How to choose a flying instructor

The Role of a Flight Instructor: What to Expect and How to Choose

If you are interested in learning to fly, one of the most important decisions you will make is choosing a flight instructor. A flight instructor is more than just a teacher; they are your mentor, coach, safety officer, and source of inspiration. In this article, we will explore the role of a flight instructor, what to expect from them, and how to choose the best one for you.

A flight instructor is responsible for imparting the knowledge and skills necessary for safe and competent flying. They will cover a wide range of topics, from aviation regulations and weather to aircraft systems and navigation. They will also guide you through practical flight lessons, teaching you how to perform various flight manoeuvres and handle emergency situations. A flight instructor will customise their teaching methods to match your learning style, provide constructive feedback and coaching, and encourage you to overcome challenges and push your limits.

A flight instructor will also ensure your safety throughout your training. They will teach you how to prioritise safety in all aspects of flight, from pre-flight checks to in-flight decision-making. They will also monitor your progress and conduct periodic assessments, such as flight reviews and instructor proficiency checks, to ensure that you meet the standards for pilot certification.

Choosing a flight instructor is a personal and subjective matter. You should look for someone who has the qualifications, experience, and reputation that suit your goals and expectations. You should also look for someone who has a compatible personality, communication style, and teaching philosophy with you. You should feel comfortable, confident, and motivated with your instructor, and be able to establish a rapport and trust with them.

A good way to find a flight instructor is to visit a flight training school and ask for recommendations. You can also talk to other students and pilots and get their feedback. You can also do some online research and read reviews and testimonials. Once you have a shortlist of potential instructors, you can contact them and arrange for an introductory meeting or flight. This will give you a chance to get to know them, ask questions, and evaluate their suitability.

This is also a great opportunity to look at the flight training facilities – briefing and teaching areas, aircraft, and other supporting services. For example, do the aircraft look like they are well maintained? Is the hangar and briefing area kept clean and tidy? Does the flight training school look and feel professional, and most importantly safe.

Learning to fly is an exciting and rewarding journey, and your flight instructor will play a crucial role in shaping your success. By choosing a flight instructor who meets your needs and expectations, you will be able to enjoy a positive and productive learning experience, and achieve your aviation dreams.

A qualified pilot instructor standing by a Jabiru fixed wing plane at Rotor-Sport flight school

Why Learning To Fly Should Be On Your Bucket List

Many have dreamed of becoming a pilot, but often, this dream is quickly dismissed as being too difficult, costly, or dangerous. 

However, at Rotor-Sport Australia, we believe these challenges can be overcome with accessible, structured and affordable guidance. Flight training isn’t just for those aiming for an aviation career. In fact, many pilots fly regularly just for the sheer joy of it.

Why should flight lessons be on your bucket list? Learning to fly is transformative. It’s not just about the technicalities of handling an aircraft; it’s about gaining a new perspective on life. 

Your Path to the Pilot’s Seat: Clear and Achievable

Becoming a pilot is not just for the elite. With flexible training options, you can work towards your Recreational Pilot Certificate at your own pace. It’s about gradual progress, learning each skill step by step until you’re ready to take control in the cockpit. 

Want to know more? Get pricing options for Trial Instructional Flight for as little as $110.

Mental Workout: The Cognitive Benefits of Flying

Taking flying lessons stretches your mental capacities. You’ll learn navigation, interpret weather patterns, and make split-second decisions. This mental engagement makes you a better pilot and enriches your cognitive abilities, enhancing life outside the cockpit. For example:

  • As a pilot, you’ll actively enhance your spatial reasoning, making you better at navigation and understanding complex 3D environments.
  • Your decision-making skills will sharpen through flight training, as you learn to analyse situations quickly and solve problems on the fly.
  • You’ll find your attention and focus significantly improved by the constant vigilance required in the cockpit, helping you with everyday tasks.
  • Mastering multitasking becomes second nature as you juggle various tasks while flying, enhancing your ability to process information efficiently.
  • Memorising flight procedures and regulations will boost your memory, improving your ability to remember and retain information in all aspects of life.
  • Being a safe and competent pilot also often makes you a better driver on the road!

What Makes Flight Lessons The Ultimate Bucket List Item? Go far! Go Fast!

Even our smaller aircraft, like the 4-cylinder Jabiru J160, cruise at around 110 knots (approximately 200 km/h). With our navigational training, you’ll learn how to make the most of this speed. Imagine flying from Adelaide to breathtaking locations like Kangaroo Island in just a short time – it’s not just feasible; it’s a life changing exhilarating experience.

Upon completing your training, whether solo, with a friend, or alongside your partner, you will have the exhilarating privilege of soaring through approximately 95% of Australia’s uncontrolled airspace.

Rotor-Sport Australia is located at Rollo’s Airfield, Pallamana Road, SA 5254, offering an ideal setting for your flight training. Our mission is to help you become a safe, skilled and passionate pilot. Choose your flight option on our website and tick flight lessons off your bucket list.

Learner pilots learning the controls of a fixed wing aircraft during flying lessons with Rotor-Sport

What It’s Like Learning To Fly With Rotor-Sport Australia

Ever looked at the sky and thought, “I wish I could fly”? At Rotor-Sport in Adelaide, that’s not just a daydream; it’s a real possibility. Here, we offer top-notch training in both gyroplanes and fixed-wing aircraft. It’s the perfect place for both thrill-seekers and future pilots.

Understanding the Basics: Gyroplane vs. Fixed-Wing Training

You’ll learn to fly over the stunning landscapes of South Australia, starting from Rollo’s Airfield in Pallamana, just 15 minutes north of Murray Bridge. But before you start your training, it’s crucial to understand the differences between gyroplanes and fixed-wing aircraft. 

  • Gyroplanes are known for their agility and ability to perform short takeoffs and landings, making them ideal for flying in varied conditions. They are not affected by turbulence in the same way planes are, making them very stable and comfortable.
  • Fixed-wing aircraft, on the other hand, offer a more traditional flying experience, with a focus on longer-distance travel and higher altitudes. 

At Rotor-Sport, all budding pilots get to enjoy the dual experience of learning to fly in both a gyro and a fixed-wing. This unique opportunity to learn in both aircrafts sets our flight school apart from a lot of others.

Your First Flight Experience: What to Expect

At Rotor-Sport, you will begin your flight training with a thorough ground briefing covering aircraft controls and safety procedures. You will then take to the cockpit with an experienced instructor, where you will learn to handle the aircraft and gain an understanding of flight dynamics.

When you learn to fly with Rotor-Sport, you’re not just sitting back and watching – you’re in the heart of the action. You’ll get to pilot the aircraft from the hangar, taxi to the runway, and feel the exhilaration of takeoff.

Then, the real fun begins—once you’re up in the air, you’ll actually be the one flying! 

You will truly get to understand the joys of flying during the ascent, followed by the skilful challenge of landing. Our flying lessons offer an immersive and exciting hands-on approach, making them fulfilling, enjoyable, and memorable.

Dreaming of Becoming a Sports Pilot? 

Train in one of our gyroplanes, or experience the power of our 6-cylinder Jabiru J230 or the agility of the 4-cylinder J160. These Australian-made aircraft are known for their impressive performance, especially in ascent.

Rotor-Sport Australia’s qualified pilot training varies in length but averages 20-30 hours. Completing your training with us opens up exciting opportunities. You could hire and pilot our ELA 07-Cougar gyroplane or the beloved Jabiru J160, both offering distinct and thrilling flying experiences.

And the best part? Once you’re done with training, you can fly around 95% of Australia outside of controlled airspace! 

Want to learn to fly? Contact Chief Flying Instructor Gary Williams or Senior Gyroplane Instructor Dean Calvert to schedule your flight. Alternatively, choose your flight option on our website – it just might be the start of something big.

Yellow gyroplane during take off in a flying lesson with Rotor-Sport Australia

Flight Training 101: What To Expect During Your First Lesson

Ever dreamed of soaring through the Australian skies with a bird’s-eye view of the stunning landscapes below? With us, your journey to becoming a pilot begins with our introductory flying lesson for as little as $110. Let’s prepare you for the thrilling experience that awaits at our Adelaide flight school!

Get To Know Our Aircraft

First, let’s step into the hangar and meet the aircraft in the Rotor-Sport Fleet:

  • In the Auto-Gyro Cavalon Gyroplane, you’ll sit side-by-side with a qualified instructor, learning the nuances of gyroplane control in an aircraft celebrated for its luxurious comfort and exceptional panoramic views.
  • The ELA 10-Eclipse Gyroplane offers a jetfighter-like experience in a tandem configuration, complete with a sophisticated, ergonomically designed interior, heated seats for those chilly days, and an intuitively laid-out instrument panel.
  • Training in the ELA-07 Cougar Gyroplane, the ‘motorbike of the sky’, provides a unique, convertible-style flying experience, perfect for those who crave a more exhilarating approach to aviation training.
  • For a taste of fixed-wing aviation, the Jabiru 230 and 160 Aeroplanes serve as ideal training aircraft. The 6-cylinder J230 is a versatile, light-sport aircraft designed for both training and touring, while the more economical 4-cylinder J160 offers a slightly smaller yet equally enjoyable flying experience, although the cabin does have more space than the larger J230!

Your First Lesson at Rotor-Sport 

Your first day at our flight school begins with a pre-flight ground briefing, where you’ll learn the essentials of aircraft operation and safety. This briefing is crucial; it’s where you’ll get your first taste of what it means to be a pilot.

Once in the air, you take control. Guided by a qualified instructor, you’ll navigate the skies, learning how to manage the aircraft. This hands-on experience is exhilarating and informative, giving you a real sense of what flying entails.

After landing, you’ll have a post-flight debrief to discuss your flight. This is where you’ll get feedback to hone your skills and prepare for future lessons.

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your First Flight

  • Weather-Dependent Scheduling: Safety first! We’ll notify you 24 hours in advance if weather conditions require rescheduling.
  • Dress Code: Wear comfortable clothes, sunglasses for glare reduction (non-polarised if you’ll be flying a gyroplane), and a cap for sun protection.
  • Rest Well: Ensure you’re well-rested before your flight for optimal focus and performance.
  • Familiarise with Aviation Apps: Aviation apps offer weather updates, navigation charts, and educational resources. They’re a valuable supplement to your training. We will introduce you to the appropriate apps as your training progresses.
  • Watch Educational Videos: Regularly watch videos on the Rotor-Sport YouTube channel. These can provide visual learning on various aspects of flying, aircraft features, and safety procedures.

If you’re interested in becoming a qualified sport pilot, we can provide the additional training you need at Rotor-Sport. Minimum hours needed to become qualified varies depending on the person, but the benchmark is around 20-30 hours. Once qualified, the sky will become your playground, as you will be able to fly around 95% of Australia outside of controlled airspace.
Rotor-Sport flight school is located at Rollo’s Airfield, Pallamana Road, SA 5254, offering an ideal setting for your flight training. Our mission is to help you become a safe, skilled and passionate pilot; and we can’t wait to help you to learn to fly in Adelaide. Choose your flight option on our website today!