Getting Started

Your first step to adventure...

The Darling Downs Aero Club is open 7 days a week, enabling you to fly when it suits your lifestyle - full time, part time, weekdays or weekends. 

You can start flying on the day of your first booking, however there are some administrative tasks and checks to be completed before you are able to fly solo.  As the paperwork can take some time to be processed, it is beneficial to submit the forms early to avoid delaying your first solo flight.

Step 1 - Apply to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) for an Aviation Reference Number (ARN), which will become your pilot licence number for life. The Darling Downs Aero Club has the form at Reception, or download the form from the CASA website.  Note that an ARN is required to complete the application forms for an aviation medical.

Step 2 - Apply to CASA for an Aviation Security Identification Card (ASIC), which is required to fly at security controlled airports such as Toowoomba.  The application includes a federal security check which can take a month or more to complete. 

Step 3 - Complete an aviation medical examination.  There are three different aviation medical standards.  The highest standard is a Class 1 medical, which is required to fly as a commercial pilot. It is recommended that students intending to become commercial pilots should complete a Class 1 medical to ensure they can achieve the required medical standard.  The Class 1 medical is valid for one year. 

The Class 2 medical is at a lower standard than the Class 1, however it is sufficient to fly as a private pilot.  Depending on your age, the Class 2 medical is valid for two years or four years.

Class 1 and Class 2 medicals are conducted by a Designated Aviation Medical Examiner (DAME).  The Darling Downs Aero Club has a list of local DAMEs available, or alternatively please visit the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) medical website for a list of Aviation Medical Examiners in Australia.  A local DAME performs a limited number of aviation medical examinations at the Darling Downs Aero Club once a month.  Contact the Aero Club for bookings.

An alternative to a Class 1 or Class 2 medical is the 'Drivers Licence Medical (Aviation)' which can be carried out by any general practitioner.  Application forms for this type of medical are available from the CASA website and must be signed by your GP.  This medical is permitted for a private pilot, however only one passenger may be carried and flight is resticted to daylight hours only.