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How much does it cost to learn to fly in Australia?

How much will it cost me to get a pilot licence?

How long will it take to complete flight training?

Two very common and very important questions. The answers might surprise you.

Learning to fly a plane might seem like a difficult, far-off dream – but it is achievable for many people.

A few things to know

You don’t need any specific school qualifications to become a pilot. A background in physics or math might help, but isn’t necessary. Likewise, if you have a background in mechanics or engineering you might pick things up a bit quicker.

Be prepared to study outside of your lesson times. Flight training is more ground based than you might think – you’ll need some textbooks and some time to study the theory.

There are different licences, but the training follows the same progression. You can get started and then decide later where you’d like to stop, but it will help if you know your ultimate goal so we can put you on the best path.

Most lessons during the first phase of training will be about an hour in the aircraft, plus another half hour either side of that on the ground with your instructor. If you are continuing into navigation phases for PPL/CPL, you can expect flights to be 2-3 hours long, plus another hour or two on the ground with your instructor.

We’ve put together some basic cost estimates based on starting from zero experience for each licence below.

Keep in mind that flight training is competency based, so we can’t guarantee that these numbers will represent a final cost for you.

cost estimates

For a basic set of materials, regardless of which licence you want, you can probably expect to budget $1-2,000. Prices for things like your aviation medical and headset can vary quite a bit, so haven’t been included in these estimates.

For these estimates, we’ve based the hours on what our experience has shown is reasonable. This is sometimes a bit more than the CASA minimum requirements. We think this sets up more realistic expectations, so the final cost is less likely to be a surprise. Some other providers may use the CASA minimums for their quotes, so be sure to check the full list of inclusions when making comparisons.

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Recreational Pilot Licence:

An RPL allows you to pilot a single-engine aircraft under 1500kg within 25nm of your home aerodrome.

23 hours dual – $6,877

5 hours solo – $1,100

TVSA Flight Training Manual – $160

Pre-Solo and Pre-Area Solo Exams – $60

RPL theory exam – $170

Logbook – $44

RPL theory course (optional) – $540

RPL flight test – test fee + 1.5 hours aircraft hire $892.50

= $9,963.50

Private Pilot Licence:

A PPL allows you to pilot an aircraft anywhere in Australia in the single-engine class with passengers.

43 hours dual – $14,777

10 hours solo – $2,970

2 simulator hours – $420

TVSA Flight Training Manuals – $260

Pre-Solo and Pre-Area Solo Exams – $60

PPL Theory Exam – $180

Navigation theory – $780

RPL theory course (optional) – $540

PPL flight test – test fee + 3.5 hours aircraft hire $1,700.50

= $21,308.50

Commercial Pilot Licence:

A CPL allows you to work as a pilot in Australia.

We have two training options – integrated and non-integrated. The costs below are for non-integrated training (200 hour syllabus).

75 hours dual – $24,187

120 hours solo – $26,775

5 simulator hours – $1,050

TVSA Flight Training Manuals – $260

Pre-Solo and Pre-Area Solo Exams – $60

RPL theory course (optional) – $540

RPL theory exam – $170

RPL flight test – test fee $562.50 + 1.5 hours aircraft hire $330

CPL theory exams (7 subjects) – $1,099.63

CPL flight test – test fee + 3.5 hours aircraft hire $2,070

= $57,958.13

  • optional CPL theory courses (7 subjects) – $900 each

OK but... how long does it take to get a pilot licence?

The time required to complete each licence is highly variable. As a guide, you could achieve your RPL in 3-6 months, your PPL in 6-9 months, and your CPL in 12-24 months.

Two main factors are: your schedule, and your finances.

The more frequently you can fly, the faster you will move through the lessons. For some people that is dependent on the money, for some it’s more about when they can find the time to come in.

A few other things that can impact this are:

  • how well you study between flights
  • how quickly you pick up the concepts – each student is different, and somethings may take a couple of reviews before they’re up to standard
  • the weather – some people get lucky, but you can expect at least a few cancellations due to poor weather during your training
  • the amount of flexibility in your schedule – for example, if you’re planning to fly once a week but the weather causes a cancellation, you might be able to reschedule that for later in the week if you’re available
  • maintenance – we do our best to minimise the impact of maintenance items for our students, but occasionally things pop up at the last minute

We generally recommend flying weekly or fortnightly to make consistent progress through your training. The longer the gaps between flights, the more likely it is that you will need to spend more time (and therefore money) on reviewing things rather than learning new ones.

It’s also important to note that the integrated courses for PPL and CPL come with additional requirements. Mainly, they must be completed in a condensed timeframe. For CPL, that means you need to complete the flight test no more than about 18 months after you started training.

The really good news, however, is that all your experience ultimately counts, no matter how long your training takes. Even if you start training, and then need to take a break for a few years, those hours can still be included in your overall experience totals. You might need to revisit a few things to get back into it, but there’s no expiration date on them.

Please note:

Additional costs on top of those given above include: textbooks, headset, maps, navigation equipment, CASA fees, appropriate CASA Medical certificate, additional flight training and tuition to meet the standard.

Our prices include things like fuel and landing fees, when comparing with other estimates be sure to check whether those do as well.

All costs assume the student opts for the Cessna 152 for ab initio and solo hour building.

Costs correct at time of writing. Subject to change.

Want to know more?

Give us a call on (03) 5369 5162, or book a call with our training advisor to discuss your options.

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What is a Trial Introductory Flight?

Experiencing the world from above is on many bucket lists. Is it time to tick it off of yours?

Stats differ, but perhaps half the world’s population have never been on a single flight. Some say it’s more like 80%… either way, TVSA wants to change that.

Our Trial Introductory Flight (TIF) is the perfect experience for anyone wanting to experience flight or to see if learning to fly is for them.

So, what’s involved?

First step is booking in. Our TIFs are designed to give you a taste of flight training, so you’ll need to allow about an hour for the full experience. Half an hour in the aircraft, plus pre- and post-flight briefing time.

At booking, we’ll likely ask you a couple of questions to make sure you have the best experience. The more you can tell us about what you want to get out of it, the better we can tailor it to you.

We do a lot of our TIFs in our four-seater, Piper aircraft. We can also do them in the two-seater Cessna 152s – this is a cheaper option but it’s a smaller aircraft, so if you’re taller than 6ft or over 90kg the Piper is the way to go. The Cessna 152s are great for kids or anyone with short legs!

It’s Melbourne, so on the day of your flight we’ll make an assessment of the weather and give you a call as early as we can if we think the weather looks a bit iffy. Keep in mind that we make those decisions based on aviation weather forecasts, not the general ones you see on the news, so we won’t make a cancellation due to weather more than about 12 hours ahead of time.

When you arrive, you’ll make your way to our Dispatch team at the front desk to check in. They’ll grab some details from you and then let your instructor know you’ve arrived.

Then you’ll meet your instructor and they’ll ask you a couple of questions such as if you’d like to get a pilot licence or if you’re just here for a bit of fun. They’ll then adjust the plan for the flight accordingly. You’ll have a bit of a chat before heading out to the aircraft. They’ll take you through some basics of how the aircraft works, and some important safety messages.

The final step before you head out to the aircraft will be Dispatch again. Your instructor will grab the Maintenance Release and keys for the aircraft, and a headset for you. You’ll also need to sign a form to confirm you understand and agree to the conditions of the flight.

Now for the fun part. Your instructor will take you out to the aircraft and walk you through a preflight inspection. This will confirm the aircraft is safe to fly before you get in.

After a short taxi to the runway, you’ll be off on your first flight!

This is the part where you get to take some control. Your instructor will direct you through some basic manoeuvres – this is essentially a condensed version of every pilot’s first lesson.


You’ll then return to the ground and parking, and then back inside to Dispatch. Your instructor will return the equipment and then can spend some time answering any questions you have about the experience or flight training.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I take photos?

Absolutely! You can take photos before or after your flight with the aircraft, your instructor will happily take some for you if you come alone. In flight, you will just need to communicate with your instructor so they can make sure it is safe to do so. For safety reasons, you can’t take photos while you are in control of the aircraft. If you have someone with you, they are welcome to use the balcony to take some photos/videos of you as well.

Can I bring my GoPro?

You can bring a GoPro or similar camera with you. You will not be able to mount it to any exterior part of the aircraft as that requires engineering approval. A temporary internal mount using a clip or suction cup might be ok, your instructor will be able to confirm.

Can two of us go together?

As this is a training flight, we are unable to allow passengers. If you would both like to do a Trial Introductory Flight we can arrange for you to both fly in separate aircraft at the same time, or one after the other. Our schedule may not always allow for this though, but if you give us enough notice we can usually make it work. Give us a call 2+ weeks in advance and we’ll see what we can do.

What’s the minimum age for this experience?

We don’t have a specific minimum age, and we have taken kids up before. This really comes down to the individual. Some things to keep in mind include whether they will be able to reach the controls and see out the windows, and whether they will be comfortable on their own with the instructor.

If I decide to continue flight training, will this time count?

Yes! Even if you choose to continue your flight training with another school, you can add your TIF with us to your logbook and it will count towards the hour experience requirements for any licence.

Can I fly for longer than half an hour?

Our discounted TIF price is based on half an hour flight. If you’d like to fly for longer, it will just be charged at our normal hourly rate. Please let us know when booking if you’d like a longer experience.

What if I get air sick?

It happens! We keep sick bags in all our aircraft for this reason. Please let your instructor know on your way out if you have reason to think you may get air sick. If at any time during the flight you start to feel unwell, let your instructor know and they will do their best to return you to solid ground as quickly as they can. Please note that we are not able to offer any refund if your flight is cut short for this reason.

Contact us via email at or give the office a call on (03) 5369 5162 for more information or to book a flight.

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Seek Multiple Sources of Information


Don’t be afraid to look for and engage with information from different sources. This can help you understand concepts more fully.

Use your Flight Training Manuals and textbooks as a starting point.

Where they make reference to other materials, look them up.

Know where to find relevant CASA publications and how to navigate them.

Try YouTube for videos explaining concepts you aren’t understanding from readings and briefings. Check with your instructor to make sure the information is accurate and relevant for you. Be aware that some information will be specific to where it’s made.

Do your own research – there are plenty of aviation books in publication with varying degrees of technical detail. If you’re planning to work in aviation, the more you know about the industry as a whole, the better.

Use your instructor. If you’re struggling with something, they might be able to explain it to you in a different way that makes it click.

Finding multiple sources of information is particularly important because people learn differently. You might learn better from reading a textbook, or you might need a video to better understand a concept.

Some resources we like:

  • TVSA Flight Training Manuals
  • Bob Tait textbooks
  • Aviation Theory Centre textbooks
  • QF32 – Richard de Crespigny
  • No Man’s Land: The Untold Story of Automation on QF72 – Kevin Sullivan
  • Aerobatics Down Under – David Pilkington
  • Flight-Club on YouTube
  • Flight Safety Australia – CASA’s Safety Magazine
  • Stick and Rudder: An Explanation of the Art of Flying – Wolfgang Langewiesche
  • The Killing Zone: How & Why Pilots Die – Paul A. Craig
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Timetabling and Scheduling Study


Effective time management is crucial for study success.

How do you do that? Well, you could…

Break your time up into blocks. It might help to have a yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily planner/ schedule. This will help you keep on track with major deadlines but keep your day-to-day focus on manageable blocks.

Schedule specifically. Don’t just block out time for “study” – write in your schedule what you will do with that time. For example, it might be “read two chapters” or “review notes on meteorology.” This helps keep you focused and also helps you know how much time to allocate.

You’ll be able to achieve more with smaller blocks of time because you won’t have to spend time working out what to do. If it takes you longer than expected to complete the task, remember that for next time you need to do something similar.

Work out your personal prime time. Do you study better at night or in the morning? What commitments do you have outside of your flights and study that you need to schedule around?

A good idea is to create or find a weekly template. Block out times that you are otherwise engaged. This could be work or family commitments, sporting activities or other hobbies – and don’t forget to schedule time to sleep, eat, and relax!

See where you have space to fit in your study. Is it enough? Can you reschedule anything to give yourself more time to study? Or a better time to study? If you know you concentrate better at night, but all your nights are filled with other commitments, can anything be moved?

Find a routine and commit to it for at least a few weeks. If it’s not working for you, change it up.

Try different lengths of study time. Maybe spending half a day a couple of times a week works for you. Maybe you need short bursts every day. When you first start, try a few different things, and make note of how you felt and how well you took in information.

Communicate to the people in your life about your commitment to flight training and what that means. Enlist one or two key people to keep you accountable and motivated.

Learn to say no! Sometimes you will need to prioritise your study goals over a casual social engagement. Focus on the big picture in these moments and communicate your reasons. People will understand.

Self-directed learning requires discipline. Be honest with yourself about your commitment. Review your progress and how well you have stuck to your schedule.

Be prepared for life to happen. Allow yourself time to grasp trickier concepts, or to flow with distractions.

The biggest key is to find what works for you. There is no one size fits all approach.

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Working in Aviation: Resume Writing Tips

Resume basics

First impressions are important. Take the time to polish your resume. Make it look good, triple-check for spelling and grammatical errors, use an easy-to-read font, and make sure the formatting makes everything easy to read.

A personal statement highlights how you are suited for the specific job you are applying for. It should be fairly short – around 100 words – and include three key things: who you are, what you can offer, and what your career goals are. This is where you sell yourself.

Be specific. Don’t just list generic skills – give specific examples of when you demonstrated them. Keep in mind the position you are applying for.

Length is important. Generally, a resume should be no more than 2 pages. Don’t fall into the trap of filling in space, though. Keep it relevant.

Key sections to include: your name and contact info, a brief personal statement, education, and work experience. Optional sections like skills, awards, and personal interests should be included only if relevant. You could also include a link to a professional online profile, like LinkedIn.

Keep in mind that employers will tend to scan a resume first, rather than reading all the information line by line. Make sure your formatting allows key points to stand out.

Customise your resume for each job application. Employers are looking for ways you can fulfill their needs, not what they can do for you.

Make sure your contact information is correct and up to date.

Be wary of online templates. Use these as a guide, not as the be-all-and-end-all of resume formatting. Each industry tends to have specific requirements and conventions, which may not translate well. Find the best way to clearly highlight your relevant skills and experience.

Aviation-specific requirements

Keep in mind that the industry is competitive, and companies receive many resumes for jobs they’re not even advertising for. Keep it focused and to the point.

If you’re applying for an advertised job, make sure you meet all the requirements before submitting an application – you don’t want to have mark against your name for wasting their time or not following clear instructions.

A brief summary of your flying experience should be included before your work history. List specific ratings and endorsements, as well as types of aircraft flown.

Leave the detailed “this is why I’m perfect for the job” for the cover letter.

The resume should be just your qualifications, flying experience, work experience, volunteer experience and three references.

A single page resume is generally preferred in the aviation industry.

You should also have a separate cover letter for each application.

The cover letter needs to address the job advertisement. It should explain how your experience, attitude, etc means that you fit the criteria set out in the job description.

You might set out your resume like this:

  1. Start with basic personal information

Your name — Address — Telephone number — E-mail (make sure it’s your personal email and looks professional) — Date of birth

  1. Flight hours. It’s really important to include hours relevant for the position. When applying for an airline, multi-engine, jet hours, second in command time, and hours flown on a specific type should be included. For example:

Total time: X hours — Pilot in Command: X hours — Second in Command: X hours — X hours on relevant type

  1. Qualifications. In this section include your Licences, Endorsements, and Ratings. Remember, this is where you have to prove that you meet requirements listed. Mention licence types, their validity, medical certificate, and licence issue country.
  2. Work experience. Keep it short and accurate. Mention the company name, duration of employment in years, your role, and aircraft types you flew on.
  3. Education and training. Note the qualification and where you studied. It is important to mention your last training (including the type of aircraft/simulator) and last actual flight (when, where, aircraft type).
  4. Skills, languages, achievements. Mention just relevant information, such as honours awards, prizes, special skills, or languages. This section is not obligatory.

Other things to consider:
Make sure your logbook is up to date.
Have a scan or copies of your licence and medical.

As with any piece of writing, it’s a good idea to read it out loud as a final check. This will help pick up on any missed errors or awkward phrasing. Have someone you trust proofread as well.


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Student Wellbeing Resources


Studying can be stressful. It’s ok to seek help if you’re struggling.

Speak to your instructor or anyone else you feel comfortable speaking with. Communication is key – we can’t help if we don’t know what you need! While your instructor is not a therapist, they may be able to help you manage your study situation with consideration to your life outside of flying.

We will do our best to work with you to help you achieve your goals.

Maintaining your overall wellbeing while you study will help improve study outcomes. This includes things like managing stress, getting enough sleep, eating well, and creating healthy relationships.

Some quick tips:

  • Keep a regular sleep schedule.
  • Practice gratitude.
  • Monitor your media consumption – you control your Facebook or Instagram news feeds, which emails you receive or open, what you watch, and what you read. Remove anything that doesn’t make you feel good.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Find a friend to open up to.
  • Eat well.
  • Schedule time for fun stuff.

Everyone will experience their own set of challenges while studying. The best thing about this modern world? It’s easy to find tools to help you with anything!

Here are some places to start: has a series of online courses to help you develop strategies to improve the way you feel. Each course is backed by clinical research and trials. Some are free for anyone to complete, others come with a fee (or can be free if prescribed by an affiliated medical practitioner). is a website developed by the University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, and beyondblue. It “aims to support Australian tertiary students to achieve mental and physical health and wellbeing.” The website has modules for checking your wellbeing and tips for improving it. It’s free to create a profile, and you can check in regularly to track your wellbeing status.

ANU’s “Mental Health & Wellbeing” page includes tips on sleep, mindfulness, managing exam anxiety, procrastination stoppers, living away from home, and relationship resources.

An Introduction to Mental Fitness and Self-Improvement is an online workbook written blog-style by a registered psychologist for students wanting to improve their wellbeing and “be good at their studies.”

*all links correct at time of publishing. If you have trouble with them, please try Googling the relevant university.

And no matter how you may be feeling, remember that you are not alone.

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Working in Aviation: CPL

A Commercial Pilot Licence is a minimum requirement to work as a pilot.

You need to complete a course of flight training with a Part 141 or Part 142 flight training organisation. Depending on where you go and how often you can fly, you can do this in 150 or 200 hours (see our previous post about integrated vs non-integrated CPL training).

CPL training includes theory, basic general flying, as well as cross-country and instrument flying.

Things to know before you start

Age requirements: you need to be 15 to fly solo, and 16 to get a licence. You can start flight training before 15 but keep in mind it generally takes only 10-15 hours to get to solo standard. You will need to be 18 to get a CPL.

Medical requirements: you will need a valid medical to fly solo. To obtain a CPL, you will need a Class 1. It’s a good idea to get one before you start training, just to make sure you can.
More information about medical certificates here.

English language requirements: to fly solo and to sit your CPL flight test, you must be able to prove your ability to communicate in English.
More information on this here.

CPL exams and testing

Training towards a CPL is more than just flying.

There are a series of exams and flight tests that you will need to pass in order to get a CPL.

The first exams are for pre-solo and pre-area solo. These are short written exams that we conduct in-house to check your knowledge before sending you on solo flights at certain points in your training.

The next exam you will do is the RPL exam. You must pass this in order to complete an RPL flight test. While it is not a requirement to obtain an RPL before your CPL, we do highly recommend it. It’s a much shorter flight test, but gives you an idea what your flight tests are like – the prep work involved, process, etc. Having an RPL will also mean you can take passengers on some of your hour building flights. Much more fun than doing all those hours alone!

There are 7 CPL theory exams. You can study the theory yourself if you have a self-learning course or you can attend classes at a flight training organisation. If you are completing an integrated training course, the theory training is incorporated into the CPL training course.

The following are the CPL exam codes and their corresponding subject-parts:

CNAV – CPL Navigation (common to Aeroplane & Helicopter)

CMET – CPL Meteorology (common to Aeroplane & Helicopter)

CHUF – CPL Human Factors (common to Aeroplane & Helicopter)

CLWA – CPL Flight Rules & Air Law (Aeroplane)

CADA – CPL Aerodynamics (Aeroplane)

CSYA – CPL Aircraft General Knowledge (Aeroplane)

CFPA – CPL Operation, Performance & Flight Planning (Aeroplane)

Information about what materials can be taken into each exam here.

The theory exams must be completed within a two-year period to remain valid.

And the final step…

CPL flight test

Before you can do your CPL flight test, you must meet certain requirements.

You will need a pass mark for the 7 CPL subjects, as well as completing the relevant Knowledge Deficiency Reports.

You also need to meet the following flight experience requirements:




Aeronautical experience



Flight time as pilot



Pilot in command flight time



Pilot in command cross-country



Dual instrument time



Dual instrument flight time



The CPL flight test will be at least 2.5 hours long. Before the flight, you must pass a ground component with the examiner.

TVSA recommends budgeting for 3.5 hours for the flying portion of the test.

Finding work once you have a CPL

You have several options once you have a CPL. Some include:

General Aviation – work doing things like survey, fire-spotting, scenic, and charter flights.

Networking is crucial for finding a job in Aviation. It’s important to make sure you maintain a good reputation, even during your training.

Flight Instructor – complete an Instructor Rating and find work teaching others to fly. See our previous post about becoming a flight instructor for more information about this pathway.

To open up more opportunities, you could add on ratings and endorsements. Two common ones are the Instrument and Multi-Engine Class Ratings. These can be done separately, or together in (for example) our AVI50519 Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Rating).

If you want to fly as pilot-in-command or co-pilot in a multi-crew operation, as well as holding the appropriate aircraft rating, you must have completed an approved course of training in multi-crew cooperation.

A CPL holder cannot be pilot-in-command of:

  • an aircraft engaged in multi-crew charter or regular public transport (RPT)
  • an aircraft certified for a single pilot with a MTOW of more than 5700kg in RPT
  • a turbojet aircraft with MTOW greater than 3500kg in RPT.

You must hold the appropriate aircraft category on your CPL and the class or type rating for the aircraft you want to fly.

More information:



Flight Examiner Handbook:

TVSA Nationally Accredited Training:

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The Art of Note-Taking


Note taking helps you make meaning from a text or briefing.

It’s important to summarise sections in your own words to check your understanding of it.

Write out key words and definitions. In some cases, you might like to create a quick reference list. You could do this from the back of your notebook.

Let’s be real, note taking during briefings is an art form – it’s not just about how fast you can write. The trick is filtering the key points and only writing those down.

A big part of effective note taking while in a briefing is how well you listen.

Listening tips:

  • Concentrate.
  • Analyse the message. Connect each concept to the bigger picture.
  • Take any lapses in the flow or breaks as an opportunity to make sure you have understood the key points.
  • Ask questions. If you don’t feel comfortable raising your hand mid-briefing, write them down to ask later.
  • Be objective. Try not to let your personal opinions of the person speaking cause you to miss the important lessons.
  • Find a motivation. If you don’t find the speaker or topic particularly interesting, concentrate on what value you can get out of the briefing.
  • Stay physically alert. You should be comfortable but not so relaxed that you are not engaged. This will also produce a better talk from the speaker – they will naturally respond to signs of your engagement.

Try to ignore the urge to copy everything off the slides. Instead, listen for the key points and write those down.

Develop your own shorthand, abbreviations that you understand can help you speed up your note taking. This will develop as you practice. It doesn’t have to be perfect or consistent – you’re the only one who has to be able to understand it later!

Review your notes later that day. Edit them to make sure you will be able to understand what they refer to later.

Writing has been proven to be more effective for memory retention than listening or reading. Anytime where you are actively creating, the information sticks in your memory better. This includes speaking aloud, drawing, and writing. Try reading aloud when you are going through your textbooks or Flight Training Manuals.

Handwriting is more effective than typing because you are more actively involved.

Rewriting your notes can help – this might be just making them neater, or you could expand on them by pulling together information on the same topic from different sources (e.g. write all your information about stalling from briefings, FTM, and textbooks into one section of your notebook). Use headings and subheadings to help organise ideas.

Compare your notes with a friend – they may have understood something more fully than you did.

Don’t be afraid of colour! Different coloured pens or highlighters can be a very effective way of both breaking up your notes and helping you find things later. You might like to colour code information – perhaps highlight in yellow things you struggle with and need to go over more regularly.

Do your own research into note taking styles – a quick Google search will find heaps of options and tutorials. Some methods include:

  • Cornell Method: divide each page into sections, one for notes, one for cues, and one for a summary
  • Outline Method: categorise information by levels of importance
  • Charting Method: create a matrix to show relationships between information
  • Sentence Method: writing complete sentences where terminology is specifically important
  • Mind-Mapping Method: visually represent information using bubbles, lines, etc

You might be immediately drawn to one method, or you may need to try out a few for yourself to see which one works best.

Remember: you will get better with practice. Be patient with yourself and allow yourself plenty of time to develop these skills. They’ll be invaluable for your study.

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Why Bacchus Marsh for flight training?


Bacchus Marsh Aerodrome is located to the south of the Bacchus Marsh township. While the drive out of Melbourne may take about 50 minutes, it’s well worth it.

Our training area is pretty big. It’s a bit more than double the size of other training areas around Melbourne. We’re also the only school using it on a regular basis, so you’ve got more room to move.

Being outside the Melbourne area means that we have less air traffic as well. This means you can begin your journey in a calmer environment.

We’re still close to controlled airspace, though, so you will be regularly exposed to that environment as you learn.

With a short taxi from parking to runway and no landing fees, you get more time in the air for your money. The airport is in the training area, so there is no transit time before your lesson begins.

What about a Control Tower? We don’t have one here at Bacchus Marsh, so your first experience with ATC will be after you’re already comfortable handling the aircraft. This means less stress while learning to interact with ATC. You’re only learning one new skill at that time.

In 2018 we announced a $10 million upgrade to our training and accommodation facilities. This upgrade also includes a complete refurbishment of our fleet. So far, we have seen our new Operations building open, and two fully refurbished aircraft come online.

Not convinced? Come out and see us!

Give us a call on (03) 5369 5162 to book a Trial Introductory Flight or a no-obligation chat with an instructor.

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Studying for Exams

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The biggest piece of advice we can offer is start early. Include exam study as part of your regular study schedule.

Find out as much as you can about what the exam will involve. Think about content and question style. Know what you can take into the exam. Get familiar with those materials.

If you’re not sure, ask! Your instructor will help you as much as you can, and other students can provide valuable tips and information as well.

Review concepts regularly. Going over concepts in small, weekly segments is much easier to manage than trying to force yourself to remember everything in the few days before your exam.

Vary your revision practices. The more different ways you can practice/review a concept, the better. Draw diagrams, write out notes, create and answer your own questions, talk to others – whatever you can think of!

Repetition is one of the best ways to commit things to memory – give yourself enough time to go over things several times before the exam.

Concentrate on understanding rather than memorising concepts. Some things can be rote learnt. Others will require more in-depth comprehension. Know which is which for your exam and study appropriately.

Find a study buddy to help keep you on track. You can also explain things to each other to check your understanding.

Make use of all the resources available to you. Read your textbooks, FTMs, etc more than once.

Practice, practice, and more practice. Do all the practice exams and questions you can find. Check your answers to see where you are going wrong and review those concepts again before having another attempt.

Ask questions and seek help early. If you’re really struggling to understand a concept, speak to your instructor.

As your exam date approaches, do your best to maintain your normal self-care routine while ramping-up your study. Maintain your regular diet, exercise, and sleep patterns. Changing your lifestyle will only increase stress.

Before the exam:

  • Make sure you get enough sleep.
  • Eat something. Avoid the sugar-high-and-crash of chocolate bars and candy. Choose something that will give you the energy you need to concentrate while you’re in the exam.
  • Stay hydrated – your brain is mostly water. It’ll work better if you’ve had enough to drink.
  • Pack your back the night before so you can double check you have everything as many times as you need to.
  • Check that you know where you’re going and when to be there. Plan to leave yourself plenty of time to get there in case any unexpected delays come up on the way.

During the exam:

  • Stay calm.
  • Read the question carefully. Understand what it is asking you.
  • Move through and answer as many questions as you can as quickly as you can. You can return to anything you’re unsure of later.
  • Don’t spend too long on one question if you’re struggling. Make a note to come back to it if you have time.
  • Try to manage your time so that you have some at the end to review your answers. This is where you might pick up on mistakes in interpreting the question.
  • Don’t overthink it – if you’re not sure on the answer, eliminate obviously wrong options and then just choose what seems best to you.
  • If you’re unsure about changing your answer, don’t. Chances are your first instinct was right.
  • Answer every question. You might be wrong, but you definitely can’t get marks for a blank answer.

After the exam:

  • Be proud of yourself – whether you pass or fail, getting through an exam is an accomplishment in itself.
  • Celebrate your pass. You can assess what you need to work on tomorrow.
  • If you didn’t pass, take a moment to think about why. Were you underprepared? Did you just panic in the moment and forget everything? This is important for working out what you will do differently next time around. Then move on.

Remember: nerves are normal! Do what you can to manage them. Be prepared and practice breathing techniques. Seek professional help if you need it.