If the skies lure you, speeds thrill you and challenges toughen you, then flying is probably the ideal profession for you. Australia has been considered to be the world leaders in aviation and many pilots aspire to obtain their commercial license from there as it holds great value all over the world. If you happen to be one of them and want to know how to become a pilot in Australia, you just need to read on to get all the relevant information.
A career as a pilot is a competitive one and it is a step by step process taking many years of hard work and commitment to reach the top. Therefore it is important to know the challenges and hurdles involved before making the final decision as you will be investing a considerable sum of money with flying being an expensive career option. You also need to know if you are physically and mentally prepared for the rigours of professional flying or you would rather prefer to enjoy it as a hobby.
As is the case anywhere else in the world, you have to first begin training for a Private Pilot license.
Steps to achieve a Private Pilot’s license in Australia
- Introductory Flight: This is offered by most flying schools to help you decide whether you really want to pursue aviation as your career or you would rather be a recreational pilot
- CASA Medical: It is mandatory in Australia to clear the Civil Aviation Safety Authority Pilot Medical before you start with even the basic training
- GFTP Test: You need to complete the General Flying Progress test where you will be taught how to control and manoeuvre the aircraft. This course includes 130 hours of theory and 40 hours of practical flying experience.
- Clear the PPL test: This comprises of the second level of your training where you will do another 40 hours of practical experience and 115 hours of academics. Here you will learn the principles of navigation and also how to handle larger aircraft.
These two stages to obtain a Private Pilot’s license cost approximately 20000 Australian dollars. Once to earn your PPL, you will be eligible to fly a single engine aircraft solo but without being paid for it. You need to have a commercial license and a few other ratings in order to earn a wage for flying.
The Commercial Pilot’s License in Australia
As mentioned before, a commercial pilot’s license from Australia carries great value all over the world. Australia has also been the pioneer in implementing the most modern Air traffic systems and is the ideal place for flying lessons as the skies are clear and less crowded than in other busier parts of the world.
- Accumulate flying hours to become eligible for a commercial license: In this stage you need to build on your experience and complete 150 hours of flying time after which you would have to clear a written and flight exam. If you successfully pass the exam, you will be issued your Commercial Pilot’s license which will entitle you to be paid to fly.
- In order to boost your employability you would be required to achieve your night and instrumentation ratings which authorize you to fly at night and in turbulent weather conditions
- Now you can apply for jobs and add to your flying hours which will eventually make you eligible to get hired by an airline. You could fly private charter aircraft, postal routes or work as instructor.
- Airline Transport Pilot License: You will need to have accumulated 1500 hours of flying time and should have earned all the ratings to optimize your chances of getting hired.
- Once you cross 2000+ hours you could be employed by a domestic airline as a pilot in command
- International Pilot: You need to achieve 10000+ hours before you can be considered to be a pilot commanding an international flight
Are there any other requirements to become a pilot in Australia?
Besides clearing the stipulated medical exams there are no other requirements to begin training as a pilot. Usually a pilot should have cleared class 12 with math, physics and English. However a degree in aviation will enhance your chances of getting hired in international airlines. One major and compulsory requirement is fluency in English as this is the language of international aviation.