FAQ

Who is MFS?

Moorabbin Flying Services (MFS), formerly Moorabbin Flying School, was established in 1993 by a group of professional pilots with many years of aviation and business experience. Their aim was to provide excellence in flight training and specialist instruction for the individual. Currently owned and operated by Andrew and Madelaine Johnson, MFS has grown to become Moorabbin Airport’s premiere pilot training facility. MFS’s commitment to flight training is second to none, fostered by highly experienced and dedicated staff. Many former students and staff now fly for international, national and regional airlines.

What type of organisation is MFS?

MFS’s primary operation is pilot training from the beginner through to the Airline Transport Pilot. MFS cover all aspects of practical and theory training that is required for the issue of a many different types of pilot licences and ratings. MFS’s reputation is built on first-class facilities and dedicated staff who will provide you with an honest and safe approach to your flying training.  MFS is a fully accredited Registered Training Organisation (Provider No. 22120) and MFS adhere to the strict guidelines and the governing rules of the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA). This enables MFS to offer full time tertiary courses in Aviation. MFS is also registered with CRICOS (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students – Registration No. 02983F). MFS can cater for International Students studying in Australian under a Sub Class 572 Student Visa. MFS have several approved courses on offer:    

The Diploma of Aviation (CPL) incorporates the Commercial Pilot Licence together with a Night Visual Flight Rules rating and a PA44 Multi-Engine Endorsement. The cost for each of these courses can be found on this website, under courses. Please note that flight training is very individual and therefore it is difficult to estimate the exact cost for each student. MFS base the costing on the industry average. It is also important to note that the least expensive way to achieve your PPL or CPL is to fly consistently.  

Where do I find MFS?

MFS is located at Moorabbin Airport, approximately 20 km south east of Melbourne. The address is 16 Northern Avenue, Moorabbin Airport, Mentone, Victoria 3194. Being located airside at Moorabbin Airport is of prime importance to MFS students, whether for private or professional training. The airport location provides you with quick and ready access to all classifications of airspace and associated operating procedures. It also enables MFS to provide you with the greatest exposure and best training possible. Moorabbin is a modern, well-equipped airport, busy enough to provide an ideal training environment. Completing your training at Moorabbin Airport will give you the confidence and ability to deal with any operational requirement or procedure anywhere in Australia or the world. MFS also have a second building used as a theory and simulator centre, located at 55 Grange Road, Cheltenham. This facility has an extensive amount of resources to give students the highest class of education.

When is MFS open?

MFS is open seven days a week and our reception is staffed from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Flight training is frequently conducted outside these hours, particularly during the summer months when we can take advantage of daylight savings. Flying times outside normal business hours are arranged at such time that is mutually acceptable to both the student and instructor. 

What cadetship programs does MFS offer?

MFS have two cadetships currently on offer: Sharp Airlines and Skippers Aviation. The cadetships have duration of 20-22 months training. Training involves the Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot License), Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Rating), ATPL subjects (4), Multi Crew Cooperation and Aircraft Type Rating. When you successfully graduate you are guaranteed a job as a First Officer, sitting opposite the captain with a regional airline. The cadetship program follows an effective course structure to get you through all the training you need and into your dream pilot job in minimum time. 

When can I start and what prior qualifications do I need?

There is no minimum age at which you can begin your training, so you can fly at any time you like! However, you must be at least 15 years old before you can fly solo. In order to obtain your Recreational/Private/Commercial License, a background security check will need to be done, and an Aviation Security Identity Card (ASIC) will be issued. In order to hold a Recreational Pilot License (RPL) you must be 16 years old, Private Pilot Licence (PPL) you must be 17 years of age, and to hold a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) you must be 18. There are no formal educational requirements necessary to begin your flying training, but if you wish to pursue an Airline aviation career or envisage military aviation as your goal, you will need a sound pass in VCE, with good results in English, Physics and Higher Mathematics. Training can be structured to suit your budget, and/or your time schedule.

What is the progression of flight training?

Before you go flying:
Comprehensive pre-flight briefings are conducted before each flying sequence. This ensures that you fully understand what is expected of you during that flight, which in turn ensures that you gain maximum benefit. 

After you go flying:
Equally important is the post flight brief. At the end of each flight you will be de-briefed on your performance. This gives you the opportunity to reflect and learn from what you have achieved in each sequence. 

Beginning to first solo:
This is the first phase of your flying training. During this stage you will cover all aspects of basic manoeuvring and handling of the aircraft, which will culminate in your first solo flight. The amount of flying hours to do this is not fixed and depends on your aptitude and ability. In our experience the average pilot will go solo after somewhat between 12 and 15 hours of dual flying. Prior to your first solo you will be required to pass an in-house written examination. You must also have a current medical certificate. After your first solo flight, you will consolidate your skills with another two hours of solo circuits. This will complete the first phase of your flying training. 

Training area solo:
The flying training covered in the second phase covers the more advanced handling sequences and emergency procedures in flight. The culmination of this stage of your training results in you being able to take an aircraft out into the Moorabbin training area solo. Successful completion of the Area Solo written examination is required prior to being sent solo in the training area. 

What is the Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL)?

After the Area Solo flying is completed, further training and refinement will take place in order to bring you up to the first flight test standard known as RPL (Recreational Pilot Licence). The RPL flight test will take just over one hour and on successful completion you will be entitled to carry passengers, while acting as pilot-in-command. You cannot fly with passengers outside the training area until you attain your PPL (Private Pilot Licence).  The minimum flying time for the RPL, as stipulated by the Canberra-based controlling body, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), is a total time of 20 flying hours. Of the 20 hours, a minimum of five must be flown as pilot-in-command. The actual time taken to reach the standards required to pass the RPL varies from pilot to pilot. Obvious factors that influence this include aptitude, motivation, consistency of training and finances. From our extensive experience we have found the average pilot will fly somewhere around 30 hours to reach RPL standard. The RPL is mandatory if you wish to carry passengers, but it is not a compulsory part of the training syllabus for those continuing with further training. It is however, highly recommended that you undertake the test, as it will provide you with an assessment as to how you are progressing, as well as giving you the opportunity to experience a flight test. Prior to the flight test you must have achieved a pass in the BAK (Basic Aeronautical Knowledge) examinations; this is an in-house multiple-choice exam covering aircraft general knowledge, aerodynamics, aircraft performances as well as basic operational procedures and regulations.  

What is involved in getting a Private Pilot Licence (PPL)?

Training for a Private Pilot Licence (PPL) focuses on navigation training and procedural work. You will learn:

  • Map reading 
  • Cross-country flying techniques 
  • Operations in controlled airspace 
  • Emergency procedures 
  • Use of radio navigation aids 

Before undertaking the flight test you must also pass the PPL theory exam set by CASA. This is a multiple-choice examination that takes on average about three hours to complete. It encompasses navigation, meteorology, flight rules and procedures, aircraft performance and aerodynamics. MFS is an approved examination centre, so you can sit the exam in a place where you are familiar and comfortable. You can sit the exam on a day and time of your choice. On satisfactory completion of this training syllabus, and a pass in the theory exam, you will be recommended to the Chief Flying Instructor (the CFI) for the PPL test. Successful completion of this test will earn you your Private Pilot Licence (PPL). 

What about theory subjects?

Throughout the year, MFS regularly provide ground theory courses for the PPL and BAK subjects. The theory courses provided by MFS for BAK and PPL are not compulsory, and you can self-study for these subjects however, the first-time pass rate of students who have completed the courses is significantly higher than those who have self-studied. MFS ground theory instructors will ensure that your knowledge and understanding of these courses is both extensive and exceptional. The seven subjects covered in the PPL course include: 

  • Meteorology
  • Navigation 
  • Aerodynamics 
  • Flight Planning and Performance
  • Aircraft General Knowledge
  • Air Law 
  • Human Factors 

What is involved in becoming a Commercial Pilot (CPL)?

There are two options available for those wishing to pursue a Commercial Pilot Licence. One option is the integrated course which requires 150 hours total flight time. MFS is licensed by CASA to conduct the integrated commercial course. This course operates to a relatively strict syllabus and as such you should inform MFS if you intend to pursue this avenue when you first commence flying. Option two is basically a part-time course, which requires 200 hours of total flight time. In option one the candidate must accumulate 70 hours as a pilot-in-command whereas in option two, it's 100 hours. There is quite obviously a substantial gap in flying time between a new Private Pilot and the requirements for a Commercial Pilot Licence. The RPL and PPL training combined will provide somewhere between 40 and 60 hours of flight time, but only 10 to 15 of these will be in command. 

How will I build my solo ‘command’ hours?

One of the best ways to build up your command hours is to plan an extensive trip away with family or friends. Not only is it great fun, but it also provides you with exposure to flying in remote areas, controlled airspace, etc. At or about the time you attain your 70 hours in command you will begin your commercial flying training. During this phase of your flying training you will hone your skills to the standards demanded of today’s professional pilots. 

Also required for the commercial licence is a pass in the Commercial Pilot Licence theory examinations. As with the PPL theory, there are seven subjects, with an individual examination for each one. These subjects are examined externally by CASA. The theory courses for the CPL (Commercial Pilots Licence) and IREX (Instrument Rating Examination) are run on demand.

What jobs are available in the industry?

On completion of your Commercial Pilot Licence you will be ready to choose your path into an aviation career. Some of the career paths that will open up to you include:   

  • Flying Instructor
  • Charter Pilot 
  • Search and Rescue 
  • Agricultural Spraying 
  • Coastal Surveillance 
  • Corporate Pilot 
  • Survey Pilot 
  • Air Ambulance 
  • Airline Pilot  

How fit do I have to be?

Before you’re allowed to fly solo you must undergo a medical examination, which will grant you either a Recreational Aviation Medical Practitioners Certificate, or a Class 2 medical certificate. The Class 2 medical certificate is required for a Private Pilot License. In order to hold a Commercial Pilot Licence you must hold a Class 1 medical. The requirements for the Class 1 medical are more stringent and include an ECG, ophthalmology tests, blood/cholesterol tests, spirometry tests and hearing tests. Doing a Class 1 medical examination will also cover you for a Class 2. If it is your intention to continue into the commercial area of aviation we recommend that you have a Class 1 medical conducted first off. If you have any underlying health problems it is better that they are identified early on rather than halfway through your training. Medical examinations can only be conducted by approved Aviation Medical Examiners. A list of approved CASA Medical Examiners is available on the CASA Website.

How can I pay for all my training?

There are two methods of payment: the first method that MFS offer, which is financially easier for most, is to simply pay-as-you-go. The second option is to deposit money into an account with MFS which you can “fly off”. All flying must be paid for on the day of the flight, so accordingly all accounts must be kept in credit at all times. In order to provide you with quality training at an affordable price, MFS is not in a position to offer credit accounts. Whichever way you go the first time you sit in an aircraft as pilot in command, you will know that it has been well worth it! (Full-time students undertaking a diploma course are subject to specific payment options - contact us for details).

Why don't MFS offer training on cheaper recreational aeroplanes?

Some new aeroplane manufactures are entering the market with a cheaper alternative to ab-initio flight training. These new aeroplanes generally have fewer seats, are slower, can be less stable in the air and the maintenance requirements are not as stringent as for the well-known Piper and Cessna models. MFS believes that students should develop their initial skills on aeroplanes that will assist them to naturally transition from beginner to an advanced level and ultimately a professional pilot. Piper aeroplanes, that form the MFS fleet, have launched the successful careers of pilots all over the world. 

How safe are MFS aeroplanes?

The Piper training aeroplane is a proven, stable and reliable design that has been in production since the 1960s. MFS own a modern fleet of the traditional analogue and computer based glass cockpit design of the Warrior, Archer and Seminole aeroplane type. MFS places the utmost emphasis on safety through immaculate maintenance and comprehensive pilot safety training. 

How experienced will my MFS instructor be?

MFS instructors have been selected for their emphasis on safety, people skills and experience (+120,000 hours combined). Many MFS instructors were once MFS students themselves. Some instructors even held captain airline positions, many have degrees, but most importantly all MFS instructors have a deep passion for flying and a keen desire to see you succeed and fulfil your dream.