of the PFD (Primary Flight Display). And to climb at Vx (the abbreviation for the best angle of climb), the horizon cuts through the middle of the PFD.

It may sound weird, but it works quite well. And for straight and level flying, we put four fingers on the dashboard and the visible horizon stays at the top finger. For a cruise descend, we put five fingers instead. Last but not least, for an approach, we use a “half-land-half-sky” attitude. Of course, we have to adjust the power setting accordingly.

It’s hard to judge the attitude at the beginning when you’re learning how to fly, for straight and level flying and for climbing and ascending. I even had doubts about the whole idea, considering that my visual perspective is different from that of Shannon’s. In addition to that, my four-finger attitude is not the same as that of LTF Instructor Alexey (Alexey is very tall and has huge hands).

But the key is to have a mental snapshot when your instructor says, “OK, this is the straight and level flying attitude.” Memorise what this attitude looks like from your perspective, and set it that way next time you need it. Trust me. It works!

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A big part of learning how to fly is learning how to trust your instruments

We would like to thank Mickey for contributing these journals on learning how to fly in Melbourne. Stay tuned for the next journal entry!

If you are interested in finding out more about our flight training courses and online learning options, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Training with a Melbourne Flight School – Student Pilot Journal Part 2

Student Pilot Mickey Wu travelled from Taiwan to learn to fly with a Melbourne flight school. He has now returned home after completing his CPL, MECIR, Multi-Engine Class Rating, as well as 5 ATPL exams. Mickey is sharing his flight training experiences with us in a series of journals.

Hidden Tiger, Crouching Dragon

Written on January 1st, 2021

Learn To Fly, my Melbourne flight school, is a place full of so much talent. The Flight Instructors are the ones who set up the framework and foundation. And sometimes it is my classmates that inspire me and help to build my own character.

My classmate Terry is an exceptional pilot. He flew the Sling 2 and converted to a Diamond DA40 later on. He is very devoted, and creates his own system to take in and digest the knowledge from the textbooks. Terry also takes flash cards with him everywhere he goes, so he can review VMC (Visual Meteorological Conditions) requirements or air laws whenever he wants.

His notes on airspeeds and the use of the CR-3 (Jeppesen CR-3 Flight Computer) are so concise and accurate. I wish I had taken a screenshot of it. I admire the way he answers his Flight Instructor’s questions. He can quote the rules in the AIP (Aeronautical Information Publication) with the right reference, not missing a single word. And when he says it, he beams with confidence.

Brandon is another hero. He has flown the Cessna 172 all the way from the beginning. I would say Brandon is a born pilot. There were more than six months that he wasn’t able to fly, when pilots were unable to attend their Melbourne flight school due to the coronavirus lockdown. But once he came back, he flew as if he had never been away.

Preparing for a flight is not an easy task. Measuring distance and track, checking the weather, drafting a fuel plan, submitting the flight plan…  you name it. What makes Brandon incredible is that he has three jobs to support himself flying. And he makes it all work. Every time when I felt lazy, I thought of Brandon. And that helped me to pull myself together and do what had to be done.

Terry is the best advocate for practice makes perfect, and Brandon’s story always motivates me to keep going at the right pace. I never tell them, but to me, they are the tiger and dragon.

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Brandon Smith with his Cessna 172 aircraft at Learn To Fly

You Have To Leave Something Behind To Move Forward

Written on January 4th, 2021

At certain points of life, you may feel that the burden on your shoulders is so heavy that you cannot breathe. The pressure from your workload keeps you awake at night and makes you reluctant to get up in the morning. But then it is time to hop in a Sling 2 and go for a spin. Well, not really a spin.

The Sling 2, designed and built by Sling Aircraft, is a one-of-a-kind aeroplane. It’s like a sports car in the sky, light and agile. The real-time response to the control inputs builds confidence in the pilot. It’s like an iPhone 5, sharp and smart. The intuitive touch screen interface integrates all the information you need. The exchange of information between the aircraft and the pilot is so instant, it’s as if the pilot were the brain and the aircraft were the extension of his or her body. At 55 knots, slightly faster than what you usually do on the M1 highway, you can defy gravity and take to the sky.

With a Melbourne flight school, you don’t even have to fly far to enjoy the experience of flying. A trip from Moorabbin Airport to Portsea on the Mornington Peninsula to see the shimmering water of Port Phillip Bay is just as good as an orbit around Melbourne’s CBD to feel the vibe of the city from above.

The point is, once airborne, you feel that the worries that have been occupying your mind are left in oblivion far behind. The pressure that was suffocating you becomes so trivial, far below. And that is the magic of flying, because you can savour the purity of the blue sky, and all your troubles are left on the ground.

It’s Just Like Making A Cup Of Coffee

Written on January 6, 2021

“Once airborne, you feel that the worries that have been occupying your mind are left in oblivion far behind.”

That was what I wanted to say about flying. And, well, that is partly true. The fact is, there were moments when I found myself so task-saturated that I actually didn’t have time to worry or even think about anything else.

Shannon helped me to overcome this ‘tunnel vision’ mindset. One day when we were flying back towards Moorabbin Airport, he asked me:

“Mickey, who is your favourite athlete?”

I replied “Lewis Hamilton” without even thinking.

I was so immersed in the pre-landing checks that my brain didn’t actually have time to think about anything else. Shannon took over control, and said:

“I think that you can see the mindset that you need to have when flying in some professional athletes. They are very calm when they play, but you can tell they are still thinking. You can tell from looking at their eyes. They play with their brain. Good pilots are no different.”

He then explained that if we visualize and actually think through the situations we might experience before the flight has even started, then we can focus on more things during the flight.

That problem had been haunting me for a long time. It was not until a couple of months later that I fully realised this philosophy. I was coming inbound from Brighton, and I was thinking about how stunning the beach was. I was also on top of everything else I needed to think about in the plane. It was at this point that I actually started to reap the fun of flying.

Learning how to fly is like making a nice cup of coffee. It takes some skill and some pressure to make the crème, and it takes some time to get the grind and drip right. But it is worth the wait, and when done properly, it tastes delicious!

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Taiwanese student pilot Mickey after flying his first solo in the Sling 2 aircraft

We would like to thank Mickey for contributing these journals on learning how to fly in Melbourne. Stay tuned for the next journal entry!

If you are interested in finding out more about our flight training courses and online learning options, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Starting Flight Training in Melbourne – Student Pilot Journal Part 1

Taiwanese student pilot Mickey Wu has just returned home after an amazing experience training with us at Learn To Fly. Mickey’s achievements are inspirational to other pilots. His time in Melbourne was affected by a COVID19 lockdown that meant he couldn’t fly for 3 months, however he still managed to complete his Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL), Multi-Engine Class Rating, Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating (MECIR), and 5 Air Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) theory exams. Mickey has been kind enough to share his experiences in a student pilot journal series. In part 1, he talks about starting flight training in Melbourne.

Tap the Brakes, Positive Rate, Gears Up

Written on December 30, 2020

Light shower of rain, 11°C. In other words, a typical winter day in Taipei, Taiwan. Now I am sitting in front of the window, staring off towards the south in the distance, as if Moorabbin Airport were right there behind the overcast clouds. I can see Carrum, and I can see runway 35L. There is the windsock by the northern run-up bay, and I see the Diamond DA40s parked on the apron. It was an amazing year of flight training in Melbourne – I think I miss the sky there already.

I went from piloting the single-engine Sling 2 to the twin-engine Piper Seminole, and from flying circuits around Moorabbin Airport to as far away as Ninety Mile Beach in Gippsland.

There were frustrating moments for sure, like having trouble with radio calls or actually getting lost during lost procedures. Sometimes I even sat in my car for hours, thinking I would never make it. But my Flight Instructors always said, “don’t worry – we’ll get you there”, and that is all you need to hear when you have days like this.

Bob Tait (one of the most respected authorities for aviation theory) says long-term memories are subject to errors. Sorry Bob, but I beg to differ. I’ll say, these memories are vividly engraved in my mind, and just like a good wine, they taste even sweeter afterwards.

This is my adventure starting flight training in Melbourne with Learn To Fly at Moorabbin Airport. It is the adventure of an ordinary guy with an extraordinary dream. So, fasten your seatbelt. Tap the brakes. Positive rate. Gears up.

Sling Aircraft Pilot Training
The Sling 2 is an excellent aircraft for starting flight training.

Day One, Meeting My Flight Instructor

Written on December 31st, 2020

Just like college tutors, Flight Instructors come from different backgrounds and vary in their fields of aviation expertise. For example, at my school, Learn To Fly in Melbourne, some instructors are experts at flight theory, and some specialise in Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations. They are all great instructors, and they all have a unique teaching style. This means that they are able to help different students in their own ways.

On my first day of flight training in Melbourne, I met my first Flight Instructor, Shannon. Shannon is a composed and knowledgeable pilot. On the first day of flight school, he showed me how to read the weather forecast. I loved the way he put together bits and pieces of weather information. It started with mean the sea-level pressure map on the Bureau of Meteorology website, so we had a big picture of what was going on with the weather. Following that, he explained how the weather on GAFs (Graphical Area Forecasts) corresponded to what was on the pressure charts. Then he referred to the TAFs (Terminal Area Forecasts) of the aerodromes on our planned route for a more close-up look. Just after that brief, I already felt that I could give a more persuasive forecast than most of the weather reporters do on TV.

Shannon may seem calm and composed on the outside, but he actually also has a warm and playful heart with a great sense of humour. The first aircraft I flew was the Sling 2 and as I recall, when Shannon demonstrated the pre-flight check, this was what he said:

“Now to measure the fuel quantity, we use what I call a high-tech measuring device.”

With a complete poker face, he took out a wooden stick with a measuring scale drawn on it. The corner of his lips lifted – in other words, he knew that his joke totally got me. There were times when I just did not get his punch lines. I could sense his disappointment in the awkward silence. However, it never stopped him from bringing some fun to the flight!

I feel lucky that Shannon was my first ever Flight Instructor, because that gave my flying career a really good start.

We would like to thank Mickey for contributing these journals on learning how to fly in Melbourne. Stay tuned for the next journal entry!

If you are interested in finding out more about our flight training courses and online learning options, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Instrument Rating (IFR) Flight Training – A Whole New World Of Flying

We recently published a blog from airline Second Officer Vincent Mok, who talked about how important completing an Instrument Rating (IFR) flight training course was to his career. An Instrument Rating really does open up a whole new world of flying for you. It allows to you to plan and fly in a far greater range of light and weather conditions. No longer restricted to daylight and clear skies, it can also drastically reduce the time it takes you to build flight hours.

What is Instrument Flight Training?

Under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) conditions, the weather and light must be better than the visual meteorological conditions (VMC), as specified by CASA. You must be able to operate the aircraft with visual reference to the ground, and by visually avoiding obstructions and other aircraft.

Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) Flight Training teaches you to fly using the aircraft’s instruments rather than relying on visual cues. You will become an expert at communicating with Air Traffic Control (ATC). All of your aircraft’s procedures will become second nature to you. You will read your instruments as though you were actually looking at the information they provide physically.

During Instrument Rating training, pilots learn on both the simulator and in the actual aircraft. At Learn To Fly we have both the TRC 372 (Cessna 172) simulator and the Alsim AL42 (Diamond DA42) simulator. Both of these simulators recreate the full cockpit environment of each aircraft with highly realistic features and accurate instruments.

Learning in the simulator is a very effective method of training. Simulator hours are far less expensive that flying an actual aircraft. You can save money by perfecting procedures on the ground, which means there’s less chance of having to repeat them in the air. Simulators obviously also provide a highly safe environment to learn unfamiliar procedures.

Flight-Simulation-Training
Our state-of-the-art Alsim AL42 simulator is a crucial part of Instrument Rating flight training

What Are the Benefits of Completing Instrument Flight Training?

Having to fly VFR means that you are limited with the number of hours you can fly, often based on things that are out of your control. When you are trying to build flight hours, it can be frustrating when changes in the weather cancel your flights. It can also be frustrating when other flights are delayed and you run out of daylight hours to go flying.

Completing an Instrument Rating training course will allow you to fly in the dark, and in most weather conditions. This means that you will be able to fly when others can’t, and you will build your flight hours far more quickly.

Pilots with IFR training are far more desirable to employers in most pilot roles. In fact for many pilot roles, including airlines, having an Instrument Rating is required.

Aside from the skillset and career benefits mentioned above, instrument flight training means that you can fly in some stunning conditions. You can enjoy the amazing sensation of soaring both through thick cloud, and above it. You can watch colourful sunsets from the sky, and cruise above sparkling city lights.

Night-Flying-Instrument-Rating
Enjoying sparkling city lights from the air is just one of the benefits of completing Instrument Rating flight training.

Meet Instrument Rating Training Graduate Mickey Wu

Taiwan student Mickey Wu has just completed his Commercial Pilot Licence, along with a Multi Engine Class Rating and Multi Engine Command Instrument Rating (MECIR), as well as 5 ATPL theory exams. He completed this in just 14 months, and he was unable to fly during 3 of those due to our forced coronavirus lockdown.

Following his amazing achievements, and before he jumped on a plane back to Taiwan, we had a chat to Mickey about his IFR training and his thoughts on the MECIR course.

Instrument-Rating-Pilot
Instrument Rating training graduate Mickey Wu with the twin-engine Piper Seminole aircraft.

What are the main differences in flying during instrument flight training?

Instrument flight training is simpler, but not easier, if that makes sense. This is because it is all process and procedure based. Your planning is simpler. ATC provides you with more information. Learning all of the procedures is hard, and it feels like you are going right back to square 1 at the start. Once you are familiar with them however, everything just feels simpler. You feel like a real airline pilot.

What new skills have you learnt during IFR training?

I have developed a much larger understanding of ATC terminology. My communication skills and the my relationship with ATC has really improved. Instrument Rating training gives you hands-on experience with a lot of things that you learn in theory. Some of these things you might not use a lot in VFR flight. It’s a great feeling when you realise it’s not “just theory” anymore and you put your knowledge into practice.

How have you used the simulators to help with your training?

On the simulators you can train different types of approaches, and some are much harder than others. When you are training in a sim and you make a mistake or you want to do it again, you can just restart. It’s far more costly to do this in an actual aircraft. With my LTF instructor, we trained on the Alsim AL42 simulator as well as the G430 X-Plane simulator.

What are the benefits of completing an Instrument Rating?

Completing an Instrument Rating will allow me to build more hours quickly by flying in more conditions. It is required by the airlines, which is my ultimate goal. It will also make me more employable in other pilots roles, including becoming a Flight Instructor which I will find very rewarding.

Why would you recommend choosing Learn To Fly to complete an Instrument Rating course?

I have had the best year of my life in Australia at Learn To Fly. I really enjoyed the people and the atmosphere. The instructors are very supportive and come from a wide range of experience and backgrounds. At LTF you can choose from a range of reliable aircraft. You can choose to fly in a glass cockpit aircraft like the DA42, or an analogue cockpit like the Piper Seminole.

We would like to congratulate Mickey on his inspirational flying achievements during difficult times. We’d also like to thank him for taking the time to share his thoughts and knowledge on IFR training. We will catch up with Mickey again for a blog on what it is like as a Taiwanese student training in Australia, and how training here can help you become an airline pilot in Taiwan.

If you are interested in finding out more about our flight training courses and online learning options, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Resilience – An Airline Pilot’s COVID Pandemic Experience

We’ve all seen a lot of news about how the COVID pandemic has affected airlines and airline pilots. Guest blogger and Second Officer Vincent Mok shares an airline pilot’s COVID pandemic experience.

“Resilience”

There were 20 round tables in a classroom the size of a basketball court. We found the specific light switch for the ceiling light at the front, leaving the rest of the room in a dark void.

“Don’t bother with name tags” the CRM instructor said.

This time last year, the same room was buzzing with activity and smelled like perfume and cologne as second officers, first officers, captains, junior flight attendants, flight pursers, senior pursers, chief customer managers and CRM instructors made introductions, all keen to find out what hypothetical in-flight emergency awaited us. Today, the 5 of us were greeted by the silent hum of the air conditioner as the smell of alcohol rub filled the void.

The CRM instructor wrote one word on the whiteboard.

“RESILIENCE”

A picture of an A350 oleo strut came into my mind. I hadn’t seen one for 2 months.

“What can you tell me about resilience?” the instructor asked.

“The ability to spring back like a landing gear, which I might not see again” I said.

“During these times with lockdowns and job losses, the uncertainty can cause our minds to ruminate into a dark corner.”

The instructor then led a discussion on Unhelpful Thinking Styles and how we could challenge them to become resilient professionals. As an airline pilot during the COVID pandemic, a resilient mindset is so important.

1. Mental Filter

Written on December 31st, 2020

As COVID took hold, flying schedules became scant and people lost jobs, I began to question my career decision to become an airline pilot.

“During times of stress, our minds have a tendency to focus on the negative and filter out the whole picture. This mental filtering is an unhelpful thinking style that can lead to stress, anxiety and depression.”

“You mean tunnel vision?”

“Yes. Instead of focusing on a small part of the situation and ignoring the rest, try to see the whole picture

Tunnel vision had made me focus on the transient financial insecurity as a pilot during COVID and filtered out my reasons for leaving a high paying secure job. I’d forgotten that I’d left a 9-5 desk job in a little cubicle with no windows to see thunderstorms from above; to feel the rattle of the nose gear as the jet took off; to take my friends, family, strangers, and essential cargo like vaccines safely across the Pacific Ocean. The job satisfaction from airline flying is unique.

2. Jumping to Conclusions

“I realize that I love being an airline pilot, but with all the upcoming job cuts due to the COVID pandemic, I’ll lose my job in the next few months”

“You see, jumping to conclusions is unhelpful thinking” the instructor said. “You become too busy assuming that you fail to see the opportunities in the present.”

He continued to impart his wisdom.

“Rather than jumping to conclusions, focus on what you can control.”

“A resilient airline pilot knows they’re like an elite sportsperson who is ready to perform during competitions and has back-up options in case of injury.”

The opportunity presented to us while flying less is the free time to improve ourselves as pilots by practicing in the procedural trainer, reading operation manuals and learning more about the aircraft we fly. It also gives us the opportunity to pursue back-up options and other interests. Like elite sportspeople, many pilots have a second vocation to fall back on during economic lows while waiting to return to an airline job. I know of pilots who pursued their fitness goals, learned hydroponic farming, and built their CV through teaching.

“You don’t want to jump to conclusions then give up”.

3. Catastrophising

“OK, you’ve widened my perspective to see the positives and the opportunities. But with all the parked aircraft and no end in sight, I feel that the aviation industry is dying and it’ll never recover!”

“Don’t you think this is catastrophising? It is unhelpful thinking to blow things out of proportion. Instead try to look at the facts rationally.”

Aviation has suffered many setbacks throughout its history, from the Wright Flyer crash in 1908, to September 11 2001, and also the Global Financial Crisis in 2008. Although flying would never be the same after each crisis, it consequently led to advancements in efficiency and safety. Aviation will continue to evolve through each challenge, and pilots will always be there as safeguards.

Furthermore, history has shown that all pandemics end. There are already promising advancements with vaccines and scientists are also building their knowledge on COVID at a rapid pace. When it is safe to do so, people will return to the skies and the industry will bounce back.

“Aviation is dynamic. Resilient pilots stay rational through crisis and therefore prepare themselves for disruption through devotion to learning and self improvement”.

Looking To The Future

During these unprecedented times, resilience has never been so important. Part of it is in recognizing and also mitigating unhelpful thinking styles. When encountering a crisis, it helps to step back and look at all the evidence instead of mental filtering, jumping to conclusions and catastrophising. Adopting a positive attitude and eliminating unhelpful thinking styles helps us build resilience. This keeps us moving forward, not just as an airline pilot during the COVID pandemic, but in life as well.

For flying students, try to see the opportunities in the increased availability of aircraft. Think about the uncongested airspace, or unique experiences like being able to fly into Melbourne International Airport while a jet’s at the holding point. On one of my recent flights out of Sydney, ATC cleared us to overfly the Sydney Harbour Bridge. This is something that would usually only be reserved for special events (such as the recent Qantas Boeing B747 farewell flight).

As for the commercial future of airlines and airline pilots, there’s no doubt the world still needs aviation, and it will bounce back. There will be changes, which will most likely include more stringent health requirements for passengers. Initially, it’s likely that the first sectors to bounce back will be the domestic and cargo markets. Australia is similar to China in that COVID outbreaks have been well controlled. Post-COVID, China has actually seen an increase in domestic passengers already compared to last year. It’s looking very likely that Australian domestic flights will bounce back strongly very soon.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. In my opinion, there has never been a better time to pursue recreational flying or flight training.

Flying into Melbourne International Airport in a Diamond DA40 during the Covid pandemic.

We’d like to thank Vincent very much for providing this valuable insight into an airline pilot’s COVID pandemic experience. If you are interested in finding out more about our flight training courses and online learning options, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Should I Start My Pilot Training During COVID?

The current pandemic has had an enormous negative impact on the aviation industry, so should you start your pilot training during COVID?

It’s obviously a fairly tough time for current pilots, with huge disruptions to domestic and international travel. Major carriers like Qantas, Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific have had to stand down thousands of employees. Sadly this has included even experienced airline pilots. Many people may think that starting pilot training now is risky, but we think the future is bright. Read on to find out why!

So if the aviation industry is struggling, why is it a great time to start your pilot training?

Firstly, becoming a pilot doesn’t happen instantly. It usually takes 15 to 18 months to be able to complete your pilot training to achieve your Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL). But that is just the initial training. If you are looking to become an airline pilot, you may need to have up to 1,500 hours of flying experience before you apply.

We anticipate that airlines will most likely start recruiting again in 3 to 4 years. Let’s break that down a little further to put it in some perspective:

First, let’s start with the 15-18 months CPL pilot training.

Once you obtain your CPL, most pilots will look for work (such as flight instructor) in the General Aviation Industry to gain experience and build hours. Let’s assume that you are able to work/fly 500-600 hours per year. To reach 1,500 hours might take you 3 years in itself.

We don’t yet know exactly what minimum hourly requirements airlines will have for direct entry positions when the industry peaks again. But whatever that minimum requirement is, starting your pilot training now during COVID gives you the best chance to be ready!

Why do we think that the industry will bounce back and that airlines will start recruiting again in 3-4 years?

There are a number of factors that indicate to us that the aviation industry will bounce back strong in the post-COVID world. In Australia, regional and domestic holiday hotspots are booking out. Those who are able to travel are travelling in high numbers. With higher vaccination rates, lockdowns will become a thing of the past. As more borders open, people will look to travel further abroad.

In China, reports indicate that the domestic aviation market has actually already recovered to surpass traffic numbers from before the pandemic struck. This will only continue on an upward trajectory. While international air travel may take longer to recover, demand for domestic flights is likely to bounce back very quickly in many places.

Another factor to consider is the retirement of older pilots. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has remained consistent with their predictions of increased retirements over the next 5 to 15 years. It’s possible that the pandemic may actually accelerate these figures, with a number of pilots stood down deciding not to return to the industry.

But what about finding work straight after finishing pilot training during COVID?

Looking outside the airline industry, we are also confident that there will be many opportunities for pilots in General Aviation. Many students have had to put their pilot training on hold during COVID, but we are starting to see more enquiries from potential student pilots.

What this indicates is that the demand for Flight Instructors will remain strong. It’s likely to get even stronger as student numbers continue to build.

In Australia especially, it’s likely that there will be a boom in local tourism. This means that charter operations will see increased demand, and require pilots. Becoming a charter pilot is a great way to build hours after pilot training. It can also be an exciting career in itself.

How can I start pilot training during COVID?

During COVID we been hard at work to build an extensive online training platform that allows students to access high quality training even if they are unable to physically attend our training base.

Our online student portal has full theory courses available for RPL, PPL, CPL and IREX. These courses are taught by an experience instructor and can be accessed from anywhere in the world. The portal allows students to complete mock practice exams online as well.

We are the first flight school in Australia to offer the fantastic V360E platform. This allows students to train aircraft procedures in a full 360 degree virtual cockpit environment.

In addition to this, we are regularly adding new content to our YouTube channel, We have RPL/PPL flying lessons, aircraft pre-flight check videos, and more. Click the button below to subscribe!

Online Pilot Training

To find out more about pilot training during COVID or to register your interest please email [email protected]. You can also go to https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Flight Instructor Rating – A Flying Start To Your Pilot Career

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

What Is A Flight Instructor Rating?

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

The syllabus includes:

1. PMI Theory

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

2. Flight Instructor Rating Ground Theory

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

3. Flight Instructor Rating Practical Flight Training

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

4. Aerobatics/Spinning Endorsement & Optional Qualifications

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

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

How Can The Flight Instructor Rating Kickstart Your Career?

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

1. Get Paid To Build Flight Hours

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

2. More Job Opportunities

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

3. Professional Development

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

4. More Job Security

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

Can Flight Instructing Be A Career?

1. Grade 1 & Grade 2 Flight Instructor

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

2. Additional Training Endorsements

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

3. Grade 1 & Grade 2 Training Endorsements

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

4. Flight Examiner

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

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

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

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An Airline Cadet Pilot’s Road To The Line

Now flying an Airbus A350 for a major international airline, Second Officer Vincent Mok looks back on his airline cadet pilot journey and shares some of his experiences. In his first guest blog, he talked about his airline cadet pilot training. If you missed that you can read it here. In this edition, he discusses the next step – the road to the line!

Week 1: “The Honeymoon”

Within the space of a week, barely enough time to recover from the graduation party, we went from being the most respected gold-bar-on-the-shoulders seniors at airline cadet pilot school, to the most junior fresh pilots at the airline headquarters. It took 20 weeks to transform into a line pilot.

Day one at the airline started with a buffet breakfast with the chief pilots. With the same hands that commanded many heavy jets around the world, they opened a small envelope and brought out a piece of paper with the company logo at the top.

“Who’s Vincent?”

I put my hand up and gulped down the partially chewed fried egg in my mouth.

“Airbus.”

It was no longer flying the Slings, Foxbats, Diamond DA40s, Cessna 172s or the Diamond DA42 Twinstar. The link between my fingers and the ailerons will no longer be a few mechanical rods. Instead, a twitch of my finger will send digital signals through a myriad of wires connecting stacks of computers conferring at the speed of light whether they will grant the wish of that finger twitch. I’d be flying the Airbus A350.

There were two days of Safety School during the Honeymoon week. We trained for evacuation through various tasks:

1 Retrieve Snoopy the dummy from a smoke-filled cabin mock-up after donning a smoke-hood
2 Operate aircraft doors
3 Jump down an inflated 2-storey-high slide (which isn’t as easy as the “safety cards in the seat pockets in front of you” suggest)
4 Drag a classmate across a 25m swimming pool
5 Drag the same classmate from the pool into an inflatable life-raft
6 Set up shelter in the life-raft

The last day of the Honeymoon week was “new joiners’ day”. We broke ice with new joiners from other departments. We played games, toured the simulator building and maintenance hangars.

“Your accent sounds funny,” said the maintenance hangar tour-guide.

“I grew up in Australia”.

“People will start thinking you’re a pilot with that accent”.

Instead of saying “you’ve just met a pilot”, I grinned nervously. The upcoming schedule was ruminating in my mind.

Weeks 2 – 3: Ground School

At airline cadet pilot school, we had 20 weeks to digest ATPL theory. The Airbus ground school was 2 weeks. We had to put everything we’ve learned, from airline interview preparation to cadet school theory classes, to full use.

Tip: Take the time to completely understand the aviation theory taught at interview training and airline cadet pilot school. Your future self will appreciate it.

The course consisted of:

  • Computer based training on a dedicated laptop where a monotonous voice explained the operation of all the A350 systems.
  • Study guide of questions, all of which we need to answer before the end of the course.
  • Technical briefings by our instructor, an experienced Airbus engineer.
  • Use of a fixed base procedural trainer where we learned Standard Operating Procedures and dissected the function of all the buttons and switches.

I once thought the Diamond DA40 Aircraft Flight Manual was extensive until I started studying the airline manuals. To list a few of them:

  • Flight crew operating manual (7000 pages FCOM)
  • Flight crew techniques manual (500 pages FCTM)
  • Quick Reference Handbook (90 pages QRH)
  • Minimum Equipment list (2000 pages MEL)
  • Operations Manual: Policy, Procedures and Requirements (1000 pages)

Tip: You don’t have to be a “walking FCOM”. Memorise the safety critical information and know where to find the rest.

Weeks 4 – 10: Simulator Training

Simulator training commenced at 10pm the day after we passed our ground school exams.

The first session was in a full motion A350 simulator and is similar to the “Effects of Control” lesson. The most challenging aspect was handling the momentum during landing. If we flared like a DA40, the jet will float and run out of runway. If we flared too little too late, our buttocks would learn a lesson as if the instructor hit them with a paper FCOM.

The remainder of the simulator sessions consisted of normal and non-normal training, each lasting 4 hours.

Tip: Spend plenty of time rehearsing each lesson in advance on a “paper flight deck”

The goal of normal procedures training was to learn the Standard Operating Procedures and associated manual handling. There were:

  • 4 sessions in the fixed based procedural trainer
  • 4 sessions in a full motion simulator

The non-normal training included handling failures (e.g. engine failures, electrical failure, hydraulic failure, decompression) including their associated ECAM actions, decision making and manual handling. There were:

  • 3 sessions in the fixed based procedural trainer
  • 5 sessions in a full motion simulator

Our final two airline cadet pilot simulator sessions consisted of low visibility operations and performance based navigation training and general revision for the upcoming type rating and instrument rating.

For our type rating and instrument rating in the simulator, we had to demonstrate to the senior training captain our proficiency in rejected take off, takeoff, go-around, diversion, hold, and landing in manual flight as well as with automatics (autopilot and autothrust).

Weeks 11 – 20: Line Training

“Where’d you go for lunch today?”

“I went to Korea”

The observation flight you do will be one of the most memorable of your career. You’ve trained for 14 months as an airline cadet pilot and finally get to sit back and observe the masters at work over a sandwich or two. I went to Seoul. After observing the first sector, I had a Bibimbap over a 2 hour lunch and bought some Kimchi with my meal voucher. I was a school kid on my first excursion.

Line training is about learning to fly safely, legally and efficiently in a multi-crew operation. It consisted of 10 sectors and took me to multiple exciting destinations including:

  • Auckland
  • Melbourne
  • Sydney
  • Barcelona
  • Washington DC
  • Brisbane

The 17 month journey from the beginning of airline cadet pilot school to the line check was full of challenges and triumphs. I made many lifelong friends and learned a lot about resilience, persistence and comradery.

I was lucky to have the ongoing support of my mentors including Darren McPherson from ACS – Aviation Consulting Services as well as my family and friends. Realising my dream would have been impossible without them. If your dream is to be an airline pilot, certainly consider the airline cadet pilot pathway.

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Vincent’s airline cadet pilot class graduates with Captain Darren McPherson from ACS Aviation Consulting.

We’d like to thank Vincent very much for contributing these fantastic blogs on his airline cadet pilot journey. If you are interested in finding out more about our flight training courses and online learning options, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Flight Training With Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020

The wait is finally over! Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 was released globally today (August 18th 2020), and it is packed with some pretty amazing features to further your flight training.

Flight simulation has advanced a LOT – in the last 10 years especially – and what was once considered a bit of a fun game is actually now very useful for actual flight training. In this blog we take a look at some of the things Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 offers. We will also look at how you can use it to further your flight training.

System Requirements

To be able to make the most out of the Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 experience, you’ll need a pretty powerful PC. Microsoft recommends an Intel i5-8400 or AMD Ryzen 5 1500X CPU, Nvidia GTX 970 or AMD Radeon RX 590 graphics, 4GB of VRAM, 16GB of RAM, and a 20Mbps download speed. For more info head to https://www.windowscentral.com/microsoft-flight-simulator

There will also be a simplified version released on Xbox, with further details on that available soon. Virtual Reality (VR) support is also on the way, which will make both the experience in general and the training possibilities even greater.

Aircraft in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 boasts an impressive list of aircraft. We’re thrilled to see that the Diamond DA40 aircraft that we train with has been included, along with the Cessna 172. The cockpit environments are highly realistic and detailed, which makes this program even more valuable for flight training.

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The Diamond DA40 cockpit is highly realistic in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020

For the more adventurous, you can take the controls of a Pitts Special aerobatics aircraft. Or how about a Boeing B787 Dreamliner? For a full list of aircraft, check out this article https://www.tomsguide.com/news/microsoft-flight-simulator

Airports & Environments

Now let’s talk about airports, because this is where it gets REALLY impressive. You can take off and land from over 37,000 airports around the world. What excited us the most was that the airport list includes our very own Moorabbin Airport (YMMB) in Melbourne.

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Moorabbin Airport (YMMB) runway layout with a Diamond DA40 in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020

The level of detail for airports and their surrounding environments in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 are a sight to behold. Of course, the weather effects are also exciting. You can fly in a full range of light and visibility conditions across day and night. Weather has a significant and highly realistic impact on the performance of your aircraft (including turbulence).

Check out this awesome video of a Melbourne City Orbit flight from YMMB in a Diamond DA40.

Using Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 For Flight Training

To give you the best information on exactly how Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 can be used for your actual flight training, we asked Learn To Fly Flight Instructor David Marien:

“I find flight simulators extremely useful, particularly for maintaining existing skills. I personally use them to practice my instrument approaches and approach plates, briefings and instructing methods. Students can use a simulator to revise and perfect processes and checks for manoeuvres they have already learned with their instructor in an actual aircraft. Circuits, practice forced landings and precautionary search are all excellent examples of procedures where frequent practice on an advanced simulator is highly beneficial to training. Flight simulation also allows you to keep the pilot mindset active until you can return to real flying. Until then, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 is a highly realistic and highly valuable flight training tool”

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Flying at night in the DA40 on Microsoft Flight Sim 2020

Take Your Flight Training To The Next Level Online

With the COVID-19 pandemic still affecting life, we have no guarantees on when flight training will be back to normal. For our overseas students in particular, there are doubts over exactly when it will be possible to travel to Australia for flight training.

We have been working hard to develop our state-of-the-art Online Student Portal, which allows students to continue their training at a level not yet offered by any other flight schools in Australia. We are Australia’s first flight school to adopt the hi-tech V360E virtual cockpit procedural training platform. RPL, PPL, CPL and Airline Pilot Interview theory course can now also be completed online.

When you combine the training available on our portal with a highly realistic flight sim like Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, there are many opportunities to both keep your skills sharp, and advance your training even further from the comfort of your own home.

To find out how our online training options can help you, please email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Enter The World Of Online Flight Training

Check and Training Captain Darren McPherson from ACS – Aviation Consulting Services discusses how modern technology is changing the game for student pilots, with a range of new options for online flight training.

Many define learning as a “change in behaviour from previous experience”. This definition has existed for as long as teachers have been teaching and as long as students have been learning. This approach continues to be one of the longest and most established definitions when we take part in any form of education.

Moving With The Times

As times advance so do technologies, and the standards and methods by which we learn also continue to evolve. The traditional concept of learning in a physical classroom setting with your teacher and classmates has moved forward. The classroom of the future is very much digital, with modern flight training technology providing great opportunities for flexible learning.

We can now communicate faster than ever with each other globally from telephones, personal tablets, laptops and other devices from almost anywhere. These devices give us instant and worldwide access via applications such as Skype, Facetime, Whatsapp, as well as more dedicated software that has become widely available.

Zoom Meeting and other similar online software has become increasingly popular during the COVID-19 pandemic and is widely used for video, audio, and file sharing. This software has allowed for crossing of borders and time zones globally with uses ranging from personal chit-chat through to various forms of sophisticated classroom learning.

A Changing Flight Training Landscape

At Learn To Fly, we actively look at ways to further our capabilities, by embracing modern flight training technology and combining it with software such as Zoom Meeting. Whilst the pandemic has presented us with enormous challenges in the education landscape, it has also forced us to find new ways to reach more people.

We now offer online distance learning via Zoom for a wide range of courses. These include theory sessions in a “live online classroom” environment all the way through to the varied and advanced levels of airline interview preparation, technical subject reviews and more recently flight instructor training.

In addition to live online classes, we have entire theory courses for RPL, PPL, CPL and IREX available via online subscription. These courses contain comprehensive video theory lessons presented by an experienced flight instructor. Online flight training subscriptions allow students to access videos for 12 months. Practice exams are also available as part of the subscription package.

These options allow us to provide students with the opportunity to complete online flight training from wherever they are in the world. They also provide a choice for students that may be in a different time zone, or have other time constraints.

The Learn To Fly Student Portal

Our online student portal has evolved to be one of the most comprehensive training experiences offered by any flight school in Australia. The modern flight training technology we offer extends beyond just Zoom Meeting classes and online video subscription.

We have recently become the first flight school in Australia to adopt the Aviation eLearning V360E platform, which provides students with a 360 degree cockpit environment. Within the V360E cockpit, students can run through all of their procedures in the aircraft of their choice. Each step is outlined in detail with imagery/video and text, enhancing both the experience and the quality of the training.

V360E Online Flight Training

Students that are flying with us can track their progress through both the practical and theory syllabus for each of our courses, and complete mock practice exams before attempting the actual exams themselves. This area of the portal also allows instructors to provide feedback to their students as they learn.

Our reach has extended from Australia outwards to multiple countries within Asia, Africa, Europe, and the United States. We’ve even gone as far as the South Pole!

Online Flight Training South Pole

We will continue to push the boundaries by exploring online flight training technology and distance learning platforms. Whilst the current pandemic has hindered our ability to do many things, don’t let it hinder your future goals and flight training objectives.

Captain Darren McPherson from ACS – Aviation Consulting Services is a Check and Training Captain with a major international airline, with over 30 years of industry experience. We are proud to offer a range of highly successful airline pilot interview preparation courses taught by Darren. For more information head to https://learntofly.com.sg/airline-interview-preparation-programs/

To find out more about our online flight training options and our state-of-the-art student portal, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

Online Flight Training Right On Our YouTube Channel!

Learn To Fly’s YouTube channel is another great source of information for online flight training. Here you can find pre-flight check videos for our aircraft, as well as a range of flying lessons. This is a resource that we will continue to build, so make sure you click below to subscribe!

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Airline Pilot Guest Blog – Why You Should Consider An Instrument Rating Course

Now flying an Airbus A350 for a major international airline, Second Officer Vincent Mok discusses why an Instrument Rating course is so important. He also provides some handy tips on the must-have tools to look at before your first lesson.

All pilots should consider completing an Instrument Rating course which will enable them to fly in Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) conditions. Not only is it an essential step in a professional pilot’s career, but also an invaluable skill for every private pilot because of:

1. Safety

Even though entering cloud or flying in reduced visibility should not happen with adequate planning, Visual Flight Rules (VFR) pilots can still make this fatal mistake. Completing an Instrument Rating course gives you the option of upgrading to Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) for an additional margin of safety.

2. Efficiency

Some seasons are bad for VFR flying. An Instrument Rating increases the likelihood of being able to get to your destination all year round. If you are still training or building hours, completing an Instrument Rating course will allow you build hours and experience faster, with more available days to fly.

3. The Views

There’s just something magical about flying next to clouds, and of course those amazing city views at night!

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Completing an Instrument Rating Course allows you to enjoy spectacular views.

I’d like to share with you the tools I used during cadet pilot school that helped me get the most out of my first Instrument Rating flying lesson. They were also essential for my ongoing progress throughout the Instrument Rating course:

1. IFR Cheat Sheet

This free resource (link: weflyplanes.com.au) will be an invaluable tool for your IFR flying. You should be familiar with the whole document before your Instrument Rating course exam and check flight. However in the meantime, you should focus on the following sections initially:

Phraseology

IFR radio calls are slightly different to VFR but are something you can nail before your first flight. You will get more out of IFR flying if you can communicate with Air Traffic Control (ATC) professionally early on.

Alternate Requirements

Knowing these is crucial for IFR flight planning. Use these to check the TAFs (Terminal Area Forecasts), NOTAMs (Notices to Airmen), and aerodrome charts to make sure it’s safe and legal to fly IFR.

Holding Patterns

A competently flown hold is the bread and butter of IFR flying. You should understand holding patterns and sector entries well enough to teach it to other students!

IFR Cheat Sheet

2. Captain Joe’s Sector Entry Tips

While the IFR cheat sheet is great for learning the theory, Captain Joe (link: https://youtu.be/szkZ9VaNfrc) tells you how to fly it. My instructor was amazed at how fast I could work out sector entries during my first IFR flight! Make sure you watch this a few times!

3. G1000 Simulator

Flight simulators are a lot more useful for IFR flights compared with VFR. I practiced sector entries and flew the entire sortie on my laptop before my first IFR lesson. I’d tried X-Plane 11, Flight Simulator X but found the best trainer for IFR procedures was the G1000 Integrated Flight Deck Trainer (link: https://www.mypilotstore.com/mypilotstore/sep/5990).

Learn To Fly also operates a state-of-the-art Alsim AL42 simulator. This simulator provides a highly realistic cockpit environment based on the Diamond DA42 aircraft.

We’d like to thank Vincent very much for contributing this fantastic blog on the importance of completing an Instrument Rating course. Stay tuned for Vincent’s next guest blog on his journey to becoming an airline pilot.

Vincent was successful in his cadet pilot application after completing airline pilot interview preparation courses with Captain Darren McPherson from ACS – Aviation Consulting Services. Darren is a Check and Training Captain with a major international airline, with over 30 years of industry experience. We are proud to offer a range of highly successful airline pilot interview preparation courses taught by Darren. For more information head to https://learntofly.com.sg/airline-interview-preparation-programs/

To find out more about completing an Instrument Rating Course, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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V360E Virtual Cockpit Training Lands In Australia With Learn To Fly Melbourne

Media Release: Aviation eLearning, the Copenhagen-based company behind the Virtual 360E Editor (V360E), gladly announces that V360E has reached Australia. Premier flight school Learn to Fly Melbourne is the first in the region to use V360E virtual cockpit training technology.

Embracing Technology With the V360E Virtual Cockpit Experience

V360E is a platform for creating and distributing virtual flight training modules as well as non-aircraft virtual training. Learn to Fly CEO Kai Li shares that V360E matches the school’s aim to provide cost-effective training that allows aspirants to reach flying goals faster.

“V360E lets us customise our own aircraft procedures. Our instructors love it, and the best part, our students can also access unlimited cockpit experience in the smartest way imaginable, from anywhere in the world”, Kai explains.

Learn to Fly instructors collaborate in the V360E virtual cockpit platform to build their aircraft procedures. Each procedure is set within a 360 degree photo of the exact same aircraft Learn to Fly students use for training. This setup boosts mastery and cognitive abilities which then translate to actual performance.

Click here to see a sample/demo V360E virtual cockpit flight training module for the Diamond DA42 aircraft with Aviation eLearning

The V360E virtual cockpit platform is set to become the backbone of Learn To Fly Melbourne’s flight procedure training. They plan for the system to be fully live by September 2020.

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V360E offers full virtual cockpit procedural training in the palm of your hand.

Pro Technology, Pro Student

Digital training is no longer just an option – it is undoubtedly the way forward. Learn To Fly has a clear mission, industry expertise, and a close understanding of student needs, and therefore recognises the important role of technology in producing skilled pilots whether flying for leisure or for a career in aviation.

The V360E virtual cockpit platform comes with the accessory V360E app that students can install on their tablets and smartphones. Whether they are just starting out or are already advanced in their pilot training, all students will be able to access their dedicated virtual cockpit trainers using the V360E app. This incredible capability takes the idea of “anytime, anywhere” flight training to the next level.

“The new generation of pilots demand tech in their education. As a flight school, we strive to provide them with the latest and most effective tools. This is not only to attract students, but also to make sure our offer is the best they can get”, says Kai.

About Learn To Fly

Learn to Fly offers beginner, recreational aviation, general aviation, and diploma programs to student pilots around the globe. It also has the largest fleet of Diamond DA40, Diamond DA42, and Sling 2 aircraft in Victoria. Its home base is at Moorabbin Airport in Melbourne, with satellite offices also in Hong Kong and Singapore.

Join Learn to Fly and be part of the growing V360E virtual cockpit community. Aviation eLearning offers more than three decades of experience in pilot instruction, as well as expertise in helping air training organisations succeed in implementing virtual training in their programs. Contact them for a personalised presentation and a free trial.

Want to find out more about our online flight training options including V360E and our state-of-the-art student portal? Email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Airline Pilot Guest Blog – Looking Back at Cadet Pilot Training

Now flying an Airbus A350 for a major international airline, Second Officer Vincent Mok looks back on his cadet pilot training and discusses some of the lessons he learned.

While I was backing up my photos, the past year and a half at cadet school literally flashed before my eyes. It’s an amazing journey to go from an office worker to an airline pilot in the space of 15 months. I’d like to share with a few photos with you from my cadet pilot training and the stories behind them. Hopefully they’ll help you in your journey with aviation.

First Solo, First Milestone

The journey to my first solo didn’t go as smoothly as planned. I needed two checks before the training manager was happy to send me up. The night before my first solo check, I had 15 Xiao Long Baos and a plate of noodles at a restaurant notorious for their use of flavoring enhancer (MSG).

I couldn’t sleep because of the flushing and palpitations which didn’t help with the anxiety before the first solo. My final approach profile was inconsistent because my power adjustments were more spasmodic twitches than smooth and decisive.

Lesson Number 1: Healthy eating is as important as checking the weather before a flight

Lesson Number 2: Sleep quality is essential for learning especially in an accelerated environment

That night I had better quality of sleep. My circuit geometry, final approach profile and landings were consistently safe during my second solo check. Alone in the cockpit, while I did my flows and checklists, I saw the windsock pick up a little and started worrying about it approaching my crosswind limit.

“If tower announced a 10kt crosswind, I’d have to do my solo another day”

I taxied to the holding point, did the required checks, lined up and took off after tower clearance.

“200ft AAL, brakes applied, flaps up” I said out loud.

I reached for the flap lever but it was already at its upper stop, realising that I missed a part of the before takeoff flows and checks. If I was on a 737, I would have crashed at the end of the runway and killed 300 people behind me, destroyed a runway and the reputation of my airline. Distraction is the biggest threat in aviation.

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Vincent’s first solo flight during cadet pilot training.

Lesson Number 3: Don’t rush!

In the above photo taken after my solo, behind the smile, half tucked sweat stained shirt and tired legs were multiple lessons that I had learned. I’d been under a lot of pressure because I was the only one in my course without recent flying experience, despite having a PPL from 10 years ago.

After that solo flight, I knew that I had the potential to complete the course.

Memorable Flights

After the first solo, cadets progress through the following hurdles as part of the flying phase:

1 Recreational pilot licence/area solo standard
2 Private pilot licence (PPL) standard
3 Commercial pilot license standard
4 Single engine instrument rating standard
5 Multi-engine command instrument rating standard
6 Upset prevention and recovery training (UPRT)

The flying at each hurdle was both challenging and fun and reaffirmed my passion for aviation. I saw many sunrises, sunsets, coastlines, country airports as well as the world upside down from 6000ft high. I also recall the dread in my stomach during my UPRT but looking back was an utmost invaluable experience and was the most memorable.

“Do you actually get sick, or are you just scared?” My instructor asked while we were upside down in a roll.

“Imagine this was your Airbus and somehow the attitude is like this. Recover.”

Without much thinking, I adjusted the power, rolled wings level, fixed the pitch, and flew straight and level while the chicken I had at mess a few hours ago wanted to fly its way back out.

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Cadet pilot training includes some memorable flights, like aerobatics!

Another time during the PPL training phase, I was admiring the sunrise and the little houses along the coast I could see from 500ft.

“Enjoy it while it lasts”. The instructor said in a mocking manner as I increased the power to climb to 2500ft.

“You’ve just suffered a partial engine failure”. He placed his hand on the throttle and retarded it to a few inches of manifold pressure.

I immediately pitched for best gliding speed and performed trouble checks, then looked for a field nearby.

“You’ve still got thrust, I don’t feel like landing on a vineyard today”

“Oh yeh….Goolwa Airport is in the vicinity and it seems someone just took off from 01”. I turned the aircraft towards downwind, idle power, made a descending turn to base then final.

“You’re way too high. Do a touch and go and we’ll do a diversion after that”

I took flaps and landed around a third of the way down the runway.

“Why’d you make a full stop?”

My bladder had taken over controls and I taxied to the terminal where we all had a toilet break.

Lesson Number 4: While enjoying the beauty of flight, always be prepared for the unexpected

Weight Gain

“Everybody gains weight at cadet school” was a well known fact that our seniors, course mentors, and instructors stated again and again. We had access to buffet style food at the mess for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The chef nicknamed me “Mr Six Eggs” after my breakfast choice, because there wasn’t enough time in the morning to say “Mr Six Eggs, Two Tomatoes, Bowl of Oatmeal, Scoop of Mushroom, Scoops of Baked Beans, Bowl of Yoghurt”.

Thankfully, one of my coursemates was obsessed with Arnie and I stumbled across photos of “Gympilot”, who used to be overweight but transformed himself into a muscle machine so that he could apply the required 60kg worth of force on a rudder during asymmetric flight on a DA42.

I built lots of friendships (and muscles) at that gym. It became my sanctuary in an otherwise stressful course.

Lesson Number 5: Make exercise a commitment

Cadet pilot training school was one of the most memorable, challenging and fulfilling part of my life. I’d highly recommend any aspiring pilot to consider this path to an airline career. The habits and lessons learned from cadet school lay the foundation for a career as an airline pilot and I attribute the following to my successful completion of the course:

1 Healthy eating is as important as checking the weather before a flight
2 Sleep quality is essential for learning especially in an accelerated environment
3 Don’t rush
4 While enjoying the beauty of flight, always be prepared for the unexpected
5 Make exercise a commitment

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Eating well and exercising is important during the rigours of cadet pilot training.

We’d like to thank Vincent very much for contributing this fantastic blog on cadet pilot training. Stay tuned for Vincent’s next guest blog on his journey to becoming an airline pilot.

To find out more about our flight training courses, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Online Airline Interview Preparation Course

Our highly successful Airline Interview Coaching Session is now available as an online airline interview preparation course!

At Learn To Fly we are committed to innovating our aviation training model so that student pilots and airline pilot hopefuls can continue to learn. We recently introduced online distance learning for our RPL and PPL theory courses, and we are now excited to launch an online Airline Interview Preparation course together with ACS – Aviation Consulting Services.

ACS – Aviation Consulting Services has been developing and consistently providing quality pilot candidates for a range of operators and airlines globally for over 5 years. The Airline Interview Coaching Session itself has helped candidates to achieve success in their applications to more than 10 major airlines worldwide, at both cadet and direct entry levels.

Are Airlines Still Recruiting Pilots?

During recent months we have seen unprecedented impacts on the aviation and airline industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Global airline traffic is nearly at a standstill, but that doesn’t mean that airlines aren’t thinking about their future recruitment.

Some major airlines are still actively recruiting cadet pilots. It is highly likely that the current hibernation period will make the applicant talent pool even more competitive once recruitment resumes for any airlines that are not currently recruiting. Those who use this down time to prepare will be far better placed than those who don’t.

Preparation will always be the single most important factor in giving yourself the best chance of success in airline interview processes. Our online airline interview preparation course gives you access to this crucial preparation knowledge from wherever you are in the world.

How Does the Online Airline Interview Preparation Course Work?

Thanks to advances in technology and software, we are now able to create a truly interactive online classroom environment. Your location no longer prevents you from participating in courses that before you could only attend in person.

This Online Airline Interview Preparation Course uses the same syllabus as our standard Airline Interview Coaching Session. The content has been refined to suit delivery using Zoom online meeting software.

The course contains 5 modules, each of which will run for approximately 90 minutes. We will present each module live in an interactive online classroom across 2 days. The presenter for each session is airline interview specialist and international airline Captain Darren McPherson from ACS – Aviation Consulting Services.

Darren is also available to provide further feedback and interaction with all participants following the course.

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Cadet pilot graduates with Captain Darren McPherson from ACS Aviation Consulting.

Course Outline

The following modules make up the online Airline Interview Preparation course:

Module 1 – The Interview Process

The interview process varies in both format and content for different airlines and operators. This module assists in providing a practical insight into the processes for a range of airlines. Participants also develop a study pathway to assist in structured and ongoing preparation further down the track.

We tailor this module to target the interview process for the specific airlines that course participants will be applying to.

Module 2 – The HR Interview

The HR interview is an important step for most airlines and operators. This also forms a crucial part of the online Airline Interview Preparation course. In this module we examine the human factors that can impact you during this part of the interview process.

We explore the content of the HR interview, and look at interview scenarios and styles for a range of different airlines. This allows you to develop your response methods in order to create the best outcome.

In developing methods for response, we conduct practical planning activities. These teach you how to best respond to airline HR questions using your own strengths and your past work and study experiences. The aim of this module is to help each participant to unlock the ways in which they can showcase their best and most relevant qualities.

Module 3 – Typical Review Questions

Whilst airlines differ in their approach and interview process, there are a number of key themes and areas that are common to all operators. Whilst some of the knowledge areas may seem obvious, the best way to answer these common questions themselves may not be.

In this module we look at those common themes and questions with consideration to the content covered in modules 1 and 2. We will work through each activity in a practical group style format. This way, participants are able to explore their own responses and also develop them further by learning from each other.

Module 4 – Group Skills & Exercises

Airlines place a large emphasis on your ability to work in a team environment. That means that group skills and exercises are an important component of the application process for many.

In this module we discuss the human factors involved in group dynamics, and look at teamwork. We also work through a number of practical team exercises, similar to those you will experience during the interview process.

Finally, we analyse the results of the group exercises. We then conduct an open discussion on how personality factors contribute to the overall outcome.

Module 5 – Technical Knowledge

Even for cadet entry positions, airlines expect that applicants have a level of technical aviation knowledge. During this module in the online Airline Interview Preparation course, we review crucial technical knowledge subject areas.

We take into consideration the differences in what level of knowledge different airlines tend to expect. We also discuss the expected knowledge levels relevant to each individual’s own previous flying and aviation theory experience.

The discussion in this module provides each applicant with an insight into their current knowledge. It also then allows them to plan for further preparation and study if required.

Advanced Training & Further Online Airline Interview Preparation Modules

The Online Airline Interview Preparation course is a standalone 2 day program. However, Learn To Fly and ACS – Aviation Consulting Services have developed a range of individual online modules for more advanced training. For further information or to register your interest in these modules, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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How Can Flight Simulators Advance Your Flight Training?

Thanks to advances in technology, flight simulators have become more and more realistic over time. What was once just a fun game for pilots and aviation fans to play on their computer is now an important tool. But exactly how much can flight simulators advance your flight training?

To find out, let’s learn a bit about flight simulators first, thanks to Nat Crea from NatVIS Simulator Visual Systems. Nat does a great job calibrating simulators to make them as realistic as possible, and recently calibrated our TRC 472 full cockpit Cessna 172 simulator.

The History of Flight Simulators

The Link Trainer debuted in 1929, and is widely recognised as the first flight  simulator. It resembled an overgrown toy aeroplane from the outside,  with short wooden wings and a fuselage-mounted on a universal joint.  Pumps, valves and bellows created a simulator for flight training that  responded to the pilot’s controls and gave an accurate reading on the  included instruments.

The computer age then arrived, and as a result simulators became far more advanced very quickly. Arcade action style flying games were very popular immediately among games console and computer users at home. Civilian simulators were also popular, with users able to fly advanced jet airliners from their home computers by the early 2000s.

Back in the early days of the first basic flight simulators it was already very clear how valuable they could be to advance actual flight training for real pilots. Even the very first Link Trainer replicated the basic controls and instruments of an aircraft. Today, advances in computers and visual technology make a huge difference in the quality of training that flight simulators provide.

At first, the visual scenery was made only of single white points of light on an otherwise black landscape. Nowadays, simulator landscapes and weather are highly realistic outside the cockpit. Inside the cockpit, technology allows us to replicate almost any type of aircraft, as well as both computer or analogue control systems.

Types of Flight Simulators

There are 3 main types of simulators, and each have different specifications:

Aviation Training Device (ATD):

ATDs provide an approved training platform for both procedural and operational performance tasks specific to ground and flight training requirements for certain pilot licence types.

Flight Training Device (FTD):

This is a more advanced version of a simulator. There are 4 different FTD levels, each with their own requirements for approval. Each level has a different amount of aerodynamic programming, systems modelling, and other technological specifications. Our TRC 472 (Cessna 172) and Alsim AL42 (Diamond DA42) simulators are examples of FTDs.

Full Flight Simulator (FFS):

This is the most advanced type of simulator available, and airlines commonly use them for training. All Full Flight Simulators require some type of motion system, and again there are 4 levels. The two highest levels (levels C and D) must have an outside-world field of view and cockpit sounds in addition to other motion and visual effects.

How Can You Use Flight Simulators to Advance Your Flight Training?

Technology now provides an exceptionally realistic representation of the cockpit, avionics, flight conditions, and also aircraft behaviour.

Flight simulators can advance your flight training exponentially, by allowing you to practice non-standard flight situations under realistic conditions. If adverse weather keeps you on the ground, you can still use a simulator to complete flight training.

Given how expensive flight training is, simulators also offer an extremely economical way to hone your skills. If you are able to spend more time learning your skills in a simulator, then you can use your time in a real aircraft to put those skills into practice.

Learn To Fly’s Flight Simulators

We have a range of flight simulator options, and these can assist with all levels of your flight training:

Fully Immersive XPlane Simulator

Our fully immersive XPlane simulator setup includes TQ6 PLUS throttle controls with reverse, feather and cutoff functions as well as Hall Effect Ruddo PLUS rudder pedals with pressure-sensitive differential brake controls, both from Virtual-Fly. You can also utilise glass cockpit avionics including the Garmin G5 instrument display and G430 navigational display from RealSim Gear.

TRC 372 (Cessna 172) Simulator

Our TRC flight simulator provides an almost exact reproduction of the Cessna 172 Skyhawk cockpit. Every detail is precisely reproduced to exact dimensions. This includes the doors, windshield, seats and also the Garmin G1000 glass cockpit panel.

Alsim AL42 (Diamond DA42) Simulator

The Alsim AL42 is a hi-tech super-realistic flight simulator that  directly replicates the cockpit and controls of the Diamond DA42 twin-engine aircraft. This simulator complies with MECIR requirements  and therefore enables students to become familiar with the aircraft  behaviour patterns, procedures and systems whilst still on the ground.

Flight Experience Boeing B737 Simulator

Students can train on state-of-the-art Boeing 737-800 Full Flight Simulators, thanks to Flight Experience. These simulators are used world-wide for pilot training, and provide a fully immersive FFS experience. They are both certified and endorsed by Boeing.

B737-Flight-Simulator Training

Contact [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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How Do Airlines Select Cadet Pilots?

What are airlines looking for when they select their cadet pilots?

There are more airline cadet pilot opportunities than ever before, but competition is still very strong. So how do airlines select cadet pilots? What are they looking for, and what makes you a stronger applicant than others?

Historically, airline pilot candidates were selected based on academic background and relevant industry experience. Over time, airline operators have recognised that there is far more to what makes a good pilot than this alone.

Captain Darren McPherson from ACS – Aviation Consulting Services is our specialist airline interview consultant. He runs our highly successful airline interview courses, which includes the Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) and the Airline Interview Coaching Session. In this blog Darren shares some of the information that has helped guide over 100 airline cadet pilot applicants to success in the last 2 years.

Initial Applicant Screening

Initial screening and selection is a key element in identifying applicants who might be a good fit for a specific airline. It also provides an indication of who is likely to be able to cope with the intensity of a full-time flying training program.

Airlines have their own selection criteria that they adhere to when conducting initial cadet pilot application screening. This can include but is not limited to:

– Age
– Schooling and previous education
– University qualifications, both attempted and/or completed
– Previous flying or aviation-related experience
– Other relevant or additional qualifications

Cadet pilot applicants should check the key selection criteria for the airlines they are applying to. It’s important to know what will be looked at during initial screening.

Aviation English Proficiency (AELP)

Aviation English is the standard global language under ICAO AELP Standards. It is essential that airline cadet pilots can communicate effectively during both their training and their operational careers. This applies in normal day to day operations and more importantly, in emergency scenarios.

Airlines require that applicants pass an AELP test at a minimum of Level 4 proficiency. Even prior to the test, airlines assess an applicant’s English proficiency during initial screening and during the interview process, paying particular attention to:

– Vocabulary
– Overall fluency
– Spoken English and pronunciation
– Comprehension
– Sentence structure

For tips on improving your English skills, check out our previous blog on how to pass your ICAO Aviation English exam.

Group Skills & Exercises

Group skills and exercises form an increasingly important part of cadet pilot recruitment processes for nearly every airline. Airline flight crews feature multiple nationalities, personalities and cultural backgrounds both inside the cockpit and around the flight deck.

One of the most important things you can do in your interview is demonstrate your qualities as a team player that can work effectively with a range of people.

Some of the key things that airlines will look for during group activities include:

– Communication
– Leadership
– Teamwork
– Problem solving
– Decision making
– Situational awareness
– Workload management

Human Resources (HR) Questions

Another key component of how airlines select cadet pilots is the HR Interview. This interview explores your motivation to become an airline pilot, and also your background.

Airline interviewers will ask questions exploring your past experiences with a focus on how you overcame and learnt from past challenges.

Example questions to explore your motivation to become a pilot:

– What interests you the most about becoming an airline pilot?
– Which of your qualities are best suited to becoming a pilot?
– Why do you want to work for our airline?

Example questions exploring your past experiences:

– How did you overcome the challenges that you have experienced throughout your career or life?
– What is the most satisfying part of your career to date?
– What preparation have you done for today’s interview?

HR interviews can also be conducted in a panel format, and may be combined with technical aviation questioning.

Technical Evaluation

Even though it’s not a requirement to have any previous flying experience to apply for airline cadet pilot roles, technical knowledge is one of the best ways to demonstrate your motivation towards an airline pilot career.

The technical evaluation can include practical aspects of flying an aircraft, the role of an airline pilot, and knowledge about the aviation industry in general.

Airline interviewers understand that the level of technical knowledge varies between candidates, but it’s a great opportunity for you to communicate your motivation. Your technical knowledge demonstrates time spent preparing for not just the interview, but towards actually working in an airline pilot role in the future.

A great resource for technical knowledge is the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) “Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge” (2016), which is available through the US Government FAA website as a free download.

What Is The Best Way You Can Prepare?

There are many online tools available to help you prepare for each aspect of the airline cadet pilot interview process, but the best preparation knowledge comes from those who have past experience and success.

Learn To Fly’s Airline Interview Coaching Session has been created specifically to give airline pilot applicants the best possible preparation. The Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) also offers practical flying training, which makes a valuable addition to your technical knowledge.

For further information or to register your interest in these modules, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Pilot Recruitment and the Aviation Industry in 2019

In this blog, Captain Darren McPherson from ACS – Aviation Consulting Services takes a looks at pilot recruitment and the aviation industry in 2019. Darren runs our highly successful airline interview preparation courses. This includes the Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) and the Airline Interview Coaching Session. In under 3 years, Darren has helped 162 pilots to achieve success with 16 different airlines internationally. He has also successfully mentored 2 pilots to join the Australian Defence Force.

Many define learning as a “change in behaviour from previous experience”. This definition has existed for as long as teachers have been teaching and as long as students have been learning. This approach continues to be one of the longest and most established definitions when we take part in any form of education.

Pilot Recruitment and the Aviation Industry in 2019

We always find it interesting to look back and review changes and developments that have occurred during the year. It’s important to consider what has happened in the aviation industry for pilots of all levels of experience, from those just taking up flying all the way through to commercial pilots graduating and starting their first professional pilot roles.

More new pilots than ever are starting their flying training. This ranges from introductory courses through to Private Pilot Licence (PPL) and Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL).

It has been a strong year for professional pilots, and the options available continue to grow. We saw an increase in the number of potential positions for pilots both locally in Australia, and further afield. Numerous international airlines have expanded their pilot recruitment campaigns in 2019, and are opening their doors to more people.

Fly Before You Apply?

In 2019 we noticed that more courses are being considered and completed by the next generation of pilots looking to prepare for cadet applications to various airlines.

Through experience from our airline interview preparation courses, it has become apparent that most successful candidates have undertaken some form of flight training prior to airline applications. Prior flight training gives candidates an insight into the aviation industry, and into flying in general. This greatly assists in preparing for the various components of airline interviews.

Airline Pilot Recruitment in 2019

Aviation industry trends show that candidates with experience from as little as 250 flight hours will be considered for airline pilot recruitment. Pilots at the 2,000 flight hour mark are in high demand, and open themselves to many airline opportunities globally. A number of major airlines have significantly lowered their minimum flight hour requirements for Direct Entry positions in 2019.

At Learn To Fly and ACS, we have numerous students and instructors progressing within this buoyant global pilot market. Graduates of our airline interview preparation courses have been successful at a range of levels. These include Cadet Pilot, Direct Entry First Officer and Direct Entry Second Officer positions with airlines across the Asia Pacific region, as well as the United States.

A Range of Opportunities

In 2019 we have seen pilots enjoy exciting opportunities operating in a wide range of aviation areas. Flight Instructors in particular are flourishing, with more students meaning more opportunities to build flight hours.

An increase in Flight Instructor roles has also provided an excellent opportunity for those looking to get their first flying job. In regional areas especially, Flight Instructor roles allow international pilots to build hours in Australia on a work visa.

Rewards For Your Hard Work

Although the aviation industry can at times appear unpredictable, we are seeing excellent results from the hard work of all students and pilots that come through our door.

This year we have seen pilots of many varied levels of experience move into their dream jobs. We have also seen many pilots position themselves that one important step closer towards achieving their goals in this exciting and ever-growing market.

As 2019 finishes, what is certain is that the aviation world continues to develop at an ever-increasing rate.

Contributed by Captain Darren McPherson
ACS – Aviation Consulting Services 2019

Airline-Pilot-Career

Captain Darren McPherson from ACS – Aviation Consulting Services is a Check and Training Captain with a major international airline, with over 30 years of industry experience. We are proud to offer a range of highly successful airline pilot interview preparation courses taught by Darren.

To find out more about our flight training courses, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Life is Short. Get Your Pilot Licence.

Challenges aren’t stopping David from fulfilling his pilot dream. At 71 years young, he’s studying a Recreational Pilot Licence at Learn To Fly Melbourne.

David, you’re studying a Recreational Pilot Licence with us right?

Well, yes that is the first step (laughs).

Have you already thought about what you are going to do next?

Of course! I haven’t got time to waste now.

David is 71 and signed up for studying a Recreational Pilot Licence this year. We find out he’s not only a friendly chap who has made an impression on many of the instructors and staff at LTF, but he is also a pretty tough character. 

He shares with us how his flight training path has hit some patches of turbulence, and how he has overcome adversity to chase his dreams. There is no stopping David now.

Let’s go back to the beginning. Tell us how you got into aviation and what made you want to get your pilot licence?

I guess it’s like many young teenagers in my day, I was into model planes. I desired to build them and I used to just fly them around in circles. We didn’t have radio control, we just had a couple of wires flying a small model plane. I went onto further studies and other life paths, and I left that aviation interest behind a little bit. 

Then one of my uncles was a pilot, he was a radio operator in World War II. He maintained his interest in aviation and gave me the chance to go up with him, flying around northern NSW, back country area

So how old were you at this point?

In my late teens. I loved it. We flew around in a Tigermoth over that area. Such good fun.

Did he let you take the controls?

No, and I don’t think I asked (laughs). I was happy to sit in the front and look at the scenery and checking out the area below – waterholes, cattle, sheep and things like that. I just knew I enjoyed being up there.

A lot of other things happened in my life. Completing school, getting a job, got married, had kids. Becoming a pilot took a back seat. But it was always there in my mind “gee I’d love to learn to fly”. I didn’t have the time and I was making sure my kids got a good education and took care of their needs first. 

I used to have a farm but I sold that, so have some money in the bank. What am I going to do? (laughs) Get my pilot licence! Do what I always wanted to do. Now I can afford to get my licence and maybe buy a plane. So it’s a comfortable place to be in.

But the journey getting here has been a bit traumatic for me.

We have a bit of background on that. Are you happy to talk about that with us?

Oh yes, it helps me. My wife when she was alive I encouraged her to fly a helicopter. I bought her a flight as a 50th birthday present. I thought by having the first lesson in a helicopter I hoped she would really like it and continue or maybe want to fly planes too. But it was enough for her just to experience the flight. Unfortunately she passed away from an aneurysm.

As it turns out that is somewhat how I found out I too had an aneurysm. I didn’t have any symptoms though. When I went for my medical I told my doctor had a bad cycling accident and split my head open, broke my leg.

How long ago was that?

30 odd years ago. A long time! But it was a big accident so the doctor said maybe you should check that out. So I went to a radiologist and had a CT scan. The radiologist calls me in and says you should go and see your doctor straight away because you have got a small aneurysm. So I had an operation. A neurosurgeon put a clip on it.

Fortunately, afterwards, the doctor said, ‘You are still good to get your pilot licence’! And that was 3 or 4 months ago.

Wow, so very recent then.

Yes, I’d already started my flying training and I didn’t want to give up. Because I had to get the Grade 1 Medical, it was through those discussions with the doctor about my history, and the bike accident, that she suggested getting checked out more thoroughly.

So how has that been a bit of motivation for getting out there and studying Recreational Pilot Licence?

Yes in some respects. It’s given me something to focus on this and it’s something to work towards achieving. It gets the adrenaline running (laughs) and I am enjoying it. I’m looking forward to when I can take the grandkids! Something exciting to show them. They are a bit young still though. One he is only eight months old and the older one she is four-and-a-half.

How have you found the course so far?

I’ve found the course well-paced and I don’t feel like I’m being pushed. Hopefully, I am reasonably competent in what I am doing. I’m taking it very slowly and carefully. The instruction of the course is well laid out, the stages of it and how it all fits in so I’m enjoying that part. 

My instructor is Cam Mitchell and I’ve flown once with Dave Ostler who are both very good. It feels like a bit of a family now. Everyone is supportive and Dips (School Operations Manager) is fantastic. I was checking out the different schools and I found your website and it looked good, so I came in and Dips was so friendly and explained everything well.  It was the friendly open approach that attracted me. I’ve felt comfortable coming here.

Have you flown any others?

Not personally. Not yet. But my cousin used to fly in a Cessna 172 ages ago, like forty-odd years ago. A few years ago I went out to Lilydale and thought I might see about doing lessons there and went up in a Victa Air Tourer.

What is the aircraft you are learning in?

The Sling 2.

Learn-To-Fly-Starter-Set-Hero
The Sling 2 is a great aircraft to get your pilot licence in.

What do you enjoy most about flying?

I like the part where I am pushing myself differently because even though I am a trained teacher and with that, in the past, I did lesson planning, I am still very much a person who just chucks the stuff in and goes. Whereas flying an aeroplane is very different to that so I’m enjoying spending time on the planning and making sure that I do all the checks prior, and weather forecasting and flight planning. I like the discipline that’s involved in controlling an aircraft.

If you were going to buy a plane, have you thought about what kind you would buy?

It would probably be a Foxbat or a Jabiru or one of those types. The reason would be I want a high-wing one where I can see out more easily and if you go camping you can camp under the wing. There are lots of high wing aircraft becoming available. A light plane, high wing, able to carry a small amount of luggage like your tent and picnic essentials.

Do you like tinkering around with the engines as well?

In the past I was mechanically oriented but as I’ve gotten more mature, not so much. Modern engines aren’t so much fun to play around with, computer controls, fuel injection and all that. It’s too specialised. But you know give me a diesel tractor I’ll happily pull that apart to get it working again. I’m not interested in tinkering with aircraft engines though.

You’re having enough fun just flying them?

Yeah, I’m loving flying and the idea of visiting places, as I said, camping under the wing and doing all those things.

Sounds like a perfect way to spend your time.

Australia is a big country and driving takes ages so I think, why not fly yourself in a plane. You can see where you are going if there is bad weather ahead you can just find somewhere to land and try again later.

I’m not a maverick but you know, if there is a dry gravel road down there, check there are no powerlines, no trees, I can just put it down there (laughs).

RPL-Sling-Student-Pilot

Want to get your Recreational Pilot Licence? Email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Things to Know Before You Start Flight Training

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

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

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

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

Make sure you love flying!

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

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

What are your pilot goals?

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

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

What aircraft should I fly?

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

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

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

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

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

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

What other facilities do I need?

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

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

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

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

Are there different types of flight instructors?

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

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

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

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

What is ICAO English proficiency?

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

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

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

Does it matter what airport I train at?

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

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

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

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

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

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

When is the best time to fly?

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

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

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

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Learn to Fly at a Hong Kong Flight School

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

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

The Current Status of Aviation

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

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

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

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

Plan with an Experienced Training Facility

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

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

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Student and Tourist Visas

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

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

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

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

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

The Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Visa

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

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

Working Holiday Visa

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

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

Hong-Kong-Pilot-School

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

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Pilot Flying Tips for Successful Flights

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

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

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

Planning

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

Other essential planning tips for a successful flight include:

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

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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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Training as a Mature Age Pilot: Learning to Fly in Your Fifties

You’re never too old to chase your dreams! Student pilot Kim shares with us his story of learning to fly in his fifties, training as a mature age pilot, and fulfilling his pilot dreams. This year he flew his first solo just shy of his 54th birthday.

Hailing from Singapore, like all citizens and second-generation permanent residents there, Kim had to join the armed forces. He still keeps in contact with two of his military friends who are established pilots and are currently captains for Singapore International Airlines.

“We have a WhatsApp group chat to keep in touch. The two pilots recently captained a flight together, and shared a photo of the two of them in their uniforms after the flight.”

I replied with a photo of myself after my first solo, next to a Diamond DA40 with the text “I may be 30 years behind you, but I am learning to fly”.

They were so happy and excited for me. One replied, “Kim, have fun. A small plane is fun to fly and lots of things to look around”.

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Kim is one of our mature age pilot training students.

Did you always want to be a pilot?

I have always had a keen interest in aviation, like flight planning and Air Traffic Control. I tried to join the Singapore Air Force when I was younger but was rejected because of their eyesight requirements. So I missed that chance.

What are the issues with your eyesight?

I used to wear glasses for short-sightedness. For the air force your eyesight must be perfect. I had laser eye surgery 15 years ago, and now my vision is excellent. However, it was still too late to join the air force. The dream to fly remained, though. I’m retired and still healthy, I thought I would try again to be a pilot of some sort.

Which course are you studying?

Right now, I am doing my RPL. I will go through all the tests, and once I get my licence, I will go to the PPL. I can’t fly with an airline or the Air Force obviously, so I want to fly for fun.

What has been the highlight of the course?

Everybody says your first solo is the most memorable and most exciting moment as a pilot. Indeed it was for me, but not for the reasons you might think. I had to do three solo checks before I could fly. The weather changed, then the air traffic was too busy.

Then when I did get to fly, another issue was my own silly mistake. I didn’t line the aircraft nose up straight. My aircraft wheels weren’t straight either. When I powered up, the plane went to the left. I tried to use the rudder to straighten up, but that didn’t work to straighten the aircraft, and I was moving sideways. I had to hit the brakes and I went onto the grass. Then I advised the control tower I was aborting the flight. I came back to the training room to debrief. The instructors said I did the right thing calling off the flight, as after something like that you should come back and check for potential damage. 

I was upset with myself. When something like that happens, it’s a big blow to your confidence. My instructor was a little surprised too because he thought I seemed ready. It was one small thing that I didn’t check. However, that is all behind me now. It has made me a better pilot. I won’t make that mistake again!

So a mistake that you made ended up being a highlight because you learned the lesson from it?

It made me more aware of things that can go wrong, even when you are focused and prepared. This can happen to anybody – even an experienced pilot.

What have you found to be the most difficult thing about mature age pilot training?

The weather and busy air traffic. Even when you get good weather and an aircraft, the airport is hectic. So there is lots of waiting. We only have a two-hour time slot to fly. More waiting around means less flying time. The weather here is the most challenging for me.

How did you go with the theory and exams?

I found the exams ok so far. You have to study hard, and you have to know the material – lots of memorising. I haven’t found it an issue, and I am currently preparing for a big theory exam. I will do that around mid-August. So by next week, I should have finished all my flying so I will have two weeks of intensive study and prepare myself for theory. When that is over, I can arrange for my flight test.

What would you say to anyone whose considering learning to fly later in life?

Live your dream if you want to fly. I feel, at 54, my age is not an issue. It is more about your mental will.

The other day I met a man who had come in for a Trial Introductory Flight. A retired businessman around my age who was asking me many questions. He was scared about the engine stopping mid-air and asking me what happens. I was explaining that pilots are trained to manage those situations. We got talking about how I was getting my Recreational Pilot Licence. He was saying he did want to learn to fly and now thought he was too old. He is 50, so I told him I am 54 and I am learning. So you are not too old!

Then when he went out for his flight, and the pilot let him glide. After landing, he came and spoke to me again. He was so excited.

So to people my age, I want to tell them, you are never too old. As long as you are medically fit and you have good motor reflexes, then you can fly.

This is what I always wanted to do. Now I am retired and have the resources. It took me a while, but here I am. I enjoy it so much. I’ve met some nice people. The instructors are great.

Thanks Kim for sharing your experience of learning to fly in your fifties. Best of luck for achieving your Recreational Pilot Licence.

Are you a mature age pilot looking to start your training? Get in touch with our flight training specialists. Email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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The IMSAFE for Pilots Method

Pilots know their pre-flight checklist inside and out to ensure the aircraft is safe and ready to fly. Of equal importance is the IMSAFE for pilots method, which is pre-flight wellbeing cross-check to determine that they are physically and mentally fit to fly aircraft.

Pilots will learn the IMSAFE checklist early in flight training because a multitude of human factors can impair pilot skills and decision making. Decisions that pilots make can bear far greater consequences than your average 9-5 job.

Passenger and pilot safety is paramount, and therefore conducting an IMSAFE check helps reduce the likelihood of errors.

IMSAFE for pilots stands for:

Illness (meaning, are you currently sick or have been recently?)
Medication (meaning are you taking prescription or over the counter medications?)
Stress (meaning are you experiencing psychological pressure or anxiety?) 
Alcohol (meaning when did you last consume alcohol, or are you hungover?)
Fatigue (meaning are you exhausted or overtired? When did you last eat?)
Emotion (meaning are you upset about anything?)

It’s obviously a fairly tough time for current pilots, with huge disruptions to domestic and international travel. Major carriers like Qantas, Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific have had to stand down thousands of employees. Sadly this has included even experienced airline pilots. Many people may think that starting pilot training now is risky, but we think the future is bright. Read on to find out why!

Illness

A valid medical certificate is required for certain conditions, but it’s important to acknowledge less serious conditions as well. If you had a cold or flu, you would reschedule your medical until you were feeling better, so you should also reschedule your flight.

Please rest if you are sick. Cold, flu and seasonal allergies should not be underestimated. It’s a double-edged sword in how their symptoms in isolation can affect pilot performance, and then combine with any medication you take to relieve them.

Medication

Many prescription and over-the-counter medications can be dangerous for a pilot to take before flying. When medication is necessary, discuss it with an aviation medical examiner before you fly. Depending on the drug, it may mean there is a no-fly wait period post-consumption for pilot safety. It’s also worth investigating any long term effects of taking medication.

Stress

Stress is a regular part of life. However, we can likely agree that pilots have an inherent intensity that comes with the job. It’s above average and prolonged stress that affects us negatively. The kinds of stress to be aware of are:

Physiological: the physical body including fatigue, strenuous exercise, injury, changing time zones, diet, illness and physical ailments.

Environmental: external factors like temperature, noise, crowds, lighting, air quality.

Psychological: triggered by grief, family issues, conflict, financial troubles or a change in work schedule and obligations.

Stress can come from good things happening in our lives too including getting married, expecting a child, role promotion, a pending holiday, or even large purchases. 

Develop positive habits and outlets to manage stress ongoing as part of your IMSAFE for pilots practices. Here are some ideas:

Regular exerciseYogaDrink lots of water
MeditationEat nutritious foodSpend time outside
Quality sleepLess screen timeLimit alcohol

Having a clear mind is so important. If stress or anxiety is affecting your thought process before or during flights, talk to trusted family and friends or a professional.

IMSAFE-For-Pilots
S stands for STRESS in the IMSAFE for pilots method. Having a clear mind when flying is important.

Alcohol

Alcohol’s effects are universally understood, and consuming alcohol within 8 hours of operating an aircraft is prohibited. This can be enforced with random breath testing.

“Eight hours from bottle to throttle” is also a slippery slope. While you might pass a random breath test, hangovers can’t always be cured by a buffet breakfast and Berocca. Nausea, vomiting, extreme fatigue, dehydration, foggy attention and dizziness are not symptoms you want to fly a plane with. 

There’s the creeper hangover too. Have you ever woken up fine, but then several hours later want nothing more than a Gatorade, bed and darkroom? Resist the temptation, and avoid alcohol 24 hours before you get behind the instruments.

Fatigue

Fatigue is different from being tired and lifestyle, physical and mental health factors affect fatigue levels in everyone differently. If you know your body and understand what it needs to perform optimally then you can take steps to ensure fatigue doesn’t set in.

Food is fuel, and this means having a proper diet as well as eating regularly. Prolonged hunger can cause drops in blood sugar, which affects your mood, energy and concentration. Schedule in your mealtimes and keep nutritious snacks, confectionery, water or electrolyte drinks on hand.

Emotion

Pilots are encouraged to keep calm and carry on in all situations, but they are still human. Take the time to consider your own personal and professional baggage before you enter the cabin, and ask yourself:

– Is anything bothering or upsetting you? 
– Are you angry or annoyed?
– Are you sad, anxious or depressed?

Negative emotions are part of the human experience. It might be something that happened today or an accumulation of things. No one is asking you toughen up and get over it. Taking an emotional inventory can help you compartmentalise it pre-flight and focus on the job. Be sure to seek out a trusted friend or family member, or professional help if you need support.

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

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Taking to the Sky as a Mature Age Pilot

Want to learn to fly in Melbourne? Even in your later years, you can take to the sky as a mature age pilot.

Becoming a pilot is often considered a youthful pursuit. A majority of students who achieve their pilot licence with Learn to Fly are under 25 and go on to have successful pilot careers or fly recreationally. However, if you are well over 25 and still have pilot aspirations, you don’t have to give up on your dream. Even with certain medical conditions that some people perceive as a barrier to obtaining a pilot licence, as LTF student Pete Bain shows us, it’s an achievable goal.

We sat down with Pete, who is undertaking his GA Private Pilot Licence, for a quick chat to ask him about being in his fifties and deciding to become a pilot in Melbourne.

Did you always dream of becoming a pilot, or is this a new endeavour?

I had dreamt of becoming a pilot, but it never came to fruition. I joined the police force at 20 and followed that path instead. 

I undertook some flying lessons when I lived in England many years ago and acquired about 10 hours. However, it became unaffordable for me, so I stopped. I then developed a condition in my eye that has left me virtually blind in my left eye. I just assumed that this would disqualify me from getting the medical clearance required, so once again, I didn’t pursue it any further.

When I moved to Australia, on a whim I started making some enquiries. It was in my investigations I discovered that being a monocular pilot is not uncommon. I also found out that becoming a pilot was more affordable in Australia than in the UK, so I decided to retake the plunge. 

After some research and talking to some Melbourne flying schools, I decided on Learn To Fly. One of the reasons I chose this school because of the busyness of the airport, so I could get more experience with air traffic and radio communications.

I started here with the RA-Aus course, but I decided to transfer over to a Private Pilot Licence (PPL). However, that requires a Class 2 Medical clearance. I have been working with CASA to obtain this.

Tell us more about that. What has this meant for obtaining your PPL?

I started with LTF in November 2018. I have got roughly 40 flight hours. So I am at the stage where if I had my medical clearance, I would have been able to progress to solo and then go onto licences. So it has stagnated my progress a little. In the interim, I’ve continued with my instructors to keep practising things such as emergency forced landings and short field takeoff landings. However, again, I haven’t been able to fly solo and go and do that myself. I feel like I’ve been spinning my wheels a little at the moment.

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is, you’re the pilot” ~ Michael Altschuler. 

What has been the highlight of learning to fly so far?

Today. I’ve had to jump through loads of hoops for CASA to get my Class 2 Medical Clearance. Today was the last hoop so it is looking good that I will get the required medical certificate so I can keep progressing with my PPL dream. 

What have you found the most challenging about learning to fly?

For me, I guess it’s the workflow and the checklists. Remembering those and keeping on top of them. Every now and again, an instructor will ask you a question. For example ‘can you remember what we do for a steep turn’, and you think ‘I hadn’t thought of that in a while’ – so trying to remember those details of what you aren’t currently practising. It does become more and more familiar with the practice over time. 

What is your ultimate goal as a pilot in Melbourne?

I want to get to PPL. I don’t want to be a commercial pilot. Besides, I’m 53. A job with an airline is not an option for me. I could get a job as a flight instructor or something like that. However, I’m happy doing what I am doing. I just want to fly. 

The idea of flying my wife, or friends, or even my dog to an airfield for lunch or even a short break somewhere nice, and then coming back is pretty cool. I’ve got family in NZ and England and when they come over to visit it could be quite nice just to take them up and fly them around and Victoria from above.

Do you have any tips or advice for anyone who is considering being a mature age pilot?

Persevere. There might be hurdles to overcome in terms of balancing what’s required from a learning commitment point of view. You may also have to face obstacles concerning CASA medical clearance regulations, but that is all part of it. If you keep at it, you will get there. Take things at your own pace.

Thanks, Pete for showing others that the art of flying as a mature age pilot absolutely can be done!

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Mature age pilot Pete Bain with the Sling 2 aircraft he is training in.

Are you a mature age pilot looking to start your training? Get in touch with our flight training specialists. Email [email protected] or visit 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), 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

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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.

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

You can get more pilot flying tips by subscribing to our YouTube channel. We have RPL/PPL flying lessons, aircraft pre-flight check videos, and more. Click the button below to subscribe!

Chat to one of our flight training specialists to get your pilot training off the ground. Email [email protected] or go to https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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The Best Aviation Websites for Student Pilots

According to studies, the average person apparently spends nearly seven hours a day on the internet in some way, shape or form. When you take away social media, endless perfectly posed selfies, cute puppies, and videos of cats doing hilarious things – there is actually an incredible amount of useful information out there on anything you might need to know, including aviation websites for student pilots.

Pilots rely on internet-based information for many things. This can include anything from training resources and simulation, to live flight data, navigational aids and real-time weather. For those pilots that may not know where to look, we have put together a list of the best aviation websites for student pilots.

Information Websites:

Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)

Over the last few years, the CASA website has seen significant improvement in terms of functionality and training resource availability. This governing body aviation website includes:

– Aerodrome and airspace information
– Aircraft register and airworthiness information
– Written and multimedia training and education resources
– Rules, regulations and safety information
– Licensing information
– Medical information and links

CASA also has a YouTube channel featuring videos that target topics including human factors, safety management, fatigue, drones and flight crew licensing and training.

Recreational Aviation Australia (RA-Aus)

With nearly 10,000 pilot members, RA-Aus is the peak body in Australia responsible for administering ultralight, recreational and Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) operations. On the website you will find:

Membership and member event information
– Training information
– Accident summaries

RA-Aus offers a host of scholarships for flight instructors, maintainers and people of any age who wish to enter the aviation industry, and also publishes a print magazine called Sport Pilot.

Airservices Australia

Airservices Australia is a government-owned organisation providing the aviation industry with telecommunications, aeronautical data, navigation services and aviation rescue and firefighting services. They are also the provider of NAIPS – the pilot briefing service which covers flight plan filing, NOTAMs and safety information. The website has:

– Navigation information
– Flight briefing services
– Career information for air traffic control, aviation rescue and firefighting
– Charts, navigational supplements and other products available for purchase online

Bureau of Meteorology (BoM)

Through regular forecasts, warnings, monitoring and advice covering both Australia and Antarctica, BoM provides one of the most fundamental and widely used government services.

They also offer an aviation weather service that provides pilots with meteorological information necessary for safe operations within the technical and regulatory framework of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Some of the information of the website includes:

– Interactive Local and national weather maps and forecasts
– Interactive weather radars
– Synoptic charts and forecasts
– Aviation weather warnings
– Downloadable resources and historical data
– Graphical Area Forecasts (GAF)

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The BoM live weather radar is one of the most important websites for student pilots

Aviation News Websites:

There are many aviation news websites available online that contain a range of information including industry updates and news, training-related articles, regulatory changes, reviews, features, events, galleries, videos, competitions and more. Here are some of our favourites:

Australian Flying
Australian Aviation
Flight Safety Australia
Avweb

Flight Planning Websites:

AvPlan EFB

AvPlan is an Australian flight planning application for Apple iPad, iPhone and Android devices. It is CASA approved and therefore can be used as a legal replacement for paper maps, ERSA, DAP, AIP and AIP SUP. The website includes:

– Tutorials, tips and webinars
– Virtual co-pilot
– Airfield directories

AvPlan EFB also offers flight plan transfers from Jeppesen, FliteDeck, Command Flight Planner and Champagne.

OzRunways EFB

Available for Apple and Android devices, OzRunways is an Australian electronic flight bag, approved by CASA as a data provider, meaning that Australian pilots can use it to meet all requirements for document carriage in flight. It provides worldwide airport weather, NOTAMS and full area briefings in Australia. The website offers:

– Subscriptions (free trial offer as well)
– User manuals
– Online support

Flight Tracking Websites:

There are a few websites that provide real-time flight tracking information around the globe, with the ability to zoom into local areas for more detailed information. We recommend:

Flight Radar 24
Flight Aware

FlightRadar Aviation Website
The FlightRadar24 website allows students to track aircraft movements.

Aviation Careers:

Aviation Australia

A registered training organisation, Aviation Australia was established to support the development and growth of the aviation and aerospace industries in both the Australian and international markets. On this aviation website you can find:

– Aviation courses
– Student support
– Aviation employment services

Pilot Career Centre Oceania

The PCC is a global team of present-day airline pilots. The site offers a wealth of relevant industry insight, recent airline interview experience, and career advice, including:

– Pilot shortage news
– Aviation news and updates
– Pilot jobs
– Training information
– Pilot CV assistance
– Tips for airline interview preparation

The Learn To Fly YouTube Channel

Learn To Fly’s YouTube channel is a great resource for students. We post regular content including RPL/PPL flying lessons, pre-flight check videos for our aircraft and more. Check out the video and click the button below to subscribe.

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

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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.

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“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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How to Pass Your ICAO Aviation English Exam with Flying Colours

Effective communication is an important skill for any pilot. Being able to pass your ICAO Aviation English Exam with flying colours is crucial to your career. It is a requirement for radio communications with aircraft and air traffic control, advising your flight intentions, and with colleagues both in and around aircraft.

To ensure consistency, global standard English is the recommendation from ICAO for communication. It forms an essential part of pilot training. It covers a range of topic areas including the use of relevant terminology, vocabulary, and protocols. Pilots will be tested on Aviation English throughout their career.

ICAO-Aviation-English-Exam
Pass your ICAO Aviation English exam with flying colours.

Background

The language proficiency standards were established by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in 2008, and then applied to flight crew licensing and signatory countries soon after.

Although one may speak English well, it’s also critical that pilots can listen to and comprehend instructions given over the radio. Accents from controllers and pilots can vary from flight to flight. Overcoming the challenge of accents alone can mitigate issues, and consequently play a significant part in making a flight run smoothly.

Listening Skills

Taking the time to observe and listen to Air Traffic Control (ATC) can be a valuable strategy prior to your ICAO Aviation English test. Live ATC allows individuals to listen to various control centres globally. You can listen to ground control, control towers, and en-route centres at a number of locations around the world.

When developing your listening skills, accents from both pilots and controllers will become apparent. This allows you to effectively tune your ears to a range of accents and instructions that you will likely experience daily as a pilot. This will ultimately then make this component of the ICAO English test more achievable.

Vocabulary skills

In addition to honing your Air Traffic Control listening skills, pilots need a broad spoken vocabulary in practical aviation. Reviewing aviation images or scenes online and then describing them out loud can be a valuable technique in determining the depth of your vocabulary.

Google search for aviation scenes and images. Practice describing what you see in random scenes or images verbally using known aviation terminology. Practice this technique regularly to help expand both your aviation vocabulary and flow of communication. You will need to execute this for the Aviation English Proficiency Test.

Preparation is Key

Clear and effective communication will always be critically tested and assessed for any pilot candidate. Utilise the resources available to you immediately and then start applying techniques in preparation. Expanding and improving your own listening and communication skills will prepare you well as a future pilot in a rapidly developing and growing industry.

Darren McPherson
ACS – Aviation Consulting Services 2019

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!

If you need more information about how to pass the ICAO Aviation English exam, chat to one of our flight training specialists. Email [email protected] or go to https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Human Factors in Aviation. Are Pilotless Planes The Future of Air Travel?

As technology progresses faster and faster in the modern world, there are many processes that are becoming automated. So where do human factors in aviation sit in an increasingly automated world?

What are human factors?

Even with automated tasks and processes, humans still need to either control, manage, intervene, or interact with technology at many stages.

Human Factors in its widest definition describes all the many aspects of human performance which interact with their environment to influence the outcome of events. These may be related to either the physiological or psychological aspects of human capability. Both of which are able to directly affect the way in which the human operator performs in different circumstances.

Human Factors knowledge reduces the likelihood of errors, and builds more error tolerant and more resilient systems.

What are the effects of human factors in aviation?

Things have changed a lot from when we had to manually start an aircraft’s propeller. And also from when pilots had to exclusively use landmarks to visually navigate during flight. But even with all of the latest technology installed in aircraft, human factors still play an enormous role.

The human factors involved in the operation and interpretation of even the most modern technology remain of the utmost importance in ensuring the safety of aircraft operations.

Negative human factor impacts

Most of the world’s worst aviation disasters have been a direct result of human factors, including the following. An example of this is the Tenerife disaster in 1977. A runway collision between two B747 airliners, due to misinterpreted radio communication form the captain of one of the aircraft. It resulted in 583 casualties.

There are examples of failed interactions between humans and technology. One such incident is the mid-air collision between a chartered Tu-154 passenger flight and a B757 DHL cargo jet over Überlingen, Germany in 2002.  This resulted from ambiguous air traffic control and TCAS (traffic collision avoidance system) instructions. The automated TCAS instructions were in fact correct in warning the pilots of nearby traffic. It directed them to change their respective altitudes accordingly. The intervention of a fatigued air traffic controller however, who was unable to access the full scope of information he needed, resulted in the TCAS instructions being ignored, and the aircraft collided.

Human-Factors-Aviation-Accident
The Uberlingen disaster was a combination of automation and human factors in aviation.

Positive human factor impacts

Whilst human factors such as stress, fatigue and psychology can no doubt be discussed in relation to negative impacts on aviation, there are many situations where human factors are essential to the safe operation of a flight.

Most technology still requires a human to either operate it, manage it or translate it. In flight in particular, there are so many variables that at this stage it is very difficult to rely entirely on an automated system to make decisions.

A perfect example of the above lies in the recent tragedies involving Boeing 737MAX aircraft. This led to the grounding of the aircraft globally while software systems were checked and upgraded. There is evidence to support that the failing system was overridden by a pilot on the LionAir aircraft during flight the day before the subsequent accident occurred.

Investigation into human factors decisions that have proven to be efficient in breaking a chain of events that would have led to an accident is very important in improving aviation safety overall. This is helping to develop better technology.

Would you trust flying in an entirely automated aircraft?

The only way to eliminate human factors in aviation contributing to accidents is to completely eliminate human involvement. In other words, become 100% automated. But is this feasible, and would you trust an entirely automated aircraft?

The use of commercial and military drones shows the technology for pilotless plane travel exists and is in regular use. But whilst the world’s most common types of passenger aircraft rely heavily on computers to execute the commands of pilots and crew, a completely unmanned flight poses many potential issues.

Would there be teams of pilots on the ground controlling the aircraft? Who is in charge of the plane when it is in the air, and what would happen if an emergency situation with a passenger on board occurred?

It is incredibly difficult to think of scenarios that would not require human involvement at some level. Therefore, human factors are still relevant at some point in the process.

What do pilots think?

Naturally, pilots are concerned about flight safety. Steve Landells, flight safety specialist for the British Airline Pilots Association, says:

“Automation in the cockpit is not a new thing – it already supports operations. However, every single day pilots have to intervene when the automatics don’t do what they’re supposed to. While moving pilots to a control tower on the ground might eventually save airlines money, there would need to be huge investment to make this possible, and even more to make it safe.”

Where do human factors fit in the future of aviation?

Negative human factor influences may be accountable for most aviation accidents. But how many accidents have been avoided through positive human factor intervention?

The study of human factors in relation to aviation is incredibly important to maintain and improve the safety of flight operations in today’s world, as well as for the future of air travel.

With technology accelerating and offering more in the way of automation, the nature of the relationship between human factors and aviation will continue to change. Human management, interaction and involvement with technology and automated processes in aviation now is no less crucial than it was in the management of fully manual processes in the past.

We have developed our own Human Factors Awareness Training course, that all of our staff attend. This course is also open external applicants who want to learn more about human factors in aviation. To learn more, chat to one of our flight training specialists. Email [email protected] or go to https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Step By Step Guide to the Qantas Airline Pilot Selection Process

With a global pilot shortage, major carriers are opening up recruitment programs to attract pilots looking for an airline career. Even though there are many more opportunities now available to join an airline, the selection process remains challenging and competitive.

Preparation is the key. To help you to understand what airlines are looking for and hopefully improve your chances of success, we have created a blog series to take you through the selection process for some of the major airlines.

Preparation courses, where we go into specific airline interview processes in great detail, to coach you towards achieving your dream airline pilot job.

Read our last blog on the topic featuring the Cathay Group

Let’s look at Qantas Group airline pilot selection process including Qantas and Qantaslink.

Qantas (Mainline) and Qantaslink (Direct Entry)

1. Remote computer psychometric testing

Remote screening of applicants is conducted prior to an invitation for further assessments. Following this, you can expect additional Group Skills and Exercises, an HR interview and evaluation.

Key indicators consist of general personality, intelligence, numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning and eye-hand co-ordination; all of which are essential benchmarks before further testing can be attempted.

2. Group skills and exercises

Groups skills focusing on various scenarios and situations are developed and assessed as to how a candidate works within a team. These Qantas pilot selection process exercises will examine aspects within a number of situations and tasks that need to be completed in a dynamic and evolving scenario.

Key qualities assessed are communication, leadership, general problem solving, as well as threat management. These scenarios are dynamic, fast-paced and will change throughout the exercises; subsequently testing a candidate’s ability to update, reassess and implement strategies or changes throughout.

3. HR interview and assessment

Human Resources (HR) examines a candidate’s personal and career history. With particular emphasis on enthusiasm and attitudes, it also evaluates problem-solving skills in dynamic theoretical situations.

Skill sets that are considered closely include communication, leadership, general problem solving and threat management during a number of both individual and group settings.

4. Simulator exercise and training aptitude and assessment

Flight simulator assessment will allow the candidate to demonstrate flying skills that are an essential part of any pilot position. A sound demonstration of skills is required to demonstrate a solid foundation of basic instrument flying skills.

Whilst not expected to fly the simulator at the level of a qualified or endorsed pilot, candidates will be assessed on their ability to process new tasks in the aircraft and training environment.

5. Detailed reference check

A final step in the Qantas pilot selection process is the professional and personal reference check. Speaking to previous employers, flight instructors, supervisors or vendors helps validate the candidate’s true character as opposed to an artificial or pre-rehearsed interview candidate.

Learn To Fly offers 3 dedicated courses to help you in preparation for airline applications, and we can customise the syllabus based on the process of whatever your chosen airlines are. The courses are run in conjunction with ACS- Aviation Consulting Services and are facilitated by international airline Captain Darren McPherson.

Over the last 2 years, these programs have assisted nearly 80 applicants to successfully be accepted into 10 different airlines around the world. Learn more below:

Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP)
Airline Interview Coaching Session

Darren-McPherson-ACS-Aviation-Consulting-Services
Captain Darren McPherson is an expert on the Qantas pilot selection process.

For further information or to register your interest in these modules, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Singapore Airlines Pilot Selection Process: Step By Step Guide

Want to know more about the Singapore Airlines Group pilot selection process (including Singapore Airlines and Scoot)?

We also have airline selection process blog posts for Cathay Group and Qantas Group.

One of the biggest ongoing aviation news stories in 2018 was the current and future global pilot shortage, and the rapid expansion of cadet pilot programs from most of the world’s biggest airlines. With new opportunities opening up around the world, a career as an airline pilot is more achievable now than it has ever been.

The selection process is still challenging and very competitive. Preparation is absolutely essential if you hope for success.

To give you the edge over other applicants we offer a range of highly successful Airline Pilot Interview Preparation courses. These courses can be tailored specifically to your target airlines, and provide you with comprehensive training on how to make the most of your applications.

Learn more about the Singapore Airlines pilot selection process (including Scoot Airlines) and how our courses can help you below.

Singapore Airlines Pilot Selection Process

1. Remote computer psychometric testing

Designed to screen applicants and look at key qualities that are desired for the role as a pilot, the psychometric test covers general personality, intelligence, numerical reasoning and eye hand coordination.

Our airline interview preparation courses give you the opportunity to complete example psychometric tests similar to those used by the airlines. We will then thoroughly analyse your results with you, based on what airlines are looking for.

2. General HR Interview

This closely assesses the candidate’s overall motivation towards the role and to the airline, as well as some technical knowledge. In particular, enthusiasm and general attitude are assessed through detailed and focused questions about their dedication to becoming a pilot.

International airline Captain Darren McPherson has 30 years industry experience. He will teach you how to best present yourself and your documents. Darren will thoroughly review your CV, enhance your HR skills and technical knowledge based on what specific airlines are looking for.

3. Prepared written essay

A number of word-limited and topic-based questions are prepared by the candidate prior to the next stage of the process. Answers document the applicant’s motivation towards becoming a pilot and furthermore working for the airline specifically.

As part of our programs, we work through example questions with you and assist you in constructing your responses. From extensive experience, we are able to guide you on the type of content and response structure that the airline is looking for.

4. Detailed HR and technical interview

These interviews may be conducted by personnel from both the HR and Flight Operations department, and delve deeper into the candidate’s attitudes towards work, studies, life experiences, preparation and aviation knowledge.

In a simulated mock interview environment, we will work through advanced airline-specific HR questions and response methods, and perfect interview presentation techniques. The technical session will outline effective levels required for the various airline entry points. This will help identify your current level of knowledge, and any areas that you should upskill prior to interview.

Scoot Pilot Selection Process

1. Online assessment

A detailed online computer screening process is conducted with specific evaluation of key indicators including personality, intelligence, numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning and co-ordination. Tasks are specifically time-limited to place the candidate under pressure, looking for composure and consistency of results.

We are able to provide our program students with online assessment tools similar to those used by the airlines. We discuss and then work through results to track performance in specific areas most likely to be highlighted by airlines, and assist with improving on any areas of potential deficiency.

2. Group skills and assessment

These timed exercises place candidates in a range of dynamic scenarios to identify skills such as communication, leadership, mathematical problem solving and threat management. Tasks may be re-presented with modified group numbers or participants to analyse different dynamics and results. All scenarios are thoroughly debriefed and discussed to review applicants’ ability for self-assessment.

Group skills have become a significant factor in the airline pilot recruitment phase. We will practice group activities and review the effects of different personality types and examine leadership qualities as well as effective problem solving techniques within a group, through airline-based scenarios.

3. HR Interview

In this interview the applicant’s personal and career history are examined with particular emphasis on enthusiasm, and attitudes; whilst concurrently closely examining problem solving skills in theoretical yet dynamic situations. Additional problem-solving tasks are presented on short notice. This is to demonstrate, test and reinforce previously established group skills displayed during the earlier assessment.

We will thoroughly review your CV and then analyse your HR skills and technical knowledge. In addition, we will conduct a range of mock interview scenarios. This will link in with previous group exercises, to fine-tune your presentation technique and skills.

Learn To Fly offers 3 dedicated courses to help you in preparation for airline applications, and we can customise the syllabus based on the process of whatever your chosen airlines are. The courses are run in conjunction with ACS- Aviation Consulting Services and are facilitated by international airline Captain Darren McPherson.

Over the last 2 years, these programs have assisted nearly 80 applicants to successfully be accepted into 10 different airlines around the world. Learn more below:

Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP)
Airline Interview Coaching Session

Darren-McPherson-ACS-Aviation-Consulting-Services
Captain Darren McPherson is an expert on the Singapore Airlines pilot selection process.

For further information or to register your interest in these modules, email