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.

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.

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.


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!


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.


Recommended Pathways for Becoming an Airline Pilot for Overseas Students

When talking to student pilot hopefuls from Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia etc about becoming an airline pilot, many still think there is a huge risk paying to study their Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL), because they think that they will never get a flying job.

This may have been difficult a few years ago, however, the aviation industry has completely changed recently. If you want to become an airline pilot – or a pilot in general – there has never been a better time than right now to get into the aviation industry. In this blog, we discuss the pathways available to overseas students with a deep desire in becoming an airline pilot.

What do you do after getting your Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL)?

To improve their chances of becoming an airline pilot after completing their CPL, most students choose to work as a Charter Pilot or a Flight Instructor. This allows them to gain more flying experience before applying to an airline.

For an overseas student, this may have been difficult a few years ago. However, looking at the Australian Federation of Air Pilots (AFAP) website now, there are far more General Aviation (GA) pilot jobs listed, many of which are open to overseas pilots who are able to work legally in Australia.

Even as a fresh graduate, Junior Flight Instructors are now offered a full time job, whereas in the past they were commonly only offered a no-guarantees role with an hourly rate.

Flying schools in regional or remote areas are now struggling to find Instructors to work for them because it’s so much easier to get a job in major cities like Melbourne and Sydney. Pilots that would have previously needed to take whatever job they could find, regardless of location, are no longer willing to work and stay in the middle of nowhere.

Airlines are hiring!

Cathay Pacific, for example, are offering Direct Entry Second Officer roles that only require a CPL and 500 flying hours. Singapore Airlines and Scoot are offering both Direct Entry Second Officer and Direct Entry Junior First Officer with no minimum flying hours requirement.

This is a strong message from the airlines to everyone who might be thinking about becoming an airline pilot, saying “go and get your licences and we will offer you a chance at a career”.

Below are are the recommended pathways for overseas students who are investigating becoming an airline pilot. Planning is extremely crucial though – for example, if you are planning to get an Aviation Degree, you may want to consider the following path:

Option 1

Study the Diploma of Aviation (CPL) and get your Commercial Pilot Licence with a flying school in Australia

Study to obtain your Flight Instructor Rating (FIR) straight away after completing the Diploma program

Choose a university and enrol in the Bachelor of Aviation course with your Diploma certificate. You can most likely claim up to 12 months’ credit, meaning that you may only need to study for 18 months to finish off the Bachelor program

While you are studying at university, your student visa will allow you to work up to 20 hours a week, which means you can work as a part-time Junior Flight Instructor and study at the same time

After 2 years when you graduate with your Bachelor Degree, you will become a Grade 2 Senior Flight Instructor with roughly 800 flying hours already

At this stage, you will already fulfil many of the airlines’ entry requirements and will be able to apply for an airline pilot job, or you can continue to work as a flying instructor until your visa expires

This is a much better pathway to becoming an airline pilot, than just enrolling in a Bachelor of Aviation course at the start. It also gives you a much more flexible career pathway.

Option 2

If you are not planning to study at university there are still many ways to work legally in Australia, and you may want to consider the following path:

Study the Diploma of Aviation (CPL) and get your Commercial Pilot Licence with a flying school in Australia

Study to obtain your Flight Instructor Rating (FIR) straight away after completing the Diploma program

Apply for either Working Holiday Visa / Work Holiday Visa (depending on which country you are coming from) OR a Temporary Skills Shortage Visa.

Work as a full-time Flight Instructor

After accumulating 200 instructional flying hours, you can become a Grade 2 Flight Instructor and continue to work as a flying instructor until your visa expires

At this stage, you will already fulfil many of the entry requirements for becoming an airline pilot.

Visa Options

Working Holiday Visa:

Citizens of many countries are eligible for this visa including Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia etc. Work and Holiday Visa and Working Holiday Visa holders need to change employer every 6 months, but after 6 months’ working as a Flight Instructor for one employer you will most likely become a Grade 2 Flight Instructor. This means that there will be many jobs available to you at other flying schools since Grade 2 Flight Instructors can work without supervision and are therefore in high demand.

Temporary Skills Shortage Visa (TSS):

The TSS visa is a sponsored work visa that recognises skills that are in high demand in Australia. As mentioned previously, the recent demand for Flight Instructors in major cities has left many regional and rural flying schools with a shortage and unable to recruit enough pilots. Some of these areas even include larger regional cities, and if you are willing to work there, you may well find that a flying school is able to sponsor you for full time employment on a TSS visa.

Becoming an airline pilot is easier when you consult with a specialist

Whichever path you choose, planning is the most important aspect – and you can only plan properly when you have accurate information. Stop listening to people who may not know about the current situation for flight training in Australia, or who may not know about the Australian Aviation industry in general.

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 Airline Interview Coaching Session.

Captain Darren McPherson is an expert on airline cadet pilot interviews.

For further information or to register your interest in our airline interview preparation courses, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.