Getting back into flying
This is a guidance page only, we recommend you always check CASA’s website for the most up-to-date information.
Had a break from flying and want to get back into it? Have a read through our guide below. There are various scenarios based on when you last flew and if you hold a licence or not.
1. Started flight training, but never got a licence?
Did you start flight training but never sat a flight test and achieve the licence? If that’s the case, getting back into flying is straightforward. We simply pick up the training where you left off and go from there. Ideally, you would have your logbook and training record from your previous flying so we could see what has been done (if not, that’s fine). We would do an assessment flight to see how much you remember and work out where in the syllabus to resume your training. From there, we would guide you through the syllabus and required exams as we do with all our students. Note: you would need to renew your medical before any solo flight.
There is no answer on how many hours it will take you to complete the licence, every case is different. Some people can have 10 years off but remember and pick up skills quickly. Others only have a year off and it’s like starting all over again. After the assessment flight, we would be able to provide a better idea for you.
2. Held a licence and completed a flight test/flight review in the past two years?
Have you only had a short break and have a licence? If your flight review is current, then legally you can fly an aircraft solo; and after three take-offs and landings, take passengers. Your flight review lasts for two years from the last flight test or flight review you did and can be found on your licence.
However, most flight schools would want a dual check if you have had a break from flying. This would be in the form of various circuits, emergencies and potentially some airwork. And, if you have never flown at Warnervale before, this is a requirement of the insurance anyway.
3. Held a licence, but flight review has expired (more than 2 years since last flight)
Got a licence, but haven’t flown in several years? All you need is a flight review to make your licence current, however there are other components too. The steps involved include:
- Check when your licence was issued. In September 2014, CASA changed the licencing structure. All pilots had to transfer their licence from the old CAR 5 rules to the new CASR 61 rules. If your licence was issued before September 2014 (and you never transferred it to the new one), the first step is to complete form 61-9TX, which can be found on CASA’s website. You will need your ARN and licence details, and there is a $25 fee. Once that is sent to CASA, they will start processing it and send you out your new licence.
- If you held a General Flying Progress Test (GFPT) licence you will be given a Recreational Pilot’s Licence
- If you held a restricted Private Pilot Licence (PPL) you will be given a Private Pilot Licence with a caveat that you can’t fly more than 25NM from your departure point.
- If you held a unrestricted Private Pilot Licence or Commercial Pilot Licence, you will simply have the same licence.
- Renew your medical. Medicals are now done online. You will need your ARN to access the website. Medical types now include:
- Class 1: CPL & ATPL
- Class 2: RPL & PPL
- Class 2 Basic: RPL & PPL (with some limitations, such as no night flying, no aerobatics, and aircraft weight limits). A basic class 2 can not be used for a PPL flight test; so if your plan is to convert your GFPT to an RPL and then do the PPL, you will need a regular class 2. If you are simply doing the flight review, the basic class 2 is fine.
- A class 1 or 2 needs to be done with a designated aviation medical examiner (DAME). A basic class 2 can be done by most GP’s. All medicals need to be processed online first. That can be done at: https://mrs.casa.gov.au/Applicant
- Obtain a security clearance. Pilots in Australia need a security check to be able exercise the privileges of their licence. There are two options:
- ASIC: This is a 2 year card that allows you access to all airports. If you plan on visiting any security controlled airport, you will need one of these (places such as Scone, Bathurst, Dubbo, Port Macquarie and any controlled airport). There are many places that offer these cards, we recommend Aviation ID Australia (https://aviationidaustralia.net.au/)
- AVID: This is a 5 year card. It is only valid at ALA’s (such as Warnervale, Luskintyre, Rylstone). If you only plan to fly at Warnervale, then this card will suit you. However, if you plan to do any navigating, it would be safer to get the ASIC card. The AVID is applied for through CASA using form 499.
- Get back in the aircraft. Book a lesson with us and get flying again! We would start off with an assessment flight to see where you were at and then make a plan from there. A flight review is competency based, so the length of flight time it would take is dependent on the pilot and the gap between flying.
Note: you can start the training while you are awaiting the medical and security card, but once the flight review is complete, you won’t be able to fly privately until your medical and security card had arrived.
Contact us if you’re ready to get back into flying!