Flying Instructor

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Flying instructors teach learner pilots how to safely fly a plane. This involves briefing the student, demonstrating various movements, directing the student to perform the movements and then monitoring their progress. They also evaluate when students are ready to sit their license exam.FutureGrowthModerate

Flying instructors familiarise students with the aeroplane’s controls, systems and emergency procedures, and instruct them on how to ensure that the aeroplane is airworthy. They also teach students to manoeuvre the aeroplane safely on the ground (taxiing), and how to take off and land under various wind and runway conditions.

Alternative names: Flight Instructor

Knowledge, skills and attributes

A flying instructor needs:

  • good communication skills
  • good eyesight and hearing
  • leadership qualities
  • to enjoy working with people
  • the ability to handle stress and act decisively
  • commitment to following safety standards, and high attention to detail.  


Flying Instructor at work

Working Conditions

Flying instructors teach their students in both a classroom setting, and also in the air. They must conduct lessons in a variety of weather conditions. Whilst in the air, conditions may be cramped and turbulent.

Flying instructors may have to work at dawn, dusk and at night in order to prepare students for various flying circumstances, and may be required to work weekends.  

Tools and technologies

​Flying instructors mainly use dual-controlled crafts for teaching, and will sometimes use flight simulators and flight training devices. They use computers to create lesson plans and assessments, to review students’ records and to organise their flying schedule. They are usually responsible for regularly checking the airworthiness of the aircraft, and must have strong knowledge of aircraft maintenance.  

Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a flying instructor you must first successfully complete an Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) Commercial Pilot Licence and obtain a Grade 3 Flight Instructor Rating.

The Grade 3 Flight Instructor Rating course usually takes six to eight weeks to complete. With this qualification you are able to teach basic training and navigation. Upon reaching 100 hours of flight instruction, you reach Grade 2 instructor level, and are able to send students solo, and to teach at night. Grade 1 instructors are the most experienced and are qualified in all phases of flight instruction.

You must also obtain a Night Visual Flight Rules Rating and/or a Command Instrument Rating, and possess a current CASA Class 1 medical certificate.

Did You Know?

When can I start learning to fly?

There is no limitation on when you can start learning to fly when accompanied by a flight instructor, but you must be at least 15 to fly solo.

Do I need a licence to fly as a student pilot?

You don't need a licence to fly as a student pilot because you are under the supervision of a flight instructor and your flying school at all times while you are learning, including when you are flying solo.

However, to fly solo you need to have an aviation reference number (ARN), which you can obtain from CASA, and you need to provide CASA with proof of your identity. There is no fee for this service and you should receive your ARN within one week of submitting an application.

To fly solo, you also need to hold a medical certificate.

(Source: CASA)

Flying Instructor


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