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Recreational Pilot Licence

What is a Recreational Pilot Licence?

A Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) allows the holder to fly within 25 nautical miles of the departure aerodrome or within the training area. Depending on the class of medical held, recreational pilots will be able to take one or more passengers flying with them. This is a great starting point for pilots who just want to fly around their local area, or who are working towards a Private or Commercial Pilot Licence.

Recreational Pilots are limited to single engine aircraft and can only be flown by day in reasonable weather (known as Visual Meteorological Conditions). They are also unable to fly Rocket or Turbine powered aircraft.

How long will it take to get a RPL?

This depends on whether you want to study casually or full-time. For our full-time students, it will take eight weeks to complete their RPL. Within the first four weeks, students will have completed their first solo flight. For students who wish to study on a casual basis, the amount of time varies based on how often they wish to fly. As a guide, it can take anywhere between three to nine months depending on how often they fly.

How much will it cost to get a RPL?

Typically, a RPL will be completed in 30 - 35 hours. Depending on which aircraft students choose to use, the cost can range from $13,000 - $15,000. For casual students, this is paid after each flight and not as an upfront cost for the entire training syllabus. Flights are charged as either Dual (With an instructor) or Solo. The rates per aircraft can be found here.

What training is involved in getting a RPL?

During the course, students learn how to handle the aircraft (flying straight and level, flying a circuit, short field take-offs and landings, emergency procedures, basic instrument flying). The course also includes the students first solo flight - a rewarding experience to remember for a lifetime. 

A lesson will generally consist of a 45 minute briefing on the aim and content of the flight, followed by about 60 to 90 minutes of time in the aircraft. After the flight, the instructor will debrief the student on the flight and give the student items that went well and items to improve and study for the next lesson.

The RPL course can be done as a single course, or alternatively the RPL is also taught as the first stage of the Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence). Overseas students who need a student visa are typically better off enrolling in the Certificate IV in Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence) course rather than the stand-alone RPL course.

Course Pre-Requisites

  • An ARN - to apply for one, visit here.
  • A current Class One, Two or RAMPC Australian Medical (Class One or Two is advised). Details on medicals can be found here.
  • For full-time/part-time students - has successfully completed Year 12 OR holds a vocational qualification of Certificate IV or above.
  • For casual students - be able to pass an English Language Assessment

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Additional Information

At the completion of this course, students will be eligible to progress to the Private Pilot Licence (PPL) course or complete training towards the RPL Endorsements. The RPL Endorsements include;

  • Navigation
  • Controlled Airspace
  • Controlled Aerodrome
  • Flight Radio Operators Licence

This course is not approved for overseas students wanting to access a student visa (ie; it is not registered as a CRICOS course.) If a student requires a student visa, they are recommended to commence the Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence) course. Overseas students that do not require a student visa are welcome to join this course.