Here are some of the more commonly asked questions you might have when considering flying with Airborne Aviation. If you have any unanswered questions please do not hesitate to contact us.
Learning to Fly FAQ
How much does learning to fly cost?
Detailed cost breakdowns can be found in our Courses section. During the first approximately 40 hours, each lesson will involve approximately one hour of flight time. Dual training rates for each aircraft can be found in our Aircraft section.
Do you offer full time courses?
Detailed courses can be found in our Full Time Courses section. These detailed courses wll give full breakdowns of course durations and costs.
Are there different types of licences?
You can obtain a Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL), Private Pilot Licence (PPL), or a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL). A CPL is required if you intend to obtain work as a pilot. Details of paths to each licence can be found in our Courses section.
How long does it take to obtain a licence?
A private pilot licence typically takes 60-70 hours of flight time. A commercial pilot licence will take 150 hours of flight time. The time to obtain the licence is dependant on how frequently you fly, and your commitment to study. We have completed private pilot licences in as little as 6 weeks.
Will I get air sick?
This is completely dependant on the individual. Some people will have a tendency to feel air sick initially, but as time passes and you feel more confident in the aircraft the chance of feeling sick is significantly reduced.
Is there much home study involved?
For the private pilot licence a limited amount of study is required in your own time. A commercial pilot licence requires a serious commitment to complete the required exams.
How long does each lesson last?
You will normally spend around two hours at the airport - one hour in the air, the remaining hour split between classroom briefing, aircraft preparation, and a debriefing.
Where can I fly when I have my licence?
Having obtained a PPL through Airborne Aviation your licence will be endorsed such that you can fly through any type of airspace below 18,000ft in Australia. Your licence is an ICAO licence, and will be recognised by other member states. To fly in other ICAO countries a simple validation and check flight is normally all that is required.
What are the medical requirements to obtain a licence?
You need to be of good health to obtain a pilot medical. The RPL requires at minimum a recreational aviation medical practitioner's certificate (RAMPC), which this medical type does have restrictions or a class 2 medical, the PPL requires a class 2 medical, and the CPL a class 1. The requirements for each medical are different, with the class 1 (CPL) being more strict. If you have any known medical conditions, or any reason to suspect you may have issues obtaining a medical, you should consult a Designated Aviation Medical Examiner (DAME) prior to commencing your training. Having trained so many people over the years we have a general idea of what conditions are acceptable, and which create problems - contact us and we can try to give you general advice before making an appointment with a DAME found listed on the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) website..
Can I take passengers on my lessons?
Once you have passed your Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) you are able to take passengers on most lessons. Lessons where passengers cannot be carried are generally those where simulated emergencies are practiced.
What kind of aeroplane will I fly?
Most of our students choose to learn to fly in a current generation Cessna aircraft. A full list of aircraft in our fleet can be found in our Aircraft section.
There are many flying schools, why should I pick Airborne Aviation?
Airborne Aviation is not the cheapest flying school in Australia, nor do we aim to be. We have a superior product and believe our service and dedication to you is second to none - click here for details. We encourage you to visit other flying schools before coming to us so you can see the difference for yourself.
At what age should I start my flying lessons?
Your first solo flight cannot be achieved until you are 15 years of age. With this, the earliest we recommend you should start flying lessons would typically be 13 or 14 years of age.
Am I too old to learn how to fly?
In recent times we had a student pilot achieve his first solo flight at age 83. As long as you are fit enough to pass an aviation medical, you're never too old to learn to fly!
Do I need to be studying maths or physics at school?
You do not need to study physics or maths at school to obtain a pilot licence. Having this knowledge certainly does help, but is in no way a requirement. If you wish to become an airline pilot you may need both physics and maths - both are typically an entry requirement. Individual airline recruiting websites will list requirements.
Who will conduct my training?
All your training will be conducted by a fully qualified commercial pilot who holds a flight instructor rating. You can elect to keep the same instructor for all your lessons, or choose more than one instructor for more flexibility in making bookings - the option is yours.
Is flying safe?
Generally speaking flying is as safe as you make it, there are however inherent dangers with the activity. During your training you will be equipped with all the necessary flying and decision making skills to ensure any non-normal situation is handled effectively.
I am colour blind, can I be a pilot?
Typically you can obtain a Private or Commercial Pilot Licence when colour blind. You should seek specific guidance directly from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) or a Designated Aviation Medical Examiner (DAME) listed on their website. Some airlines and the military may impose more strict medical requirements than those of the class 1 medical required for a CPL.
What are the minimum requirements for airline employment?
For direct entry to most airlines you will require a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL), and typically theory credits for the Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL). Airlines will publish their minimum criteria for pilot applications on their website.
If the engine was to fail in a single-engine aircraft, what happens?
The aircraft will glide and is under control of the pilot. Such an event is a very rare occurrence and most pilots in their flying life will never experience it. Your training is conducted at Camden and in the associated training area - as such there are many large fields available for landing.
Once qualified, how long is my licence valid for?
Your licence is perpetual - it never expires! You will however be required to pass a medical every 1-2 years, and pass a flight review every 2 years.
How do I get started?
Drop in to have a look around or contact us book a Trial Instructional Flight.
Joy Flights FAQ
What days do you operate?
Airborne Aviation operates 7 days per week including most public holidays. We are staffed such that most joy flights can be flown any day or the week.
How long do gift vouchers last?
An Airborne Aviation gift voucher is valid for a period of 12 months. If we need to reschedule your flight due to weather or maintenance we automatically extend the validity of your voucher for an additional 30 days.
My gift vouchers has expired. What can i do?
If your gift voucher has expired, we are able to extend the voucher for an additional 3 months at a cost of $30.
Can I take a camera on my flight?
Yes - you can take a small camera on all flights. For aerobatic and open-cockpit flights ensure your camera has a wrist strap.
Is flying in light aircraft safe?
Our aircraft are maintained to the highest standards and all pilots are professionally trained commercial pilots. There are some unavoidable risks with any type of flying, however we have an impeccable safety record.
Can I try flying the aircraft myself?
A selection of joy flights all you to experience hands-on flying, you can find them on this page. Unless otherwise mentioned, due to legal and insurance requirements flights you will not be permitted to take control of the aircraft without holding a valid pilot licence.
How old do I need to be to go for a joy flight?
For aerobatic flights and flights in open-cockpit aircraft generally speaking you will need to be at least 15 years of age. For hands-on Trial Instructional Flights the minimum recommended age is 12. To be a passenger on a scenic flight under the supervision of a parent or guardian there is no minimum age limit.
What should I wear?
For most flights you need only wear comfortable clothing and flat-bottomed shoes. For flights in open-cockpit aircraft (Tiger Moth, Stearman) you should dress warmer than normal - you can expect it to be at least 10°C colder at altitude and quite windy!
What time should I turn up?
Please plan to arrive 15 minutes prior to your flight to complete the necessary paperwork.
What do I need to bring on the day?
Please bring your gift voucher if you have one.
Will I get air sick?
This varies from person to person. A light meal for breakfast or lunch prior to your flight is recommended - not eating in an attempt to avoid motion sickness can be detrimental. Your pilot will be in constant communication with you during the flight. By monitoring your progress the flight will be adapted to ensure you are comfortable at all times. All aircraft have sick bags available.
I'm booked on an aerobatic flight, what if I don't want to do aerobatics?
You will be fully briefed on any aerobatic manoeuvres before they are performed. If you do not wish to perform an individual manoeuvre as described, or would prefer to not do any aerobatics - just let your pilot know.
Are there size or weight limits for passengers on flights?
Yes - each flight experience has a set weight limit and these can be found in the Joy Flights section. Some aircraft are more of a tight squeeze than others. If you are particularly large please call us on (02) 4655 7200 to see whether there might be a problem.
What if the weather is bad?
Flights will be rescheduled if the weather is not suitable. Suitability is dependant on the flight experience and aircraft being used. Likely conditions that may result in your flight being rescheduled include strong winds, turbulence, low cloud, rain showers, poor visibility or extreme high temperatures.
Am I insured?
All passengers are insured when flying with Airborne Aviation.
What if I need to reschedule?
Please call us with as much notice as possible to reschedule your flight. If you no-show or reschedule on the day a rescheduling fee of 50% may apply.
Where are you located?
We are located at Camden Aerodrome - you can find directions on this page.
Charter Flights FAQ
Are there any limitations on where I can go in a charter aircraft?
You can be flown to most places in Australia if they have a runway that is suitable to the type of aircraft you are chartering.
Is chartering an aircraft expensive?
If you can obtain a discounted ticket on a regional or domestic airline it will almost always be more cost effective. Aircraft charter is about convenience, going to the locations you need at the times you want.
Can we charter an aircraft one-way?
Absolutely, however the aircraft needs to return to its home base and you will effectively pay for the flight in both directions unless someone is looking to do the reverse of your journey on the same day you plan to fly.
How much notice do I need to book a charter?
We can organise a charter in as little as an hour, however to ensure pilot and aircraft availability you should book as far in advance as possible - we're normally kept fairly busy!
Does the cost change with the number of people on the flight?
The cost of the charter is based on the size of the aircraft being used - irrespective of the number of passengers carried.
Are there additional charges after the trip is completed?
Typically you will received a fixed price quote up front unless you elect to to pay by the hour, in which case an estimate would be provided. Should you change your travel plans (times, destinations) while we are performing the charter additional charges may apply.
How many pilots will be flying the aircraft?
You will be provided with a professionally trained and experienced commercial pilot who operates under the guidance of the chief pilot. We can provide you with a quote for two pilots if you require.
How long can we have the aircraft away with us?
The aircraft (and pilot) can remain away with you for as long as you like. You will be charged a daily/hourly fee to have the aircraft and pilot away from home base.
If you have any questions that this FAQ has been unable to answer please click here.