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Private pilot licence

CASR Part 61.H

What does a private licence (aeroplane) authorise a person to do? CASR 61.505

As the holder of a private licence you are authorised to fly an aeroplane as pilot in command or co-pilot while the aeroplane is engaged in private operations or as pilot in command in flying training operations.

Regular flight review requirement CASR 61.400

If you hold a flight crew rating, such as a pilot rating or an aircraft type rating, you must complete periodic flight reviews that will assess your competency to perform the activity authorised by that rating. Glider pilot licences are also subject to periodic flight reviews.

Examples of ratings you may hold are:

  • a class rating
  • an aerial application rating
  • an instructor rating
  • an instrument rating
  • a low level rating
  • a night VFR rating
  • a night vision imaging system rating

Recent experience requirements CASR 61.395

As a private pilot licence holder, you must not act as pilot in command carrying passengers by day unless you have carried out three take-offs and landings in the previous 90 days. If by day you are not carrying passengers there are no prescribed take off or landing recency requirements.

For a flight at night with passengers, you must have conducted three take-offs and landings at night in the previous 90 days. At night without passengers you must have conducted at least:

  • one night take-off
  • one night landing; within the previous 6 months in an aircraft of the same category.

You will be considered to have met the recent experience requirements to carry passengers by day if, in the last 90 days, you have successfully completed and passed a relevant flight check, review or test for a licence or rating, which included at least one take-off and landing. Similarly, if you wish to carry passengers by night, the above experience must have been conducted at night.

Personal logbooks CASR 61.345–CASR 61.365

As a holder of a pilot licence or certificate of validation, you must retain and maintain a personal logbook to a standard outlined in CASR 61.345. Accuracy of the information you enter into your logbook is paramount and is subject to auditing by CASA.

You must record your full name, date of birth and details of each flight you conduct in an aircraft or flight simulator. Details of flights include:

  • the date the flight began
  • the aircraft (or simulator and simulated aircraft) type
  • whether it was a single or multi-engine aircraft
  • the aircraft’s nationality and registration
  • the take-off and landing points and each segment of the flight
  • the flight time (if any) flown in each of the following capacities
    • pilot in command
    • co-pilot
    • pilot in command under supervision
    • pilot receiving flight training
  • whether the flight was by day or night, or both
  • any instrument flight time
  • whether you performed any instrument approaches and, if so, the type of instrument approach.

You need to retain your logbook for at least seven years after your last entry and you must ensure that it is unaltered within this time. Also, you must take due diligence that your logbook entries are not false or misleading.

You must produce your logbook if CASA asks and comply with this direction within seven days. Electronically formatted logbooks will need to be printed and each page certified as being ‘true copies’ (CASR 61.365).

If errors are discovered in your logbook, CASA may direct you to correct any errors and you are required to comply within 14 days (CASR 61.360).

Production of licence documents, medical certificates and identification CASR 61.340

For a number of reasons, CASA may direct you to produce any or all of the following documents for inspection. You must comply immediately if you were exercising, about to exercise or had just finished exercising, the privileges of your licence, or within seven days in any other case:

  • your pilot licence document
  • any aviation medical certificates
  • photo identification.

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New rules come into effect from 2 December 2021 that cover the general operating and flight rules. We are currently updating this guide to reflect the new rules. A new version will be available to download from 2 December.
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