Phil Unicomb Aviation – RPL – 3 Big Questions

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How Do I Get Started and Learn to Fly?

It’s time to learn to fly! It all starts with a “Hands On” Action Flight, which gives you the opportunity to take control of an aircraft for the first time. The whole experience is conducted under the guidance of your experienced flight instructor. This involves a one to one preflight briefing with your instructor, prior to your 30 minute flight. Book in now by clicking here!

This is the first step! Those 30 minutes are actual flying hours that you have completed and can be recorded in your logbook. This is the first milestone in your training! Now it’s time to take the next step and look at the different milestones you will pass on the way to achieving your Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL).

The Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL)

The RPL is the first licence that pilots in Australia will hold. It allows you to be the pilot of an aeroplane and take passengers within a certain range of your home airport. It authorises pilots to fly light, single-engine aircraft as pilot in command.

After completing your first 30 minute “Hands On” Action Flight, the next step is to start working towards doing your First Solo flight. This is a take off and landing without your flight instructor, and a milestone that most people remember forever. The First Solo is generally completed within 10 to 20 hours of flight training. This is totally competency based, and your instructor will let you know when you are ready.

After completing your first solo flight, it is then time to start working towards the Area Solo. The Area Solo is when you will conduct a solo flight to an area away from the airport to practice some of the manoeuvres that you have learnt so far, without the aid of an instructor. 

The minimum flight time required to achieve your RPL is 25 hours. The entire RPL will usually cost less than $10,000 depending on your competency and frequency of flying.

The Private Pilot Licence (PPL)

If you would like the freedom of traveling anywhere in Australia by aeroplane, the licence you require is a Private Pilot Licence or PPL. This licence is great for those who wish to fly with friends or family but are not looking at being employed as a pilot.

By this stage you will already hold your RPL, so now you will be learning how to navigate around the country with reference to maps and the ground. This licence is a lot of fun as you will get to see different parts of Australia, including the North Coast, South Coast and Central NSW. You will also be flying into busy airports with Air Traffic Control towers, as well as quiet country grass airstrips.

There are just under 10 navigation exercises to complete, along with the PPL Theory exam before you can sit the final flight test. We also run weekend theory courses for those students wishing to get ahead with their study when there is enough demand. 

The minimum flight time required to achieve your PPL is 40 hours including the previously achieved RPL hours. This depends on your competency and frequency of flying.

The Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL)

If you love flying, then why not make your passion your job and become a commercial pilot. Aviation is one of the most rewarding careers available and demand for pilots remains strong worldwide. There’s no better time than now to get your Commercial Pilot Licence or CPL.

We run CPL theory courses to help you pass your exams and offer one on one assistance as required. Holding a CPL means that you can now be paid to fly. Many more career options will now be made available to you. Some examples of the various career options include; charter pilot, flight instructor rating, crop dusting, Aeromedical pilot, airline pilot just to name a few. These career options may require further training, however none can be achieved without the Commercial Pilot Licence.

The minimum flight time required to achieve your CPL is 200 hours.


Head to our contact page and learn to fly now!

If you’re after some flying tips, check out the video below and look for more on our YouTube channel.