Flight instructors overview

Pilot competency relies on quality training, which is why the role of instructors is safety critical.

Conducting a flight review

A flight review provides pilots with training to refresh their knowledge and skills. This is like pilots within an airline training system, who must complete training on a regular basis.

The aircraft used for the flight review may be different to other aircraft the person normally operates. Instructors should not assume the pilot will be competent in the aircraft.

Successful completion of a flight review ensures pilots:

  • do not develop bad habits
  • maintain the required knowledge and skills.

A flight instructor can conduct a flight review if they hold either a:

  • grade 1 or 2 training endorsement
  • training endorsement for the relevant rating.

Note: Part 141 or 142 flight training operators (FTO) must conduct a flight review where flight training is also required.

Flight and simulator instructor proficiency checks (FPC)

An instructor proficiency check is an assessment of the instructor's competency to conduct flight training, relevant to the training endorsements they hold. Pilots must show that they are competent in:

  • conducting aeronautical knowledge training
  • flight training in an aircraft or flight simulation training device approved for the purpose..

You will need to show competency for at least 1 training endorsement.

If your training endorsements authorise you to conduct flight reviews, you will also need to show your competence in this.

If you hold a:

  • class rating training endorsement (multi-engine), or
  • a type rating training endorsement for a multi-engine aircraft

you should consider alternating proficiency checks in a:

  • multi-engine aircraft
  • flight simulation training devices approved for the purpose.

You can also meet the requirements if you:

  • pass a flight test for a training endorsement more than 6 months after the initial flight instructor rating flight test
  • complete an operator proficiency check that covers the conduct of flight instruction
  • take part in a training and checking system by an operator that holds a regulation 61.040 approval for that purpose.

The standards for instructor proficiency checks are in CASR Part 61 Manual of Standards (MOS) Schedule 6.

Duration of instructor proficiency checks

To continue using a flight instructor rating, you must undertake an instructor proficiency check:

  • within 12 months of initial issue of the rating
  • every 24 months thereafter.

Conducting a flight instructor proficiency check

The only people who can conduct flight instructor proficiency checks are:

  • flight examiners
  • CASA examiners
  • people who hold an approval granted under regulation 61.040.

Flight examiners must:

  • hold a flight instructor rating flight test endorsement
  • hold the same training endorsement relevant to the one which the proficiency check will assess competency in.

Failing a flight instructor proficiency check

If you fail a flight instructor proficiency check, you cannot conduct flight training until you pass one.

Rules for flight training

Flight training for the grant of a licence or rating, or in multi-crew co-operation

Only authorised instructors engaged by a Part 141 or Part 142 FTO can conduct:

  • flight training for the grant of a flight crew licence
  • aircraft rating or operational rating and associated endorsements
  • training in multi-crew co-operation.

Holders of a private pilot licence and an instructor rating

If you hold a private pilot licence (PPL), you can hold an instructor rating as well as a:

  • design feature endorsement
  • flight activity endorsement.

The instructor can only conduct training for the grant of one of these endorsements.

To exercise the privileges of the PPL and conduct the authorised training, you must complete the following:

  • a medical
  • a flight review for the relevant aircraft rating
  • an instructor proficiency check.

You cannot conduct training for the grant of:

  • a pilot licence
  • aircraft ratings
  • operational ratings and associated endorsements.

Training records for a flight activity endorsement independent of a Part 141 or 142 flight training operator

If you conduct training for a flight crew endorsement independently of a flight training operator, you must:

  • record the training
  • keep the training record for at least 7 years.

Training records provide evidence of the training and assessment and should include:

  • all the training conducted in line with CASR Part 61 MOS
  • the standard attained
  • a copy of the certificate of completion.

Training for the general competency rule and Part 141 or 142 operators

You can conduct training for a person to meet the general competency rule outside of a CASR Part 141 or CASR Part 142 operator.

The flight instructor must:

  • hold the appropriate training endorsements
  • meet the competency rule to operate the aircraft
  • have a current flight instructor proficiency check
  • meet any other rating recent experience requirements.
Last updated:
6 May 2022
Online version available at: https://www.casa.gov.au//licences-and-certificates/flight-instructors/flight-instructors-overview
Back to top of page