Flight Training FAQ's

Flight Training Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I would like to learn to fly but am not sure I can meet the medical requirements 
A. Medical requirements vary quite considerably depending upon your age, health and the type of flying you intend to do. We can advise you and direct you to the appropriate medical practioner

Q. I would like to commence flying privately but have a lot of time commitments and assume that I wouldn’t have time to get a licence.
A. An RPL licence minimum requirement is only 25 hours of flying time (although most students will take slightly longer). With good coaching and preparation and a commitment by you, even if you can only spare a few hours a week say on the weekend, you could have an RPL in 3 to 6 months.

Q. I am worried by the cost.
A. Ask for a full written quote on costing by the school. The quote should detail full charges for all the types of aircraft and simulator needed for your program and indicate both the minimum requirements plus the schools estimate of the actual likely time. Remember flying is a very individual experience and everyone reacts differently. You may take more or less time but in principle, it is not a bad idea to be conservative and add 20% to any quote you receive. Remember to ensure that any quote includes indications for books, pilot supplies, head sets etc that you will need to purchase.

Q. Are there age constraints on private flying?
A. You can commence flying training at any age if accompanied by a qualified flight instructor. However you must be 15 to be passed to fly solo and 16 to hold a flight crew licence (RPL or above). There is no upper limit. This is governed by health requirements.

Q. I currently hold a RAA licence. Do I automatically receive the new RPL licence?
A. No you have to apply for the conversion and undertake a flight review with a qualified flight instructor. Talk to us about how to migrate.

Q. How do I choose a flying school?
A. Factors which should affect your choice should include the experience of the Chief Flying Instructor and other pilots, the culture of the school, their training authorizations, their reputation and their aircraft. What is their background and culture? What is the professional culture of the organization? Ask about the training approvals held by the school. It is no good signing up to go all the way to multi engine command instrument rating with a school that does not have that capability. If in doubt ask to see the approvals listed on their Air Operating Certificate (AOC)

Ask to speak to the CFI as well as the instructor you will be paired with. It is important to have a good rapport with these people. The cockpit is a high pressure environment and you need to feel comfortable with the people who will instruct you. Make sure that your instructor has real flying experience. Your learning experience is likely to be less fulfilling if much of it is conducted by someone who only learned to fly a year or so before you!

Finally ask for testimonials. Speak to the most recent graduates to understand their experience. Finally ensure the school is in good financial standing. Some enquires around the airfield will give you a lot of insight

Q. I have been asked to “prepay” for my lessons. Is this OK?
A. No. Under no circumstances pre pay lessons. You should only pay lesson by lesson. Be extremely wary of any school that pressures you to prepay.

Q. How do I monitor whether my training program is unfolding satisfactorily?
A. You are paying a lot of money and giving up a lot of time to learn to fly. Be critical and demanding. Is the course unfolding as you expected? If not review it early with your CFI and ask why? Danger signs include;

  • Constant rescheduling or cancellation of lessons.
  • Failure to provide proper briefings.
  • Constant changes of instructor
  • Inconsistency within the school
  • Limited or no time with senior pilots
  • No proper debriefing
  • Shoddy paper work.

In the end if you are unhappy it is better to move early before you invest too much time and energy.

If you have serious concerns it is often best to approach your local CASA office for advice.