Powered Flight FAQs

How long does it take to learn how to fly a Light Sport Aircraft?

Different people learn at different rates depending on their ability and on how frequently they take lessons. But, as a guide, 12 to 30 hours of instructional flights should see you start flying safely by yourself (going ‘solo’). 

Who will teach me.. and do I get to be a ‘Pilot’?

A number of different instructors will teach you.  Each one is experienced, qualified and is registered with  Recreational Aviation Australia (RAAus), Light Sport Aircraft’s controlling body.  All instructors are volunteers, which helps us contain costs – which is to your benefit.  You will progress through a series of stages as you learn and become more proficient.  Stages include – Trainee, Solo Flight, Restricted Pilot Certificate (on ‘high performance’ aircraft), Cross Country Navigation Endorsement and Passenger Endorsement.  By the restricted certificate you will be flying away on your own up to about 50 km from Gawler airfield.. and after a handful more lessons you should be able to safely take your family and friends almost anywhere in the country – as a qualified pilot.

How Much does it cost?

The Adelaide Soaring Club offers excellent value in learning to fly Light Sport Aircraft. Care is taken to ensure that charges and fees are accurate and up to date, however they are subject to change without notice. The attached documents (may or may not) reflect the latest or current costs, they will provide you with a good guide. Price list May 2024 If required, updated information is available from the office staff on request. Aircraft hire is only charged for “engine time”. Flying away for a trip when you are a pilot will attract flying time costs but no charges are levied for non-flying hours. Because LSAs fly fairly quickly (around 160 to 220 kph) and often in straight lines, they can be relatively economical. Many club members have gone on to own their own aircraft.

When can I learn?

Weather permitting, the club instructors are available on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, excepting some public holidays and Christmas day. Booking ahead with our web based booking system is important to keep your training rolling along nicely, we will help you into the booking system. The number of lessons you book is up to you, however we recommend you train weekly, or at least once fortnightly. Your progress will greatly benefit from regular flights.

What can my training count for?

All your hours of LSA training at the Adelaide Soaring Club are recognized by Commonwealth Authorities and training facilities as counting towards future advanced pilot training for private, military, commercial or flying instructor qualifications. If you choose to keep your flying “just for fun” your training will still count for a fantastic rise on your personal pride and achievement scale! Further, you will open a new world of freedom and pleasure that is beyond description to earth-bound folks.

Is this Flying Safe?

Light Sport Aircraft flying can be considered a very safe sport.  The Adelaide Soaring Club has been operating since 1944  so we are vastly experienced in pilot training and we enjoy an excellent safety record to prove it.  We provide training in Gliding and Light Sports Aircraft from some of the best instructors and coaches in the world and we can proudly do it with a safety record that is second to none. Our instructors are trained to the high standards required by Recreational Aviation Australia for the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), we have clearly documented rules and procedures that are vigorously enforced.  Training aircraft are very well maintained at Gawler Airfield by licensed aircraft technicians (LAME) and are also checked each day by a qualified inspector, then the pilot performs a number of standard checks just prior to the flight,  Once in flight there are additional check-lists the pilot will perform such as post take-off and pre-landing checks to name a couple.  New members, including those who come along for a trial flight, will get a thorough safety briefing with regards to the do’s and don’ts on the airfield and in the aircraft. You will be taught how to remain very safe when flying.  Light Sport Aircraft flying, performed by well trained and self-disciplined pilots is extremely safe.   Safety is – and will remain our first priority.

What happens after I reach Pilot Standard?

The choice is yours.  Post-pilot training is available to hone your skills further and learn some more advanced flying techniques.   Of course you may take friends and family flying with you.  Flying is not only a matter of flying around  Gawler and Barossa Valley areas, although this is enjoyable.  Many members are also enthusiastic cross-country pilots, often visiting fantastic places..  The Coorong, the Outback and Uluru, or the Flinders ranges to name a few.   The sense of achievement is what makes flying so satisfying. Can you imagine flying an aircraft long distances across the countryside with fantastic views?  Go lower and take a good look and some photos whenever you wish!  Well, many of our pilots fly trips from a few hundred to thousands of  kilometres.

Can I fly to any Other Clubs and Airports?

The Adelaide Soaring Club with its 250+ members is one of the largest in Australia, there are other clubs in S.A. country regions, but no others as close to Adelaide and as easy to get to as Gawler.  There are other “flight training facilities” throughout South Australia but most are run as businesses, few are clubs with the associated benefits.  Visiting pilots are generally made welcome at any club anywhere in Australia. With LSA Recreational Pilot privileges you can fly to and land at about 98% of Australian airfields.  You will find there are far more than you ever expected, from private farm strips to regional airports.  LSA pilots are restricted from landing at major city airports such as Adelaide Airport or Sydney’s Charles Kingsford-Smith, however there are so may airfield choices close to all city areas that this restriction proves fairly insignificant.

What kind of people fly Light Sport Aircraft?

All kinds – It is wrong to think that flying is an elite sport only for the wealthy. Nor is it a sport for any specific age group, our pilots range in age from 15 to over 80! Club membership includes electricians, students, retired people, mechanics, mums, doctors, teachers, receptionists, managers, airline pilots, fitters and turners, nurses, vets, farmers, taxi drivers, police officers, accountants and so on. Their common bond is a shared love of flying. You will fit in and be made most welcome!

Does the club have a social life?

Yes indeed. We hold regular dinners and barbecues. We also enjoy large Clubrooms with a Licensed Bar and a Club House with bunk-beds, shower rooms and self-catering facilities for those who like to stay overnight. Regularly organised fly-aways are popular and a great way to develop experience and new flying skills in company with friends. Many members enjoy just being at the club, sharing their passion with other trainees and pilots while enjoying watching planes flying or ‘doing lunch’ with coffee, tea or a cool drink. There is often a hangar or two open with something interesting going on inside. Like everything in life, you only get out of the Club what you are prepared to put into it, but for those who join in the fun, the rewards are great.

If I decide to learn how to fly.. what do I do next?

Simply ring the club on 08 8522 1877 and everything can be arranged easily from there. We look forward to welcoming you soon!