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Integrated vs Non-Integrated CPL

VH0WIN Aircraft

You might hear these terms a bit, but what does it mean for you?

CASA (the governing body for aviation in Australia) define an integrated training course as one that combines theory and practical flight training in a structured way and is designed to be completed within a condensed period of time.

For CPL training, an integrated course can be done in 150 hours of flight time, while non-integrated training requires 200 hours.

The idea is that by doing all your training in a more condensed timeframe, the amount of flight training required to achieve the standard can be reduced.

Theory can be delivered by a third-party under an integrated syllabus, but here at TVSA we do it all.

Note: only a flight training operator who is approved under Part 142 to conduct an integrated training course for the grant of a PPL or CPL can offer training courses that benefit from the reduced aeronautical experience requirements described in Part 61.


So, what does this look like for your training with us?

Well, we have theory briefings worked into our flight syllabus. For your ab initio training, you will receive your training on a pattern of briefing, flight, briefing, flight, for much of the syllabus.

Throughout your navigation training, you will receive more briefings spaced around your longer flights.

The seven CPL theory subjects are taught here on a cycle – so usually one subject a month. The exact formatting of the class varies a bit, sometimes depending on the subject requirements and sometimes what we see is working best for our students. Generally, the class is delivered over 1-2 weeks, with a two week gap between subjects for study and to sit the exam.

Whether you decide to complete your CPL with us by our Diploma course or privately, you can be on our integrated syllabus. To qualify, you just need to complete all your training (from zero experience to CPL) within about 18 months. You do also need to complete all the theory courses with us, and do the exams when we direct you to.

We can also offer CPL training on a 200-hour non-integrated syllabus. This has no time limit on when you complete it, and more flexibility about the theory and flight schedule. You can completely self-study the theory on the 200-hour syllabus, and complete the exams when you like (as long as they are all done before your flight test!

Can a student transfer from a non-integrated course to an integrated one?

No. You must start on an integrated course to qualify for the 150-hour syllabus.

Can a student transfer between integrated course providers?

In general, yes. Flight training operators are allowed to offer courses that allow recognition for previous training with another integrated course provider. The first school will need to provide evidence that the transferring student meets the experience requirements of the second provider.

If you are interested in transferring, it’s best to get in touch with us to discuss your specific case. Depending on your level of experience you may be able to apply for credit transfers or recognition of prior learning.

Contact us or give the office a call on (03) 5369 5162 to discuss your CPL training options.

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I’ve decided I want to learn to fly – now what?


1. Choose your licence.

You don’t have to be 100% decided on which licence you want when you start, but it helps if you have an idea of where you want to go.

Do you want to fly for fun? Or perhaps you’d like to work in aviation?

See our previous blog about RPL vs. PPL for more information about your flying-for-fun options.

To work in aviation, you will need a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL). This can be done privately or through our Nationally Accredited training courses.

2. Give us a call to book a tour and/or a TIF.

We’d love to show you around our facilities and chat to you about your training goals/options.

Not sure if you will like flying or just want to test us out? Try a Trial Introductory Flight. Get a taste of what lessons will be like and a feel for the sensations of flight. Warning: you might love it too much to go back!

3. Choose your aircraft.

If you’re studying with us through the Diploma of Aviation, this choice is taken care of for you.

If you are training privately with us, you can choose our Cessna 152 or our Piper aircraft (Warriors/Archers).

There are a few factors to consider. The C152 is a cheaper option, but also limited. If you are over 6”4’ and/or 90kg, the C152 will not be suitable for you.

The Piper aircraft have a better range, so we recommend those for navigation training.

You can start in a C152 and then move into the Warriors/Archers, or you can complete all your training in our Piper aircraft.

For CPL training, our complex aircraft is the Piper Arrow. You progress into this aircraft towards the end of your training.

4. Choose your preferred payment method.

We have several payment options for students at TVSA.

You can choose to pay-as-you-go, each lesson will be charged per hour of engine run time.

You can opt to pay for a licence upfront. We have calculated average amounts for each licence, depending on other choices like aircraft type. While we can’t guarantee you’ll complete the licence in that amount, it’s usually a good guide if  you’re flying regularly. Any unused amount at the end can be put towards private hire as well.

You can also keep a tab here with us. This is a popular option for our private students as it means you don’t have to worry about paying each week, but you also don’t have to hand over quite so much as if you paid for a whole licence. This option also works well for younger students, so mum or dad don’t necessarily have to come in to pay every time, or worry about it if someone else is bringing them in for one lesson. With this option, you can pay as much as you like at a time, and we’ll let you know if you’re getting low.

TVSA has partnered with ZeeFi, Australia’s first dedicated private student loan provider, to financially support students so they can focus on their training. This is a study now, pay later option to help more students achieve their goals. You can find out more here.

For more information about our finance options, please see the “Finance” tab of our menu.

5. Get an ARN.

To complete your flight training, you will need an Aviation Reference Number (ARN).

These are free and you can apply for one here.

6. Start the process for your medical.

You will need a valid medical before you can fly solo. It’s a good idea to get this done early, as the process can sometimes take a while.

If you have any health concerns, we strongly advise you complete your medical before committing to any flight training.

For more information about aviation medicals, visit the CASA website.

7. Shopping time!

You’ll need a few things to do flight training.

Essentials include:

  •  Logbook
  • Headset
  • Textbooks
  • TVSA Flight Training Manual
  • Charts (VTC, VNC, WAC – Hamilton/Melbourne)

We will be able to supply some items, but for others we recommend Skylines at Moorabbin or try an online store.

8. First lesson.

Ready to get started? Great! Give us a call or pop in to book your first lesson.

We’ll ask you for a few details to help set you up in the system. Our schedule tends to fill up, so try to plan at least two weeks in advance and have a few options for days/times so we can work with you to find a booking time that works.

Allow about 3 hours for your first lesson. The flight itself will be about an hour, but there’s also an orientation briefing with your instructor to help you get set up for flight training and make sure you understand what will be required.

9. Have fun!

Remember to enjoy the experience of flight training. It’s not easy, but it is very worth it.

Contact us or give the office a call on (03) 5369 5162 for more information or to get started. 

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Fuel Caps Secured – Check!


In late July 2019, a TVSA aircraft was inadvertently flown with a missing fuel cap on the right tank. The aircraft was on a solo navigation exercise around the bay and returned to YBSS safely. The following information has been extracted from the reporting that took place following the incident.

Initial Report

Piper style fuel cap located on RWY27 by a TVSA staff member taxiing out for a circuits lesson. Other aircraft in the circuit area contacted over the radio and requested to inspect their fuel caps. It was later determined by staff on the ground that the missing cap belonged to PJX which was on a solo flight around the bay.

Upon return, PIC reported the following:

  • Departed YBSS on the left tank and switched to the right tank prior to arrival at YMMB.
  • Noticed a lower fuel figure than expected in the right tank on departure from YMMB.
  • Switched back to the left tank and continued the planned flight around the bay.
  • Visually identified the missing fuel cap around Pt Lonsdale and made a diversion to return to YBSS.

On landing, the aircraft was met by staff and calculations estimated the aircraft to have lost roughly 10-15L of fuel (based on block fuel burn rates).

Contributing Factors

PIC was an unlicensed pilot and was conducting first flight of the day in the aircraft. As such, a daily inspection conducted by an instructor was required as part of solo sign-out procedure. This was conducted satisfactorily by the staff member, but the aircraft was subsequently refuelled by the student. This resulted in the loose fuel cap not being captured through a pre-flight inspection, as would normally be the case.


  • TVSA procedures adjusted to ensure inspections carried out by instructors for solo students only occurred after refuelling.
  • Staff and students briefed on the importance of thorough pre-flight inspection.
  • ATSB reporting completed.


Thankfully, this incident had a good outcome but could have ended very differently. It highlighted the need for a thorough aircraft inspection, as well as the need to remain alert to possible errors at all times.