Commercial Pilots Licence

Turn your dreams into reality…
If you are looking for a new and exciting career as a professional pilot, the Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) is the basis for your career in aviation. A Commercial Pilot Licence will allow you to be paid to work as a pilot, enabling you to seek employment in various fields of general aviation, such as a charter pilot, survey pilot, a flight instructor, or build experience to start your airline career.   The Darling Downs Aero Club instructors are highly qualified with substantial relevant industry experience that ensures integrity in all our courses. The Club has a good reputation for providing practical and relevant industry training while focusing on your individual needs. 

For those who know from the start that they wish to become a commercial pilot, the most efficient path is to enrol in the 150 hour CPL integrated flight training course at the start of your flight training.  An added benefit is that your flights and ground briefings are exempt from GST.  You will still complete the Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) and Private Pilot Licence (PPL) as part of your training, however at the completion of your PPL you will continue to work with our flight instructors to improve your flying skills and build command (solo) time.  A more complex and faster aircraft is required for CPL training, so it is time to become familiar with the Cessna 182RG aircraft with a variable pitch propeller and retractable undercarriage.

The alternative path towards a CPL is for private pilots who decide they would like to turn their hobby into a career.  As these pilots have not been undergoing integrated training, a minimum of 200 hours of flight time is required.

Career opportunities for commercial pilots include charter, freight, surveying, air ambulance, joy flights, and scenic flights, mission or station pilot, fisheries, coast watch, corporate pilot, commuter airlines and more. A multi-engine command instrument rating may be required for some career paths.

You can commence your training on any day of the year and you can train full time or at your own pace. The choice is yours.

Requirements to complete Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL)

  • Must be at least 18 years old at the time the licence is issued
  • Be able to speak, read, write and understand the English language
  • Pass a Class 1 medical examination
  • Pass all CPL theory exams
  • Pass the CPL flight test
  • Must have a minimum of 150 hours of flight time including 70 hours in command, 20 hours of navigation flight as pilot in command and 10 hours of instrument flying

Training Structure

Flight Training
Your flight instruction will be consolidating and building upon the knowledge and skills acquired at PPL level. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has strict requirements for competency and minimum number of flight time hours required for all stages of flight training. CASA require a minimum number of 150 hours of total flight time before a Commercial Pilot Licence can be issued. If you have held a private fixed wing licence for a period of time rather than completing an integrated course, a minimum of 200 hours flight time is required. Please contact the Darling Downs Aero Club for more details.

Qualified Instructors with substantial industry experience are available to deliver theory lessons that build upon the knowledge gained at PPL level to ensure you are prepared for any aviation role offered to you as a Commercial Pilot. You will learn about:

  • Principles of flight
  • Engines, systems and instrumentation
  • Meteorology
  • Navigation and flight planning
  • Aeroplane performance and operation
  • Air Law


Piper Tomahawk
The Piper Tomahawk has a proven track record in the field of basic training and is utilised for initial flight training to pass your Recreational Pilot Licence. It has a side by side seating configuration with dual controls.

Piper Warrior
The Warrior PA-28 is an ideal and popular touring aircraft for the longer cross-country navigational exercises utilised to gain your PPL. It is comfortable, stable and easy to fly.  

Cessna 172
Alternatively, a Cessna 172 can be used to complete your navigational exercises to gain your PPL. It is comfortable, stable and has modern instrumentation.  The Cessna 172 is a good stepping stone to move on to faster and more complex Cessnas such as the C182, C206 and C210 which are popular farm aircraft and often used for scenic flights.  It is likely that your first job as a commercial pilot will be flying one of these aircraft types.

Cessna 182RG
The Cessna 182RG is the aircraft used for your CPL training at the Darling Downs Aero Club.  You will gain experience operating the variable pitch propeller and retractable undercarriage in this stable aircraft while cruising at 145 knots.