Training Tours

Flying's got to be fun, right? It's all about being comfortable, honestly comfortable, in your skin as you're established at full power on that take-off roll. If it's all a bit new to you, this feeling can take a while. The main thing is to recognise that. If you don't think you have the confidence to fly off into the great blue yonder on your own, or perhaps you're a student pilot wanting to knock off a block of nav hours in one go, sitting alongside an instructor, then you might like to think about taking a load off and joining one of our training safaris.

Good times on the menu with instructors Shelley & Catherine.  Good times on the menu with instructors Shelley & Catherine. My colleague Catherine Fitzsimons and I specialize in running carefully tailored air adventures, with an equal emphasis on training as on the knockout scenic flying on offer around Australia.

We're both flying instructors. Catherine is based in the NSW Blue Mountains town of Bathurst where she runs WardAir Flight Training. I'm based at Curtis Aviation in Camden, south-west Sydney.

Here's a sample of what we've been up to in the recent past.

  • November 2016: we took six aircraft and 13 people across the country from Sydney/Bathurst to Margaret River near Perth and return, over a two-week time frame.
  • Early March 2017: five aircrews joined us on an eight-day safari from Sydney, tracking south coastal to Bass Strait, circumnavigating Tasmania and returning via regional Victoria and NSW.
  • April 2017: long weekender! Three aircraft all headed across to outback South Australia for the Loxton Aero Club's biennial fly-in weekend.
  • Mid May 2017: Queensland Odyssey. Coastal northbound to the Great Barrier Reef and the Gulf of Carpentaria, then home through the outback with 13 people in six aircraft. Awesome!!
  • 22/23 July:  Big get-together for AWPA girls (Aust Women Pilots' Assoc) who joined over 80 guests at the Orange Aero Club Christmas in July dinner, where Catherine & I were guest speakers. Wine, wings and too much fun!
  • 26/27 August 2017 Tumut Aero Club fly-in. Catherine and I attended the weekend fly-in as guest speakers at the Sat night dinner.
  • October 2017 long weekend:  Gold Coast/Archerfield. Three-day attack on controlled airspace procedures! This trip filled super-quickly, and we ended up with seven aircraft (16 pilots)  heading north coastal and back inland, to tackle all the CTA and military airspace between Sydney and Brisbane, i.e. Richmond, Williamtown, Coffs Harbour, Gold Coast, Archerfield, Amberley and Tamworth.  Phew!  Exhausting, but SO rewarding! All the pilots commented how much they loved the challenge and satisfaction of nailing all those procedures over three action-packed days!


Coming up:

  • October 20-29, 2017: Ten-day adventure visiting the best and least known islands of Bass Strait and Spencer Gulf, with the possibility of a circumnavigation of Tassie thrown in. We'll fly home via the stunning Flinders Ranges. Few spots left on this one (as at 13 Aug '17).
  • Feb/March 2018:  CTA south. Another three-day fly-away to brush up on controlled airspace procedures, this time between Sydney and Melbourne. These ones are popular so register your interest quickly if this appeals.
  • Approx May 25 - 04 June 2018: Red Centre - bucket-list itinerary. Watch this space.

Think you might like to join us anytime soon? Drop me a line, and I'll put you on the list to receive a heads-up on our future trips.  Email me at:  

Quick refuelling stop for the girls enroute to Loxton, SAQuick refuelling stop for the girls enroute to Loxton, SAThe main feedback we get from our trip participants is the "comfort in numbers" thing, having two instructors on hand for any guidance along the way, and the fun of flying in a group. We design the itinerary, give you all the waypoints and refuelling stops, organise all the accommodation enroute, and all you have to prepare is your own flight plan, pack a bag and fly the aeroplane! All our fellow travellers are like-minded adventurous souls, with whom we end up sharing many hours together, whether it's in the back of a farmer's truck, on an isolated island bush walk, or perhaps while refueling at some far-flung tiny air strip you've never heard of ... or maybe over a very nice Shiraz, supervising the sunset at an outback billabong.

Farewell to the remote and beautiful Three Hummock Island, Bass StraitFarewell to the remote and beautiful Three Hummock Island, Bass StraitPlan your own safari

Once you've done a few safaris in company with more experienced pilots, you'll be ready to launch off with family or friends, and go discovering our big wonderful country for yourself. Two or three aircraft flying together in company is a fantastic way to spend a week or two. You'll see here a long list of air safaris I've done since 2005; by no means the full list, but it will give you some ideas to start planning your own itinerary. 

It's not only the pilots who love these trips; your passengers end up having the best time, and thrive on the unique situation they find themselves in, flying in a little fleet of light aircraft and stopping each day to discover a new destination. Using a common radio frequency between all the aircraft, everyone on board can listen in through their headsets to pilot transmissions and conversations between the various crews. 

A unique overnight stop at The Lily Dutch Windmill, WAA unique overnight stop at The Lily Dutch Windmill, WA