Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL)

Your First Goal...
Your first lessons as a student pilot involve learning the basics of flight. You'll learn how to fly straight and level, how to climb, descend, turn, take off and land.  When you have shown proficiency, your instructor will send you on your first solo flight... An experience you'll never forget!

Following additional flight training in more advanced maneouvres, you will be recommended to complete the Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL). After successfully completing this flight test, you will be able to take your family and friends for flights within a 25 nautical mile radius of the aerodrome of departure.. 

The RPL is the first step towards a Private Pilot Licence.

Minimum requirements to complete the RPL:

  • Must be at least 16 years of age
  • You are required to have passed a medical examination prior to your first solo flight
  • Must have minimum of 25 hours flying experience, including at least five hours solo
  • Must pass three theory exams
  • Must pass a flight test with a Flight Examiner

Training Structure

Flight Training
Your flying lessons can be conducted on either a full time or part time basis according to your individual requirements. The course is structured in a logical sequence with each lesson building on previous knowledge. Prior to your flight lessons, you will receive a thorough briefing encompassing both the theoretical and practical aspects pertaining to that particular lesson. Your instructor will debrief you at the completion of each flight, providing you with useful feedback to aid your progression.  All flight training is competency based and therefore total hours will vary between students, however typical training for the RPL includes approximately 30 hours of flight with an instructor and 5 hours of solo flight.

Approximately 13 hours of theory briefings complement the practical flight training for the RPL.  Ground school theory courses are also available to prepare students for the Recreational Pilot Licence exam.  A pass in the RPL theory test is required before attempting the RPL flight test.  Students may also choose to study at home with the theory books available from the Darling Downs Aero Club. 

As an RPL student, you will learn:

  • General flying - straight and level, climbing, descending, turning, taking off, landing
  • Emergency procedures
  • Basic theory of flight and aerodynamics
  • Aircraft radio procedures
  • Aeroplane general knowledge
  • Aeroplane operation and performance
  • Human performance and limitations
  • Flight rules and air law


Piper Tomahawk

The respected Piper Tomahawk is the aircraft used for flight training up to the level of RPL. The tomahawk was specifically designed with the needs of flight training in mind. This two seat aircraft has a side-by-side seating configuration with dual flight controls, ensuring both student and instructor have access to them at all times. It is light on the controls with excellent visibility and manoeuvrability, making it a pleasure to fly both in training and also once qualified.