Learning To Fly

Who can be a pilot and where do I start ?

Today we live a fast and exciting lifestyle. Flying can be a part of your life.

It offers:

  • adventure
  • challenge
  • personal achievement
  • peer group admiration
  • use of modern technology and communication
  • increased access to distant places.

Pilots fly for fun but can also move into a variety of aviation careers such as charter flying, instructing, agricultural spraying and mustering, regional and national airlines and the defence forces.

How do I start?

Find a flying school and go for an introductory flight. These flights are normally 20 to 30 minutes in duration. They allow the instructor a short time to assess your coordination and general attitude toward flying and you to feel the freedom of flight. Most people come back and start lessons straight away.

When can I start flying?

You need to be 16 years old to go solo and hold a student pilot certificate and 17 to hold a private pilot’s licence. There is no maximum age although all pilots, from 16 to 96, are required to have a medical examination.

Can I fly before I’m 16?

Yes you can fly with an instructor but you cannot fly solo. Many flying schools have junior programs as do the Girl Guides, Scouts, Air Training Corp and Australian Air League.

How do I find a flying school?

Flying schools and academies are at all secondary airports in the capital cities and at airports in most provincial towns. Flying schools advertise in aviation and flying magazines which are available at newsagents. You can visit the airport and walk from school to school making enquiries, or look in the Yellow Pages under Flying Schools.

How long does it take?

The minimum requirement is 26 hours for a GFPT (flying solo or taking passengers within the local area) and another 15 to 20 hours of navigation training for a PPL (private pilot licence). In reality the average student will take 35 to 40 hours to the GFPT standard and 50 hours to the PPL. The time taken varies with age ,and whether lessons are taken at weekends, intermittently or full-time.

When can I fly around Australia?

As soon as you pass your PPL.