What We Offer
Thank you for your interest in flying training. Let me take a few moments of your time to explain about the fascinating and exhilarating world of aviation and, in particular the challenge and reward of becoming a pilot.
Merimbula Air Services is the original flying training organisation at Merimbula. We have been established for over 40 years and have trained the majority of the pilots on the Far South Coast. We have made a genuine attempt to maintain our prices at the lowest possible level and provide the best all round training aircraft available. We pride ourselves on our friendly club-like atmosphere as well as the quality of our training. We take a genuine interest in our students, which is continued beyond the obtaining of a licence.
At Merimbula Air Services all your training will be conducted with a teacher with the highest grade of instructor rating available. You will not be relegated to a string of junior instructors, more interested in acquiring flight time with a view to moving into the airlines, than providing quality flight sessions. For the most part, briefings are provided free of charge. We work on the principle that it is cheaper and more beneficial to do as much teaching on the ground as possible before getting into the aircraft with the ‘meter ticking’.
About Your Instructor
Allow me to introduce myself…my name is Alan Lindsay.
I will be your primary flying instructor. Unlike many larger schools you will be taught by someone with the highest aviation licence, instructor qualifications and numerous ancillary qualification to benefit your flying experience. These include:
- Air Transport Pilots Licence
- Grade 1 instructor Rating
- Chief Flying Instructor Approval
- Recreational Aviation CFI
- Test Officer Approval
- Authorised theory exam supervisor
- English Language Assessment Approval
- Master Science (Aviation) UNSW
- Mechanical Engineering Advanced Diploma
You will find that this greatly enhances your flying experience by not only having the most qualified instructor but also continuity with the same instructor.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let me answer a few questions that you may have in regard to becoming a pilot.
Do I need to be a high academic achiever to become a pilot?
NO. There is some theory exams to be done. At our friendly ‘ground school’ you will be taught in a small group of similarly interested people. With a minimum of home study you will be able to pass the exams which are all conducted at Merimbula Air Services.
Once I achieve my licence what does it entitle me to do?
With the basic Private Pilot Licence (PPL) you will be able to fly yourself, friends and family anywhere in Australia for business or pleasure. You may not charge a hire fee, but may share costs.
Once I have my licence do I have to do a certain amount of flying to keep it current?
NO. However within the previous 2 years of making a flight you must have performed a short flight review with a qualified instructor.
Do I require a medical to fly an aircraft?
YES. If you wish to fly an aircraft solo and obtain your private licence. Many ‘would be’ pilots are deterred from making the plunge because they are concerned about their ability to pass a medical. In fact the requirements are very liberal. Any normal healthy person has no trouble what so ever in meeting the requirements. For Recreational Type Aircraft Licences you only require a current drivers licence.
I’d love to do it but I just don’t know how well I’ll go.
No problem. Of course all new pilots feel a bit nervous before they start. After the first flight they realise that it’s easy, you are taught at a pace which suits your individual needs. The modern aeroplane, like the family car, needs no special skills to operate other than those taught to you by your instructor.
How often should I have a lesson?
How ever often you like. Obviously we are all tied by business and family commitments but Merimbula Air Services is just a phone call away. The most economical way to learn is to try and have a regular lesson say once a week. It reduces the need to revise the previous sequences.
What are the steps involved in becoming a fully qualified pilot?
Come along and have a chat to our instructor who will show you over an aeroplane and take you for your first flight. Within minutes of becoming airborne you will be controlling the aircraft, under supervision.
After a few more lessons you will be rapidly acquiring the skills to handle an aircraft in the air and it will be time for the most interesting stage of your training, take offs and landings. At about 14 hours of instruction time you will be flying an aircraft solo.
At about 30 hours of flight time you will set your first flying test, the General Flying Progress Test. Achieving this allows you to take passengers on your own. It has replaced the old Restricted Licence.
The last stage of training is to learn how to navigate the aircraft across country. This is a great way to see the country. Although we have some set navigation routes, we are only too happy to combine a ‘nav’ with a business or pleasure trip, overnight if it suits you.
The last task is the PPL flight test.
What type of aircraft will I be training in?
Merimbula Air Services operates a Cessna 150 Aerobat for Ab-initio training probably the worlds most popular trainer. Merimbula Air Services also operates a Grumman Tiger being sophisticated, yet easy to fly, 4 seat aircraft. It is simple enough to operate as a basic trainer but offers excellent performance and weight lifting ability, making it an ideal cross country aircraft for a family. It can travel 700 miles at over 140 mph on a tank of fuel. For those interested in flying Recreational type aircraft, Merimbula Air Services can offer flight training in this type of aircraft category as the company is an approved RAA flying school at a rate of $80.00 per hour instructor time only.
How do I get to Merimbula?
Merimbula is approximately halfway between Sydney and Melbourne on the Far South Coast of NSW. It takes 3 hours to drive from Canberra, 6 hours from Sydney and 7 hours from Melbourne. Rex Airlines offers daily flights to Merimbula from Sydney and Melbourne. There is a wide range of accommodation available within walking/cycling distance of the airport.
How much will it cost?
Merimbula Air Services rates of training as of 1 July 2014 are:
|Aircraft||TAS (kts)||Rate inc GST|
|C150 Aerobat||95||$300/hour (Dual)|
|Grumman Tiger||125||$330/hour (Dual)|
- Instructor Hire Only $100.00 per hour
The prices above are a wet hire rate X-YMER. Landing fees and airways charges may be additional.
This makes us one of the lowest priced flying schools in Australia. To obtain a full licence a budget of $15,000 would be realistic. We hope you find the above information useful. If you have any more questions please call us or come and see us. We will be delighted to show you over the aircraft and our teaching facilities. We believe a short introductory flight will make a dream into reality.
Chief Flying Instructor
Merimbula Air Services