Flying has fascinated man since long before Icarus dared to get too close to the sun. Now that we don’t need wings held together with wax, many people dream of becoming a pilot, but few of them follow through and actually take to the skies – other than as passengers, that is. TAFE aviation courses make it relatively easy for people to qualify as pilots and land (if you’ll pardon the pun) careers in various other sectors associated with the aviation industry.
One of the advantages starting your career in aviation with TAFE courses is that you don’t have to pass the very strict tests that the navy and air force require, such as height, weight, and impressive science and maths marks at school. The downside is that you won’t fly any fighter jets or qualify for any space programs, but the aviation qualifications provided by TAFE courses are more than good enough for you to fly as a private or commercial pilot.
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TAFE Aviation Courses in Australia
The first thing you need to know is that TAFE aviation courses include everything from commercial pilot’s licences and cabin crew training to aeronautics and meteorology. Let’s look at some of the courses available in some of the cities in Australia.
TAFE NSW, which has campuses all over Sydney and NSW, offers a wide variety of aviation-related courses, including Certificate IV in Aircraft Surface Finishing, Diploma in Instrument Flight Operations, Advanced Diploma in Aviation Maintenance Management (Avionics) and assorted TAFE PLUS Statements, such as Airline Cabin Crew Workshop, Basic Aeronautical Knowledge and Navigation.
Swinburne TAFE offers three TAFE Aviation courses which lead up to a number of aviation-related undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. Swinburne’s TAFE courses can lead to careers as commercial and air transport pilots, as well as flight instructors.
Swinburne partnered with Oxford Aviation Academy to offer Certificate IV in Aviation Operations, which is designed to give students an edge when it comes to getting their commercial pilot’s licence and working in commercial aviation.
It also offers a six-month Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Flight Operations, which follows on from the Certificate IV course and includes all the theory and training needed to equip students for the Civil Aviation Safety Authority exams.
Then there is the Advanced Diploma of Technology (Aviation) which covers all the training and education you’ll need to become a private or commercial pilot and achieve Multi Engine Command Instrument Rating (MECIR) and Frozen Airline Transport Pilot Licence qualifications. The flight training that comes with the Advanced Diploma in Aviation is offered by Oxford Aviation Academy, which is one of the finest flying schools in Australia.
Swinburne’s TAFE Aviation courses are available from the Hawthorn campus in Melbourne.
TAFE SA offers two aviation courses: Certificate II in Aeroskills, which meets national aviation engineering standards and paves the way for careers in the field of aircraft maintenance; and Advanced Diploma of Aviation, which includes modules on avionics, mechanical aviation and aviation structures.
Do you have what it takes to become a pilot?
Airlinepilotcentral.com refers to a pilot persona – a distinct personality type that airlines look for when hiring pilots. Some of the characteristics are pretty obvious, like dedication to physical fitness and health, the ability to stay calm under pressure and the ability to think on one’s feet. But there are other characteristics that are perhaps not as obvious.
For example, good pilots work well in a team. There are two parts to the team: those in the cockpit, which these days might only consist of the pilot and co-pilot, but in some instances might also include a flight engineer, and the cabin crew. Pilots and cabin crew need to work well together to ensure that passengers are kept calm and are also apprised of situations as they arise. Good communication skills are a must.
There is no room for ego in a cockpit; if you want to show off your flashy skills you should join the air force or navy or get your private pilot’s licence and fly at air shows. In the cockpit you need to put vanity aside for the sake of the passengers.
According to Airline Pilot Central, good pilots are linear and practical thinkers; they need to deal with the here and now rather than the abstract.
Good pilots also tend to be perfectionists, although this might only apply to their time in the cockpit.
And in the end …
Maybe all you want to do is test million dollar fighter jets by pushing their noses out of Earth’s atmosphere, in which case check out your local air force and navy application requirements.
But maybe you want to fly just for the love it, in which case check out your local TAFE listings for aviation courses and realise your dream of becoming a pilot.