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Learning to fly

Learning to fly is fun! Learn to fly with us at Strathalbyn in Adelaide, South Australia. At it's not a joy flight, it's a flight experience. You actually learn how to fly and take control of the aircraft. We operate in a safe and professional environment. Whatever your reasons for wanting to learn to fly, we can help you achieve those goals, and in today’s climate it is also very affordable.

Enjoy the thrilling experience of a Trial Instructional Flight (TIF) where you get to take control and fly the aircraft, and... if you like what you experience, and you like us and want to go further, then progress to one hour lessons at a time, schedule and budget to suit you. Located in Strathalbyn and not far from Adelaide (about 50 minutes), it's a great location for learning to fly and if you make a day of it, there is plenty to see and do in the surrounding areas.

At we love flying and sharing our knowledge - just check out this website - we are updating it all the time. Safety is paramount and we work with you to assist you in achieving your goal. Relax and have fun knowing you are in safe, experienced and caring hands. If you are a little nervous about the experience have a chat with one of our friendly instructors. In most dual training sessions, you get a full hour on the stick; we don't charge you extra for your standard pre and post-flight briefing time (normally 10-15 minutes).

If you have a dream to take your flying career further, such as achieving your CASA RPL (Recreational Pilots Licence), PPL (Private Pilots Licence) or CPL (Commercial Pilots Licence), then your recreational flying hours count toward RPL, PPL or CPL (up to 100 hours). What an affordable and enjoyable way to start your professional flying career.
Learning to fly requirements

The only requirement of you to 'start learning to fly' is that you are medically fit to hold a motor vehicle licence or have an appropriate medical certificate from your Doctor. For anyone under 18, signed parental authorisation is also required.

Comfortable clothing and appropriate footwear should always be worn when learning to fly. The type of clothing varies depending on the season and the aircraft, for example low wing aircraft can get very hot in summer and open cockpit aircraft can be very cold in winter. In summer a good pair of sunglasses also helps with glare - but please no polarised lenses.

Note: To commence learning to fly, you must be a minimum of 14 years of age and have turned 15 before you can fly the aircraft solo. 

Typical learning to fly training path

Initially you’ll be required to apply for a Student Pilot Certificate (included with your RA-Aus membership) then under syllabus requirements, undertake a minimum* of 20 hrs flight training, 5 hours of which must be solo. (*for most people the average is around 30-40 hrs)

Note: Personal weight limitations of 100-110 kg apply depending on the aircraft being flown - if you weigh more, we can refer you to another school and you need to be fit and flexible enough to get in and out of the aircraft without assistance.

You also need to study for, and pass, a number of theory examinations. These include: Pre-solo, Radio, Air Legislation, Human Factors and Performance, and Basic Aeronautical Knowledge. View a typical course flow here.

Contact us for more information or drop in and see us at the flight office on the airfield and collect an information package. 

Check it out Read what others are saying about

Additional training and endorsements

Once you have achieved your RA-Aus Pilot Certificate, progress to your Passenger (PAX) and Cross-Country (X) endorsements and then fully experience the pleasures of sharing the sights and freedom of flying with your friends and family.

We conduct Biennial Flight Reviews (BFR) and GA to Recreational (RA-Aus) conversions including all theory and examinations including recognition for prior learning and experience where relevant.

Check it outCheck out our additional fight training bits and pieces to complement your learning process or for furthering your flight education.updated 10/06/15

Hire and fly

Once you've obtained your Pilot Certificate you will want to keep flying, continuing to put your skills into practice and enhancing them further. Once you have your passenger endorsement you can take a friend with you and enjoy the local scenery and sights.

Aside from that, just enjoying the freedom of flight and 'knowing you can do it' is a good enough reason to get up there in the air. For this purpose you can hire and fly the aircraft you learnt in.

There is plenty to see in and around the vicinity of Strathalbyn. Spoil your passenger with a trip over the Murray Mouth, along the Coorong, whale spotting, around the bluff at Victor Harbor or a relaxing flight around the Great Lakes (Albert and Alexandrina).

Our flying instructors

Our instructors are passionate about all aspects of flight training and are focused on providing you with a fun, safe and professional place to learn and experience the joy of flying.

We understand adult learning principles and we know not everyone learns or progresses at the same pace, nor do they want to.

We understand you are an individual and we respect that - in fact that’s where we specialise. Check out our instructors profiles.

Our aircraft

We have the best of both worlds at - training available in both high and low wing aircraft:

Jabiru LSA
 - the Jabiru LSA - high wing with Jabiru 2200 80 hp engine

Tecnam P96 Golf
 - the Tecnam P96 Golf - low wing with Rotax 912ULS 100 hp engine

We believe it is good to be a flexible flyer and have the opportunity to learn in different aircraft once you have obtained your Pilot Certificate or during your learning phase.

Flying and affiliate members area

Initially this site was developed purely as an informative and knowledge sharing website for fellow aviators - that flavour still remains. Since then, it has developed into the website for our approved RA-Aus Flight Training Facility where you can learn to fly in the lovely surrounds of Strathalbyn and Langhorne Creek.

If you have been a keen follower and supporter of since its inception, then please contact us and request membership.

Membership is free and gives you access to additional details and information not available to the general public. We thank you for your loyalty and want to reward you for that.

Flying pilots and students of are automatically given  members area access once they have registered and received their RA-Aus Student Certificate. 

Our location

Strathalbyn Airfield (YSYN) is located on the beautiful Fleurieu Way between the historic towns of Strathalbyn and Langhorne Creek.

The scenery is beautiful, encompassing Strathalbyn, Langhorne Creek, Milang, Clayton, Hindmarsh Island, the Coorong and Murray Mouth, the Great Lakes (Alexandrina and Albert) and further afield Victor Harbor, the Bluff, Inman Valley and the Southern Mt. Lofty Ranges.

The Airfield is privately owned so we fly and learn in a relaxed, yet safe and controlled environment; and flying with the trikes is loads of fun! Landing Fees do apply.

Click here for directions (PDF file) on how to find us, or watch the YouTube video for directions. 

Travelling to the airfield

Things to do in and around the Strathalbyn, Langhorne Creek and Goolwa regions

The Strathalbyn (YSYN) private airfield is located about 10 minutes drive from the township of Strathalbyn travelling toward Langhorne Creek. If you are travelling with a friend or partner, it is a quick trip back into town to enjoy the local hospitality - a drink at one of the local pubs (after flying of course), a meal at one of the many cafes or a walk along historic High Street to enjoy the antiques and hospitality of the locals.

Bremerton Wines - run by the Willson sisters, Rebecca and Lucy and with Eva in charge of the cellar door, you will experience wonderful wines, fantastic local produce and enjoy regionally inspired luncheon platters in the renovated stone barn. The atmosphere and staff are most welcoming - Cellar Door open 7 days 10 am - 5 pm Langhorne Creek.

Angas Plains Estate Winery - need a bite to eat after your flight? or perhaps a drink? Then travel down the road to the Angas Plains Estate Winery - Cellar Door open daily 11 am - 5 pm Langhorne Creek.

The Station Masters Art Gallery is located in the Old Railway Station at Strathalbyn and is open Wednesday - Sunday, 10 am - 4 pm. It has continual art exhibitions featuring local and regional artists.

The Soldiers Memorial Garden is a beautiful place to have a picnic, feed the ducks or take a stroll along the River Angus. Walking distance to shops, High Street and all amenities. Located on the other side of the banks is the public swimming pool, a great playground and barbeque facilities.

Places to Stay in Strathalbyn: Stay at either the Strath Motel or the Strathalbyn Caravan Park (Shane & Jackie) - both close to town.

The Cockle Train departs from Goolwa and Middleton, Port Elliot and Victor Harbor.

The PS Oscar W Paddle Steamer was built in 1908 by Franz Oscar Wallin and cruises from the historic Port of Goolwa Wharf mostly Saturday and Sunday - check the website for cruise schedule and information.

At Victor Harbor there is plenty to see and do including the Whale Centre, penguins on Granite Island and walks around the Bluff.

Our school is an approved Flight Training Facility under Recreational Aviation Australia (RA-Aus). Our aim is to provide you with a professional yet relaxed atmosphere in which to learn to fly and have fun. We provide a casual meeting place for our students and pilots to catch up and formal areas for study.

We are a very female friendly school and have been recognised internationally by Women of Aviation Worldwide as a "Women Friendly Organization".

We cater for the young at heart and those with a dream of flying. We tailor flight training to suit your lifestyle, ability and budget. Our instructors teach because they love what they do and enjoy sharing their passion of flying with you and others. Come and chat with us soon.

WE ARE CURRENTLY FULLY BOOKED - apologies for any inconvenience

iWOAW Organization Seal - Authorised Female Friendly

Recent Flight Achievements

Tyson Hillyard - BFR 17/10/15

Diana Jemson - CFI BFR 08/07/15

Allan Ayles - BFR 06/05/15

Murray Nitschke - Cross Country Endorsement 19/04/15

Recent Theory Achievements

Murray Nitschke - Cross Country Theory Exam 04/03/15

John Modistach and Diana Jemson - Level 1 Maintenance Authority Holder Training Theory Exam 18/02/15

Michael van der Heiden - Cross Country Theory Exam 25/01/15

Mary Trowbridge - BAK Theory Exam 28/12/14


  Flying has always been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. It stayed just a dream until mid last year when a client of mine came over for a drink after my father passed away and we started chatting. He said he was flying a light sports aircraft. He said why don't you go for a TIF and see if you like it, so I immediately booked in for the following weekend.
  Before that weekend arrived, I changed my mind with the help of my wife. She said to me 'Why pay for a TIF when you know damn well you are going to love it - just book yourself in for lessons'. So I did. Unfortunately that weekend it was bad weather so I had to wait another week.
  Now I have started I am hooked on it for life! Diana is a fantastic Instructor that doesn't pussy foot around. She is hard, but fair, and will give you the best base to start off your flying career and that is the most important thing.
- Michael van der Heiden, Mt Compass SA February 2014

  I had a fantastic time taking to the skies yesterday with Diana. I was a little nervous, and Diana really put me at ease throughout the flight, so I could enjoy the spectacular views and experience of actually flying a plane! Now ticked off the bucket list, and is an ideal present for my husband for his birthday - so we will be back.
  It’s great it is so close to some great wineries and other attractions, so we made a day of it.
  The kids loved watching Mum up in the skies too - and they got to sit in the plane - highlight of their day. Highly recommended - thanks Diana.
- Jo Muir, Adelaide SA July 2013

  After visiting four different flying schools and two introduction flights, it was an easy decision for me. flying school owner Diana Jemson made me feel right at home. The school, then located on Goolwa Airport (now Strathalbyn) is neat and very well organised.
  Diana runs the school with a passion for flying and it shows not only on the ground but also in the air. As both aircraft in the school are privately owned, they are well looked after. Every time I've turned up for a lesson, the aircraft were in great shape as you will find out as you go. After all, you're doing the inspection of the aircraft yourself from the first lesson onwards under supervision of your instructor.
  I love the relaxed atmosphere, things are never rushed. At first I thought about getting my Certificate as quick as possible but I realise now that it really doesn't matter as I'm just having too much FUN!! I can't wait for the next lesson :) !  If you ever thought about flying, give it a go. flyingonline is highly recommended!!
 - Ben W Adelaide, SA July 2012

  I had a ball during my first flight in a small aircraft. I'll be buying gift vouchers for all those hard to buy for people in my life for Xmas...
 - Julie Harris, Adelaide SA 2009

Hello Diana
 Thank you for a wonderful experience on the Sunday of the Women of Aviation Week. It was beyond all my expectations and to be a passenger in the Tiger Moth was truly amazing.
  As a mature person, 67, this was an apprehensive decision but worth every minute. Jeff, who explained everything to me and cared for me getting into and out of the cockpit was thoughtful and kind. And the pilot, Steve, was great. An half hour in my life I will never forget.
  The day was very well organised and everyone must be commended on their thought for everyone there. I was impressed when I heard they changed planes for our seven year old grand-daughter so that she could see out of the side door, otherwise she would have seen nothing.
 Congratulations on a great event. Well done everyone.
Best wishes and thanks.
 -  Margaret Zwar March 2014


  As an add to my post this morning regarding our fantastic Australian statistics for WOAW events, I would like to congratulate Diana Jemson on her efforts.
  Diana and her team conducted the most number of flights on one day in a single engine aircraft during a WOAW event across Australia. Well done!
 - Tam Augostin, Australian WoAW Team Leader, 27/3/14

  Just wanted to add my very enthusiastic testimonial for Diana's study guides. As a middle age student juggling bills, family, career and other pressures and pursuits, it was a great help to connect with Diana and her study guides.
  My journey to my Pilots Certificate has been a fairly long one, almost 2 years, so it really helps to have a mentor such as Diana who is not only passionate about aviation and instruction, but is able to convey a sometimes dizzying amount of information in a structured and articulate way.
  In addition, though I am training in a different school and state, Diana always has time to answer a question or offer a word of encouragement. Thanks, couldn't have done it without you!
- Adam Yavner, Winston Hills NSW July 2013

  I joined my instructor from on a flight from Goolwa Airport and had a great time flying over the mouth of the Murray River, Hindmarsh Is and Victor Harbor. You see the most amazing scenery - enjoying the sights of the local area including the Coorong, Lake Alexandrina, Clayton, Milang, even Strathalbyn, Finniss and Currency Creek.
  You may even be lucky enough to see Whales at the right time of the year. Take a Trial Instructional Flight and you'll find the instructor is so calm, efficient and patient. I would recommend to anyone wanting to learn to fly and their Gift Vouchers are ideally priced and the ideal gift for an adventurous person.
 - Aileen M Adelaide SA 2012

  Gaining an RA-Aus license is one of my retirement goals and I’m training with Diana at ‘’ in the Tecnam Golf.  It is a wonderful aircraft – a low wing with outstanding visibility and a slow stall speed of less than 40 knots.
  Diana is a patient and thoroughly professional instructor with a lively sense of humour and great attention to detail. Nothing is a bother to her and she consistently goes the extra mile to make sure you’re well prepared.
  Flying safely is about situational awareness and that means thorough preparation on the ground before flying. Diana has prepared all the learning tools needed to make that job easy and straightforward. 
  She has raised my goals and expectations of what I want to achieve to a new benchmark. Thanks Diana, you’re great!
 - Mike G September 2012

  I have known Diana for some time. She has instructed me from one school & then again at her own school. She is a hard task master but fair. Diana has taught me things that long standing instructors failed to teach me. Her enthusiasm for flying & teaching is shown by her dedication to her students learning the correct way & not taking short cuts. If you are ready, you will move forward to the next level. She is patient & fun to fly with.
  Diana is cool under pressure & will make light of difficult situations as well. She personally strives to learn more & pass on this knowledge. She is always thinking of ways to make flying, & flying to other destinations, fun; as I think most of us fly to have fun & enjoy the privilege.
  She will freely admit if she does not know something but rest assured she will find out & get back to you with the answer. She is a pleasure to fly with in all circumstances.
 - Daryl Williams, SA, WA & NT August 2012

Strathalbyn Airfield (YSYN)
479 Angas Plains Road (off Cheriton Rd)
Langhorne Creek, South Australia
m: 0412 184 609