AAA RPL Course
Training safe, proficient pilots is a serious business, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun along the way! Not only will you loop and roll on your first lesson, during the course you will learn to take-off and land, to perform basic aerobatics, to spin and recover and to effectively recognise and respond to emergency situations. Learning these skills takes time, dedication and good instruction. Getting this process right the first time is essential when you learn to fly. Flying, like the sea, is unforgiving of the inattentive or foolish!
The Australian Aerobatic Academy’s Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) syllabus is NOT a minimum time, minimum cost or minimum standard learn-to-fly course. It is a comprehensive course which goes beyond the minimum CASA requirements to provide you with superior aircraft handling skills. These skills will stay with you whether you choose to become the next Red Bull Air Race pilot, fly for the airlines, or enjoy taking your family and friends away for a weekend trip as a recreational pilot.
To see just how much more you get for your money with a AAA RPL course, please look at this document: AAA RPL Syllabus Comparison.
A pilot more confident and capable in the airborne environment has a greater capacity for good aeronautical decision-making, which means a safer, more proficient aviator. If your flight training is limited to the narrow envelope of the “air transport” environment, unnecessary limitations may be formed as well as an underlying fear of situations that cannot be adequately or safely explored in “standard” training aircraft incapable of basic aerobatic flight. When basic aerobatics, spinning, and upset prevention & recovery training is combined as an integral part of a learn-to-fly course, the result is a pilot fully aware of an aircraft’s capability in flight. This flight training method has been used for decades by defence forces worldwide – why should civilian pilots not also benefit from this style of training? IT WORKS!
Don’t just take our word for it… Former Sydney Aerobatic School founder & CFI Noel Kruse, author of the “Fly Better” series of books, endorses the Academy’s training methods and standards in this document. Veteran US aerobatic pilot, airshow performer and flight instructor Patty Wagstaff has written a recent article on the benefits of the Academy’s style of training: Upset Recovery Vs. Aerobatics – Plane And Pilot Magazine.
The Australian Aerobatic Academy prides itself on the standard of its instruction, as well as its personalised service and tuition. Academy instructors are experienced career instructors whose role is more of a “personal trainer” and “mentor” rather than a newly-qualified instructor trained to a minimum standard with limited operational experience. As we only employ a small number of dedicated professionals, we can guarantee the personalised service and consistency of training that larger organisations may not be able to provide.
All RPL flying lessons are conducted in the Robin 2160 – a high performance dedicated training aircraft capable of aerobatic flight. Your choice of initial training aircraft is very important. Many aircraft used for training today do not have the capability to allow practice in using the full aerodynamic envelope, leaving a gap in knowledge and experience for new pilots. It is for this reason AAA use only fully aerobatic aircraft for our initial training courses. The Robin has a cruise speed of 120 kts (215 km/h), and climb rate of 1000 ft/min. Compare this to the 40 year-old Cessna 152 or the newer Light Sport Aircraft used by other flight training schools – which have a cruise speed of around 90 kts (170 km/h) and a climb rate of 650 ft/min. This means more time is spent in the training area concentrating on learning the required skills, rather than the transit to and from the airport. Higher performance means more practice in take-offs and landings per session, which means more practice for every dollar spent!
All Sydney flying school lessons include FREE in-flight video recording facilities. Important aspects of the flight can be immediately replayed on the ground as part of the debriefing, so you don’t miss out on the vital feedback you need to improve your skills!
When making a decision on which school you choose to learn to fly with, consider this:
Learning to fly is a large commitment in time, finances and personal effort, and one must be ultimately satisfied with the ability of the selected flight training organisation to provide the level of service & quality of the qualification they purport to provide…
…What is your life, and the lives of your future passengers worth to you?
AAA Aerobatic Course
The AAA Aerobatic Course is the most comprehensive advanced flight handling skills course in Australia! We combine aerobatics and spinning endorsements, UPRT and advanced handling techniques to make you a safer, more proficient pilot.
Aerobatics is FUN! It is the only way to truly understand and enjoy the pure three dimensional freedom of controlled flight, and you don’t have to be the next “Top Gun” to do it! The ability to perform simple loops and rolls is a skill that provides a level of flying confidence and exhilaration that continues to elude “mainstream” flight training today.
Conducted in the Robin 2160i, the course is designed to teach licensed pilots with no previous aerobatic experience the skills and knowledge required to conduct safe, proficient aerobatic flight manoeuvres. Not only will you learn how to perform individual manoeuvres, you will learn how to fly them in sequence as well as recognise and recover from mishandled manoeuvres in safety, and have fun doing so!
The course also incorporates all element of the Academy’s Upset Prevention & Recovery Training (UPRT) course. This examines every aspect of the aerodynamic flight envelope, as well as how to cope with various emergency situations in realistic, scenario-based training.
Upon graduation, you will qualify for CASA Part 61 Aerobatics and Spinning Flight Activity Endorsements, be able to take up passengers in the Robin 2160, fly aerobatics and spins, and be confident in your ability to do so safely!
The AAA Aerobatic Course includes:
- CASA Part 61 Aerobatics & Spinning Flight Activity Endorsements
- Robin 2160i / Alpha 160A type conversion
- Precision flight path & approach control techniques
- Advanced stall awareness, recognition and recovery
- Upset Prevention & Recovery Training (UPRT) incl. stall/spin scenario training, unplanned upsets and engine failure contingencies
- Fully developed stable, unstable & incipient spins incl. emergency spin recovery technique
- Aileron rolls
- Wing-overs (“lazy eight”)
- Stall turns
- Hi-“G” turns (≥ +2G)
Already have some aerobatic experience? If you already have some experience in aerobatics, and you are looking to expand your skills, then please look at our advanced aerobatics courses. These “post-graduate” courses will give you the skills and knowledge to progress from a “basic aerobatic endorsement” to as far you want to take your aerobatic development – all the way to Unlimited world level competition if you so desire!
The Academy can also conduct aerobatics training for owners of aerobatic-capable Experimental category aircraft subject to assessment and suitability – please contact us to discuss your requirements.
Need an Aeroplane Flight Review or thinking of converting your RA-Aus certificate to a CASA RPL? This course is a fantastic way to expand your skills and meet the relevant CASA requirements! Contact us for more details.
PPL Navigation Course
AAA’s Private Pilot Licence (PPL) Navigation Course is designed to provide recreational pilots with the skills required to navigate anywhere in the world with confidence by day in fine weather conditions.
The course concentrates on visual navigation techniques and overlays this with the use of radio and satellite navigation aids. The AAA PPL Navigation course also provides graduates with an ability to fly in and out of Controlled Aerodromes such as Canberra and Controlled Airspace which allows graduates to fly procedures such as the “Sydney Harbour Scenic.”
Successful completion of the course recommends the student for the CASA Private Pilot Licence flight test.
Upset Prevention & Recovery Training (UPRT)
- Uncomfortable in slow speed turning flight?
- Apprehensive near the stall or lose excessive height in recovery?
- Concerned of your chances of survival in an engine failure scenario?
- Unaware of the exact limits of your aircraft’s performance capability?
- Afraid to “cross controls” for fear of a spin?
- Doubtful about your ability to cope with a unplanned upset or departure from the intended flight path, speed or attitude?
- Unable to recognise an impending stall without reference to the ASI?
If the answer is “YES” to any of these questions…
YOU NEED THIS COURSE!
The second-highest cause of accidents in aircraft is loss-of-control according to continuing ATSB statistics. The primary cause remains “collision with terrain” – mostly as a result of losing control!
The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), now realising the increasing impact of loss of control in-flight (LOC-I) events worldwide, is committed to “...reducing LOC-I <as> a global aviation safety priority“(sic.) by mandating UPRT for commercial pilots.
This doesn’t exclude the recreational or private pilot from increasing their skills. ALL pilots need to understand and control the environment in which they operate! UPRT provides an additional layer of protection against unplanned loss-of-control events.
Too many people are needlessly killed in aeroplane accidents because of a lack of understanding, recognition or recovery from impending or inadvertent loss-of-control! Don’t let THIS happen to you…
The Academy’s UPRT course is a defensive driving course for pilots! Our course consists of 5 lessons, each designed to increase your flight safety by providing a greater awareness of aircraft capability and confidence in the ability to recognise, avoid and recover if necessary from unexpected adverse aircraft control events or “upsets.”
Our comprehensive UPRT course includes:
- Confident and accurate flight path control and energy management;
- Nose high and nose low upset awareness and recovery;
- Advanced stall recognition and recovery;
- Stall / spin awareness and prevention;
- Fully-developed & incipient spin recovery; and
- Emergency scenario training.
Skills are learned in a controlled environment with strict performance parameters to maintain safety. Some aerobatic manoeuvres are used to demonstrate the full capability of an aircraft, as well as expose you to the likely adverse effects of incorrect or mishandled recovery techniques. This is backed up with comprehensive pre-flight briefings to gain greater knowledge of HOW and WHY pilots lose control.
Due to the condensed nature of the course, the aerobatic manoeuvres and spinning conducted are not available for endorsement. However, credit will be given toward the successful completion of an AAA Aerobatic Course based on competency if desired.
You don’t need to worry about how to fly a new aircraft type or learn local airport procedures! Our instructors will take care of that for you so you can concentrate on learning the techniques which may ultimately save your life!
If you are an Experimental aircraft owner, you may complete the course in YOUR aircraft! (subject to assessment and suitability) Our instructors are experienced in many different types of light aircraft including the popular Vans RV series. If you choose to use your aircraft, please note that some aspects of the course can only be completed in an aircraft with aerobatic capability. However, our instructors are available upon completion of the course to show you how your newly-learned skills apply in your regular aircraft within it’s limitations.
Don’t wait until it’s too late! Learn the skills you need to fly with complete confidence TODAY!
Advanced Aerobatics Courses
The Australian Aerobatic Academy’s “post-graduate” aerobatics courses are designed to expand your aerobatic repertoire and increase your skills to be capable of world-class aerobatics!
These courses build upon the AAA Aerobatic Course with additional manouevres and skills. You will begin with advanced rolling manoeuvres, followed by combination manoeuvres and ultimately low level aerobatics below 3000’ AGL as your skills and experience increase.
AAA’s advanced aerobatics courses are closely aligned with the Australian Aerobatic Club competition grades to allow graduates to compete upon completion. Aerobatic competition is the best way to provide feedback on your skills and challenge you further as you strive for perfection.
Once you have mastered the basics of aerobatic capability on the Robin 2160i, AAA offers an upgrade to the ubiquitous Pitts Special S-2A—the aircraft that has made more aerobatic champions the world over than any other aircraft! The Pitts Special is an excellent aircraft to begin your transition to higher-performance aerobatic aircraft, with it’s higher roll rate, greater horsepower and capability of sustained negative G manoeuvres.
For those wanting to pursue the upper echelons of aerobatic competition, AAA is proud to offer (by invitation only) the Extra NG – the highest performance two-seat certified aerobatic aircraft in the world! This aircraft is capable of unlimited aerobatic flight and is a weapon designed for serious aerobatic competition!
With AAA’s rich competition heritage, you can be assured of being trained by Australia’s top aerobatic instructors and pilots:
Peter Townsend, AAA’s Chief Flying Instructor, has been active in competition aerobatics for over 20 years as a competitor, coach, judge, contest organiser & contest director, having won his first national championship in the Basic category in 1998.
Cassandra Moeller, co-owner of the Academy, was the 2018 Australian Unlimited Aerobatic Champion and has been instrumental in running and organising Australian Aerobatic Club events since her first competition in 2010. Cass was also the recipient of the Matt Hall Racing (MHR) Scholarship for exemplary airmanship and sportsmanship in 2013.
Peter & Cassandra are both recipients of the FAI Paul Tissandier Diploma – awarded by the World Air Sports Federation (FAI) for their commitment to the sport of Aerobatics.
AAA has fielded a team to almost EVERY Australian competition since it’s inception, with competitors in every grade from Entry to Unlimited!
Progression through our post-graduate aerobatics courses is very much as your time, funds and desires permit. Each manoeuvre includes a briefing and aircraft are charged at standard rates. Once competency is attained you can practice to your heart’s desire until you decide to add a new figure to the sequence. As such, course costs will vary between individuals.
AAA Entry Category course:
- Barrel rolls
- Inverted flight
- Slow rolls
AAA Graduate Category course:
- Competition Spins
- Half cuban eight
- Roll-off-the-top (Immelmann)
AAA Sportsman Category course:
- Humpty-bumps & “Sharpies”
- Half reverse cuban eight
- Snap (flick) rolls
- Hesitation rolls
Low level aerobatics flight activity endorsements:
For those wishing to fly competition at the state, national and even international levels, the Australian Aerobatic Academy’s Low Level Aerobatics Courses consists of a series of tutorials and flights designed to instill confidence, safety and proficiency at performing aerobatics below 3000 feet AGL. The courses concentrate on energy management, geographic positioning and low level aerobatic sequence design & flying.
Spin Endorsement Training
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) Grade Three Flight Instructor Rating syllabus requires trainee instructors to be endorsed to conduct fully developed spins to ensure that flight instructor trainees are proficient at spin recovery techniques before teaching incipient spinning (CASR Table 61.1235 Item 3A).
Unfortunately for most flight training organisations, finding a training aircraft with fully-developed spin recovery capability, as well as a qualified instructor experienced in such instruction, can be costly, time-consuming and not have the desired outcome! This can lead to a serious gap in confidence and awareness of stall / spin recovery for new instructors.
The Academy’s Robin 2160i is the ideal spin training aircraft. With completely predictable spin characteristics, it is similar in performance to most trainee instructor’s initial training aircraft, such as the Piper PA28 series. This is a far cry from under-powered Cessna 152 that takes an eternity to climb to height (wasting time and money), and “fire-breathing monsters” like the Pitts Special, which tend to be more intimidating than helpful in providing positive learning outcomes with inexperienced pilots.
Even if you’re a Recreational, Private or Commercial pilot, this brief course is a great asset! Previously optional under the CASA Commercial Pilot Licence syllabus, the new Part 61 Manual of Standards have now removed this requirement from CPL training completely! Under the expert guidance of experienced instructors, you will be exposed you to stall / spin recognition and emergency recovery techniques and debunk the myths and fears of the “dreaded tailspin!”
DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY! Refer your instructor trainees to the aerobatic and spin recovery experts at the Australian Aerobatic Academy! We are the preferred supplier of flight instructor spin training to a number of organisations who conduct flight instructor rating training, and can tailor a course to suit your organisation’s requirements.
Contact us for more information.
CSU / RU Design Feature Endorsements
Constant Speed Propeller (now known as Manual Propeller Pitch Control – MPPC) and Retractable Undercarriage (RU) endorsements pave the way for bigger, faster aircraft with greater range and payload, as well as high performance aerobatic aircraft.
AAA provides MPPC and RU design feature endorsements on an immaculate Piper Arrow III. The Arrow is also available for PPL and CPL training and offers comfortable, economical touring.
The aircraft is available for hire upon completion of the course.
For extended touring, we also have a Beechcraft Debonair for hire.
Note: CSU endorsements can also be conducted in conjunction with a Tail Wheel Design Feature endorsement if desired. See our Tail Wheel Endorsement Course page for details!
Tail Wheel Endorsement Course
Are you ready for the next challenge in your flying? Upgrade your skills with a tail wheel endorsement!
Not only will the course improve your landing skills, it also allows you to fly a wide variety of aerobatic and sport aircraft such as the Vans RV series. It is even commercially relevant for those interested in a career in aerial agriculture or spotting.
AAA’s comprehensive tail wheel endorsement course will give you the skills necessary to safely and proficiently operate “conventional undercarriage” aircraft. You will learn how to perform three-point and “wheeler” landings, as well as conduct normal, flapless and short-field take-offs and landings, culminating in the issue of a CASA Tail Wheel Undercarriage design feature endorsement.
The AAA tail wheel endorsement course is currently carried out in a late-model American Champion Citabria – a light utility aircraft with aerobatic capability, powered by a 180 hp Lycoming engine.
As with all AAA flight training courses, endorsement is subject to competency-based assessment and elements of the course may need to be repeated until the required competency is attained.
Pitts Special Conversion Training
Are you ready for more horsepower, roll rate and manoeuvrability? Your next aerobatic challenge awaits you with the Pitts Special S-2A!
At the heart of the Academy’s philosophy is the introduction of aerobatic pilots to aircraft which will provide them the opportunity to become masters of the art of precision flying. Nearly every champion aerobatic pilot in the Western world has experienced the aerobatic magic of the Pitts Special! The Academy is proud to offer Pitts Special conversion training to those aerobatic pilots who show dedication and ability in the lower categories of competition in our magnificent Pitts S-2A. Having “learned your trade” in the Academy’s Robin 2160i or similar aerobatic trainer, your hunger for more performance will be well satisfied after completing our comprehensive conversion course.
The Pitts Special S-2A is the first of the 2-seat production variants of the well-known aerobatic biplanes first designed by Curtis Pitts in 1943. The S-2A is nimble enough to be a contender in Sportsman and Intermediate aerobatic competition categories, and economical enough with it’s 200 hp engine that it won’t break the budget! It is the perfect advanced trainer for experienced aerobatic pilots who wish to move onto Unlimited class aircraft over time.
AAA’s Pitts Special conversion course will give you the skills necessary to safely and proficiently operate high performance aerobatic aircraft. You will learn how to perform upright, inverted and cross-over spins, perform advanced aerobatics including sustained negative “G” manoeuvres, recover from mishandled manoeuvres and emergency scenarios and most importantly of all, to take-off and land safely!
As with all AAA flight training courses, successful conversion is subject to competency-based assessment and elements of the course may need to be repeated until the required competency is attained.
Formation Flying Course
Who hasn’t been thrilled at the sight of precision formation flying teams as they move across the sky, seemingly as if they were tied together? There’s no magic trick—just skill, practice and discipline!
The AAA Formation Flying course is designed to teach licensed pilots the techniques, skills and knowledge required to conduct safe, proficient formation flight.
The course begins with a tutorial on the fundamentals of formation flight, including the all-important pre-flight briefing, the roles of the leader and wingman and techniques for staying safely “on the wing.”
The flying component includes:
- Station keeping and station changes;
- Manoeuvring as a formation;
- Break-away and re-join procedures; and
- Formation take-offs and landings.
The AAA Formation Flying Course is great for pilots wanting to up-skill their RPL or PPL and will refine both your “stick and rudder” skills and airborne situational awareness to a degree unparalleled in single-aircraft flight.
Completion of the course provides a CASR Part 61 Formation Flying endorsement.
Please note: We recommend you have a formation partner when commencing this course, however, if you do not have one there are options available! Training may also be conducted in your own aircraft. Please contact us to discuss.
NVFR Rating Course
Learning to fly at night is an important skill for any prospective Commercial pilot. It’s also useful for Private pilots who don’t want to be unnecessarily constrained by daylight hours!
The AAA NVFR course is a comprehensive course which contains:
- Instrument flight consolidation (full- and limited-panel)
- Night take-offs and landings
- Night visual navigation including supplemental radio navigation aids and GPS use
The instrument flight hours gained on the course can be counted toward the minimum of 10 required for the issue of a Commercial Pilot Licence, making this course an ideal stepping stone between PPL and CPL training.
AAA CPL Course
There are many pilot jobs available: airlines, corporate charter, flight instruction, joy flights, aerial agriculture & aero-medical transport to name a few. All have their different challenges and rewards. To start with however, you need to pass the CASA Commercial Pilot Licence flight test!
AAA is a CASA-approved Part 141 training provider offering a 200 hour (non-integrated) CPL qualification. What this means for the new student is that after you have learned to fly (RPL course) and learned to navigate (PPL course), you now need to build pilot-in-command experience to satisfy the minimum experience requirements for the CPL.
The AAA CPL course is designed to develop General Handling, Instrument Flight, Navigation & Emergency Procedures skills to those befitting a professional aviator. Commercial scenarios are used to provide an element of realism and to encourage safe flight outcomes whilst under pressure.
AAA recommends completing our AAA NVFR course as a pre-requisite – a handy tool for any commercial pilot in order to not be constrained by daylight hours. The instrument hours accrued on the NVFR course also go toward satisfying the instrument and total flight time required for the CPL.
CPL training is competency-based and subject to an initial assessment flight to gauge the candidate’s current standard against the CASA Part 61 Manual of Standards. From there, the syllabus is adjusted to suit individual requirements. As such, it is difficult to provide an overall cost for the CPL, especially when the varied ways in which to build command time are considered.
For more details, contact us to make a time to speak with our Chief Flying Instructor.
Learn to fly in Sydney
Have you always wanted to learn to fly, or do you want to increase your existing flying skills? The Australian Aerobatic Academy has a variety of courses from which to choose. From Recreational and Private Pilot Licence training to aerobatics, spinning, Upset Pevention & Recovery Training, we’ve got the course for you. You will learn to fly at Bankstown Airport in Sydney with experienced and dedicated instructors.
We are dedicated to providing high-quality basic and aerobatic flight training. Formed with the atmosphere of a club and the professionalism of a defence force in mind, our goal is to provide you the best possible training and customer service in a fun, friendly and supportive environment.
Learn to Fly: Sydney’s Best Courses
For those who want to learn to fly in Sydney, you have come to the right place. We believe a pilot’s initial training is the most important training course he or she will ever complete—this is when habits, skills and attitudes are formed, and it forms the basis of how he or she approaches every situation in the airborne environment from thereon.
A pilot armed with a higher degree of skill and knowledge of aircraft operations will always be in a better position than a pilot who has a minimum level of both. A pilot skilled and knowledgeable in an aircraft’s full aerodynamic capability will be able to recognise and react to abnormal situations more readily than the pilot who has never had such experience. Which kind of pilot do you want to be?
When you want to learn to fly, Sydney’s top instructors are ready for you.
Learn to Fly at Bankstown Airport
Our school is conveniently located at Bankstown Airport, located in the centre of metropolitan Sydney and accessible from the M5 Motorway from Henry Lawson Drive and River Road.
What are you waiting for? Whether you are looking to start your aviation journey, or continue an existing one; if what you are after is high-quality flight training in a fun, supportive atmosphere, look no further. Look through our courses and find the one that is right for you.
I just wanted to drop you a note to say thanks for Saturday. It was the most enjoyable days flying I have ever had. Of course the weather helped, but meeting you both, having a chat – the quality of the instruction, the planes, the process of starting with you, the formation flying and of course flying upside down for the first time –it was an absolute stand out. Which is good for me….cause that was not my flying training experience to date. I have had a big smile on my face all weekend. I cannot wait to get back there, so thanks again!