The basic Recreational Pilot Certificate has a few restrictions which limits what you are allowed to do. These restrictions cover areas which aren't covered during your initial training or activities which require further experience before they can be safely accomplished. These limitations can be removed by adding additional endorsements to your pilot certificate.
This endorsement allows you to use an aircraft radio to communicate with other aircraft or air traffic control.
Getting this endorsement requires passing a multiple choice exam and a verbal test with an instructor. Unlike "GA" pilots there is no need for a separate english language test (you do have to be able to speak the language adequately to pass the test though).
Although aircraft radios are not mandatory at Caboolture airfield, most aircraft including our school planes are fitted with them. You will therefore be using the radio throughout your flight training and the flight test for your pilot certificate includes assessing your competency. Hence the flight radio endorsement is generally issued at the same time as your pilot certificate.
The first extra endorsement most people add to their pilot certificate is to allow them to carry passengers. You can show all the friends, colleagues and family members that all those flying lessons weren't wasted !
Obtaining your passenger endorsement requires that you have logged a minimum of 10 hours flying as pilot in command (solo). Getting your pilot certificate requires a minimum of 5 hours solo so, in practice, the requirement is for an additional 5 hours which is a good idea for you to build up a bit more experience. You can then do a flight check with an instructor who will play the role of a passenger to check that you are still flying safely. A good guideline to remember is that the instructor won't do anything you have told him not to. Anything you haven't mentioned is fair game though so make sure your pre-flight briefing is thorough!
The basic pilot certificates restricts you to operating within 25nm of your departure airfield and you aren't allowed to land somewhere and then carry on further ! The reason for this restriction is to keep you within an area you are familiar with until you have been trained how to navigate safely.
The training for the cross-country endorsements consists of a 1 day ground class (to explain the principles we use) and a number of flights to different local airfields such as Kingaroy, Watts Bridge and Gympie. We usually fly triangular routes to give you more practice at different types of airfield. Once you have passed the navigation exam and are sufficiently competent you do a solo cross-country flight and then a navigation test with an instructor. You are then allowed to fly pretty much anywhere in the country.
Advanced Pilot Award
The Advanced Pilot Award doesn't give the holder any additional priviledges but is intended to be an aspirational accomplishment for more experienced pilots to attain. Currently it is not available to weightshift pilots as some of the required manoueveres are not possible in trikes.
There are numerous other endorsements which can be added to the recreational pilot certificate. These include waterborne operations, low level flying, formation flying, in-flight adjustable propellors, tail wheel and retractable undercarriage. Contact us for more information if you are interested in these.