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Just a quick question for those in the know, with facts at their fingertips..


I have my RAA certificate with Pax and X Country endorsements, and around 50 hours logged with about ten command. The longest cross country was 2.1 hours


To continue the learning path to the PPL, what now?





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Guest bateo



You Will have to sit the BAK and the 2 area of solo exams, aswell as the GFPT and the PPL exam.


You will find the BAK and GFPT easy as it is mostly the syllabus you would of learnt in your RAA licence.


You will have to do a number of hours in a GA registered aircraft (I think you can do it in a RAA registered plane as long as the Practical exams for the GFPT and the PPL are in a GA registered aircraft, e.g could be a Jab or Tecnam)


I believe its around 20 hours (not including NAV's) by the time you do all the required exercises- Solo exercises in training area, although this should be a bit quicker for you seeing your experience being PIC. The requirement for the NAV's is a minimum of 5 hours, 3 of which must be solo and must land/touch and go at a minimum 2 aerodromes.


Now The 2.1 hours you have in NAV for Raa DO COUNT toward these 5 hours.


I hope this helps a little bit.. it's a rough guideline off the top of my head...



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Guest brentc

Sorry Sam but I have to politely disagree.


I've posted on this in other previous threads and there are many views, however this is what you need:




40 Hours Total Flying Experience




- 5 hours as “Pilot In Command”


- 5 hours Cross Country time as PIC


- 2 hours instrument flight time


- PPL Theory Exam


With your RA-Aus cert, you do not need to complete any of the GFPT components. You will need to sit the PPL(A) exam and that alone. If you have no experience in airspace, you are going to need to get up to speed with this component and this may take a few hours.


What I would suggest is to do a lesson in say a 172 or whatever your school has in GA to get you familiar with the aircraft. This might take an hour and it could take more. You'll need to get used to flying a heavier aircraft and how to handle a low-speed, poor performing brick.


You'll need to get the NAV's out of the way to get your 5 hours done. If you want to keep the cost down, you may want to consider doing this in RA-Aus because you are already solo, however you'll need to convince the instructor that you are ready to be put up to the CFI for your test so you should probably do this in the Cessna or whatever is available. Therefore, you'll probably do something like Shep, Essendon, Moorabbin and return.


You'll need to then make up the remainder of the 5 hours NAV as Sam says. You'll also need to get yourself under a hood and cover off some of the instrument time with a safety pilot or instructor next to you. You'll need to be able to fly off the instruments competently to be able to obtain your PPL, which includes being able to hold your altitude, direction and descent rate within tolerances. Problem here is if your RA aircraft doesn't have the required instruments you’ll have to fly them in GA! You could cover off the instrument bits on your NAV with instructor into Essendon etc, so on the way home you'd go under the hood at the direction of the instructor and get a feel for it. In the end, the 2 hours is irrelevant if you are not competent at it and you’ll have to do what it takes to grasp it.


Remember too that you don't have to do airspace as part of your PPL so you could just head out for a NAV without Essendon and you might find that a lot easier. Then it's just a matter of doing the test later. Food for thought.


Note one issue if you bypass GFPT is that you can't fly solo in GA because you haven't done any of the area solo bits and pieces - remember this.


From my experience in doing the same thing are you I'd say you might need to do something like the following:


- Get your GA medical if you haven't already


- Sit your PPL exam


- Go for an hour in something GA to get the feel for it


- With instructor, perform a large nav with airspace (you'll have to learn airspace at some stage, so use this wisely)


- Get some instrument time under the hood on this flight


- Finish off the remaining solo NAV hours: If possible, take a mate pilot and fly under the hood for some of it


- Go for your flight test!


Remember for the PPL Theory exam that a large percentage of the answers are in the Visual Flight Guide.


In theory if you have a GA instructor that also is an RA instructor you can do all of this flying in the Tecnam or Jab, with the exception of the flight test as far as I understand it. Therefore you’re still going to need to get experience in the larger GA aircraft, particularly with regard to take-off and landing performance charts, etc. If you are lucky enough to have a GA registered Tecnam there then you are laughing!


You’ll need to also clearly know the limitations of your licence before sitting the flight test. Eg, 5700kg’s, single engine. Know the Pilot Operating Handbook fairly well and be prepared to answer any questions like “why did you use flap for take-off when the manual says 0 degrees flap” etc etc.


Let me know if you have any questions as I've done exactly what you are doing a few years ago.


Good luck!



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Guest BrynD

Brent, you are quite correct.


However, with regards to instrument flying, I would strongly recommend not to "take a mate pilot and fly under the hood for some of it," as this is against the regulations, and it can not be counted anyway. Refer CAO 40.0 para 2.7. Also, the instrument flying must be conducted in an aircraft that is appropriately equipped, with an authorised flight instructor. (also refer CAO 40.0).




Your best bet is to go to your flying school of choice and talk to their CFI about it.




Regards Bryn






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Guest brentc

Thankyou Bryn, however 2.7 is not applicable in this instance as 2.7 refers to the holder of an 'aeroplane pilot licence' and as such doesn't apply to Ben because he holds an RA-Aus Pilot Certificate.


Therefore, your "mate" pilot in fact does qualify in this case as a suitable person. Indeed it would be wise to obtain the services of a qualified CFI like yourself, however there's nothing like a bit of practice to build your confidence and better still when your mate is paying for half of the aircraft hire :-) It would also be prudent as you suggest to complete the instrument time with your instructor on a GA NAV as he will need to be certain of your competence on instruments prior to putting you forward to the ATO for the test.



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I know it costs a bit more but a good idea is to do maybe 15-20 hours of your airspace, instrument time and such in the C172 or similar. Get all you navs done RAA as this saves money and you are PIC then anyway. Circuits and more circuits and GAAP zones, Class C & D.......


I did about 25 hours in the C172 prior to my PPL test. had close to 40 hours total RAA prior, so its a good way of doing your PPL the way you have elected. Just do not rush and try to save a dollar.


Better to learn as much as you can. I might be a slow learner but after 3 years of Jab J430...... got into a lovely V tail Bonanza and did not take long at all to get the hang of it. So its good for you in the long run.





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Thanks for the info...


So far, I have done the BAK, as well as the pre solo and cross country theory bits and bobs.. as well as the rest of the things to get the RAA certificate with cross country.


So is there such a thing as a requirement for a single 3 hour (150 Nm) solo navex?





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Guest bateo

G'day Ben,


As far as I am aware and correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the 3 hours NAV ex is suitable, the only requirement being is you have to land/ touch-and-go at a minimum of 2 aerodromes.. This is what I did, before I had my Raa.



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With your RA-Aus cert, you do not need to complete any of the GFPT components. You will need to sit the PPL(A) exam and that alone.

Sorry Brent but I will have to politely disagree (sorry Brent, I couldn't resist :big_grin:) - It may have slipped your mind but wouldn't it be possible that you may have to resit your BAK if you did the RAAus BAK. This is because whilst some RAAus schools may train to GA standards, some don't and you may have missed some things in your BAK like Weight & Balance etc.

Perhaps you may be able to skip the BAK given you have your RAAus Certificate but if you didn't do the GA BAK then is it really worth skipping it. Yesterday I caught the last theory lesson of a BAK course at Port Macquarie which was the entire course review and I suddenly realised that if I had to sit my BAK again now without any study I wondered if I may fail it as I haven't used a lot of it since I did it but may one day. For example the runway signs - I remembered what the X on the runway meant but I haven't come across one in my flying days yet so what else is in the BAK that I haven't come across and then would I remember it - I think I might just do a refresher course - it can never hurt.


Hope this helps!



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I can only go by what my CFI told me I had to do only a couple months ago. I've had my RAAus certificate for a couple years now but before I could go solo in the 172 I had to do the GA BAK exam. Although the test wasn't all that big, it did go into a bit more depth than the RAAus test, e.g. weight and balance (as Ian mentioned) and a few other things. I still have to do the PPL cyber-exam and all of the cross country.


It certainly doesn't hurt to do the study and then the GA BAK exam, I found I learned a lot.



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Guest brentc

Numptie yes, you are correct. IF you wish to go solo in GA you would need to do the BAK / GFPT / Pre-Solo exam or whatever requirements the specific school place upon you, however if you have done the navs in UL then there's no requirement for this.


Ian, I was working under the assumption that you hadn't forgotten the theory that you previously learnt. The Weight and Balance charts are also part of the PPL exam, so if you've been taught them, there should be no need to do the BAK exam.


Agreed though, a refresher is always good.


Those that want to get it out of the way quickly with less expense that enjoy hitting the books themselves only need to do the PPL exam.


If you want to go solo in GA or do solo NAVS because you haven't done them in RA, then things get technical because the school won't want you to go solo unless you've done the BAK or GFPT or pre-solo exam or whatever they call it these days.


I'm going by personal experience here.


I had my RA cert with cross country and appropriate nav time complete.


Went to a GA school.


Sat the PPL exam.


Spent an hour in the Cessna 172 getting used to it.


Did a nav into Essendon (Class C) and Moorabbin (GAAP).


Flew the flight test.


All up to convert - 3.5 hours total plus the actual flight test which was somewhere around 2 hours. Went from Latrobe Valley to Moorabbin to Essendon, towards Bacush Marsh but diverted to Torquay through Avalon, landed there then back home again with some instrument time on the way back. Getting near $2k though, ouch!



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  • 2 weeks later...



May I suggest you talk with Matt and the team at Air Shepp. I found them very helpful getting me through the PPL as a RA-Aus cert holder. They know and will tell you what is req'd.


Ian makes a valid point about the need to re-do the BAK. During my course at Air Shepp, when Matt made enquiries with CASA it was deemed necessary to sit their BAK before being allowed to proceed with the PPL exam.





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