I want to fly aeroplanes. What do I need to do?
The necessary steps to earn a licence are:
There is no limitation on when you can start learning to fly when accompanied by a flight instructor, but you must:
- Be at least 15 years old to fly solo and 16 to be issued the first licence, the Recreational Pilot Licence
- Read, speak, and understand English sufficiently to understand the aviation rules and communicate with Air Traffic Control.
- Pass a basic medical examination.
- To fly solo you need to have either a CASA class 1 or 2 medical certificate or a recreational aviation medical practitioner’s certificate.
During the initial stages of flight instruction you will always be flying with a flight instructor.
You will be taught the basics of flight, including the operation of the controls, cruising level, circling, descending, turning, stalling, and take off and landings within a circuit pattern. You will be asked to carry out numerous emergency procedures and actions. During this time you will be both consolidating your training and building experience in preparation for your first solo flight. It is likely that you will be ready to fly your first solo after approximately 10-15 hours of instruction. However, you will first be required to pass an examination on air law.
Your first solo flight will involve taking off, climbing to circuit altitude, then flying the circuit, and conducting an approach and landing. On completion of this first major goal in your training you will be given a certificate to mark your excellent achievement.
When your flying has reached a certain level of consistency, the next step is to consolidate and build upon your confidence by gaining more solo experience. From this point you will focus on preparing for your first area solo, where your ability to fly solo outside the aerodrome circuit area will be demonstrated. You will however remain within the training area (usually a ten nautical mile area around the aerodrome).
First Area Solo
Before going solo within the training area you will be instructed on conducting a forced landing during simulated engine failure exercises.
Your instructor will familiarize you with the training area and its boundaries by conducting a short navigation exercise in order to demonstrate some basic chart reading skills. (Moorabbin Training Area)
After your forced landing training, you will then demonstrate to the instructor your ability to find the aerodrome, and your ability to join the circuit in the appropriate manner. You must demonstrate adequate separation from other traffic and correct landing techniques.
Most students are ready to attempt their first area solo after attaining 15-20 hours experience. Before you can do so, you will be required to pass an examination on flight procedures pertaining to the training area.
On your first solo within the training area, you will practice the newly learned forced landing, as well as a variety of normal and emergency manoeuvres that you have learned throughout your training. This should prove to be a rewarding experience, as you will exercise your own judgment and make your own radio calls. At this point in your training it will be time to prepare for the Recreational Pilots Licence (R.P.L) Test by learning to fly the aircraft in a variety of situations.