View Full Version : RA-Aus to PPL
Hey everyone, just wanted a little bit of thought and insight. I'm involved in the industry but not as a driver, and love the times I've been flying. I'm considering doing my RA-Aus training with the intention of later transitioning to a PPL.
I don't have any intention to go further and am young enough so that medicals etc should be fine. The idea of doing RA-Aus is more for the cost.
Has anyone been down this path? Are there any pitfalls I should be aware of?
1st Jun 2012, 11:07
The only pitfalls are the experts. Just do the RA-Aus bit and you get credits for your PPL.
1st Jun 2012, 12:28
The transition is probably going to be smoother if the RAA and GA schools are under the same roof.
2nd Jun 2012, 00:19
Been there, done that, happy to give you all the details offline via PM or even an old fashioned phone call. It's been done before and will be done again. Great idea on saving costs. At $6k if you run out of money you have an RAA certificate and can go flying, at $6k in GA you walk away with nothing of value. (those are theoretical values to highlight a point of view)
2nd Jun 2012, 00:42
It's the way to go and, as mentioned above, even better if the two schools are under one roof.
Once you have your full RA-Aus certificate with cross country endorsement, all you need to do are the bits not covered by RA-Aus, namely controlled airspace and 2 hours instrument flying and getting used to the aircraft, of course.
If the GA school you go to tries to convince you that you need a CASA SPL, fly the GFPT test, log solo hours in the GA aircraft and/or do the entire set of navs, they are con artists and should be named and shamed.
You also need to do, theory wise, the GA BAK and PPL exam. Best to do those instead of the RA-Aus exams (as they count for RA-Aus), no need to do it twice...
2nd Jun 2012, 00:59
I do many RAA pilots here at my School some of who later continue on to GA.
I set all Students up with the PPL Student Pilot kit + HF from ATC, later adding the NAV/MET books etc. If the student is intending to go GA from the start, they get more hours to prepare them for the transition, rather then the RAA minimum syllabus, which prepares them better.
And with the NAV's, I make sure they achieve the multiple away landings to get those credits also. I use Tamworth + Oakey/Amberley/Brisbane CTA boundaries via Toowoomba to experience heavy traffic workload as well as Dubbo.
After that, I refer them to either of 2 GA Schools regionally, or they make their own arrangements (with my help) at a major centre. It has been very good so far, very cost effective and the GA transition time/cost is minimal relatively.
2nd Jun 2012, 04:37
GFPT exam not required when converting from RA to PPL.
In fact you don't ever need to go solo in a GA aircraft to get your PPL when converting from RAA.
Did the sums myself. Cost of getting RA then GA PPL, about the same as just getting the GA PPL. - Advantage is you do about 20hrs more flying and you are endorsed on more types.
I have done the RA up to certificate level and doing the NAVS in GA as they pretty much cover the 20hr GA minimum and with the extra speed/range we can make it into CTA without it being a seven sector NAV.
I say Go for it!
2nd Jun 2012, 22:49
Definitely find a school with both under the one roof and better still, a school that has done the conversion with other students..
There is still a fair distance to go with the RAA/GA snobbery at some inner city schools (at times for good reason-GA or RA, a crap school is a crap school), and if you do it separately i.e 2 schools you will waste the money/hours saved proving to them where you are at.
The poster above put it best with the costs won't differ terribly, but you should have more of the all important command for the same licence level.
Nothing stopping you biting off a large portion of your cpl command hours via RAA either after gaining GA licenses, and this will save you a few bob.
3rd Jun 2012, 00:33
Nothing stopping you biting off a large portion of your cpl
Sure. As long as that large portion is less than or equal to HALF of 200 hours.
4th Jun 2012, 11:43
The club/school I am involved with is Dual RA/GA.
One of the instructors actually ran the numbers and came to the conclusion that there was no real cost saving to be had by doing RA and then transitioning to GA. Based on minimums.
In your case ebt, I'd go RA and not think about GA for a bit. You might find RA fulfills all you wish to do in aviation, and the cost of the transition would be money wasted, esp if you discover you have no need for a full GA ticket.
9th Jul 2012, 11:51
Do it mate. You can save a lot of cash and by the end you’ll have two tickets. You just need to pick a school that will accept your RAA time. If you read the CARs, for a PPL you need so many hours in gliders, gyros etc… OR recognised OR registered aeroplanes. If the school you pick acknowledges that an RA machine is a recognised or registered aeroplane (which it obviously is), you’re in business.
9th Jul 2012, 23:01
You just need to pick a school that will accept your RAA time.
If the school you pick acknowledges that an RA machine is a recognised or registered aeroplane (which it obviously is)
Just to clarify... (this is not a dig at MPrince), that would be any GA school.
It's not up to them, it's up to our friends at CASA.
If the school attempts to not allow your previous flight time count, put a call into your local CASA field office for clarification.
That being said, it's all about competence. If you have 500 hours in RA-Aus, you might still need to do 10-20 or even more by the time you are competent to their standards.
It's a careful balance.
10th Jul 2012, 00:39
Pick an RA school that will acknowledge RA time is recognised for a GA licence.
I've had to deal with a school that refused to hand over the students RA records as they apparently did not count.
As has been said, converting to GA is not necessarily cheaper. The only difference between RA and GFPT syllabus is 1 hour IF in the aircraft.
It all comes down to how much your paying for the aircraft.
10th Jul 2012, 00:46
As has been said, converting to GA is not necessarily cheaper. The only difference between RA and GFPT syllabus is 1 hour IF.
That would be 2 hours for starters.
What about the sizes of the Navs, weight and balance, not to mention the vast differences in theory? Controlled airspace too?
10th Jul 2012, 01:20
not to mention the vast differences in theory
You are right, RA-Aus theory (nowadays?) actually has challenging nav and met questions, whereas the PPL exam is mostly an exercise in being able to find in the AIP that you need to transport your dog in a cage with absorbent mat while only needing to answer 70% correct as opposed to 80% for RA-Aus.
I dunno, maybe I got lucky as these things are randomly put together for everyone these days, but the practical questions on my PPL exam were laughable. No tricks in W&B (Like being OK for take off but out after 3 hours flying) or performance and the nav questions were along the lines of "You depart A at 00 on a 50 mile leg to B, at 25 nm the time is 15. What time will you arrive at B?" Not to mention the 1:60 question along the same complexity. (Being 2 miles out at 30 miles along a 60 mile track)
Not saying either is easier than the other; they are different. But anyone who has done both in the past few years will attest there is not much between them.
10th Jul 2012, 01:24
Bear in mind that it is not just a case of ticking a couple of boxes, the CASA syllabus is competency based and you have to be able to fly to all the syllabus standards, consistantly, to be recommended for and pass the test.
Some RA-Aus qualified people can do this fine, usually the ones that have trained at a school with an instructor that does both; others it takes a long time to reach the competencies, especially when they are convinced their way is "better".
As with anyone it seems to depend on the quality of teaching they received in the first few lessons that will determine the ability to reach and recognise competency as they progress.
10th Jul 2012, 02:26
I did say GFPT.. Nav's are not GFPT items.
You can do 1 hour IF in a synthetic trainer, only need the 1 hour in the aircraft.
If you look at the RA syllabus and the DVFR for GFPT its all the same sequences except for IF. RA is more hours when you count the extra 5 PIC for PAX.
After that if you want to convert to a PPL you need to do the CTA stuff anyway, just do it from the beginning in a VH reg aircraft.
As I said, depends on the aircraft cost. In my area RA Jab's/Tecnams run for 230/hr while VH reg ones run at 250. By the time the extra 5 hours PIC for RA comes out your within $100.
10th Jul 2012, 05:01
There is no CTA requirement for PPL, is there? Most people end up with it be default because they train at a class D.
With those price differences, there is no real savings indeed. It becomes much more when you find somewhere with a much bigger difference.
When I did my RA at Parafield, I was paying $180 for the SportStar (no landing fees 'coz they can't enter numbers into their system!) while the 172 including fee was $250.
So definitely a few grand to be saved, even if you did up to GFPT level in the SportStar and then all navs in C172.
18th Jul 2012, 04:32
According to CASA, a recreational aircraft is a registered aeroplane because it is on the register of a contracting state. What is a contracting state? Something to do with the Chicago Convention of 1944. I had a 2 month wild goose chase with CASA (go figure, right?) to get that information. Basically, the ultralight hours are recognised by CASA but as MPrince mentioned, some schools won’t accept it, particularly the metro ones. Think of the money they could snatch if they said that your ultralight hours don’t count. In short, RAA is really doing some damage to GA in this country. Good or bad??:confused:
19th Jul 2012, 08:22
200 hour cpl A
100 can be in RA- let's say all your required command
So that's 100x140.00$ in a tecnam or jabiru = 14000.00
Versus 100x 250.00 minimum 172 = 25000.00..
Saving on command hours 11000.00 or there abouts.
Most of the cash needed for an Ifr or instructor rating..
You can either fly or you can't, and that comes down to your instruction, ability and willingness to work hard.
There will be good and bad instructors everywhere. It's up to you to use your instincts and a lot of questions to assess that as you develop and change if something isn't right .
19th Jul 2012, 09:02
From CASA by email of 28/3/12:
"..... 100 hours of command time in an RA Aus registered group A (3 axis) aircraft can be counted towards 100 hours command time required for a 200 hour commercial only.
The hours eligible to be counted are only the hours obtained after being issued with a pilot certificate and not before. As per the definition of recognised flight time in CAR 2(e)."