GENERAL Aviation Recreational Pilot Licence


25 Hour Syllabus

Your Recreational Pilot License RPL allows you to fly single engine aircraft up to 1,500 kg as the pilot-in-command with passengers and without supervision during daylight hours in good weather. While there are some limitations, you decide when and where you want to fly within a 25 NM radius of your departure airport.

Recreational Pilot Advantages


The RPL suits most people who wish to fly for pleasure. Your basic license is 25 hours of training and add-ons can be made as you gain more experience.

Passenger (PAX)  endorsement
Ability to carry passengers

Nav endorsement
With navigation and controlled airspace training fly anywhere in Australia

Build experience and hours towards your Private or Commercial Licenses.  Every hour spent in gaining your RPL goes directly towards either a PPL, CPL of both.



Basic Requirements for a Recreational Pilots Licence

You need to be at least 16 to get an RPL. For each category rating you want to obtain you need to:

  1. complete the relevant flight training
  2. undertake a general English language assessment (only required for the first category rating)
  3. pass an RPL theory exam (this can be set and conducted by your flying school)
  4. pass an RPL flight test
  5. have at least 25 hours flying time including a minimum of 20 hours dual and five hours as pilot in command.

You need to have either a Class 1 or 2 medical certificate or a recreational aviation medical practitioner’s certificate to take the RPL flight test.

CASA Requirements

Minimum hours required by CASA

  1. 20 hours Dual
  2. 5 hours Solo
  3. 2 hours Instrument Flying (included as part of the dual time)

Realistic hours to obtain your RPL

  1. 30 hours dual
  2. 7 hours solo
  3. 2 hours Instrument Flying

Cost for realistic flying hours: $10,000

Even though CASA state minimum hours required, they are exactly that – MINIMUMS, not what you should be achieving the RPL by. You may achieve your RPL in the realistic hours, or you may go over them. Each individual is different and will learn at varying rates.

After flying solo for the first time, you need to accrue 2 hours of solo time in the circuit area prior to moving onto the next section of your RPL training.

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Area Solo

During this phase, you will go back to the training area and learn competencies such as steep turns, practiced forced landings, instrument flying as well as becoming proficient in other circuit competencies such as short field and flapless landings. Once found competent and safe to fly an aircraft out to the training area and conduct various sequences, you will be sent area solo. Listed below are the pre-requisites for being sent area solo;

  • 2 hours of solo circuits
  • Sat and passed the Pre-Area theory exam
  • Be found competent and safe to conduct an area solo flight
  • Current minimum Class 2 medical or recreational aviation medical practitioner’s certificate


There are various ways to satisfy this component of your training. As a guide, if you attend a group theory course for the BAK, we recommend Bob Tait at Redcliffe, it will take you 6 weeks at the rate of a single 3 hour session per week, not including exams. Full time will take you 3 days excluding exams. For further information regarding theory courses, please refer to our theory page.

There are test fees for the flight test which will be paid to the testing officer.

What endorsements can be added?

The following endorsements can be added to an RPL:

  • Controlled Aerodrome Endorsement
  • Controlled Airspace Endorsement
  • flight radio endorsement (this requires an aviation English language proficiency assessment)
  • recreational navigation endorsement (this requires minimum flight time of five hours solo cross-country and a minimum of two hours dual instrument time, of which at least one hour is instrument flight time).

Before using your RPL, you need to:

  1.  Have CASA issue the licence.  As this is a licence and not a rating you cannot exercise the privilege’s of the licence until you have it in your hand.
  2. have a current flight review for the aircraft being flown
  3. meet the medical requirements
  4. have conducted three take-offs and landings in the previous 90 days if you wish to carry passenger

What’s next?

The final phase of your RPL training consists of increasing your solo time as well as increasing your competency in all sequences prior to your test. Listed below are the pre-requisites for obtaining your RPL;

  1. Pass your CASA RPL(A) exam
  2. 5 hours minimum solo time
  3. 2 hours minimum Instrument time (one of which can be on a synthetic trainer)
  4. Be recommended by the HOO (Head of Operations) to undertake the flight test
  5. Pass the flight test
  6. Have a current medical


Don’t want to be confined to one area? No problems… let’s get you out into the big wide world with a Private Pilots Licence!

I already hold a pilot certificate issued by RA-Aus. How do I obtain an RPL?

A pilot certificate is equivalent to an RPL. To get your RPL you need to complete an application form, and follow the instructions on the form to provide evidence of your pilot certificate, submit a recent photograph and provide appropriate proof of your identity. You also need to undertake a flight review before you can use your licence.

Your new licence grants you a single engine aircraft class rating and design feature endorsements if you held them under the RaAus system. You are also granted a recreational navigation endorsement if your pilot certificate authorises you to conduct cross-country flights and if you meet the minimum flight times.

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