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Learning to Fly

Note: University Flying Club does not offer Flight Training. This page provides information on the various pilot licences available. 

Recreational Pilot License (RPL)

  • A recreational pilot license (RPL) is intended for those who want to fly purely for recreational purposes with restrictions.
  • It allows pilots to fly light (under 1500kg maximum take-off weight (MTOW)), single-engine aircraft as pilot in command and can be achieved in as little as 25 hours.
  • The RPL also allows pilots to fly without supervision from a flight instructor or flying school once they have earned the licence but are restricted to 25nm from the departure aerodrome.

Excellent information on getting a recreational pilot license can be found on the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) Website at


For those wanting more once they have their RPL additional training can be completed to add endorsements. Some types of flights require endorsements on top of the RPL such as:

  • Navigation Endorsement (Allows recreational pilots to fly more than 25 nautical miles from the departure aerodrome or the associated training area)
  • Controlled Airspace Endorsement (Allows recreational pilots to fly in controlled airspace)

What if I hold an RA-Aus Pilot Certificate?

You can convert the RA-Aus Pilot Certificate to a RPL. This requires completion of an application form, supporting evidence and a Flight Review. If you have navigation endorsements on your RA-Aus Licence these will be retained with your RPL. More information is available from the CASA website.

Private Pilot License (PPL)

  • Intended for those who wish to fly aircraft or conduct flights which the recreational pilot license (RPL) doesn’t permit. E.g. Larger aircraft than recreational types, complex aircraft, instrument flights, night flights, twin-engine, etc.
  • Allows ratings and endorsements not available on the RPL.
  • Allows the pilot to fly cross-country in a greater range of aircraft including larger more complex aircraft.
  • This is also generally the first step for those wishing to become commercial pilots.
  • Private pilot license is internationally recognised and allows you to fly in Australia and other countries (subject to their regulations, some limitations/requirements usually apply).
  • Generally allows access to a greater range of hire aircraft and less restrictive insurance conditions.

Excellent information on becoming a private pilot can be found on the civil aviation safety authority (CASA) website at