STEPS TOWARDS BECOMING A PILOT

students in office
flight records

FOR NEW STUDENTS: Firstly, congratulations on your decision to learn something new. Learning something new as an adult, takes us out of our comfort zone, and requires us to put aside our ego and be vulnerable. Every pilot was a new student at one point and started off not knowing much at all about flying or planes. You don’t need to feel nervous. Our staff and instructors are super friendly (and often quite funny) and will put you at ease straight away. To further allay your fears and convince you that GoFly is indeed the best place for you (or your teenager) to learn to fly,  you may like to book a FREE 15 minute appointment with a staff member who will show you around our facilities, our fleet and answer any of your questions. You can book a free appointment by completing our booking form, by emailing us at goflyaviation@gmail.com or by calling 041 049 6438.

Once you have touched base with an instructor, and decided to enroll, we will collect some details from you and send a welcome email with plenty of info in it. We will create a flight record sheet for you in our Flight Schedule Pro booking system which we also use to track and grade your progress. We will send you an invitation to access it too. On the day of your flight, you should arrive 15 mins before your scheduled time and let the person at reception know you are here and that you need to complete a couple of forms. Then you can grab a chair and place your bag in one of the pigeonholes where it will be safe during your flight. If you haven’t already had an orientation, ask our receptionist to show you where the kitchen and toilets are located. Your instructor will greet you, give you some ground training, then take you out to the tarmac and show you how to pre-flight and fuel the plane before your first lesson.  

After your flight, you will sit with the instructor while they make notes about the flight in your flight record sheet and make recommendations for your next lesson, and answer any questions you may have.  You can purchase a Pilot Log Book from reception for $35 (cheaper then ordering online and paying for postage) and your instructor will show you how to enter your flight details into it. You can then pay for your flight at reception and book your next flight/s. 

Step 1. Recreational Pilot Certificate

GoFly Aviation lessons will include free briefings using our innovative GoFly Online videos before every flight lesson

All pilot training begins with a Recreational Pilot Certificate. The first thing you will do is sign up for temporary membership of Recreational Aviation Australia (RAA), which covers you for your first 3 hours of flight training.

Lesson 1: Trial Introductory Flight

An introduction into the basics of flight training.

Lesson 2: Effects of Control

Teaches you the primary and secondary effects of the controls and how they affect the aircraft.

Lesson 3: Straight and Level

Teaches you how to fly the aircraft straight and level and at varying air speeds.

Lesson 4: Climbing and Descending

Teaches you how to climb and descend the aircraft at varying speeds and varying rates of climb and rates of descent

Lesson 5: Turning

Teaches you how to turn the aircraft at varying angles of bank at a constant height and climbing and descending turns

Lesson 6: Consolidation of all sequences learnt so far

this lesson is a summary that all you have learnt so far

Lesson 7: Stalls

Teaches you how to recognise the impending stall and to recover with a minimum loss of height

Lesson 8 to 14: circuits and circuit emergencies

Learn how to take off and land and fly a predetermined circuit in the sky. These lessons bring together everything you have already been taught us you will learn to use the radio and we will prepare you for your first solo flight

Lesson 10 to 18: Your first solo flight (estimate only) 

Once you have demonstrated that you are capable and consistent, your instructor will allow you undertake one solo take-off and landing on your own. (You will never forget this flight lesson!)

Lesson 14 to 18: More solo circuits

You will fly a predetermined circuit in the sky, practicing all you have learnt.

Lesson 15: Cross-wind circuits

Learn to take off and land in gusty and cross-wind conditions

Lesson 16: Training area familiarisation and practice forced landings

Learn the procedures for departing and arriving at any aerodrome and how to handle an emergency in the training area.

Lesson 17 to 20: More solo practice

Lesson 18 to 19: Pre-flight test and revision

You will undertake your pre-flight test and revision of all sequences and advanced emergencies. This lesson is a revision of all you have learnt plus the addition of other emergencies you may encounter.

Lesson 20: More solo or Flight test

More solo or proceed to your Flight Test. If you pass your flight test you will obtain your recreational pilot certificate. If you fail (and many people do at the first attempt), you can redo the flight test whenever you are ready.

OBTAIN YOUR RECREATIONAL PILOT CERTIFICATE

Your Pilot Certificate allows you to fly a 2-seater recreational light sport aircraft within 25 nautical miles of the aerodrome in day VFR conditions.

AFFORDABLE PILOT CERTIFICATE FOR UNDER 18 STUDENTS

GoFly Aviation has developed a low-cost Cadet Program for students aged 14-18 years, spread over 18 months to 2 years. This Recreational Pilot Certificate also includes a free 12 month subscription to our online lessons. To find out more about GoFly Cadets, click here. School students can also opt to do our normal Recreational Pilot Certificate in a shorter time if they prefer. If you are fit enough to drive a vehicle you are fit enough to fly a Recreational Aircraft. You can start learning at any age but cannot go solo until you are fifteen years of age.

Disclaimer: all training at GoFly is based on competency of the pilot and not on hours of tuition. A student will only receive their certificate or licence if they have passed all tests and the Instructor deems their flying to be satisfactory.

Membership and materials

During your RPC training you will need to do and buy the following things:

During Lessons 1 to 3: Apply online to RAA to obtain your Recreational Student Pilot Membership at a cost of $245 for 12 months. GoFly students will receive 12 months FREE access to our  GoFly Online video lessons to assist with flight training and revision. You can watch the informative videos at any time, on any device and new lessons and GoFly Fix videos are added each fortnight.

During Lessons 3 to 6: Purchase  your BAK book online. Purchase your logbook online or from our office.

During Lessons 4 to 8: Start studying: Rules of the AirAerodrome Markings from the Visual Flight GuideVisual requirements for VFR Flight, Learn your Radio Calls. Also study the requirements for the issuing of a Pilot Certificate at section 2.07 of the RAA Operations Manual.

At GoFly Aviation we recommend we recommend Pilot Practice Exams for getting ready for your exams. Current GoFly Aviation students will receive a discount for purchases from the PPE site, by entering a password, which can be obtained from the GoFly staff.

Lesson 10: Around lesson 10 you will sit your Pre-solo exam and radio exam (multiple choice).

Lesson 14: Sit Air Legislation Exam. Start studying BAK and Human Factors book

Lesson 16: Sit BAK exam.

APPROXIMATE TIME: 3 weeks full-time or can be done part-time

APPROXIMATE COST THROUGH GOFLY AVIATION: $5,980-$7,500 (20-25 hours flying @$299/hr) plus $400 for materials and membership.

Disclaimer: All training is competency based and all course costs are estimates for average student completion times

Step 2. Passenger Endorsement

A passenger endorsement enables you to fly with one passenger. You can watch the full Passenger Endorsement video at GoFly Online.

You must have:

  • completed your Recreational Pilot Certificate
  • a minimum total of 10 hours of solo command time (5 in addition to the 5 done during RPC)
  • a briefing with a senior instructor and a 30 minute dual flight with an instructor to ensure sure you understand the privileges and limitations of flying with a passenger.

APPROXIMATE TIME: 5 hours of command time plus one hour for the check flight

APPROXIMATE COST THROUGH GOFLY AVIATION: 5 hours of command time + 1 hr passenger check at $199/hr =$1,194

Optional Extra - Aerobatics

To move around while viewing this 360-degree video, use your mouse or cursor.

At GoFly, we believe that students should incorporate some Aerobatics into their training to become better pilots.

After students have completed their Recreational Pilot Certificate and Cross Country training, we recommend students complete either a basic ‘Upset recovery’ training course or a ‘Basic Aerobatic’ course. Not only will completing an aerobatics course make you a better pilot but it is a lot of fun! After completing the course you will be able to hire the Robin aircraft to do more aerobatics flying on your own.

Whether you are flying for fun or a career, aerobatic flying will increase your confidence and make you a better pilot. We offer both part-time and full-time aerobatic courses and can create a course to suit your schedule. Prices here.

Step 3. Cross Country Endorsement

GoFly students will have access to our Cross Country Endorsement videos on GoFly Online and they are also available to others who wish to subscribe to them.  A cross country endorsement enables the pilot to fly anywhere in Australia outside of controlled or restricted areas.  Before you begin you must have:

  • 16 hours of dual flight training (8 x dual navigation lessons)
  • 10 hours of instructor briefings

A navigation multiple choice exam will be completed before the first solo navigation lesson.

The lessons consist of:

NAV FLIGHT LESSON 1: WEATHER AND FLIGHT PLANNING

First navigation lesson includes a 2 hour theory lesson on obtaining weather, CTA, basic map reading skills plotting a line and measuring a heading and distance. Also look at aerodrome info and how to join. (Suggestions for a 2 hour nav for GoFly students might be: Caloundra, Kilcoy, Gympie, Montville, Caloundra.) Student to learn how to read a compass, hold height and heading and join an unfamiliar aerodrome. Map reading technique to be introduced.

NAV FLIGHT LESSON 2: TIME AND DISTANCE

The student is to revise what has been learnt and briefing is to include accurate time keeping and estimates and completing an accurate flight plan. 60 minute nav to be completed in simulator as part of actual flight. (Suggestions for GoFly students might be: Flight to Watts Bridge. Kingaroy then Caloundra.) Time and distance, Big picture, small picture and time will be the focus, as well as flying above 5000 ft,  rules and leaving SAR note and emergency locator transmitter (ELT)

NAV FLIGHT LESSON 3: FUEL AND REVISION OF GROUND SPEED (accurate fuel log keeping and ‘CLEAROFF’ checks)

Briefing to include fuel calculation and how to revise ground speed in the air with the use of way points and geographical features. 30 minute simulator session to practice. (Suggest: Gympie Maryborough, Caloundra.)

NAV FLIGHT LESSON 5: BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER

NAV FLIGHT LESSON 6: PRE-SOLO CHECK AND LOW LEVEL

Brief student on low level navigation and diversions. student should be able to divert within 2 minutes and estimate within 60 seconds. (Suggest Toowoomba then divert on return twice. )By this stage the student should be able to obtain weather, flight plan and lodge SAR time by themselves. Diversions should be given during flight and theory exam should be completed.

NAV FLIGHT LESSON 7: FIRST SOLO

Send solo in good weather conditions. (Suggestion: Watts Bridge, Kingaroy then Kilcoy then Caloundra.)

NAV FLIGHT TEST: Be able to do accurate flight plan, lodge SAR time, depart and hold heading plus or minus 50 feet. Identify off track within 4 minutes. Estimates within 1 minute and diversion to be completed immediately if required. Good use of ‘CLEAROFF’  checks and airmanship to a high standard. Good situational awareness and able to maintain visual meteorological conditions at all times. Good use of fuel logs.

APPROXIMATE TIME: 2.5 weeks

APPROXIMATE COST THROUGH GOFLY AVIATION: 10 hours of briefings: FREE. Use of the Sling sim: FREE. 15 hours of flight training = $4,500. Buy your own maps and materials. 

Materials

RAA
student resources
protractor

The following supplies are ordered online from The Flight Store:

Bob Tait RAA Cross Country Theory $94.50. Plotter protractor for $19.95. Flight computer for $49.95.

VNC MAPS Bundaberg/Rockhampton for $11.95 and Sydney – Brisbane for $11.95.  WAC Chart Brisbane $11.95. ERSA booklet $34.95

BAK book
meteorology book

Step 4: Obtaining your Recreational Pilot Licence or Private Pilot Licence (with Controlled Airspace conversion)

A Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) is the next step in your pilot training, after your RPC. You can upgrade from your Recreational Aviation (RA) Licence to your Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) with us here at GoFly Aviation. Your RPL conversion enables you to fly a heavier aircraft with more than one passenger, providing you hold a class 2 medical.

An RPL is often the obvious choice when you either want to get a General Aviation licence or fly larger/heavier single-engine planes. Of course larger planes cost more to fly so it can be cheaper to do the bulk of your initial training in cheaper recreational planes and then convert to RPL planes. It’s an easy transition and more cost-effective than going direct to your Private Pilot Licence (PPL). It allows you to have both a Recreational and General Aviation licence and fly into Controlled airspace.

Every flight lesson will start with a classroom briefing on the techniques before they’re put into practice. You’ll need to pass some theory exams as well as complete practical flight training. With a Recreational Pilot Licence, you’ll be able to fly as a Pilot in Command of a single engine aircraft up to 1500 kgs.

You will be able to use your Recreational Pilot Certificate and Navigation Endorsement towards this conversion to save you time and money. You will need to apply for an ARN and an ASIC card before your training. Adding a Controlled Airspace Endorsement allows you to fly into controlled airspace. Adding a Constant Speed Endorsement allows you to fly any aircraft with a constant speed propellor. Adding a Retractable Endorsement allows you to fly any aircraft with retractable landing gear. We follow the Part 61 Syllabus outlined by CASA and extend this with helpful Videos & Books. We recommend Bob Tait Theory or the Aviation Theory Centre for study material.

As with most Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) licenses there are more stringent conditions including:

1. Have a current flight review for the aircraft being flown

2. Meet the medical requirements

3. Have conducted three take-offs and landings in the previous 90 days if you wish to carry passengers (All General Aviation training is conducted by Air QLD operated under AOC CASA.TAAOC.0734).

You must be at least 16 years of age, be proficient in English and have 25 command hours flight time. There will be 7-10 hour of dual instruction, 2 hours of circuit work and 2 hours of instrument flying and some ground briefing.

Lesson 1: Intro into the Cessna, understanding weight and balance and understanding constant speed operations and retractable landing gear. First flight consists of upper air work including stalls, practice forced landings and emergency procedures.

Lesson 2: Standard and circuit emergencies

Lesson 3: Standard and emergency circuits in the Cessna

Lesson 4: Basic Instrument flying.

Lesson 5: Controlled airspace briefing and radio practice and flight into Sunshine Coast Aerodrome (Class D airspace)

Lesson 6: Controlled airspace briefing and radio practice and flight into Archerfield (Class D Airport) Aerodrome and transit through Gold Coast controlled airspace (Class C Airspace)

Lesson 7: Revision of controlled airspace and pre-flight test review

Lesson 8: RPL Flight test

You can also add a constant speed propellor endorsement and a retractable landing gear endorsement.

To upgrade from RPL to PPL all that is required is for you to pass the PPL Theory exam. After your RPL/PPL you can go on to study for your Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL). 

APPROXIMATE TIME: two weeks

APPROXIMATE COST OF RPL CONVERSION THROUGH GOFLY AVIATION: 10-15 hours of flying in Cessna aircraft at $386/hr = $4000-$5,500.  8 hours of briefings at $40/hr = $320. CASA Class 1 or 2 Medical approx $300.

Step 5: Private Pilot Licence

At GoFly we start your PPL on Recreational Aircraft to minimise your flight training costs. You do not have to choose between completing a Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) or a Private Pilot Licence (PPL) as they are actually two milestones on the same journey. So it’s less about which licence you choose, but more about how far you want to go with your flight training. Each licence and endorsement you earn along the way will provide you with different skills and expand your freedom.

After completing your RPL, you can continue on to get your Private Pilot Licence (PPL). The PPL training focuses mainly on navigation and will enable you to fly all over Australia and indeed anywhere in the world. During the PPL training, you will learn how to navigate to and from different airports.

Similar to the RPL program, you will need to pass several theory exams as well as complete practical flight training. 

Once you have received your Private Pilot Licence, you will be allowed to act as a Pilot in Command and be endorsed. You will be able to carry up to five passengers and fly all over Australia. The benefit is that you end up with a Private Pilot Licence plus GA licence and an RA licence. It would be far more expensive to do this training from start to finish through a GA school. You can also obtain the following endorsements: Constant Speed Unit, Multi Engine, Night VFR, Under Carriage Rating, IFR Rating.

To find out about financial assistance available for training, please go to the GoFly Finance page. 

APPROXIMATE TIME: 6 weeks

APPROXIMATE COST OF RPL CONVERSION/PPL THROUGH GOFLY AVIATION: 60 hours of flying in total (see RPL above).

Step 6: Obtaining your Commercial Pilot Licence​

Whether you live at the Sunshine Coast or in Brisbane, there are lots of savings to be made by doing your Commercial Pilot training with GoFly Aviation. We do the first 85% of our CPL training in light sport aircraft, saving you around $30,000 compared to other flight schools.

Requirements before training begins:

  • Recreational Pilot Certificate with cross-country endorsement, or RPL with cross-country and navigation endorsement
  • Minimum of 100 hours of command of an aircraft (through GoFly this would cost around $20,000)
  • Completed all commercial theory subjects and passed the exams
  • Completed 20 to 30 hours dual advanced commercial flight instruction course
  • Minimum of 200 hours in total before completing the CPL flight test

We offer both part-time and full-time courses up to your Commercial Pilot Licence standard. We use both a mixture of Glass Cockpit and analogue aircraft to give you the best chance of employment once you have completed your commercial pilot training. Our new Boeing 737 Simulator can also be used to practice on and prepare you for applying to commercial airlines. You can also obtain the following endorsements: Multi-Engine, Constant Speed Unit, Command Instrument Rating.

To read about how the course is structured, go to our informative blog

We have partnered with Study Loans to offer finance for our Command Time and Conversion (if required). To find out more, visit our GoFly Finance page. 

We occasionally offer CPL information events. To find out when we are next hosting one, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

APPROXIMATE TIME: from 0 hours through RPC to CPL would be 8-12 months

APPROXIMATE COST OF CPL THROUGH GOFLY AVIATION: Contact us on 0426 282 226 for more information on our CPL part-time or full-time courses.

Optional Step: RAA Instructor Rating

Becoming a Certified Flight Instructor is a great way to share your passion for flying with others.

If you’ve got the right demeanor to teach, to enthuse, and to support learner fliers then you might like to consider broadening your flying skills, and helping others achieve their dream of flying. Not only is teaching a great way to to pass on your knowledge but your own flying skills will also skyrocket as you work through the best way to convey complex matters to novices.

GoFly Aviation offers the chance to become a flying instructor to qualified RAA (or GA) Instructor rating, with part-time or full-time courses available. With over 4,000 hours flight experience amongst our own Instructors, we’re well placed to help you advance to the next stage.

Achieving your Instructor Rating opens new opportunities for you as an aviator.  Not only can you earn money in the aviation industry, but you get to fly more often and become a valuable part of a flying business.

At GoFly we have filmed all our board briefings and in-flight patter, for you to watch in the comfort of your own home (or listen to while driving to the hangar!) to help you get your Instructor Rating more efficiently. Our instructor candidates will receive a Premium Subscription to GoFly Online as part of their tuition and it is available for others to purchase.

Pre-requisites:

  1. RA-AUS Pilot Certificate & Class 2 Medical Certificate
  2. Cross Country Endorsement
  3. Passenger Endorsement
  4. Minimum flying hours are 150 hundred hours total time RAA (including 100 hours total command – of which 25 hours must be in command of a recreational aircraft)

We are able to test our Instructor candidates in house without bringing in an outside examiner.  We have partnered with Study Loans to not only offer finance for our Instructor Rating course but also Command Time and Conversion (if required). To find out more, visit our GoFly Finance page.  

To discuss the price of tuition and to tailor a customised course to suit your availability, call our Chief Pilot on 0426 282 226, or email goflyaviation@gmail.com