Airborne Aviation Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the more commonly asked questions by those thinking about learning to fly.

If you have any unanswered questions please do not hesitate to contact us.


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.

Unanswered Questions?

If you have any questions that this FAQ has been unable to answer please click here.