Flight Training


WELCOME to the world of Aviation. Lao Tzu, the famous oriental philosopher once said… “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. Congratulations on planning your first step towards the exciting journey of becoming a pilot!

The first step

Involves a hands-on Trial Instructional flight (TIF). You will actually take control of the aeroplane under the supervision of a qualified flight instructor. This flight is usually around 30-40 minutes and can be logged towards the hours you need to obtain a licence.

The prerequisites

After your Trial Instructional flight (TIF), if you choose to continue your flying training, you will need to comply with a few basic requirements:

  1. You need to apply to the Aviation Regulator (CASA) for an Aviation Reference Number (ARN). There is no fee for this but you will require basic ID documents.
  2. You need to complete a medical check with a Doctor who specialises in Aviation Medicine who is approved by CASA. Find an Aviation Medical Examiner
  3. You need to apply for an Aviation Security Identification Card (ASIC). This can be done next door to our office with Aviation ID Australia once you have your ARN.
  4. You need to show you are proficient in the English language – you can be assessed for this here at the flight school with a person approved for the purpose.

The next step: choose which licence you wish to attain

After your TIF you will most likely want to sit down with an Instructor and discuss the Licence options. Some choose to get enough hours to fly for fun and go for a Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL), some choose to continue through to the Private Pilot Licence (PPL), others may aspire to a career in Aviation and aim for the Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL). The choice is entirely yours.

You might even prefer a let‘s see how I go approach and log a few more hours before deciding. Whichever path you choose, and whichever qualification you aspire to, Merimbula Air Services can certainly help you reach you goals. The sky is the limit here in fact – literally!

The RPL (Recreational Pilot Licence)

The RPL allows you to carry passengers and to fly within 25 nautical miles of the airport. To obtain this licence you need to be at least 16 years of age, hold a current medical certificate and have a minimum of 25 hours logged with 5 of these hours being solo. The RPL can generally be achieved for around $10 to $12K based on competency and the regularity of your training. Merimbula Air Services operate on a pay as you go system but you also have the opportunity for discounts with our advance payments option.

RPL (endorsements)

As a holder of an RPL you can build on your skills and abilities by electing to pursue further hours of training and be issued with various endorsements – for example a navigation endorsement will lift the 25 nm from the airport restriction.

The PPL (Private Pilot Licence)

The PPL licence is less restrictive than the RPL as it allows you to carry passengers and fly anywhere in Australia. The total minimum hours required to attain the PPL are 40hrs of which 10 are solo hours. The PPL can generally be achieved for around $ 15 to $17K, once again this is competency based.

Our Aircraft / Instructors

Here at Merimbula Air Services we have a variety of aircraft available. We predominately use a Cessna 172 for initial training. For those continuing past the RPL and doing the navigation exercises we make available our second Cessna 172 that has undergone an engine conversion and has some extra horsepower. We also have access to some higher performance aircraft for those wishing to pursue the Commercial Pilot Licence.

We have three qualified and experienced flight Instructors. As a relatively small flight school we can ensure a very personalised approach to help you achieve your goals.

For those wanting to pursue a career in aviation we can upgrade you to more complex multi engine aircraft after your basic PPL training.

The Theory

There will be various inhouse written tests of your aviation knowledge stepped along the path to these licences. For the simpler ones, like the presolo test and the radio proficiency test, we have hand outs and practice tests available. In addition, and as part of your flight training, you will receive thorough pre flight briefings covering the basic principles of flight, radio and procedures at no extra cost.

However, for the more complex subjects you will need to study the in-depth principles and procedural requirements. This can be done either by self study (text books required) or by enrolling in a class or by organising some private tuition. Classes and tuition will involve extra costs. We are here to help guide and advise on which program of study works for you and we will certainly be available to answer any questions if you choose the self study path.

How often should I plan to do my training flights?

Twice weekly is ideal to stay at the top of the learning curve. Once a week also works – as long as you do some “mental rehearsal” between flights. We do however understand that time, bad weather, and financial constraints often stretch out the time between training sessions. The general rule is the less time between training flights, especially in the first 15 hours, the more likely you are to obtain your licence in the minimum required hours and therefore the less it will cost you. Gaps of 3-4 weeks between training flights in the initial stages usually means more time spent on revision instead of stepping up to the next lesson on our curriculum.

Dont hesitate to Contact our Head of Operations (Tracy Bolt) should you have any further questions.

Aircraft Prices

as at 31/10/2021

  • C172 VH-UFE (180hp) $375 / hr for PPL training
  • C172 VH-TUE (160hp) $365 / hr for RPL and PPL training
  • PA 32R VH-HYM (300hp) $470 / hr for CPL and advanced training
  • Instructor only rate – $125 / hr

Contact us for Gift Vouchers

Advance Payment Option for RPL/PPL/CPL Training

Advance payment on a blocks of 10 lessons – 10% discount

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