Flying is one of the most thrilling experiences one can have in life. Although a lot of students enrol in flight training schools to pursue their dreams of becoming professional airline pilots, many pursue flying for other reasons. One main reason is to fly for the pure fun of flying, as either a hobby or in their personal aircraft. As there are many flight training schools across Australia, here is an overview of what is involved when pursuing recreational aviation in Australia.
The RPC (Recreational Pilot Certificate) is a great way to achieve your first pilot licence and discover the basic foundations of aviation, where you will learn the necessary theory and practical skills required to efficiently take off, fly and land an aircraft. Once you have obtained your RPC, you will be allowed to carry one passenger while flying up to 25 nautical miles from the airport of departure in a RA-AUS registered aircraft. But what exactly is involved when studying for your RPC?
Here is a quick overview of what a typical RPC course syllabus will look like when studying towards a Recreational Pilot Certificate. It will typically start with theory sessions, which is where students will learn basic flight manoeuvres. This can include learning how to climb and descend the aircraft, how to level off and maintain a nominated altitude, how to recognise when an aircraft is about to enter a stall and how to recover with a minimal loss of altitude.
After completing an appropriate level of practical and theory training, and once the instructor thinks you’re ready, you will embark on your very first solo flight without a flight instructor in the cockpit. You will be required to successfully take off, fly a circuit pattern and complete a full stop landing. This is usually followed by solo circuit training where you will learn circuit emergency procedures such as managing an engine failure after take-off.
As the course progresses you will train in more advanced manoeuvres such as advanced stalling, which involves learning the effects of flap and power on the stall, stalling during the event of a turn while climbing and wing drop recovery. When you are at the end of your course, most flight schools will have a pre-licence check which allows you to have one last summary flight. This is where your instructor will assess whether you are ready to take the final flight test, and upon successful completion, you will finally be awarded your Recreational Pilot Certificate.
If flying with more passengers or larger aircraft interests you, then you can further your training by enrolling in a PPL (Private Pilot Licence), or enrol in a CPL (Commercial Pilot Licence) if you wish to fly professionally for a career. When looking into recreational aviation in Australia, be sure to search online for flight schools in Australia to ensure that you are enrolling into a flight school that can meet all your needs.