Welcome to the world of flying! The first thing to do is book in for a half-hour Trial Instructional Flight (TIF). This is the best way to find out if flying is for you. You will have a briefing on what is going to happen in the flight, and then go fly. A TIF gives you the opportunity to fly an aircraft to see what it is like, without having to cover too much theory. Following the TIF, you would book in for the first lesson.
A TIF is charged at the same rate as a normal lesson, except it only runs for half an hour, so is half the price. See the Rate Sheet for the current prices (Look under the "Dual" column, pick an aircraft and divide by two).
More information can be found in the How do I Become a Pilot? flyer, and detailed information about when each theory and practical step takes place can be found in the Steps flowchart.
This is very much up to you. Our aircraft all have different characteristics and excel at different areas. The Tecnam is a very new and inexpensive aircraft, but only seats two. The 152 Aerobat is a well proven light trainer and is aerobatic. The Piper Warriors are larger and more powerful, but more expensive per hour. We have two Warriors, so it is more likely that one is available at any given time.
This does not really matter. The most important thing is to find an aircraft you feel comfortable in and fly that one. Picking either system does not lock you into one or the other; you may start in one and change at any time. Recreational Aviation (RA) is limited to aircraft with two seats maximum, and cannot go into controlled airspace. General Aviation (GA) aircraft do not have these limitations, however it is more expensive per hour and has a little more theory and practical training involved.
There is no minimum hours requirement. You only have to reach the appropriate standard. The main differences between GA and RA aircraft originate from the lighter weight of the latter and often superior glide characteristics. Training in Human Factors is now also required for the RA certificate, which is satisfied if you have completed a CASA exam involving Human Performance and Limitations/Human Factors.
Yes, the RA hours count towards the CASA administered Recreational and Private Pilot Licences (RPL or PPL). This is specified in CASR 61.475.
In addition, if you have already obtained an RA Pilot Certificate, you may also be granted an RPL from CASA, and fly aircraft weighing (MTOW) up to 1500kg. This will be subject to holding a security clearance (see below), medical and conducting a flight review. This is specified in CASR 61.480.
You can fly anywhere in Australia except controlled airspace (A, B or C airspace) and the usual restricted and prohibited areas that apply to all licences. If you also have a PPL or higher and a current medical certificate and flight review, you can also fly RA aircraft in controlled airspace.
A Recreational Pilot Certificate is issued by RAA and permits a pilot to fly in an RA-registered aircraft outside controlled airspace. The certificate can have a cross-country endorsement attached so that the pilot can fly beyond 25nm from the take-off aerodrome.
A Recreational Pilot Licence is issued by CASA and allows a pilot to fly a GA-registered aircraft up to 1500kg. The licence can have endorsements attached for navigation (beyond 25nm from take-off aerodrome), controlled airspace, controlled airfield or flight radio.
This is expected be be a confusing point for years to come. Remember, a certificate lets you fly an aeroplane with numbers on the side and a licence an aeroplane with letters on the side. One does not let you fly the other without completing the necessary paperwork and flying until deemed competent.
If you are a General Aviation (GA) pilot you need one or the other. If you are a Recreational Aviation pilot (RA) you do not need either except that if you wish to operate into a security controlled aerodrome you need an ASIC as do all pilots and aerodrome workers.
This is a very misunderstood subject but here is a summary.
GA pilots need either an ASIC or AVID.
RA pilots do not require either unless they operate into a security controlled aerodrome in which case they require an ASIC.
All GA pilots over 18 need a security clearance. This means either an AVID (Aviation ID) or an ASIC (Aviation Security Identification Card). It is a requirement of the Transportation Security Act (not CASA).
An ASIC is required if you need to access security controlled Aerodromes such as Moorabbin, Wagga Wagga, Albury, Essendon Mildura etc.
An AVID is required even if you do not need to enter a security controlled aerodrome.
Under the Act, GA pilots must have either one or the other.
RA pilots do not require either an ASIC or AVID under the Act but RA pilots entering a Security controlled aerodrome need an ASIC for the same reason as GA pilots and everybody else who works on such aerodromes.
You either download the forms from the CASA website at www.casa.gov.au or we can do this for you.
You need two passport photographs and copies of various identification documents which must be copied and certified After filling in pages of detail your identification also needs to be certified. We can do this process for you and it takes about 45 minutes on a good day.
After completing all of this, we will both need certifying!