Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL)

The RPL is the first licence that pilots in Australia will hold and allows you to pilot an aeroplane while carrying passengers within a 25 nautical mile radius of your home airport. Holders of an RPL are authorised to fly light single-engine aircraft as pilot in command.

Medical Requirements

In order to fly solo and make use of your RPL, you will need to meet one of two medical standards.

  • Obtain a class 2 medical certificate issued by CASA; or
  • Obtain a basic class 2 medical certificate issued by medical practitioner; or
  • Obtain a Recreational Aviation Medical Practitioner Certificate (RAMPC) issued by your GP

It should be noted that the medical standard you choose will affect what you can do with your RPL.

Steps to Achieving an RPL

After completing a Trial Introduction Flight, the next stage is to work towards your first solo flight. Your first solo flight includes a take-off and landing without your Flight Instructor on board and is a milestone that most pilots remember forever.

Pilots generally complete their first solo within 10 – 15 hours of flight training however this is totally competency based, your instructor will let you know when you are ready.

After completing your first solo flight it is time to start working towards your area solo. The area solo is where you will fly solo away from the airport to practice some of the manoeuvres that you have learnt so far, without an instructor.

There is a theory examination which will need to be passed prior to taking to the skies on your RPL flight test. Your instructor will discuss the best approach for you to undertake the study required to pass the examination.

The Manning River Aero Club training syllabus for the Recreational Pilot Licence is 29 flight hours with 24 hours’ dual flight instruction and 5 hours of solo flight. These hours will vary with the individual and are also dependent on how frequently you fly. RPL training is conducted in the club’s Cessna C172, an RPL will usually cost around $12,700 (the attached price list provides the hourly rates).


RPL training is conducted in the Club’s C172. Costing is based on the club member rate and the minimum hours required to complete the syllabus and includes:

  • Landing fees
  • RPL theory study books
  • RPL Basic Aeronautical Knowledge (BAK) Examination (CASA fee)
  • Aircraft flight manual (abridged)
  • Visual Terminal Chart (VTC) Sydney – Newcastle
  • RPL flight test including CASA licence fee and Flight Examiner fee.

RPL in Cessna 172 is approximately $12,700

Medical examination fees are paid directly to the designated aviation medical examiner (DAME) and are not included in these costs.

All flights include pre-flight and post-flight briefings. Extended ground briefings are available to assist with BAK examination preparation at $90 per hour.