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Learn to Fly Questions

What do I have to do to learn to fly?

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 (PDF)How do I Become a Pilot? flyer, and detailed information about when each theory and practical step takes place can be found in the (PDF)Steps flowchart.

Which aircraft should I use?

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 150 is a well proven light trainer, or 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.

Should I pick Recreational Aviation or General Aviation?

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. General Aviation (GA) aircraft do not have these limitations, however depending upon the aircraft used may be more expensive per hour.

Recreational Aviation Questions

I have a PPL/CPL. How many hours do I have to do to obtain a Recreational Pilot Certificate?

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.

Do the flight hours in training for a Recreational Pilot Certificate count towards a Private Pilot Licence if I wish to obtain one later?

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.

Where am I allowed to fly if I have an RA Pilot Certificate?

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 RPL Controlled Aerodrome/Airspace endorsements or higher and a current medical certificate and flight review, you can also fly RA aircraft in controlled airspace.

What is the difference between a Recreational Pilot Certificate and a Recreational Pilot Licence?

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.

Do I use the same pilot logbook for RA and GA?

Yes, and both RA and GA hours are recorded on the same page in sequence. The certification and endorsement pages in the front are used by both systems.

Aviation Security, ASIC and AVID Questions

Do I need an ASIC at Moorabbin?

Yes, you need an ASIC everywhere on Moorabbin.

Do I need an ASIC or an AVID?

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.

Which do I need: an ASIC or an AVID?

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.

GA Pilots

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).

Which one?

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

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.

What are the costs of an ASIC and AVID?

An ASIC costs $256.50 initially and to renew. There are ASIC providers other than CASA, so it may be worth shopping around. It lasts for two (2) years. An AVID costs $206 initially and to renew. It lasts for five (5) years. The ASIC is worn so as to be visible. An AVID is an A6 sized card that lives with your licence.

Who requires pilots to have a security clearance?

A security clearance, such as an ASIC or AVID is a requirement of the Transportation Security Act 2005.

How do I apply for an ASIC or AVID?

You either download the forms from the CASA website or we can do this for you. You need two passport photographs and copies of various identification documents. Providing certified copies is no longer required, as you now collect the ASIC and show the original documents to the collection officer.