Flight Training

“Pilots take no special joy in walking. Pilots like flying.”

– Neil Armstrong


Meet Your Instructors - Karen and Noel

Karen Dorlandt, CFI

Hi - I am the Chief Flying Instructor for the Busselton team. I really love instructing and teaching people to fly. It can be very rewarding, challenging and fun. Sometimes all at the same time!

I started out with a PPL (GA), 15 years ago. My first career was a computer programmer, but being outdoors is a lot more fun. I am also currently training for CPL (GA). I will remain as an instructor as that is where my passion lies. I enjoy getting out and about to other airfields and our club meetings and fly-aways.

Contact Karen on: 0401 382 308
Noel Wellstead, Senior Instructor

Hi everyone my name is Noel, one of the instructors with the Busselton team. I have been flying for 30 years and just recently accomplished my Senior Instructors rating.

I started flying in 1983. But my passion for aviation started very early as I can remember my dreams as a 3 year old flying my cot to my neighbours to play and then home again.

Contact Noel on: 0498 050 544

Meet the Aircraft - Your Partners in Crime

Sportstar 5573

As the original queen of flight training at Busselton, our club's Evektor SportStar has a modern, durable airframe, excellent flight characteristics, easy maintenance, and low operating costs. It is an easy to fly aircraft with outstanding control harmonies, sensitive to the pilot's commands at both high and low speeds and with uncompromising stability during flight.
Tecnam 8562

Like the Sportstar, the Tecnam Sierra is a two-seat, low-wing aircraft constructed from aluminium, and powered by a single 100 hp Rotax 912 S2 engine. However, its higher cruising speed makes neighbouring towns and places a little easier to reach. The aircraft also features a sliding canopy which can be opened while taxiing to provide increased cooling on those warmer summer days. The Tecnam will provide a valuable backup aircraft for training, as well as giving members greater flexibility and additional opportunities to hire an aircraft for private use.


Recreational Aviation vs General Aviation

There 2 main categories of licensing: GA (General Aviation, comprised of PPL and above) and RA (Recreational/Sport Aviation). In the past,  the only option available to learn to fly was GA. It is now possible to start learning  to fly in the RA category… and no, recreational does not mean an inferior license. Here at Busselton Aero Club, we can help turn your dreams of flight into a reality. Recreational Aviation is a diverse, unique facet of aviation here in Australia; whether you want to go on to captain a 767 or simply feel the need to get your feet off the ground, you can get there through us. The main advantage to learning to fly RA is the cost-effectiveness offered. It is approximately $5000-$10,000 to get an RA certificate, versus approximately $20,000-$30,000+ for a GA licence. The main reason for the difference in cost can be attributed to the role played by CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) in the process, as well as the difference in aircraft expense. GA also requires a medical, whereas RA can be achieved with only a current driver’s license.


Licenses Explained (click on each link for more information)

RPC (Recreational Pilot Certificate): As a flying member of Busselton Aero Club, the RPC is the license you will be training for. To be eligible for this license, you must:

  • Be at least 15 years old
  • Be of a medical standard at least equivalent to that required to drive a car
  • Complete a minimum of 20 hours dual and solo flying training
  • Pass a general flying test
  • Pass a number of written exams – flight radio, air legislation, aeronautical knowledge, and human factors

RPL (Recreational Pilot License)

PPL (Private Pilot License)

CPL (Commercial PIlot License)


Potential Pathways

Just because you start in RA does not mean you need to stay there. While many choose to keep their RPC/RPL and fly solely for pleasure, we have had several students learn to fly RA with us then add on a PPL/CPL, and go further. All hours accrued during your RA training can count toward future licenses. It is therefore possible to obtain an RPC and go on to convert it to a PPL. Once the PPL is achieved, there are aviation schools nationwide that offer VET-FEE help for approved students, helping them fund their dreams of commercial flight.


RPC Cost at Busselton Aero Club

  • Dual (you + club plane + instructor): $250/hr, plus $30/brief, when a new lesson is covered
  • Private Hire (you + club plane, once an RPC is attained): $190/hr
  • Instructor (you + BYO plane + instructor): $90/hr