Airborne Aviation Licensing Stages

There are several levels of licensing - how far you decide to go will depend on your ambition and budget.

Pilot Licensing Stages


Getting Started

Trial Instructional Flight is always a good place to start. You will learn about the controls of your aircraft, as well as get to try your hand at flying the aircraft under supervision of a qualified flight instructor on a 30 minute flight.

This is a great opportunity to see how you like flying!

Continuing your flight training to your first licence level, you will:

  • Learn all aspects of flying an aircraft
  • Fly your first solo flight
  • Perform multiple sessions of solo take-off and landings
  • Perform multiple solo flights away from the airport in the Sydney training area

Prior to your first solo you will need undergo a medical examination and obtain an aviation medical certificate.


Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL)

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) require a minimum of 25 hours flying time before you can progress to the RPL. In practice most students require between 30-40 hours of flight training before they are ready to undertake the RPL flight test.

Having obtained your RPL you are permitted to fly 'in command' (without an instructor) within the Sydney flying training area. This area encompasses Picton, Warragamba, Prospect and Campbelltown.

On receiving your RPL you are now permitted to carry passengers on most of your flights - be it 'in command' or instructional.


Private Pilot Licence (PPL)

To obtain your Private Pilot Licence (PPL) you will undertake navigational training exercises over approximately 20 hours of flight time. You will fly to locations including Canberra, Orange, Cessnock, and Goulburn as part of your training.

CASA requires a minimum of 40 hours total flying time before you can sit your PPL flight test. In practice most students require approximately 55-65 hours of total flight time to be adequately prepared for the PPL flight test. 

With your PPL you can fly anywhere in Australia, and most places in the world! 

Full course details: Private Pilot Licence (PPL) Course


Advanced Training

To expand your options there are a number of endorsements and ratings that you can add to your Private Pilot Licence. These include a night rating, aerobatic rating, multi-engine rating, and more..

You can find out more on the Ratings & Endorsements page of this section. 


Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) 

A Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) is essential if you wish obtain work as a pilot.

Many students with no aspirations of becoming a "commercial pilot" elect to obtain their CPL. There are a number of reasons why:

  • GST free flying up to 150 hours, including recreational flying! 
  • Most of your flying as a Private Pilot can be counted towards a CPL
  • Increased flying proficiency and knowledge - making you a better pilot
  • A number of ratings and endorsements can be included within the 150 hours
  • There is no set time period to obtain a CPL - do it at your own pace

Whatever your motivation, a Commercial Pilot Licence is worth considering.

To be entitled to undertake the 150 hour course you need to inform us of your intention to train towards a CPL in the early hours of your training.

Students that have obtained their Private Pilot Licence (PPL) often accumulate the required 150 hours by exploring the countryside with friends and family. Obtaining ratings and endorsements including a night rating, multi-engine rating, command instrument rating, aerobatic approval and others also help build the required flight time.

Full course details: Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) Course


Air Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL)

An Air Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) is an entry requirement for most major airlines.

To obtain an ATPL you will undertake further theory study in advanced aerodynamics, air law, advanced navigation, human factors, performance and loading, flight planning and meteorology.

Full course details: Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) Course


Questions?

Most commonly asked questions can be found in our Frequently Asked Questions page.

If you have any questions or are seeking career guidance please do not hesitate to contact us.


Next page: Licensing Costs