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rrogerramjet

The real RA Aus to PPL conversion deal

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I went from about 90 hours RA-Aus (with a brand new Instructor rating) to GA after an engine failure in a Jabiru. I certainly found the weight of the controls and the view out the front difficult in the beginning, but with correct use of trim (three "turns" of up trim on short final) and the correct seat height it became a lot easier. I pretty much went PPL, NVFR, CIR in the space of 60 hours so it was a steep learning curve and I still shudder at the gulf of training between RA-Aus and GA. But the Cessna 172 is a great aircraft to travel in, very reliable, 2 people, nearly full tanks, luggage and two fold up bikes in the back, IFR approach into Essendon on a cloudy day - priceless!

 

 

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Its refreshing to read a true account of this process - it is often said around town that this process is quick and easy and that the standard of training is very similar and in only a few hours you'll have your RAA to PPL conversion complete, but for me it begs the question why did it take me slightly over 45 hours of training compared to the 20 odd in RAA license process - I often thought maybe I had been ripped off getting a PPL - maybe not!

 

 

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PPL is a big step up compared to RA. CTA/CTR, more complex aircraft and as a general rule a much higher knowledge and technical standard. You have to look at what a PPL gives you the ability to do, with training you can fly almost anything by day/night and in IMC, they have to know you meet the standard. I believe the conversion from RA to RPL is quite a bit easier at the dual GA/RA schools.

 

 

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I would be very interested to hear from someone who has done both the "RAAus to RPL" and then the "RPL to Ppl" and whether they found the intermediate step worthwhile?

 

Has anyone done this yet?

 

 

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PPL is a big step up compared to RA. CTA/CTR, more complex aircraft and as a general rule a much higher knowledge and technical standard. You have to look at what a PPL gives you the ability to do, with training you can fly almost anything by day/night and in IMC, they have to know you meet the standard. I believe the conversion from RA to RPL is quite a bit easier at the dual GA/RA schools.

A better comparison would be RAA Certificate compared with the Recreational Pilot Licence. (Plus some endos). A bare bones licence doesn't get you instrument or night flying privileges.

 

 

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Back to Ramjet's original post (which was great BTW), you say your experience was RAAus PC to PPL.

 

How different (easier?) is the first step to RPL? Given you still have to do the study and learn the rules and master the difference in the aircraft (assuming you train in a Cessna or similar rather than something like a VH registered Jab), I'm wondering whether getting the RPL is really any easier....

 

Also - if I understand another post correctly, it is possible to get the RPL license purely based on desk work and passing exams and medicals etc and then do the "check ride" later. Really?

 

Cheers

 

Barry

 

 

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Barryco:

 

Pilot Certificate to RPL is just a paperwork exercise (unless you are converting nav endorsement as well and then you will require two hours instrument time before they will issue you the nav endorsement.) The Ra Aus exams carry over but you will need to hold an appropriate medical and also hold or get an ICAO english language proficiency as well.

 

After you have then been issued the licence based on the paperwork conversion, to be allowed to utilise the privileges of said licence you must complete a flight review. While yes this is 'technically' just a check ride, depending on your skill level coming across it is highly likely one would need to complete a few hours training (exact amount depends on you) in the new aircraft before you would be at a standard that you would pass a flight review.

 

Ramjet: Excellent post, very accurate representation of someones journey.

 

 

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Its refreshing to read a true account of this process - it is often said around town that this process is quick and easy and that the standard of training is very similar and in only a few hours you'll have your RAA to PPL conversion complete, but for me it begs the question why did it take me slightly over 45 hours of training compared to the 20 odd in RAA license process - I often thought maybe I had been ripped off getting a PPL - maybe not!

IMHO - you appear to have been. But, you're talking a full PPL, with Class D and C CTA privileges - bound to cost more than RPL, which after all is the old 'country PPL'.

 

Because we run both schools 'back-to-back' here, and both CFI's are GA Grade 1's with >10k TT, and both instruct in both schools, I think we have a reasonable transfer of pilots. In the RAAus school we actually do IF time in the EFIS equipped Brumby, and in the cross-country endo we fly the same routes/times as do the RPLs in the c172. Our RPCs appear to take only 5-8 hrs of C172 time to complete their conversion to RPL. The 172 is a very easy aircraft to fly after you've been learning in an RAAus type with the same yoke & throttle layout.

 

happy days,

 

 

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When I say I was feeling ripped off I really mean in the difference between the 20 odd hour minimum (Im only guessing I don't know the minimum RAA hours) and the CASA minimum of 40 hours (and me taking 5 hours more than the minimum to get my PPL) and Yes I did my PPL at Jandakot so had plenty of controlled air space, long waits on the ground at times and dealing with high traffic volumes so maybe some of my extra time can be attributed to that.

 

Now with the RPL I think my journey would be different as the 1500kg limit doesn't concern me as I mostly fly C172/PA28 so if I was starting my training again today that would be my pathway as it gives me all I need and would be a cheaper journey (not that Id think I could afford doing a RPL at today's dual rates - but thats another story!)

 

 

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Its refreshing to read a true account of this process - it is often said around town that this process is quick and easy and that the standard of training is very similar and in only a few hours you'll have your RAA to PPL conversion complete, but for me it begs the question why did it take me slightly over 45 hours of training compared to the 20 odd in RAA license process - I often thought maybe I had been ripped off getting a PPL - maybe not!

20 hours is bare legal minimum, then with the cross country endorsement, which is another 10 hours (but probably will be more) you're still doing at absolute minimum 30 hours for an ra-Aus licence. With a lot less benefits compared to ppl. So don't feel too ripped off!

 

There is the benefit of most ra-Aus planes being considerably cheaper to hire!

 

 

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These are just my opinions of course, but I don't actually see 20 hours to convert from 70 hours RAA with XC to PPL(A) as an inherently bad thing.

 

OP says nearly all that time has been learning to fly the very different 172 after building up 70 hours on a jab. Of course there's bad training anywhere and everywhere and of course it's beyond dumb to let the guy that you pay for lessons decide if you pass the test, but I would have thought you could have this exact experience with a fantastic instructor That could do your RA and GA ticket.

 

I don't know if that 70 hours is including dual time, but it's still not a massive amount of total experience, and it's all on one type of aircraft. Spending 10-15 hours just getting used to another type is, actually probably a good thing. One of the reasons Cirrus insurance so often mandates that you take the cirrus flight school thing when you buy your plane is because even if you just fly a 172 for 50-60 hours to pass your PPL then do another 50 hours in 172's solo, that SR22 is gonna be a huge leap!

 

I know it's expensive, but having felt the difference between a jab and a 172, isn't it good to have spend your time learning the differences with a qualified instructor sitting next to you?

 

For me... I see a lot of people talking about total expense and whether RA -> GA is really cheaper than just GA in getting to your PPL. In terms of the amount of instruction you get for your money, clearly it is. But in terms of total spend it might not be.

 

What matters is what's the mission - what will you do with your PPL? If you want to just hire/own a 172 or whatever, sure, probably doing all your training in a 152/172 is gonna be cheaper/simpler long term. But if you also want to take out a jab or a foxbat or whatever, I think it's prudent to also do some lessons in that before you do. A jab doth not land like a Cessna, and you might not want to find that out when you're on your own.

 

Sure the longer you fly, the more planes you fly it will always get easier, I'm just talking about a case where you do all your training in a GA and want to fly an RA or vice versa after relatively few hours.

 

The only thing that really worries me is a trend I'm seeing in younger schools looking to get competitive pricing.

 

It goes like this: find a plane that can be RA registered or GA registered. Buy two. Now you use the RA one to get the student their RPC, then convert it to an RPL in the RA registered one. Of course the checkride goes without a hitch because it's basically the same plane. They then use the GA one to get you to PLL.

 

Much cheaper, maybe $100/hr or more cheaper than using a 172. But you've only flown one very light aircraft. It's on you to use common sense and go and get those 10-20 hours training on something heavier before doing it yourself (though I would hope anyone letting you hire a plane would check what you've flown before giving you the keys lol).

 

I guess I'm just saying that as long as the instructor is good and you're still learning, lesson time isn't a waste of time or money, and if you only want to fly GA/RA planes, train only in GA/RA planes, but if you want to fly both, of course there's a more substantial switch over than going from a Cessna to a piper.

 

 

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These are just opinions, it took me less than 10 hours to be signed off solo on the 172 after flying an Ra-Aus Sling 2 (172 was in Hong Kong haha). It all depends on the type of aircraft you flew under RAA I think. Crazy enough I found the C152 to be reminiscent of the Sling 2, as the sling 2 was actually never originally designed to be an LSA but more of a cross country aircraft (700 KG MAUW). Anyone who flew a sling before will know what I mean by that. It doesn't feel very light, in fact there is heft to the controls on the sling.

 

 

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These are just opinions, it took me less than 10 hours to be signed off solo on the 172 after flying an Ra-Aus Sling 2 (172 was in Hong Kong haha). It all depends on the type of aircraft you flew under RAA I think. Crazy enough I found the C152 to be reminiscent of the Sling 2, as the sling 2 was actually never originally designed to be an LSA but more of a cross country aircraft (700 KG MAUW). Anyone who flew a sling before will know what I mean by that. It doesn't feel very light, in fact there is heft to the controls on the sling.

That's very interesting, my posts certainly aren't opinions but relays of my own experience, i.e. facts.

 

Are you saying here that you converted to PPL certified and tested in >10hrs? Well done!

 

How much prior hrs in RA-Aus might I ask?

 

Cheers

 

R

 

 

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That's very interesting, my posts certainly aren't opinions but relays of my own experience, i.e. facts.Are you saying here that you converted to PPL certified and tested in >10hrs? Well done!

 

How much prior hrs in RA-Aus might I ask?

 

Cheers

 

R

Unfortunately not legally PPL as I am still flying here in Hong Kong and they don’t recognize LSA, but according to my instructor he would send me on my flight test right now. I’ll be returning to Melbourne to get my PPL done and then progress for an RA instructor rating.

 

I received my RPC in around 38 hours.

 

 

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Unfortunately not legally PPL as I am still flying here in Hong Kong and they don’t recognize LSA, but according to my instructor he would send me on my flight test right now. I’ll be returning to Melbourne to get my PPL done and then progress for an RA instructor rating.I received my RPC in around 38 hours.

There's a whole lot of difference between being signed off for solo and a 172, and getting a PPL.

 

The flying basics are usually easier for a GA aircraft than they are for a RA aircraft so that's no surprise.

 

The PPL training course is a lot more complex than RA - and for a start, your instructor must have forgotten the hours you have to spend under the hood, just for a start.

 

No doubt you'll get there, but what you are being told right now isn't making any sense, and I suspect a lot more dollars ill have to be spent before you put a PPL in your pocket.

 

 

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Interesting to see the different experiences with the transition between RPC and PPL; especially the learning curve entering controlled airspace. I did it in the opposite route, did ab-initio PPL in a C172 (with some time in a C162) at a fairly quiet class D airport (Sunny Coast). I found my first flights into busy uncontrolled airfields (Gympie, Caboolture, Caloundra) much more difficult: You have to figure out which runway to land on without the ATIS and there's traffic coming from everywhere, with gliders and low powered UL doing different circuits to everyone else, not to mention skydivers being dropped overhead and runway infringements by the local LAME's dog and the occasional roo.

 

In controlled airspace ATC takes you by the hand and as long as you follow their instructions you're good, of course your radio calls need to be right, but they should be OCTA too, with the added benefit that if you do muck up a radio call they won't be shy to let you repeat that bloody taxi clearance until you get it 100% right which will cause sufficient embarrassment to make sure you don't make the same fault again (and to the credit of YBSU tower they very rarely get cranky). Yes it can be intimidating to fly and taxi around the big jets but you'd have to make a really big fuckup to actually hit one though you do occasionally get to play chicken with em, see below :)

 

10945829_10206894001531111_3444640976534888049_o.jpg.69f6ae4a9ba998542ff39514a29d2ab6.jpg

 

 

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I'm about to start my flying journey (again) and thinking of gaining an rpc. Is gaining an rpc then transferring to rpl still considered the most economical route? I would really love to fly in controlled airspace one day. I'm in Sydney so I have the choice the more costly RPL option at Bankstown or Camden and training immediately in controlled airspace and atc procedures. However, for $100 cheaper per hour i can choose rpc journey outside of Sydney. Just wondering if rpc may be cheaper initially but maybe not so much if I transfer to rpl at a later date and then have to spend more hours learning all the procedures at a controlled aerodrome?

 

 

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I'm about to start my flying journey (again) and thinking of gaining an rpc. Is gaining an rpc then transferring to rpl still considered the most economical route? I would really love to fly in controlled airspace one day. I'm in Sydney so I have the choice the more costly RPL option at Bankstown or Camden and training immediately in controlled airspace and atc procedures. However, for $100 cheaper per hour i can choose rpc journey outside of Sydney. Just wondering if rpc may be cheaper initially but maybe not so much if I transfer to rpl at a later date and then have to spend more hours learning all the procedures at a controlled aerodrome?

You can do RPC at Bankstown, Camden, The Oaks, Warnervale or Wollongong. The prices will be higher at both Bankstown and Camden as will be the congestion. There appear to be some difficulties doing RPC solos at YSBK and YSCN but this may have been overcome.

 

Where do you live?

 

 

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I'm about to start my flying journey (again) and thinking of gaining an rpc. Is gaining an rpc then transferring to rpl still considered the most economical route? I would really love to fly in controlled airspace one day. I'm in Sydney so I have the choice the more costly RPL option at Bankstown or Camden and training immediately in controlled airspace and atc procedures. However, for $100 cheaper per hour i can choose rpc journey outside of Sydney. Just wondering if rpc may be cheaper initially but maybe not so much if I transfer to rpl at a later date and then have to spend more hours learning all the procedures at a controlled aerodrome?

It would pay you to go back to the start of this thread, which is a bit of a reality check on what at first looks like a cheaper solution, but doesn't necessarily finish up that way at all.

 

 

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So here I am with many more hours under the belt than anticipated, most of that has been great flying experience, but I am a bit over 'let's do another nav'.

 

I am more interested and concerned with 'can you take off, cruise, land, and navigate and execute comms in CTA'

 

So to the point, after 3 too many navs wasting my time, and a curriculum note marked as 3 - 'needs further instruction', yet that same CFI was enthralled at my nav, diversion, PSL, short field landing and dead reckoning skills, I'm confused and a little frustrated.

 

I am suspecting my CFI and subsequently my flight test instructor will drag me out to a full 3-4hr PPL test including all the NAV basics plus CTA.

 

So back to my RA to PPL journey, if I have proven NAV at RA level, and then again through various NAVs with 2 X CFI's (with resounding success despite the 3 score*) do I really need to do a lengthy and laborious NAV all over again in a test scenario to complete my PPL test?

 

* noting here that all my navs have been 95-100% accurate, I really don't know why this CFI has recorded a 3. The flight comments are not at all in concordance with the numeric evaluation.

 

I think I'm being dragged unnecessarily along a 'standard' learning path ( ie more $ for CFI) via a standard ab initio to PPL without any respectful regard to my prior RA certification or demonstrable inflight experience.

 

Question: If I have demonstrated excellent nav and CTA skills in all practice navs AND ALREADY have an RA nav endorsement is it required that I demonstrate this all over again in a PPL flight test?

 

Frustrated..

 

Ramjet

 

 

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Yep, you are being milked.

 

Always check average time to certificate and talk to current students before signing up.

 

 

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So here I am with many more hours under the belt than anticipated, most of that has been great flying experience, but I am a bit over 'let's do another nav'.I am more interested and concerned with 'can you take off, cruise, land, and navigate and execute comms in CTA'

 

So to the point, after 3 too many navs wasting my time, and a curriculum note marked as 3 - 'needs further instruction', yet that same CFI was enthralled at my nav, diversion, PSL, short field landing and dead reckoning skills, I'm confused and a little frustrated.

 

I am suspecting my CFI and subsequently my flight test instructor will drag me out to a full 3-4hr PPL test including all the NAV basics plus CTA.

 

So back to my RA to PPL journey, if I have proven NAV at RA level, and then again through various NAVs with 2 X CFI's (with resounding success despite the 3 score*) do I really need to do a lengthy and laborious NAV all over again in a test scenario to complete my PPL test?

 

* noting here that all my navs have been 95-100% accurate, I really don't know why this CFI has recorded a 3. The flight comments are not at all in concordance with the numeric evaluation.

 

I think I'm being dragged unnecessarily along a 'standard' learning path ( ie more $ for CFI) via a standard ab initio to PPL without any respectful regard to my prior RA certification or demonstrable inflight experience.

 

Question: If I have demonstrated excellent nav and CTA skills in all practice navs AND ALREADY have an RA nav endorsement is it required that I demonstrate this all over again in a PPL flight test?

 

Frustrated..

 

Ramjet

To get a PPL you have to do a PPL theory test and a PPL flight test (including Nav and CTA elements). CASA has ensured you cannot get around that. The flight test has to be booked with CASA and they reserve the right to come along for the ride. The training to get to the standard is your issue. If you are up to standard then the test should come. Sounds like you need to have a sit down with the top dog and sort it out before you spend any more money. Put your cards on the table and get them to explain in detail where you are not good enough to do the test.

 

PS. I would have thought an instructor would normally inform the student of the process and not keep you in the dark.

 

 

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I know what it's like to be milked and I understand the pressure on an instructor to be sure the student will keep safe ! Hope you get a good result in the end.

 

 

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To get a PPL you have to do a PPL theory test and a PPL flight test (including Nav and CTA elements). CASA has ensured you cannot get around that. The flight test has to be booked with CASA and they reserve the right to come along for the ride. The training to get to the standard is your issue. If you are up to standard then the test should come. Sounds like you need to have a sit down with the top dog and sort it out before you spend any more money. Put your cards on the table and get them to explain in detail where you are not good enough to do the test.

PS. I would have thought an instructor would normally inform the student of the process and not keep you in the dark.

So a few things have come to mind from this experience:

 

It's come to my attention last weekend that my curriculum record is incomplete (and also has incongruentered commentary as described). A previous CFI appears to have done hers all electronically and they 'haven't bothered' to extract into my paper record. The major part of my flight training sitting on a file somewhere and this CFI (the original one I started with) hasn't even bothered to review it, extract it, compile it for anyones reference, either his or mine. He has made new notes but not reviewed any existing.

 

Which leads me to, I always had a sense with this CFI was just going through the motions, and had little to no intention of putting me up for any test until I'd hit some magical mark , which I had always suspected was the minimum 40 hrs. He had been highly dismissive of any of my previous RA experience, which is partly why I changed CFI's*. Weird, cause they train RA as well. Anyway I suspect the hours are a self assurance exercise, if I come to grief and it is shown a CFI sent me off for PPL test after 10 or 20 hrs how's that going to look to ATSB and CASA?

 

So, I need to sit down and go through each of the curriculum elements and ask 'what about this one?' do I meet proficiency? I.e. Do a CFI's job for them.

 

That all said he is now pushing for me to think about booking theory and flight tests because I must be very close to that magical threshold.

 

Though I also had to point out that I hadn't done the mandatory 2hrs min instrument training, he had no idea. Record keeping and review failure!! Nor have I been solo, but that came from previous CFI advice (the good one) that she can't instruct me from the ground so it's kinda pointless. It's a trophy badge and a confidence boost but not full use of my valuable and expensive time, I agreed. I've soloed for 50+ hrs in RA.....

 

*The main reason I changed CFI's was I found this one was really good at saying "No you don't do that" without accurately and consistently describing what you should do. My adult learning experience requires a little more instruction than admonishment. I have also learned I'm a book and record learner (anyone remember those books that came with vinyl?) so if I read it it doesn't stick, if I do it, it doesn't stick, if I do it whilst I'm reading it or being talked through it, then it sticks. I think most folks learn best like this.

 

The other reason is he's very precious with his plane, and that affects his training / inflight behaviour. I get that it isn't a cheap device and the wrong setting on a CSU can get ugly very fast, but it's a training aircraft people are going to make some mistakes, calm down.

 

Plus, he needs deodorant. That really puts you off in a small cabin :-)

 

Anyway, long rant almost over. I hope others find it somewhat informative.

 

I am very close now and CFI agrees. 30hrs in. About 15hrs more than my self invented expectation, and notwithstanding about 4hrs of wasted nav time, much closer to reality. At my skill level anyway.

 

Given that I read the average to PPL is somewhere closer to 60hrs (FAA US metric I believe) then my 70 RA hrs have saved me 30 of GA at about 30% higher price per hour. Someone else can do the sums....

 

So is it a cheaper path via RA? The only thing we definitely all agree in the shed after flights is a little RA plane really dials in your landings, especially on a windy day. If you can land a Jab or Foxbat or Gazelle in a 12kt gusty xwind you'll find a Cessna pretty easy, notwithstanding it's bigger, heavier, faster, and the view over the nose is completely different on hold off and flare, other than that.....easy! Lol.

 

Safe flying,

 

Ramjet

 

 

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An afterthought.....

 

The only reason *m going to the effort of PPL (putting aside the personal challenge) is to fly into CTA. If I had sufficient appropriate training and the regulations allowed I'd just fly on RA.

 

Cost wise it is more than likely I end up flying an LSA into CTA on PPL. Says a couple of things, already well discussed elsewhere, about both RA training and CASA regs.

 

At about 20litres per hr difference in fuel costs that will be X hours before I recover the PPL costs. Someone else can do the sums :-) Don't forget the price difference between MOGAS95 and LL100 AVGAS.

 

Fly safe

 

Ramjet

 

 

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