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.

Most of our TIFs are conducted in our two-seater, Cessna 152 aircraft. This is a cheaper option, but it is a smaller aircraft, so if you’re taller than 6ft or over 90kg we generally recommend upgrading to the four-seater Piper aircraft. We also need to know if you have any health conditions that may impact the safety of your flight.

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 info@tvsa.edu.au or give the office a call on (03) 5369 5162 for more information or to book a flight.