Recreational Aviation Australia (RAAus) Pilot Certificate
What is a Recreational Pilot Certificate?
A recreational pilot certificate is issued by Recreational Aviation Australia. It allows you to fly as pilot in command of an aeroplane registered under the rules of the RAAus, also known as a Light Sport Aircraft.
When can I start learning to fly an RAAus aeroplane?
The minimum age to go solo and to hold a Pilot Certificate is 15 years old.
What educational qualifications do I need to start my flight training?
No formal educational qualifications are required, however there will be some theory examinations to sit, so basic literacy and numeracy will be required.
What are the medical requirements?
The medical standard is that required to hold an unconditional private drivers licence. A conditional drivers licence medical will require the same written clearance from your doctor that is required for you to be able to exercise the privileges of the drivers licence.
What are the steps in achieving my Pilot Certificate?
All aspects of your performance and progress are measured against a competency standard required by RA-Aus. There are five ground examinations and one formal flight test involved in the initial program. The first is the Pre-Solo Test which is a simple test on the rules of the air (i.e. the traffic rules), which must be passed before your first solo flight. The four other ground examinations, Basic Aeronautical Knowledge (BAK), Radio, Flight Rules & Air Legislation, Human Factors, must be passed before the Recreational Aviation Australia Pilot Certificate can be issued. All written examinations are ‘multiple choice’.
The minimum number of flying training hours to gain the Pilot Certificate is 20 hours although the average student will take somewhere between 20 and 40 hours. On average you will complete approximately 10-15 hours flying before your first solo flight.
The flight test is conducted by the CFI to formally assess your airmanship and ability to manipulate the aircraft safely. After success in the flight test and ground examinations you are qualified to fly within a radius of 25 nautical miles from the airfield.
There are five aircraft group ratings (Group A – Three Axis, Group B – Weight Shift, Group C – Combined control, Group D – Powered Parachute, Group E – Not allocated, Group F –
Foot Launched) available within the RAA.
RNAC only conducts group A, three axis control fixed wing training although a group B Weight-Shift Trike (powered hang-glider) is available for hire for those already qualified to fly this type of aircraft
If you wish to undertake flights that will take you more than 25 nautical miles from the airfield you need a cross country endorsement. This entails a minimum of 10 hours navigation flight training then both a flight test and a written examination covering flight planning, meteorology, navigation, and flight rules and procedures.
You can qualify for a passenger carrying endorsement to your Pilot Certificate after you have a total of 10 hours solo (as pilot in command [PIC]), which must include two hours in a RA-Aus two-seat aircraft. The CFI will conduct a flight test. The pre-flight planning of fuel requirements, passenger and baggage arrangement, assessment of runway and air density conditions, calculation of aircraft weight and balance, and the physical pre-flight airworthiness checking of the aircraft is emphasised, to ensure the flight will be operated safely.
What does a Pilot Certificate allow me to do?
At the conclusion of the basic program you, as a certified RA-Aus pilot, will be fit to carry out “level 1 maintenance”; to check the aircraft’s airworthiness by reviewing the maintenance release and maintenance log; to do the daily and pre-flight inspections of the aircraft. If you also have the cross country endorsement then you can also fly — in daylight and reasonable weather under the visual flight rules [VFR] — anywhere within Australia. Generally you will be restricted to fly below 10,000 feet above mean sea level, to stay within Class G airspace unless you fulfil some specific requirements of Airservices Australia (the air traffic management organisation), and not fly over towns in some RAA category aircraft, or designated remote areas, or other prohibited or restricted areas.
All hours gained in RAA training can be used as a credit to gain a GA qualification
How do I keep my qualifications?
In order for your Pilot Certificate to remain valid, you must pay your membership to the RAAus annually, and undertake a flight review every 2 years. In order to carry passengers you must hold the passenger carrying endorsement and, in the 90 days previous to the planned flight, have undertaken 3 take offs and landings.