Sunshine Coast Aero Club FAQ Page

I have always wanted to learn to fly but now I have a family to support and can only afford to pay for one, sometimes two, lessons each month. Is this enough to eventually get my license?

Yes, but it would obviously take you a long time and you would need far more flying hours to achieve the required competency compared to someone who is able to fly once or twice per week. With long gaps between lessons your progress will be slower than average because you will forget some of what you learnt in the previous lesson, which will have to be repeated.

If you cannot afford to budget at least one lesson per week, you should consider our finance options explained below. In your situation this would allow you to get your license much quicker and at a lower overall cost.

I hear that the Sunshine Coast Aero Club Flying School can arrange low interest financing for me to learn to fly. This sounds too good to be true! Are there any catches? How does this work?

Yes, we are the first RA-Aus flight training facility in Australia to offer this as an option on all our flight training courses. If budget constraints are preventing you starting lessons or preventing you from flying as often as you would like and slowing your progress, then our financing option is the perfect solution for you! With financing you can plan your lessons over a shorter period of time. Flying frequently and regularly you will achieve the required competency in a lot fewer flying hours, saving you far more than the interest cost for the finance!

Call us to get rates estimates and more details

Sunshine Coast has a control tower. Can I still private hire an aircraft from the Aero Club with a RA-Aus Pilot Certificate?

Yes, you can private hire from the Aero Club when the tower is closed. The current tower hours are 7:30am – 7:40pm. This provides the perfect opportunity for an early morning flight with a friend (passenger endorsement required) or to depart on an overnight flying trip.

Additionally you can conduct solo flight training anytime during daylight hours from the airport for the purpose of training as long as your logbook has been endorsed for operations in Sunshine Coast controlled airspace and have a current Medical (either Class 2 or RAMPC).

Another option is to apply for a CASA Recreational Pilot License (RPL). All that is then required is to conduct a flight review in a GA registered aircraft (like our Robin). The RPL allows you to private hire from the Aero Club at any time during day light hours in either RA-Aus or GA Aircraft.

If I do a Navigation Endorsement that includes 2 hours of solo navigation, does that count towards a RA-Aus passenger carriage endorsement?

Yes. All of your solo flight training conducted for your RA-Aus Pilot Certificate and RA-Aus Navigation Endorsement will count towards the 10hrs of total solo experience required for the issue of a passenger carriage endorsement.

Does my flight training in a RA-Aus registered aircraft counts towards a RPL, PPL or CPL?

Yes, all your flying hours conducted with the Aero Club will count towards a RPL, PPL, or CPL. However you must meet the competency standards and minimum hours requirements for the particular license you wish to obtain. You can apply for the RPL once you have a Pilot Certificate and our training syllabus is aligned with the CASA Manual of Standards, which ensures you will have smooth transition to other licences.

If I did my RA-Aus Pilot Certificate and Navigation Endorsement how long would it take to get a RPL?

You can apply for, and CASA will issue you, an RPL based on your RPC qualifications. You will then need to pass a Flight Review to ‘validate’ the RPL. This will require some familiarisation training in a GA aircraft, some basic instrument flying and some navigation all to a standard where your instructor can recommend you for the Flight Review. Typically this will require another 5 to 10 hours flight training, including the flight review depending on your learning rate and time between lessons.

What are the benefits of applying for a RPL and why do I need a PPL?

It is not a requirement to have an RPL before doing a PPL. However, if you have an RPL you will be able to private hire the Aero Club aircraft (both RA-Aus and GA) anytime of the day. In addition the RPL allows you to fly larger 2 and 4 seat aircraft. If you also have a navigation endorsement you can then fly anywhere in Australia. Unless you intend to fly an aircraft with more than 4 seats or over 1,500kg maximum take-off weight, or at night/ in cloud, you do not need a PPL. However, if you wish to fly overseas you will need a PPL as currently the RPL is not recognised outside Australia.

What is the best way for me to achieve an unrestricted license to fly anywhere in Australia?

This depends on each individual’s wants and/or needs. Factors like costing, the frequency of which you can fly and the ability to take multiple passengers in larger aircraft are some of the considerations in this decision. It is something worth having a detailed chat with your instructor about.

My dream is to be an airline pilot. What is the fastest and most cost efficient pathway to a Commercial Pilot License (CPL)?

RA-Aus Pilot Certificate, RA-Aus Navigation Endorsement, RPL conversion, then build command hours / experience in our RAAus
aircraft (minimum 200 hours). Then do a few hours familiarisation in a high performance GA aircraft to prepare for the CPL flight test. You will also need to pass the CPL theory exams (seven subjects) before you can take your CPL flight test.

What is the SCAC company policy on recency?

All customers must conduct an aircraft familiarisation flight with an instructor prior to private hiring the aircraft.

To private hire the club aircraft you must complete one flight in the aircraft every 30 days. Flying time in similar aircraft types will be considered at the discretion of the CFI. If you haven’t flown the club aircraft in the last 30 days you will need to do a ‘check flight’ with one of our instructors.

What is the Sunshine Coast Aero Club promise?

At the Sunshine Coast Aero Club we endeavour to provide the highest quality training in a fun environment at an affordable price. We take our flying seriously, but not ourselves. Our instructors are passionate about flying and having fun doing what we love is our number one priority.