Private Pilot Licence

Enjoy the freedom of flight
Once you have passed the Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL), you can embark upon the next exciting step towards aviation independence - your Private Pilot Licence. During this stage, you will leave the boundaries of the training area and start learning how to navigate. Our highly qualified instructors will help you consolidate and build upon the knowledge and skills already obtained at RPL level. Your instructor will gradually increase your exposure to different operational environments, classes of airspace and weather conditions.

Once you have gained your Private Pilot Licence, you can fly anywhere in Australia in visual daylight conditions. For example, you could take your family to the Great Barrier Reef, or take your friends to the Melbourne Cup - the possibilities are endless.

Requirements to Complete your Private Pilot Licence

  • Completion of the Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) and RPL Exam
  • Must be 17 years of age
  • Aviation Medical Required (Class 1, Class 2 or driver's licence medical (aviation))
  • Must be able to read, write, speak and understand the English language
  • Complete a number of navigational exercises, with flight durations of two to five hours, some solo and some under instruction
  • Pass a theory exam
  • Pass a flight test with a Flight Examiner

Training Structure

Flight Training
The Private Pilot Licence flying training includes navigational exercises which are designed to develop your map reading and flight planning skills in a variety of operational environments. Your navigational exercises will take you to both the beautiful Gold and Sunshine Coasts, Archerfield and also smaller regional towns including Goondiwindi, Texas and Bundaberg. You will be exposed to different classes of airspace and weather conditions whilst increasing your skills, knowledge and confidence culminating in you conducting two solo navigational exercises. Training is competency based and includes approximately 20 hours dual training and 6.5 hours solo training.

PPL theory courses and ground briefings are provided at the Darling Downs Aero Club, facilitated by our knowledgeable instructors. They will prepare you for a multiple choice examination which you must pass prior to conducting and achieving your Private Pilot Licence. It is your choice whether to enrol in the PPL theory course, receive one on one ground briefings or simply study at home. Training includes approximately 10 hours of ground briefings, however if you choose to enrol in the PPL theory course, this may reduce the number of one on one briefings required.


It is now time to progress from the two seat Piper Tomahawk to a faster four seat touring aircraft - either the high wing Cessna 172 or the low wing Piper Warrior.

Cessna 172
The Cessna 172 is a comfortable and stable four seat aircraft. Due to its docile nature and ease of handling, this ever popular aeroplane is a favourite among both flying schools and private pilots alike. The Cessna 172 is often favoured by our rural students as it is a good stepping-stone before flying the larger Cessna aircraft that are common among rural aviation communities. The C172 cruises at a respectable 115 knots.

Piper Warrior
The respected Piper Warrior PA-28 is a favourite among our students thanks to its gentle nature and ease of handling, particularly in a crosswind. This comfortable four seat aircraft has dual controls, is lovely and stable in flight and is an all round pleasure to fly. The PA-28 cruises at about 110 knots.