Australia’s oldest flying club celebrates a milestone

July 3, 2024
Jane Louise

This month the Royal Victorian Aero Club (RVAC), will celebrate 75 years at its base in Moorabbin.

The school and club is the oldest in Australia, originally founded in 1914.

It was initially based in Point Cook, where it issued pilot licences on behalf of England’s only licensing authority at the time. This came just four years after the first flight in Australia and eleven years after the Wright Brothers’ first controlled powered flight.

RVAC is a not-for-profit flying club and trains an average of 60 students each year.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority advises that the licence types consist of recreational, private, commercial and airline transport pilot licence (ATPL).

These licences increase in difficulty at each level. While the subjects are the same, they are taught in greater detail as the licence category progresses.

The legal minimum for a commercial licence is 150 hours of flying experience, although usually students will have closer to 200 hours under their belts before gaining work such as mustering in the outback.

At this level students can also gain an instructor rating as an alternative progression to increase flight hours, in order to fly for most commercial companies.

Commercial flying usually requires around 1,500 hours of flight experience.

Aviation International News reported last year that due to the pandemic, a global shortage of pilots could continue for at least the next decade.

Due to this demand, the school will soon extend its course offerings to include ATPL training.

Students at RVAC are eligible for government provided fee help, and benefit from small class sizes with individualised support. The facilities ensure training is unparalleled, providing experience in controlled airspace.

RVAC board member and recreational pilot Adam Trumble finds the thrill-seeking nature of flying addictive, although the process is not easy.

“Our members, teachers and students all value the club’s suburban location, which ensures they can incorporate flying easily into their lives,” he told the Star Journal.


Moorabbin, Royal Victorian Aero Club, RVAC

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